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In 2014, Grassroots Advocates United and Made Progress

In 2014, Grassroots Advocates United and Made Progress

Faced with a lame-duck president and a do-nothing Congress, social justice advocates took a DIY approach to making change in 2014. Congress failed to raise the federal minimum wage, but cities and states, bowing to pressure from workers’ rights groups, enacted their own minimum-wage hikes. And, while waiting for executive action from President Barack Obama [...]
The ‘Punishment Economy’ Must EndDuring the past several weeks, protesters in Ferguson, New York City and across the country have shut down public transit, freeways, malls and many other institutions in response to the state-sanctioned violence that resulted in the deaths of Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and countless others. Much of the anger has been directed at [...]
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Thank a Worker This Holiday SeasonThe end of the year is here once again, and in what has become tradition throughout the United States, family and friends will gather this month to enjoy pleasant moments, food, smiles and conversations. Many people will engage in reflection, some deeper than others, on why they are thankful and what warrants their family’s gratitude. [...]
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The End of Prisons?When it comes to locking people up, America is a world-beater. The United States has less than 5 percent of the world’s population, yet accounts for 25 percent of the world’s prisoners. African Americans are incarcerated at nearly six times the rate of Whites. A number of terms have been coined to describe systems that [...]
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Ferguson Spotlights What it Means to Be a PersonOn Wednesday mornings, Greater Birmingham Ministries staff members meet to share our work, review our progress (or lack of it) and plan our activities for the days ahead.  Each meeting begins with a staff reflection. Staff members take turns sharing a scriptural text, a poem, a reading from a favorite author or even a song. [...]
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With Ferguson, the Nation Searches for Racial HealingIf there is one observation from the Nov. 24 decision by the St. Louis grand jury to not charge Ferguson Police Officer Darren Wilson in the August fatal shooting of Michael Brown, it is that there is certainly more to come in this case. More questions. More emotion. More outrage. Since Monday, the nation has [...]
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Speech Reaction: Immigrants Celebrate the MomentPresident Barack Obama’s Thursday evening speech about executive actions on immigration included deportation relief for nearly 5 million people. For many immigrant families and grassroots advocates, that was a solid step to full progress. But the president’s nationally-televised address accomplished something else: It catapulted immigration back into the national spotlight. Election 2014 is over and the [...]
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Election 2014: Voters Spoke Loudly. Will Leaders Listen?On Nov. 4, pundits and politicians across the country defined the election as a repudiation of the current administration’s policies. Others viewed it as an affirmation of the Republican promise of smaller government. Everyone spoke for the people. But is anyone listening to the people? Newly-elected Congresswoman Mia Love of Utah said it the best [...]
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In Border Disaster, Advocates Seek Names of the DeadWith her daughter missing, Dalila can’t give up hope. “Sometimes I think … I’m going to find her alive, somewhere, where she might be recovering. A hospital, a shelter.” Dalila, who lives in Oregon and works as a cleaner, asked that her last name be withheld for safety reasons. She came to the U.S. on [...]
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California, the Golden State, Is Actually the Poorest of AllCalifornia, the home of Silicon Valley and more billionaires than any other state, is the poorest state in the country. That’s according to an Oct. 16 report from the Census Bureau, which also finds that Mississippi – typically ranked among the poorest states – has a poverty rate below the national average. The report out [...]
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