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Payday Lending? Actually, It’s a Trap Hurting People

Payday Lending? Actually, It’s a Trap Hurting People

“Quick Cash for a New Year.” “Easy, instant holiday loan$.” Some neighborhoods got lights and wreaths over the holidays. My neighborhood was decorated with signs like these, in payday lending storefronts, promising a way out for the needy and the desperate. Now the holidays are over, and some people are discovering that those signs probably [...]
A Path Forward for Little Rock Schools? It’s EngagementI hate it. I hate that the Arkansas Board of Education on Jan. 28 took control of the Little Rock School District (LRSD). I hate that the board ignored the broad-based community support for LRSD, including the incredibly-powerful voices of student leaders. I hate that the takeover will overshadow the great schools, educators and programs [...]
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Creating ‘Space’ for Healthy Communities in East L.A.I was a student at Woodrow Wilson High School in Los Angeles from 2005 to 2009. The school sits on top of a hill, overlooking the city. We had a great view. But we – a predominantly Latino student body – did not have the resources to aspire. Books were dated, classes were crowded, there [...]
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Working to End Police Violence and Mass IncarcerationLike many cities across the country, San Jose starts 2015 on the heels of a march and rally that echoed the national call for police accountability. We belted chants and held up signs with the names of Mike Brown and Eric Garner. But calling this event an act of solidarity is not quite accurate. Rather, [...]
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Life-Changing Moments Require Courage and WisdomA few weeks ago, my wife and I, while on a late evening walk through downtown Houston, came upon an outdoor ice skating rink. We stopped and we watched. The scene mesmerized me. The rink was crowded. The gentle coordination and the accommodation of the skaters to each other amazed me. While most of the [...]
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Why are Loved Ones Treated as Subhuman at Prisons?Amy, a 65-year old retired architectural designer from Santa Barbara, is brought to tears as she describes one of the more than 50 visits she has made to a California state prison to see her incarcerated son. Cars filled with families — mostly women and children — had started lining up as early as 1 [...]
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One Lesson of Ferguson? Recognize Humanity and HistoryIn the wake of the killings of Eric Garner, Mike Brown, Trayvon Martin, Oscar Grant, Sean Bell, John Crawford, Tamir Rice, Ernest Hoskins, Jordan Davis and others at the hands of police officers, security guards and self-appointed vigilantes, I’ve heard people ask: If Black men know the system is unfair to them, why do Black [...]
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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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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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