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Home Repairs and Hydroponics: Your Love in Syria

For over six years now, children and families have been caught in the crossfire of the deadly Syrian conflict. Some are fleeing violence and are on the move inside the country. Others are returning home to repair and rebuild. None are living the peaceful, stable life they long for.

You have not stopped hearing their stories and seeing their faces, even as the world has largely turned its attention away from Syria in recent months. You are meeting people’s needs for food, shelter, and medicine in a variety of ways.

Here are some highlights from your investment in Syria over the last month:

Peacemaker Friday: They Met Hate with Love in Charlottesville. Now It's Our Turn.

Religious leaders peacefully protest a group of white supremacists in Charlottesville, VA on August 12, 2017. Photo by Karla Cote / CC BY-ND 2.0

We need more peacemakers. And that doesn’t mean someone else… that means you. It means me. It means us.

We need you to show up at the frontlines to wage peace where others wage war. And we need you to do it now.

Racism: I’m Not Moving On

The author, Kym Young (center), is the founder of Superior African American Heritage Community in Superior, Wisconsin.

When I was 13, six other track and field teammates and I were walking back from the high school track field when we were stopped by a black van, full of older white teen boys who jumped out waving machetes and calling us “n*ggers” and “b*tches” and threatening to kill us. We were terrified. 

When I feel defensive, I’m not listening well.

One of the things that has surprised me most in the wake of Charlottesville is how difficult it is to listen well.

I’ve been trying to practice intentional listening for the last 10 years, and I fail at it. But what I know is this: whenever I feel defensive, I’m not listening well.

Now What? How to Love Your Friends of Color Well

Charlottesville solidarity vigil in Minnesota. Photo by Fibonacci Blue / CC BY 2.0

Inevitably news of the racist acts of terrorism will fade in the next couple days. People who had the Monday morning exchange with their co-workers, “Did you see what happened in Charlottesville?” will go back to business as usual. I’ve seen this happen one too many times as horror and tragedy is perpetrated in our country and in our world.

But this is not your only option. And I’m begging you to please do something different this time.

What 'Love Anyway' Does and Does Not Mean After Charlottesville

Unite the Right Protesters in Charlottesville, VA. Photo by Rodney Dunning / CC BY-ND-NC 2.0

What does it look like to love anyway when people are marching through Charlottesville with Nazi flags? And should we even love anyway? This idea is more comfortably applied at a distance and much easier to apply to other people.

But it applies all the time. To everyone. That’s the radical thing about it.

Listening in the Wake of Charlottesville

Crowds of counter-protesters in Charlottesville, VA on Saturday. Photo by Michael Sessum / CC BY-NC 2.0

In the wake of the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, our country feels broken.

But it wasn’t this weekend that broke us. We were born broken. This weekend was just the latest proof of how broken we are. The last several years have been a revelation for many white Americans that bigotry is alive and well in the U.S. Before that, many of us lived in privileged bliss, untouched by racism built into the fabric of our society, unwilling to hear the stories of people of color who experience it daily.

Racist Protests in Charlottesville May Come as a Shock. But They Shouldn't.

Photo by Matthew Tennant on Twitter

Hate is loud today.

Hundreds of white supremacists marched on a university campus in Virginia last night, protesting plans to remove a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee. They were chanting things like “Blood and soil” (a racist phrase with Nazi roots), “You will not replace us,” and the openly anti-semitic variant, “Jews will not replace us.”

Changing Lives in Iraq with Food, Water, and Medicine

Last month’s declaration of military victory in Mosul was a major milestone. But after nine months of warfare, thousands are dead. Much of the city is in ruins. And ISIS remains a threat in Mosul.

You’ve continued to show up with love and support for weary families who were trapped until the end. You did this and much, much more in cities across Iraq, as families recover, repair, and rebuild.

Here are some of the highlights from the last month:

Peacemaker Friday: Police Chief Turns Angry Parking Lot Dispute into Peacemaking Opportunity

It was one of those small situations that escalated quickly.

At a Walmart in North Dakota, three women got into an angry exchange of words that went from verbal abuse to threats of genocide in a matter of minutes. Over parking.

Read the blog at Preemptive Love Coalition
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