May 022012

Saturday May 19 at BCTC’s Cooper campus

By Rebecca Claire Glasscock

“It is a remarkable paradox that, at the pinnacle of human material and technical achievement, we find ourselves anxiety-ridden, prone to depression, worried about how others see us, unsure of our friendships, driven to consume and with little or no community life.” So opens The Spirit Level by Kate Picket and Richard Wilkinson. The book’s authors, two public health experts, make the case that equitable societies are better societies. The benefits extend from physical and mental health to reduced violence, stronger communities and better outcomes for our youth. Continue reading »

Feb 082012

A Colombia-Kentucky conversation

By Betsy Taylor

The global economy is devastating small-scale farming. Can small farmers create global solidarity to fight for a more level playing field?  Last October, a leader of Colombian small farmers visited Lexington—catalyzing fascinating discussions that showed both the promise and the limits of such global solidarity-building.

John Henry Gonzalez Duque, from Colombia and co-founder of the Small Scale Farmers Movement of Cajibio. Photo courtesy of Witness for Peace.

For three weeks in October, John Henry Gonzalez Duque toured the southeastern U.S. to communicate a grassroots, South American perspective. Gonzalez Duque is a small farmer from the southwest part of Colombia and co-founder of the Small Scale Farmers Movement of Cajibio. Gonzalez Duque’s tour of the U.S. was sponsored by Witness for Peace, a grassroots group which began in the 1980s struggle against U.S. involvement in Central American wars and now works for “peace, justice and sustainable economies in the Americas by changing U.S. policies and corporate practices which contribute to poverty and oppression in Latin America and the Caribbean.”  Carlos Cruz (who works in Colombia on Witness for Peace’s international team) traveled with Gonzalez Duque and provided excellent translation. Continue reading »

Mar 272010

What will college’s, community’s response be?

By Danny Mayer

On March 17, immigration officials entered the Amazon warehouse located off Leestown Road just past New Circle and arrested Julio Martinez, who worked there part-time to help pay for his college.

The ICE officials had a “lawful” reason, of course. (They always do). Eleven years ago, when Martinez was 7 years old, he was caught with his family crossing the U.S./Mexico border. At the time, Clinton-era immigration policies stressed arrest, but not deportation, of undocumented migrants caught making the journey north. The policy was called “Catch and Release,” as if human beings were equatable to fish caught for sport and then magnanimously released free back into the water. Under the Catch and Release program, Martinez, along with the rest of his family, was caught, booked and released free inside the vast expanses of the U.S., officially declared a “fugitive” in, to and by his new country well before he hit the ripe old age of 10. Continue reading »