Sadly The Polar Bear Seas, off the coast of Alaska, are in danger: America’s Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the nation. Polar bears now must swim for miles to find food, and Alaska Native communities are finding it harder and harder to maintain their way of life. And Shell Oil, once again, is trying to drill in America’s Arctic. Also, the Obama administration is considering allowing even more oil and gas drilling in the Polar Bear Seas for years to come. This would move us away from a clean energy future that decreases our reliance on dirty fuels. Tell President Obama to protect the Polar Bear Seas.
Justice & Advocacy Priorities Archive
Solidarity. Of course that’s something we all strive for when we go on these trips, but it always turns out to be more difficult than simply stepping in another’s shoes. We go on these trips to serve, and with that mentality, it can be difficult to live in solidarity with the community.
In Morton, the community instantly welcomed us. It was so heartwarming that the least we could do was join the community and live in solidarity with them. We worked with the nuns of the Excel Learning Center after school, but during the day we went to the schools and worked with the students. Every day we ate lunch in the cafeteria and joked around with the kids. We worked on in-class assignments with them. And we went to gym class or to the library. The teachers saw us as their helpers, which is what we were doing, but the students saw us as older kids who wanted to be at school and wanted to work with them. In an education system that still utilizes corporal punishment, instills a culture of seniority and hierarchy, and values “smartness” over “dumbness”, we were what the kids needed. We became a part of the classroom by the end of the week – a friend that these kids could turn to.
On Wednesday evening we cooked dinner, a vegetarian dinner, for our vegetarian guest. Morton is home to a chicken plant and chicken is therefore an important food group in the typical Morton citizen’s diet. We were gifted with chicken nearly every night by the nuns, but we made an exception on this night. Our guest was Miss Constance Slaughter, the first African American woman to graduate from Ole Miss’s law school, and she happened to be a vegetarian. She was in solidarity with us – she ate off of our plates, with our silverware. She politely accepted our simple meal of spaghetti and marinara and brownies for dessert. She made the effort to truly be with us, and we reciprocated – enveloping ourselves in her experiences. She told us exactly what we needed to hear: that being older college women in the schools here, we would inspire students to enjoy school.
So our hopes of being in solidarity with these kids and making a difference in their lives were reaffirmed by Miss Constance, and that made all of the difference.
When it came time to say goodbye to these kids, there were tears on both ends. We can’t be a part of these children’s lives every day, but for a week, we entered their lives and lived in solidarity with them. We took home a piece of Morton in our hearts, and hopefully they gained a sense of self-worth. Because that is what these kids needed and what we strived to provide them.
Class of 2015
College of Arts and Sciences
Service and Justice Trips Participant
The CCSJ blogs are meant to be a place for Creighton students, faculty, staff, alumni/ae, and friends to reflect on their experiences with programs sponsored by the office or related to its mission. The views expressed in these reflections, and all other blogs found on or linked to from this website, are those of the individual authors and are not necessarily those of Creighton University, the Creighton Center for Service and Justice (CCSJ), or any of the University’s affiliates. The University and the CCSJ are not responsible for the actions, content, accuracy, or opinions expressed in these blogs.
Rabbi Ariyeh Azriel of Temple Israel, leaders of Omaha Together One Community, Nebraska Appleseed and other organizations will hold a celebration of the 7th day of Hanukkah on Tuesday December 3rd 6:00-6:30 pm on 18th Street between Dodge and Douglas (outside the Federal Building). We will light the seven candles of the menorah to signify that we are bringing light into the world rather than cursing the darkness. We will pray that our members of Congress will be enlightened about the need to pass comprehensive immigration laws that include a clear, inclusive path to citizenship for aspiring Americans. All are welcome to join!
Congress only has a short window of time to agree on a budget, sequestration replacement, and the farm bill — legislation that has enormous consequences for struggling families at home and abroad. Call your members of Congress and ask them to replace sequestration with a balanced approach that includes revenues and responsible spending cuts, reject any legislation that would cut vital anti-hunger programs, and protect SNAP and international food aid from cuts in the farm bill. Find more information on this issue here, and then call the Capitol switchboard to be connected to your member of Congress: 202-224-3121.
There is a painful chasm in our healthcare coverage system for working families who earn too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to pay for full insurance. As people of faith, PICO believes all God’s children should have access to the care they need, regardless of where they live or how much money they have. Join in telling our representatives that affordable and accessible healthcare is an essential part of living the full, productive, healthy life God intends for all of us to live. Send an email to your Representative sharing with them your family or community’s needs for affordable and accessible health care. Ask your Congressperson to be a voice of support for Medicaid coverage and expansion.
We need Speaker Boehner’s leadership on Immigration Reform. With just weeks left before the end of their calendar, Congress remains gridlocked on immigration reform. Policy leaders from both sides of the aisle want this problem addressed, and Christians from a variety of backgrounds have been vocal about the urgent need to tackle this issue. Add your name in support of immigration reform here.