Archive

The power of storytelling in advocacy

July 12, 2019 Thirdway

I hadn’t ever considered myself an “advocate” per se. Maybe I had always seen advocacy work suited for fiery, passionate people with loud voices and strong opinions. Personally, I have always felt a bit envious of those with strong opinions; I have always held mine rather loosely. I am usually one to empathize with both sides of an argument, sometimes to a fault. With that said, recent developments in my professional life, including joining the Canadian Advocacy Network (CAN) at MCC have made for an interesting and encouraging experience. My colleagues on the CAN are, unlike me, well-seasoned advocates and […]

Caring for creation and the vulnerable: Considerations for a tax on carbon

July 8, 2019 Thirdway

Clara Weybright is a Climate Advocacy Intern in the MCC U.S. Washington Office, through the Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions.   Climate change affects all of us around the world, but especially the most socially and economically vulnerable. Even as many of us grieve for the damage we have done to our planet and to each other and make changes to our personal behavior, we must also seek policy changes to address the impacts of climate change. Carbon pricing has been proposed as one possible way to mitigate the carbon emissions that cause climate change. Carbon pricing schemes include a […]

How do we respond to the stranger at our gate?

June 28, 2019 Thirdway

originally published on MCC Ottawa Notebook ON MAY 29, 2019 What is a Christian response to migration? While on a day to day basis, I tend to deal with the nuts and bolts issues of refugee resettlement and Canadian and international policy related to it, I regularly ask myself that question. Migration issues call for these sorts of reflections because there is a moral aspect to them. The issues around migration and forced displacement are, at the heart, issues of national sovereignty, community identity and defining who is in and who is out. As citizens of the Kingdom of God […]

The power of an education

  In 1994, Congress passed the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, also known as the crime bill, in an attempt to be tough on crime. The bill included an amendment to ban Pell Grants for incarcerated students. As a result the number of education programs within prisons fell from over 350 in 1990 to only 12 in 2005 . The lack of educational opportunities within prisons adds to the obstacles for returning citizens as they are released, including difficulty in finding a job. This can feed into the cycle of poverty and homelessness and increases recidivism rates […]

Providing safe harbor

June 7, 2019 Tammy Alexander

Eighty years ago this week a ship carrying 937 people, almost all Jewish immigrants escaping Nazi Germany, returned to Europe after being turned away by the governments of Cuba, the United States and Canada. At one point, the ship came close enough to the shore near Miami that passengers could see the city lights. Upon their return, some found safety in other European countries; 254 perished in the Holocaust. After World War II, many countries realized they did not do nearly enough to protect people fleeing violence and genocide. As a result, the international community created the 1951 Refugee Convention […]

Towards Living Wages and Decent Work

May 24, 2019 Thirdway

“We need to create a parade that politicians want to get in front of.” That is how one participant at a forum on the living wage and public sector employers put it. At the heart of decent work is fair pay – the ability to earn a living wage. Not a poverty wage. But enough to meet your needs and fully participate in the life of your community. But the growth of low-wage and precarious employment has become one of the defining labour market challenges in our time and one of the root causes of growing income inequality. In 2017, […]

Rebuilding lives is foremost

May 17, 2019 Charles Kwuelum

In April Felix Tshisekedi, president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), visited the United States. Controversy and protests around his victory in the long-delayed presidential election linger on, even as the transition and transfer of power has been described as the most peaceful since DR Congo’s independence. In Washington Tshisekedi met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to discuss U.S.-DR Congo relations, including Tshisekedi’s “change agenda,” which includes attracting U.S. investments to the country. In light of the humanitarian crisis facing DR Congo, the meeting raises questions about the politicians’ priorities. As of December 2018, there were about […]

Cutting foreign assistance will fuel further migration

May 3, 2019 Charissa Zehr

In recent weeks, the Trump administration announced its intention to cut all foreign assistance to the three Northern Triangle countries of Central America—El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The threat to cut aid was couched in terms of punishing the governments for “sending their people” to the U.S. Instead of alleviating the humanitarian crisis in the Northern Triangle and at our southern border, such cuts will only fuel further migration from the region and expand the growing refugee crisis. There are many types of foreign assistance. Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) has long advocated to reduce assistance to foreign militaries and security […]

Pie Lady Moments

April 30, 2019 Melodie Davis

If you’re wondering, “pie lady?” what on earth is that, I don’t blame you. Greta Isaac is author of a new book, The Pie Lady: Classic Stories from a Mennonite Cook and Her Friends. In it, Greta shares 32 stories of “pie ladies” and their best recipes in a book that is more story than cookbook. I was privileged to serve as the managing editor for this book in my waning months at Herald Press before retiring, and had a lot of back and forth by phone and email with the author as we edited and revised to get all of her […]

A Canada committed to genuine and mutual relationships

April 26, 2019 Thirdway

MCC shares God’s love and compassion for all in the name of Christ. We have a vision of communities worldwide in right relationships with God, one another and with creation. Sometimes we share God’s love through an emergency food response to disaster. Often, we seek right relationships by working alongside partners in community-based, on-the-ground development. But sometimes, as for two days in late March, sharing God’s love, and building right relationships means being in Ottawa with other senior church leaders encouraging Canadian senators to support a Canada where engaging justly with Indigenous peoples is part of our identity. I am deeply grateful […]