Spiritual Shenanigans: When Christians (and people of other faiths) actually act the way Jesus suggested, here’s what happens

August 6, 2017. CLTampa.com

The desire to bring about change is perhaps greater this year than it has been in decades in this country.  But finding ways to make a positive difference can be difficult. For some religious residents of Pinellas County, banding together has been a key to getting their voices heard to meet the needs of the community through the organization FAST (Faith and Action for Strength Together). 3,000 diverse members of FAST came together most recently on April 24 in Tropicana Field to meet with local politicians, including St. Pete’s mayor, Rick Kriseman, and ask for action on three chosen issues in an annual event they call the Nehemiah Action Assembly.  

Knox County education leaders tackle race, gender and suicide in wide ranging meeting

May 4, 2017. WBIR.

Teen suicide, racial disparities and transgender bathrooms — all these topics were taken up Wednesday night by Knox County education leaders at the school board meeting.

Superintendent Bob Thomas addressed the deaths this year of three Farragut High students at the beginning of the meeting.

Justice Knox changes the nature of the game

May 3, 2017. Knoxville News Sentinel.

Civic engagement in Knoxville on April 24 wasn’t boring or tedious. It was exciting and unusual – as if one went to a chess tournament and chess boxing broke out. Many area church congregations and non-profit groups came together under the banner of Justice Knox.

The group had done research and strategic planning – and it showed to the capacity crowd filling the pews of Central United Methodist Church. Justice Knox, motivated by moral imperatives of justice and compassion, narrowed its focus to two specific changes.

Thousands demand end to ‘school-to-prison’ pipeline

May 1, 2017. WCMH-TV Columbus.

COLUMBUS (WCMH) — 26,000. That’s the number of suspensions given out just last year alone in the Columbus Public School District, according to the Ohio Department of Education. Monday night thousands met in Columbus to demand an end to what they call the school-to-prison pipeline.

Of the 26,000 suspensions, we don’t know how many are from the same student. Still, it’s a shocking number. The B.R.E.A.D. Organization said it’s too many and that students who get suspended are more likely to fail, drop out and end up in prison.

BREAD plans annual community activism event

April 28, 2017. The Columbus Dispatch.

More than 2,000 people will flow into the Celeste Center at the Ohio State Fairgrounds on Monday evening for BREAD’s annual Nehemiah Action event. Afterward, Cathy Levine hopes they leave feeling the power they have to accomplish “wonderful things” in the community.

Levine, a committee chairwoman with the interfaith group BREAD — Building Responsibility, Equality And Dignity — and other group officials are hosting the event at 7 p.m. Monday.