2013-2014 High school essay contest: Honorable mention

March 28, 2014

…There are many ways that Haiti is in need, but billions of promised dollars are not necessarily the way to help. The international community should focus not on swooping in and brushing over the current surface issues, but instead developing sustainable solutions to long-term problems in the struggling nation. The UN and US and their respective organizations need to start taking responsibility for their actions. Whether they actually live up to their promised dollar amounts and programs remains to be seen, but they have already lost the trust of the Haitian people. Instead of using their funds and donations that they have collected to help the people little by little, international organizations with power and influence in Haiti should be responsible with their resources and not be consumed with their own interests. Short-term solutions for long-term problems are not going to help rebuild the beautiful nation of Haiti. Instead of organizations promoting themselves, the people of Haiti need their own economy stimulated; they need to have their own government in place without foreign involvement. This is important politically, for Haiti as an independent country, but also for Christians bringing God’s Kingdom to life.

-Excerpted from “Justice for a beautiful people” by Katie Hurst, Bethany Christian Schools (Goshen, Indiana), Grade 12.

2013-2014 High school essay contest: Honorable mention

March 28, 2014

There is more than enough food on this world to feed all seven billion people, yet one in every eight people goes hungry (“Hunger”). That means about 842 million people suffer from malnutrition and undernourishment. Every year, chronic hunger kills more people than malaria, tuberculosis, and AIDS combined (“Quick Facts”). The U.S. has been one of the largest donors of food aid to countries that are experiencing food emergencies (“Improving”). Obama is trying to pass some reforms that will enable the U.S. to help four million more people than it is with its current policies (“Improving”). The current policy of monetization has inefficient ways of collecting, transporting, and dispersing the food, and it can be solved by reforming the current food aid policies so that more people can obtain food aid.

Some people think that President Obama’s plan will hurt our economy because we will be purchasing fewer commodities from the U.S. What they do not understand is that the U.S. government will still be using the same funds for food aid, but the program will just be more efficient, allowing us to respond to more peoples’ cry for food. President Obama’s reform is not perfect, but it is definitely a giant leap in the right direction. His plan does include funds so that we can help develop local farmers’ agriculture practices, but we could do even more in that area.

-Excerpted from “Reforming world hunger” by Gabriel Eisenbeis, Freeman Academy (Freeman, South Dakota), Grade 12.

2013-2014 High school essay contest: Honorable mention

March 28, 2014

Mass incarceration in the United States is only increasing as people are being arrested for behaviors that previously would not merit jail time and serving longer sentences for them. The growing jail population is having negative effects socially and economically on the nation. An increased interest in the restorative justice approach has started to turn things around. Restorative justice programs have proven to lower jail return rates of participants, provide closure for the victims, and improve the environments of the affected communities. Federal policy can reflect biblical lessons on forgiveness by allowing restorative justice to play a larger role in mass incarceration, extending the benefits to impact people on a larger scale, ultimately lowering the prison population.

Not every method of restorative justice will be appropriate for every case, so each case would be tailored to fit the situation. Resolving each specific situation using biblical tactics would only be beneficial as communities are slowly healed, jail expenses go down, families are brought together, and respectable qualities like responsibility are brought back. Changing the Federal policy to include restorative justice will ultimately lower the prison population and raise a generation of people with strengthened, quality values.

-Excerpted from “Restorative justice” by Kinza Yoder, Bethany Christian Schools (Goshen, Indiana), Grade 12.

December reflections

December 30, 2013

This month, MCC Washington Office staff reflect on topics ranging from the passing of Nelson Mandela to ongoing peace efforts in Haiti, Palestine, and Israel. Be sure to check them out!

Honoring Mandela by fighting global poverty by Patricia Kisare

Hope in the time of gun violence by Agnes Chen

Occupied Bethlehem by Rachelle Lyndaker Schlabach

A Christmas wish list by Theo Sitther

Unjust incarceration by Agnes Chen

We hope you had a blessed Advent and Christmas season. As 2013 is quickly coming to an end, please continue to join us in the New Year to advocate for justice and reconciliation! We are always grateful for your prayers and solidarity.

Action Alert: Call the House Today for Immigration Reform

July 9, 2013

On Wednesday, July 10th, House Republicans will convene a special meeting to determine their position and strategy on immigration reform. Since Republicans make up a majority of the House of Representatives, this meeting will have a profound influence on the future of immigration reform.

Just last week, the Senate passed immigration reform and now the big question is what the House will do. So far, House Committees have approved five bills, none of which create a path to citizenship, and all of which contain provisions that would negatively impact immigrant communities.

ACTION: Urge your Representative to focus on legislation that creates a pathway to citizenship and reunites families.

Call the Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121 or find your Representative’s direct line.

Sample script:

“I am from [City, State, Congregation], and I urge the Representative to support immigration reform that creates a path to citizenship, reunites families, and does not further militarize the border.

As a person of faith, I urge the Representative to OPPOSE bills like the SAFE Act, Border Security Results Act, Agricultural Guestworker Act, and SKILLS Visas Act. These are not real reforms to our immigration system. We need immigration reform that creates a path to citizenship and reunites separated families.”

Full action alert | Current legislation

December 10th: Breaking Bread and Building Bridges Call/Webinar

December 5, 2012
  • Monday, December 10th, 2012; 4pm Eastern Time
  • Call in number: 805-399-1000; code: 104402
  • Please RSVP for the optional webinar

The Interfaith Immigration Coalition is launching a “Breaking Bread and Building Bridges” campaign to push for immigration reform and build grassroots momentum. Local events such as potlucks, vigils, and detention visitation will connect advocates with those most directly affected by unjust immigration policies. 

Action Alert: Ask your representative to preserve diversity visas

November 29, 2012

The Diversity Visa lottery provides up to 50,000 visas annually for immigrants who do not have access to employment- or family-based visas. On Friday, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on H.R. 6429, also known as the STEM Jobs Act, to replace the Diversity Visas with visas for high-tech workers. As people of faith, we recognize the inherent dignity and worth of all people and lift up the diverse contributions they make to our communities. While scientists and engineers certainly benefit our society, so do the people who harvest our food, clean our offices, and care for our young children.

Ask your representative to preserve the Diversity Visa program.


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