Category Archives: Uncategorized

On Power: Organizing > Activism


Me leading a SWOT circa 2013

I have a confession: I’m a bit embarrassed at the degree to which I’ve engaged in social media activism over the years. I’m quite certain it has caused friends and acquaintances – and maybe even some extended family members – to unfollow me. I’ve made some stupid, ill-advised statements in the heat of my own righteous anger that I’ve later regretted, some of which served as fodder for bloggers who needed to attack me personally to further a larger cause. And sadly, I’m afraid I’ve lost friends and alienated people because of the cold ferocity of my arguments and impassioned diatribes. Read the rest of this entry

Weekend Reading: Fayard Has a Shot

LamarMattMy friend Lamar White published an in-depth look at how Louisiana’s United States Senate race is shaping up this year. In case you forgot, this is the seat currently occupied by Senator David Vitter who announced following his gubernatorial defeat that he would not seek reelection for his current post.

Here are some fun Cliff’s Notes on some of the candidates… Read the rest of this entry

Friday Spotlight: Together Baton Rouge

For some time now, I have lamented the fundamental breakdown of community as one of the core challenges hindering our politics and civic progress. It seems that, despite all the opportunities to connect virtually via social media, people are less close than they once were. I have to admit, other than talking, I’ve not done enough to address this unfortunate trend myself. And this breakdown means that coming together with our neighbors and fellow citizens to address community concerns is much more difficult.

Enter Together Baton Rouge, a nonprofit organization that has built a powerful coalition of community groups and church congregations to advocate for progress across all parts of Louisiana’s capital city. Read the rest of this entry

On Protest

At the end of Thanksgiving break during my senior year of college, I found myself in the company of seven or eight other eager young citizens in a traditionally elegant private school in Metairie. When we weren’t taking turns being called before a panel of intimidating interviewers in a dimly lit, stifling library, we – the Louisiana state finalists for a prestigious national scholarship – sized each other up via awkward, falsely self-deprecating small talk.

wto-02Large parts of that stressful day are now a blur, but one memory has always stuck with me. There was a television in our waiting area tuned to a national cable network, and the regularly scheduled programming was interrupted several times with updates on the chaotic protests that accompanied the November 1999 meeting of the World Trade Organization in Seattle. As images of the angry, chanting crowds filled the screen, one of my fellow scholarship hopefuls exclaimed, “This is just so horrible, for this to be happening in our country. It’s so un-American!”  Read the rest of this entry

Social Injustice in the Bible Belt

Saint John Paul II described social justice as concerning the social, political, and economic aspects and, above all, the structural dimension of problems and their jp2scan1respective solutions. Creating a socially just society, therefore, requires critical analyses of the structures of our society to determine if they perpetuate inequity or enhance justice. In the United States, levels of justice vary greatly between and among regions and states.

In the Gulf South states–Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida–policy and programmatic decisions historically have perpetuated inequity and left the poor, immigrants, and racial minorities without the ability to meet their basic human needs. Although some progress has been made, the history of injustice in the Gulf South states continues to manifest itself in contemporary social, political, and economic systems. [emphasis mine]

This is the introduction of the 2016 JustSouth Index, a first-of-its-kind publication from the Jesuit Social Research Institute at Loyola University New Orleans. Read the rest of this entry

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