Saturday, January 29, 2011

A 5-year Campaign to End Childhood Hunger in New Mexico

Share Our Strength (SOS) and the New Mexico Collaboration to End Hunger invite you to participate in a 5-year campaign to end childhood hunger in New Mexico. The campaign is part of SOS's No Kid Hungry Anywhere. (That's Jeff Bridges in the above video).

The New Mexico campaign will be launched on Friday, Feb. 25. Join organizers at the UNM Cancer Center(Directions) at 10:00 A.M. A meeting of the  New Mexico Collaboration to End Hunger will follow at 11 A.M.  This is the organization's first meeting of 2011.

Stay tuned for more information...

Friday, January 28, 2011


(The Gospel Reading for Sunday is Matthew 5:1-12.  What if you took time to really listen to the Beatitudes in your heart in a very prayerful and reflective manner?  Steve Garnaas-Holmes shares his prayer with us).

Blessed are the poor in spirit,
         for theirs is the realm of heaven.

                  — Matthew 5.2
Blessed are those who are weak,
         for God’s infinite power is in them.
Blessed are the losers
         for they are receivers.
Blessed are those who do not believe,
         for God believes in them.
Blessed are the lives that are all messed up,
         for God is in them.
Blessed are those who appear worthless,
         for they are not.
Blessed are the ugly,
         for they will be called Beautiful.
Blessed are the wounded,
         for God’s miracles arise in them.
Blessed are those who are judged and condemned,
         for they are not judged or condemned.
Blessed are the gentle,
         for they have the power of God.
Blessed are you when you have nothing to say,
         for you are a love note from God.
Blessed are you when you fail,
         for God does not fail you,
         nor fail in you,
         but shines with glory and delight.
 -Steve Garnaas-Holmes

(Reprinted with permission of the author, who is a long-time Bread for the World member in New Hampshire.  Please visit his wonderful blog Unfolding Light, which  is a daily reflection rooted in a contemplative, Creation-centered spirituality, often inspired by his walks in the woods. In poems, parables, psalms, thoughts and the odd weather report he hopes to invite readers into a spirit of presence, compassion, justice and delight. Though these writings are rooted in the Christian story you’ll hear in them melodies of many traditions. Unfolding Light is for anyone who wants to be a part of God’s healing of the world.)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Great Resource on Foreign Aid

As you probably know by now, Bread for the World's Offering of Letters for 2011 will resume our efforts to promote foreign aid reform (not that we abandoned them last year.  They're coming back to the forefront). Bread will advocate for a stronger U.S. government focus on reducing poverty, clearer accountability for how aid dollars are spent, a transformed U.S. development agency, and U.S. aid that meets the needs and wants of local people.  Here is the link to Bread's Offering of Letters site.  And a video

As you know, we are not alone in the effort to make foreign aid more responsive to the needs of poor and hungry people around the world.  Organizations like Oxfam America are also very much on top of this effort.   I also want to highlight the work of InteraAction, which has put together a fabulous Foreign Assistance Briefing Book    Check it out.

InterAction is pleased to release its second Foreign Assistance Briefing Book (FABB). The book outlines the U.S.-based international nonprofit community’s views on foreign assistance challenges expected to be at the forefront of the 112th Congress and the remaining two years of the Obama administration’s first term.
Sixteen key areas and sectors are featured, including climate change, food security and agriculture, health, urban poverty and U.S. government funding trends, with specific problems highlighted and suggested recommendations. All of the factual information is drawn from InterAction member organizations’ with decades of experience working in the developing world.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Rethinking School Lunch: A Community Discussion

The Action Communities for Health, Innovation and Environmental Change (ACHIEVE),
cordially invite you to
A community discussion on innovative strategies to bring healthy and sustainable food into our Albuquerque schools.  The special guest speaker is Zenobia Barlow, Executive Director of the Center for Ecoliteracy (CEL) in California.   
  Ms. Barlow will present an overview of   
Rethinking School Lunch, CELs groundbreaking work with the Berkeley Public School system, which will then be followed by a group discussion.
  When:   3:30-5pm/Friday, February 4th
  Where:   Harwood Art Center
  1114 7th Street NW, ABQ, NM 87102

This event is free and open to the public

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Market Speculators and the Food Crisis

For 11 years, I worked as a market reporter, editor and copy editor for a news service that provided information to folks involved in various aspects of the agriculture industry, from farm cooperatives and radio stations to exporters and commodity traders.  In fact, the latter group was our principal constituency.

The job gave me a perspective into a world that few anti-hunger advocates experience.  (Heck, I was even an associate member of the National Association of Farm Broadcasters!)  The pricing of commodities like soybeans, wheat, corn, cattle, hogs, etc... is not determined only by true supply and demand, but often by the activities of a group of people in a couple of buildings in Chicago, Minneapolis, and Kansas City.  (And if you were talking cocoa, coffee and sugar--it was New York City and London).

I don't want to entirely dismiss the commodities trading business.  There is ample justification for the existence of this pricing mechanism. A very informative article published by the non-profit organization Food & Water Watch offers a good explanation:
The commodity futures market provides a vital link between farmers and the buyers of agricultural products like meatpackers, flour mills and food manufacturers.
On the most basic level, the commodity futures market is a way for farmers to avoid having to sell their crops at harvest times, when the supply is high and the price is low. Instead, farmers can market their crops before they are harvested through a futures contract to lock in a price they hope will be better, or at least more predictable, than what they would get at harvest time.

On the flip side, the buyers of agricultural products can ensure they have a steady supply of crops like corn or wheat at a certain price.
The commodity futures market allows both the seller (farmer) and buyer (food manufacturer) to reduce their risk from volatile prices and uncertain supplies — allowing both to hedge their bets.
Here's the problem:
Over the past two decades, the safeguards that prevented excessive speculation from distorting the futures markets were eroded or eliminated.
This lack of regulation led to uncontrolled price speculation, which contributed greatly to the Food Crisis of 2008.  The issue is relevant because there is concern that another crisis might be looming in 2011.  The Bread for the World Institute addressed this in a recent blog post. And here's what Bread for the World says in its Web site:
The world is facing a hunger crisis unlike anything it has seen in more than 50 years. 925 million people are hungry.

Every day, almost 16,000 children die from hunger-related causes. That's one child every five seconds.
There were 1.4 billion people in extreme poverty in 2005. The World Bank estimates that the spike in global food prices in 2008, followed by the global economic recession in 2009 and 2010 has pushed between 100-150 million people into poverty.
Food and Water Watch looks closely at the 2008 crisis in a very informative article entitled Casino of Hunger: How Wall Street Speculators Contributed to the Global Food Crisis. Here is an excerpt:
During 2008, rising food prices — accelerated by an unprecedented run-up of prices on the commodities futures markets — created a food crisis that increased global hunger, sparked civil unrest and hurt farmers in America and worldwide. The global food crisis is an overlooked symptom of the broader global economic crisis.
The food crisis shares many characteristics of the financial meltdown — it was exacerbated by the deregulation of the commodity markets (including agriculture) that encouraged a tidal wave of Wall Street speculation — leading to further increases in already rising food and energy prices.
I highly recommend that you read the full article to add perspective to your anti-hunger advocacy. Here is one version (in .pdf format)   Or if you want to read it online, click here.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Listening to the Neighborhood

Bread for the World members Ivan Westergaard and Daniel Erdman are on the advisory committee for Camino de Vida, a church in Southwest Albuquerque that will place an emphasis on ministry to  new immigrants.  But the church's mission goes beyond ministry immigrants. "Our ministry embraces people from all ethnic backgrounds, age, gender, cultural traditions, nationality and socio-economic level," said its mission statement.

Camino de Vida, which will start offering services in March, is supported by the Presbytery of Santa Fe, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America's Rocky Mountain Synod, and the United Church of Christ Southwest Region.  Rev. Elizabeth Purdum of St. Paul Lutheran Church and  Rev. Trey Hammond of La Mesa Presbyterian Church, two congregations that have strongly supported Bread for the World's Offering of Letters year after year, are also on the advisory committee.

The congregation will be led by Presbyterian Rev. Guillermo Yela, a native of Guatemala.  Rev. Yela and Ricardo Moreno, Bread for the World's organizer for Latino Relations, met at a the Latino Presbyterian Conference in San Antonio, Texas, in 2010.  Could there be a future relationship with Bread?

For now, the church is focusing its hunger ministry, in partnership with Roadrunner Food Bank, on feeding the Vista del Sol neighborhood in the West Gate community.

What do you hear when you walk in your neighborhood?
Let us walk with Rev. Guillermo Yela as we watch this video. I invite you to learn what Rev. Yela hears God is asking him to do in the neighborhood where he is starting a new Church.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Running from Washington to Ontario to Highlight Hunger

Think you know what hunger is? Nearly ten million children under five years old die each year in developing countries. Over half of these deaths are a result of malnutrition and hunger. One recent graduate of the University of Alabama-Birmingham's School of Public Health is preparing to raise awareness and funds to fight world hunger.  

Joseph Henry will run more than 500 miles from The White House in Washington, D.C. to Guelph (Toronto area), Ontario, Canada.  The “Hunger 500,” has caught the attention and support of the United Nations World Food Programme, and World Food Program USA.  Henry and the Hunger 500 team are committed to raising $100,000 to help provide much needed aid for the 925 million people who do not have enough to eat.  

The international student organization, Universities Fighting World Hunger (UFWH), holds its 6th Annual Summit at the University of Guelph, February 25- 27, 2011.  Henry is a charter member of the UFWH chapter at UAB.  The first president of the UAB chapter is Brendan Rice, who participated in Bread for the World's Hunger Justice Leaders program.

Henry, an avid runner, has been steadfastly training for the event for months while completing his graduate studies in Public Health. His running route from D.C. to Guelph will average more than thirty miles per day, for seventeen consecutive days. 

Henry is excited about his running to raise awareness for a much-needed cause – one he says that is dear to his heart.  Henry states, “When I learned that nearly 1 billion people suffer from chronic hunger, and more than 25,000 die every day it motivated me to try to help in some way:  it is these people that I will be running for”.

The Hunger 500 team plans to arrive in Guelph just in time to attend the conference.  Along the way, the team will be running from university to university where several students, faculty and other individuals will participate in the Hunger 500.  The team aims to hold hunger rallies at universities and other points of interest along the route. They invite anyone interested to run with them along the way. To learn more about the run, visit The Hunger 500 site. 

(Taken from Hunger 500 Press Release)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Here's the Video for 2011 Offering of Letters

Bread's 2011 Offering of Letters will continue to push Congress and the administration toward U.S. foreign assistance that is more effective in reducing poverty. We will advocate for a stronger U.S. government focus on reducing poverty, clearer accountability for how aid dollars are spent, a transformed U.S. development agency, and U.S. aid that meets the needs and wants of local people.  Click here to learn more.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

CARE celebrates 65th Birthday & 100th Anniversary of International Women's Day

The CARE Conference & International Women's Day Celebration on March 8-10 will unite hundreds of CARE supporters — individuals, partner organizations, major donors and corporate partners. Together, all will come together as part of the movement that is bringing hope to millions of poor women, families and communities around the world.

Melinda Gates and Laura Bush will be Keynote Speakers  See Full Program

Click here for conference information and registration link

View Dr. Helene Gayle's invitation below:

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Freedom to Farm: A Panel at UNM

The young farmers from Dragon Farm in the South Valley in Albuquerque invite you to a discussion on the potential impact of contamination by genetically engineered crops on our local food system.

The panel discussion will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, January 21, at the University of New Mexico Student Union Building, Ballroom A

We are invited to learn what we can do to preserve our freedom to farm, save seeds and feed our community and to learn about efforts in the New Mexico State Legislature in regards to this issue. Some discussion will center on  HB46 and SB51, sponsored by Sen. Stephen Fischmann and Rep. Paul Bandy, which would  provide protection for farmers from liability over possession of genetically engineered product.

Participating in the panel will be experts and advocates on this issue, including Isaura Andaluz, Michael Reed and Dan Young

Several state legislators have also been invited, Sens. Tim Keller, Linda Lopez and Jerry Ortiz y Pino, and Rep. Miguel Garcia.
You can RSVP for the event via Facebook.

If you went to the Downtown Growers Market this summer, perhaps you bought some delicious greens at the Dragon Farm booth.

Here is a video about Dragon Farm on YouTube

Monday, January 17, 2011

A Light to Drive Out Darkness

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. 

- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Don't Have $167,380 for a Super Bowl Ticket? Then go to the Souper Bowl Instead

It's mid-January, you're a big football nut, and you're dreaming about the possibility of attending Super Bowl XLV at Dallas Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas, on February 6.

You start to get discouraged when you realize that you'd have to fork over (gasp!) anywhere from $2,115 to $167,380 for a single ticket from an official ticket sales site!  You know, the one called Stub Your Toe or something like that.

Then you look for other alternatives and discover that  a popular wholesale/retail box store is offering packages of  $7,499.99 per person.  Granted, those include a few nights at a luxury hotel.  But still....

OOPS.  Forgot that it's going to cost money to get to Dallas...

Then you think Fuhgeddaboudit!  We'll just watch the Super Bowl on television in the comfort of our living rooms.

But as long as you're not spending  $2,115, $7,499.99 or $167,380 on a ticket to a football game, how about considering this other option?  

With all that extra money in your pockets, you can now attend the annual Souper Bowl to benefit Roadrunner Food Bank  on Saturday, January 29   11:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.  The event will be held at Roadrunner Food Bank  5840 Office Blvd. NE

For $40 in advance or $45 at the door - $10 for kids 12 and under, you can enjoy soups and desserts from more than 40 restaurants, live music, and exciting prize drawing packages.

And there is a bonus. You'll have the knowledge that you are helping Roadrunner Food Bank provide food for the hungry in our state.

Plus, you'll get a chance to use your culinary judging skills through the People's Choice competition. Attendees will have the opportunity to vote for their favorite soup, vegetarian soup, dessert and booth.

So how do you buy a ticket?  Simply call 505 349-8921 or  Purchase Tickets online

If you're on the fence, here's a bit of information that might get you over the goal line for six points.  It's a list of some of the SouperBowl 2011 participating restaurants:
• A KayTahRing Company
• Annapurna’s World Vegetarian Café
• Artichoke Café
• Bocadillo’s
• Chama River Brewing Company
• Church Street Café
• Claudia Rae’s Sandwich Shop
• CoolWater Fusion Restaurant
• Courtyard by Marriott Journal Center
• Cristobal’s Fine Dining
• Cupcakeology
• Cyprus Grille (Embassy Suites & Spa)
• Farina Pizzaria and Wine Bar
• Gecko’s Bar & Tapas
• Indulgence Café & Catering @JCC
• Johndhi’s BBQ
• Just Muffin Around
• Kelly’s Brew Pub
• Lovelace Westside Hospital
• McGrath’s Bar & Grill (Hyatt Regency)
• One Up Elevated Lounge
• Romano’s Macaroni Grill
• Santa Ana Café at the Tamaya
• Savory Fare
• Savoy Bar & Grill
• Seasons Rotisserie & Grill
• St. Clair Winery and Bistro
• Standard Diner
• Sweet and Savory
• Sysco Food Service of NM
• The Chocolate Cartel / Van Rixel Bros. Gelato
• The Grove Café and Market
• The Rancher’s Club of New Mexico
• Theobroma Chocolatier
• Torino’s at Home Trattoria Italiana & Café
• Trattoria Trombino’s Bistro Italiano
• Zinc Wine Bar & Bistro

Friday, January 14, 2011

In this Digital Age...Handwritten Letters Show that You Care!

Check out Bread for the World's new video on YouTube!

Fair Trade Palm Reading

No your eyes are not deceiving you.  That headline is correct.

And I admit, there is no such thing as fair-trade palm reading.

But fair trade and palm reading can fit in the same sentence.

What we have here is another of the very creative fundraising schemes conceived by Peacecraft, our local fair trade store.  (Remember the ThursdayYoga sessions?)  And actually, palm reading is only part of a bigger event--a psychic fair tomorrow, Saturday, January 15.

 Here are the details:

The fair will take place at Peacecraft,
3215 Central Ave., NE in Historic Nob Hil
1:00-5:00 p.m.

A group of respected professionals will be on hand  to assist you in the New Year and/or receive a relaxing massage or facial. All services are being donated kindly by:

Viola--Clairvoyant, Clairaudient, Clairsentient, Intuitive Rune Cards
Saxon--Intuitive Runes & Palm Reader
Alan Kinner--Astrologer
Caroline Calisto--Energy Clearing and Balancing. Core Synchronism
Christina Fahrney--Mini Facials
Sue Neustel--Chair Massage

$20 for any 20-minute service

Monday, January 10, 2011

Join us at the Intersection between Prayer and Action

I M A G I N E. . .
...A congregation passionate about God’s justice.
...Adults actively seeking opportunities to serve God & neighbor.
...Lively small groups engaged in prayer and study.

 for conversation and more information

JustFaith programs
Educate for peace, justice and compassion 
Engage participants in a communal discipleship journey 
Explore the intersection between prayer and action

Tuesday, Feb. 1
6:30 pm gathering;
7 pm program; 
8:30 pm informal networking

114 Carlisle Blvd. SE

Presenters: Tricia Lloyd-Sidle and Sharon Bidwell


Sunday, January 09, 2011

The Gift of Citizenship

For some contemporary folks, the 1970s and early 1980s happened in the stone ages.  There was no online presence.  No DVDs or Bluerays or (gasp!) even videocassettes.

Bread for the World's message came on a filmstrip, accompanied by a cassette (complete with the bell that signaled that it was time to move to the next frame).

The narrator, actor Steve Allen, talked about another "gift" that people of faith could offer on behalf of poor and hungry people in our country and overseas.  He called it the "gift of citizenship."  And he quoted Amos 5:24

I thought about this gift of citizenship when I came across an online piece in The Christian Science Monitor.  The piece contained a comprehensive quiz with questions that would be asked for folks applying to become naturalized as U.S. citizens.

The quiz gives you 96 possible questions to answer.  In reality, the immigration tester gives applicants an oral exam with 10 questions, of which at least 6 must be answered correctly. (Incidentally, that US Citizenship and Immigration Service reports that 92 percent of applicants pass this test!)

If you follow current affairs and if you paid attention in your high school Civics or Government class, you'll come to realize that many of these questions are "no brainers."  They are basic themes related to our democracy and our government. 
Bread members Alicia Sedillo and Debbie Ruiz meet with Rep. Martin Heinrich
So how well do you think you would do in a citizenship test? Well, here's one question from the Christian Science Monitor's online quiz:

Who signs bills to become laws?
the Secretary of State  
the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court  
the Vice President  
the President
Now take the full Citizenship Test

You must get 58 or more of these test questions correct in order to pass.
Good Luck!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

Here's More Evidence.... that Grassroots Efforts Make a Huge Difference!

By Larry Lindley and David Miner
Bread activists Indiana

Indiana Bread activists with Sen. Richard Lugar
Sometimes we wonder and worry about the size of our Bread chapter or the OL at our church. Are they too small to make a difference?  We got remarkable confirmation late this year that our approach really is working!!

On October 28, 2010, a group of Indianapolis area Bread for the World members and faith leaders from the Interfaith Hunger Initiative visited with Rep. Andre Carson, the congressman from Indiana’s 7th district. The meeting was held at Rep Carson’s request.

Before we began discussing hunger issues in Indianapolis and actions in Congress, Justin Ohlemiller, the District Director for the Congressman, said that "Bread’s local campaign on EITC was the most striking he saw on any issue over the last year."

We were wowed to know that is possible for our Bread network to make this big of a splash. I double checked with him later to be sure we had heard him correctly!

This impact in Rep Carson’s office was a combined effect of twenty area congregations conducting an Offering of Letters and six area Bread chapters who wrote letters about EITC on at least a couple occasions.  

Justin went on to say that he was impressed that the letters were all individually written and not just a signed form-letter or postcard. He said that personal, handwritten letters are the most impactful type of communications and noted that some are passed on to the Congressman himself. He encouraged us to keep up the good work.

Personal letters to members of Congress do get read, and organizing in churches and in Bread chapters can make a huge difference!!

(Zach Schmidt, regional field organizer from Bread's office in Chicago, contributed to this piece).

The Poverty Quiz (How Much do you Know?)

A knowledgeable anti-hunger activist is a more effective anti-hunger activist.

So how do you know how knowledgeable you are?  Well here's one way, at least when it comes to domestic poverty.  The Campaign to Cut Poverty in Half in Ten Years developed a handy quiz to test our knowledge.   Here is the first question, followed by a link to the full quiz.

The federal minimum wage is $7.25 an hour. Assuming full-time, year-round employment, how much would a parent have to earn to rent a modest, two-bedroom apartment at fair market rent without spending more than 30 percent of their income on housing (the conventional standard for affordable housing)?

Thanks to Bread activist Dave Miner from Indiana for pointing out this quiz.  The link was contained  in a recent newsletter from The Alliance to End Hunger, which Bread for the World helped create.  (Learn about the alliance)

Read more about our previous coverage of the Half in Ten campaign, including the involvement of former Gov. Bill Richardson.

Thursday, January 06, 2011

A Summit in Santa Fe on Hunger, Sustainability and Organic Food

One World Everybody Eats.

That's a powerful statement and a powerful name for a non-profit organization/foundation.   The group has scheduled its 2011 summit for Santa Fe for January 15-17.  Before I tell you more about the summit, perhaps you would like to know more about the organization.

The One World Everybody Eats foundation is an outgrowth of One World Cafe in Salt Lake City, Utah. The concept began when owner Denise Cerreta in mid 2003 had an epiphany to serve organic food, let people choose their own portions and let them price those portions themselves. Since then, she's gained local, national and world-wide notoriety for her pay as you go prices, seasonal no menu organic cuisine, living wages, minimal food waste and healthy meals that are within everyone's reach,  Read More

Here is their vision statement:
  • We are dedicated to eliminating world hunger.
  • We are dedicated to serving local,organic, unprocessed food.
  • We are dedicated to feeding and including all members of our community.
  • We are dedicated to eliminating waste in the food industry.
  • We believe that we can trust our customers to be inspired, honest and fair in their exchange of money and/or time for the fresh, local, organic food we prepare both mindfully and in a heartfelt way each day.
  • We will keep believing ...
The Conference
Our friend Mark Winne, Santa Fe anti-hunger activist and author of Closing the Food Gap and Food Rebels, Guerrilla Gardeners and Smart Cookin' Mamas, will be a featured speaker for the Sunday session at 11:00 to Noon. In fact, the main portion of the conference, which will be held at La Fonda Hotel, is on that Sunday.  You can attend Mark's talk free of charge. 

The Saturday night session on 'Breath for Peace' and meditation by David Hirtz is also open to the public.

If you are interested in opening a community kitchen or in The One World Everybody Eats movement, you can register for the conference by dropping an e-mail message to Denise Cerreta, or

For full schedule, click here to go to home page and then on Summit 2011 on the upper left-hand corner and then (scroll down)

Sunday, January 02, 2011

Understanding What a Community Wants and Needs

As we consider foreign aid reform in our 2011 Offering of Letters, it is imperative that we examine some of the models out there that are already working. 

Catapult Design Photo
The Sunday edition of the Albuquerque Journal (Jan. 2) has a great feature about Heather Fleming, co-founder of the non-profit Catapult Design, a consultancy that offers engineering and support to thousands of organizations worldwide that need technologies or products capable of igniting social change.
The company, based in the San Francisco Bay Area, fully subscribes to the concept of "local ownership," which means that the community that benefits from a project must have an important role in the decision-making process.  Here's what Catapult Design says in its Web site:
We believe successful products aren’t defined by technological feats, but rooted in a holistic perspective of the development process that is centered on the needs of the end-user.

In other words, what good is a water filtration product if no one wants it, uses it, or will pay for it?  And if low-cost water filtration products exist, why does the majority of the world’s population still drink dirty water?
In an interview with Albuquerque Journal feature columnist Leslie Linthicum Ms. Fleming, who grew up in the rural community of Vanderwagen in McKinley County, New Mexico, reiterates the point.

"You have to understand what a community wants and needs," Ms. Fleming said in the interview, which was contained in a piece entitled Changing the World, With Better Stoves. "It's got to come from them in some way."  Here is the link to the piece if you have a subscription to The Journal.

The World Economic Forum named Ms. Fleming as one of the Young Global Leaders for 2010.  And she was also was recognized in the Mercy Corps site:
Born on an Indian reservation in New Mexico, Fleming knows first hand the difficulties people face growing up without resources many take for granted, such as running water or electricity. Her experiences eventually led to the pursuit of a degree as a civil engineer and the start up of Catapult Design, a company she co-founded with Tyler Valiquette.
So what type of  projects does Catapult Design support? Among these are the wind turbine in Quetzaltenango, Guatemala, the LED lighting project (a substitute for kerosene lamps) in multiple locations around the world, the The Ihangane Solar Project in Nyange, Rwanda.
"In locations with prodigious wind, a small wind generator capable of charging a car battery would be an ideal way for them to meet their modest needs while avoiding the health and environmental pitfalls associated with their current solutions," says the Catapult Design Web site. 
At the same time, Ms. Fleming points to the challenge of  working with small community organizations that have no capacity for taking local solutions to any larger scale to benefit more people.
"So, even if we do design the most bad-ass technology to alleviate poverty worldwide," Fleming said the Journal interview, "this organization is so small and has such limited capacity so that technology will never scale."
 Below a 6-minute video featuring Ms. Fleming talking about her work.

Saturday, January 01, 2011

A YouTube Fundraiser for ArtStreet

This video was developed and produced by Mudhouse Advertising to help raise awareness about issues of homelessness in Albuquerque. For every unique viewing, Mudhouse will donate $1 (up to $10,000) to support ArtStreet, one of the programs supported by Albuquerque Health Care for the Homeless.

Bishop Ricardo Ramirez: Think Beyond Charity and Enter the Gospel Realm of Justice

Almost 10 years ago, Bishop Ricardo Ramirez of the Diocese of Las Cruces was invited to speak to a gathering of Foundations and Donors Interested in Catholic Activities (FADICA) in Salt Lake City. 

In his address, Bishop Ramirez emphasized that philantropy is more than just charity; there must be an element of justice in all our actions to address poverty. The words ring just as true at the start of 2011 as they did in June 2001. 

By the way, FADICA--a nonprofit association of 47 organizations working to strengthen and promote Catholic philanthropy--conferred upon Bishop Ramirez its Distinguished Catholic Leadership Award in October 2010, "for his vision in shepherding with great wisdom and superb stewardship a home mission diocese of the United States."

Here are some excerpts of the speech that Bishop Ramirez gave to FADICA participants in June 2001:
Americans are among the most generous in the world when it comes to giving to charity; it is with issues having to do with the roots of poverty where we balk.

How are we going to educate our people to think beyond charity and enter the Gospel realm of justice? This means giving attention to the economic structures which have a negative impact on the situation of the poor.

As I explained at the beginning of this paper, some are poor because they are kept poor through oppression and unjust situations.

The church cannot do it alone, neither can the government. Even groups of strong foundations, such as FADICA, cannot do it alone. The corporate world, even those who operate with a social conscience - and many do - cannot, by themselves, do it alone. It will take a joint effort of all of us together  but we would have at least done our best to relate with the final message of Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew:

"The sheep he will place on his right hand, the goats on his left. The King will say to those on his right: ‘Come. You have my Father's blessing! Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink. I was a stranger and you welcomed me, naked and you clothed me. I was ill and you comforted me, in prison and you came to visit me.... I assure you as often as you did it for one of my least brothers (and sisters), you did it for me.'" (Mt. 25:33-40)
-Bishop Ricardo Ramirez, Diocese of Las Cruces, N.M..
(Excerpts from "Poverty as a Spiritual Challenge: Do Catholics know the Face of the Poor?" FADICA Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah June 1, 2001)

*The illustration at the top is from a brochure created for a conference cosponsored by the New Mexico Lutheran Office of Governmental Ministry (now Lutheran Adovcachy Ministry) and Bread for the World New Mexico in September 1994.  The brochure was designed by Paul and Laura Richard.