Challenges

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#WeCantBreathe and Advent

On Sunday, December 7, there was a message preached at the Memorial Church of Harvard University. It was an urgent and powerful call, and it affected each person who walked out of that morning worship service. But I’m not talking about the sermon. While Professor Jonathan Walton, Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister […]

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More Than Just the Baby in the Manger

Sometimes the timing of things does make me believe in alignments of stars or planets or fate, in a terrible kind of way. I wake up this morning to the news of the attack on the Peshawar school in Pakistan, where an attack has left—at latest count—145 dead, many of them children. I scroll through […]

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Black Lives Matter

The Illusion of Separation

Every core part of my identity that I love and treasure has a history of oppression that comes with it. I am African-American. I am a woman. I am in a same gender loving relationship. And I am a practitioner of an indigenous African spiritual tradition. I live at the intersections of all these realities. […]

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Obama Administration Renews Lease on Racial Profiling

Originally Published in TIME.com On Monday, the Obama Administration unveiled updated guidance on how federal law enforcement should address racial profiling. Rather than discarding the ineffective practice, the new guidance issued by the Department of Justice gives profiling a new lease on life. The new guidance opens by saying that profiling is wrong, yet proceeds […]

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A Reflection on the Ask-a-Muslim Billboard Controversy

If you were from Columbus Ohio, you would know that Cleveland Avenue is a dangerous stretch of road. It has had the rather dubious distinction of being rated the “most dangerous intersection in Columbus”[1] for several years in a row. From 2008-2010, there were 249 crashes alone[2] some of them merely fender benders; but there […]

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How Doctors Talk: Medicine and the Misuse of Language

I am finishing my residency training at a large urban hospital in Boston. We sit miles away from some of the best research institutions in the world, and also amongst the most disenfranchised in the city. On many days this paradox is stifling – namely, the stark contrast between money for social services versus emerging […]

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Author: Sharon Azran/B’Tselem. Creative Commons license, from Wikimedia Commons. Source: http://www.btselem.org/photoblog/20140115_hebron

“There is no such thing as Palestine!”–Dispatch from Palestine

“You can’t teach me anything about Europeans,” once commented the deputy mayor of Jerusalem. Europeans had killed his father. “You can’t teach me anything about Palestinians.” Palestinians had killed his mother. The deputy mayor embodied a common sentiment among Zionists, many of whom had suffered dear losses to one or another enemy of the Jewish […]

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Photo courtesy of Twitter user neunjungle

Sanctifying Black Lives

Our nation is in spiritual crisis. As a nation, we have profaned the holiness of God as it is manifest in black lives. There are not sufficient words to describe the pain and injustice that is present in Ferguson, of which this week’s grand jury decision is only one piece. Hearts are breaking. People are […]

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Service, Social Media, and the Self – Part 2

The first part of this sermon can be found here. —- So far, I have talked about my experiences, because that’s all I can talk about. It would be wrong for me to tell you what your feelings are or should be. The idea of human engagement is a humbling one as you realize how […]

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#MuslimApologies and Racism Tour Guides

It all started a couple months ago, when #MuslimApologies started trending on my Twitter feed. I scrolled through things like: We're TRULY sorry that we took Europeans out of dark ages & let them study our science, our books & attend our universities #MuslimApologies — Abdullah al Andalusi (@AbdullaAndalusi) September 26, 2014 I'm sorry that Muslim women […]

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