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May-June 2011

Vol. 36, No. 3



1) Torture Awareness Month resources: Several years ago, religious and human rights organizations in the United States declared the month of June to be Torture Awareness Month as a way to provide greater visibility to this issue and provide an opportunity for coordinated actions across the country. June 26 is United Nations International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. The National Religious Campaign Against Torture has several resources available for churches and other groups to meet the needs of congregations at different stages of engagement with this issue. One resource is "Preventing Torture Everywhere," a new video about preventing torture through the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture. The video features four victims of torture, including Juan Mendez, UN Special Rapporteur on Torture, and can be downloaded at or bought on DVD for $5. A study guide is also available online.

2) Churches for Middle East Peace Advocacy Conference, Washington, D.C., May 22-24: Learn how to make a positive difference in the Middle East. Guest speaker is Archbishop Dr. Elias Chacour of the Greek Melkite Catholic Archeparchy, founder and president of Mar Elias Educational Institutions, a group of schools open to all regardless of religion or ethnicity. The conference has workshops, speakers, lobbying opportunities and more. Visit for more information.

3) The Climate Scoreboard: This interactive graph marks developments in climate change, the progress being made and indicates the progress that needs to happen. Explore the scoreboard here:

4) B corporations: A "B corporation" uses business to solve social and environmental problems. The legal structures in place for B corporations allow them to take employee and community concerns into account. The website offers a search engine to find B corporations in your area, a B corporation job board and other resources. Visit to learn more.

5) Bridge the Gulf Project: This citizen journalism initiative helps Gulf residents tell their stories and express their thoughts on a just future for the Gulf Coast. With the recent BP oil spill and Hurricane Katrina, the project is a medium for their voices to be heard. The website contains videos, blog postings, an interactive map and other resources. Visit the site here:

6) After the Spill: April 20 marked the one year anniversary of the BP oil spill. The website features reflections and calls to action from the faith community over the next few weeks. The site also has one-year memorial resources for congregations. Visit to read them.

7) Health care budget calculator: Put out by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, this calculator shows what the U.S. deficit would be if the U.S. had the same healthcare cost per person of the nations listed on the website (France, Spain, Japan, etc.). The chart compares the costs country-country.

8) Cambodia immersion trip, October 2011: Friends Across Borders (FAB), a program of the Maryknoll Lay Missioners, will host this trip October 9-23 which will include visiting Maryknoll ministry sites, where they care for children and adults with HIV/AIDS, educate deaf persons, work on resettlement of displaced persons and anti-human trafficking initiatives, and provide literacy programs. Delegates will also visit museums and temples and will participate in daily reflections. Total ground cost is $1,600 + $200 nonrefundable registration fee per person. Program fees cover all lodging and meals, all transportation within the country, medical insurance, English-Khmer speaking guides and tourist fees. International airfare, taxes and visa are not included. Friends Across Borders will provide information on obtaining a visa, immunizations and can help you make flight arrangements. Contact Friends Across Borders for more information: 914-762-6364 ext. 207,,

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