Who Are We?

Hello Everyone,

The 4th of July is upon us at this writing, and I’ve been reflecting on who I am as a citizen of this nation. Who are we?

The above photograph is one that dominated my childhood and the study of the Great Depression. This was a picture taken in the California labor camps of the 1930’s as a result of the great dust bowl migration. We are now in a global great migration and I have wondered if we as a nation would have more compassion if the people coming looked like her? How do we go from these pictures over 80 years ago to the same pictures today? And how can we not have compassion and act with courage?

I am better than this. We are better than this. It’s time for the moral people in this country to stand up and demand better of those held in terrible conditions on our watch, and on our land. We are the people and because we are a democracy, our government is us. The time to act is now. #neveragain


Molly Hermes


Hello Everyone,

I finally have time to fire up the blog again. Thank you for still reading and subscribing. Today’s post is about diplomacy. No, I am not going to talk about the news, but I am going to talk about a great documentary I watched last month that I think can give us a path forward for today.

Oscar Arias, without a Shot Fired

Oscar Arias documentary on Peace Jam films

Do you ever wonder why Costa Rica is peaceful and prosperous? It is because in 1948, they eliminated their military and decided that the best way to protect their citizens was through a good standard of living at home, and diplomacy abroad. And it worked. The movie is fascinating and can be watched for free through your local library on Kanopy.

Peace Jam films makes movies about Nobel Peace Prize winners. I have watched several and was really moved by this one. In fact, the United Nations has located their University of Peace in Costa Rica. You can even take distance learning courses.

The art of diplomacy is taught at home in most households and should be our very first line of defense abroad. While we may not all have the same ideology or point of view, the road to peace is peace.

Have a great day. Although I can’t always write the blog, I am always active each day. I hope this finds you well,

Molly Hermes

The Border

Hello Everyone,

During this time of the year that we are in holiday season and the year is wrapping to a close, it is time to look back, express gratitude, and look forward to new beginnings.  This past year, we worked hard to elect candidates that would treat immigrants humanely as well as enact a fair foreign policy abroad among many other issues.

From a church in Nicaragua, 1987 (collection of Molly Hermes)

When I was in college, I majored in religious studies and spent time in Central America. Last year, I watched the documentary Living on One and started to sponsor a student through Mayan Families receive her education.  That is my way of practicing my values beyond my own world.  And, I am thinking of my long ago travels right now, as the crisis of the border rages on.

If you’d like to make a meaningful difference, please support the work of the American Friends Service Committee and find out what you can do to affect change at the border.

We are all connected — the Global North is connected to the Global South. Let’s create a just world and encourage our elected officials to do the same.

Blessed Be,

Molly Hermes

Truth and Reconciliation

Hello Everyone,

A new and important memorial opened in Montgomery, Alabama two weeks ago. It is the Equal Justice Initiative’s Memorial for Peace and Justice.

In its own words, “the National Memorial for Peace and Justice is the nation’s first memorial dedicated to the legacy of enslaved black people, people terrorized by lynching, African Americans humiliated by racial segregation and Jim Crow, and people of color burdened with contemporary presumptions of guilt and police violence.”

In reporting on the new memorial, the Montgomery Advertiser issued an apology for its past coverage of the victims of lynching:  Montgomery Advertiser Coverage.  I read all the articles that the Montgomery Advertiser wrote about the New Memorial and walked through the on-line version of the EJI Memorial for Peace and Justice. I am not sure when I will get to Montgomery, so it is important to view this on-line.

What can you do?  Support the Movement for Black Lives, Black Lives Matter, Showing up for Racial Justice, Groundwork, Stay Woke, and the Equal Justice Initiative among many organizations. Become involved.  If you are a white person, seek out and receive anti-racism training. Call yourself into this movement. Vote for fair judges and district attorneys. Call yourself into action whenever you see racial injustice. Work to create a just future for all.  Don’t shy away from this ugly past for the truth will set all of us free.


Reflection: This country has been shaped on slavery, racism, and treatment of the “other” in all forms. This is an ugly history and one that has not been acknowledged or resolved to the level necessary, especially by white people (my community).  Sometimes it is said “this is not my history, I wasn’t around at that time, what does it have to do with me?”  My answer is everything. This is OUR history. There are those that perpetrated violence and those on the receiving end of violence.  And that violence has a deep legacy. It is past time to acknowledge the truth.  I am deeply grateful the memorial was built and will go to Montgomery to see it.

We now have a coarseness in our politics that attacks people of color, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, non-Christian peoples, foreigners, etc.  And, it is possible for this coarseness to exist because the ugliness of our past is still there, just under the surface, but it is emerging in most of our communities.

You can see this ugliness emerge in Charlottesville, Trump rallies, Welfare Reform 2.0, the Muslim ban, the comments around the Para Olympics, etc. You can see the ugliness emerge in my community with how our Sheriff treats non-citizens.  It is all related. If you can make the “other” out of one group, we are all harmed.

I was most moved by EJI director’s Bryan Stevenson’s statement that he and his team did the research and built the memorial because it is clear we will not progress in the law surrounding unequal justice of African Americans until we confront this past.

That statement hit home to me, because we need a sea change in progressing racial justice.  Let’s all work every day to bend that arc toward equal justice and treatment for all.

In gratitude,

Molly Hermes