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Once Again
by Ray Jordan, H4PJ board member

Once again, the nation has been confronted with the painful reality of race. Once again a line has been drawn that forces Americans to pick a side and defend a position. Once again, we’re reminded that the rhetoric of a post-racial society is simply that, just rhetoric. Once again, we, as a nation, are dared to ask who we really are and what kind of society we really want to be. And once again, we can find ourselves either challenged by the opportunity to be a better people or we can be threatened and thereby retreat into the shadows of apathy and fear.

Trayvon Martin, Jordan Davis, Eric Garner, the 68 unarmed men in Dallas (most of whom were black and brown) who have been shot and killed by police in the last 10 years or the black men who are killed by police every 28 hours in America, they are all testaments that something is deeply broken in the American spirit. This is the reality of the society in which we live, which leads me to the question of the hour: what are you going to do about? 

Dr. King so poignantly said, “In the end we will remember not the words our enemies, but the silence of our friends.” Jesus teaches that “blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called the children of God” (Matthew 5:9). The time has passed for apathetic “good” people who simply wished the world was a better place, and the time has come for the children of God to actually be about the business of making peace. Now is the time for intentional, purposeful, action.

As the father of two black boys, I am often terrified by the nation in which we live. I am terrified that their very existence is threatening and threatened and that the beauty of their God-given blackness is seen as menacing and dangerous, therefore a target of extermination. So, as a board member of Hope for Peace & Justice (H4PJ) I implore you to get involved. H4PJ is a rare blessing and I hope the Cathedral of Hope recognizes it as such. So, when you receive an email or hear of a gathering, please come. H4PJ needs you. Our country needs you. My sons need you! Help us once and for all answer the question of all the ages, “Who matters?” with the unambiguous and resounding response, “EVERY SINGLE ONE OF US!” #blacklivesmatter

Lessons from Ferguson: Where do we go from here?
Join us Monday in the Interfaith Peace Chapel on the Cathedral of Hope campus for a conversation--black and white and brown together--about the recent events in Ferguson, MO: our feelings, our fears, our hopes. More information will be available here: https://www.facebook.com/events/742191949197746/

Justice for Undocumented Americans: A Start

Hope for Peace & Justice affirms President Obama’s executive action that will bring relief to millions of undocumented Americans and their families living in the shadows among us. Immigration reform is vitally needed in our country; while this plan is not perfect, it is progress.

Immigration reform is a human rights issue. It is a GLBT issue. And it is a faith issue. As people of faith, we believe it is vital that, following the words of scripture, we show compassion to the sojourners among us.

“When a foreigner lives with you in your land, don’t take advantage of him. Treat the foreigner the same as a native. Love her like one of your own. Remember that you were once foreigners in Egypt. I am God, your God.” (Leviticus 19:33-34)

That includes changing how we treat the immigrants who live and work among us and protecting LGBT immigrants who face unsafe circumstances in their home countries. H4PJ calls on people of faith to remain prayerful on behalf of them and for those involved in finding a legislative solution that is just and fair.

Pictured: J.W. Wylie, Nora Sanchez, Angie Wilson, Kate Kendell, Sherry Hilliard, Yinessa Romero

Pictured: J.W. Wylie, Nora Sanchez, Angie Wilson, Kate Kendell, Sherry Hilliard, Yinessa Romero

Celebration of Women Recap
by Sheila Coughlin, Board Member

Two weeks ago (November 7-9) Hope for Peace & Justice hosted "A CELEBRATION OF WOMEN: OUR BODIES. OUR SPIRITS. OUR SELVES." A committee made up of H4PJ board members and Cathedral of Hope members—women and men together—worked for two months to bring the event to Dallas. Our keynote speaker and guest was Kate Kendell, Executive Director of the National Center for Lesbian Rights (NCLR). It was a weekend full of networking, learning, sharing, and celebrating.

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