Taking Champagne to the Battle

Picnicking at the First Battle of Bull Run Today is the 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War, and by pure coincidence, Michael and I have been watching Ken and Ric Burns’ The Civil War documentary… which makes me an expert. I am an expert because I, like many others who have revisited … Continue reading

I Now Pronounce You Home

Burma on the map Mya* and Kywe* were born and raised in Burma. They met in Sunday School and grew up together. About ten years ago, Mya and Kywe got married. Only a few months later, they began planning a way out. They won’t say what finally convinced them to leave their homeland. Was it … Continue reading

How Agricultural Slavery Works in the United States

Ansel Adams – Manzanar farm workers and Mt. Williamson, 1943 The continued existence of agricultural slavery might be hard to believe, but exist it does, and at a widespread levels across the globe. What might be even more surprising, especially to American consumers, is the prevalence of slavery on farms across the United States. CIW … Continue reading

The Sound of Music and the Marginalized

Displaced people have a reputation of being primarily non-Western. It is easy in the United States to see them as foreign and other. Then Katrina happens. New Orleans and other Gulf towns get flushed out by the storm and cities from Houston to Boston start taking in the refugees, offering beds and canned food and … Continue reading

Thoroughly Modern Millie and the Marginalized

In the hit musical comedy Thoroughly Modern Millie, the villain Mrs. Meers plays an ex-actress who works for a white slavery ring based in Hong Kong. She kidnaps pretty American girls and ships them to the Orient, using the help of her easily manipulated Chinese sidekicks, Ching Ho and Bun Foo. The Mrs. Meers subplot … Continue reading

The African Slave Trade, Suburbia-Style

Cinderella, 1865 It turns out we are still shipping in slaves from Africa to work our estates. And we seem to prefer children. In the United States today, an estimated one-third of trafficking victims work as domestic servants, mostly in suburban neighborhoods. The ones who are children often arrive after being sold in their African … Continue reading

Sold in America

Today I’m reviewing a new documentary short: Sold in America. Directed by Chelo Alvarez-Stehle, Sold in America tells the stories of three women sold into slavery in the United States. The film does an excellent job in depicting how varied the means are for sex trafficking in America. The three women interviewed come from different … Continue reading

Getting to Yemen

The following clip from UNHCR details the perilous journey thousands of Somalis are making every day to get to Yemen and the safety they hope to find there. This clip was produced in 2007, but since then a new phase of the Somali civil war has started in the country, and so Somali refugees continue … Continue reading

Found in Translation

Recently my husband went with Refugee Services to pick up a refugee from the airport and help him get to his new home. Usually this involves showing the individual or family around their new apartment, helping them understand what food is on their shelves, and then leaving them alone so that they can sleep for … Continue reading

What Makes an Iraqi Refugee

Chances are, if you live in or near a big city, you almost certainly have Iraqi refugees nearby. After seven years of war and occupation, millions of Iraqis have fled to other countries seeking status as refugees, and millions of others are internally displaced in Iraq. Displaced Palestinian-Iraqi family near Jordanian border Many of the … Continue reading

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