Wider View Archive

At the intersection of racial justice, economic recovery and the climate crisis

October 16, 2020 Thirdway

By Clara Weybright, Climate Futures Fellow, Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions   The dual crises of climate change and COVID-19 have revealed, with increasing clarity, the inequitable ways in which disasters affect communities across the United States. As we watch these crises unfold, we wonder what we can do to create a more equitable social and economic system that prevents these harms. While California and Oregon endure forest fires of unprecedented proportions, other parts of the United States have experienced increasingly high numbers of hurricanes this year. Just as they have been the most harmed by the impacts of COVID-19, […]

Addressing hunger amid COVID-19

October 2, 2020 Charles Kwuelum

The COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected populations already ravaged by violence, floods, drought, wildfires, displacements and disease. The pandemic’s disruption on food systems paused production and distribution of food in many places, thereby leading to a hike in the cost of food and food insecurity globally. Inevitably, we are faced with the dual crises of hunger and COVID-19. In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, for example, an estimated 13.6 million people were likely to need emergency food assistance in early 2020. Unfortunately, COVID-19 will increase this projection. As governments imposed lockdowns to stop the spread of COVID-19, smallholder famers […]

Set aside a special Sunday to pray and advocate for migrants

September 18, 2020 Tammy Alexander

Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office All of us long for safety and refuge. Ultimately this is found only in God, who welcomes the strangers and gives them refuge. As we seek to become more Christlike, we too are called to create places of refuge and welcome for those who are in danger or need. Dina Nayeri writes of her own experience as a refugee in the United States: “It is the obligation of every person born in a safer room to open the door when someone in danger knocks.” Hebrews 13:2 instructs Jesus’ followers to show hospitality to strangers. […]

10 steps to deeper engagement in political advocacy

September 11, 2020 Kate Parsons

This year has illuminated in new ways the existing inequalities and injustices of this world. If you have  recently felt your heart moved in a new way, but aren’t sure where to begin, below are ten suggestions for deeper engagement in political advocacy: Register to vote Register to vote if you are eligible, and vote in national and local elections. If you are not eligible to vote, you can still help others register to vote or volunteer at polling places. Learn who represents you Identify your members of Congress. Visit their websites or follow them on social media. In addition, […]

Looking back on 13 years

August 21, 2020 Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach

At the end of August, I will be stepping down after 13 years as director of the Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office. Although there have of course been challenges over the years, it has been a rich and wonderful experience for me and has helped me grow in many ways. I have been deeply blessed by getting to know and work with MCC staff and partner organizations around the world. It is inspiring to see their unwavering commitment to a more just and peaceful world. On my travels, I have been humbled the generosity and hospitality that has been […]

Climate change in Nepal

August 7, 2020 Thirdway

Dhiraj Adhikari, Climate advocacy intern, Center for Sustainable Climate Solutions Climate change is affecting communities all around the world, including those in Nepal where Mennonite Central Committee has worked since the 1960s. According to Durga Sunchiuri, program coordinator for MCC in Nepal, the communities he works with have been facing many challenges recently due to the impacts of climate change. Nepal’s geography is mostly mountainous. Families must use the steep terrain available to grow food for their household. Lower income groups tend to live closer to the riverbanks, making them more susceptible to flooding which has worsened with climate change. […]

Congress responds to annexation

This month—July—marks the start of when the Israeli government could move to formally annex parts of the West Bank, with the support of the Trump administration. Annexation would codify Israel’s ever-increasing control over the West Bank and make life even more difficult for Palestinians, who would lose access to land and basic rights. The responses from Members of Congress have varied. Some support the administration’s position, while others are working to ensure U.S. money is not used to implement annexation. Here’s a summary of what is happening. On the House side: In June 116 representatives expressed support for Israeli annexation, […]

Immigrants are essential

July 3, 2020 Thirdway

Estefania Martinez, international fellow, Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office.   Do you ever think about the importance of your big toe? According to Scientific American, the big toe carries about 40% of our weight. Also, because it is the last part of the foot to push off the ground before taking the next step, without it we lose balance, strength and the ability to easily move forward. Similarly, how often do we think about the importance of essential workers in the United States? A pandemic that has affected all of us has caused us to realize the importance of […]

What does climate change have to do with racism?

June 19, 2020 Tammy Alexander

The killing of George Floyd brought issues of racial justice to the forefront of our national conversation. These conversations are extending beyond policing to the many other ways systemic racism impacts communities of color, including air and water pollution, climate change and health disparities. The burning of fossil fuels contributes to climate change but also has a more immediate effect—pollution. The burden of this pollution falls more heavily on low-income communities and communities of color. Power plants, disproportionately located in Black neighborhoods, lead to higher rates of asthma and premature death. The Trump administration’s recent weakening of regulations governing power […]

Safer communities for all

The tragic list keeps growing: David McAtee, George Floyd, Michael Brown, Tamir Rice, Philando Castile, Breonna Taylor and more. All of them are African-Americans who were killed by police officers. The current nationwide protests have brought to the forefront pre-existing tensions between police departments and the communities they patrol, rooted in the long U.S. history of racism. Major cities spend more on their police departments than they do on public health or economic development. The city of Los Angeles’ 2020-21 budget grants the police department $3.14 billion out of a $10.5 billion budget, much more than they invest in economic […]