It will take more than sympathy to save refugees from drowning in lifejackets


This post from Media Diversified hits all of the points that anyone who’s ever sat next to me heard me say about this. We need to do better and stop the xenophobia.

Media Diversified

by Shahd Abusalama

As world leaders were meeting in New York for the UN Migration Summit on Monday, activists transformed Parliament Square, the doorstep of British decision makers, into a graveyard of thousands of lifejackets. These lifejackets had once been worn by refugees that made it to the European beaches. No one knows if they arrived alive or as a lifeless unidentified body.

I am a refugee myself for the second time of my life in the UK; I was born as a third-generation refugee in Gaza’s Jabalia Refugee Camp, and I have recently been granted refugee status in the UK. But I am one of the lucky ones who managed to enter this country on a student visa by airplane and claim asylum successfully. Over the years I’ve met so many refugees who are stuck behind closed borders, putting up with bureaucratic barriers that they experience as a slow…

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New African American Center Named After Civil Rights Activist Fannie Lou Hamer Planned at UC Berkeley


Fannie Lou Hamer was one of the names of the Civil Rights Era that as was pointed out, people may know but whose accomplishments are not always known.

Often the men of the Civil Rights Movement are celebrated by memorials-the most famous of course being Martin Luther King, Jr. It is good to see the women of the movement get their due.


(photo via (photo via

article via

The University of California, Berkeley has announced that it will build a new African American Center on campus. The center will be named after Fannie Lou Hamer, the Mississippi-born voting and civil rights activist.

Fannie Lou Hamer (photo via Fannie Lou Hamer (photo via

The agreement to establish the center comes after a year of talks among the administration, the Black Student Union and other campus African American groups.

The university has allocated more than $80,000 to refurbish the space for the new center in the Hearst Field Annex.

Na’ilah Nasir, vice chancellor for equity and inclusion at the University of California, Berkeley, stated that “it’s a big deal for our students to know that our administration understands their needs and supports them.  It’s a financially constrained time, but it’s also a time when the administration is thinking about its priorities and values. I think the…

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Kaepernick’s Protest Gesture and the Militarization of Professional Sports


This is precisely why the Mizzou football team came under fire because they realized their collective power and their voice.

I still find it funny that people seem to conveniently forget when Zaevion Dobson’s mother, Zenobia Dobson reminded sports personalities and athletes at this year’s ESPYs that they had a lot of power and a lot of opportunities to give voice to a platform that others don’t.

Kaepernick is just answering the charge that was laid upon him and others like him.

Read and understand.

Tropics of Meta

Colin Kaepernick’s recent gesture has shaken up the sports world because he has refused to take part in one of professional, and amateur-level, sports’ most normalized rituals: the playing of the national anthem. The gesture has made an impact not solely because he is denouncing the current state of US race relations, but because his gesture exposes some of the real contradictions in professional sports as key sites for normalizing nationalism, militarism, hetero-normative-patriarchy, and social darwinist ideology. This nexus is perhaps best described as the militarization of professional sport.


Spending too much time watching professional sporting events might even lead one to believe that the world is a dog-eat-dog violent competition between men. Professional sports represent a type of competitive male subjectivity that carries a winner-take-all attitude, which is totally understandable for the fun of sport. After all, they are just games! At some point, however, the competitive spirit of…

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What is Missing Maps? An Amazing Collaboration for Responding to Crisis by Putting People on the Map!


I always get excited about things like this. Especially when it’s the result of collaboration

American Red Cross Northwest Region

A collaboration among non-governmental agencies will put vulnerable people on the map to improve emergency and disaster response. A collaboration among non-governmental agencies will put vulnerable people on the map to improve emergency and disaster response.

Missing Maps is a joint effort between the American Red Cross, British Red Cross, the Humanitarian OpenStreetMap Team and Doctors Without Borders. The objective of Missing Maps is simple: to map the most vulnerable places in the world so that NGOs, communities and individuals can use the maps and the data to better respond to crises. The project seeks to literally and figuratively put people, and their communities, on the map.

Missing Maps is powered by the enthusiasm and hard work of digital/remote volunteers here at home and abroad. Through open-source technology, digital volunteers can trace satellite imagery that helps disaster responders measure damage, identify priority areas, navigate around damaged roadways and more efficiently deliver aid to people in need. You don’t need experience to participate.
Missing Maps is celebrating it’s one year…

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No, the Founders Would NOT Have Put Faith Before Civil Law


12002247_1245761842108028_2763151150986830872_nWhen asked about the situation involving Kim Davis, David Barton claimed that “the Founding Fathers made it real clear that the laws of God are higher than the laws of man.” This perspective was then latched onto by at least three Republican presidential hopefuls. According to the Washington Post, two of the Republican presidential candidates who have supported Davis, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee, put their names to a pledge indicating that they would not “respect an unjust law that directly conflicts with higher law.” Huckabee is also on record saying, “I will not acquiesce to an imperial court any more than our Founders acquiesced to an imperial British monarch.”

Ted Cruz summarized the situation as he saw it as “judicial lawlessness” and “tyranny.” He incorrectly noted, “Today, for the first time ever, the government arrested a Christian woman for living according to her faith…This is not America.” It…

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A Matter of Words – Losing a Customer and Opening a Conversation


All I can say is…THIS.


Yesterday, we received an anonymous letter in response to this window display commemorating the one year anniversary of Michael Brown’s shooting:

blmThere was no return address, and it wasn’t signed.  It was a very short message on a note card telling us that we had lost a customer.  In it, the person said we stoked the flames of enmity between races and promoted division.  The person asked us why we insisted upon doing that.

It’s hard to know how to respond.  What I want to do is call up the customer and chat.  I want to take him or her out for coffee and talk about what those three words mean and why I and our store feel compelled to repeat them in a window along a busy street in what seems to some to be an act of ill will.

There is no way to do that in this case so…

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