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SPECIAL: Consultation on Conscience Recap

A delegation from Ann Arbor’s Temple Beth Emeth traveled to Washington, D.C. to participate in the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism’s 2019 Consultation on Conscience. This 3-day conference attracted over 1,000 Jewish leaders from across the country and addressed social justice issues including immigration, criminal justice reform, gun violence, reproductive justice, and the rise of anti-Semitism and white supremacy.

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Living in a “fake” world

Automated social media accounts called “bots” are capable of posting content or interacting with other users with no direct human involvement. They can play a valuable part in the social media ecosystem, answering questions in real time or providing updates about news stories or events. But they can also be used to alter perceptions of political discourse on social media, spread misinformation, or manipulate online rating and review systems.

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Recognizing “Environment Injustice” on Earth Day

As we hail our once pristine planet, it’s important to note that damage to its environment—to its waterways, air, and land—takes its worse toll on the poorest people.  As Niranjan Dev Bharadwaj writes, “ Soil erosion, land degradation and deforestation lead to a decline in food production along with a shortage of wood for fuel contribute to inflation.”

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Domestic Terrorism is a Global Phenomenon

This week, the 21-year-old white male accused of committing this devastating violence was charged with hate crimes in addition to previous charges of arson. While there is more to be learned about the perpetrator’s ideology and motivations, the church burnings, coming on the heels of the New Zealand mosque massacres, (perpetrated by an avowed white supremacist who referenced Donald Trump in his manifesto) follow an alarming trend of domestic terrorism carried out by individuals who traffic in all forms of hatred.

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Extreme risk protection order legislation can prevent gun suicide

Critical bills that could help stem the alarming rise in Michigan’s suicide rate were recently introduced to the Michigan Legislature. Enactment of Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) legislation, would allow law enforcement and concerned family members to ask a judge to temporarily prohibit individuals known to be at risk of harming themselves or others from purchasing or possessing guns. ERPO type bills are also commonly known as Red Flag laws or Gun Violence Restraining Orders.

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‘Just Look’ at what Michiganders are capable of

Katie Fahey, the founder and Executive Director of Voters Not Politicians, spoke at the PEG Speaker Series on Sunday. In 2018, Michigan voters and Voters Not Politicians made history by passing a redistricting reform amendment with 61% of the vote to end gerrymandering. Their efforts involved recruiting thousands of volunteers across the state to go door-to-door and holding town halls in their own communities. They held VNP town halls anywhere they could manage, and ended up holding a town hall in every single county in Michigan!

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