The Rev. Eugene Kim, executive pastor and director of the Christmas concert, said the gift is an extension of the church’s mission.
“We’re just doing what the church is supposed to do,” he said. “We’re supposed to be a community that loves each other and loves others and loves God, and that worships and serves. It’s an old-fashioned idea.”
That’s my home church in Greater Boston, Highrock Arlington! I was blessed enough to sing in this choir for two years, and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. The funds raised from the concert go towards funding a part-time social worker position for families in crisis in the town of Arlington.
"When we moved into town, & bought the building, we really felt the desire to be a part of the town, & basically just do what we feel Jesus calls us to do as Christians, which is to love our neighbors."
Men who want to flirt with women have to realize: Women live in a state of continual vigilance about sexual safety. It’s like having a mild case of hay fever that never goes away. It’s not debilitating. You’re not weak. You’re not afraid. You just suck it up and get on with your life. It’s nothing that’s going to stop you from making discoveries, or climbing mountains, or falling in love. Sometimes you can almost forget about it. It doesn’t mean it’s not there, subtly sucking your energy. You learn to avoid situations that make it worse and seek out conditions that make it better.
If a female stranger is wary around you, it is not because she suspects you are a rapist, or that all men are rapists. It’s because a general level of circumspection is what vigilance requires. Don’t take it personally.
If this frustrates you, try to remember that women are blamed for lapsed vigilance. If a woman does get raped, everyone rushes to see where she let her guard down. Was she drinking? Was she alone? Was she wearing a short skirt? Did she go to a strange man’s room for coffee at 4am?
A woman must be seen to be vigilant as well as be vigilant. If she is deemed insufficiently vigilant, she will be at least partly blamed for any sexual violence that befalls her. If she’s regarded as downright reckless, that “evidence” can be used to completely exonerate her rapist. If it comes down to a he said/she said dispute over whether sex was consensual, as so many rape cases do, the dispute becomes a referendum on whether the woman seems like the sort of reckless person who would have sex with a stranger.
If a woman does go back to a strange man’s hotel room at 4am, even if she only wants a coffee and conversation, she’s more or less given him the power to rape her. No jury is going to believe she went up there for anything but sex. So, don’t be surprised if a stranger reacts badly to that suggestion."
Definitely couldn’t have written it better.
I wish I didn’t need to reblog stuff like this. I wish people *got it*. But judging from the ridiculous response to these posts, stuff like this clearly still needs to be repeated.
This actually made me cry. Ugh.
Will always reblog
THIS THIS THIS.
Personally, I sincerely admire Ms. Slaughter, and much of what she wrote about her struggles truly resonates with me—but I’m inclined to agree that the concept of “having it all” is inherently problematic, the way we’ve characterized it as a society. Yet I wouldn’t have caught onto this without Ms. Slaughter’s article in the first place! So I suppose Discourse itself wins, and I’d be more than grateful for you, Reader, to jump right in.
The most important thing for me about Oxford was not what I learnt there in terms of set texts and set books we had to read, but in terms of a respect for the best in human civilisation.
And the best in human civilisation comes from all parts of the world. It is not limited to Oxford; it is not limited to Burma; it is not limited to any other country. But the fact that in Oxford I had learned to respect all that is the best in human civilisation helped me to cope with what was not quite the best.
Because what is not yet quite the best may still, one day, become the best; it may be improved. It gave me a confidence in humankind. It gave me a confidence in the innate wisdom of human beings – not given to all of us, but given to enough of us for the rest of the world to share, and to make use of it for others.
And I think every Oxonian, or most every, knows that in Lost Horizon Shangri-La was described as “something a little like Oxford”.
Every Oxonian knows.
Perhaps this was why, after my year at Oxford, I had recovered enough distance from the “brutally practical” career options to re-discover my desire to pursue something in the arts, in the entertainment industries. Oxford re-convicted me that at its very best, culture and creativity can move, question, develop, change, decry the worst and celebrate the worthy in life and society. That it can and does remain through the centuries. I definitely needed this precious reminder.
(Thanks Bims, for sharing!)
So proud to be a Jumbo.
Dear HelloGiggles Reader,
I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Daniel Heimpel, and I am a journalist gone-rogue with a radical idea: that solution-based journalism can dramatically improve the foster care system and thereby inspire a Child-Centered Political Movement.
In 2006, I started covering foster care as a journalist, largely because of personal experience as a mentor to two young men who have both since “aged out” of the system. I watched them struggle to transition into adulthood and came to understand the myriad adverse experiences that had left them facing adulthood at an unfair deficit compared to myself. This started what is now an all-consuming passion for improving the child welfare system with the one skill I have – journalism.
I run a non-profit – Fostering Media Connections – which harnesses the power of journalism and media to drive public and political will behind improving foster care. I teach a course called Journalism for Social Change at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism where graduate students from the J-School, the Goldman School of Public Policy and the School of Social Welfare learn how to use journalism to make the world better for children. My organization piloted a program that teaches foster youth how to be journalists themselves. And we publish a news website – The Chronicle of Social Change – bent on covering the issues facing vulnerable children and stoke support for the solutions to those issues.
This work has been — and is — the great adventure of my life.
Through the writing I will submit to HelloGiggles, I hope to inspire your action and commitment to this cause. If you are already interested in learning more and get involved more deeply, I have a crazy idea… climb a 14,000-foot peak with me and a group of former foster youth and child advocates next month.
There are approximately 12 million Americans who have experienced foster care in America, with over 400,000 children in the system today. While the story we so often hear is laced with the hardship these children and adults have to endure, there is another — wholly different – story: one etched in resilience and strength.
California Youth Connection (CYC), a foster youth-run and led legislative advocacy organization, is composed of hundreds of current and former foster youth who are the embodiment of that inspirational story. Since CYC was founded in 1988, it has grown into powerful political force, not only bending the arc of California’s public policy around foster care, but empowering thousands of youth to speak directly to power. The example set by CYC and its young leaders has inspired as many as 106 youth-driven advocacy groups across the nation.
So, I am combining one of my passions — mountaineering — with fundraising for this important cause. On July 21st of this year, a group of climbers and myself will take the Southern route up 14,180-foot Mt. Shasta. This southern Cascade is a great introductory climb for people who want a gateway into larger more technical peaks.
We have set up a web-based giving platform so that anyone interested in the climb can join us and raise funds to support CYC’s advocacy and youth empowerment work. In addition to joining us for the climb, you can support CYC by sponsoring or donating to the cause, HERE.
Please join me in helping foster youth reach new heights.
Artist pays homage to L.A.’s unseen workers: Ramiro Gomez’s cardboard cutouts of nannies, gardeners, valets and housekeepers have appeared, in silent tribute, around the wealthy districts of the city.
Most pieces last a day or two if Gomez is lucky. Once, a valet parker he planted outside a lot near the Sunset Strip made it four days.
Gomez writes his contact information on the back of each piece so people can tell him where the art ended up. So far, no one has reached out.
At first it was tough to let go. He’d stand by for a while to see people’s reactions, then take the cutout down and lug it back home.
But then Gomez realized it was not his place to keep public art out of view.
So he learned to walk away.
Photo: Ramiro Gomez attaches his painting of a nanny against a cyclone fence in West Hollywood Park. Credit: Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times
Today, Elaine, Anisha, Kai and I had the perfect summer Saturday in Boston. A day of wandering, completely spontaneous activity, for the most part drenched in sunshine and warmth that is so precious for Bostonian residents. Definitely a day worth recording.
We started out the day with brunch at the Clear Conscience Cafe, then took a nice long walk down from Central Square towards the Charles river, stopping at Flour Bakery on the way, where Kai got some really yummy bread ends for really, really cheap (!) while I got some of their refreshing homemade raspberry spritzer.
While admiring the view of the city from the Cambridge side of the river, we saw some kayakers and asked them where they had rented their kayaks - they pointed us in the direction of the paddle boat rental service at Kendall Square, and we got a 4-person kayak and kayaked for an hour! On the Charles! The whole experience was so relaxing - the magnificent views, the natural quiet and calm that comes with being surrounded by water, the good company… amazing. :)
We were on a roll, with perfect timing, all through the day, getting out of the kayak just when the one brief and intense thunderstorm burst of the day happened. We ducked into Za, where we had a 10% discount from being kayak customers, and shared a beet salad and a lemon tart, both of which were surprisingly interesting and tasty, finishing just when the rain stopped and the sunshine returned. We then sat on a bench in Kendall Square for a bit, feeding the birds and properly drying off from being on the Charles - and then headed over to Mixx in Allston for some fro-yo (frozen yoghurt), weigh-and-pay style. The taro, red bean and lychee flavours were to die for - and made me wonder if the founders were Singaporean (or at least Asian)…
And then we went to Greater Boston Vineyard with Serena and Leo, to attend a showing of The Dark Side of Chocolate, a documentary investigating and presenting the child trafficking that takes place in the cocoa business. The showing was organized by a few organizations involved with the Boston Faith and Justice Network, and had a question-and-answer session after the showing, as well as some tables set up, where organizations such as Not for Sale and Equal Exchange were present to give their insights, and let us know how we can contribute towards efforts to stop child trafficking and support more equitable trade policies and practices, all with the larger perspective of combating poverty and promoting justice worldwide. Just for fun/education, there was also a chocolate-tasting!
It was so important and reinvigorating for me, personally, to be at the event, as I’d definitely been going deeper and deeper into my self-centred, I-need-to-get-a-job-and-take-care-of-myself, don’t-talk-to-me-about-other-people zone over the past few months. It just reminded me again how important all of these social justice issues are to me - and more specifically, through my conversation with Kai afterwards, how much I want to see Singapore use its political, educational, economic and spiritual resources to bring about development and change in Southeast Asia. There’s so much we can and should be doing, being such a nexus for the elite and financial capital of the region, with our locally-customized institutions/political model, and - most significantly - with our sheer abundance of thriving congregations and Christians, most of whom should be determined and activated to see justice done in our own society, and just beyond our island’s shores, if not the rest of the world, because that’s what Christ championed. The existing volunteer programs and organisations like World Vision Singapore are awesome; I’d like to see much, much more, at much higher levels of national and industry leadership, and on a much wider/more normalised scale in public society.
Yes, I’ve let my “don’t go to/don’t find out about/don’t get involved with __________ country/___________ people; they’re so dangerous and messy” attitude linger for too long. No, I shouldn’t live in my “I’m just here to take care of myself/my family/my friends/my country” cubicle; I reject the notion of it being “endemic to the local culture” as an excuse. Faith should not exist independent of action, faith should lead to action.
Which is more constructive: letting my belief in a God of justice lead me to whining when I’m suffering injustice (or at least think I am), or letting it lead me to be an agent of justice in the world?