home Must Reads Must reads: Megachurches, diaspora, identity theft, racial justice, prisons

Must reads: Megachurches, diaspora, identity theft, racial justice, prisons


This week, we’re reading about searching for lost family, writing behind bars, and much, much more. Join us…and tell us what you’re reading in the comments!

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What would Jesus disrupt?‘ (Mya Frazier for Bloomberg Businessweek)

Megachurch culture is truly strange and fascinating. Perhaps it’s inevitable that it should become the latest target of the tech industry’s penchant for ‘disruption.’

It’s a remarkable altar call: Those who feel inspired are to take these seeds from the attendants and go forth, claiming their spiritual destinies … as entrepreneurs. At the edge of the waist-high stage, people mingle, hugging and holding hands. Others bow their head or kneel under the outstretched hands of strangers to receive prayer. Foust joins them, walking down the aisle and asking for blessings and prayers at the start of his entrepreneurship journey.

My East in Venice‘ (Nathalie Handal for Guernica)

How do you find, and reconstruct, a family shattered by war?

That’s how information has been delivered to me throughout my life: pieces that need to be reassembled. My search has been among people afraid to speak for they’ve been tortured, or unable to speak for their wounds are too wrenched. And I’ve had to consider the cracks of memory, its blunders, the way information is transmitted from one person to the next, what was lost and forgotten, what was added.

For 18 years, I thought she was stealing my identity. Until I found her‘ (Lisa Selin Davis for The Guardian)

This is an absolutely mesmerising read and we haven’t stopped thinking about it. What happens when two people share the same name and the same birthday, and their identities get snarled?

In 2015, I failed a background check for a new job because, according to the NYPD, I hadn’t paid the ticket “I” had gotten for walking in a park in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn after hours, at 10pm. Now there was a misdemeanor on my record, and I had 60 days to clear it up if I wanted to keep the job, which meant trekking to lower Manhattan to criminal court.

Minority Neighborhoods Pay Higher Car Insurance Premiums Than White Areas With the Same Risk‘ (Julia Angwin, Jeff Larson, Lauren Kirchner and Surya Mattu for ProPublica)

After being put on blast as a ‘left wing blog,’ ProPublica is at it again with thoughtful, in-depth investigative journalism delving into social issues everyone should care about, regardless of party affiliation.

For decades, auto insurers have been observed to charge higher average premiums to drivers living in predominantly minority urban neighborhoods than to drivers with similar safety records living in majority white neighborhoods. Insurers have long defended their pricing by saying that the risk of accidents is greater in those neighborhoods, even for motorists who have never had one.

Writing Behind Walls‘ (Amy Bernhard for Catapult)

What’s it like to teach in the prison system? Get a glimpse into the work of one of the many people across America who goes behind bars to share the love of writing.

After we’ve all shared, we move on to workshop. Every week one of us hands in writing, pages torn from notebooks and covered in pencil scrawl that Mary types up at home and copies for us. Tonight is Perry’s turn. Mary stands and passes out the latest chapter of his memoir, which is what most guys in here are writing, retracing missteps and fumbled dreams. Working back through their pasts in an effort to heal old wounds and emerge new.

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Photo: Son of Groucho/Creative Commons