Social Justice

What We Waive

Here, between the corners of this flat, concrete square— is the crushing weight of contradiction, everywhere: Cameras, hidden, in pedestrian plain sight. One guard pats me down at the fence with steely, cold precision— while a second scolds a tiny toddler squeezing through another. (The one that protects the towering monument above from an onslaught […]

Here Lies Fear

Coming of age in any epoch means WEATHER.           Doing it as a burgeoning evangelical in the late 1900s (as my kids love to remind me) was like sipping a tempest in a teacup. There was no smoking, no parties or swearing for this sold-out Jesus-freak. There were—instead—bad perms, sub-par Christian rock, and not-so-subtle-sweatshirts like this […]

A Spool of Thread and a Piece of Pie

I was searching for a spool of black thread last summer. I couldn’t find one. Supplies were depleted in brick and mortar stores, and nothing was available at the online marketplace named after a gargantuan river. A simple roll of black thread proved to be a scarce commodity. All I needed to do was mend […]

Hollowed (Out) Halls of Justice

My daughter excels at catching insects with her bare hands. This skill set is on par with her fluency in “meme” and her ability keep up with Daveed Diggs’ light-speed verses in Hamilton. I am in awe of these aptitudes, and that she wields them despite sharing DNA with me. So, I wasn’t surprised when […]

Broken Body

The Deacon walked from group to group administering the sacraments. Each family stood masked, in front of their camp chairs, in an empty parking lot. Our church had pivoted during the pandemic, which allowed my husband and I to feel safe bringing our asthmatic 18-month old to worship. But while our church’s new protocols kept […]

Love Justice

I stand on a dirt path in the Philippines.   It has been raining for weeks. The path is muddy and rocky where rivulets of water have washed away the dirt.   Above me a young mama looks out the window. The frame of an open window.   There is no glass pane on the […]

Simplicity and Justice

I remember Tom and Jerry, Leave it to Beaver, and Sunday paper with comics mom cut out and taped on the refrigerator door. I remember Laurel & Hardy, The Rifleman, and watching boxing or NFL with Dad in between Sunday services when I was supposed to be napping on the bed or on the floor. […]

Dr. Justina Ford Goes Higher

7,000 was the number of babies she brought into the world. 31 were the years she served the diverse community of east Denver—treating patients regardless of ethnicity, nationality, or ability to pay—offering resources and food for those who lacked them.1 She is reported to have said, “Folks make an appointment and whatever color they turn […]

Nia Dennis Has the Floor

Nia Dennis worked the floor for 90 seconds and a lifetime. The student-athlete’s January 23 routine (9.95) not only secured the UCLA Bruin’s win over Arizona State but became a rising, viral anthem for something far more profound: In her LA Times feature of Dennis, Thuc Nhi Nguyen reports, “Inspired by the Black Lives Matter […]

Phillis Wheatley’s Revolution

She had words, from a birth language, spoken by a birth family, who gave her a birth name. Thieves tore almost everything from her, endeavoring to replace the originals with cheap imitations—like the new name they chose for her, from the boat that abducted her (The Phillis) and the family that enslaved her (Wheatley). But […]

The Hope of Remembering

In art class one day, I was attempting to paint a landscape with oil colors. I couldn’t get a particular area just right. It seemed off. I began to pull my canvas off the easel when my teacher stopped me. “What are you doing, Paula Frances?” “I’m going to start over. It doesn’t look right.” […]