Most Recent Archive

An education for all

November 8, 2019 John-Michael Cotignola-Pickens Wider View

Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, is quoted as saying, “Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.” Congress continues to discuss the possibility of passing the Restoring Education and Learning (REAL) Act, which would provide access to Pell Grants for incarcerated students, as a part of the Higher Education Act. Education improves the lives of people who are incarcerated by reducing the recidivism rate among returning citizens, providing them with social capital and increasing employment opportunities when they return to their communities. Some lawmakers […]

Peace to end conflict-related hunger 

November 1, 2019 John-Michael Cotignola-Pickens Blog

  Four times! She seemed about 60 years old and this was her fourth time as a Southern Sudanese refugee in Northern Uganda. I could not wrap my mind around that. Part of me wanted to sit with her and ask for the specifics. How old are you? Where exactly are you from? When were you first a refugee and for how long? What are the other dates for when you were a refugee? Do you have a family? Where are they? And on and on, I may have asked, for as long as she was willing to answer. But […]

Iraq: Rebuilding what is broken

October 25, 2019 Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach Wider View

Over the past several weeks, Iraqis have been protesting in the streets. More than 100 people have been killed and more than 6,000 wounded. The protesters’ demands are basic: They want jobs, improved services such as education, water and electricity, and an end to corruption. There are many reasons why these conditions are lacking in Iraq. But the role of the U.S. cannot be ignored. The U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 and subsequent military occupation led to the dismantling of much of Iraqi society. U.S. military actions stirred up tensions between ethnic and religious groups. Infrastructure was destroyed. Government […]

Gun violence: Loving our neighbors so they may flourish

October 4, 2019 John-Michael Cotignola-Pickens Wider View

So far this year the House of Representatives has made various efforts and held numerous hearings to address the United States’ unique gun violence problem. The House Judiciary Committee recently advanced three gun violence prevention bills that would outlaw large capacity ammunition magazines, provide funding to states to enact Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) and bar individuals convicted of a misdemeanor hate crime from owning a weapon. These bills will now be voted on by the entire House of Representatives, which approved a bill in February that would expand background checks. Conversations in the Senate are ongoing. Often lost in […]

No safety here

September 20, 2019 Tammy Alexander Wider View

  On July 16, the Trump administration released a new regulation requiring asylum seekers arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border to have requested asylum, and been denied, in at least one country they traveled through before asking for asylum in the U.S. (The rule does not apply to Mexican asylum seekers who do not need to travel through a third country to get to the U.S.) The new rule was immediately challenged in federal court and temporarily halted. However, on September 11, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the regulation to go into effect while lawsuits in lower courts continue. Lee Gelernt, […]

A migrant’s journey starts in Central America: U.S. immigration policy should too

September 6, 2019 Kate Parsons Wider View

  When people hear “immigration policy,” many think immediately about border security, detention and asylum. While it is crucial to advocate in these areas – supporting asylum seekers, protecting children and keeping families together – we shouldn’t forget that people’s migration stories start long before their arrival in the United States. Most immigrants arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border today are from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, a region sometimes referred to as the “Northern Triangle.” These countries are among the most violent in the world, with high levels of poverty, inequality and government corruption.   El Salvador Guatemala Honduras United […]

The urgency before us: A call for collaborative effort towards DR Congo

August 16, 2019 Charles Kwuelum Wider View

Charline Kavugho shared the news that she and her two-year-old son, Jonathan, had been declared free of the Ebola virus, 17 days after her husband Gerome Kanyitondi died of an Ebola infection. Kanyitondi had been a pastor for the Community of Baptist Churches in Central Africa (CBCA). Kavugho was sharing her testimony with the Church of Christ of Congo’s Ministry of Refugees and Emergencies (ECC MERU), a partner organization of Mennonite Central Committee (MCC). She had been willing to undergo an infection prevention and control process, at a time when many in the community are distrustful of health care personnel. […]

C-262: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

August 9, 2019 Charles Kwuelum Wider View

In a letter to Prime Minister Brian Mulroney in January of 1985, MCC Chairman Ross Nigh wrote a letter encouraging the government “not to allow any major industrial projects without prior settlement of the land claims. We would also want these settlements to proceed by negotiation rather than imposition, without requiring the extinguishment of claims to aboriginal rights.” In 1999, in a letter to Jane Stewart, then Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs, concerning hydro-electric developments on the lands of the Pimickimak Cree Nation, MCC Canada wrote, “We are concerned that the hydro-electricity we have used to power our homes […]