Most Recent Archive

Tear down these walls

August 2, 2019 Eliza Mull Wider View

Humanity’s fixation with walls can be traced back to the world’s first recorded civilization – the Sumerians, who built a border wall circa 2100 B.C. – and is seen repeatedly throughout history in examples such as the Great Wall of China, the Long Walls of Athens and the Berlin Wall. Walls typically symbolize a power imbalance: Constructed by a dominant group, walls often block or suppress a weaker adversary, reinforce unjust policies and lead to human rights violations. Today, the U.S.-built wall just north of the U.S.-Mexico border serves as a formidable “No Admittance” sign but fails to be a […]

When playing soccer is no longer safe

July 26, 2019 Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach Wider View

In April, a 15-year-old Palestinian boy was playing soccer near his home in Aida Refugee Camp in Bethlehem. Suddenly an Israeli soldier arrested him and took him to a nearby police station where he was interrogated and accused of throwing stones. After six weeks in Ofer Prison and a fine of $840, the teen was finally released. Unfortunately, this story happens all too often in the West Bank. At any given time, Israel is holding about 200 Palestinian children in military detention. Human rights organizations report that three out of four of these children experience some form of physical violence. […]

The power of storytelling in advocacy

July 12, 2019 Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach Wider View

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 Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach Wider View

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 Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach Wider View

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

June 21, 2019 John-Michael Cotignola-Pickens Wider View

  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 Wider View

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 Tammy Alexander Wider View

“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, […]