Archive for : Baltimore

Repair Inteview: Ruben Chandrasekar on Helping Refugees in Baltimore

This interview is being shared as part of #SupportforRefugees, Repair the World’s Passover campaign focusing on the global refugee crisis.

Imagine leaving everything and everyone you know, and starting life over from scratch. For the millions of refugees around the world who are forced to flee war and persecution in their home countries, this unimaginable situation becomes everyday reality.

As someone who immigrated to the United States as a teenager, Ruben Chandrasekar personally understands the challenges that come with being uprooted. And his experiences drive his work as Executive Director of the Baltimore chapter of International Rescue Committee (IRC), an organization that helps refugees rebuild their lives. Repair the World recently spoke with Chandrasekar about IRC’s refugee resettlement work in Baltimore, how volunteers can get involved, and his thoughts on how the Jewish community can make a difference in the lives of today’s refugees. (Spoiler alert: it involves Albert Einstetin.)

How did you get involved with refugee work?
I was born in Chennai, India and moved to the US with my mom when I was 14. I lived in a small town in Upstate New York, and was the first non-white kid in the school. I faced a lot of challenges and discrimination as a student. My mom, who was a prominent nurse in India, couldn’t find work as a nurse until she passed the board exam. She studied for the boards while working as a home health aide. I remember driving her to someone’s home to take care of them once. An elderly gentleman opened the door, took a look at her, and said, “We don’t want your kind in our house.”
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This Week in Links: 5.4.15

Tucker Searches for Misplaced Standards

4 Lies We Need to Stop Telling About Raising the Minimum Wage

Why So Many Americans Feel So Powerless

Are Immigrants a Shot in the Arm for the Local Economy?

A Partial Solution to Income Inequality

The Political Roots of Widening Inequality

Nonviolence as Compliance

Baltimore facts and a message from ‘The Wire’ creator David Simon

Two States of Emergency in Baltimore

The Long Fuse Behind the Violence in Baltimore

The Truth Behind the Protests: What Traditional Media Never Shows

How drunk sports fans helped spark Saturday night’s post-protest violence

WSJ: Fordham’s Four Kinds of Wrong

Why Baltimore Burned

The Absence of Legitimate Authority in Baltimore

Rise of the Fragmented City

‘Rough Rides’ and the Challenges of Improving Police Culture

What to Say When the Police Tell You to Stop Filming Them

The deal with that post-racial society

Why — and How — Baltimore Jews Must Act Now

Income Inequality Is Costing the US on Social Issues

Goodbye to Freddie Gray, and Goodbye to Quietly Accepting Injustice

In Baltimore, We’re All Freddie Gray

The Dominant White Response to Baltimore Shows Why Black Residents are Justified in their Anger

The Roots of Poverty Are Many and Deep

Americans Think the Middle Class Is Shrinking

Most Baltimore Police Officers Live Outside The City

School Was Closed, But This Baltimore Dad Had An Amazing Lesson For His Son

Protester Schools MSNBC Anchor About Media Coverage Of Baltimore Riots

7 Facts Everyone Needs to Know to Understand What’s Happening in Baltimore

If One More White Person Asks Me to Condemn the Baltimore Riots…

Why is America celebrating the beating of a black child?

Violence in Baltimore

Barack Obama, Ferguson, and the Evidence of Things Unsaid

How Cameras Provide Hard Evidence of Prejudice

Baltimore is not Ferguson

Egypt gets a revolution, Baltimore a riot: Why hasn’t radical empathy started at home?

Dear white Facebook friends: I need you to respect what Black America is feeling right now

Grey’s Anatomy Star, In Heartfelt Twitter Essay, Perfectly Shuts Down Baltimore Critics (TWEETS)

How Baltimore’s Curfew Is Throwing Off the Night Shift

1968 and the Invention of the American Police State

After Nearly a Century, Redlining Still Divides Baltimore

Yong Zhao at NPE: Must See Video

6 Shocking Facts About Poverty in Baltimore

Black Culture Is Not the Problem

Ask CityLab: Why Can’t I Recycle a Pizza Box?

How Did You Turn the Tables on MLK Day?

Pardon us while we kvell for a minute here, but MLK Day weekend was completely awesome. All over the country, people spent the day showing up and pitching in – volunteering in their communities to celebrate the legacy and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Repair the World was no exception. Our Turn the Tables campaign inspired more than 120 hosts and 1,000 guests to sit down for a Shabbat dinner to discuss racial injustices and civil rights. Meanwhile, it gave 700 volunteers an opportunity to plug into meaningful service projects across our five partner communities (Detroit, New York City, Baltimore, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh) and beyond.

Added up, that’s a lot of great minds and even more capable hands, coming together to stand up for justice and strong communities. As participant Rebecca Haskell in Oakland, California commented, “Turn the Tables provided time and space for people to broach a subject that we otherwise wouldn’t and talk about our thoughts, questions, and concerns.” We can’t think of a better way to honor Dr. King’s life and work.

If you joined in one of Repair the World’s Turn the Tables events (or if you did something else amazing to celebrate MLK Day), we want to hear from you! Leave us a comment below, or tweet us @repairtheworld.

Ritual, Repaired.

By Repair the World Fellow Amalia Mark

As a fellow with Repair the World, I understand that communities must organize within, and systemic change can only occur from an outgrowth of community members seeking and maintaining change. Yet, I struggle with this idea as someone who believes deeply in the presence of women’s inclusion and leadership within Orthodox Judaism. I am caught up in a constant conflict: it is not my place in non-receptive communities to push forward an agenda of women’s involvement and equality. On the other hand, I cannot stand idly by while women are divorced from commonplace Jewish ritual that men are given ownership over in most Orthodox settings.

Much of my life has been spent in a synagogue. I invite you to walk with me through an average Shabbat morning at my family’s orthodox synagogue.

This is the community I was raised in and the walls I have lived behind.
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Reflection & MLK Day

By Repair the World Fellow Emily Benoit

On Martin Luther King (MLK) days in previous years I spent my time participating in service projects with local organizations to build community parks, work in soup kitchens, and do direct service.

However, working with Repair The World (RTW) and on the Civic Works Community Lot Team, I experienced my first reflective MLK day. During this time, my team and I discussed our experiences with the Civil Rights Movement and reflected on the meaning and impact of our direct service work. Together, we viewed “Eyes on the Prize: America’s Civil Rights Movement, 1954-1985.”  The first portion of the PBS documentary explored the stories of Emmett Till and The Montgomery Bus Boycott as well as interviewed important Civil Rights individuals and organizers.
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MLK Day in Baltimore

By Repair the World Fellow Ariel Nathan

What a weekend! I began the weekend at Oheb Shalom, a Reform Jewish congregation in Park Heights (a fairly Jewish suburb of Baltimore City). Oheb Shalom has a thirteen-year partnership with Bethel AME Church (the AME stands for African Methodist Episcopal). Each year on MLK weekend Church members attend Kabbalat Shabbat services at Oheb Shalom and on Sunday Morning synagogue members attend Bethel’s morning mass. Friday night services were awesome! The two choirs joined together and sang, but the best part was when the Bethel choir sang on their own. Their voices were gorgeous, the musicians were excellent, everything about it was beautiful and it absolutely gave me chills.
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