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Republicans have put Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress; state legislatures are missing people from working-class jobs, and FDA has advice for formulating the next COVID vaccine for a new strain.

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House Republicans vote to hold AG Merrick Garland in contempt of Congress. The Senate battles it out over federal protections for in vitro fertilization. North Dakota becomes the first state to impose an age cutoff to run for Congress.

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Rural America's job growth is up, but still hasn't recovered from the pandemic, about one in five rural Americans lives in a town with a prison, rural women seeking birth control have a new option, and dark skies beckon as summer arrives.

Community Groups Encourage Open Dialogue After Controversy at Michigan High School

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Friday, April 28, 2023   

After controversy erupted over Palestinian American activist and lawyer Huiwada Arraf's speech at a Michigan high school, community groups are calling for open and respectful dialogue.

Arraf said she was invited to speak at a Bloomfield Hills High School on March 14, along with other speakers, about her experiences dealing with racism. She said the goal of the assembly was to promote diversity and raise awareness of the dangers of racism and discrimination.

"These students thought it important to have a Palestinian voice," she said. "This is the second year of their diversity assembly. Last year, they had the two rabbis. And it's important to emphasize that it's wonderful they had rabbis last year."

The Bloomfield Hills High School Board of Education posted a Healing and Response Plan on its website, and said actions include restorative conversations in the form of listening circles, small group discussions and meetings with students and teachers, working with teachers to identify opportunities within course curriculum for students to participate in civil discourse and productive debate, and provide resources to staff on identifying anti-Semitism and Islamophobia.

Barbara Weinberg Barefield, a member of the group Jewish Voice for Peace's Detroit chapter, said students should feel comfortable going to their teachers and their administrators if they feel targeted for their views or beliefs.

"I think schools need to do everything that they can -- parents, administrators and students -- to stand up for the rights for students to have free dialogue, free speech and be who they are," she said, "without being bullied, without being silenced and without being discriminated against."

Barefield said her organization will host a town-hall dialogue and Q&A with panelists from Jewish Voice for Peace-Detroit, the Palestinian community, Jewish leaders, students, legal experts, educators and others on the issue, this Sunday at the Bloomfield Township Public Library.

Disclosure: Jewish Voice for Peace Action contributes to our fund for reporting on Civic Engagement, Human Rights/Racial Justice, International Relief, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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