If the light within you is darkness:

What are the stakes if the United States turns its back on the refugees of the world?  I expect a vicious cycle: increased generation of refugees, increasing retention of refugees in some of the world's poorest countries who are least equipped to care for them, increased hopelessness of these populations, increased turning to radical anti-western solutions, decreased exposure in our communities to refugees, decreased empathy and understanding..

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Every breaking wave

It’s good thing to be alone and small in the presence of breaking waves and shifting dunes and the incredible beauty of a cold fog when some of your life work seems threatened.  When I checked my phone, it told me I was walking in open ocean.  For some reason that made me laugh out loud. The whole peninsula had shifted east since Google maps recorded it.  I keep thinking about that now. I'm a little person. 

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Seasons Greetings Dear Friends

Perhaps you will remember or have heard about our stony-ground early days as a start-up non profit. We were teaching hidden people to make granola (of all things). I was a volunteer, and we were all wondering whether a small business had a chance to serve our grander purpose.  

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Three metaphors, three fake-Trump tweets

This tragedy felt close to home at so many levels.  Ohio State is my alma mater.  That street where it happened is close to where I used to catch the bus. Interesting how we want people to feel safe in places we know. In fact, my brother-in-law was on campus that morning, so my wife and I were texting him while we listened to the news in the car in Boston.  

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Semi-hostile, Slightly-Fantastic Interview with myself about the election and implications for refugee resettlement, Evangelical Christians, and Beautiful Day.

K: But what’s your best guess. Prognosticate.

K: My best guess is that on January 21, President Trump will issue an order to stop or pause parts of the US refugee resettlement program. No more Syrians.  Possibly fewer from camps and countries that are majority Muslim.  I’ve heard a few people wonder if the entire resettlement program could be paused.  My own view is that the new administration will put a moratorium on Syrians, Somalis, and maybe designate certain countries or camps as off-limits.  It’s kind of bleak.

K: What’s the rush? Can he do this? 

K: From what I understand, absolutely, yes.  He can't change the Refugee Act of 1980, but that law allows the president broad powers to determine or change the ceiling on the number of refugees that can legally be resettled in a given year.

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Muscles Matter

A couple months ago, on our way home from visiting my parents in Switzerland, Kathy and I spent a few days in Paris and a morning at the Rodin museum.  Next to Chagall, Rodin is my favorite artist. There are moments when I wonder if he might have benefited from a better sense of humor, but I love the way his sculptures reach past the anxious buzz of my mind and tell my soul how much people matter. Emotion matters, gestures matter, hands and feet matter, the interplay of bodies in space matter, the movement of a body—even in bronze and without a head (okay, he does have some sense of humor)—matter.  Muscles matter.  In a way that is message of Rodin for me: every muscle matters. 

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Refugees Compete in the Rio Olympics

“For the first time in Olympics history, a team of refugee athletes will band together in Rio de Janeiro this August to represent the 20 million people in the world who have no one country to call home...At recent press conferences, it has become clear that the men and women who comprise the team are united in a simple, yet powerful message they hope to get across to the world:

“ ‘We still are humans. We are not only refugees. We are like everyone in the world ... We didn’t choose to leave our homelands.’ "

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Paula and the Traveling Granola Bar

Providence Granola Project Entrepreneur Assistant Paula Cunanan doesn’t like to go far without access to one of the world’s tastiest granola bars. That’s why when she traveled through Europe volunteering at organic farms, she took along a good supply. Then, picking up on an idea of PGP Director of Strategic Partnerships Anne Dombrofski, she decided to post “Where In the World” photos of her traveling granola bars on PGP’s Facebook and twitter pages.

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Refugee Children Get Sesame Street

"Sesame Workshop and the IRC will adapt existing Sesame products and content for regions where the two organizations already have a presence working with young children and their families. ... The partnership is aimed at the children who make up half of the record 60 million people currently displaced around the world, specifically the one-third of that population under the age of eight."

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Visiting a Refugee Camp

At the Providence Granola Project, we also see over and over again, that the reason refugees put themselves through so much struggle to come here and carve out a life is for family. 

“I would love to create a way where the abundance of people who want to help could get connected on an individual, people-to-people basis to help those who need it most."

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Our Friends in Utica, New York

“We shouldn’t need reminding, but we do,” the paper said. “The reminder is that refugees and immigrants are what make our nation strong. 

”If you look closely at those refugees and immigrants, you’ll see some familiar faces. Your grandparents, perhaps. Or your great-grandparents.”

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Our Big Idea about Small Business

Lately, we’ve been thinking a lot about the nature of business....what a revelation it has been to discover how nearly every aspect of a small business—from capital to product—can serve a higher purpose. We’ve started calling this intention to repurpose every component of a small business our Big Idea

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