Opening our Hearts... Awakening to Other

As many of you reading this probably feel saddened, sickened and outraged when we turn on the news to yet another tragic and senseless slaughter of black lives, we can only hope not to become numbed and completely apathetic. While it is absolutely maddening from Trayvon Martin to Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Sandra Bland, Samuel Dubois, and the daily litany of abuses, I try to keep reminding myself to "stay awake” and to stay engaged in whatever ways I can.

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"Refining gold": If America is to BE America

This morning (it is 1:54 am as I begin this) I listened via youtube to Ray Charles' rendition of "America The Beautiful. " I believe that whether one lives in a blue, red or purple state, whether we are conservative, moderate or liberal, religious or not, and whether our ancestors came here on the Mayflower or the Amistad, we are emotionally moved as we hear Ray Charles sing "America The Beautiful." This morning these words in the song jumped out at me; "America, America! May God thy gold refine." Today, as ever, all of us must still be in the "gold refining" business", if America is to BE America.

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AN OPEN LETTER TO CHICAGO

One of the living expressions of the similarities between the killing of gay and black men is the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Hate Crimes Prevention Act. James Byrd was the black man in Texas who was tied to the back of a truck and was dragged to his death. I never suggest equivalence between black suffering and gay suffering, but there is something about the hatred that blackness and/or gayness evokes in some persons that must not go unnoticed.

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Chicago Tour Begins!

How can all communities have genuine conversation about racial realities in the United States of America in 2013? What can we learn from those living at the intersection of multiple "identities?" Come join us not to take ourselves seriously but to seriously consider how together we can create a better world for everyone!

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TIP Exclusive: Archbishop Desmond Tutu on Trayvon slaying

May this tragic act help the US to be true to the ideals of the founding persons of your great nation. May you all realise that you really are all members of one family, God's family, the human family: black, white, Hispanic, Native American, Asian, lesbian, transsexual, gay, bisexual, and so-called straight all belong together in the bundle of life.

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American Sons: President Obama and Trayvon Martin

In response to Newt Gingrich comment, "What the president said is disgraceful. It's not a question of what the young man looked like. At some point we need to talk about being Americans." Gil writes, "There is a strangeness about these still early days of the 21st century, when there are those who believe that their definition and description of "American" is THE definition and description of what it means."

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