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jessica vazquez-torres

Facing our insatiability

I looked at my Amazon orders last week to gauge the depth of my complicity with economic injustice: 90 orders since January 2020. Do I struggle with this? Yes. Has that struggle led me to disentangle myself from the economic system that allows me to have what I want when I want it, and the cheapest price? No. I do always choose Amazon day — meaning that I choose to wait longer and group my orders to minimize the impact my comfort has on the workers, drivers and the planet. Do I struggle with this? Yes. How about you?

A resilient woman who refuses to be dismissed, even by Jesus

If you’re looking for a biblical definition of resilience, you’d do well to turn to the story of the Syrophoenician woman’s faith as recorded in Mark 7:24-30. “Sir,” the woman tells Jesus in the story’s pivotal moment, “even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.”

No such thing as neutral

This is it. The hard conversation. You’re prepared to lead your church group in the difficult work of antiracism. You’ve researched the perfect book. You’ve got the webinar cued up. You have your difficult but necessary questions prepared. But have you done your own work?

Facing our investment in domination

The first time I heard Shawnee-Lenape author and Indigenous-rights activist Steven T. Newcomb discuss “The Doctrine of Domination,” something clicked. I was familiar with the papal bull Dum Diversas, which facilitated the Portuguese slave trade from West Africa, but what struck me was his use of the word domination to describe the series of papal bulletins used to justify conquest, genocide, slavery, occupation and war. His articulation reveals the church as an architect, legitimator and apologist for domination.

The hard work of becoming more just and equitable

After years of difficult work, the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators (APCE) has a new justice and equity statement. APCE’s Diversity Task Force, which developed the statement, hopes it will help the organization in its effort to become more diverse.

The awakening continues

On Monday more than 235 people from across the denomination spent two hours online exploring ways they can awaken to structural racism, one of three focus areas in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Matthew 25 invitation.