May 23, 2008 |
James T. Ryan, of Lansdowne, 71, a labor educator and social justice activist, died of cancer Tuesday at home. For 26 years, Dr. Ryan was director of the Training and Upgrading Fund of District 1, Local 199C of the National Union of Hospital and Healthcare Employees, AFL-CIO. The fund was created in 1974 in a collective-bargaining agreement between the union and nine Philadelphia hospitals. Its purpose is to provide educational benefits to assist union members and the community to upgrade job skills and to keep pace with increasing technological demands.
February 2, 2002 |
Beneath President Bush's eloquent determination to rout America's foes abroad lurks a profound threat to social justice at home. Bush's breathtaking call for a fresh $48 billion for the Pentagon next year, along with his iron refusal to revisit the tax cut that has devoured most of the surpluses once expected over the next decade, need to be seen together as essential elements of a new conservative grand strategy. Its aim: to make it next to impossible for the federal government to fund unmet social needs, perhaps for a generation.
February 3, 2001 |
Thomas O'Rourke, 66, who spent his life working for peace and social justice, died Wednesday of lung cancer at Fox Chase Cancer Center. He lived in the Spring Garden section of Philadelphia. Raised in West Oak Lane, Mr. O'Rourke found his first cause in the 1960s when some real estate agents used scare tactics to take advantage of the changing racial composition of his neighborhood. "He founded the West Oak Lane Neighbors Association," said his brother, the Rev. Jack O'Rourke, pastor of St. Augustine Roman Catholic Church in Old City.
April 3, 2008 |
Some words still echo where they were spoken. At Mason Temple in Memphis, Tenn., the echo is strong - that's where, 40 years ago today, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his last speech. He was in Memphis for the sanitation workers' strike, but he was not meant to speak that night. Ralph Abernathy, whom King described as "the best friend that I have in the world," had begun to speak. But he recognized immediately that it was not his crowd and called for Martin. King was exhausted.
July 15, 2002 |
I want to address the topic of care and dependency: our need, as human beings, for the care of others. Consider a woman in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease. She shows increasing cognitive impairment, and her personality has greatly changed. Because she can no longer live on her own, she has moved in with her daughter's family. Most of the burden of caring for her falls on the daughter, who also has a full-time job. Or consider another woman who can't walk. A professor at a state university, she has been using a wheelchair since early childhood.
July 9, 2004 |
Christopher Dock Mennonite High School has a half-century record of going against the grain. In times of war, its teachers have asked students to consider nonviolent alternatives. When young people were signing up - or being drafted - to fight in Vietnam, some male students filed for conscientious objector status. When schools across the country tightened security after the shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado, Christopher Dock, in north-central Montgomery County, retained its open campus - and an honor system that includes no padlocks on student lockers.
July 27, 2008 |
S. Gordon Elkins, 77, of Melrose Park, a lawyer, community activist, and advocate for civil liberties, died of frontotemporal dementia Wednesday at Sunrise of Abington. Mr. Elkins had a 40-year career with the law firm of Stradley, Ronon, Stevens & Young in Philadelphia. He retired as a partner and chairman of the firm's litigation department in 1998. "He was my mentor," said Stradley Ronon's chairman, William R. Sasso. Mr. Elkins hired Sasso, then a Harvard law student, for a summer clerk position in 1970.
August 5, 2010
BETHLEHEM - The Eagles and the NFL should just concern themselves with the rehabilitation of Michael Vick as a football player. If that were the case, things would be easy. It simply would be a matter of whether the quarterback could still play. The other stuff - saving his soul, changing his culture, creating an agent of social change - is way beyond their pay grade. Humans have tried for millions of years to bridge the gaps of cultural differences, so that we can better understand and help one another navigate difficult times.
August 28, 1994 |
In the Old Testament, the prophets spent their lives challenging people to cast aside their evil ways. In "The Prophetic Quest," a tour of Keneseth Israel Congregation's 10 large stained-glass windows, the prophets' struggle to help the world reach a level of peace is illustrated. The windows bring together stories of the past and present: stories of love and justice, good and evil, growth and destruction. The images - abstract and boldly colored - are not easy to discover.
July 21, 1998 |
The commonsense American principle is that if you give people strong economic incentives to do certain things, they'll do them. Reward risk and you get more risk-taking. Reward work and you get lots of it. But where the poorest Americans are concerned, the talk is less about incentives and more about compulsion. And no wonder: At the bottom of the American economy, the incentives to work have been weakening as the pay and benefits for low-skilled jobs have stagnated. Yet there is some good news that ought to get us thinking about how a dynamic economy and social justice can be allies - the success of new incentives for single mothers to work.