Tag Archives: Inequality

Is There a New King in Town?

On April 16, 1963, Martin Luther King Jr. wrote the Letter from Birmingham Jail in the margins of the daily newspaper while sitting in prison. In the letter he discusses how there must be direct non-violent action to confront unjust laws.

Fast-forward to the current year 2015, where an African American President is currently leading the nation. One could be under the belief that racism and unequal treatment ended long ago with Martin Luther King, Jr.


On October 26, 2015, my communication class was graced with the presence of Bishop John Selders. Selders, a musician as well as a third-generation preacher, realized that a silent approach in politics could not accomplish change on a larger political scale. This realization came at the means of great loss. On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown, an unarmed African American, was shot by a white officer in Ferguson, Missouri.

The compassion and energy Bishop Selders expressed over equal rights and the passion in support of the Black Lives Matter movement was explosive. Bishop Sanders, like Martin Luther King Jr., would prepare his team for non-violence action protests. Here was a man willing to shut down streets, get arrested, make a stand, and speak out because of unjust treatment of African Americans.

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One thing that I found particularly interesting was Bishop Sanders reference to dog whistle politics. Dog whistle politics are when individuals or groups support in silence. They are typically afraid to confront mainstream views, even if they believe them to be wrong. Similarly, to Martin Luther King Jr. who believed that staying silence is as bad as committing the act itself.

If you haven’t read about or seen Bishop John Selders, that may change quickly because he has the integrity to make a difference.


Olivia C. Granja

The Friendship Service Center

Homelessness is a chronic problem that has been affecting the New Britain area for decades. Fortunately, there are many prominent organizations tasked with the noble goal of providing aid and care to those with no place to call home. One such association is the Friendship Service Center, which has been offering services to those in need since 1968 when Father Joseph Farrell opened the very first Friendship Center to help those with rampant drinking problems.

“Today I’m opening a storefront Friendship Center. You folks know the location well – it’s between two package stores. We’re going to show the needy that nobody is a nobody in the eyes of God. I hope this work will grow and grow and be of as much help to as many people as possible.”

It’s from these humble beginnings that the Friendship Center has developed into an organization that is able to give shelter to the homeless, assist those with drug abuse, and ultimately offer a future to those in need where they are acclimated to society and living on their own successfully and independently.

Early in October, I went to the Friendship Center on Arch Street as part of a class trip to meet with some of the team members working there and talk with Executive Director Ellen Perkins Simpson where she shared some insight into her organization and mission. She went into great detail about how individuals staying at their housing units receive intense case management. There are weekly check-ins to see how they are faring in their apartments. Some of these clients have been living on the streets for years (some for over 10 years), so workers at the Friendship Center guide them on cooking, cleaning, and obtaining jobs, with the eventual goal of getting them to live by themselves independently. Visiting the Friendship Center was an eye-opening, yet hopeful experience. It was comforting to know that the team’s methods of rehabilitation worked and that several homeless people now lead very successful lives.


“A Mutual Acquaintance of Many: Inequality” by Farrah Fontano

Recently I watched a documentary in my Writing for Electronic Media class. Following the topic of Income Inequality through the prism of race, because what’s a better way to make people uncomfortable than talking about race? In the documentary we follow former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich on his quest to determine when this inequality becomes a problem. He poses three major questions having to do with the distribution of wealth: 1. What is happening? 2. Why? 3. Is it a problem?

One thing that he said really hit home for me and that is that 42% of children born into poverty will not get out. So this means that two people decided to have a child and NOT take their financial situation, or basically anything into account, and essentially made a conscious decision to screw their OWN child for the rest of its life. What if that child that will live in poverty for the rest of its life has the cure to cancer in its brain? It will never come out because that kid will never have a chance to get a higher education or honestly flourish inside the public school system. This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed.Jackie-Chan-WTF