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The Washington Peace Center is an anti-racist, grassroots, multi-issue organization working for peace, justice, and non-violent social change in the metropolitan Washington D.C. area since 1963.

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Volunteers Marching during Iraq Anniversary 2011
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Occupy Our Homes at the Dawn Butler Eviction in DC
Image by DC 51 Collective

A Big Box Bans the Box: Removing Barriers to Employment for Convicted Felons

Ban the Box

With holiday hiring upon us, job prospects for the hard to employ are looking up – if only on a temporary basis. But for the 65 million Americans with criminal records, even a temporary job is often out of reach. That’s why the Target Corporation’s removal of criminal history questions from its employment applications is such promising news. While many state and local governments have decided to “ban the box” on job applications asking applicants if they’ve ever been convicted of a crime, Target represents one of the most prominent companies to do so.

MLK Boulevard: A Snapshot of King’s Dream Deferred

The iconic MLK Blvd. in New York City

In the now-famous speech that he gave to a congregation in Memphis the night before he was assassinated in April of 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King spoke at length about travelling roads. If he were given the option to live in any period, he said, he would trek through the dark dungeons of Egypt, across the Red Sea, and then on to Ancient Greece, the Roman Empire, the Renaissance, the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation and the establishment of the New Deal programs before landing at that time, the politically perilous year of 1968. He mapped a path of justice, informed by the past and steadfastly anchored in the present, before ending his address by famously exalting his listeners to reach the mountaintop — and eerily suggesting that it would have to be without him:

Defining Peer Support

Peer support is a system of giving and receiving help founded on key principles of respect, shared responsibility, and mutual agreement of what is helpful. Peer support is not based on psychiatric models and diagnostic criteria. It is about understanding another’s situation empathically through the shared experience of emotional and psychological pain. When people find affiliation with others whom they feel are “like” them, they feel a connection. This connection, or affiliation, is a deep, holistic understanding based on mutual experience where people are able to “be” with each other without the constraints of traditional (expert/patient) relationships.

West Virginia is Just The Beginning For Chemical Spill Disasters

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Thanks to the mass privatization of public water systems and the fake rhetoric of “clean coal,” we’re all at higher risk for disasters like the Elk River chemical spill.


West Virginia is facing a massive disaster with no end in sight.  And if we don’t do something about anti-regulation zealotry, the mass privatization of public water systems and the real dangers of coal and other dirty energy productions, we’ll all be at risk of similar disasters in the future.

Ratner: Obama Must Move to Close Guantanamo Now

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JAISAL NOOR, TRNN PRODUCER: Welcome to The Real News Network, and welcome to this latest edition of The Ratner Report.

Now joining us is Michael Ratner. He's president emeritus of the Center for Constitutional Rights in New York, chair of the European Center for Constitutional and Human Rights in Berlin. He's also a board member for The Real News Network.

Thank you so much for joining us, Michael.

MICHAEL RATNER, PRESIDENT EMERITUS, CENTER FOR CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS: Good to be with you again, Real News and Jaisal.

NOOR: So, Michael, what do you have for us this week?

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