Social Justice

Be Careful What You Pray For

Authenticity; be careful what you pray for. The Cambridge English dictionary defines authentic as “the quality of being real or true.” I’d heard a call to write everyday stories highlighting the intersection of Life and Faith. I thought I understood what such a call meant. Be careful what you pray for… There is that insistent, […]

Always a Foreigner, Never Home

My face is the filter through which people see me. It can’t be helped. When people look at me, they see an Asian girl. To some, it’s the face of familiarity, but to most it’s the face of a foreigner. It creates distance, division, and tension. It brings up questions of heritage and place and […]

The Time I Ruled the World

Before there was Barack or Hillary, there was me. Black. Female. President. In the photo above, I had just been elected Beaumont Middle School’s first Black President. I knew in my heart I had enough love to change the world—one heart at a time. Our student body council bonded quickly in the name of “equality” […]

There Are No Experts

I listened carefully as the man in the center of the room, a well-respected black civil rights activist, shared about his years of experience in community organizing and advocacy. Then he said a word that made my insides clench in shock: “Orientals.” I hoped it was a slip of the tongue. Surely a longtime native […]

Digging Deep For the Promises

On the way home from church today we found trees blown down across the road. Huge branches blocking our path, dangerous obstacles getting in our way, preventing us from continuing our journey. One kid is ill and the wind howls outside. And all the leaves that had hung on until now, swirl in the air. […]

What Does Integrity Look Like? 

What does it look like to walk in integrity as a Caucasian follower of Christ? (I’m focusing on white folks because that’s my heritage and because I believe we need to up our game in the integrity department.) A contemporary definition of integrity reads “to consistently adhere to moral and ethical principles.” To have integrity […]

Centered. Unapologetic.

I am Centered. I am Unapologetic. In due season, I praise God for everything I never got. I am not, by nature, given first to gratitude, though I am deeply, profoundly grateful. I am by nature “…of a few days and full of trouble.” First of all, I conformed, or so I tried. I sat […]

Being is the Greatest Act of Resistance

Birds are our greatest storytellers. Consider the ruby-throated hummingbird migrating from Central America to Eastern North America. These pajaritos carry generations of story within themselves. They are vessels of witness migrating from one place to another, much like humanity, and how stories themselves migrate across generations. Birds do not worry about belonging. Their work is […]

Belonging to a Broken System

One of the main reasons I stay at my church is also one of the things I dislike most about it. This is it: it’s a large institution. I go to a biggish Presbyterian church. A “Presbyterian” church is literally a church governed by “presbyters”—Greek for elders, or leaders. That’s one of the big reasons […]

Flashback Friday: Ida B. Wells

This post was written by Velynn Brown for our Women’s History Month theme on March 25, 2015. Southern trees bear strange fruit Blood on the leaves and blood at the root Black bodies swinging in the southern breeze Strange fruit hanging from the poplar trees Before Billie Holiday sang the lyrics above at Cafe Society, […]

Learning to Listen

Many years ago in the midst of a particularly heated argument with my husband, I made a tearful plea: When I’m angry, what if rather than getting defensive you just listened to me? An unfamiliar look came over his face and he stood speechless. Clearly, this was a new thought. When he dialed down, he made […]

Introducing Carolina Hinojosa-Cisneros!

At the beginning of the year I send our monthly contributors an email highlighting the previous year’s stats and ask them to answer a few questions about their ongoing capacity as writers for The Mudroom. Last year was hard for our writers. A few took sabbaticals due to family crises, a couple of us experienced prolonged […]