164 posts categorized "Social Justice"
By Racine Tucker-Hamilton
As a woman who is the mother of two sons, I’m often torn between my strong belief in empowering women and girls and raising boys. My personal conflict was very evident last week while attending the Social Good Summit (SGS).
Many of the sessions focused specifically on females: "Women Editors Take on the Intersection of Print, Digital and Social Good," "Connecting Girls Around the World," and "Women, Social Media and an End to Poverty.
As I was sitting through these sessions I kept thinking, where are boys and men in these conversations? Then finally, America Ferrera, an actress, producer, and activist, brought it up. She and fellow actress Alexis Bledel had recently returned from a trip to Honduras where they learned how women and girls are improving nutrition and fighting poverty in developing countries. The trip was organized by the ONE campaign and captured in this video.
Ferrera was a guest on the SGS panel "Women, Social Media and an End to Poverty." She told the audience that, in her experience, investing in women and girls doesn’t mean leaving boys behind.
“From what we saw [in Latin America], boys are raised by their mothers and the mothers will see that those boys have education and a different outlook toward women’s roles in society,” said Ferrera.
Her comments reminded me of my visit to a southern Malawi village last year, where I saw men playing an important role in improving nutrition for women and children. Kennedy Mbereko is one of those men. He’s well known in the Jombo village, where he serves as a member of a care group for a Catholic Relief Services project called Wellness and Agriculture for Life Advancement (WALA). Kennedy visits the homes of malnourished children and then documents their progress and growth.
While his notes and journals are central to his job, his presence alone makes a difference in a community where nutrition may be viewed as a ‘women’s-only issue.’ Mbereko is helping to break down barriers and engage other men in the area—including the village leader—around the issue of malnutrition.
During Ferrera's panel discussion at the SGS, she also told the audience that we need more men to embrace and support the issues of improving nutrition and ending poverty in their communities.
“We need enlightened men to help change the minds of men who may not see the important role that women play in poverty eradication.”
There’s no question that women and girls must be at the table when determining the best ways to combat malnutrition and poverty, but we have to remember to save a seat for boys and men.
Racine Tucker-Hamilton is Bread for the World's media relations manager.
Did you know that each month, the church relations department at Bread for the World produces a resource specifically for pastors? Whether you are searching for inspiration for a sermon you're writing, or just a lectionary enthusiast, Bread for the Preacher is for you.
In the month of September, the lectionary reminds us of core values and behaviors for followers of Jesus: pursuing God's will, integrating our inner and outer lives, refusing to show partiality based on money, and supporting other disciples. At the same time, the church program year begins again, schools start, and an election season demands attention.
In the midst of this busy-ness and the cacophony of campaign ads, how do we stay centered in Jesus' life-giving way? This month's lectionary commentators help us see the biblical texts and our own circumstances through a Godly lens.
Explore reflections on social hypocrisy, justice for the poor, discipleship, vindication, and power in this month’s readings on the website, where you can also sign-up to have the resource emailed to you each month.
Carter Echols is congregational engagement associate at Bread for the World.
Photo: Senior Pastor Judith VanOsdol leads the noon church service at El Milagro (The Miracle) Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, MN. (Photo by Laura Elizabeth Pohl)
Bread for the World multimedia manager Laura Pohl videotapes interview with Bread staffer Lamont Thompson and Racine Tucker-Hamilton monitors audio. (Photo courtesy of Racine Tucker-Hamilton/Bread for the World)
by Racine Tucker-Hamilton
When I walk into the Bread for the World office each morning, I never know what my day will hold…literally. Earlier this week I was “holding” a microphone and monitoring audio during a video shoot.
Despite my day-to-day surprises, one thing is a constant, whatever I’m doing—writing press releases, creating Facebook posts, or pitching to reporters—I know that my work will be part of a team effort. I am fortunate to work with a very talented communications department. Many of my team members are newsroom professionals, and they not only embrace the idea of collaborative thought and teamwork—they live by it. I know that my pitch to a reporter isn’t as compelling without the best photos or videos from our multimedia manager; my copy editor ensures that my media releases don’t include typos or errors; and our online creative unit makes sure that my message is disseminated widely with strong, reinforcing graphics.
Last October on a trip to Africa, I witnessed teamwork in full effect in a small village in southern Malawi. The women from Malawi’s Jombo village gathered for group cooking classes as part of a joint USAID and Catholic Charities project. Together, the women learned how to prepare nutritious foods and then returned to their homes to dish up healthy meals for their families. These woman understood that they can accomplish a great deal collectively, that as a team they can improve the lives of their families, especially babies and young children.
You too, are part of a team that can make a difference in the lives of hungry and poor people here in the United States and around the world. When you contact your members of Congress and tell them that you want them support legislation that helps poor people lift themselves out of poverty, you are making an impact.
But imagine what could happen if you ask members of your church or book club or parents at your child’s school to join your efforts: your group approach would surely get the attention of your Congressional representatives.
Put the group affect in full effect.
In early 2011, Desire came to Omoana House, a rehabiliation center in Njeru, Uganda, as a malnourished young girl. But with proper healthcare and feeding – including nutrition supplements provided by USAID, she has grown healthy. (Photo by Laura Elizabeth Pohl/Bread for the World)
by Inez Torres Davis.
Nutrition for the pregnant woman and her child through the age of two years is such a critical window of opportunity. Women with our own children or women who have never given birth, but have participated in nurturing children “get” how critical this is. And, maybe it’s easier for us to have these conversations for this reason, but I would really like to see men of faith step up for this one and make the commitment to have these conversations!
The 1,000 Days Movement addresses the need for those who “have” to be sure that child-bearing women, women who are pregnant, and infants from birth to two years of age receive the nutritional diet they require to avoid life-threatening physical and mental health issues such as stunting, protein deficiency, and cyclical starvation. Cyclical starvation is when the body has a hunger season each year in which important nutrients are completely lacking from their diets thus providing short term and long term health problems and in many cases, death.
While visiting three countries in Africa with Bread for the World in 2011, I saw the raw and measurable difference nutritionally caring for pregnant women and infants makes in the life of a community as well as in the life of a child. One Malawi village had not had a single case of cholera since learning how to secure clean water, sanitation, and create supplemental nutrient-rich feedings for pregnant women and babies. Dozens of Zambian infants are receiving healthy starts in health clinics and through the campaign for non-HIV positive mothers to nurse their babies.
Here in the United States, programs like the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children (WIC) and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly the food stamp program) provide a nutritionally sound base for children who would otherwise suffer the debilitating effects of malnutrition. Dollar for dollar supporting the nutrition of pregnant women and babies is money “best” spent whether it is spent domestically or as international development aid.
The call of the gospel is the call to be present with the disenfranchised. I can’t think of a more disenfranchised or disempowered person than the infant born to a malnourished woman. Simply put? This is the work of the gospel. Start to share this good news!
(Photo by Flickr user photo _ de)
by Racine Tucker-Hamilton.
Earlier this summer we told you about Bread for the World partner, the International Justice Mission’s campaign, “Recipe for Change”. The goal of the campaign is to increase awareness about the issue of abuses in America’s tomato fields. The campaign asks major supermarket chains to support the Fair Food Program and develop a zero-tolerance policy against the mistreatment of workers on Florida’s tomato farms. Each week Recipe for Change features a tomato recipe from a guest writer and this week’s contribution is from Bread’s president, Rev. David Beckmann. Learn more about how you can be a part of “Recipe for Change” and make a mean bowl of gazpacho.
Racine Tucker-Hamilton is media relations manager at Bread for the World.
(Photo courtesy Meals on Wheels)
by Kristen Archer
We can all recall the nervous anticipation of waiting to receive our report cards in school—hoping we were able to bring that C+ in chemistry up to a B, praying we were able to maintain a solid A in history, dreading the look on our parents’ faces when our geometry grade was finally revealed.
Our days of receiving quarterly report cards for our own academic performance may be over, but there is one report card we should take note of: The National Foundation to End Senior Hunger’s Senior Hunger Report Card.
Distributed at an aging conference earlier this week—Perspectives on Nutrition and Aging: A National Summit—the report card grades our nation in eight areas with regards to senior hunger:
- overall performance,
- women’s studies
- multicultural studies
- home economics
- health and physical education
- and ethics.
Surprisingly, the nation failed to score higher than a C-minus in any of the categories.
A young girl enjoys breakfast at a local farmer's market. (Photo by Margaret W. Nea)
by Eric Bond
How much will you spend on food today?
For breakfast I ate two bananas (40 cents each), a handful of almonds (let’s say $1.00), a whole wheat bagel (65 cents), two eggs (21 cents each), and a cup of coffee from the corner café ($1.79). Having spent a total of $4.68, I felt thrifty, and I ate fairly well. I also broke the SNAP budget for an entire day.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) allots about $4.30 per person per day. Figuring out how to purchase 2,000 nutritious calories on that amount is a test of creativity and resources.
Try stretching those dollars when you live in a food desert, miles from a well-stocked, economical grocery store. What if you haven’t got any cooking appliances or the money to power them? What if you are working full time, earning barely enough to cover the rent? Would you have the time and energy to search for, purchase, and cook enough food to sustain yourself on $4.30 per day? Somehow you would have to find a way.
This is reality of the farm bill—which funds SNAP.
The day that hunger is eradicated from the earth there will be the greatest spiritual explosion the world has ever known. Humanity cannot imagine the joy that will burst into the world.
— Federico Garcia Lorca
Photo: Mother and daughter enjoy a block party in Washington, D.C. (Photo by Crista Friedli/Bread for the World)
Alex Morris, from Bend, OR, depends on SNAP, WIC, and other programs to care for André, who suffers from a serious medical condition that affects his hormonal system. (Photo by Brad Horn/Bread for the World)
by Christine Melendez Ashley
Misinformation about the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, formerly food stamps) is far too prevalent. Sometimes it seems that I can’t check the news—or even Facebook—without reading another inaccurate claim about the program and its participants.
As a domestic policy analyst at Bread, I know that the facts tell a different story. SNAP served more than 46 million Americans in May. Here are some hard facts about the program:
Rev. Derrick Boykin, Bread for the World's associate for African-American leadership outreach, prepares for an interview. (Photo by Racine Tucker-Hamilton/Bread for the World)
by Susanne Ramirez de Arellano
Newsroom diversity is necessary. It is the driving force behind the honest and hard hitting reporting that is needed to effectively tackle issues such as hunger and poverty. At this year’s Unity conference—the fifth gathering of journalists of color—the hit taken by diversity in the media due to the recession was a central theme, alongside the shifting landscape and the digital frontier.
We exist in a Darwinian media whose architecture is expanding into different platforms with a rapidity that is stunning and at times confusing. Immediacy, flexibility, and mobility are the sons and daughters of the new technology.
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