Wider View Archive

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 […]

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 […]

An Earth Day reflection

April 19, 2019 Thirdway

  As we approach Earth Day, it is a good time to reflect on the United States’ global commitments to address the causes and effects of climate change. In 2015, countries from around the world came together to write the Paris Agreement, a legally binding accord to address climate change. The agreement seeks to keep global temperature rise below two degrees Celsius through a global response and to help countries address the negative impacts of climate change. All 193 member countries of the United Nations have signed on to the accord. The U.S. is the only country to subsequently reject […]

Peacebuilding through Advocacy and Diplomacy

April 5, 2019 Thirdway

In the days following the summit in Hanoi between the United States and Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK, or North Korea), the Korea Peace Network (KPN) met with congressional offices in Washington, D.C. to advocate for ongoing diplomatic efforts and legislation that supports peace on the Korean Peninsula. Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is a founding member of KPN, a coalition of civil society groups and individuals dedicated to promoting humanitarian access, peacebuilding and reconciliation for Koreans on the Peninsula and in the U.S. Faith leads us to a broader view of God’s kingdom and calls us to participate in […]

Confronting the fear of our history

March 29, 2019 Thirdway

“Yet we Christians have also been called to take a good hard look at ourselves. To reflect on our Christian beliefs, to scrutinize our missional practices. And to decolonize. It’s not that Christianity is inherently colonial, but for generations the Church and its faith have been used – wittingly, unwittingly, and far too often – as instruments of dispossession in the settler colonial arsenal. Indigenous peoples are asking the Church to our own work, to beat our colonial swords into peaceable ploughshares.” – pg. xvi Unsettling the word This is a quote taken from Unsettling the Word: Biblical experiments in decolonization. The book is a collection of […]

Hostilities in our hearts and lives

On Ash Wednesday, Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) issued a Lenten reflection on gun violence prevention. The reflection calls for inward reflection as well as external action to address gun violence in our society. Policy changes alone will not end gun violence in the United States. But a review of 130 studies in 10 countries suggests that stricter gun policies lead to a reduction in gun deaths. Policy proposals in the U.S. context include expanded background checks, safe storage laws, mandatory reporting of lost or stolen weapons, and a ban on assault weapons. Proposals such as these would not infringe on […]

Reducing electoral violence

March 8, 2019 Charles Kwuelum

Countries invest a lot of resources in national elections but sometimes the process is accompanied by violence, leading to the destruction of lives, property and livelihoods and perpetuating cycles of trauma. Nigeria’s recently concluded presidential elections were regarded as relatively peaceful, but incidents of localized violence and electoral misconduct affected the credibility of the elections. More than one million people were unable to cast their votes due to violence around polling centers and millions more were disenfranchised for other reasons. After the results were announced, celebrations sparked violence in some parts of the country. Violence around elections in countries such […]