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Two Quaker Observers to COP24 2018 was a year of climate records. The fourth warmest year since the beginning of the industrial revolution, it featured intense drought and wildfires in western North America, a devastating hurricane season in the Southeast, unprecedented flooding in southern Asia, and continued loss of Arctic sea ice. It was also the year that the U.N. International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) warned that humanity had twelve years to stave off global climate catastrophe.

On Puzzles (April 2019)

Sanctuary in Mancos How peaceful it is to take an evening walk along Grand Avenue in Mancos, a little community of fourteen hundred people, nestled in the Mancos Valley of southwest Colorado! The sunset’s glow is reflected off the La Plata Mountains to the east, and shadows begin to shroud Mesa Verde in the west.

On Captivity (January 2018)

Haregewoin’s Wail For a single moment, time collapsed in the Tucson International Airport. Heads turned abruptly. Passersby stopped dead in their hurried tracks. A soul-deep wail erupted from the throat of a sturdy woman with a mighty set of lungs. Haregewoin’s cry shattered the hubbub and echoed off the sterile walls, like thunder. All throughout the terminal, from baggage claim to the Homeland Security screening lines, a haunting stillness presided. Haregewoin’s two children and her husband had just arrived by plane from Africa, just stepped into view, and stood there atop the arrival ramp escalator, fifty yards away from her. [pullquote]Haregewoin had not laid eyes on her family in years, had not been sure that she ever would. Her wail was a wail of anguish and ecstasy, like the prophets of old.[/pullquote]

On Separation (November 2019)

Love the Prisoner Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE) is the branch of Homeland Security that runs immigration detention centers in jails and prisons across our nation.  Because most detainees are not charged with “crimes,” they are held in “civil” detention. This particular fact is at the heart of my story. Men and women held in immigration detention have none of the “rights” we associate with our criminal justice system: no right to an attorney, no right to a speedy trial, no right to a phone call, no right to have visitors.  ICE often shuffles detainees among different facilities around the country.  This means that for families and friends, their loved ones can suddenly disappear to places too far away to visit. 

On Love (September 2013)

Recovering Innocents Saturday morning, I reach the border at Nogales, Arizona. From near and far, the fence rises. From a distance, it appears as a blade that slices apart both the wholeness of the natural world and the wholeness of a human community. Up close, the twenty-foot barrier imprisons and excludes, looming like a nightmare. The huge, vertical, rust-colored metal slats nearly overlap. I peer through them, looking down a cliff at a street below, and at the sidewalk across that street, in front of a little store. On that spot, sixteen-year-old Josè Antonio Elena Rodrìguez was killed, shot repeatedly by a jumpy American border guard.

On Competition (January 2017)

Daily Justice and Injustice As part of her Senior Project last spring, my granddaughter Bailey asked me to tell her my reasons for working on behalf of immigrants, migrants, and refugees. My reasons are probably similar to those of many other Friends.

On Teachers (September 2020)