My life as a physically disabled person has become my primary justice issue. My disability is a spinal cord injury and I use a wheelchair to live independently. I was born and raised in Japan and lived in an institution from age 4 to 10 years old. After leaving the institution, I attended a special school for the disabled kids for twelve years. The school was not integrated in that, though I was living at home, I was still segregated from mainstream society.
You may not know who Lois Wilson is but you should. She lived 97 years. Fifty-three of those years she was the wife of Bill Wilson, the co-founder of Alcoholics Anonymous. She lived 17 years after Bill died. March 4 is Lois' birthday – she would be 129. Who is she?...
As February ends, I find myself reflecting back on its designation as Black History Month and the many opportunities it provides us each year, across a wide variety of media, to dive into that history.
Until 2012, I didn’t know better. I thought that the civil rights legislation of the 1960s had leveled the playing field. I thought, I, as a Black woman, had opportunities to succeed equal to anyone in America. I was living in an illusion, thinking that some people just didn’t try hard enough, and others needed more education. I believed in a meritocracy. I thought if you dressed a certain way, got a certain level of education, talked a certain way, you could, no, you would get ahead in America. Then Trayvon Martin happened.
A friend and former colleague of mine accepted the position of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Director Officer at a large national accounting and consulting firm a little over a year ago. In my quest to assess progress on racial justice work and what others are learning that advances racial equity and justice, I checked in with her.
Two lessons from Northern Ireland have caught my attention as I have reflected on our progress in advancing racial justice. Specifically, I have been thinking about how these lessons might apply to our own national conundrum.
I have been drawn to people radiating faith as long as I can remember and yet never had any of my own faith other than the joy of sunsets and moonrises, the glory of deep dark forests, and delight in the power of persistence to change lives and worlds.
I write this post with the echo of MLK’s 2022 holiday celebration still reverberating. Just as we honor his legacy, we recognize those who came before him to guide and inspire.
As I paused and reflected yesterday on the life of Martin Luther King, Jr. and his legacy, it was hard to avoid wanting a clear report card on the progress made on his mission. As I pondered the question, “How are we doing in becoming a more equal and just nation?”, my first thoughts were all negative.
Faith is a terribly challenging experience if you take it seriously. It can truly mess up your life. You find yourself picking up the Bible and trying once again to figure out what Jesus meant by his words and actions. Some of them seem so simple and direct. Others seem to put you at risk in standing up for the marginalized and the poor. You know that if you do so it will change relationships. You are challenged to become like a John the Baptist figure and find your voice to speak. John was a “voice crying out in the wilderness!” Many times, that’s where we find ourselves. In church work and on the political scene we are often in some kind of wilderness trying to cry out and hoping someone hears. Finding your voice, whether it is in the spoken word or the written word or in some kind of action, can be a scary thing. You expose yourself for what you believe is important, and for what you believe is being neglected.