Religious leaders in Lawrence, Kansas are taking the lead in grassroots organization to address community grievances and stand in solidarity with the community of Ferguson, Missouri.
The sun filters in through stained glass as people file in through the entrance of St. Luke’s African Methodist Episcopal Church on the evening of Aug. 28 in Lawrence. By 7:30 p.m., it’s standing room only in the 104-year-old gothic revival structure.
Residents are here for the Interfaith Vigil for Michael Brown, an 18-year-old unarmed black man who was killed by a police officer in Ferguson, Missouri on Aug. 9.
Organized by the Lawrence Justice Ministry and the University of Kansas Ecumenical Campus Ministries, the vigil was also a solidarity demonstration and a call to Lawrence to stand for justice. The Justice Ministry represents 20 churches in Lawrence, along with the Jewish and Islamic centers.
The Ministry was organized in late 2013 to hear the complaints of the citizens of Lawrence, identify the root causes of those complaints, and act to solve them. Moussa Elbayoumy of the Kansas Chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations says “We decided to bring all places of worship together that believe in the mandate for justice.” The Ministry first gathered senior religious leaders and asked: “What do our faiths say about justice?” On March 1, 2014, the Ministry gathered an expanded meeting at St. Margaret’s Episcopal Church for “Rethinking Justice,” to ask faith leaders to search their scriptures for inspiration about justice. That inspiration drives each of the speakers tonight.
Continue reading The Ministry of Justice
by Nick Chadbourne
“In the early months of 2014, while Sporting Kansas City and its fans were busy celebrating the team’s MLS Cup victory, its 16-year-old youth player, Erik Palmer-Brown, was garnering attention from Europe. Attention from Europe’s elite, specifically. Italian club Juventus reportedly offered more than $1 million for the rights to Palmer-Brown. Perhaps most surprisingly, he hadn’t played a second of professional soccer; Palmer-Brown has spent the last five years developing at Sporting Kansas City’s youth academy.”
by Cody Kuiper
“Urmi Basu, the founder of New Light, a community development project in India that provides education and shelter to girls and women at high risk of trafficking, gave a lecture on the issue Wednesday night at the Kansas Union as part of the Jana Mackey Distinguished Lecture Series.”
by Kate Miller
“Gov. Sam Brownback signed new legislation on Monday that will expand autism treatment insurance coverage for about 750 children over the next two to three years. The bill has become law in the last full week of National Autism Awareness Month.”
by Miranda Davis
“Students from the KU School of Pharmacy are working this week to fight the closing of the grill inside Mortar and Pestle cafe, located inside the school of pharmacy on West Campus. The cafe would stay open, but the grill is the only hot dining option on West Campus and would potentially be replaced by a KU Dining drop-off service.”
by Jesse Burbank
“It’s very easy to forget the world beyond campus. Often times a college student’s mind doesn’t stray far from the next class, the next night out or the next tweet. However, it’s important to remember that there’s a world beyond Lawrence, and right now that world finds itself in a crisis reminiscent of the Cold War. Ukraine’s uprising and Russia’s subsequent regional occupation threatens to affect every level of society: from gas prices in Lawrence to the renewal of tension between Russia and the West.”
by Mackenzie Leander
“According to a new report, the majority of the top 10 worst states to live are in or around the Midwest. Kansas wasn’t one of them.“