Wednesday, October 31, 2007

about responding to hate

My brothers in the struggle,

I know that some of you have followed the situation in Jena, Louisiana, and perhaps the appearance of nooses in other states and venues as well including Columbia University's Teacher's College recently.

To add to the convseration, let me share with you this piece

from NPR's "Talk of the Nation." Given that WDUQ does not carry this show, you may not be familiar with it. John McWhorter, a linguist by training, currently a fellow at the Manhattan Institute, is one of the principal guests during this broadcast of the show. He takes an interesting stance towards the noose appearances. What do you think? Talk among yourselves.

Meanwhile, this evening I received a troubling e-message from a recent Central Catholic graduate about an unfolding situation on his college campus pertaining to "race," and how the university administration has (or has not) responded to that artificial construct that causes so much angst. This fellow Lasallian tells me that he is one of a few white students who seeks to understand the situation, express solidarity, and seek action. In time, perhaps I can share more. For sure this situation is a reminder, my young brothers in the struggle, that the world beyond where you are now is going to look and feel much differently than the microcosm in which you find yourself now, even if you attend a fairly small college in a non-urban setting.

In other news, 48 Spanish Brothers of the Christian Schools were raised up by the Church last Sunday, 28 October, as martyrs. Go to for further information.

Keep stepping for justice and for peace. It is steep road we must climb.
May God be blessed. Let us ask St. De La Salle and all our Sainted Brothers to intercede for
us. Amen.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Food for the Poor

Thanksgiving Food Drive
Central Catholic High School
LaSallian Youth

October 29, 2007 to November 21, 2007
Who: ALL students 9-12
Why: Little Sisters of the Poor
What: Canned Foods
Where: Central Catholic High School

· 5 cans per student
· Non-Perishable foods
· Fill U-Haul Truck

“If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him? Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth.”
1 John 3:17-18

Little Sisters of the Poor
The Little Sisters of the Poor were founded in 1839 by Jeanne Jugan with a mission to sever poor elderly people. The Sisters first arrived in Pittsburgh in 1872, with a facility on Penn Ave in Lawrenceville. A second house was built for the Sisters in 1922 in Brighton Heights.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

point of interest

Darfurfast - sponsored by the STAND national organization.

shall we discuss? register the school? its december 5th, 3 dollars (dress down day perhaps?) not sure where the money goes... i guess to a P.O. box somewhere.

"On December 5th, students around the world will ask their peers, families, and communities to join them in DarfurFast by fasting from one luxury item for one day and donating the money they would have spent on those items to protect civilians in Darfur. Just three dollars– less than the cost of a latte– can provide protection for one woman for a year."

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

CCHRIST agenda: Thursday, Oct 18

Yo guys,

A heads up: Jake Hostetter (sp?) has agreed to view his film documenting a trip he and some Central Catholic confreres took to Guatemala this past summer. Please spread the word!!!

Come if you can,

Take MORE Action: OVERRIDE Bush's veto denying Children Health Care!


Click it, Check it, Send it!!

In Christ,

TAKE ACTION against violence in DARFUR: Sign this Petition to the PRESIDENT!!!


PLEASE click this link and submit your petition to the president!!!

In peace, In Christ

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Eliminate Hunger: Pass the Buck-et


If you are in the cafe for lunch, please be sure to take at least five minutes out of your free period to walk around with the collection bucket! People will contribute, as I have tried successfully to draft change.

In solidarity,

Monday, October 15, 2007

Feeding the Hungry: Take Action on Global Hunger

In light of the official NetAid Global Action Day, I have posted two links below that will lead you to useful resources for confronting the issue of global hunger:

Otherwise, check the links available to the right below the header: UNCONVENTIONAL WISDOM. Particularly browse Catholic Charities and Amnesty International.

Signing petitions and writing letters to state reps. is a good way to take action. Otherwise, read up and maybe even fast for a day or two!

In Christ,

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Jena 6

In the media rush that is Jena 6, KDKA's finest, Kevin Miller, has decided to bring "truth" to Pittsburgh. Check out this link:, under "Latest Audio", "Oh Jena"

Earlier this week, in his search for the source of all of the commotion in Jena, Miller interviews an assistant editor from the Jena Times. While this editor may certainly know more about the incident than the rest of us, he makes several unsettling assertions:

1 "there is no racial unrest in Jena"
2 the nooses were hung as a joke on the school's rodeo team, not as a racial statement
3 the students who hung the nooses had "no idea" about the history of lynchings in Jena
4 these students did not think that the nooses would be taken as offensive by the blacks in Jena
5 when the students found out that many people took offense to the noses, they were "shocked"

Come on, really?


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

TAKE ACTION: Override Bush's Veto on State Children's Health Insurance

WHAT: The U.S. House of Representatives has scheduled a vote for the week of October 15th to override President Bush's veto of the bill to renew and strengthen the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) passed by Congress last month. The bill rejected by the President provides access to proper health care for nearly ten million of the neediest children in our nation. YOU can help override this veto!

ACTION NEEDED: Click on "Take Action" and enter your zip code to send a letter to your Representative. Based on your Representative's previous vote on the bill, you will be taken to a letter where you can either thank your Representative for his/her vote to pass SCHIP and ask him/her to continue supporting the program; or, if s/he voted against improving SCHIP, you can ask your Representative to have a change of heart and seize the opportunity to protect our nation's most vulnerable children.

BACKGROUND: Despite strong support from the U.S. Congress and the American people, President Bush vetoed the SCHIP bill last week. The bill, which passed both the House and the Senate on a bi-partisan basis, would have provided an additional $35 billion over five years to keep children already receiving health care coverage, and to provide insurance to nearly four million more children whose health is at risk due to lack of proper health coverage. The President vetoed the bill not because the funding passed by Congress exceeded the $5 billion over five years that his Administration had requested, but because of ideological differences about how to expand health coverage to poor Americans. The President has, however, recently expressed a willingness to compromise with Congress on renewing SCHIP; thanks to those of you who expressed your disappointment with the White House on this issue. Contacting your Representative will go a long way to shoring up support for this important legislation. Click here for more information on our positions on SCHIP.

Improving public policies that promote the health of our nation's children is a key issue area of Catholic Charities USA's Campaign to Reduce Poverty in America. This month, be take part in the Campaign by calling on our nation's leaders to protect children's health!

For more information, please contact Desmond Brown, Director of Health and Welfare Policy at or Christin Driscoll, Senior Director for Policy Development and Advocacy at

Thank you for taking action for America's children! Take Action Now!

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Take Action on Two Issues: Darfur and The Rights of Children


Of interest is as follows, so check it! I suggest we talk about both issues at our next CCHRIST meeting this coming Thursday (10/11).

Word up (or down),

  • October 24, a day of action for Darfur, will be the culmination of months of hard work. (From Amnesty International)

    • No more delays in deploying peacekeepers to Darfur. No more needless deaths.
    • We demand immediate action to end the violence in Darfur.
    • On October 24, United Nations Day, we're going to make sure demands are heard. By mobilizing all of our resources and our activists from coast to coast, we'll show President, Congress and United Nations that we will not sit back as long as one of the world's worst human rights catastrophes continues to unfold.
Sign the global petition to end the violence in Darfur.

  • Why Did the President Put Children's Health at Risk?
    • Click on this URL to take action now

Global Action Day: October 16 at Central (Issue: Global Hunger)

If you guys are willing to help with either the display case on the second floor or the posters around the school for October 16, please reply to the post ASAP so that I can start to put those things together. Bro. Robert and I will work on curriculum development.



My brothers,

I am excited to read that issues such as the so-called Jena 6 are on your mind.
Growing the discussion about domestic issues is very worthwhile. And so,
I wish to share with you the following link from the distinguished Southern Poverty
Law Center. It regards hate groups in the United States.

If you missed Charlene Hunter-Gault's report about the visit of the "Elders" to Darfur,
go to NPR's Morning Edition archives for Thursday, 4 October.

Concerned about justice and development as a means to end conflict and war, peruse the workings of the Carter Center.

God be blessed.

Know the Issues: WORLD HUNGER

World Hunger

Over 850 million people in the world are undernourished. This equals roughly 14 percent of the world’s population. However, there is enough food in the world today for every man, woman and child to lead a healthy and productive life. Individuals do not get the food they need because distribution is not equal, and they live in places where there is a lack of resources.


Defining hunger
Hunger is a feeling a person experiences from not getting enough to eat. Most people who battle hunger suffer from chronic undernourishment and vitamin or mineral deficiencies, resulting in stunted growth, weakness and heightened vulnerability to illness. This affects their long-term physical health and mental capacity.

Different kinds of hunger
Hunger can cause undernourishment and malnutrition. People who are undernourished live under the recommended 2100 calories a day for an extended period of time. When an indivdual is undernourished, she is not able to function physically and mentally in the same way a person who eats properly does. Malnutrition is a medical state that an individual can be in when they have inadequate diet, or from certain types of infections, or both. Malnutrition is about the quality of the food that a person receives, not just about quantity.

Acute malnutrition is a result of a rapid decrease in food intake. It is a dangerous condition that requires immediate care, increases susceptibility to disease and leads to death if treatment is not administered.

Who hunger affects
Hunger disproportionately affects people who are living in extreme poverty. The majority of people who are undernourished live in developing countries. Children less than 5 years old are the most sensitive to malnutrition. The next most vulnerable population is women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.

What causes hunger?
In examining the issue of hunger, one must consider the quantity and quality of food, as well as access to food and other resources such as tools, land, and cash. Basically, hunger is about individuals who do not have enough resources to have adequate food throughout the year.

Sustainable solutions
Solutions can come in many different forms and sizes. Ending world hunger will require short-term interventions as well as long-term solutions. It will take a coordinated, long-term, global effort of people, communities, businesses, and governments to accomplish this. It is important for individuals in developed countries to work in partnership with families and communities to develop creative and local solutions to combat poverty and overcome hunger.

What is NetAid doing to help fight world hunger?
Through a partnership with the World Education and Development Fund, the NetAid World Schoolhouse project in El Salvador is working to improve the lives of children at the Mano Amiga San Antonio School. Mano Amiga provides meals as well as lessons on nutrition and preparation for natural disasters to children from low-income families. Through this project and others in developing countries, NetAid and its partners are enrolling more children in school so they can build a brighter future. Additionally, through the NetAid Global Citizen Corps, NetAid is inspiring youth across the United States to raise awareness about world hunger and mobilize their peers and communities to action.

Bonus Resources

Oxfam: Provides an overview of the food crisis in Africa.

Bread for the World

United Nations World Food Programme (WFP)

You can order the WFP hunger map for free! The WFP sends it out to you within 24 hours.

The Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations

Center for Global Development

Doctors Without Borders Bracelet of Life


United Nations World Food Programme

Action Against Hunger

Bread for the World