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Ecumenical Advocacy Days: Mass Incarceration and Systems of Exploitation

Luciano Cadoni  |  April 22, 2015

"We're here to raise the voice of those whose voices have been shut." These were the words of Emira Woods, one of the main speakers at Ecumenical Advocacy Days this weekend, where I had the opportunity to present a workshop in my capacity as CWS staff. This year’s theme was “Breaking the Chains: Mass Incarceration and Systems of Exploitation.”

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Freedom Bound: Sermon from Cathy Han Montoya’s End of Life Celebration

Rev. Noel Andersen  |  April 21, 2015

Cathy Han Montoya was an amazing organizer, strategist, visionary and best friend to all in the immigrants’ rights and queer movements. As a result of senseless and apparent random violence, she was tragically murdered in her home on April13, 2015, leaving behind her wife and family.

First Refugee Arrival in Jersey City

Mahmoud Mahmoud  |  April 17, 2015

An individual would never flee his or her country given the choice. On the contrary, a refugee flees his or her country of origin because they have been persecuted because of their race, religion, political opinion, nationality or they are a member of a particular social group and cannot return because they will be harmed.

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It’s a Moral Tragedy to Continue the Delay on President’s Immigration Actions

Rev. Linda Jaramillo and Rev. John L. McCullough  |  April 16, 2015

Justice delayed is justice denied. Last July, we stood in front of the White House with 112 clergy and immigrant leaders in civil disobedience to tell President Barack Obama that we could not wait for relief from deportation any longer.

After continued delays from the Administration, relief from deportations for immigrant families is once again delayed – this time by the courts. Motivated more by political ambition than the common good, state governors and attorney generals have used the courts as a platform to attack immigrant families by suing the Administration. This has resulted in an injunction that experts say is out of step with mainstream legal thought on Presidential authority and the exercise of prosecutorial discretion. And we also should not forget that the President only acted after it was abundantly clear that House Republican leaders effectively killed any hope of commonsense immigration reform despite broad support by the American people.

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Getting uncomfortable: why we're joining the Moral Imperative to End Extreme Poverty

Rev. John L. McCullough  |  April 8, 2015

My first call after I was ordained as a minister in the United Methodist Church was to a wealthy congregation in Massachusetts. It was a comfortable assignment, but it wasn’t where I needed to stay. God was about to call me to a very uncomfortable place.

I left New England for a small village in the semi-arid plains of Kenya, where there was only one road in and out. It took four hours to go 40 kilometers, the average high temperature was 110 degrees and electricity was an afterthought.

I had a job to do, and faith - my constant compass - pointed me in a new direction, albeit uncomfortable.

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Zita’s Story: Her Journey from Central African Republic to the U.S.

By Zita Solange, as told by Suzanne Colton and Therese Murray  |  April 7, 2015

CWS volunteers Suzanne Colton and Therese Murray had the opportunity to meet with Zita Solange, a refugee from the Central African Republic, who was recently resettled by CWS in Durham, North Carolina. Like many refugees fleeing persecution, Zita became separated from her family through the conflict in CAR and began the long process of waiting for her case to be approved for resettlement to the United States. To reunite the family, CWS is helping Zita apply for her husband and mother to come to the U.S. Here, Zita tells us her story.

Zita left Central African Republic, her native country, in December 2003 after her village was destroyed due to political instability and armed conflict. She left on foot with her two children, ages six and three, and her younger sister, spending three days in the bush. Zita was part of a group of two hundred people trying to reach the CAR-Chad border. They did not know the route to Chad so they followed a river northward. Her children’s father had already left CAR with his family, as he lived in a different village. After arriving at the border, they were met by United Nations staff, and taken by bus to the Maro Refugee Camp.

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Suzanne Colton, Zita Solange and Therese Murray

My Heart Went Out to the People of Vanuatu This Weekend

Jasmine Huggins  |  March 26, 2015

As CWS launched its appeal for the island of Vanuatu, devastated on March 13 by Tropical Storm Pam, my heart went out to the people of this small island nation. The cyclone decimated dozens of villages. Thousands have been left homeless. Root crops – a staple of the national diet - have been stripped from arable land. Some 3,000 persons are now in evacuation centers and up to 200,000 people - entire families and many children whose parents lost their livelihoods - will be dependent on humanitarian support in the short term.

This was an all too familiar story.

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