By Melissa Wuske
Restaurant with a Mission
Everytable, a restaurant chain in Los Angeles, has a unique pricing strategy: each one of its locations serves the same food, but the prices vary based on the average income of the neighborhoods where they are located.
“Our strategy in general has been to make healthy food more affordable for everybody,” said Sam Polk, Everytable cofounder and CEO. “In South LA that means $4 or $5 a meal. But here [in the Bloc], most fast-casual places are $12 to $13 bucks. So even though [our meals are] $8 bucks, it’s still better than most.”
Christian Women Die in Protest
Two women in Eritrea, a small country in northeast Africa, died after participating in a hunger strike for better treatment of Christians. Christians are often seen as agents of the West and as threats. United Nations Commission of Inquiry on Human Rights found “reasonable grounds to believe” that people in Eritrea have faced human rights abuses based on their religion in a “widespread and systematic manner,” including rape by prison officials.
The women had been imprisoned in a military camp and were protesting the abuse they and others suffered there. Some time after their strike began, they were taken to the hospital in critical condition. Both women had bruises consistent with sexual abuse.
“It is imperative that this tragedy galvanizes efforts by the international community to ensure justice for victims of crimes against humanity, by formalizing and initiating processes to identify and hold perpetrators accountable before national, regional, or international judicial mechanisms,” said Mervyn Thomas, chief executive of Christian Solidarity Worldwide.
Reenvisioning an Icon
While most people’s eyes are glued to their smartphones, people like Edward Ottewell are striving to preserve an icon that may seem outdated: Britain’s red phone booths. He and Steve Beeken started Red Kiosk Company to adopt and repurpose 500 booths. “We want to protect and save as many as we can,” he says. “It’s going to create employment, it’s going to regenerate an area that’s been left, and do some good. We want to protect our heritage.”
Another company, Pod Works, plans to convert the boxes into tiny work stations for people traveling. Other red phone booths have been transformed into a vital part of modern life as coffee vendors, book lending libraries, and more.
Life After Prison
Prison Fellowship launched its Second Chance Month this past April to raise awareness of the challenges people face after being released from prison. Many people have difficulty finding housing and work once they’re released. Some are ineligible for public housing, welfare, and food stamps, and many face a social stigma. These factors make it difficult to have stability and a new life once they’ve served their sentence, and it makes them more likely to return to prison.
Most people who serve time in prison will eventually be released, and “we all have an interest in helping them becoming law-abiding citizens,” said John Malcolm, vice president for the Institute for Constitutional Government at The Heritage Foundation.
“A second chance is what we’re all offered in Christ,” said Craig DeRoche, senior vice president for advocacy and public policy at Prison Fellowship. “It’s the core of our faith and religion. It’s what saved us from our afflictions or addictions. That should be available to others. . . . We need to unleash that human potential rather than treat them as less of a human being because of a debt they had to repay.”
Melissa Wuske is a freelance editor and writer. She and her husband, Shawn, live and minister in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts. Find her work online (melissaannewuske.com).