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•School to Prison Pipeline •25th Annual Peace Maker Awards Dinner

November 2011



•Yoo’s and Pitts’ Debate SMU •Texans In Washington DC, Wall St

Celebrate Dallas Peace Center's 30th Anniversary as an interfaith, inclusive, progressive, peace and justice organization that has provided uncompromising work for peace through justice in North Texas and around the world. Your financial support is essential! Your outreach to others is vital! To share in the growth and effectiveness of the Dallas Peace Center, make your monthly sustaining pledge of $30 to ensure another 30 years of peace and justice work. Become a sustaining member


Dallas Peace Center • 5910 Cedar Springs Rd. Dallas, TX 75235-6806 • (214) 823-7793

North Texans Bring Back Inspiration From Washington DC, Wall ST pg 4 Far-Fetched Equality pg 7 Rev. Owen Ross and Immigration pg 8 Liberal Zionism pg 10 To Be Free At Last Pg 11 Trends In School Discipline Grease The Pipeline To Prison pg 14 Yoo’s & Pitts’ Debate SMU pg 16 The Dallas Peace Center’s Annual Peacemaker Awards Dinner - Starting on pg 18

DALLAS PEACE CENTER EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR KELLI OBAZEE MANAGING EDITOR Adrian Sierra SR. EDITOR Trish Major DPC PHOTOGRAPHER WALID AJAJ 2011 BOARD MEMBERS PRESIDENT Rev. RYAN KOCH VICE PRESIDENT/TREASURER John Fullinwider SECRETARY Zara Tariq aftab siddiqui rev. l. charles stovall Eric Reece Rev. Diane Baker Mavis belisle sara mokuria

One Makes A Difference DPC Peace Education Program

The DPC's One Makes a Difference curriculum provides: a strong intellectual and ethical foundation that encourages academic excellence, enhance self-esteem, increase community understanding, civic engagement and inspires future global leaders. The curriculum is inspired by the simple and profound belief that ONE MAKES A DIFFERENCE. The goal of the program is to encourage participants to piece together their personal stories and histories in a way that clarifies their understanding of interconnectedness and peace. When young people have the opportunity to share their knowledge in a group, they can teach each other a lot. Each person in the group is a teacher, learner, and listener creating new knowledge and relationships of trust. The twenty 3-hour sessions included in the One Makes A Difference program incorporate heart/mind coherence, self-awareness, conflict resolution, non-violent communication and civic engagement. Join us as we launch a program that empowers our youth to charter their destiny for success. For more information: or call 214-823-7793




North Texans bring back inspiration


from Washington DC, Wall St

Leslie Harris  took  part  in  the   beginning  of  the  Occupy  movement  in   Washington  D.C.,  and  visited  the   occupa?on  in  New  York.  The   following  is  her  report  of  ac?vi?es   that  took  place  there: By  Leslie  Harris In  May  of  2011,  I  received  and   accepted  an  invita:on  from  ac:vist   friends  to  sign  a  statement  and   pledge  to  be  in  Washington  DC  in   October,  2011  -­‐  the  occasion  of  the   tenth  anniversary  of  the  other  we’ve   seen.”    Shortly  thereaIer,  the   website  for  the  October  2011   Movement  to  “Stop  the  Machine  and   Create  a  New  World,”  went  up,   announcing  a  plan  to  begin  a   “people’s  occupa:on  of  Washington,   D.C.,”  and  to  build  it  to  something   even  larger.  This  was  to  be  an   encampment;  an  occupa:on.    Those   who  could  would  stay;  others  would   start  or  par:cipate  in  solidarity   ac:ons  in  their  local  communi:es.    If   thousands  would  join  in,  we  could   “kick-­‐start  a  process  of  nonviolent   change  the  likes  of  which  we  haven’t   seen  in  this  country  in  many  years.”

Meanwhile, in  June,  a  Canadian   magazine  called  Adbusters  registered   the  domain   and  four  days  later,  proposed  a   peaceful  demonstra:on  in  New  York   City,  in  which  people  would  stream   into  lower  ManhaTan,  seUng  up   camp  and  peacefully  occupying  Wall   Street.    On  September  17,  that’s   exactly  what  happened,  and  soon   “occupy”  movements  spread  to  ci:es   around  not  just  the  country,  but  the   world.    It  was  on! Rev.  Diane  Baker,  Carol  Ezell  and  I   flew  into  D.C.,  arriving  in  :me  to   aTend  the  “Stop  the   Machine  Kick-­‐Off”  event  at   Busboys  and  Poets,  a   restaurant/bookstore/ ac:vist-­‐hang-­‐out  on  K   Street.    It  was  hoppin’,  with   fabulous  music  by   movement  stalwarts   Emma’s  Revolu:on  and   David  Rovics,  and  myriad   speakers,  including  the  likes   of  “ol’  regulars”  (and   frequent  Texas  visitors)  Col.   Ann  Wright,  CodePINK’s  

Medea Benjamin,  poet  Lori  Perdue  ,   and  many  others  including  the   president  of  Professional  Firefighters   of  Wisconsin,    the  president  of  the   AFL-­‐CIO's  Metropolitan  Council  of   Washington,    a  D.C.  advocate  for  the   homeless,    a  pediatrician  who  quit   her  job  out  of  frustra:on  over  lack  of   healthcare  coverage  so  she  could   work  full-­‐:me  for  change,  and  more.     The  crowd  was  as  diverse  as  the   issues  we  would  address,  but  we  all   knew  we  were  there  for  the  same   reason:    to  fight  for  a  new  system,   one  that  would  put  human  need  over   corporate  greed.

n A march  to  General  Atomics  to  protest  drone  bombings.    Nick  MoTern  brought  replicas  of   drones  which  “flew”  above  our  heads.    Again,  we  “shut  it  down”  while  Ray  McGovern,  Ann   Wright,  Debra  Sweet  and  many  others  spoke  and  the  crowd  chanted,  “When  drones  fly,   children  die.    Stop  the  wars  now!” n A  rally  to  stop  the  Keystone  XL  Tar  Sands  Pipeline  at  the  State  Department  review  hearing  with   speakers  including  climate  ac:vists  Bill  McKibben  of  and  Mike  Tidwell  of  Chesapeake   Climate  Ac:on  Network.    “Tar  Sands:    NO!” n A  march  to  the  new  Mar:n  Luther  King  Memorial,  with  climate  ac:vists  joining  DC  occupiers  to   say  that  “we’re  not  listening  to  Dr.  King’s  words  when  we  spend  wildly  on  militariza:on  while   cuUng  human  services  and  pollu:ng  the  air,  water  and  land  we  need  to  survive.”     n A  forum,  “War  Voices,”  to  bring  together  community  and  na:onal  organizers  to  reinvigorate  public  discussion  about  the   implica:ons  of  a  decade  of  war  at  home  and  abroad,  with  speakers  from  Afghanistan  Veterans  Against  the  War,  Afghans   for  Peace,  the  Ins:tute  for  Policy  Studies,  the  Na:onal  Priori:es  project,  the  Poverty  Ini:a:ve,  the  Na:onal  Coali:on  to   Protect  Civil  Freedoms,  Military  Families  Speak  Out,  and  more. n A  march  to  the  Smithsonian’s  Air  &  Space  Museum  to  protest  militarism  and  drones.      Several  people  entered  intending   to  drop  banners  and  were  met  with  pepper  spray.    The  doors  were  locked  and  the  museum  closed  as  the  demonstra:on   con:nued  outside  the  building.   n A  march  to  the  White  House  led  by  veterans  and  military  families  to  demand  a  “Beer  Summit  for  Peace,”  with  rousing   speeches,  drumming,  dancing,  and  calls  to  Obama  to  have  one  of  his  famous  beer  summits  to  talk  about  ending  wars   and  making  peace! n A  march  through  China  Town  to  the  Washington  Conven:on  Center  for  the  2011  AUSA  Annual  Mee:ng  and  

Exposi:on consis:ng  of  presenta:ons  &  discussions  on  military  and  na:onal  security  subjects  as  well   hundreds  of  defense  industry  exhibits.  We  didn’t  shut  this  one  down,  but  we  did  pose  with  our  banners  in   front  of  Humvees,  spell  out  “BRING  OUR  WAR  $$  HOME”  with  pink  parasols,  and  “occupy”  the  front  steps  and   surrounding  sidewalks,  chan:ng,  “We  are  the  99%  and  we  say  NO  to  war!”  and  “Save  our  soldiers;  bring  them   home!”

n A  march  through  China  Town  to  the  Washington  Conven:on  Center  for  the  2011  AUSA  Annual  Mee:ng  and  Exposi:on   consis:ng  of  presenta:ons  &  discussions  on  military  and  na:onal  security  subjects  as  well  hundreds  of  defense  industry   exhibits.    We  “occupied”  the  front  steps  and  surrounding  sidewalks,  chan:ng,  “We  are  the  99%  and  we  say  NO  to  war!”   and  “Save  our  soldiers;  bring  them  home!” n A  visit  to  the  Hart  Senate  Office  Building,  which  houses  the  offices  of  Texas  Senators  John  Cornyn  and  Kay  Bailey   Hutchison.    We  swarmed  the  building,  demonstra:ng  in  the  atrium  and  the  surrounding  balconies  on  several  floors,   chan:ng  and  dropping  banners.  The  place  was  virtually  shut  down  as  offices  were  locked  and  staffers  came  out  on  the   balconies  to  hear  demands,  “End  war  now!”  “We  are  the  99%  and  we  are  against  the  wars!”  Several  demonstrators   were  arrested;  many  more  gave  interviews  to  the  press.  

of our  second  day  there,  we  went   down  to  Times  Square  and  held  our   “Funding  the  Wars  Is  Killing  the   Troops…and  the  Economy!!!”   banner,  directly  in  front  of  the  US   Armed  Forces  Recrui:ng  Sta:on.     Before  returning  home  to  Dallas,  I   hopped  a  ride  up  to  NYC  to  take  a   couple  of  days  to  Occupy  Wall   Street.  The  encampment  was   brimming  with  life  –  people  talking,   demonstra:ng,  reading,  sleeping,   singing,  dancing,  playing  music,   cleaning,  interviewing.  The  morning  

I’m in  a  quandary  about  those  who   say  the  Occupy  Movement  doesn’t   have  a  clear  message.    Sure,  people   have  their  special  interests  –  an:-­‐ war,  the  environment,  jobs,   educa:on,  equality,  the  financial   system,  human  rights,  etc  –  but   everyone  agrees  that  what  we’re  

demanding is  a  democra:c   government  that  is  “of,  by,  and  for”   The  People…not  the  corpora:ons.  I   interviewed  many  people  in  DC  and   NYC  about  what  they  thought  was   the  most  important  thing  to  come   out  of  this  movement  so  far.    The   resounding  answer  was:      It’s  an   awakening!      People  are  finally   paying  aTen:on!    A  space  has  been   opened  for  dialogue…  and  people   from  all  walks  of  life  are  coming   together  for  a  common  cause:    to   make  our  world  a  fair  and   sustainable  place  for  all.      


Far-Fetched Equality


n A visit  to  the  Capitol  Hill  for  the  House  Armed  Services  CommiTee  hearing  on   na:onal  defense  with  tes:mony  from  Secretary  of  Defense  Leon  PaneTa  and   Chairman  of  the  Joint  Chiefs,  Gen.  Mar:n  Dempsey.    Ci:zens  had  to  line  up  in  the   hall  two  hours  before  the  hearing  to  get  one  of  the  few  spaces  open  for  the  public.   Several  people  who  got  into  the  hearing  voiced  their  objec:ons  and  were  arrested.     n A  march  to  and  protest  of  the  Bank  of  America  on  Pennsylvania  Avenue. n A  demonstra:on  to  shine  the  light  on  Obama’s    “free  trade”  deal    with  South   Korean  president  Lee  Myung-­‐bak    and  the  plans  to  put  a  naval  base  on  Jeju  Island,   interna:onally  recognized  "Island  of  World  Peace"  that  is  home  to  more  UNESCO   World  Natural  Heritage  sites  than  any  single  geographic  loca:on  on  Earth.


Cristina Parker, Media Coordinator Border Network for Human Rights On the border, deportation can be a death sentence. Meet Janet. Janet is a 24-year-old human rights activist living near El Paso, Texas. She came to the U.S. from Mexico as a child. She went to middle and high school in Texas where she learned English. She and her husband Adrian have been activists with the Border Network for Human Rights in El Paso since 2006, when Congress was last considering immigration reform. But now Janet’s two young children will grow up without their father. On the morning of October 3, a state trooper detained Janet’s husband on his way to work for having out-of-state license plates. The trooper turned him over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which held him in a detention center on the border for five days. He was denied a phone call or the opportunity to consult with a lawyer.

The first photo shows Yanet Marquez, left, and Catalina Valera. They both spoke at the press conference and rally on Nov 1 about losing their loved ones. Valera's son was deported last year and killed in Juarez trying to get back to his family in the U.S. for Christmas. He died on Dec 23. They are holding family photos which they brought for the annual BNHR Dia De Los Muertos day of remembrance.

summer in Texas, Republican state law enforcement — a disaster for the legislators banded together to bring security of everyone living there. the Arizona-style law to Texas. But more than a dozen police and The U.S. is unique for being a nation sheriff’s departments from across of immigrants. That’s why we must Texas asked lawmakers to drop it. do better. Law enforcement agents said the law The current system leaves would undermine their work. They children to grow up without their said they didn’t have the resources parents and families to live in fear of or the jail space for such a law. They the police. The Obama said people would stop reporting administration’s record-breaking crime and otherwise cooperating deportation rate and failure to act on with police. They said entire rational, humane immigration reform immigrant communities would are ripping American families apart become havens for crime if — often forever. immigrants began to fear police more than criminals. Their warnings are now being played out where Janet lives with her children. The state trooper who targeted Janet’s husband probably won’t find many people in that small community outside of El Paso willing to report crime to him. And the community won’t draw a distinction between trooper, sheriff and police either. His The photo of Ruben Adrian Beltran was taken last actions Christmas at his home in the U.S. with his oldest son, undermined Abraham, who is now 5. Abraham was in Juarez the the entire day his father was killed. He had begged his mom to community’s let him go to his grandmother's house in Juarez to see trust for all his father after he was deported. Abraham did not


Janet, a member of a human rights committee in her community, says that she was desperate to reach him during that time. “I know my rights. I wanted to tell him to ask for a lawyer, to not sign anything,” she said. “I didn’t know where he was, they didn’t give him a phone call.” Finally, ICE convinced Adrian, a native Spanish speaker, to sign a voluntary departure agreement in English. He was deported to Juarez, Mexico, on Friday. Desperate to return to his wife and children, Adrian tried to contract a coyote — a predatory criminal who offers to take migrants across the border for exorbitant fees. By Saturday afternoon, he was dead. Adrian died in a PT Cruiser driven by the coyote who offered him a way back to his family. Rival criminals attacked the car, killing three men in the car and kidnapping the coyote, who was later found cut into pieces in a macabre warning to others. A week after Adrian’s death in Juarez, ICE issued a press release boasting that the agency had broken the record for most deportations in a fiscal year — again. The agency claimed that most of those deported had been criminals. But the numbers on S-Comm, Obama’s local law enforcement tool to identify and deport immigrants, tells a different story. The majority of deportations resulting from S-Comm are of noncriminal immigrant workers. Janet and Adrian’s story is a perfect example of the injustice of a broken immigration system and the real dangers of getting local law enforcement involved in federal immigration enforcement. The big fight over immigration in states like Arizona, Georgia and Alabama has been about the issue of giving local law enforcement the power to stop and ask people for their immigration status. This

witness the murder, but continues to ask his mother when his father is coming home from work.




Ross: Discrimination of Immigrants Inconsistent With Christian Scripture, Tradition, Reason, Experience

By Trish Major Rev. Owen Ross, pastor of the primarily Latino Christ’s Foundry United Methodist Mission in Dallas, was waiting for kids to show up for children’s choir one Wednesday night, but nobody came. He learned that word had gotten out that Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) was doing raids that evening, and parishioners were afraid to part with their children. One parishioner later told of hiding with her children in a closet. Owen thought, “What country are we living in that children are afraid of the police?” The answer, according to Ross, is one that is not governed by Christian teachings, as regards immigration. At a lecture given on October 4 as part of Northaven UMC’s “Faith Voices on Justice” series, Ross systematically showed how anti-immigrant laws and attitudes are inconsistent with the Christian faith. Using the Wesley Quadrilateral, John Wesley’s recipe for theological formation, which consists of scripture, tradition, reason and personal experience, he made the case for welcoming the stranger. Ross passed out a paper listing scriptures that related to immigration. (He had to use the Arial Narrow font to fit them all in, he said.) Much is written about the alien in the Old Testament. As they were coming out of slavery, the Israelites were asking God how they should deal with immigrants coming to their land. Consistently, the answer is “Do not mistreat an alien or oppress him, for you were aliens in Egypt.” (Exodus 22:21)


New Testament references to immigration are scarcer since, at that time, the aliens were Roman soldiers and were the oppressors, not the oppressed. Still, Ross finds it significant that Christians believe their Savior was born into a family that would become illegal aliens themselves, sneaking across the Egyptian border at night. Also, one of Jesus’ most well-known parables that answers the question, “Who is your neighbor?” involves an alien, a Samaritan. According to Ross, if the U.S. based its laws on the Bible, it would welcome, honor, provide for and love immigrants, yet the Christian right has been silent on this issue. He said preachers are picking and choosing their texts, “like a child going down the sidewalk trying not to step on cracks.” Ross referred specifically to United Methodist policy when he spoke of tradition as regards immigration. He said the UM Social Principles demand that we recognize and embrace all people as members of the family of God, and that we advocate for justice for immigrants. The component of reason does not fit into the xenophobic behavior of our nation. Ross said, “There is no reason in fear, but perfect fear cast out reason.” He said that in the ‘90s our economy was fine, and we gave little notice to immigrants, but the 9/11 attacks fomented nativism, suspicion, and fear, and we started building a wall to fence out people not like us.”

Ross noted that the legislators introducing most of the antiimmigrant legislation in the Texas House are people who probably don’t have a lot of personal experience with immigrants. He introduced the parents of Christian Ramirez, who has received a deportation order. Ramirez, originally from El Salvador, was stopped in Farmers Branch because of an expired inspection sticker. Ross said that Ramirez has worked steadily for three years in order to pay his attorneys, and he has asked for two evenings a week off work – Wednesdays to help with youth group, and Sundays to go to church. This does not fit the profile of the dangerous immigrant that helped the anti-safe sanctuary bill pass the Texas Senate this year. Ross said this bill actually

7th Annual Conference on Immigration and Education by Maria Robles

means safe sanctuary for criminals in undocumented immigrant neighborhoods because people will be afraid to report crime. Ross recommended six simple actions that can help assure just and humane treatment of immigrants: • Put a pro-immigrant bumper sticker on your car • Campaign for the DREAM Act • Sign up to be a part of the Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance (RITA) • Write letters to protest Christian Ramirez’s deportation • Contact candidates in contested elections and ask them, “What is your definition of amnesty?” and “What is your stand on comprehensive immigration reform?” • Get to know the undocumented. When viewed through a lens of scripture, tradition, reason and personal experience, there can be only one Christian reaction to immigrants: to love and serve another member of the family of God.


Ross said we live in a schizophrenic nation in which our economy demands the presence of immigrants but our politics demands that they leave. “With our bad economy we are frustrated and the undocumented immigrant is the easiest dog to kick.” Reason dictates that we come together to make comprehensive immigration reform.


Saturday October 7, 2011 Proyecto Inmigrante ICS Inc., held it's 7th Annual Conference on Immigration and Education.  This Conference as expected was very successful.  More than 200 people attended.  Guest speakers included: • U.S.C.I.S, ICE, -  Jon Gurule, Acting Unit Chief for Secure Communities               • Law Enforcement Fort Worth-   Daniel Segura, Public Relation Officer  • Director, Center for Religous Leadership Southern Methodist University- Patricia Davis PH.D. • Norma Cole- Financial Ait Outreach Coordinator UTA • Lourdes Davenport- Coordinator of Technical Preparation TCC                                                                    The community was able to ask questions to members of each panel.  Officers from USCIS & ICE provided valuable information on what to expect from their officers.  The community was also provided with information on how to get into college even without a social security number.  The steps to take and how to get financial aide.  At the end of the conference the community left with a better understanding of Secure Communities and a clearer picture on how to attend college. 

Our Previous Publications News Paper With the introduction of the new “Dallas Peace Times” we are considering changing its image. We are looking for something that well represents the work of the Dallas Peace Center, is appealing, & universal as the DPC continues to expand beyond its borders here in the metroplex.

We wanna hear what you think? Name suggestions? Email us at:

RéDA is one of our proposed names; an acronym and tag-line of the DPC for “Research • Education • Dialogue • Action”


Liberal Zionism By Miko Peled Setting aside for a moment the argument of whether dividing historic Palestine into two states was ever a good idea, clearly forty years ago it was a viable solution. Today as liberal Zionist Jews and others call for this solution, it is a sad and pathetic sight. In 1967, after the IDF completed the conquest of Palestine, great men like Dr. Nahum Goldman, Dr. Yishayahu Leibovitch, General Dr. Matti Peled and other prominent Jews called for the immediate establishment of a Palestinian state in the West Bank and Gaza. However, Jews in Israel, America and elsewhere around the world were basking in the messianic glow of the conquest of historic Israel, bewitched by the sounds of biblical names now made accessible.  Names like Hebron and Bethlehem, Shilo and Bet El, all of which who were now within reach drove everyone, including secular liberal Jews to believe that there is a God and that he was really on their side. Never mind that a solution whereby half of the population receives barely 20 percent of its historic homeland while the remaining half receives the rest had little chance of success to begin with. Now the West Bank is riddled with towns and malls and highways built on Palestinian land for Jews only and Israeli cabinet members openly discuss population transfers, or rather transfer of its non-Jewish population.   The level of oppression and the intensity of the violence against Palestinians has reached new heights and so the questions that begs to be asked are: who exactly will allow Palestinians to establish their mini state? and where will this state exist? If there is any doubt in anyone’s mind, Israel has no intentions of ever letting go of any part of historic Israel. Discussing the two state solution now under these conditions shows an acute inability to accept reality. As


Miko Peled is an Israeli peace activist and writer living in the US.   Born and raised in Jerusalem, Miko grew up in this highly political insider’s milieu. A young patriot, he volunteered for a Special Forces Commando unit in the Israeli Defense Forces, service he later came to regret.  Peled's outlook goes beyond the ordinary perceptions on the Israel Palestine question common in the US.  Driven by a personal family tragedy to explore Palestine its people and their narrative he has written a book about his journey called “The General’s Son.”

one learns about the history of the Zionist movement and the early years of the state of Israel one will understand that parting with any portion of historic Israel is not something Israel will ever do. Liberal Jews in the US (see J Street) and in Israel (see the Zionist liberals like David Grossman who recently received a peace award in Germany) all of a sudden realized that there was a problem. They all claim that the solution is partition and segregation via the creation of a tiny and impotent state for the Arabs of Palestine.  They do claim that Israel must be reprimanded for its treatment of Palestinians and they even condemn the siege on Gaza.  These are commendable statements coming from Zionists anywhere particularly in the US where criticizing Israel is a mortal sin, but this is just talk. There is an illusion that a liberal, forward thinking government can rise in Israel and then everything will be just as liberal Zionists wish it to be.   They will pick up where Rabin and Arafat left off and we will have the pie in sky Jewish democracy liberal Jews want so much to see in Israel. This illusion is shared by American Jews, liberal Zionists in Israel and around the world and in the West where guilt of two millennia of persecuting Jews still haunts the conscience of many.  If only there were better leaders and if only this and if only that… But alas, reality continues to slap everyone in the face: Zionism and peace are

incompatible. I will say it again: Zionism is incompatible with peace. A serious study of the history of modern Israel will show that the emergence of Netanyahu and Lieberman was perfectly predictable. They are the natural successors of David Ben Gurion, Golda Meir and Yitzhak Rabin. As one looks at the political map in Israel one can see that future Zionist leaders, be they from Labor, Likud, Meretz or the religious nationals, will be no different and offer no change.  The problem is Zionism and the solution is dismantling the Zionist framework and instituting a secular democracy that does not discriminate between Israelis and Palestinians. In other words, no one nation will rule over the other but the rule of law will govern everyone equally. Zionism has created a state that wants nothing to do with peace or reconciliation.  The problem is not Benjamin Netanyahu and Lieberman and the solution is not Yossi Beilin or David Grossman who represent the Zionist liberals.  The problem is that the basic premise on which the Jewish state was founded, Zionism, is flawed.

The General’s Son



To be Free at Last

Mass incarceration is rapidly movement. Friendship West Baptist becoming one of the most evident Church, pastored by Haynes, hosted patterns of racial injustice in the the summit from September 29 – United States. Poor people of color October 1, 2011, in Dallas, Texas. have been the primary targets, Dismantling the New Jim Crow especially black men and boys. The system that is destroying minority evolution of this problem has been families and communities is critical. well documented in the book by This was a working summit to share Michelle Alexander, The New Jim and document existing activities and Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age ideas, and develop the next steps to of Colorblindness. A large-scale public launch a national campaign and education and consciousness raising movement in collaboration with effort is desperately needed to awaken people to the realities of mass incarceration and the damage that has been done. Danielle Ayers Unlike the systems of slavery and Jim Crow, the system of mass incarceration is officially colorblind and thus the bias inherent in the system is largely invisible, even to many people who are directly impacted. Prisons are out of sight, out of mind. The colorblind veneer affords the system a certain plausible deniability. The widespread belief that people caught up in the criminal justice system are failures, undeserving of our moral concern, and fundamentally “no good,” leads to profound indifference to their suffering, as well as to community stakeholders from across enormous shame and resignation in the the nation. The goal of the summit and communities hardest hit by mass consultation was to further the process incarceration. of building consensus, common In view of these circumstances, a ground and common messages to major public education and address “The New Jim Crow.” consciousness-raising campaign is Participants represented various needed to dispel prevailing myths and disciplines in academia, retired and birth a new, critical consciousness active law enforcement, federal judges, conducive to effective collective formally incarcerated persons, HBCU action. The Samuel DeWitt Proctor college students, ecumenical and Conference (SDPC), Rev. Dr. interfaith communities and community Frederick D. Haynes III and Atty. organizers from across the country. Michelle Alexander hosted a critical Each person demonstrated their consciousness raising leadership existing commitment to this cause. summit to catalyze and organize a

Each person came with a unique set of resources, experiences and expertise to undertake this work. Talented and gifted facilitators and speakers guided information exchange and enriched the workshop experience. Breakout sessions covering areas such as children of the incarcerated, public policy, the juvenile justice system, reentry, reconciliation, and ecumenical and interfaith collaboration were held. The high point of the conference was Thursday night. In a public event, Michelle Alexander shared vital information from her book and conducted a question and answer session. This was an opportunity to educate the community on the New Jim Crow and provide a narrative that will challenge all of us to connect with the issue of mass incarceration. The goal of our collaborative efforts is to birth a human rights movement that challenges and transforms the values and ethics of American policies and practices that serve to undermine the basic human dignity and value of all people. We aim to build this movement as we tackle the myriad of issues surrounding the New Jim Crow and mass incarceration. The official movement is entitled “To Be Free at Last.” This work has in large part been catalyzed by Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness. Danielle Ayers Minister of Justice, Friendship West Baptist Church

The Dallas Peace Center Celebrating 30 Years of Peacemaking in North Texas and Beyond presents the

25th Annual Peacemaker Awards Dinner honoring

2011 Peacemaker of the Year Rais Bhuiyan for his extraordinary commitment to breaking the cycle of hate and violence ! through the power of forgiveness. He is the founder of World Without Hate, an organization committed to teaching people how to heal their own anger and respond nonviolently in times of crisis.

Roger Kallenberg for his lifelong devotion to the peace and justice community of Dallas, in ! particular his passion for the Palestinian community, a nuclear free world, and an economy freed from the industrial military complex.

2011 Peacemaking Organization of the Year

2011 Media Peacemaker of the Year

South Dallas Cultural Center

BJ Austin

for their work in empowering and inspiring ! the African American community to cultivate a more diverse and vibrant world through the arts.

for her continued discipline to be an objective reporter ! that is willing to take risks and cover stories of grassroots activism which typically go unnoticed.

Thursday, December 1, 2011 Reception – 5:30 p.m.

Dinner – 7:00 p.m.

Doubletree Hotel 4099 Valley View Lane, Dallas, TX 75244

For Tickets 214-823-7793

th 25 Annual Peacemaker Awards Dinner Tickets Very Important Peacemaker (VIP) Table


Reserved seating for 10, recognition in program and on the Peace Center’s website, and special goody bags for you and your guests as a thank you for your support

Peacemaker Table


Peacemaker Patron


Peace Sponsor


Reserved seating for 10, recognition in program and on the Peace Center’s website Reserved seating for 5, recognition in program Reserved seating for 2, recognition in program

(Individual tickets will be available after November 2 for $75.00 (seating will be on space-available basis)

Reserve your seats online at or by calling 214-823-7793.

Program Advertisements Place a black and white ad or announcement in the dinner program which will be perused by some 400 dinner guests. Following are the ad rates: 1/8 page ad (2.16” W X 1.75” H) $ 50 1/4 page ad (4.5” W X 1.75” H) $100 1/2 page ad (4.5” W X 3.75” H) $200 Full page ad (4.5” W X 7.75” H) $350 Email your camera-ready ad in a „g or pdf form to

Vendor Tables The Dallas Peace Center offers nonprofit organizations and fair trade vendors the opportunity to distribute literature and sell items at the 2011 Peacemaker Awards Dinner. Eight-foot tables will be set up in the reception area on the night of the dinner. Tables will rent for $25, plus an item to be included in the DPC Silent Auction that is valued at $50 or more. If an additional table is desired then it would be an additional $25 and an additional item. Interested parties should contact the Dallas Peace Center at or call 214-823-7793 on or before November 28.



Trends in School Discipline Grease the Pipeline to Prison By Trish Major During the latter part of the 20th century, the popular political stance was to be “tough on crime,” and schools followed suit. By 1997, 79% of schools nationwide had adopted “zero tolerance” policies for drugs, alcohol and violence. Relationships between school systems and juvenile justice systems became closer. Texas was no exception. In July 2011, the Council of State Governments Justice Center, in partnership with the Public Policy Research Institute at Texas A&M University, released a groundbreaking report on the effects of school disciplinary measures on Texas students. On October 3, the Institute for Urban Policy Research at UTD held a Dialogue Series event, “Issues in Education: The School to Prison


Pipeline,” at Friendship West Baptist Church. At the event, the report was presented and panel members added personal testimony on the effects of school discipline. The report, Breaking Schools’ Rules: A Statewide Study on How School Discipline Relates to Students’ Success and Juvenile Justice Involvement, is the result of compiling campus data for all of Texas’ 2000-2002 seventh through twelfth graders—in effect, following three classes of Texas students from middle school through high school. By controlling for more than 80 variables, researchers were able to make some startling claims. Kathryn Freeman, staff attorney at Texas Appleseed Project, which contributed to the study, outlined some of the findings:

• Six out of 10 Texas students

have been suspended or expelled at least once from 7th to 12th grade. Controlling for all factors, African American males are 31 percent more likely to be disciplined than white or Hispanic males. Nearly 75 percent of special education students were suspended or expelled at least once. 10 percent of those suspended or expelled during the study did not graduate; 59 percent of those disciplined 11 or more times dropped out. Nearly half of those students who were disciplined 11 or more times were in contact with the juvenile justice system.

Bray backed up her statement saying, “If we employed zero tolerance as a parent where would we be? If we employed zero tolerance as employers where would we be? Folks in prison today didn’t forget how to read – they never learned.” Brent Welch, a teacher at Samuell High School, said the current system fosters a culture of punishment instead of prevention beforehand or rehabilitation afterward. Many of his students are coming to school “with adult problems,” issues that are emotional and psychological in nature. Motivating them through discipline is a short term solution, he said.

State Representative Helen Giddings said that in 2007, after hearing about two 10-year-olds in a shoving match being given Class C misdemeanor citations, she filed legislation that children under 12 could not be given citations. Her colleagues said it was an isolated incident and did not support it. “But they found out it wasn’t,” she said. She ended up getting the legislation through by amending another bill, so now children up to 6th grade do not receive Class C misdemeanor citations for nonviolent behavior. Dr. Terry Smith, Executive Director, Dallas County Juvenile Probation, said she is committed to ensuring that kids are not in the county juvenile system if they don’t have to be. She said she is concerned that the term “DMC” doesn’t mean “Disproportionate Minority Confinement” but rather, “Do Minorities Count?” Kelli Obazee, Director of the Dallas Peace Center, noted that her organization offers an extracurricular program called “One Makes a Difference” that empowers young people to chart their own destinies by learning conflict resolution skills,

empathy and basic social and developmental skills. LaKashia Wallace is an organizer for Texas Organizing Project whose son, Joseph, has been diagnosed bipolar and ADD. She said he has been expelled from school, even though he was in a special education program, for horseplay, talking back, fighting and refusing to work. Wallace supports a new discipline approach called School-wide Positive Behavior Support (SWPBS) which is based on prevention and intervention, and emphasizes teaching and reinforcing social skills and problem-solving. She said that when the Amarillo school district adopted the program, its disciplinary referrals fell by 30 to 66 percent.


Dr. Timothy Bray, director of the Institute for Urban Policy Research, sees the report as a giant step in reforming school discipline. “Our policy makers and legislators respond to numbers,” he said. “When we get numbers we can get responses.” Panel members seemed convinced that schools today are too quick to write off students as behavior problems. DISD School Board member Carla Ranger, noting schools’ zero-tolerance policies, said, “Some of us would not be sitting here as bright and alert citizens if the same rules were in effect when we were in school as are in effect now.”

“The kids are our future,” said Wallace, “so let’s educate them, not incarcerate them.” To download a copy of Breaking Schools’ Rules, go to http:// juveniles.

One of Welch’s students, Marcus, told of his sister who was a great student. One day someone picked a fight with her and she ended up breaking her challenger’s nose. She went to jail, and now has a criminal record that prevents her from getting a job. Marcus sees the practice of suspensions for dress code violations as over-the-top harassment. Both Welch and his student noted that the method Samuell uses to clear the playground is a siren reminiscent of those used in prison yards. Some of the solutions discussed at the event include legislation, new disciplinary approaches and extracurricular programming.

One audience member said she was a teacher with two 12-year-old mothers in her class.




Yoo's Torture Memo Justification Defeated by Pitts' Reason, Compassion

John Yoo (left) debated Chip Pitts (right) with Prof. Seyom Brown Moderating (center).

By Trish Major


The opponents could hardly represent more opposite streams of thought. The question was “Resolved: That U.S. counterterrorism policies have been consistent with Constitutional law.” The players were John Yoo, former legal counsel to President George W. Bush and author of the infamous “Torture Memos,” and Chip Pitts, former chair of Amnesty International USA and former president of the Bill of Rights Defense Committee. The debate was part of the Conference on National Security and Civil Liberties, presented by

the Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility and the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies, held at SMU on October 22. John Yoo started the debate by asserting that since 9/11 the country has been at war, ergo activities that normally would be illegal must be reevaluated in light of extraordinary circumstances. He defended his claim that the U.S. is at war by saying that a foreign opponent attacked inside our borders and caused a large amount of destruction. If the Soviet Union had done the same thing as Al

Qaeda, he said, we would have called it war. The framers of the Constitution included an executive branch precisely for these situations, said Yoo, so that the president could respond swiftly in emergency situations. Generally, Congress initiates legislation and the president enacts it, but in times of war, the order is reversed: the president is proactive and Congress can decide whether or not to continue by holding the purse strings. The War Powers Resolution, passed in 1973, gives the president authority to react to national emergencies, but forbids armed forces from remaining active more than 60 days without Congressional authorization or the declaration of war. However, Yoo said that this resolution has never been enforced, and therefore shouldn’t be forced on the Bush administration. Were we to limit presidential power, Yoo said, our recent involvement in Libya would be unconstitutional, as would the Emancipation Proclamation, which was issued as a war measure by Abraham Lincoln. Chip Pitts countered that in times of war, the president has more expansive powers, but not to the extent that Yoo explicated either in his argument or in the memos he wrote as legal counsel to President Bush.

even be questioning this issue,” said Pitts. In Yoo’s rebuttal, he repeated that the U.S. has been in a state of war – if we weren’t, then the recent killing of Osama bin Laden and Anwar al-Awlaki would have been illegal. Both the separation of powers and the definition of torture in a time of war were unsettled at the time of the 9/11 attacks. Yoo said that he had been charged with finding out “how far we could go” in the area of torture. There were no previous cases regarding torture, he said, and the law was ambiguous. Yoo’s interpretation was that the president, with wartime powers, could determine the definition of torture. Yoo concluded that the net effect of the Bush policies is that there have been no other successful attacks on the U.S., we have killed our enemies and civil liberties are “fairly robust.” Pitts said that authorizing the chief executive to use military force does not excuse his sidestepping the rule of law. He said

that there are, in fact, precedent cases involving torture, e.g., Japanese torture prosecutions from World War II. Pitts said that he does have a problem with the killing of Awlaki, as he would with any government that puts out a contract on its own citizens. He repeated that this kind of behavior was the reason for the American Revolution. As far as the effectiveness of the war on terrorism, Pitts cited the skyrocketing number of suicide bombings throughout the world and the evidence that drone strikes and human rights violations have metastasized and strengthened terrorist enclaves. At the end of the debate, the audience of almost 100 people exited through one door if they thought Pitts had won the debate and another if Yoo had won. Even at an event sponsored by fair conservative foundations, more than three-fourths of the audience exited through Pitts’ door.


The United Nations Convention Against Torture, which was ratified by Congress (and is therefore U.S. law) specifically states that war situations may not be used as a reason to torture. In his memos, Yoo took advantage of a new situation, an attack by a non-nation state, to confuse the situation and make ambiguous laws that were once explicit, said Pitts. Our country was founded in order to battle arbitrary violations of civil liberties by King George III, and today our civil liberties are again under attack. Most programs are secret, he said, but today the government can listen in on your phone and read your emails. The PATRIOT Act has effectively enacted a permanent state of emergency, reminiscent of Syria and Egypt before Arab Spring. Pitts listed some of the forms of torture approved in Yoo memos, including sleep deprivation, forced nudity, beatings, humiliation, and threats from dogs. He then cited numerous authorities who soundly trashed Yoo’s legal scholarship. “I am very concerned that we should


The Dallas Peace Center is pleased to announce the first of its kind Bridging the Gap campaign connecting with the world through letters of encouragement, compassion and solidarity. Your words of empowerment will speak volumes to them and your voices will reach beyond the horizons. Take part of this historical opportunity and speak from your heart to their hearts. What do you say to a completely helpless father who was not able to protect his child from death? What do you say to a grieving mother who identified the body of her tortured son? What do you say to an orphan child who lost his father or mother? What do you say to the Syrian people who are losing their lives every day simply because they ask for freedom? Can you imagine what they must be going through? What words do you think they need to hear? What messages do you think will encourage them to persevere? For more  informa:on  please  email  (


DIRECTOR’S CUT By Kelli  Obazee What  an  honor   it  is  to  serve  an   organiza:on   that  for  25   years   recognizes   those  who  give  generously  of   themselves  so  that  they  and  others   might  thrive.     This  year’s  awardees  contribute  to   peacemaking  in  very  different  yet   significant  ways.    Daily  they  live  in   service  to  the  community.    Their  lives   emulate  those  who  are  seeking  to   create  a  culture  of  peace,  by  making   deliberate  reverbera:on  toward  a   peace  consciousness.   Media  Peacemaker  of  the  Year,  BJ   Aus'n,  covers  stories  that  bring   people  together  and  offer  a  view   from  the  other  side.    On  Mar:n   Luther  King  Jr.  Day,  Aus:n  covered   the  story  of  the  Dallas  community   standing  in  solidarity  for  the  rights  of   garbage  workers.    When  Osama  Bin   Laden  was  killed,  Aus:n  par:cipated   in  a  press  conference  held  at  the   Dallas  Peace  Center,  covering  this   story  from  a  very  different   perspec:ve  of  a  jubilant  na:on  to  a   people  of  consciousness  that   ques:oned  if  jus:ce  was  really   served  and  concerned  about  the   precedent  set  because  of  his  murder.    


This na:on’s  propensity  toward   violence  is  strongly  influenced  by  the   media.    A  true  path  to  peace  will  be   the  result  of  media  that  honors   compassion,  human  rights,  and  inter-­‐ connectedness  over  sensa:onalism.   The  South  Dallas  Cultural  Center   Peacemaking  Organiza:on  of  the   Year,  serves  all  communi:es  as  a   place  where  we  connect  and  share   our  culture  with  each  other.    It  is  the   mee:ng  place  that  feels  like  home.     At  the  SDCC  you  find  a  cross-­‐ genera:onal,  culturally  rich   environment  awake  to  the  suffering   and  deliverance  of  all  people  without   regard  to  race.      It  is  a  mee:ng  space   where  we  convene  to  discuss  and   iden:fy  solu:ons  that  plague  our   society.    Vicki  Meek,  Execu:ve   Director,  oversees  it  all  with  the   watchful  eyes  of  a  wise  woman   maintaining  the  sanc:ty  of  the  space.   Roger  Kallenberg    Life:me   Achievement  Awardee,  truly  lived  his   values  of  peace,  jus:ce,  and   reconcilia:on.    He  taught  us  the   importance  of  being  truly  connected   to  one  another.    Roger  gave  meaning   to  “Taking  It  to  the  Streets.”    You   could  find  him  in  the  synagogues   advoca:ng  on  behalf  of  the  atroci:es   commiTed  against  the  children  of   Pales:ne.    You  could  see  him  at  gun   show  where  he  rented  a  table  and   set  up  a  display  for  economic   conversion  and  engaged  those  

passing by  in  a  discussion  about  the   military  industrial  complex  in  the   Dallas/  Ft.  Worth  area.    His  sister  tells   a  story  of  him  traveling  to  Mexico  to   meet  the  families  of  his  students  to   beTer  understand  their  culture  and   challenges.    He  con:nues  to  be  an   inspira:on  to  us  all.   Rais  Bhuyan,  Peacemaker  of  the   Year,  has  lived  a  story  that  inspires  us   to  evoke  empathy  and  to  forgive   even  the  most  egregious  offenses.    It   is  in  the  power  of  empathy  and   forgiveness  that  the  cycles  of   violence  are  broken  and  that  healing   takes  place.     Come  and  celebrate  with  us  our  30th   Year  Anniversary  and  25th  Annual   Peacemaking  Awards  Dinner.      For   more  informa:on  and  :ckets: “But  peace  does  not  rest  in  the   charters  and  covenants  alone.  It  lies   in  the  hearts  and  minds  of  all  people.   So  let  us  not  rest  all  our  hopes  on   parchment  and  on  paper;  let  us  strive   to  build  peace,  a  desire  for  peace,  a   willingness  to  work  for  peace  in  the   hearts  and  minds  of  all  of  our  people.   I  believe  that  we  can.  I  believe  the   problems  of  human  des:ny  are  not   beyond  the  reach  of  human  beings.”            -­‐-­‐  John  F.  Kennedy  (1917-­‐1963) In  memory  of  Roger  Kallenberg  click   here!

By Trish Major The South Dallas Cultural Center isn’t just a place to go for education and entertainment. It is a home formed out of mutual adoption. SDCC has adopted the neighborhood, and the neighborhood has adopted SDCC. New children enter into the family, they grow up, and they stay connected. The Dallas Peace Center celebrates this relationship and the mutual respect between the Center and the community when it names the SDCC the 2011 Peacemaking Organization of the Year on December 1. When SDCC was conceived and built 25 years ago, the people who fought for it wanted a cultural center for African American artistic expression, however the Center ended up having a multicultural focus, according to director Vicki Meeks. Soon after, the City of Dallas brought in focus groups and consultants to find out what the neighborhood really wanted out of the Center. They found that the Center needed to narrow its focus to the African American and African Diaspora cultural community. Meeks took over the Center in 1997 and has concentrated on the international nature of the African Diaspora, bringing in cultural programs from the Caribbean and Latin America. She understands the desires of the South Dallas African American community because she is a part of it. Coming from a family of community organizers, and having no publicity budget, she realized that everything was going to have to happen by word of mouth. When she came to Dallas she immediately started going to PTA meetings, hanging out at the Minyards, going to the barber shops. “The only way it works is if people know they can trust you and realize that you are

serious about your commitment,” she said. Part of that commitment means trying new ideas that are suggested by people in community. One thing that has surprised Meeks is how often there will be a program that no one thought would be popular, and it was enthusiastically welcomed. She said one time Cuban filmmaker Gloria Rolando gave a lecture at the Center, and afterwards they were going to show one of her films. Rolando was afraid no one would want to stay for the film because it was in Spanish, but everyone stayed and enjoyed the film. “Don’t get hung up on the language,” said Meeks. “Look at the people; look at the culture.” One of SDCC’s programs is Fahari Arts which reaches out to the African American lesbian and gay community. This program was suggested by Harold Stewart, whose general impression of the black gay community is that it is primarily interested in partying. He wanted to create a vehicle to express more than that, and today Fahari Arts (“fahari” means “proud” in Swahili) includes an open mike event called Queerly Speaking and a Queer Film Festival. Other programs include Saturday classes is literacy, music, dance, visual arts and self improvement for which the SDCC partners with Big

Vicki Meek

Thought and Chase Bank; the monthly Evening of Spoken Word, emceed by Michael Guinn; Black Cinematique, which produces the Black Women’s Film Festival, Short & Sweet for regional African American filmmakers, Black Men’s Film Festival and the Black Comedy Film Festival. The Senior Cinema features a daytime screening once a month along with a program. Visual art shows in the Center’s Gallery rotate every two months. Also calling the SDCC home are two resident dance companies, afterschool programs at three schools and the Juanita Craft Center, and a year-old African Diaspora percussion ensemble. One of the newest programs, Soul Children’s Theater, acquaints young people and the community with the rich and extensive literary treasures of the African Diaspora. Its director, Ava Wilson, exemplifies the SDCC’s place in the community. She went to the SDCC summer arts programs as a child, she went off to college at Temple University in Pennsylvania, and she has returned to give back. Explaining why the SDCC has never had a graffiti problem, Meeks said, “The kids grew up here. They know it’s theirs. We made an investment in the community and the community invests in us.”


SDCC brings community culture of African Americans and African Diaspora


One Man Gives a Powerful Lesson of Putting Love Over Hate Publication Date: July 27, 2011  Page: A09  Section: OpEd  Zone: Tarrant Edition: Main  Bob Ray *Forgiveness: A crime victim finds peace in trying to save the life of his assailant. Bob Ray Sanders    A Muslim immigrant from Bangladesh tried his best to teach us, by example, the importance of forgiveness.    Unfortunately, it was a lesson many people in Texas and around the country did not want to entertain, must less learn.    If anyone has a reason to hate and pray for the damnation of an enemy, it is Rais Bhuiyan, who still wears the scars of a gunshot blast to the face, inflicted by a self-avowed racist.    His assailant was Mark Anthony Stroman, who went on a shooting spree in Dallas County shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, targeting "Middle Eastern"looking men for revenge. As it turned out, his three victims were South Asians. Stroman shot to death Pakistani native Waqar Hasan on Sept. 15, 2001, at his Dallas convenience store. On Sept. 21, Stroman entered the service station co-owned by Bhuiyan and asked him, "Where are you from?"


 Before Bhuiyan could respond, Stroman shot him in the face and left him for dead. The former Bangladeshi Air Force officer, who had come to this country a year earlier, survived the attack but was blinded in one eye.    Thirteen days later, Stroman attempted a robbery at a Mesquite service station, where he killed Vasudev Patel, a native of India. Surveillance tapes in that shooting led to Stroman's capture, prosecution and subsequent sentence of death.    Stroman, in his writings, said that

 Despite Stroman's obsessive hatred and his acts of violence, Bhuiyan forgave his would-be killer and fought to save his life, asking the state to commute the death sentence to life without parole. Bhuiyan was joined in his effort by family members of the other victims.    When it was apparent that the Texas Board of Pardons and Paroles and Gov. Rick Perry would not intervene in delaying or halting Stroman's death by the state, Bhuiyan filed suit to try to get a stay of execution. He had requested an

what he had done "was not a crime of hate, but an act of Passion and Patriotism, an act of country and commitment, an act of retribution and recompense."  He was so defiant, in fact, that during his trial he "shot the finger" to the relatives of the victim.

opportunity to meet with Stroman in person, and noted he had just learned from prison officials that it would take months of counseling and preparation of both victim and inmate in order for such permission to be granted.

although he was able to talk briefly with Stroman by phone.  Stroman was executed by lethal injection last week in Huntsville. His victim's show of mercy apparently had some affect on the condemned man, causing him to acknowledge that what he had done was wrong. He had made a "terrible mistake out of love, grief and anger," he told Associated Press reporter Michael Graczyk.    "From the death chamber," Graczyk wrote, "Stroman asked for God's grace and said hate in the world had to stop." According to the Huffington Post, a couple of weeks ago Stroman told a

have not been the victim of such life-shattering crimes.

That's true. Still, I'd like to think that I would have the heart of Bhuiyan and family members of other victims who understand the liberating and healing power of forgiveness - the ability of love to conquer hate.  It is a lesson that must continue to be taught; a lesson more people must learn. Bob Ray Sanders' column appears Sundays and Wednesdays. 817-390-7775


      Bhuiyan's request was denied,

documentary filmmaker: "I received a message that Rais loved me and that is powerful. ... I want to thank him in person for his inspiring act of compassion. He has forgiven the unforgiveable and I want to tell him that I have a lot of love and respect him."     Bhuiyan said his actions were driven by his faith, which "teaches me that saving a life is like saving the entire human race."    As much as I despised the actions of Stroman and resent the things he stood for most of his life, I, too, prayed that his life be spared. I make no exceptions when fighting against the barbaric institution of capital punishment. But, as readers often point out to me when I write about this subject, I

(C) The Star-Telegram 2011

Reporter BJ Austin Listens to Voices that Need to be Heard by Trish Major BJ Austin became a radio news reporter because she couldn’t make it as a tap dancer. Her dream of being a musical gypsy was cut short because she was – short. The chorus line always sort of dipped down at her spot, and in pretty short order she was off the stage and on unemployment in Georgia. When the employment service called her to ask if she wanted to do news training, she auditioned, and has been on the airwaves ever since. The Dallas Peace Center is honoring Austin on December 1 with its first Media Peacemaker of the Year Award for her objectivism and willingness to cover stories that are typically overlooked. Austin said that being objective was at first a very conscious effort, but as she gained experience the tendency became natural. She said she always thinks of walking a mile in another person’s shoes. “I think, where is this side coming from and where is the

other side coming from? Then, how do they meet?” Sometimes, even when one point of view is clearly dominant, an alternate view deserves a mention. “There are so many voices that deserve to be heard,” said Austin. “I think it’s important that many voices be heard and considered.” She said it is easy to find the A and B voices, but she likes to seek out the C, D and E voices for fuller, richer stories. Austin grew up in Farmers Branch and worked in Atlanta, New York and New Orleans before returning to north Texas. She has worked at KLIF, KRLD and for the past 3 1/2 years at KERA. She remembers the days when all reporters went out with a roll of dimes in order to make phone calls. She used to have dreams about getting a big story and not being able to find a phone. She also remembers editing her work using a grease pencil, splicer and tape. Computers have made life much easier for her.

Austin’s favorite stories do not involve spreadsheets: “Give me a three-alarm fire,” she said. In the past, she has impressed her son Will’s friends by describing disaster spots as she drove BJ Austin by them on Boy Scout outings. She has also taken her son with her storm-chasing, all the while wondering, what kind of mother would do this? Will’s kindergarten teacher told her that he seemed to have more “life experience” than the other kids. “Well, yah,” thought Austin. “He’s the only one that’s been to a homicide.” Along with the excitement, however, Austin’s favorite part of her job is meeting different people and, in some way, experiencing their life situations. Even though she is objective, she quotes a movie line saying, “I really do want world peace.”


On The Bookshelf Becoming A Justice Seeking Congregation Based on sound biblical, theological, and liturgical grounding, Becoming a Justice Seeking Congregation offers practical know-how strategies from McElvaney's ministry and from the experiences of others addressing justice issues in a variety of settings. Idealism and realism are combined in a "rubber hits the road" local church kind of justice discernment and discovery. Designed as an ecumenical study guide for local congregations, clergy groups, and seminarians, Becoming a Justice Seeking Congregation addresses the why, what, where, and how questions related to practicing justice. It provides a fresh invitation for the church to work for systemic change in the world.

between faith and social reality. In this book he brings both his long years of reflective study and his heart filled with passion to the hard issues facing faith. Readers will surely feel both assured and summoned by his words."

Advance praise for Becoming a Justice Seeking Congregation

-Zan W. Holmes, Jr., Pastor emeritus, St. Luke Community United Methodist Church, Dallas, Texas

-Walter Brueggemann, Emeritus Professor of Old Testament, Columbia Theological Seminary, Decatur, Georgia "For forty years I have witnessed and appreciated Bill McElvaney's consistent commitment to the struggle for social justice and peace. His faithful track record in this challenging area of ministry gives him the practical and theological authority to write this book."

"Bill McElvaney is a reliable and sure-footed guide who traces out the deep and urgent connections

The Peace Keeping Economy The idea that military strength is virtually synonymous with security is deeply entrenched and widely held. But while the threat or use of military force may sometimes be necessary, it cannot keep us as safe as we would be by building relationships that replace hostility with a sense of mutual purpose and mutual gain. Economic relationships, says Lloyd J. Dumas, can offer a far more effective, and far less costly, means of maintaining security. After defining the right kind of economic relationship—one that is balanced and nonexploitative, emphasizes development, and minimizes environmental damage—Dumas then addresses some practical concerns in establishing and maintaining these relationships. He also considers the practical problems of the transition from military-based security arrangements to "economic peacekeeping," and the effects of demilitarized security on economic development and prosperity.

Dr. Lloyd Jeff Dumas is a Professor of Political Economy, Economics, and Public Policy in the School of Economic, Political and Policy Sciences (previously, Social Sciences) at the UT-Dallas.

Dallas Peace Times  

A monthly magazine publication by The Dallas Peace Center

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