Partner News: Finding Commonsense Solutions to Criminal Justice and Immigration Challenges

The intersection of criminal justice, racial justice, and immigration emerges as the focus of this month’s Partner News, reflecting the issues being widely discussed across the nation. While our country sees a wave of anti-immigration and anti-Islamic rhetoric surface from the Paris attacks, our social justice partners are speaking out with values-based messaging on the importance of maintaining our identity as a nation that accepts refugees of all religions, races, and backgrounds. (Read more on that here.) Yet even before the Paris attacks, our partners were busy responding to the latest developments in criminal justice, racial justice, and immigration. Their voices have been strong, steadfast, and filled with commonsense solutions.

The Importance of Maintaining our Identity as a Nation That Welcomes Refugees

Since the Nov. 13 Paris attacks, America is seeing an escalation of anti-refugee and anti-Islamic rhetoric that violates some of our country’s most closely held values. It is crucial for us to respond with values-based messaging on the importance of maintaining our identity as a nation that welcomes refugees of all religions, races, and backgrounds.

The Truth Behind The Hunger Games and Dollar General: the Reality of Violence against Native Women and Children

Everyone deserves to live free from violence and under the protection of due process. In 1978, the Supreme Court stripped Tribal Governments of their jurisidiction to prosecute non-Indians committing crimes on tribal lands leaving Native women and children at risk. In a nation that values the rule of law, one would think this kind of lawlessness could only be found in a dsytopian drama. Lawyer, playwright, and Cherokee nation citizen Mary Kathryn Nagle writes about the real-life Hunger Games happening across the United States and why the Supreme Court must recognize Native Nations' sovereign authority to protect its citizens.

5 Tips for Surviving Thanksgiving Conversations

Coming together around a table with friends and family can be a wonderful time of reflection and enjoyment—but it can also be a conversation minefield. Engaging constructively with folks whose views and experiences differ from ours or who aren’t familiar with the work we do can be a challenge. However, by taking a step back and starting conversations with shared values, we can find points of connection that move us forward together and make sure that the fireworks don’t come out until the Fourth of July.

Rethinking the Way We Communicate for Social Justice Change

Framing social justice discourse can be challenging. As a communicator, it is necessary to create smart and deliberate messages that do not disparage targeted audiences. That’s why Advancement Project has partnered with The Opportunity Agenda to create The Social Justice Phrase Guide, a new toolkit that helps communicators craft inclusive messages.

When Arts Activism Meets Criminal Justice Reform: October 2015 Partner News

Criminal Justice is at the forefront of our Creative Change alumni’s advocacy and artistic work this month, with projects drawing attention to the profound harms of solitary confinement and a compelling panel discussion on media, hip-hop, and the prison-industrial complex.

Detaining families, failing at values

Just before Pope Francis arrived in the United States in late September, President Obama remarked about undocumented immigrant children: “when I hear folks talking as if somehow these kids are different from my kids, or less worthy in the eyes of God, that somehow they are less worthy of our respect and consideration and care—I think that’s un-American.”

“Artivism” Gets a 21st-Century Makeover


When Viola Davis took the stage earlier this month to accept an historic Emmy Award for Best Leading Actress in a Drama, she declared that “the only thing that separates women of color from anyone else is opportunity.

Partner News: Speaking Out Against Solitary Confinement, Interactive Theatre, Climate Change, and More!

In addition to focusing on the Pope’ visit and his messaging on social justice issues, our partners and allies in the field have been keeping busy with long-term projects (and artistic expression) that keep pushing the narrative forward on criminal justice, racial justice, climate change, and economic opportunity.

Pope Francis in the U.S.: Imprisonment and Forgiveness

Dr. Obery Hendricks, Senior Fellow on Faith and Opportunity for The Opportunity Agenda shares his perspective on why Pope Francis is progressive on criminal justice reform. Read more about how social justice advocates can leverage Pope Francis' visit to the U.S. here.

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