The Sunday Paper, February 5: We Are All in This Together

Sunday Paper (23)

IBT Header

Every week here at The Sunday Paper, we focus on Moving Humanity Forward. That’s our tagline, but more importantly, it’s our mission and our purpose.

We curate stories and we highlight voices that inform and inspire us to stay positive in the midst of a rapidly changing and turbulent world. We scour the news and always try to find the silver lining in it. (In case you missed it, be sure to read New York Times columnist Nick Kristof’s op-ed about why 2017 may actually be the best year ever. Yes, he did say that.)

The news of the day is rarely simple and/or great, even though so many people want it to be. I find that people want it to be black and white or right and wrong. But it rarely is. One’s take on the news depends so much on what one has experienced in life. You and I can look at the same picture, read the same story, or listen to the same speech, and yet have completely different takes on what is being said or is happening.

This week, President Trump got me thinking about the power of prayer. I’m a big believer in the power of prayer because I’ve seen it work firsthand. In fact, right now I’m a part of a prayer circle for a friend battling cancer and I know it’s effective because she’s still working and being a warrior for social justice.

I pray every morning and every evening to settle myself, to guide myself, to focus myself, to express gratitude and to be in conversation with God. I pray for myself, my children, my friends and yes, those I seek to better understand.

So the other morning, I prayed for Donald Trump and his family. I prayed that he would find some measure of peace. I prayed that he would realize he already has the most powerful job in the world and that what he does with it moving forward impacts millions and millions the world over. It impacts our shared humanity. It can move us forward, or it can move us backward. So while I know we must and should act, prayer has always given me a solid and centered foundation from which to move forward.

Because the truth is that no matter where we are born — or to whom we are born — we are all human beings. We share our humanity. In fact, the Merriam Webster’s definition of humanity makes this pretty clear.



I am connected to you, and yes, you are connected to me. We share the same planet. We breathe the same air. How I treat me is how I should strive to treat you. What I want for my family is what I should strive to want for your family — regardless of your religion, the color of your skin, your gender, or your political affiliation. I long to drop the labels we use to identify ourselves and that we so often hide behind, as they always seem to take us further from one another, instead of closer to one another.

So as we all heatedly debate the news of the day — as we are all flooded with images of people crying for help and/or offering help — may we stop and remember that we are all in this great big family called the human race together. If you need an example, just read this story about how a Jewish synagogue in Texas opened its doors to a local Muslim congregation after their mosque burned to the ground.

Our future depends on seeing our common humanity and finding ways to elevate it and move it forward towards a better place than it is today. Our very survival depends on one another. Our joy depends on one another. We are not here to destroy one another. We are here to connect with one another and help one another.

As Archbishop Desmond Tutu said, “All of our humanity is dependent upon recognizing the humanity in others.”

We at The Sunday Paper agree. That’s why today’s issue focuses on helping us see that very truth. We can see it in our daily lives, in pictures, in films, or in the power of sports. It’s there for us all to see. All we need to do is open our eyes, our minds and our hearts to it and let it in.

In the meantime, I’m going to keep praying for our president, those who work for him and those who don’t. I’m going to keep praying for all of us and our shared humanity.

It’s there for us to see. All we need to do is open our eyes, our minds and our hearts and let it in.

In the meantime, I’m going to keep praying for our president, those who work for him and those who don’t. I’m going to keep praying for all of us and our shared humanity.

P.S. Archbishop Tutu shared some other powerful words about peace and humanity in an exclusive essay for The Sunday Paper last November. Read it here, then listen to the voices of other Architects of Change in our conversation series archives.



Every week at The Sunday Paper, we honor individuals who use their voices, their hearts, and their minds to Move Humanity Forward.

This week, we honor Rev. Andy Bales as our Architect of Change of the Week. For more than a decade, Rev. Bales has trekked up and down Los Angeles’ Skid Row to tend to the city’s neediest. And even though he lost his right leg to a staph infection contracted on the streets, Rev. Bales has not let that setback slow down his mission of ending homelessness.

Rev. Bales sees the humanity in everyone and recognizes that we’re all “precious human beings.”

Screen Shot 2017-02-03 at 5.37.55 PM

Andy Bales
Reverend · Activist  · Architect of Change

1.  Why We Should Never Turn Our Backs on The Homeless: “We all have our own kinds of struggles,” Rev. Bales said. “So often we avoid people experiencing homelessness, but there are so many people who are one paycheck away from it. We’ve got to get over our fears and join together and make sure no one ever suffers this devastation.”

2. The One Thing Most People on the Streets Have in Common: “The biggest common denominator is having no attachment to family whatsoever,” Rev. Bales said. “Recreating community is the biggest step toward ending homelessness.”

3.  Why It’s Never Too Late: “I’ve rarely, if ever, seen somebody who was too far gone to have a quality life,” Rev Bales said. “One guy who spent 7 years on crack cocaine is now playing piano for a worship team, and the other day, he spoke before city council. As long as you’re breathing, there’s hope.”

To learn more about Rev. Andy Bales and his organization, United Rescue Mission, go here.



The Power of Sports to Bring Us Together


In case you think we forgot it’s Super Bowl Sunday… we haven’t. How could we? We recognize the incredible role sports has played in changing our social conscious and uniting a humanity made up of different skin colors, religions, backgrounds and beliefs.

So, before you watch the game (or after), may we recommend that you watch one of these two films — both of which demonstrate how sports can be used to change our minds, open our eyes and help us recognize our common humanity.




This is a moving feature film about the inspiring true story of how Nelson Mandela joined forces with the captain of South Africa’s rugby team to help unite their country.



Brave in the Attempt


Brave in the Attempt

Personal bias here: I produced this ESPN’s “30 For 30” about my mother, Eunice Kennedy Shriver. It is truly an incredible tale of how she used the power of sports to change how the world views people with disabilities.




“Refugee” Exhibit at the Newseum


Screen Shot 2017-02-02 at 1.26.56 PM

(Photo by Tom Stoddart)

In light of all of the recent debate about refugees, there is an incredible exhibit at the Newseum in Washington D.C. that can help us all better understand their stories and their plight.

The exhibit features the work of five internationally acclaimed photographers who traveled across five continents to depict the lives of diverse populations dispersed and displaced throughout the world. The exhibit is in Washington D.C. through March 12 and then travels to Houston on May 11 for FotoFest Houston.

Screen Shot 2017-02-02 at 1.31.30 PM

(Photo by Lynsey Addario)



Even if you can’t catch this particular exhibit… may we highly recommend that you visit the Newseum in Washington D.C. the next time you are in our nation’s capital. As our country debates the fourth estate, this museum serves as a place to educate us on what news is and what it isn’t.

Screen Shot 2017-02-03 at 1.14.39 PM


A Sunday Poem


We at The Sunday Paper strive to start your Sunday with original and inspiring content. Whenever possible, we call upon poets, artists and thinkers among us to create something special just for you.

This week, our friends at the Los Angeles-based non-profit Get Lit (which uses poetry to increase literacy, empower youth and inspire communities) composed this original poem for The Sunday Paper.


“We Rise”
By Monique Mitchell

A butterfly brave enough 

to open her wings

for the world to see

sets off hurricanes 

on the opposite end of the globe. 

Scientists call it chaos. 

Maya cracked the code,

discovered why caged birds sing. 

Dared to believe the song in her heart.

Taught us to rise. 

When hatred seeks to tear us apart,

We rise. 

One brilliant sun rises

on us all.

To my Syrian sister,

my heart knows no refugees-

only family. 

She holds the door open 

shouting, “You are welcome here!”

You are home. 

How dare you play small

in a universe dependent

upon your breath? 

Your inhale inspires earthquakes. 

May this world tremble at the

thought of you.

May you always know

you matter. 

May you create chaos

that reaches us all.

That like our sun, 

teaches us to rise

despite our constant setting.

It is always time for a new day. 

Rosa sat, King dreamed, Gloria spoke, Tupac rose, Lennon imagined, Malala survived. 

We rise. 

We rise. 

We rise! 


Last week, we asked you to share photos of where you like to spend your Sundays. Sharon Pollock submitted this photo of her Sunday space in Westlake Village, CA.

We want to see your place as well, so send your pictures to



PreviewQuote (39) copy 2







Pitch Us (3)

the sunday paper (3)

To subscribe to The Sunday Paper, click here.


More Posts from Architects of Change