This year for Lent, I plan to amplify voices of the marginalized by reading Bible verses guided by the ELCA program AMMPARO (Accompanying Migrant Minors with Protection, Advocacy, Representation, and Opportunities), and then reading or listening to a voice that is not always shared. Read more about my pledge here: I Was a Stranger Lenten Challenge.
Day 1, Ash Wednesday: Dorien Paul, African-American environmental and political activist, speaker, and author
Day 2: Alexis Isabel Moncada, who got Disney thinking about gay characters
Day 3: Daniela Vargas, who was just arrested by ICE Wednesday, mere hours after speaking publicly about immigrants' rights
Day 4: Rabbi Ilana Schachter, writing to thank Trump for bringing Jews and Muslims together
Day 5: The black laundresses in Atlanta, Georgia, in 1881, who went on strike for better pay and conditions
Day 6: Susie Snortum, who dedicates her life to helping the hungry and homeless while keeping food out of the landfills
Day 7: Brazilian Sikh pianist and composer Jasnam Daya Singh, and Sikh-American writer Sahaj Kohil
Day 8: Dr. Vandana Shiva, a champion of seeds and biodiversity in India
Day 9: Linda Sarsour, Palestinian Muslim American activist, one of the organizers of the Women's March on Washington, and who was arrested for protesting outside of Trump Tower
Day 10: African Muslim women writers
Day 11: Ruth Bader Ginsburg, badass Supreme Court justice!
Day 12: Chanpone Sinlapasai, immigration lawyer, refugee volunteer, and once a refugee herself
Day 13: Dolores Huerta, labor rights activist for 60+ years!
Day 14: Dreamers, hoping to stay in the U.S. and needing our support
Day 15: Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos, deported and labeled a criminal for trying to work and support her children
Day 16: Madam C.J. Walker, the first in her family born free, a philanthropist and highly successful African-American entrepreneur
Day 17: Females fighting fear
Day 18: Barry Farmer, single adoptive dad to three boys
Day 19: Mary Johnson, who forgave her son's killer
Day 20: Valarie Kaur, Sikh-American activist and theologian, preaching a gospel of revolutionary love
Day 21: Mary Nom Lee Leong, who preserved the history of Chinese-Americans who fought to overcome discrimination in their adopted country
Day 22: Karen Gaffney, who champions the journey to full inclusion for people with developmental disabilities
Day 23: Jussie Smollett, who recently released a video, "F.U.W." (Fucked Up World), which captures how many are feeling at the moment
Day 24: Colin Kaepernick, who is the Christian man Trump and his cronies will never be
Day 25: Missing black teens in Washington DC
Day 26: Mohamed Bezeek, a Muslim and Libyan-American man who fosters terminally ill foster children
Day 27: Eat Offbeat, a startup and upcoming cookbook featuring the food of resettled refugee chefs
Day 28: Muslims standing in solidarity after the terrorist attack in London
Day 29: Badass Black women April Ryan, Alicia Keys, and Maxine Waters, not letting anyone tell them what to do!
Day 30: Jo Ann Hardesty, president of the Portland NAACP, who I got the privilege of hearing in person
Day 31: Jeremy Alexander, Georgetown University employee, who discovered that the university had sold his great-great-great grandmother in a slave auction
Day 32: Amani Al-Khatahtbeh, activist, speaker, writer, and founder of Muslim Girl and a new book, Muslim Girl: A Coming of Age
Day 33: Greek grandmothers, showing radical hospitality to Syrian and Iraqi refugees
Day 34: Amariyanna “Mari” Copeny, Little Miss Flint
Day 35: Kim Malek, cofounder of Salt & Straw, Portland's best ice cream company--not only great but also dedicated to kindness and justice!
Day 36: Ilhan Omar, who gave an impassioned speech in the Minnesota House of Representatives, and Melissa Hortman, who asked why her white male colleagues were not listening
Day 37: Women Waging Peace, Jewish and Arab Israeli women working together for peace in Israel and Palestine
Day 38: Rabi'a Keeble, founder of Qal’bu Maryam, a women's mosque in Berkeley, California
Day 39: Claire Wineland, a young woman with cystic fibrosis who is using her life to inspire others
Day 40: Badass Women Protesting, raising our voices in protest and song
Day 41: Dortha Biggs, mother of a multiply disabled daughter and at the center of the "wrongful birth" debate
Day 42: Brigadier General Nagwa Al-Haggar, who died in the line of duty in Egypt, protecting Christians' right to worship
Day 43: Roy DeLeon, my friend who is an artist and explorer and tells people's stories through art and words
Day 44: Jonathan Leggette, university student and intersex rights activist and educator
Day 45: Brenda Tracy, gang rape survivor and activist, working to end rape culture on campuses and in sports
Day 45: Leo Bancroft, who has shared his transgender experience so openly and beautifully, "visible for those who can't be"