The Common Good

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Martin Luther King, Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' Speech

This Martin Luther King Day, the SALT project has created a short, inspiring film retelling the famous last four minutes of King’s, “I Have A Dream” speech. Enjoy!

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Revealing an Often Unseen New York City

“She wakes to the sound of breathing. The smaller children lie tangled beside her, their chests rising and falling under winter coats and wool blankets.”

So begins the New York Times story following Dasani, an 11-year-old girl living homeless in New York. Dasani lives with her parents and seven siblings in a family residence shelter. From school to dance class to home, Dasani feels the weight of poverty and an unstable family.

According to the story, one in five children in America live in poverty, “giving the United States the highest child poverty rate of any developed nation except for Romania.”

In this five-part multimedia story, life told through Dasani’s eyes offers an honest look at homelessness and the pursuit for a hopeful future.

Read the full story here.

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WATCH: How the Media Treated Women in 2013

There was a lot to celebrate this year for women in the media. But some things aren't changing fast enough. Check out an overview of how the media treated women this year below courtesy of the folks over at Miss Representation.

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Accident, Self-Defense or Wrongful Shooting?

A black 19-year-old woman is killed in a Detroit suburb, leading again to questions as to why so many blacks are shot. Police, writes Rania Khalek, released only vague details and have continued to withhold basic information about the incident, like the name of the shooter and the address of where McBride was shot. 

 
 
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Talking Taboo: The Christian ‘Lean In’?

In recently released Talking Taboo: American Christian Women Get Frank about Faith, edited by Erin Lane and Enuma Okoro, 40  women under age 40 write essays in, what Femmevangelical’s blogger Rev. Jennifer Crumpton calls, “the Christian version of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean In.”
 
Crumpton, interviewed this fall by Fox News' Lauren Green, asks “How can we ‘lean in’ to our faith in a way that empowers us and makes us know that we have a voice, know that we have value and worth, know that we can do anything, even that we can be leaders in the church, even be reverends behind a pulpit?”
 
 
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'American Promise' Film Documents Two Black Families Navigating Education in America

American Promise spans 13 years as Joe Brewster and Michèle Stephenson, middle-class African-American parents in Brooklyn, N.Y., turn their cameras on their son, Idris, and his best friend, Seun, who make their way through one of the most prestigious private schools in the country. Chronicling the boys’ divergent paths from kindergarten through high school graduation at Manhattan’s Dalton School, the documentary presents complicated truths about America’s struggle to come of age on issues of race, class, and opportunity. American Promise is aOfficial Selection of the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

The filmmakers talked about the film's potential impact with Open Society Foundations:

We hope that the film's campaign will help the conversation on deconstructing stereotypes and assumptions about our young men. Being able to be part of a larger trend of work that is moving the pendulum forward on the role unconscious racism plays in the black male achievement gap is a true honor.

Check out the trailer below and look here to find a screening near you.

+Leave a Comment | Economic Justice

WATCH: Boy Won't Leave Pope Francis' Side

At a speech in St. Peter's Square, Pope Francis was joined on stage by an incredibly cute young boy.

As NPR reports:

Protocol is a concept that's often lost on young children and this boy – part of a group of children invited to sit near the pontiff during a speech — didn't see any reason why he shouldn't hang out for a bit with the guy in white.

The Telegraph provides a video and this quote:

The unidentified boy refused to leave the Pope's side, clinging to his legs while two Cardinals tried to encourage him to sit back down with sweets.

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Infographic on Mass Incarceration

The Criminal Justice Degree Hub released an infographic on mass incarceration in the U.S. titled "Locked Up In America." According to the extensive graphic, the U.S. has 5 percent of the world's population and 25 percent of the world's prisoners.

Check out the graphic here.

 
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Women Senators Prove Collaboration Is Better than Conflict

A group of female senators came to the rescue in Washington last week, helping forge a bipartisan compromise that ended the budget crisis. How did they do it? “We like each other,” Sen. Amy Klobuchar told Time. “We work well together and we look for common ground."

This instance reaffirms women's leadership, and also helps illustrate how far we need to go: of 100 senators, only 20 are women.

Read more here.

Sign a thank-you note to the Senate's women for forging compromise.

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Air Pollution Shuts Down Entire City

Unprecedented levels of air pollution effectively closed the city of Harbin in northern China earlier this week. Smog limited visibility in some places up to 30 feet, and measurements of fine particulate pollution skyrocketed a record 40 times higher than the worse safe level set by the World Health Organization, according to the Washington Post.

In the city of 11 million, schools, public bus routes, and the airport were all forced to suspend activities given the unsafe conditions. Hospital admittances of patients with respiratory problems soared an additional 30 percent.

The cause, according to local Chinese news outlets, was the first day of the city’s heating being turned on before winter. China’s air quality has consistently been found to be harmful in the recent decades of the country’s rapid industrial development.

Read more.

+Leave a Comment | Creation Care