Interfaith Worker Justice-NM
is a statewide network of
people of faith and people of conscience that calls upon
their moral, ethical
and theological values
to advocate for workers’ rights
and economic justice.
As 2018 draws to a close, I’m continuing a favorite tradition of mine and sharing my year-end lists. It gives me a moment to pause and reflect on the year through the books, movies, and music that I found most thought-provoking, inspiring, or just plain loved. It also gives me a chance to highlight talented authors, artists, and storytellers – some who are household names and others who you may not have heard of before. Here’s my best of 2018 list – I hope you enjoy reading, watching, and listening.
Here’s a reminder of the books that I read this year that appeared on earlier lists:
Becoming by Michelle Obama (obviously my favorite!)
An American Marriage by Tayari Jones
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
The Broken Ladder: How Inequality Affects the Way We Think, Live, and Die by Keith Payne
Educated by Tara Westover
Factfulness by Hans Rosling
Futureface: A Family Mystery, an Epic Quest, and the Secret to Belonging by Alex Wagner
A Grain of Wheat by Ngugi wa Thiong’o
A House for Mr Biswas by V.S. Naipaul
How Democracies Die by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt
In the Shadow of Statues: A White Southerner Confronts History by Mitch Landrieu
Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela
The New Geography of Jobs by Enrico Moretti
The Return by Hisham Matar
Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe
Warlight by Michael Ondaatje
Why Liberalism Failed by Patrick Deneen
The World As It Is by Ben Rhodes
Each month PDA members from different chapters around the country pay visits to their Senators and Representatives with letters asking them to support specific progressive legislation. We invite you to join us. The visits are pleasurable and productive for us and for the office staffs. Several PDACNM folks paid a visit to Rep. Luján’s office this month to encourage him to support the Green New Deal and to thank him for co-sponsoring the resolution to stop military aid to the Saudi War on Yemen. We visited Senator Udall’s office to thank him for supporting efforts to stop US military assistance in Yemen.
If you would like to join us on these visits, please contact Laura at email@example.com.
PDA Challenges Racism in Our CNM Chapter
In accord with our national PDA statements about racism and recognizing the pervasiveness of systemic racism in all our institutions, the Central New Mexico chapter is committed to confronting racism and bias, and changing our group culture.
Why do we need to explore whiteness, bias and racism for our current progressive political work?
- “Our future depends on creating a multiracial progressive movement that will fight for racial and economic justice together-and we are ready.” – Heather McGhee, President of Dēmos.
- “And if a class-conscious multi-racial party attuned to anti-sexist, anti-homophobic and anti-militaristic issues and grounded in ecological commitments can reconfigure our citizenship, maybe our decaying democracy has a chance. ” – Cornel West
To move forward with this work, this year we:
- Invited an anti-racist facilitator to work with our Planning Committee
- Conducted three Exploring Whiteness training sessions
- Created an overall plan for doing our anti-racist work
- Incorporated a “Calling-In” strategy for our planning meetings where we notice microaggression and racist language and provide feedback so that the white people on the Planning Committee can learn more inclusive communication
- Currently, we are preparing a statement of our organizational commitment to ending racism.
Understanding Microaggressions can be an important place for white people to start exploring anti-racist work. Build the skill of noticing the language you use and what language you tolerate around you.
What are Microaggressions? “Brief everyday slights, indignities, put-downs, or invalidations that people of color experience in their everyday interactions with well-intentioned and well-meaning people who are unaware that they are delivering a put-down or invalidation.” Dr. Derald Wing Sue
What are some examples of Microaggressions? This concept is beautifully and painfully represented by students from Fordham University and the real things people say/do to them all the time, from 2013: https://www.buzzfeed.com/hnigatu/racial-microagressions-you-hear-on-a-daily-basis?bfsource=relatedauto
I want to learn more – a great video about microaggressions by Dr. Derald Wing Sue.
View youtube video here.
Dignity Kits for Asylum Seekers
Thank all you PDACNM supporters for contributing Dignity Kits for asylum seekers. Here is Deborah Marez-Baca beside a rented van stuffed to capacity with hundreds of Dignity Kits donated by many friends of PDACNM. Deb and husband Larry drove to El Paso over the Thanksgiving weekend and delivered the kits to those in need at the border. We will be making more deliveries in the future of whatever items the agencies think are necessary to help these courageous and desperate migrants seeking safety.
Last Friday, President Trump signed a Presidential Proclamation banning entry into the U.S. between designated ports of entry, denying people their full right to seek asylum in the United States along the southern border. The Department of Justice and Department of Homeland Security have issued a new joint rule ensuring that migrants subject to the Proclamation are ineligible for asylum in the U.S.
It is not a crime to seek asylum at a border, port of entry, or other location within the U.S. The right to petition for asylum is firmly established in both the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act and international law as a critical means of protection. JRS/USA continues to oppose any effort to limit entry into the U.S. and requests for asylum based on place of origin, religion, or vulnerability.
As an organization working with asylum seekers, refugees, and others who have been forcibly displaced in over 50 countries around the world, JRS witnesses first-hand the risks that individuals and families take as they flee their homes in search of peace. JRS Mexico is currently responding to the needs of the migrant caravan by providing legal services, emergency food assistance and psychosocial support for those who have suffered trauma.
To protect the rights of asylum seekers and continue the American tradition of providing due process to all, it is crucial that we take action. Please take a moment today to send a letter to the Administration and your policymakers urging them to oppose this Presidential Proclamation and advocate for the rights of asylum seekers and refugees.
Thank you for taking action.
Jesuit Refugee Service/USA