On Journalism and Being a Neighbor

With so many people coming and going in our culture and lives, what exactly does it mean any more to be a neighbor? Jo Kadlecek, senior writer and journalist in residence, writes in the local Salem News about her New England neighbor, whose personal milestone of turning 95 years old, is newsworthy in itself.

“New England neighborliness and the Lady at Number Nine”

By Jo Kadlecek, Senior Writer and Journalist in Residence

About seven years ago, as my husband and I were preparing to move to the North Shore so I could take a job at Gordon College, we were duly warned: New Englanders are chilly people. Don’t expect to fit right in, folks told us, raising their eyebrows. And do not expect to get to know your neighbors. It won’t happen. There’s a reason, the charges went, that the stereotype of cold Northerners exists.

But stereotypes are almost always based on ignorance or a solitary experience gone bad. They are not to be trusted, I have learned.

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Summer Scholar: The News of Justice in an Unexpected Land

NEWS UPDATE: Jo Kadlecek’s report on the Honduras seminar is published in the Huffington Post’s religion blog: read the article here. See also her article on Capital Commentary, published by the Center for Public Justice.

Editor’s note: This is part of a series of stories exploring what Gordon professors are up to in between semesters.

Honduras seems an unlikely place for an international gathering of scholars, ministers and community developers sharing ideas and thinking together about how best to pursue justice. But Jo Kadlecek, senior writer, journalist in residence and communication arts adjunct professor, has been invited to cover one such unique seminar June 23-29. Here’s what she said about her assignment:

“Sponsored by an NGO known as the Association for a More Just Society (AJS) in Tegucigalpa, the gathering will be asking some big questions in a setting usually off the radar of most North Americans. The seminar, entitled Justice: Theory Meets Practice in Honduras, includes Yale philosopher/theologian Nicholas Wolterstorff as the keynote speaker, who will give six talks. About 30-40 professors, pastors and practitioners from around the world—China, Brazil, Ecuador, Nigeria, Romania, Cambodia, etc.—will also be presenting talks and projects related to justice themes in their respective contexts.  There will be opportunities to see some of the work of AJS first hand and the impact it’s had on a city with one of the world’s highest rates of violent crime, usually related to poverty and land issues. We’ll also meet with representatives from USAID, NAE, and various other organizations. Continue reading