Mar 30, 2013

The New Jim Crow

On April 4th we remember the tragic 45th anniversary of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s assassination in Memphis, Tennessee. While Dr. King and other civil rights leaders largely succeeded in eliminating blatantly racist Jim Crow laws and practices in the 1960's, the fight is ongoing and new challenges have arisen.
Michelle Alexander’s acclaimed best-seller, The New Jim Crow, has already changed the discourse on mass incarceration in our time. Now a new in-depth study guide provides a launching pad for groups wishing to engage in deep, meaningful dialogue about race, racism, and structural inequality. You can order it and download other useful guides and resources here:
see also:
LPF resources on Martin Luther King, Jr.:

Mar 26, 2013

Support a strong Arms Trade Treaty

Time is running out. The final week of negotiations for an Arms Trade Treaty is now underway. The treaty presents a great opportunity to prevent the world's worst catastrophes by keeping weapons out of the hands of warlords, war criminals, and genocidal dictators. Urge President Obama to support a strong Arms Trade Treaty.

Mar 18, 2013

Pastoral Letter on Violence

by MDC Synod Communications on Mar 11, 2013

“Every faithful caregiver who sits with victims of violence knows what we know – as God’s church, we are called to reduce violence and should, in most cases, restrain ourselves from using violence. Whether or not statistics show that overall violence has declined in recent years, every person wounded or killed is a precious child of God.

“As bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, we lament the tragedy of gun violence in our country. We are grieved by the way violence threatens and destroys life. We affirm the current soul searching and shared striving to find a way to a better future.”

These are the opening sentences of A Pastoral Letter on Violence adopted by the ELCA Conference of Bishops, adopted on March 4, 2013. The Rev. Richard H. Graham, bishop of the Metro D.C. Synod, is in the conference. Read and download the full letter (pdf file) on the MDC Synod website, or read online on the ELCA Web site.

“This letter intends to encourage conversation and common reflection,” said Bishop Graham when forwarding it to rostered leaders in the Metro D.C. Synod and recommending circulation.

“The ELCA has already made significant statements on violence, and we wanted to call attention to what our church has already said. But we also wanted to be able to make a statement as a Conference of Bishops in response to a culture of violence,” said the Rev. Jessica R. Crist, bishop of the ELCA Montana Synod and chair of the conference (ELCA News Service, 3/8/13). “The letter was carefully crafted and re-crafted, debated and prayed about. We commend it to the church.”

Find a list of related ELCA resources at the end of the “Pastoral Letter on Violence.”
See also: LPF's list of resources on gun violence

Mar 16, 2013

The Path of Hope - Updated

Peace and justice successes throughout history.

We have updated our popular "Path of Hope" which is a graphic exhibit of more than 100 peace and justice events and movements throughout history in which everyday people have been successful in bringing about peace and social change by nonviolent means.
The display includes well-known figures like Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rosa Parks as well as lesser-known stories such as the White Rose student movement in Nazi Germany.
For many people, a good way to explore the possibilities of peace­making today is through the lives and activities and choices of inspiring peace and justice heroes like Gandhi, Dorothy Day, Nelson Mandela, and Aung San Suu Kyi, to name a few.
It also includes brief descriptions of eleven other activities; the full ‘how to kit’ includes an annotated selection of events from the Path of Hope.