Most Recent Archive

A public health approach to gun violence

January 17, 2020 John-Michael Cotignola-Pickens Wider View

  More people in the United States die from gun violence than HIV, Parkinson’s disease, malnutrition, hypertension and other medical conditions, but gun violence receives less funding for research. Medical professionals have been advocating for funding that would empower the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and National Institutes of Health to research gun violence as a public health crisis. Treating gun violence like a public health crisis would involve a multi-pronged approach that advocates for policy changes, such as background checks for all gun sales. It would also focus on working with gun owners on how to make gun […]

A look at military, national and public service

January 3, 2020 Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach Wider View

In 2016 members of the House and Senate could not agree whether women should be required to register with Selective Service, the apparatus to mobilize a military draft. Though the military opened combat roles to women in 2013, only men are required to register when they turn 18. Congress formed the National Commission on Military, National and Public Service to study the issue, as well as ways to increase participation in service overall. The commission’s work is of keen interest to Anabaptist groups, who strongly value voluntary service and who oppose serving in the military. In January 2019 the commission […]

The next chapter in the Christmas story

December 20, 2019 Tammy Alexander Wider View

During this time of Advent, as millions of refugees face an uncertain future and thousands of asylum seekers wait to enter the United States, some communities are reaffirming their commitment to helping newcomers find safe homes. On December 9, a Burleigh County Council hearing in North Dakota was standing room only as hundreds voiced their support for welcoming refugees. The council, which had been expected to vote against resettling any refugees next year, ultimately voted 3-2 in favor. The county of 95,000 people welcomed 24 refugees last year. A new Trump administration policy is requiring states and localities to opt-in […]

In Nigeria, preventing radicalization through rebuilding lives

December 6, 2019 Charles Kwuelum Wider View

Several years ago, Emmanuel Sawa, then a high school student in the Plateau State of Nigeria, dropped out of school when violence caused his parents to lose their livelihood and become displaced along with many others in their community. Sawa, like many other young adults who either grew up in Plateau State or moved there to escape violence in other parts of the country, became addicted to drugs and was at risk of becoming radicalized. Years of brutal localized conflicts and intense violence have displaced more than 2 million people and destroyed livelihoods. The humanitarian crisis is primarily a result […]

Seeking relief

November 22, 2019 Charles Kwuelum Wider View

Written by Estefania Martinez, International fellow, Mennonite Central Committee U.S. Washington Office In Luke 5, a man with leprosy approaches Jesus and, with his face to the ground, he begs to be healed, pleading, “Lord, if you choose, you can make me clean” (Luke 5:12). To put the story in context, Mosaic law required people sick with leprosy to rip their clothes, live away from the city and shout: “Unclean! Unclean!” to any passersby (Leviticus 13:45-46). Contrary to what the law required of him, this man approached Jesus. Some of the people with Jesus that day were likely offended because […]

An education for all

November 8, 2019 John-Michael Cotignola-Pickens Wider View

Marian Wright Edelman, founder of the Children’s Defense Fund, is quoted as saying, “Education is for improving the lives of others and for leaving your community and world better than you found it.” Congress continues to discuss the possibility of passing the Restoring Education and Learning (REAL) Act, which would provide access to Pell Grants for incarcerated students, as a part of the Higher Education Act. Education improves the lives of people who are incarcerated by reducing the recidivism rate among returning citizens, providing them with social capital and increasing employment opportunities when they return to their communities. Some lawmakers […]

Peace to end conflict-related hunger 

November 1, 2019 John-Michael Cotignola-Pickens Blog

  Four times! She seemed about 60 years old and this was her fourth time as a Southern Sudanese refugee in Northern Uganda. I could not wrap my mind around that. Part of me wanted to sit with her and ask for the specifics. How old are you? Where exactly are you from? When were you first a refugee and for how long? What are the other dates for when you were a refugee? Do you have a family? Where are they? And on and on, I may have asked, for as long as she was willing to answer. But […]

Iraq: Rebuilding what is broken

October 25, 2019 Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach Wider View

Over the past several weeks, Iraqis have been protesting in the streets. More than 100 people have been killed and more than 6,000 wounded. The protesters’ demands are basic: They want jobs, improved services such as education, water and electricity, and an end to corruption. There are many reasons why these conditions are lacking in Iraq. But the role of the U.S. cannot be ignored. The U.S. invasion of Iraq in 2003 and subsequent military occupation led to the dismantling of much of Iraqi society. U.S. military actions stirred up tensions between ethnic and religious groups. Infrastructure was destroyed. Government […]