Spotlight: When the Church Turns Its Back on the Children

If you were a child sexually abused by the priest in your church, surely your parents wouldn’t turn a blind eye. If people in your church knew it was happening, they would definitely help. Wouldn’t they? If the neighborhood you lived in, the city that neighborhood was in, the lawyers, judges, schools and police in that city knew what was happening to you and hundreds of other children like you, there is no way they would stay silent. Right? What if the Church itself knew? All the way up to the top. What if the archdiocese knew…or the pope? Continue reading “Spotlight: When the Church Turns Its Back on the Children”

In Their Shoes: Jewish in Trump’s America

“I was very blessed to grow up in a predominantly Jewish town where I never felt out of place for being a Jew.”

 

Rena Gordonson on her wedding day – _ I have come to understand that I can be my own kind of Jew._

Rena Gordonson’s childhood wasn’t perfect. Few are. But it was, in many ways, idyllic. Rena grew up in the New York City area. Being Jewish meant being a proud part of a respected community. It wasn’t until she was in her thirties that she had her first negative experience. Riding in a taxi with a group of non-Jewish women, one of them suggested Rena handle the money. “Because I’m a Jew. Can you imagine? And in New York City,” Rena recalls. Continue reading “In Their Shoes: Jewish in Trump’s America”

April Fool’s Day Every Day

D.J. Stone sits on the edge of the waterbed he inherited from his mother. Beside him on the bed is a pile of trousers. As he slips his leg into a fifth pair of pants, he laughs. His wife, Maria, has sewn the hems together on this pair as well. “I stayed up all night doing it. I even made sure to do all of the dirty laundry. I didn’t miss a single pair!” Maria proudly states. D.J. looks at his wife adoringly, “I’m late to work a lot because of her pranks, but the joy they bring makes jeopardizing my job worth it.” He lovingly recalls the time she put raisins in the toothpaste tube causing brown goo to ooze out when he squeezed it. He chuckles at the memory of a friend’s dinner party. Maria snuck into the bathroom and melted Tootsie Rolls all over the toilet seat. “Last night he got me pretty good!” Maria smiles, “He served me a plate of Oreos, but he replaced all the filling with toothpaste.” The love in the room is palpable. Continue reading “April Fool’s Day Every Day”

Behind the Photograph

 

What if we had never seen a photo of the soldiers raising the American flag on Iwo Jima? What if Jack Ruby shooting Lee Harvey Oswald had never been captured on film? What if the images of the twin towers falling on 9/11 were only images in the minds of those who were there? Thanks to photojournalists, we don’t have to ask these questions. Photojournalists understand the importance of documenting history as it unfolds before them. It takes courage to keep your finger on the shutter and bear witness, but that is exactly what they do. The film “The Pulitzer Photographs: A Glimpse of Life” takes a look at photos that have won one of the industry’s highest honors. But what sets a Pulitzer Prize winning photograph apart for this distinction? Continue reading “Behind the Photograph”

Don’t Touch My Hair

Frida Kahlo by Jemima Bean, age 10.

Jemima is 10 years old. She points to the computer screen, tapping on a black sweatshirt with bold, white letters. “This is the one I want. It says, ‘Don’t Touch My Hair.’ I get tired of telling people to stop.” Today, Jemima’s hair is braided into long, ombré braids. They fade from black to blonde and look, “Just like Beyoncé’s!” Jemima beams. She says it took her mom 14 hours of braiding to put them in. You can tell she is proud of her mom. Turning back to the screen she checks to make sure her size is in stock. It is. Her grandma gave her $50 for Christmas, and this is the purchase she is most excited to make. Continue reading “Don’t Touch My Hair”

I Hate Being Transgender

“I began crying for no apparent reason. Not apparent to anyone else, anyways.”

Jon is 17 years old. He is 17 in every single way: mismatched converse, grim reaper T-shirt, skinny jeans and a mop of wavy golden hair. Like many high school seniors, Jon is navigating big choices. Where will he go to college? How much debt is he willing to take on? Should he pursue his passions or take the safer road? He does this while juggling classes, running cross-country, being the president of his school’s Gay-Straight Alliance group and giving himself hormone shots every other week. Continue reading “I Hate Being Transgender”