South Central LA

I ran into a concerned friend at school today who handed me a flier with an urgent request—-

“Over 350 low income families living in one of the poorest areas of the country have created a space to gor food, let children play and learn and create a sense of community out of a concrete jungle. Now, after 14 years, they are being told to leave to make room for another warehouse, They could be evicted as early as Monday March 27. This space belongs to the people of S. Central L.A…They need your support!

Here is what you can do!
Call the Mayor/City Council Right Now

Concentrate calls to city officials between 10am and 11 am every day (or any other free time you might have) All at once so we can clog their phones! Ask that they 1) stop the eviction of the S. Central Farmers, 2) Hold a Pulic meeting and official investigation addressing the back-room sale of the farm to a private developer without communal approval.

Mayor Villaraigosa- 213-978-0600
Councilwoman Jan Perry- 213- 473- 7009

also, for those in LA city area there is a demonstration this friday (3/24) at 8 a.m demonstration at L.A. City Hall

for more information visit: www.Myspace.com/APUstudentsforscf
or www.SouthCentralfarmers.com

or email me or APU student Daniel French @ Frenchtoast2020@yahoo.com

thanks again & blessings

email me at jaross@apu.edu, with any questions also

"Stubborn Ounces"

Stubborn Ounces (To One Who Doubts the Worth of Doing Anything If You Can’t Do Anything)

You say the little efforts that I make
will do no good; they will never prevail
to tip the hovering scale
where Justice hangs in the balance
I don’t think
I ever thought they would.
But I am prejudiced beyond debate
In favor of my right to choose which side
shall feel the stubborn ounces of my weight.
– Bonaro Overstreet

“the myth of no effect obscures the role we can play in the long term transformation of society…We may cling to the belief that there is nothing we can do precisely because we subconsciously know how much power we do have and are afraid to use it because people may not like it. If we deny our power to affect people, then we don’t have to worry about taking responsiblity for how we use it or, more significant, how we dont…Our silence then, isn’t because nothing we do will matter. Our silence is our not daring to matter.”
-(Alan G. Johnson) “Privilege, Power and Difference”

I just re-read this section in Privilege Power and Difference by Alan G. Johnson and found comfort in it. It is one of the best books I’ve read that deals with oppression in society. If you are looking for somethin’ to read (like we don’t have enough to do right now 😉 ) and are interested…let me know, I have a couple copies laying around….

P.S. Today is WORLD WATER DAY! WoooOoooooOo….. A “day” that was established in 1992 United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) in Rio de Janeiro to raise awareness of the lack of clean water throughout the world. Clean water is essential in order to alleviate hunger, disease and poverty, for sustainable development, for environmental integrity, and for human health…

http://www.worldwaterday.org/page/107

this site is very resourceful, with links to sites with useful information on getting clean water to places that need it the most.

thanks for reading…

The paradox of our time

A friend said he was reminded of this passage when he read the previous blog and it is an accurate definition of the modern American lifestyle, so I thought I would post it:

“The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers…We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness….We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often. We’ve learned how to make a living, but not a life. We’ve added years to life not life to years. We’ve been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We’ve done larger things, but not better things…We write more, but learn less….These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom.”
– George Carlin (emphasis added)


A close friend and co-founder of Cobriel Foundation is raising money for International Impact in Ecuador by selling prints of his amazing photographs from his visit to Mexico…Check ’em out… (the pic. above is 1 of the photographs for sale on the site)

http://www.phphoto.net/Gallery1/

prices are still to be set the photographer, if you are at all interested or have any questions shoot him an email at: peter@phphoto.net

AND I also recieved an email from Colin Salisbury who is part of The Global Volunteer Network Foundation which has organized the Kenya Urgent Appeal in response to the prolonged drought in Kenya and lack of aid to the country which has as Colin writes,

“made a precarious food situation worse; crops have withered, wells have dried-up, and livestock herds have been depleted.”

The Kenyan government has declared the drought a national disaster and called for international humanitarian aid to help feed the 2.5 million people most affected by the drought…

if donating or volunteering in this situation intrigues you at all check out their website: http://www.gvnfoundation.org

let me know what you think….

idealistic vs. realistic

(www.explodingdog.com)

The need for belonging and community is a fundamental to the human animal as the need to love and the need to believe in something greater than oneself.” – Deborah Mathis

I don’t even know where to begin, I have never done a blog, I don’t consider myself a “good” writer, the things I feel inside me never seem to come out quite right when I write them done, but I am not doing this for personal gain….

I am a 21 year old college student I am in my final year and extremely passionate about issues of social justice…after living a sheltered life as a preacher’s kid, I was oblivious of the actual state of the world around me. I even have traveled to some of the most cultured places in the world: Ethiopia, Thailand, Hong Kong, Isreal, Greece, Rome, Jamaica, and yet I still found myself very niave and ignorant towards reality.

It wasn’t until about my junior year of college that my eyes were first opened to the concept that my comfortable lifestyle was in fact, one cause of the majority of the world living in poverty. Since that realization, I have tried to live a life that causes the least negative affects for the rest of humanity (if that is even possible as an American).

My natural tendencies have led me to be an idealistic dreamer…always hoping that maybe I can make positive impacts on others, even in the smallest of circumstances, I am afraid if I give up that hope, I will become hardened and bitter and there will be nothing to work for, nothing to live for.

My final senior thesis paper is on understanding homelessness on the most extensive level. My main objective is to dissipate the negative stereotypes of those living on the edge of poverty. Since I go to an expensive private Christian university, one could assume the there is much work to be done. I am open to suggestions, personal stories and struggles. My eyes, ears, and heart are open to being taught. Criticism would also be appreciated.

This passage from Michael Brown’s blog site, http://view-sidewalk.blogspot.com especially hit me hard, b.c. it of it’s bitter truthfulness:

American society is the most hypocritical in the world.It wants you to succeed but resents you and tries to slap you down when you do. It wants you to be self-sufficient, then tells you what to do and when to do it. It wants you to be a leader but then won’t take your advice. It wants you to pursue life, liberty and happiness, then thinks you’re crazy for daring to do it. It wants you to be intelligent, then treats you like an incredible dummy. It wants you to be rich, but then comes up with a myriad of ways to take your money. It wants you to ask for help when you get into a jam, then considers you weak for doing so.It wants you to be human, but treats you like an animal.

More soon….