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Civility in Public Discourse

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Where Do We Go From Here?

I was out having coffee with a friend a little while ago when the subject of vaccination status came up. Perplexed by their stance, I approached the conversation cautiously optimistic, asking questions to genuinely understand their perspective. 

This time, I went into the conversation to listen and understand, not to change their mind (Read: I’ve entered a-many conversations trying to air my opinions because I was “right” or because they didn’t understand me– not listening to understand but listening so I could be heard.)

My Racial Education

Chicago made up its mind about me. As a kid, I took weekly trips downtown and watched people of every hue. Wandering through Marshall Field department store, I noticed the security guards who kept a close eye on me. These guards made up their minds about me. I remembered pressing my face against clear window panes of expensive stores along State Street, none of the white faces ever made eye contact with me during the Christmas season. However, one yuletide season, my sister Rebecca and I stood beside a white Santa and I sat on his lap unsure what to think about this.

In Dialogue: A Muslim's View of Jesus

John Hubers:   Safi, Christians are often surprised to discover that Jesus’ story, at least part of it, is found in the Qur’an.  They are even more surprised when they come to realize that the Qur’an speaks of the virgin birth and his miracles.  Clearly, Jesus is significant to Muslims.  I’m wondering if you can help my Christian friends who may know little of Muslim beliefs to understand the role that Jesus plays in Islam.  Even more I’m wondering if you could speak of what he means to you which may not be the same for all Muslims (who represent the same kind

Power of Voice, Fair Process, Just Process and Restorative Practices

A driver was going 5 mph over the limit due to not seeing a damaged speed limit sign. After a police officer issued the driver a traffic infraction the driver immediately scheduled a time to argue it. However, even before the driver could talk, the judge simply threw out the infraction. Even though the driver didn’t have to pay the fine, they left feeling dissatisfied because they did not have the opportunity to speak.

Talking with Kids about Justice with Lisa Van Engen

Writer, teacher, and mother Lisa Van Engen joins us for this conversation on engaging kids in seeking justice. Lisa and Chris talk about how and when to talk with kids about justice, including the reality that many who are impacted don’t have the privilege of deciding ‘when.’ Lisa also shares stories about questions around racism and injustice that her students and children have raised, how they’ve talked together about issues that impact their neighbors and friends, and what kids can do to advocate.

Advocacy: It’s More than Social Media with Mae Elise Cannon

Rev. Dr. Mae Elise Cannon, executive director of Churches for Middle East Peace, joins our host Chris Orme for the first episode of Season 3. Mae and Chris discuss different forms of advocacy, as well the spiritual formation that takes place through advocacy. 

Ramblings from a Heart Exchanged

This last year I partnered with my friend Johnny Lee to help teach Christian youth about Indigenous justice through The Mustard Seed’s Seed Serve program. I usually start the conversation like this: 

Would you ever buy something from someone if you knew it was stolen? 

Most of the youth would say no way! 

What if you really wanted it? 

Still the answer was a firm no. 

100 Days in Review

Last Thursday, April 29th, marks the end of President Biden’s first 100 days in office. In recent history, the first 100 days often indicate the newly elected president’s priorities and signal how he seeks to set himself apart from his predecessor. Following his campaign promises, President Joe Biden pursued an approach to immigration policy that is significantly distinct from the last administration. In many ways, President Biden took concentrated measures that ended cruel and unjust immigration practices.

On Atlanta, On Anger, On Anti-Asian Racism

This could almost become an age-old adage, “It took something so horrible for people to pay attention to…”. We could fill in the blanks with a plethora of choices from the social issue buffet that plagues Canadian societies.

Messy Noetic Spaces

“The metaphor for love is Arishi*”. I heard this beautiful line in my leadership masters class recently, and it resonated deeply. Arishi means, ‘to speak mutually’. When I reflect on the meaning of Arishi, speaking mutually, its meaning extends beyond dialogue. In a conversation, the assumption and hope are to share thoughts and be heard and perhaps even be respected. To speak mutually is to enter the conversation on the premise of a joint agreement in each other’s value. 

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