“There is no agony like having an untold story inside you.” - Zora Neale Hurston
Controversies and Clarifications: What does it actually mean when OSU writers take a stand?

Controversies and Clarifications: What does it actually mean when OSU writers take a stand?

When I enter Mennonite spaces, friends, colleagues, and sometimes complete strangers regularly approach me and say, “I need to talk to you about Our Stories Untold.” Or sometimes it’s, “I need to talk to you about SNAP.” This opening line is followed by impassioned questions and expressions of concern, the...
The Kindness of Strangers: A Fresh Air child hosted by Mennonites breaks her silence

The Kindness of Strangers: A Fresh Air child hosted by Mennonites breaks her silence

Editor’s Note: I met Janice Batts on Facebook messaging. She was very angry with the Mennonite Church. She was angry like Jesus-turning-over-tables-in-the-temple kind of angry. My good white Mennonite privilege was offended. I was repulsed by her anger and found myself judging it harshly. But I mustered up some self-righteous ‘care and...
72 Hours in Trump's America

72 Hours in Trump’s America

Less than 72 hours after learning that Donald Trump will be the next president of the United States, I have nothing coherent to say. What I have are fits and fragments of clarity that rise only momentarily to the surface of my grief before being swallowed again into the fog....
Latest entries
Sexual Abuse in Black Adolescence and Childhood

Sexual Abuse in Black Adolescence and Childhood

  This is the third post in OSU’s fall blog series on sexualized violence and race. Today’s post is offered by Kishundra D. King. She is both a crisis counselor who works with Black women and children survivors of abuse and a researcher who studies the same topic with respect to psychology and religion. Kishundra is someone who has a...
Our Stories Untold needs volunteers! Spread the word

Our Stories Untold needs volunteers! Spread the word

The work that Our Stories Untold does and the relationships that we cultivate have each been growing, growing, growing, and that is a wonderful thing. It means, though, that Barbra and I need a few extra hands to keep this network of love and creative resistance to sexualized violence running smoothly. We’re not at this...
This is my truth: Black Bodies, Silencing and Untold Stories

This is my truth: Black Bodies, Silencing and Untold Stories

This is the second post in OSU’s fall blog series on sexualized violence and race. Today’s post is offered by Regina Shands Stoltzfus, professor in the Peace, Justice and Conflict Studies department at Goshen College. Regina is also a member of Mennonite Church USA’s Panel on Sexual Abuse Prevention and co-founder of Roots of Justice, an anti-oppression organization (formerly Damascus...
Breaking our silence on the racial dynamics of sexualized violence

Breaking our silence on the racial dynamics of sexualized violence

This post kicks off our fall series on sexualized violence and race. In turning our focus to the intersections of sexualized violence and race it is my hope that we do not allow ourselves to believe that we are exploring a side issue or engaging in a conversation that is only relevant to survivors who...
Abuse Databases and Religious Culture: A Catholic perspective on addressing abuse in the Church

Abuse Databases and Religious Culture: A Catholic perspective on addressing abuse in the Church

This is the third and last post in OSU’s current blog series on SNAP Mennonite’s MAP List (Mennonite Abuse Prevention List) and the broader issue of naming church workers (lay or ordained) who are credibly accused* of perpetrating sexualized violence. Today’s post is offered by Terry McKiernan, President of BishopAccountability.org, an organization focused on preserving a public record of sexual abuse and...
The Church Continues to Break our Trust

The Church Continues to Break our Trust

Dear friends, Several weeks ago, my sister Lauren Shifflett announced her decision not to participate in the investigation taking place at Eastern Mennonite University by D. Stafford and Associates and explained her reasons why. I support her decision fully and after being asked to submit to an interview myself, I also have decided to decline....
Alcohol is the New Short Skirt

Alcohol is the New Short Skirt

Everybody knows that it’s not ok to talk about what a person was wearing when they were sexually assaulted, because that, my friends, is victim blaming. But, how do we talk about what a person was drinking? A while back, I saw several comments on the blog in a row that lamented a survivor’s experience...
Archiving a culture of silence

Archiving a culture of silence

This is the second post in OSU’s current blog series on SNAP Mennonite’s MAP List (Mennonite Abuse Prevention List) and the broader issue of naming church workers (lay or ordained) who are credibly accused* of perpetrating sexualized violence. Check out my introduction to the series or Barbra’s post from last week to get a better grasp on what the series is about, where this...
Why We Name Names

Why We Name Names

This is post 1 in OSU’s first blog series. Its theme is SNAP Mennonite’s MAP List (Mennonite Abuse Prevention List) and the broader issue of naming church workers (lay or ordained) who are credibly accused* (our definition below) of perpetrating sexualized violence. Check out the introduction to the series  to get a better grasp on what an OSU blog series...
We're trying a new thing! Blog series on OSU

We’re trying a new thing! Blog series on OSU

Today, we are trying a new thing! It is day one of a 3-4 week blog series focused on SNAP Mennonite’s MAP List (Mennonite Abuse Prevention List) and the broader issue of publicly naming credibly accused perpetrators of sexualized abuse. In a separate post, Barbra Graber starts off the series by offering her take on why...
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