Wider View Archive

Invest our treasure in people, not walls

September 7, 2018 Tammy Alexander

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. –Matthew 6:21 Matthew 6:21 is often cited as a guide for individual spending habits, but it can also be an important principle to consider for federal budgets. The U.S. government spends roughly $18 billion per year on immigration enforcement—more than all other federal law enforcement agencies combined. In July, the House Appropriations Committee passed a bill to increase this funding and add $5 billion for more walls on the U.S.-Mexico border. A similar bill in the Senate calls for $1.6 billion for border walls. To many members of Congress, […]

 Humanitarian assistance and politics

August 17, 2018 Thirdway

by Xin-Dee Low, international affairs intern at the MCC U.S. Washington Office, Summer 2018   Sanctions, economic embargoes and withholding humanitarian assistance are sometimes seen as effective foreign policy tools. Many policymakers believe they can indirectly twist the opposition’s arm into carrying out their interest. But civilian lives should not be put in jeopardy because the people in power are unwilling to reconcile. In January the United States announced it would freeze funding to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA), which provides assistance to Palestinian refugees. UNRWA has been working hard to gather political and financial support around the […]

Climate Change and Women

August 6, 2018 Third Way

By Whitney Ricker, Climate Advocacy Intern, Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions Climate change is not often thought of as a gender issue, yet it is becoming increasingly clear that women are particularly vulnerable to its impacts. As we continue to see an increase in natural disasters and environmental degradation, global poverty and suffering are also increased, further marginalizing vulnerable populations. In many parts of the world, women are at a significant disadvantage as compared to their male counterparts, making their survival during times of crisis much more difficult. Globally, women between the ages of 25 and 34 are 22 percent […]

Counting down in faith

July 20, 2018 Charles Kwuelum

By Charles Kwuelum On June 30, the Democratic Republic of the Congo celebrated its 58th anniversary of independence. Instead of celebrating landmark democratic achievements as a nation, the country faces the unpleasant challenge of multi-layered conflicts including political and ethnic violence. Militarized responses from DR Congo’s armed forces and rebel groups continue to shake its stability. In December 2016, President Joseph Kabila’s second and last term ended according to Congolese constitution. Elections have been delayed and the president has since remained in office. This has led to countrywide protests from citizens to demand elections. The peaceful protests were met with […]

When children can’t go to school

Before we know it, summer routines will end and children will return to school. But for more than 500,000 Palestinian children throughout the Middle East, schools may not be able to open in the fall. It has been five months since the U.S. announced it would be withholding most of its funding from the U.N. agency that provides services to Palestinian refugees. In addition to operating nearly 700 schools, the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) provides food assistance, health care and other services to Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria. It is unclear […]

The scoop on the summit

June 22, 2018 Charissa Zehr

While much ink has already been spilled on the U.S.-North Korea summit of last week, it bears taking a closer look. First, let’s look at what is in the agreement between the U.S. and North Korea: A commitment to new relations between the U.S. and DPRK (Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, or North Korea) because the people of the two countries desire peace and prosperity; Joint efforts to build a lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula; A commitment by DPRK to work towards the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula; and A pledge from both countries to recover POW/MIA remains […]

Criminal justice on celebrity platforms

June 8, 2018 Cherelle M. Dessus

By: Cherelle M. Dessus In recent years, many celebrities have used their platforms to highlight flaws in the criminal justice system. The light shed on these important issues has encouraged others to pay more attention to and advocate for legislation that focuses on sentencing and reentry reforms within the criminal justice system. Celebrities have historically played a large role in highlighting injustice, including during the civil rights movement. Performers such as Ray Charles and the Beatles refused to perform in front of segregated audiences. Tommie Smith and John Carlos used a human rights salute during the 1968 Olympics to draw attention […]

The power of apology

May 25, 2018 Esther Epp-Tiessen

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau recently announced that his government would make a formal apology for Canada’s failure in 1939 to provide asylum to the 907 Jews who were fleeing Nazi Germany on board the MS St. Louis; 254 of those Jews later died in the Holocaust. When the formal apology is issued later this year, it will be the 5th one Trudeau has made to a group of people since his government was elected in 2015.  The other collective apologies include: May 18, 2016 to descendants of passengers of the Komagata Maru, a Japanese vessel carrying 376 Sikh, Muslim, and […]

Separating mothers from their children at the border

May 18, 2018 Tammy Alexander

On the eve of Mother’s Day, the Trump administration formalized a policy of forcibly separating immigrant children from their parents at the U.S.-Mexico border, a practice that, in recent months, has already led to the separation of hundreds of families. The new policy is a cruel response to immigrants seeking asylum (safety) in the United States, many of whom are mothers with young children fleeing gang violence and domestic violence in Central America. It is designed to deter families from coming to the U.S., but will only add to the trauma families have already endured. Under the policy, which applies […]

Nigeria: Rebuilding lives

May 4, 2018 Charles Kwuelum

By Charles Kwuelum Displaced from her home by Boko Haram attacks at Madagali, Nigeria and the Nigerian military’s response, Christy and her family fled to the area of Girei in Adamawa State. As the family of seven tried to escape the violence, Christy was abducted and forced into marriage with a Boko Haram member. She was lucky to escape in 2015. While sharing the story with a care giver and faced with trauma and almost in tears, she said, “I was 24 in 2014 when it happened, but thank God that I am able to partake in an opportunity for […]