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Tag: Judson

Biweekly Wrap-up: A human being, not a policy

“Look at it as a human being, not as a policy.”

That’s a quote from one of my articles last Sunday in The Courier-News. That’s also the theme of many of my articles that appeared in the newspaper over the past two weeks (admittedly, not many. I went to a beautiful wedding Friday evening, then spent Saturday through Wednesday with my family in Wisconsin.)

That’s the power of story. It’s easy to disagree, to become angry, to be negative about a policy. Those things become harder when you meet a human being impacted by that policy, when you hear his or her story.

“I wouldn’t mind if people were negative about it — as long as they understood. I don’t see how you could be negative about this after learning about this,” said David Miller, a student at Judson University in Elgin.

I interviewed Miller in April 2011 after he organized an experience at Judson called UN-Documented. That experience was meant to get students to think about “the way we interact with people who are immigrants and the way we show respect and love them,” according to UN-Documented creator Jesse Oxford.

Those words have stuck with me since then. They’re what come to mind when I write about, help people learn about new policies.

Like the cover story I wrote last week about the U.S. Supreme Court upholding the Affordable Care Act — and the people its measures already have impacted. And the cover story about the Obama administration’s decision not to deport young people brought illegally into the country by their parents — and the incredibly brave young people who may benefit from that.

Here are the other articles I’ve written over the past two weeks:

Photo credit: Michael Smart for Sun-Times Media. (Non-blurry photo hopefully coming soon.)


Judson film fest steps onto national stage (Sun-Times Media)

I look forward to covering the Imago Film Festival at Judson University every year; this year, especially, because it ended with a pre-release screening of “Blue Like Jazz,” inspired by one of my all-time favorite books.

ELGIN — What’s a movie that begins: “Do you know the difference between being free and being high? Yeah, me neither,” doing at a Christian film festival?

Exactly what Imago Film Festival director Terrence Wandtke had envisioned for the short film festival, now in its seventh year at Judson University in Elgin.

Imago stepped onto the national stage for the first time this year with the highly anticipated movie adaptation of Donald Miller’s New York Times-bestselling book “Blue Like Jazz,” its first-ever pre-release showing of a film.

The festival ran March 27 to 31 at Judson, ending with that screening and a keynote question-and-answer session between Wandtke and its co-writer, producer and director Steve Taylor.

“Blue Like Jazz” was something the festival director “actively pursued” after seeing a trailer for the film last summer, he said. Luckily, he said, one of Judson’s trustees knew Taylor from his career in Christian music.

“I think the subject matter is completely appropriate, and I think the tone of the film is very on target for our festival,” Wandtke said.

“One of the things I like so much about the book is Donald Miller is so refreshingly honest about his Christianity, his struggles. Too often there’s this standard pattern that people feel like they have to fulfill, usually showing Christianity as some sort of heroic destination, rather than the beginning of a story.”

For the rest of the story, read Judson film fest steps onto national stage (Sun-Times Media).

Photo credit: Andrew Nelles for Sun-Times Media.

Judson U. official retires unexpectedly (Sun-Times Media)

Judson U. official retires unexpectedly (Sun-Times Media)