This is a very sad state of affairs, when Haitian citizens still suffer fro Cholera, but the world has largely washed their hands of the country.
This largely has to do with the frustration with corrupt or misguided Haitian Government officials who have stymied nearly every effort to help the country. And no, that doesn’t mean the UN’s hands are clean.
When the leader of the United Nations apologized to Haitians for the cholera epidemic that has ravaged their country for more than six years — caused by infected peacekeepers sent to protect them — he proclaimed a “moral responsibility” to make things right.
The apology, announced in December along with a $400 million strategy to combat the epidemic and “provide material assistance and support” for victims, amounted to a rare public act of contrition by the United Nations. Under its secretary general at the time, Ban Ki-moon, the organization had resisted any acceptance of blame for the epidemic, one of the worst cholera outbreaks in modern times.
Since then, however, the United Nations’ strategy to fight the epidemic, which it calls the “New Approach,” has failed to gain traction. A trust fund created to help finance the strategy has only about $2 million, according to the latest data on its website. Just six of the 193 member states — Britain, Chile, France, India, Liechtenstein and South Korea — have donated.
Other countries have provided additional sources of anti-cholera funding for Haiti outside the trust fund, most notably Canada, at about $4.6 million, and Japan, at $2.6 million, according to the United Nations. Nonetheless, the totals received are a fraction of what Mr. Ban envisioned.
In a letter sent to member states last month, Mr. Ban’s successor, António Guterres, asked for financial commitments to the trust fund by March 6. He also appeared to raise the possibility of a mandatory dues assessment if there were no significant pledges.
The deadline came and went without much response.
Mr. Guterres has not stated publicly whether he intends to push for a mandatory assessment in the budget negotiations now underway at the United Nations. Privately, however, diplomats and United Nations officials said he had shelved the idea, partly because of strong resistance by some powerful members, including the United States.
Diplomats said part of the problem could be traced to simple donor fatigue, as well as to many countries’ reluctance to make financial commitments without certainty that the money will be used effectively.
I wouldn’t have thought this possible as little as 20 years ago…
The resolution calls for Southern Baptist churches to discontinue displaying the Confederate flag as a “sign of solidarity of the whole Body of Christ.”
The U.S. Southern Baptist Convention adopted a resolution on Tuesday repudiating the Confederate battle flag as an emblem of slavery, marking the latest bid for racial reconciliation by America’s largest Protestant denomination.
The resolution, passed at the predominantly white convention’s annual meeting in St. Louis, calls for Southern Baptist churches to discontinue displaying the Confederate flag as a “sign of solidarity of the whole Body of Christ.”
The action came four years after the denomination elected its first black president, Fred Luter, a pastor and civic leader from New Orleans.
In 1995, a Southern Baptist committee issued a resolution apologizing to African-Americans for condoning slavery and racism during the early years of the denomination’s 171-year history.
The convention, currently made up of more than 46,000 churches nationwide, was established in 1845 after Southern Baptists split from the First Baptist Church in America in the pre-Civil War era over the issue of slavery.
The denomination now counts a growing number of minorities among its more than 15.8 million members and has sought in recent years to better reflect the diversity of its congregants and America as a whole.
“This denomination was founded by people who wrongly defended the sin of human slavery,” said Russell Moore, head of the convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. “Today the nation’s largest Protestant denomination voted to repudiate the Confederate battle flag, and it’s time and well past time.”
The flag carried by the South’s pro-slavery Confederate forces during the 1861-65 U.S. Civil War re-emerged as a flashpoint in America’s troubled race relations after the massacre of nine blacks by a white gunman at an historic church in Charleston, South Carolina, in June 2015. The assailant was seen afterward in photographs posing with the flag.
The episode stirred a movement to eliminate the Stars and Bars flag – seen by many whites as a sign of Southern heritage, not hate – from South Carolina’s statehouse and many other public displays in the South during the months that followed.
A bit of “separation anxiety”?
A new generation of young leaders in Baltimore are largely organizing outside of congregations. What does this mean for their movement—and for the church?
Where is the church in the Black Lives Matter movement?
The spirit of the black church has long animated the movements for civil rights and social justice in America. The call and response, the vocabulary of oppression and solidarity: These are the languages of sanctuaries and pews, of Sunday morning worship and Bible-study vigils.
But in the black- and youth-led political activism of the last several years, the church hasn’t been nearly as visible as it was in the civil-rights movement of the 1960s. After many decades in which the most prominent black activists were ministers, religious leaders seem to be playing supporting roles in the most recent wave of activism.
In Baltimore, this is particularly stark. Nearly a year ago, the city saw widespread riots and political outcry after the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old man who died of spinal injuries while in the custody of police. The long vibrant local activist community caught national attention, including a widely shared moment in the conflict when community leaders stood shoulder-to-shoulder with gang members in a northwest Baltimore church. In an earlier generation, Baltimore’s churches might have been the primary staging grounds for organizing protests and political action. Increasingly, though, the church is more of a backdrop.
In a 1976 interview, Enolia McMillan, the Baltimore NAACP president who would later become the first female head of the organization, observed that its “most dependable support … comes from the churches in Baltimore.”
“The main resources were bodies,” said Derek Musgrove, an associate professor of history at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. “The church was the organizational center of the community. You were guaranteed to see a certain number of people every Sunday, and a lot of those people were going to be participating in church activities throughout the week. You could get access to them.”
These days, there are fewer young black bodies in church pews. Although black 18-to-29-year-olds tend to identify as religious more than their white, Hispanic, and Asian peers, slightly less than a third don’t see themselves as part of any particular faith, according to the Public Religion Research Institute. They’re much less affiliated than their older black peers who are under 50, roughly a fifth of whom identify with no particular religion, and significantly less than those over 50, only a tenth of whom don’t have a religion.
Just as young black activists aren’t necessarily in the church, church leaders aren’t necessarily in the streets. During the protests following Freddie Gray’s death while in the custody of city police nearly year ago, pastors led drives to distribute food and water and efforts to open churches as safe spaces. Clergymen spoke at Freddie Gray’s funeral; a local megachurch pastor, Jamal Bryant, declared that police had seen Gray as a threat “simply because he was man enough to look someone in authority in the eye.”
“I don’t think that people give enough credit to the church or the church’s involvement,” said Brion Gill, a 25-year-old who describes herself as a poet, organizer, and cultural curator, who is pictured above. But, she said, “the idea that it’s not abundantly clear how many churches are involved in this work speaks to the lack thereof.” There are probably as many views of the church’s role in activism, and of activism’s relationship to religion, as there are activists in Baltimore. But, as Gill observed, the fact that it’s even a question suggests that something once powerful has changed.
Even Bryant—a fairly prominent figure in national protest movements, who was arrested in Ferguson and briefly mounted a campaign for Congress in September—sees a limit to his leadership in this movement. “The difference between the Black Lives Matter movement and the civil-rights movement is that the civil-rights movement, by and large, was first out of the church. The Black Lives Matter movement, largely speaking, is not,” he said. “The church is having to readjust: How do you become a part of something you don’t lead?”…Read the Rest Here…
Wow…Making it better for Teen abuse victims…
When one young man was let down by the system, he decided things had to change.
It all started three years ago, when Jordan Thomas, then 16, decided he needed to talk to a counselor.
At the time, Thomas was experiencing emotional and physical abuse at home, and he wanted to talk to a professional. Because Thomas was a minor, New Jersey law said he needed the consent of a guardian to do so. But when Thomas asked his mother for permission, she said no.
“I have no idea why she would say no,” said Thomas, now a freshman at Rutgers University. “All I know is that she did say that.”
Thomas, now 19, was never able to get his mother’s permission, but his experience ignited in him a desire to fix the system. Working with his peers at the Boys & Girls Clubs of Hudson County, Thomas helped fix the law that had stopped him from accessing mental health services.
Thomas and the BGCHC were the driving forces behind the Boys & Girls Clubs Keystone Law, which passed this month in New Jersey. Thanks to their efforts, New Jersey minors no longer need permission from a guardian to receive therapy.
Not every teen experiencing abuse is as lucky as Thomas, who had a support system of peers and adults in the Boys and Girls Clubs of Hudson County, of which he was president in 2014. He ended up entering the foster care system just a few months after his request for counseling was rejected.
At the same time that Thomas was struggling to find help, the Keystone Club — the service branch of the BGCHC — was looking for ways to address the problem of teen suicide. In 2014, the National Keystone Project called on participants to address the issue. Jordan shared his story with Keystone members, leading others to speak up about their own experiences.
“A parent might not want to give consent to a kid seeking mental health services… because sometimes they might not want outside people to know what’s going on in their house,” said Damiya Critten, 19, a member of BGCHC’s Keystone Club. “They might say, ‘What happens in the house stays in the house.'”
The teens met with the family of Tyler Clementi, the Rutgers University student who took his own life in 2010 after being cyberbullied. They also met with state Assemblymen Carmelo Garcia and Raj Mukherji, who agreed to sponsor a bill on the topic. In October 2014, four members of the BGCHC testified before the New Jersey Legislature.
“[Thomas] ended his testimony saying that he easily could have become another teen suicide statistic had it not been for the Boys and Girls [Clubs] and the support he got here,” said Janet Wallach, director of program development and teen services at BGCHC. “But not every child in New Jersey has that support, and he wants to make sure there are not other young people in that situation.”
The teens said the two-year process of getting the bill passed was a lesson in civics for all of them….More…
Bernie unloads in this speech he gave 2 days ago, and outlines what he will do if he becomes president. He is right. Since about 2000, Wall Street became increasingly disconnected from the economic engine of the country, investing in more and more obscure financial instruments resulting in the meltdown of 2008. when the wall between banks and Wall Street was erased with the repeal of Glass-Steagall, the recipe for financial disaster was almost assured.
I have small hope at this point enough people will wake up to make Bernie President. But…You never know.
Here is a breakdown of the Key points, from TYT
I think two reasons… The anti Affirmative Action racism of the right and subsequent decisions by the SCUMUS was successful in reducing the number of black and Hispanic students, especially in California where high stakes testing is used as the principal barometer for acceptance. At some point you get a “Death Spiral” effect where the kid visits the campus – sees no other minority kids…And decides to go somewhere else.
Minority college enrollment has skyrocketed, but the black share of the student bodies at top research schools has barely budged in 20 years.
Over the past 20 years, black enrollment in colleges and universities has skyrocketed. It’s a huge success story, one that’s due to the hard work of black families, college admissions officers, and education advocates. But at top-tier universities in the United States, it’s a different story. There, the share of students who are black has actually dropped since 1994.
Among the 100-odd “very high research activity” institutions scored by Indiana University’s Center for Postsecondary Research, most saw their percentage of black undergraduates shrink between 1994 and 2013, the product of modest growth in black enrollment amid a much more rapid expansion of students on campus, according to data collected by the U.S. Department of Education.
This list includes not only Ivy League schools and selective private colleges, but also many large public universities, including UCLA, Florida State, and the University of Michigan. Meanwhile, other institutions of higher education—including speciality schools, baccalaureate programs, and colleges that primarily offer associate degrees—have seen black representation increase, sometimes dramatically.
This statistic put the recent campus discussions on race in a different light: less a spontaneous uprising of discontent, and more an inevitability.
“When you already have an issue around inclusion … these incidents of late heighten that perception and confirm that perception,” said Tyrone Howard, an associate dean for equity and inclusion at UCLA and director of the university’s Black Male Institute. “It gives some students of color some pause—do I really want to go to a place that, at least from the optics, suggests they’re not inclusive?”
Since 1994, black enrollment has doubled at institutions that primarily grant associate degrees, including community colleges. In 2013, black students accounted for 16 percent of the student body there, versus 11 percent in 1994.
Universities focusing on bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees also broadly saw gains, with blacks making up 14 percent of the population, compared to 11 percent in 1994.
But at top-tier universities, black undergraduate populations average 6 percent, a statistic that has remained largely flat for 20 years. (It’s less than half of what their share of the population might suggest; the Census reportsthat 15 percent of Americans between the ages of 20 and 24 are black.) While some schools have had success—the University of Missouri’s main campus has actually increased its black share by 3 percentage points since 1994—the median school barely budged.
(At Harvard, for example, 6.5 percent of undergraduates were black in 2013, down from 7.4 percent in 1994.)…Read the Rest Here…