3.09.2010

shrinking world

One of the projects I've been working on in my ministry at the Intercommunity Peace & Justice Center is an innovative new program for young adults ... Justice Cafes. Young adults gather in a coffee shop setting in their local community for a meaningful conversation on an issue of global concern (this month it is human rights). They then connect with young adults across the country via a social networking web site. Except that it's not just young adults in the US--we also have a group meeting in Jos Plateau, Nigeria.

The Justice Cafe in Nigeria started because of the internet. A community organizer was searching the internet for social justice materials for young adults. He facilitates a group that brings Christian and Muslim young adults together for inter-religious dialogue. He read about our new program, contacted us, and became one of our pilot sites!

No, that's not my shrinking world moment--although the power of the internet is amazing. What makes me realize we have a shrinking world is that now that I have this virtual connection with this group of young adults in Nigeria, I'm now paying close attention to the news of the ongoing religious violence in Jos, which is in the center of Nigeria and on the border of the Christian & Muslim regions of the country. Jos has been a hotbed for violence for years, but I had never really payed attention until I had this connection. Yesterday more than 200 Christians were killed in a village outside Jos, in apparent retaliation for an attack on Muslims in January.

Please join me in praying for the people of Jos and for this group of young adults who are trying to do their part to bring about peace through inter-religious dialogue.

2 comments:

Kelly_SSJ/A said...

do you know are there any justice cafes in the Erie, PA area? I don't know of any and I am on our global committee...but, haven't heard of anything locally...

Susan Rose, CSJP said...

Not yet ... but there could be!

There is one that just started in Harrisburg, but that's the other side of the state.

If anyone wants to start a cafe, all they have to do is gather 5 to 20 young adults for a conversation the 3rd week of the month. IPJC provides a host kit each month with the opening and closing prayer, ice breaker activity, conversation starters and action ideas. We try to make it an "out of the box" opportunity. And, at this point anyway, it's free.

If anyone is interested they can contact me at work.