Tag Archives: violence

Mourning, Intersectionality, and Hope, Part I: Don’t Be Selective

We have been focusing our  vigils on  shedding light in places where the inquiry and fervor of the media does not go. To vigil means to “pay attention” and to be “watchful.” Members of our diverse community are often directly affected by violence in contexts which are largely ignored by the media. On 4/16, members of EKTA, the South Asian Student organization, came forward to both mourn and protest the violence in Pakistan where a terror attack took place on Easter Sunday. Below are the opening remarks and the words from one of the student speakers, Mahnoor Latif, who shared her powerful statement. Continue reading

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The Justice, Identity, and Social Change Initiative: Spiritual Life Meets Social Justice

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It feels like the World is burning. This is what Sensei Ryumon Baldoquin, Community Religious Adviser, said at our first “Peace Meal,” a gathering for dialogue and discussion of difficult problems. Certainly in the last few weeks, with the earthquake in Nepal and the rise in media coverage of racially motivated violence, it feels as if the world is burning.

The Center for Religious and Spiritual Life (CRSL) must be a force for quenching fires; because religious and spiritual life on a college campus is most relevant to the extent that it confronts global and social Issues head-on. The Justice, Identity, and Social Change Initiative are the center’s formulation of its strategy for bringing together the internal, contemplative life of the spirit; and addressing the urgent, immediate problems of injustice that plague our world.
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Newtown School Shooting: What I Know is True

The faith tradition(s) that I follow allows me a certain acceptance of uncertainty and ‘living the questions”as the famous poem by Rilke puts it. Grappling, wondering, ruminating, and questioning are all part of the journey for me— as is the case for many of us.

Yet when a tragedy occurs, so “close to home” as it did in Newtown, Connecticut last Friday, people want answers. I want answers. I want to explain the situation—“well, it has to do with the isolation of our communities,” or “it all goes back to the value placed on the second amendment in this country,” or “its because of the unavailability of good mental health services,” and so on. Those three statements offer some fleeting feeling of understanding, and hopefully, ground us in some places to put our energy. But there is no one explanation, no one answer. Continue reading

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Response to Boston Marathon Bombings

Regardless of where or how we are situated with respect to Boston, Watertown the Boston marathon, geographically and emotionally, almost all of us, what can I do?

It strikes me that in fact, there is so much we can do, as we see the recent events in Boston as a part of a phenomenon in whose midst we live-the cycle of violence and retribution or as Biblical scholar Walter Wink calls it, the “myth of redemptive violence.” Continue reading

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