Commitment, Community, Cooperation

The Gospel According to St. Franchise

In Culture, One Horizon on July 17, 2013 at 2:07 pm

OHI Fellow Releases New E-Book

St_Franchise

On July 4, 2013, OHI fellow Billy Kenney released his first book entitled, “The Gospel According to Saint Franchise,” through Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing. This book is a satire based on the Gospel of Matthew. It follows Jesus and his disciples on a darkly humorous journey as God reveals his true desire for the future of the people of Israel. By faithfully abiding temptation and trial Jesus has demonstrated his worthiness and is now prepared to claim his proper title of Messiah, and his rightful place as the unquestioned hegemon of world affairs. “Tell me Son, how can the mite of a widow ever possibly compare with the might of an army?” asks God. Thus begins Jesus’ quest to use all possible means available to him to make sure that Israel becomes the most resplendent empire that the world ever has or ever will see. He is Saint Franchise, the brand above all brands who will bring hegemony over the entire earth in the name above all names!

“I wrote this book as a way to help draw out the very stark contrast that I see between many of our modern western values and ideals, and the story of Jesus,” says Kenney. “So, in this sense, it is an attempt to invite people to critically reflect upon how cultural values and ideals deeply influence and often deform or pervert our understanding of Christian identity and practice,” he said. The book’s cover features a work of art that was done by OHI’s Steve Pavey, who also did the cover design. It is available for download to all Kindle or Kindle compatible devices here
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Amahoro Gathering and New Web Presence

In Amahoro on July 17, 2013 at 2:03 pm

OHI Deepens Relationship with Amahoro Africa

Amahorologo

On May 27-31 OHI was honored to be a participant and co-sponsor of the 6th annual Amahoro Africa Gathering. This year’s gathering was held in Entebbe, Uganda, and was attended by over 100 indigenous church and civil society leaders from all over Central East Africa and Southern Africa. There were also about 20 people in attendance from America, Europe and other countries. The main topic of discussion at this year’s gathering was politics and the Kingdom of God. OHI team members Greg Leffel and Billy Kenney were in attendance at the gathering. Billy is currently serving as the Executive Director of Amahoro USA, which supports Amahoro Africa and helps to build relationships between Americans and the work in Africa. He also serves on the governing board of Amahoro Africa.

Amahoro Africa is a growing movement of church and civil society leaders seeking to promote indigenous -African leadership that is focused on integral mission. The annual Amahoro Africa gathering is a central part of this work, and serves to help inform, connect and build networks among people doing innovative progressively oriented work in a broad array of areas related to Christian mission and development. OHI is proud to be a long-time supporter and participant in this work, and believes Amahoro has tremendous potential to help positively transform the paradigm for western involvement in Africa. To find out more about the work of Amahoro Africa please visit the new website here.

OHI Unveils New Amahoro Website

AmahroLive

At this year’s annual Amahoro Africa Gathering OHI was honored to be able to introduce the new Amahoro Africa website, that was funded by OHI and created in consultation with the leadership of Amahoro Africa. We want to thank Pablo Otaola of StepStone Designs for his excellent work in designing and building what we believe is a beautiful and functional site that does a great job of telling the Amahoro Africa story. We also owe many thanks to Travis Reed of The Work of the People, who did an amazing job of creating most of the video content for the site. Our work with Travis on this website project is the formal beginning of what we hope will be a very long and productive relationship with The Work of the People. Billy Kenney of OHI was the project manager for the development of the website, and coordinated the efforts between all of the different parties involved in building the site.

One of the key features of the new site is a blog that allows the different Amahoro cohort groups around Africa to share insights ask questions and give others real-time updates about what is happening in their own contexts. It also allows Amahoro friends and members from outside of Africa to remain connected to the ongoing conversation and share about what is happening in their own countries. Very soon OHI plans to launch a local “Lexington Cohort” of Amahoro that we’re hoping will be a way for African expatriates and refugees in our own city to connect with the ongoing work in Africa, as well as be a space to introduce and welcome Americans to participate in this work.

Immigrant Families Torn Apart

In Refugees & Immigration on April 15, 2013 at 12:19 pm

Press Release:  Research by OHI Reveals the Ongoing Separation of Families through Detention and Deportation

April 15, 2013

The organizing efforts of The National Immigrant Youth Alliance continue to shine light on the grim reality of the vast complex built for the detention and deportation of immigrants that separates families and expose immigrants to all sorts of human rights abuses.

Claudia Munuz, a NIYA organizer, allowed herself to be detained by border patrol in order to infiltrate the unjust immigrant detention complex to discover the stories of women facing deportation.  While she was prepared to face the daily struggles of detainment and possible deportation herself, she tells me further, “I was unprepared to hear and respond to the despair of women facing separation from their children.”  Just over 70 percent of female detainees facing deportation from Calhoun County Jail in Michigan will be separated from at least one U.S. born child under the age of 10.

The Calhoun County Jail, located in Battle Creek, Michigan, is the largest immigration detention facility in the State.  They began housing immigrant detainees in 2007 after signing an indefinite contract with ICE.  Claudia has observed the Assistant ICE Field Office Director using intimidation and verbal abuse to force immigrant detainees to sign a Voluntary Departure (foregoing their right to a hearing before a judge).  When one detainee refused to sign saying he was not a bad person and that he wanted to see a judge, the Assistant ICE Field Office Director laughed into his face saying, “ICE has more power than any immigration judge.”  He continued with further threats if the Voluntary Departure was not signed.  This among many other documented abuses at Calhoun County Jail demonstrates a lack of Federal oversight that exposes immigrant detainees to unjust human rights violations.

Tomorrow (April 16), the Senate “Gang of Eight” will most likely reveal their plan for immigration reform that will not include any answer to the unjust treatment of immigrant detainees.  In fact, their immigration reform bill will include an increase in interior enforcement and a long path to citizenship for a select few contingent on 100 percent U.S.-Mexico border surveillance and a 90 percent detainment rate on that border.   This makes no sense for those of us working for a better America towards justice!

Claudia was literally detained as a criminal for no other reason than lacking “proper” papers.  This is the fear immigrants face everyday while going to work or school and caring for their families.  There is no just and fair immigration reform without an end to the detainment and deportation of immigrants.  Claudia has lived in the United States for 12 years, but it was these 11 days (so far) in jail that taught her, she tells me, “I was never free.”  Whether in detention or not, life in America for immigrants offers no freedom or justice.

Today (April 15), The National Immigrant Youth Alliance is calling for two actions:

  1. Demand the Release of All Low-Priority Detainees!
  2. Demand the Removal of ICE Director Rebecca Adduci and ICE Assistant Director James Jacobs

For more details on other immigrant detainees in Michigan and to Sign the Petition, go to the following link:

http://action.dreamactivist.org/mice

 

Steve Pavey, Ph..D., is an applied anthropologist engaged in activist scholarship as a Senior Research Scientist at the One Horizon Institute in Lexington, Ky.

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