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Perhaps ground zero for Ignatian response as well to Laudato Si! Heal the people/heal the planet.

Ignatian Stories and Conversations On The Edge of History

Jim Brennan, Gloria Steinem, Secretary’s Speakout San Francisco 1981, and HR/Comp Thought Leader

Rosabeth Moss Kanter and I “shared a dias” as key presenters at the very first Secretary’s Speakout in 1981 in San Francisco. Never actually met in person, though, since her flight connections were blocked by bad weather and she had to literally call in her speech. I did get to share most of a full day sitting with fellow principal presenter Gloria Steinem (lighting the cigs of the then chain-smoker). My very favorite small-town-StL story also came from that occasion, dealing with the Gunn family.

My first published articles were in The Secretary magazine of the Natnl Assoc of Secretaries (executive secretaries to CEOs, typically), HQ’d in KC: a trio of articles titled why secs are paid unfairly, what is fair pay and how to get paid fairly. No one else in the compensation profession was willing to fess up and frankly explain the occupational and gender discrimination behind pay practices for executive secretaries. I became their global compensation consultant as they morphed from NAS to Prof Secretaries Internl and finally Intnl Assoc of Admin Assistants.

After the Sec Speakout, various chapters from Anchorage and Sitka to Florida, etc, brought me in for speeches and conferences. As I consulted throughout North America, I went on to publish widely, become compensation editor of The Personnel Journal, write a book on Performance Management for Prentice Hall and become (to my surprise) a Thought Leader in HR/Comp

http://www.compensationforce.com/2011/02/thought-leader-interview-five-questions-for-jim-brennan.html

Thomas Coffin Of Legal Profession SLUH Class of 63

Rather than respond specifically to Tim Kennedy’s remarks regarding the travel ban issue, I would prefer to share my thoughts on what I view this administration’s objectives are and the tactics being employed to achieve them, the reasons underlying my assessment, the concerns I have about our Constitutional framework of government, and the responsibilities of our generation to those future generations who will reap what we sow.

Let me tackle the last point first. There is a common law concept known as the public trust doctrine which originated under Roman law and recognized by English monarchs as well—I.e., that certain rights belonged to the people and could not be wasted or appropriated exclusively by the sovereign. The native Americans described this concept succinctly: ‘’We do not inherit the land from our ancestors, we borrow it from our children”.

That’s what I am most focused on now, as I live out my sunset years: I am constantly questioning what I and my generation is passing on to our children and grandchildren.

Now my assessment and my reasoning. First, I see troubling evidence that this administration is not familiar with our Constitution, has not studied it in any scholarly fashion, does not possess any historical perspective on our nation’s traditions, and, quite frankly, has no respect for the Constitution and our history.

Several points that are symptomatic of this:

(1) Mr. Trump has expressed admiration at varying times for leaders such as Putin, Saddam Hussein, and Kim Jong Un for their success in consolidating virtually all power in themselves over their respective countries. So his role models are despots who are not constrained by a constitutional framework of checks and balances like we have, but who have absolute unreviewable powers over their subjects.

(2) During his campaign, he casually suggested “2d A. solutions” if he lost. I was shocked and have never believed that this was just a bad joke on his part because his tweets and comments always have a purpose.

(3) After taking office, the administration has launched a full scale attack on the free press, which is of course a bedrock foundation of a democratic form of government and absolutely an anathema to a totalitarian government.

(4) The administration has attacked the judiciary, railing against “so-called judges” who struck down his travel ban order and urging his followers to blame them if something bad happened, resulting in the marshals having to provide protection details for members of the judicial branch. The role of the Judicial Branch in the checks and balance triangle of the Constitution was settled in the landmark case of Marbury v Madison (circa 1805) but one has to wonder if that role is being questioned just as the role of a free press is being questioned.

(5) The appointment of Steve Bannon as the chief strategist for the White House puts a nationalist at the helm who, like the role models mentioned previously, prefer a structure of government wherein power is consolidated in an autocratic leader unrestrained by checks and balances.

(6)Rather than seeking to unite the nation after assuming office, the administration has continued to hold campaign rallies at which scapegoats are vilified, fears are highlighted, and bigotry is exploited. Hate crimes are escalating across the country, a large Hispanic population is afraid, Muslims are portrayed as enemies, and we are assured that only one person can fix all this.

(7) And, by the way, we are told not only to distrust the media and the courts, but also the FBI and the U.S. Intelligence community.

Adding all this up, it tells me we need to be concerned about whether this administration views our Constitutional form of government to be a “bad deal” subject to renegotiation, we need to be vigilant and awake, we need to not succumb to fear-mongering (quite frankly, statistically most mass shootings in this country over the past several decades have been committed by white males, not foreigners, not Muslims, and not Hispanics), and we absolutely must emblazon on our souls the realization that we have a solemn obligation to pass on our Constitution, our values, our rights and freedoms, and our heritage to the generations who come after us. Tom

Judge Thomas Coffin, Saint Louis University High class of 1963 welcoming 28 new citizens from Mexico, Canada,the Ukraine,Samoa, Pakistan,and several other countries.

St. Louis Post Dispatch On Judge Coffin

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF OREGON
THE HON. THOMAS M. COFFIN, JUDGE PRESIDING
In The Matter of the Naturalization Ceremony of 26 new citizens. )
___________________________________)
REPORTER’S TRANSCRIPT OF EXCERPT OF PROCEEDINGS
EUGENE, OREGON
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2017

EXCERPT OF PROCEEDINGS
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 10, 2017

THE COURT: Normally I give a pretty upbeat, kind of almost jocular welcoming remarks, but I would have to have my head in the sand not to recognize that certain things are going on in this country right now that probably necessitate a more serious tone in my remarks.

We just went through a contentious election. And even after the election, we still have strong emotions and a lot of divisiveness out there. There’s been talk of building walls, immigration bans, and that sort of thing, and so I wouldn’t be surprised if some of you are wondering, well, now we are new citizens, but are we really welcome here?

And I want to tell you as a representative of this government that the answer to that question is absolutely yes, a strong and emphatic yes. You are welcome.

We appreciate the diversity of your background. That is one of our strengths, quite frankly, is this diversity. Immigrants have always been the backbone of the United States of America.

The United States was founded to welcome people who were fleeing from other countries, who were refugees from religious persecution, refugees from political persecution, refugees from ethnic persecution.

We have a statue of liberty representing that we welcome people from every place in this planet, and you are equal to anyone else who is here in the United States and are citizens.

So I want to emphasize that you are definitely welcome. And we have some divisiveness going on that I want to talk about, I want to put out there, that needs to be dealt with, and you may have to deal with it.

We have elements of fear, bigotry, hatred, racism, sexism, and we have to deal with that. And we have to be above that. We have to counter that. And how do we counter that? How do we deal with that?

Well, the greatest virtues we have, I think, as a nation and as people are compassion and empathy. We have always been a welcoming people, by and large. We have welcomed people from other countries, the refugees, and people that came here to flee persecution that I talked about.

And I just saw on the news yesterday a story about a 36-year-old woman from Mexico who came to this country when she was a teenager, has lived here 20 years, has several children, and we have deported her because she is an undocumented alien.

And I have always wondered about the wisdom of separating parents from their children and separating families from each other because of our deportation policies. This is where empathy and compassion must be brought into the decisions that we make.

And I want to illustrate what I am talking about with a personal story.

Before I was a judge — I have 45 years of service for the government. I have served as a judge on this court for 25 years.

For 20 years, 21 years before being appointed to the bench, I was a federal prosecutor for the Department of Justice. During some of that time, I was chief of the criminal division in the Southern District of California in San Diego.

And I will never forget a case that I handled. It involved a young woman, 18 years of age, from Mexico, who was undocumented, and her husband was working in the Los Angeles area. And she traveled up from Culicacán, where her village was, to join her husband. She went to her aunt’s house. Her aunt’s name was Secundina in Tijuana.

And there, she was met by a cousin, who had a green card who came down from Los Angeles. Her name was Josefina.

And she was put in the trunk of the car of — Josefina’s car to sneak across the border so that she could join her husband.

And she was stopped at the point of entry, port of entry and discovered by immigration officials, U.S. immigration officials.

She was separated from Josefina and detained for a while by immigration officials. It was one o’clock in the morning, and she was sent back by foot to Mexico, to Tijuana.

Now, I need to tell you what was going on at the border at the time. It was literally a war zone. They had bands of armed robbers that were preying upon undocumented aliens that were trying to come to the United States and robbing them of their belongings. And it was a very violent area where people were being shot and robbed and killed. And it was well known that that was the environment at that time.

It was so bad that the San Diego Police formed undercover groups posing as illegal aliens so that they could arrest some of these robbers. But they got into shootouts, and they finally called that off because it was too dangerous.

That was the environment that existed at the time they sent, her name was Maria Lopez de Felix, the 18-year-old, back on foot by herself. She never made it.

They found her body the next day, and it was in an area that was on the United States side of the border, an area that some of these armed robbers would come in and prey upon undocumented aliens that were trying to come here.

Well, we investigated the case, the FBI and my office, and I was in charge of the investigation. And at first appearances, she had been raped and killed by these robbers.

But upon closer examination, we developed evidence that that’s the way the killer wanted to make it appear. But the real killer was actually a federal police officer who was prosecuted and convicted.

In the course of investigating, I interrogated the officials that made the decision to send her back, and I asked them, why did you send her back on foot, at night, alone into this environment?

Well, she was here illegally.

Well, I asked them, if this had been your daughter, how would you have wanted her to be treated?

And they looked at me as if I was out of my mind.

Well, our daughter wouldn’t be sneaking into another country.

Well, of course not. Your daughter has no need to.

This is where empathy and compassion come in. Empathy is the ability to put yourself in the shoes of other people, and compassion is the care and the love and the support you give somebody that is in the circumstances that are presented by the situation.

That’s how we must deal with these issues that are out there that are dividing us. That’s how we must deal with issues of fear, for example.

Part of what was happening with Maria is a fear of Maria coming into this country illegally, like she was a bad person or something. She is not a bad person.

I was born in 1945, a period that probably represents a time in our country when we were the most united because we had just fought a war against three powers that were trying to take over the world, Japan, Germany, and Italy, and we were successful, along with our allies, in defeating those powers.

But even though we were probably at a stage of our existence where we were most united in battling the enemy in World War II, we had a very dark decision that we made, a very wrong decision that we made. And I am talking about the internment of our Japanese Americans.

We have since apologized for that. We have said never again. And we must remember that in this era that we are in now.

Note that when the Japanese Americans were interned, we didn’t take the same action against German Americans or Italian Americans, even though we were at war with those countries as well.

We let the fear of a person, based on their ethnicity, cause us — we let that make us adopt this internment policy that we didn’t apply to other national backgrounds, national origin backgrounds.

That was wrong. We discriminated. And we must be careful that we not go down that path again.

We must rise above that. We must tap into our strength, our compassion, our empathy, and we must overcome our fear.

Now, I said I’d get back to the Pledge of Allegiance.

You are pledging allegiance to the Republic. The Republic is defined by the Constitution of the United States. Always remember that. The Constitution of the United States creates a system of government where you have three equal branches of government: The Executive Branch, Congress, and the Judicial Branch.

Each branch is equal and independent, and each branch performs the function of our system of checks and balances. And that system is what keeps this Republic alive and functioning, and if that system breaks down, if the branches aren’t recognized as equal and independent, it’s not going to be the same form of government that we have now.

So we must also be vigilant, always be vigilant in upholding the system that is outlined in the Constitution.

There’s more in the Constitution. There’s the Bill of Rights and the Amendments, and those are important too.

The individual rights that you have must not be surrendered. You must always stand up for those rights. You must never be afraid to exercise those rights.

Individual civil liberties and rights are not taken away, but they can be surrendered. They typically are surrendered out of fear, when the people are sufficiently fearful of some sort of threat that they then become willing to surrender those rights. Once surrendered, you will not get them back. Very difficult to get back once they are surrendered.

Let’s talk about the First Amendment. Freedom of the press, freedom of speech. I know of no autocratic form of government anywhere in the world that tolerates a free press. A free press is just as important to our Republic, our Democracy, our constitutional form of government, as the three branches are.

Without a free press, you, the people, will not have the information you need to make your decisions that affect the way you are governed.

So always remember that. And don’t follow any suggestion that you should distrust the free press as being somehow dishonest.

Support the freedom of speech.

Support the freedom of religion. The First Amendment gives the freedom of religion to everyone.

It also, conversely, prohibits the establishment of a state religion, an official religion. So every religion in this country is equal in terms of the ability of its adherence to practice that religion. Remember that as well.

So those are my remarks. And, again, I want to emphasize, you are enthusiastically welcome as new citizens.

We appreciate you. We value you. You strengthen our country.

Thank you.

THE CLERK: This court’s is adjourned.
(The proceedings were concluded this 10th day of February, 2017.)

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Conversations Re Politics & Religion? Among St. Louis U. High Class of 1963

One Ignatian’s Projects August 2016

Fr. Sean McDonagh, Emmanuel Pratt, IMMA’s Sarah Gellie, Grizedale Institute’s Adam Sutherland, and others re our Sweet Water Fair Land Performance.

Pratt’s Loeb Fellowship Network at Harvard GSD.

Rachel Godsil’s Perception Institute and Perception Strategies

Megan Godsil Jeyifo and Theaster Gates’ expanding collaboration at Rebuild Foundation and Currency Cafe

Megan’s Rent Vintage Chicago

Josh Fraundorf’s Community Roofing, Josh Spark’s Infinity, and Brydie Godsil Kurtis Horde Joe Jenkins Snowbird Artist Artisans 2017 Experiment Down South

Muneer Bahauddeen’s Peace Posts in Godsil/Graf/Lindberg Garden and Playground As Art Project

Carriere Godsil Collaboration re Foreclosed Homes

Jesse Blom Johns Hopkins Aquaponics 5 by 40 Project.

Soil Mobile Fermentation Fest and St Louis Detroit Chicago Tours

UW Extension’s Dennis Lukaszewski and Ryan Schone at 325

Ignatian Response To Ferguson and Sherman Park Tragedies…

I could go on.

Global Ignatian Community Laudato Si Conversations 2016

Dear Father McDonagh,

I am as delighted to be writing you as you were after your first hour with Father Thomas Berry! In the way that I pray, I pray for the blessing of your awareness of the work of Great Lakes Heartland “Ignatians” committed to sharing the new theology of Laudato Si. When I read your review in the Catholic Reporter calling for a 3 year ecumenical synodal process “aimed at taking the new teaching, ‘a new spirituality’ that Francis offers in Laudato Si’ and finding ways to put it into practice of the faith”— my heart leapt! Joining in this process would be a most appropriate “Ignatian Response to the Ferguson Tragedy” I and a number of my classmates from St. Louis U. High, class of ‘63 have committed to.

I hope you might be able to join in for a spell with a team of young and old South Side Chicago “apprentice ecopreneurs” who will be participating in an Irish Museum of Modern Art and Grizedale Arts project next week called ‘A Fair Land’ …in essence the plan is to build a model village - starting with a glut garden built on the straw bale system with 300 gourd plants…plan to develop the food processing, industry, economy, education and housing - in roughly that order at this site. Adam Sutherland, Director, Grizedale Arts is our contact person.

And I hope you might have time for a conversation aspiring to advance a collaboration between the Sweet Water Foundation’s urban ag and education teams, “earth nation citizens” of Ignatian and Ivy leadership groups, and the Laudato Si synodal process.

Our initial contribution would be to weave the Ignatian, Ivy, and urban agriculture communities of the USA ​into conversations about the process, and feature progress in museum and educational programs our director has been developing.​

“Black Baptists” and “Laudato Si Catholics” Amplify and Nuance the Conversation

Emmanuel Pratt, director of the Sweet Water Foundation, has inspired me with the vision of sharing the Laudato Si Synodal Process at a Big Apple MoMA Exhibit sometime b/t 2018 and 2020, through digital images and links that would flow through New Story Wall Portals, similar to the photo array in this image from his School of the Art Institute show this past fall. With smart phones people would click onto synodal process image and discover this Great Work. There will be soap box moments in the real, as well.

My vision of nesting the Laudato Si Synodal Process into a Pratt multi-media “performance” at the Big Apple MoMA is a pragmatic utopian one, given the impact I have witnessed from Emmanuel’s Chicago shows at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Water Tower Gallery, Peggy Notebaert Nature Museum, SAIC, Columbia College Glass Curtain Gallery, and about every university in the region.

Since Pratt is a digital technology artist as well as a farmer, architect, performer, and more, it is easy for me to imagine digital screening and live streaming of “partners” from across boundaries, geographic and otherwise, at his shows.

The museum as a commons and weapons of the weak, for “earth nation Americans” and town/gown collaboration experiments, bringing to life museum spaces with greening the hood delights, but also with “theory alive!” as your works provides… and the museum “in the hood,” through the kind of digital connectivity his SAIC show provided, as well as visits to the museums with folks from the neighborhoods.

Sweet Water Foundation’s Space of Art Abundance in Green Dollar, Cultural, Social, and, especially, “Spiritual” Capital

Pratt and I co-founded the Sweet Water Foundation in 2010. Since that time we have helped mainstream aquaponics, installed aquaponics demos in about 25 schools in Milwaukee and Chicago, acquired Chicago’s Perry Ave. Community Farm, turned a couple of old houses into “integral urban homes,” one of which, the Heart Haus, brings in revenues as an Airbnb I hope you might visit!

Emmanuel won the Chicago Magazine Green Award a few years back, and has been highly praised as a pragmatic, boundary crossing visionary in the Trib and Sun Times.

I would like to share news of our possible collaboration on August 5, 2016, the 50th anniversary of the stoning of Dr. Martin Luther King, in Marquette Park, Chicago, about a 20 minute drive from where this greening miracle is taking place. Below is an image of myself directly behind Dr. King at the moment of the assault, followed by an image of Grace Lee Boggs blessing my work, when I and Emmanuel made a pilgrimage to Detroit to celebrate Obama’s inaugeration in 2008.

Godsil A “Momentary Body Guard” for Dr. King

Godsil with Grace Lee Boggs

Pratt has won a year long fellowship to Harvard’s School of Design to advance this vision.

My work has been covered by the Harvard Business School these past 5 years. I very much hope you will consider democratizing your work with us, starting at the Big Apple MoMA, unfolding in a vision of universities, libraries, and museums in time, Everywhere!, in dialectical relationship with our greening hoods.

Jesuit Pope’s Encyclical Couples Environmental & Social Justice

http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/encyclicals/documents/papa-francesco_20150524_enciclica-laudato-si.html

http://ignatiansolidarity.net/papal-encyclical-on-ecology-2015/

Dare A Jesuit School Win A Nobel Prize?

Why not?

Jesuit Ivy Ecopreneur Challenge

Vision Organizing Across Boundaries

Janine Arseneau at Chicago Art Institute.

St. Louis University “Clocktower Agreement”

Money, dialogue, diversity

Addressing each of the 13 points of the Clock Tower Accords, one by one, Pestello’s message talked about short-term and long-term “initiatives that retain and attract more students and faculty of color, to promote equal opportunity, and to advance focused economic development in disadvantaged neighborhoods.”

Some specifics:

‘These initiatives were not just words on paper. They are completely consistent with the mission of this university.’ — SLU President Fred Pestello

Bradley said that he has been pleased with the action by Pestello’s administration since the end of the protest. “The sincerity and the effort at this point I don’t think can be questioned,” he said.

http://news.stlpublicradio.org/post/slu-reports-progress-pact-ended-sit-more-efforts-aiding-african-americans

Nurya Love Parish Lists of Spiritual Communities, Food, & Farming

Last week I ran a series on my blog which collected links to organizations and individuals working at the intersection of faith (mostly Christian, some interfaith), farming, and food. I was aiming for a comprehensive list as the religious conversation on food and agriculture is still fairly small (although the conversation on food and hunger is long-standing). I asked for help filling in the gaps but did not receive many suggestions.

I would love it if anyone would be willing to review the information and let me know of organizations and public individuals (i.e. people with websites) contributing to conversations around faith, food and agriculture. I am posting the content below.

Thanks in advance for any help you may offer,

 Nurya Love Parishwww.churchwork.com

Farms and Farm-Based Organizations integrating Christian spirituality and/or faith formation

Anathoth Community Garden & Farm in North Carolina is cultivating peace by using good food and regenerative agriculture to connect people with their neighbors, the land, and God.

Abundant Table is an Episcopal CSA farm, farm-church and farm-based education center in Santa Paula, CA.

Bluestone Farm is a ministry of the Community of the Holy Spirit in New York.

Crown Point Ecology Center is a 115-acre Ohio ministry which integrates farming, spirituality and ecology.

Crystal Spring Earth Learning Center is a ministry of the Dominican Sisters of Peace on 42 acres, integrating science and faith.

Eighth Day Farm in Michigan “uses our urban acres as a classroom to cultivate healthy and sustainable communities locally and globally.”

First Fruits Farm is a Christian ministry in Maryland dedicated to feeding the hungry with nutritious, fresh-picked fruits and vegetables – and a mission that welcomes all brothers and sisters to experience fellowship, the beauty of God’s creation, and the power of the gospel to change lives.

Five Loaves Farm in northwest Washington is affiliated with A Rocha USA. This farm is a food-growing project dedicated to building our local food system and providing access to it for everyone.

Freedom Farm Community is a farm and retreat center in Mount Hope, New York.

Genesis Farm in New Jersey, sponsored by the Sisters of St. Dominic, fosters earth literacy.

Goodness Grows is a faith-based seeking community transformation through agriculture that gives life in Ohio.

Grailville is a 300-acre education and retreat center in Loveland, Ohio.

Koinonia Farm in Georgia was founded in 1942 as a demonstration plot for the kingdom of God.

Matthew 25 Ministry Hub‘s Cultivate Hope program includes a CSA and a youth farm camp in Iowa.

Shepherd’s Cross is a working farm and Christian mission in Oklahoma.
Tuscon Christian Youth Farm is just getting started but plans to offer farm-based educational programs.

Books & Authors

There are many, many secular books about food issues which are not faith-based. There are also many faith-based books that are about general environmental issues. This is a much smaller list of books written by Christians on the intersection of food, farming and faith. Feel free to add everything by Wendell Berry to this list. It’s in order by publication year. (Disclosure: some of these are affiliate links.)

Food and Faith: A Theology of Eating by Norman Wirzba, 2007.

Scripture, Culture, and Agriculture: An Agrarian Reading of the Bible by Ellen Davis, 2008.

Food, Farming, and Faith (S U N Y Series on Religion and the Environment) by Gary Fick, 2008.

Food & Faith: Justice, Joy, and Daily Bread by Michael Schut, 2010.

Year of Plenty by Craig Goodwin, 2011.

Making Peace with the Land: God’s Call to Reconcile with Creation (Resources for Reconciliation) by Fred Bahnson and Norman Wirzba, 2012.

Farming As A Spiritual Discipline by Ragan Sutterfield, 2012

Soil and Sacrament: A Spiritual Memoir of Food and Faith by Fred Bahnson, 2013.

Eat with Joy: Redeeming God’s Gift of Food by Rachel Marie Stone, 2013.

Good Food: Grounded Practical Theology by Jennifer R. Ayres, 2013.

Cultivating Reality: How the Soil Might Save Us by Ragan Sutterfield, 2013.
Blogs

What’s Up with Wheat by Episcopal priest Elizabeth DeRuff. This site also includes her downloadable publication “Stories of Food and Farm Ministries” available here.

+Earth Ed by Cindy Coe has a more general focus on environmental education from a spiritual basis but includes information about faith-based gardening. Coe is the author of the Episcopal Relief and Development’s Abundant Garden curriculum.

Presbyterian Food & Faith Blog is a blog of the Presbyterian Hunger Program (see more below).

The Cooperative Baptist Fellowship wrote a series of posts in 2013 titled “At the Table: Baptists Fight Hunger” which highlight community gardening and agriculture ministries as well as food pantry and hunger ministries.

Sustainable Traditions is a conversation on whole-life discipleship to Jesus in the context of intentional living and often features work on the connections between food, farm, and faith.
Regional Initiatives
Northeast

In Baltimore, Johns Hopkins University’s Center for a Liveable Future launched the Baltimore Food and Faith Project. This is an interfaith project which has valuable resources for any congregation, including a toolkit to help congregations move toward better food policies and practices. (The collection of free resources this project provides is impressive!)

In New York, Cornell University’s Cooperative Extension sponsors a Faith-Based Food Hub program.
Southeast

The Memphis Center for Food & Faith facilitates congregational workshops and helps to promote “foodways” for a thriving local economy.

In North Carolina, Partners in Health and Wholeness is an initiative of the North Carolina Council of Churches which encompasses healthy eating and sustainable foodways.
Midwest

Chicago’s Faith in Place offers farm-based and just eating programs.

In Wisconsin, Iowa, and Illinois, the Churches’ Center for Land and People works to integrate earth stewardship, economic justice, community and spirituality around issues related to agriculture and food.
Southwest

The Interfaith Sustainable Food Collaborative offers programs and minigrants for food and faith initiatives in Northern California.
Northwest

Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon offers resources including a faith-based food project organizing guide titled Food Sovereignty for All.
In Washington state, Earth Ministry offers faith-based resources for food and farming.

Denominationally-Based Work

The National Catholic Rural Life Conference integrates spiritual resources and advocacy work for sustainable food systems.

The Episcopal/Anglican Gardening and Agriculture Facebook page highlights ministries throughout the US.

The Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles has begun Seeds of Hope, an initiative to use the land of the diocese to address food insecurity in the diocese.

Presbyterian Hunger Program’s Food & Faith Initiative has tons of resources including help for community/church gardens and for adult education. They also host webinars and send out an e-news… this Episcopalian is impressed!
Seminary-Based Work

The Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary recently hosted Rooted and Grounded, and papers from the conference are still available online.

Duke Divinity School hosted Summoned Toward Wholeness in 2013, and recordings are available on iTunes.

Methodist Theological School in Ohio features Seminary Hill Farm – a place of theology, ecology and good food for all.

The University of the South’s Beeken Center is hosting the gathering of a Faith/Farm/Food Network and partnering with the group of people attempting to launch said network.

Wake Forest University Divinity School’s Food, Faith & Religious Leadership Initiative is led by Fred Bahnson (one of the authors above). Here’s a great article about how it got started and how it works.

Yale Divinity School hosts and co-sponsors Nourish New Haven, a regular conference on food sustainability. Their Reflections magazine featuring the most recent conference will soon be posted here.
Curricula for Adults, Children & Youth

The Baltimore Food and Faith Project has a very comprehensive list of curricula for all ages. Go look at it! There’s no point reproducing all it lists here, but it is missing these three curricula:

EB-5 Immigrant Investor $500,000 to 10 Job Project?

From State Department friend, Jon Ward, who would assist in this for St. Louis.

Yes, there is such a program, the EB-5 Immigrant Investor visa, administered by the US Customs and Immigration Service. See http://www.uscis.gov/working-united-states/permanent-workers/employment-based-immigration-fifth-preference-eb-5/eb-5-immigrant-investor A $500,000 investment that leads to 10 jobs in two years gets the investor a green card.
Several projects in Milwaukee have been completed with investments from that program, including the Global Water Center. In Milwaukee, the First Pathways Partners have brought a lot of money into Wisconsin, but there are plenty of other firms around the country that specialize in the EB-5. See http://www.firstpathway.com/

Link to Ferguson Commission and Cavato’s “Background Report”

For those of you who are or would like to follow the activities of the Ferguson Commission, here is their website http://stlpositivechange.org/ and link:

https://www.google.com/webhp?tab=mw&ei=K2uKVPX8Js2zqga3moCoCw&ved=0CAUQqS4oAg#

As you may know they have met twice to date, with another meeting scheduled this Monday. They are tasked to file a report in Sept of 2015, but they have clearly indicated that they will not wait until then to make recommendations or initiate actions to meet their mission.

Attached is a copy of a “Background Report on Civil Disorder” that I was asked to prepare for the Commission just after their commissioning. The report describes a number of previous instances of civil unrest in American cities and the reaction and responses that followed.

Also attached is a copy of the “Cincinnati in Black and White” report done 10 years after the Cincinnati riots in 2001. There are many parallels between Ferguson and the Cincinnati experience, as well as key differences. But this “10 years after” report provides a great deal of valuable input about the Cincinnati response and the results. No clear “solutions” , but some valuable lessons learned.

This process is just beginning, and it is hard to predict, or imagine where it might lead.

Retired New York Police Dept. Captain On Police Reform Measures

Eric L. Adams is the Brooklyn borough president, a retired New York Police Department captain and the co-founder of 100 Blacks in Law Enforcement Who Care.

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/05/opinion/we-must-stop-police-abuse-of-black-men.html?hp&action=click&pgtype=Homepage&module=c-column-top-span-region&region=c-column-top-span-region&WT.nav=c-column-top-span-region&_r=0

Prosecutor Did Not Want A Jury Trial?

http://truth-out.org/news/item/27796-in-ferguson-a-prosecutor-manipulates-the-justice-system-to-prevent-indictment

As the New York Times noted, “the prosecutors rarely asked skeptical questions of Officer Wilson and frequently let testimony supporting him pass unchallenged, while boring in on the statements of witnesses whose accounts conflicted with the officer’s.”

at least in a criminal trial it is done through an adversarial process, with numerous procedures designed to help the jury get to the facts of the matter. This was nothing of the sort, and the jury – having already worked with McCulloch – was pre-disposed to get the result he wanted. What he wanted was no indictment, and all he needed was four of the 12 jurors to vote for that; nine of them were white.

He works with the police every day and needs their co-operation. If he had gotten an indictment against Darren Wilson, he would have been seen by these police as literally a traitor, like a soldier who goes over to the side of the enemy. That is why he would not consider recusing himself from the case, which would similarly have been seen as an act of betrayal. Not to mention what it would do to any political ambitions he might have.

verdict at night, thus making rioting more likely. But this was a good move for him and for his client too; the news coverage for the rest of the evening was mostly about burning and looting, and not about the jury’s decision.

St. Louis U. November 2014 Ignatian Response To Ferguson Tragedies

Fellow Ignation Travelers:

There is obviously a lot going on re: the Ferguson issues and responses. Following and attached is some info on activities that you haven’t and won’t be seeing CNN; positive, energizing and encouraging stuff.

My notes , and just Cavato’s thoughts, on a variety of “Ferguson related” discussions going on at St Louis University. A number of us, connected by Father Chris Collins, are meeting Monday to brainstorm ideas on how the SLU business school might get involved in job and business development in N County and City. This is just one of many strands of interest and activity going on in the region.

Also want to report that, on the very important municipal courts front, we continue to be in touch with the St.Louis county Circuit Court Committee that is pursuing reform, and that Bob St Vrain is running some traps to find our more about what the potential responses of local and state courts might be to implement needed changes.

I had the opportunity to meet with the Co Chairs of the Ferguson Commission this week. The have a daunting mission, but the leadership that is being provided by the Co Chairs and the capacity of the Gubernatorially appointed Commission is outstanding!

Much is expected, hoped for and possible from this group, Much more to follow , as the commission begins its work. Here is their mission statement and a link to a story about the Commission’s first meeting, which is also set for this coming Monday.

The Commission has been charged with these goals:

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=5&cad=rja&uact=8&sqi=2&ved=0CDYQqQIwBA&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.stlamerican.com%2Fnews%2Flocal_news%2Farticle_9a6308aa-7715-11e4-ae32-fb51bd9605fd.html&ei=YMx4VLP0CdbtoASp8oCABw&usg=AFQjCNF42bDSSSKIrfHbH-fb0l0H3-lj7w&sig2=qHiPgIyNl-jvAuPdZ2aqkQ

Stay tuned, interested and involved!

Joe

Hazel Erby, S. Louis County Councilwoman re Ferguson

United Methodist Women have published Food Faith & Me, a youth study.

Episcopal Relief & Development has published the Abundant Life Garden Project for elementary-aged students.

The Presbyterian Hunger Mission has published Food & Faith Practices, a short handout for adults.

National, Ecumenical/Interfaith Non-Profits

GreenFaith offers resources for Food and Faith.

A Rocha US offers resources on Sustainable Food Systems and two demonstration projects. (Their sister organization in Canada has some great programs including an annual Good Seed Sunday for churches.)

Blessed Earth often integrates thinking on food and farming into their larger work of creation care.

National Farm Worker Ministry is a faith-based organization committed to justice for and empowerment of farm workers.

We must utilize our current passion to fix the current mental health state of traumatized communities. This plan must call on leaders in the tech and financial sphere, to do more than just donate funds, but invest in a generation that has been long ignored. If we are going to enact the appropriate change in response to this tragedy, the plan forward must be more concise and systematic than the antagonists that wish to undermine it.

It is going to require more than generosity of time and money to right the wrongs of years of social decay. There must be a true investment with resources, education and substantial job training to restore faith in our disenfranchised youth.

We must utilize our current passion to fix the current mental health state of traumatized communities. This plan must call on leaders in the tech and financial sphere, to do more than just donate funds, but invest in a generation that has been long ignored. If we are going to enact the appropriate change in response to this tragedy, the plan forward must be more concise and systematic than the antagonists that wish to undermine it.

It is going to require more than generosity of time and money to right the wrongs of years of social decay. There must be a true investment with resources, education and substantial job training to restore faith in our disenfranchised youth.

- See more at: http://www.communitybuildersstl.org/index.php/moving-forward-in-ferguson/#sthash.8kEWuazn.dpuf

We must utilize our current passion to fix the current mental health state of traumatized communities. This plan must call on leaders in the tech and financial sphere, to do more than just donate funds, but invest in a generation that has been long ignored. If we are going to enact the appropriate change in response to this tragedy, the plan forward must be more concise and systematic than the antagonists that wish to undermine it.

It is going to require more than generosity of time and money to right the wrongs of years of social decay. There must be a true investment with resources, education and substantial job training to restore faith in our disenfranchised youth.

We must utilize our current passion to fix the current mental health state of traumatized communities. This plan must call on leaders in the tech and financial sphere, to do more than just donate funds, but invest in a generation that has been long ignored. If we are going to enact the appropriate change in response to this tragedy, the plan forward must be more concise and systematic than the antagonists that wish to undermine it.

It is going to require more than generosity of time and money to right the wrongs of years of social decay. There must be a true investment with resources, education and substantial job training to restore faith in our disenfranchised youth.

Video of Tasered In The Back Tallahassee Grandmother

The taser shooting occurred at about 2 minutes 30 seconds into this video.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d8BQakQ7rPY

Is this act something that current “use of force doctrine” would allow in St. Louis?

Would be nice if we develop, over time, an “intelligence” arm that could check into the outcome of this incident, in Tallahassee.

Jim Moore on Restorative Justice and Ferguson

I did some research on restorative justice in SL and found that is moving along quite well here. I was trained in the method probably 8–10 years ago and actually served on a few panels before my consulting travel required me to resign this service…but I recommend it to all of you as an extraordinary type of volunteerism. Here’s the concept in brief: It is better for an offender and his victims if they can find a way to meet and discuss the impact of the crime on humans… put a human face on the criminal behavior. It’s akin to Jesus’s teaching: If you have sinned against your brother, go and seek pardon before your bring your sacrifice to the altar. Thus offenders are encouraged to submit to this process as one way to mitigate their sentence/punishment…)… kind of a confessional penance (of course, under supervision and a structured encounter with professional assistance. Now, of course, many victims are unable or unwilling to meet with the offender, so as an alternative and sometimes as a preliminary step, the offender meets with a panel of community members (volunteers). The crime is explained and the offender responds to some questions meant to help them express their thoughts and emotions. The community panel speaks to how they would feel if they have or had been victimized in a similar way…what impact it has /had on them, their views of the community, etc. Sometimes the panel is able to offer suggestions to the offender on how they can find a way to a better life. Sometimes this is in the context of the sentencing conditions, etc.

these are my impressions and memories from several years ago and the process may have evolved since then, so take it with a grain of salt. However, this process is most often used with youthful offenders in the hopes that it will help them realize the impact of their behavior and the communities willingness to forgive…. If there is a change of behavior(s). I have attached the google page which shows many local resources for Restorative Justice, including SLU at the top of the list… (most frequently used?). The woman Michael mentioned, Christi Griffin and her Ethics Project, is listed as a member of the Rest. Justice Collaborative, so she would be a good resource for us…and for vetting any of our project concepts.

I am not sure that the full Restorative Justice concept would make sense at the municipal court level… certainly not for traffic offenses, but perhaps for other municipal offenses like code violations, petty thievery, shop lifting, check bouncing, etc.

St. Louis U. Dean, Father Michael Barber SJ, Ferguson Essay

http://www.unewsonline.com/2014/09/18/my-brothers-keeper-reflections-on-ferguson/

SLUH English Teacher Frank Kovarik Response

http://www.occasionalplanet.org/2014/08/17/ferguson-how-im-going-to-discuss-it-in-my-classroom/

Cultivating One Hundred Vision Seeds, i.e. To Do List

Might you consider partnering
With no more than 5 “Ignatians”

To give attention to

100 vision seeds judged
Worthy for planting

In the field of possibilities
We are calling

An Ignatian Response?

I propose 1,000 vision seeds
Be collected from anywhere
That’s pure enough

And the heavy lifting Ignatian 5
In a collaborative commons

Pick our favorite 10%
For more focused consideration.

Godsil Vision Seed 1.0.

Alternative Spring Breaks

Discuss with 10 universities
Of the Great Lakes Heartland

The co creation of
Alternative Spring Breaks

Spring Break Work Learn Tours

Renewing

Great Lakes Heartland Old Cities

Starting with

St Louis
Chicago
Milwaukee
Detroit

Over the years:

Mumbai
Kerala
Kolkata
Shanghai
Japan
S. Africa
Costa Rica
Melbourne

We have worthy “partners” in those areas, poised to offer mindful students deeply meaningful, if sometimes deeply challenging, alternative spring breaks.

Godsil

Experimenters Wiki Platforms

Joe Cavato

Godsil

Jim Moore?

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