Technical Debt – Lost in the fog

first_imgMany customers are navigating through what they describe as ‘the fog’ when it comes to balancing their IT budgets across where they were, where they are and where they need to be.It starts with managing “Technical Debt”; loosely described as the legacy IT infrastructure that a CIO inherits or accumulates over time. It’s viewed as being costly and cumbersome, but it isn’t going anywhere any time soon either. The investments that are being made in this environment are those that result in reducing costs, lowering debt and freeing up money that can be invested in critical green field opportunities.So the first order of business is to box in and target the spend envelope of tech debt. Check your arsenal and use the latest weapons of choice such as flash, virtualization, integrated appliances, deduplication, storage integrated protection and cloud tethering to name a few. These weapons not only help optimize the environment for cost and operational efficiency but they allow you to bridge toward and fund the modern data center.But you’re not completely out of the fog until you rationalize your process of where and how to place your bets going forward. Now more than ever, it is critical that these investments are spent in the right place since we are in an age of unprecedented business transformation.  We’re bombarded with alternatives so it’s critical to get a plan and stick to it.An overused term is ‘Be the Uber’ or ‘Get Ubered’, so how do you go about making these decisions?Well here’s something that was shared with me recently that I thought had great promise and can be adapted to suit any use case. It all starts with the application, its use, its strategic value and how long that value will be harnessed…Applications that will last less than three years:These applications are being developed rapidly and often many at once. They could include apps for individual market segments, geographies or for specific time periods. The bottom line is that they are not expected to be running for long and therefore dedicated infrastructure isn’t cost prudent. For these applications, the cloud is ideal: fast development time, little to no infrastructure investment, easy to deploy, maintain and spin down when they have run their course. Think hybrid cloud.Applications that will last more than three years but not viewed as a cornerstone app:For applications lasting more than three years, customers want more control over the performance and reliability of the infrastructure. Still customers insist on agility and any infrastructure investments for these applications must be easily sourced, quickly deployed and simple to manage. Additionally, they should consist of reusable components that can be easily re-purposed if necessary. Think converged or hyper-converged infrastructures and software-defined data centers.    Applications lasting more than seven years:These are big, strategic applications that shape how a company or perhaps how an entire industry will do business in the next decade. These applications will rely heavily on cloud operating systems to control large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout an owned and controlled data center to deliver predictable performance at huge scale.These buckets are not set in stone, but generally speaking, they are close enough to provide a framework for determining where to invest going forward. Everything facing C-level executives today including people, cost, security, analytics, agility and more can be tied back to balancing these bands.  So the question is: who are the trusted, strategic business partners that you need to align with to ensure success? Which vendors can cover everything from managing your technical debt to building for the future? These are unprecedented times. Are you ready? Get out of the fog and see your future.last_img read more

Delivering on the promise of OpenStack clouds

first_imgToday we are announcing the next generation of our co-engineered OpenStack Cloud solution powered by Red Hat OpenStack Platform (OSP) 8. Version 5 of the Dell Red Hat OpenStack Cloud solution implements an adaptive approach to cloud architecture by adding innovative extensions from the OpenStack community to Dell’s core reference architecture to deliver the promise of OpenStack with open, highly flexible reference architecture. No other cloud partnership in the industry has the same level of joint commitment, co-engineering, and expertise with OpenStack than the combination of Dell and Red Hat.Dell Red Hat OpenStack Cloud Version 5.0 Our version 5.0 solution features a unique combination of Dell-optimized modular infrastructure, with new and innovative automation tooling jointly engineered with Red Hat. This unique Dell and Red Hat automation tooling spans the entire core architecture and establishes the foundation for in-place seamless version upgrades going forward. We designed this solution to overcome the adoption challenges inherent in OpenStack and to speed time-to-value in a radically simplified way.This latest generation offering is powered by Red Hat OSP 8 – Red Hat’s newest highly scalable IaaS platform based on the OpenStack community “Liberty” release. Red Hat OSP 8, also announced today, integrates the proven foundation of Red Hat Enterprise Linux with Red Hat’s OpenStack software distribution and is becoming the gold standard for production OpenStack deployments. In this new Dell release, the storage system is powered with Red Hat Ceph V1.3, and we have enhanced the compute engine with the newest 13thgeneration Dell PowerEdge servers with Intel Xeon E5-2600V4 family processors.This integrated open cloud solution features:New flexible reference architecture provides validated core architecture detailing optimized compute, storage and networking designs with a portfolio of innovative validated extensionsUnique deployment automation across all layers, hardware and software, integrated with Red Hat OSP DirectorSeamless in place OpenStack version upgrades (Liberty going forward updates)Dell PowerEdge R630/R730xd 13th generation servers powered with the latest generation Intel Xeon E5-2600V4 (Broadwell) processorsGuest high availability to minimize downtime in the event of outageHost live migration to move VMs from one host to another without downtimeEmbracing and Enhancing the Open in OpenStackA key advantage of OpenStack is its flexibility and open attributes that provide the opportunity for levels of customization both at the foundation open source code level and with supplemental extensions available from the large collaborative OpenStack community. This flexibility and customizability have helped make OpenStack attractive to early adopters of cloud technology. OpenStack continues to gain interest and adoption as an open source software framework to implement private cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS), and as a foundation platform for solutions like NFV and HPC.While viewed as a positive, the ever-growing OpenStack community ecosystem is driving a trend where some vendors are building increasingly larger monolithic OpenStack implementations. While this model can provide some benefits, it can be concerning to customers as they sense a danger of lock-in which flies in the face of why organization are adopting OpenStack in the first place. Dell customers have made it very clear that they want to integrate innovative best-of-breed components and have choice over what is in their OpenStack environment today and in the future. The importance of driving innovation with fully open environments is also clearly articulated in the 2016 OpenStack User Survey.Adaptive, Extensible Architecture With OpenStack evolving so quickly, the challenge becomes how to take advantage of the robust and vibrant options for customization from the OpenStack community without creating unnecessary complexity, and avoiding forcing customers into a locked down platform.Our co-engineering work with Red Hat and others is solving this dilemma for our customers today with a new adaptive flexible reference architecture approach that brings together the combination of a  powerful, scalable core architecture with selected extensions. The extensions are all thoroughly validated just like the core architecture is validated to ensure a consistent seamless environment that just works.We are building out a portfolio of validated extensions that can be categorized into Cloud Management, Performance Management, Software Defined Networking, Software Defined Storage, and Application Management categories. Further, our architecture also provides component level configuration options and platform options for the core compute storage and network devices. The concept is simple, but the execution requires making a series of carefully considered design decisions that balance simplifying the complexity in OpenStack while maintaining flexibility and providing innovative options to customize an environment with fully validated extensions. Learn more about our validated extensions in this detailed blog post.On-Ramp to OpenStack – Your Path to Cloud  Dell, Red Hat and Intel now are offering “On-Ramp to OpenStack”, a joint program which makes it easy to evaluate and validate the Dell Red Hat OpenStack Cloud solution powered with the latest generation Intel Xeon Architecture. This partnership was born from our shared belief that OpenStack is a leading choice for enterprises looking to unlock the potential of the private/hybrid clouds. On-Ramp to OpenStack provides mechanisms for our customers to assess best-of-breed software and hardware systems to bring enterprise-grade security, stability, and reliability to their OpenStack clouds.Our customers inspire us to continue to refine our cloud solutions, and to continue focusing on creating flexible, modular, precision engineered solutions with truly comprehensive end-to-end lifecycle support. With Dell and Red Hat at your side, you can achieve the business outcomes and results that matter to you.OpenStack summit comes to Austin April 25-29. If you’re at the conference, be sure to come to our sessions (detailed here) and stop by the Dell Expo booth to say hi!last_img read more

Dell EMC Advances Data Center Grade Software-Defined Storage with ScaleIO.Next

first_imgSoftware-defined storage (SDS) is a key driver of data center transformation. As a data center grade SDS, the enterprise features, availability, performance and flexibility of ScaleIO make it perfect for traditional array consolidation, private cloud/IaaS, and new emerging technologies like DevOps and container microservices.Customers love that they can use industry-standard hardware, Ethernet and ScaleIO to reduce costs, simplify storage lifecycle management, and begin operating with ruthless efficiency.The first set of new features focuses on space efficiency, to provide more effective usable capacity and improve the total cost of ownership for our customers. ScaleIO.Next introduces multiple space efficiency features including inline compression, space- efficient thin provisioning and flash-based snapshots. In addition, snapshots get an additional boost in ScaleIO.Next by enabling the creation of more snapshot copies, automating snap management and adding unrestricted refresh / restore capabilities. This is huge for customers who want to shrink their storage footprint and reduce costs using software-defined storage.Since ScaleIO is hardware agnostic, it’s very easy for us to take advantage of new hardware releases immediately. Therefore, with ScaleIO.Next we will by providing performance and acceleration advancements using Dell PowerEdge 14G and NVMe Drives for the ScaleIO Ready Node. This will provide performance and metadata acceleration using NVDIMMs and NVMe drives to support the most-demanding customer applications in the data center.Additionally, ScaleIO.Next has a strong focus on simpler storage lifecycle management. This release enables even tighter integration with VMware environments with full vVols support, reducing overhead on the hypervisor, allowing administrators to consume data services at the VM granularity and offloading data services to ScaleIO.ScaleIO.Next also provides seamless volume migration which simplifies storage operations as ScaleIO now provides the flexibility to rearrange and optimize data placement on All-Flash, Hybrid or HDD-only media at any time. Customers can now easily balance performance and cost of data with these new abilities.ScaleIO also streamlines provisioning and management of ScaleIO Ready Nodes with new Automated Management Services (AMS) features. AMS provides complete lifecycle management of ScaleIO Ready Nodes: deploy ScaleIO, upgrade the OS / hypervisor, apply patches for firmware, and monitor the hardware components. The enhanced capabilities of AMS in ScaleIO.Next add support for storage nodes running on RHEL 6 & 7 and allow customers to deploy a traditional two tier ScaleIO configuration, where ScaleIO Ready Nodes can host either applications or storage.Last but certainly not least, ScaleIO.Next introduces a myriad of additional new features to improve reliability, availability, scalability and ease-of-use.As you can see, we’ve packed a lot into this release, designed to . deliver improved efficiency, performance, and management of SDS.last_img read more

Solving the IT Challenges that Keep You Up at Night

first_img“I need a system that I can afford and help me achieve my productivity goals at the same time”“I want the ability to increase compute and storage on demand”“I want to keep it simple – for my customers and employees”With the constant evolution of technology, these IT tasks can be daunting and can easily keep any business owner up at night, especially if they’re just starting out.Thankfully, Dell EMC can guide you through every step of your IT journey – from helping choose the right server to optimizing it to meet the needs of your business. For small and medium business who might be looking for their first rack server, Dell EMC offers the PowerEdge R240. For medium and large business looking for an entry-level server for their data center deployment, the  PowerEdge R340 is the ideal solution.The PowerEdge R240 is a 1U single-socket rack server designed with enterprise features at affordable prices. It’s easy to deploy and ideal for:File/print – offering the right level of performance and storage for transactions sent to the network to be printed or storedMail messaging – providing enough storage capacity to handle receiving and sending emailsCollaboration and sharing – ready to enable collaborative applications for sharing information and processes on-site or remotelyWeb hosting – with the right mix of performance, storage, and memory capacityTo give you a sense of what the PowerEdge R240 offers, here is what one our customer had to say regarding their experience with this server:“Our number one priority as a global service provider is to keep people connected anywhere, anytime, all of the time. For our web hosting requirements, we need a server that is efficient, reliable, and scalable. After long hours of rigorous testing, The Dell EMC PowerEdge R240 was able to handle our customer’s applications and multiple benchmarks without a hitch. In addition, this server offers the right mix of features based on our specific requirements at any given time. We trust Dell EMC to deliver technology leadership, product quality, and reliable support” Cindy Jordan-Ford, Vice President & General Manager, US & LATAM, Cogeco Peer 1The PowerEdge R340 is a 1U single-socket rack server designed to boost productivity, scale at your own pace, and help you simplify your IT infrastructure. The R340 is great for file and print, mail and messaging, and collaboration and sharing. In addition, this server can be your backup recovery solution with features like hot-plug drives and power supplies.The PowerEdge R240 and R340 are designed with customers in mind. They are built to grow with your business and offer leading-edge innovations that provide value today and protect your investment well into the future:Increase performance with up to 50% * higher core counts. Customers can choose a 4- or a 6-core Intel® Xeon® E-2100 processorHarness data growth with a choice of cabled or hot-plug storage. The PowerEdge R240 offers up to four 3.5″cabled hard drives and the PowerEdge R340 offers up to 8 x 2.5 and up to 4 x 3.5” hot-plug hard drivesAddress data sets with a maximum of 64GB of DDR4 memoryReduce operational costs with multi-vector cooling that automatically calculates and delivers the proper airflow needed for optimal coolingAnd speaking of simplicity, both servers can reduce time and effort on server management by leveraging the following features:iDRAC9 Group Manager, offers a built-in “one to many console” web-based console letting you deploy multiple servers at the same timeYou can access your servers anywhere, anytime from your mobile device with the Dell EMC OpenManage Mobile (with OpenManage Enterprise)Proactively resolve issues with up to 72% less effort by leveraging technology from ProSupport Plus and SupportAssistAffordability, productivity, and simplicity these are the cornerstone requirements for businesses worldwide. Dell EMC offers the breath of innovative product solutions and services to help you solve your IT challenges. Visit dellemc.com/servers to get started.last_img read more

12 years, 279 episodes, and 1 epic STEM contribution to The Big Bang Theory

first_imgAt the end of a long day, I love to unwind by catching up on the latest documentary on Netflix, or taking the edge off with a comedic sitcom. Pop culture has always been extraordinary at making us smile, while also influencing ideas and culture. One of our favorites at Dell Technologies is The Big Bang Theory which will come to a close this season.For the last 12 years, Dell Technologies has integrated products into not only the show, but the lives of the characters we have grown to love. Our Dell XPS M17 gaming laptop made its debut on episode 1 of season 1, which later evolved into the Alienware M17. The Alienware 17 R3 played a role in many of the episodes last season. We have watched as the show and its founder changed the perception of the tech industry and removed barriers to entry for students interested in pursuing degrees in science, technology, engineering or math (STEM).Four years ago, Chuck Lorre and the primary cast created The Big Bang Theory Scholarship Fund at UCLA. This scholarship was established to support undergraduate students with promising academic merit in need of financial aid, who are pursuing higher education in the fields of STEM. Fifty-two percent of UCLA students receive need-based scholarships, grants or other aid, and almost one-third of UCLA graduates have parents who didn’t graduate from a four-year college or university. I had a chance to meet 17 of these scholars at a recent ceremony celebrating their tremendous achievement. We were so thrilled to contribute to this initiative and support the mission of The Big Bang Theory Scholarship Fund that we also sent our future change makers off with Alienware m15 laptops.Advancing underrepresented groups in technology and cultivating inclusion is a top priority for Dell Technologies. It’s critical to the success of our business. By 2024, there will be 1.1 million technology jobs, so it is imperative that we ensure our next generation is equipped with the skills to thrive in a digital world, and candidly, we need as much talent as possible to fill those jobs to meet the needs of the rapidly transforming world around us.New and different collaborations are critical to breaking through and ensuring technology is a field accessible to ALL and representative of ALL. In addition to our work with The Big Bang Theory Scholarship Fund, we work with a number of organizations to increase curriculum at the K-12 level.  We’re also investing in partnerships at the university level with historically black colleges and universities to develop curriculum and programs to reskill and bring underrepresented groups access to training they need to pursue jobs in technology. And we continue to partner with peers on coalitions like Reboot Representation and the CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion that address key obstacles for our industry overall.As I reflect on the last 12 years and, prepare to wave goodbye to the show, I’m so proud of the progress we have made together, and how the show has changed cultural stereotypes and had broad reaching impact on the communities it serves. Because together we can do and achieve so much more, and have the lasting impact our future needs.last_img read more

Q&A: Billy Crystal on Oscars and ‘little powerhouse’ film

first_imgNEW YORK (AP) — After hosting the Oscars nine times, Billy Crystal wouldn’t necessarily rule out a tenth. But the 72-year-old actor would prefer some wider attention for his low-budget indie film, “Standing Up, Falling Down.” He plays an alcoholic dermatologist who befriends a down-on-his-luck comedian, played by Ben Schwartz. Crystal also serves as executive producer on the movie, shot in his childhood hometown of Long Beach, New York. A key scene takes place in the temple where the actor-comedian had his bar mitzvah.last_img

Mendoza’s Foresight class still evolving

first_imgThe new Foresight in Business and Society course now required of all business students beginning with the Class of 2011 has taken a turn for the better since its inception last fall, students and faculty say.Mendoza College of Business Dean Carolyn Woo said the course, which encourages students to examine and evaluate major issues and trends facing society in the future, was generally not well received at first. “The fall semester feedback was not positive,” Woo said. “I would say 75 percent of students had difficulty with the  course.”Woo said starting in November, Mendoza faculty took feedback from students and began redesigning the course. One big change was the addition of more sections to reduce class sizes.“I would say more students are in favor of the class than in last semester,” Woo said. “We have made improvements and are seeing higher satisfaction.”Woo said feedback is always part of the improvement process. “Innovation seldom succeeds at the first try,” she said. “In the innovation experience, it is very important to take feedback.”Woo said Mendoza faculty tend to share her sentiment about the course’s improvement. “They feel that this semester is going a lot better than last semester,” she said. Many students shared Woo’s positive outlook on the course’s improvement as well. “The course has been changed for the better since its inception last year,” said junior Henry Shine, who took the course first semester and is now a teaching assistant. “The course is adapting to fit both students’ wishes and the demands of 21st century businesspersons in a climate where today’s decisions are influencing life in tomorrow’s world.”Junior Richard Roggeveen, who began the spring class “as a skeptic,” said although he had never heard anything positive about the course from fellow students, he was pleased with the course and the material it presented. “As the professors respond to continual student feedback and continue to change course design, I believe that the course does have a place in the business school, at the very least to educate us students on larger problems and issues in the world and how business can act to help relieve them,” he said. The course, conceived three years ago, is the brainchild of Woo and professor of accountancy Thomas Frecka. “For about 30 years I have been concerned that we don’t train our students to look ahead,” said Woo, who began teaching in the business school in 1976. The course was then piloted over the course of three semesters and was offered to self-selected classes of about 10 students. Implementation from pilot to requirement was not easy, but it was necessary, Woo said.“The types of skills acquired in the class are necessary,” she said. “We also didn’t want to create two tiers of students [within the business school] … those who have taken the course and those who clearly haven’t.”Woo said the course, which is concluded with a large-group research project comprising 40 percent of the student’s grade, aims to achieve four important goals. “It helps students understand future trends and then understand the implications of trends among social, political and economic factions,” she said. “[It also teaches students] the methodology people use for generating future trends and assess in greater depth the issues related to these trends.”The course, Woo said, is distinct to Notre Dame. “The course is very unique because it is not offered at other schools,” Woo said. “This is one of the boldest things we’ve ever done.”Woo said the business faculty will continue to take feedback and retool the course this summer.last_img read more

Cambodian genocide survivor speaks at DSLC

first_imgTo kick off the Saint Mary’s Diverse Students’ Leadership Conference (DSLC), Cambodian genocide survivor Arn Chorn Pond shared his story of survival and healing under the rule of the Khmer Rouge. “When I was just nine years old the Communists took over the country,” Pond said. “My parents were executed and I was forced to watch my siblings crawl … to a death of starvation. It was very hard for me to feel so powerless and know that I could not help them.” While in the camps, soldiers forced Pond to partake in some of the murders. “Sometimes they would force me to help them out,” Pond said. “I was a prisoner, and they could force me to push others into the graves. If I showed any emotion with the victims I would have been killed.” Pond said his love for traditional Cambodian music, specifically the flute, helped him through his difficult experiences. He and four other prisoners in the camp started a music group; only two members of that group are alive today. “Music got me through,” Pond said. “Even today, it still helps me to heal.” In 1980, after living several months alone in the Cambodian jungle, Pond was rescued and adopted by Reverend Peter L. Pond who brought him back to New Hampshire. “I felt very lucky, but very scared at the same time,” Pond said. “It seemed as though no one in the United States understood me or where I came from.” After coming to the U.S., Pond said he felt anger, depression, resentment and even suicidal at times. His adopted father encouraged him to speak out and share his story to help deal with his feelings. “I didn’t know what it meant to be heard,” Pond said. “I never thought that white Americans would care about me, but I was wrong.” He started speaking at local churches and today his voice has been heard by Amnesty International groups, the United Nations and even former President Jimmy Carter. After he began to share his experience, Pond stepped into a new role: human rights activist. He is the recipient of many international humanitarian awards and founder of several organizations, including Children of War, Cambodian Volunteers for Community Development and Peace Makers. “I choose to sing and to start different organizations,” Pond said. “It is not easy to share my story, but it is part of my healing process. I love the work that I do now because it saves lives and inspires others. This work allows me live.” DSLC chair Guadalupe Quintana said Pond’s talk was a perfect way to kick off events for the conference because his talk will inspire others. “His story is very capturing and embodies everything that DSLC represents,” she said. Quintana said DSLC represents sharing stories that would otherwise go unheard and learning of differences that would often go unnoticed. Pond expressed the importance of embracing one’s roots and one’s own unique stories. “It is our life and our story,” Pond said. “Don’t deny your differences or your stories, because then you will be denying your culture.” Pond ended his talk by encouraging the members of the audience to go out in the community and share their voices for social change. “Do not underestimate one person,” Pond said. “Everyone has their own story to share. Everyone has their own pain. Do not spend time comparing pain, just live united. One by one you are the angel that the world needs. Go fly and be that angel.” Contact Kaitlyn Rabach at krabac01@saintmarys.edulast_img read more

Activist speaks on sexual minorities in Uganda

first_imgWinning the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights Award has brought activist Frank Mugisha respect in the United States, but in his home country of Uganda, he and his cause still meet with a great deal of enmity. Mugisha is the executive director of Sexual Minorities Uganda (SMUG) and works to promote the rights of LGBTQ Ugandans. He spoke at the event “Human Rights and Homophobia: A Conversation with Frank Mugisha” in the Andrews Auditorium of Geddes Hall yesterday. The Progressive Student Association (PSA) sponsored the event in conjunction with the Kellogg Institute’s Africa Working Group. PSA co-president Alex Coccia said Mugisha’s work has estranged him from his family and forced him to flee Uganda on repeated occasions. (Editor’s Note: Coccia is a Viewpoint columnist for The Observer.) Mugisha said a pending bill in the Ugandan parliament might criminalize both homosexuality and support for openly homosexual individuals. There is also a provision in the bill that would create a death penalty for serial offenders, Mugisha said. “I would receive the death penalty under this bill,” he said. The bill was first introduced in 2009 three months after a group of American evangelicals, including activist Scott Lively, came to Uganda to campaign against homosexuality, Mugisha said. Support for the bill is estimated to be around 85 percent in the parliament and will pass if it reaches the floor. Mugisha said the bill and propaganda from Ugandan religious leaders has changed the way homosexuals are treated in Ugandan communities. “Before the bill was introduced we had gay and lesbian people who lived in the community but were not persecuted,” Mugisha said. He said people in Ugandan villages do not always have a sense of the difference between bills in parliament and established laws. He said neighbors turned in one homosexual man who had lived in a community for twenty years. Mugisha said the people only acted because they believed it was required by law. There is also a prevalent characterization of homosexuality as “not African,” which extends to the leadership of many African nations, Mugisha said. He said many Ugandans, and Africans generally, view homosexuality as a cultural construct of Europe and the United States. “Almost all African leaders say homosexuality is abnormal,” Mugisha said. “Many African leaders say homosexuality is Western, not African.” Ignorance on the subject of homosexuality is the primary reason for homophobia and the main obstacle to his efforts, Mugisha said. “My biggest struggle is against ignorance,” he said. “I wish I could talk to every Ugandan one-on-one and tell them there is no disease they are going to catch.” Mugisha said it is difficult for Ugandans to recognize homosexual rights as a human-rights issue. He said he has to explain that his homosexuality does not harm anyone else while the government claims homophobia does harm others. Mugisha said he is also frustrated by the opposition to homosexuality in Ugandan churches, which also believe homosexuality is the result of Western influence. “There are no Western values, Eastern values, Southern values or Northern values when the issue is humanity,” he said. “When you are talking about God as love it is all the same.” Mugisha said he is a Catholic and urges other homosexual Ugandans to retain their faith. “I can’t wake up in the morning and say ‘I don’t believe in God,’ that’s not me,” Mugisha said. “Being a gay person, lesbian person, transgender person or bisexual person does not prevent you from being Christian.” SMUG’s greatest success is the visibility the organization has brought to the issue internationally and within Uganda, he said. SMUG has been successful with two legal cases in Uganda, Mugisha said. One was against the government for abuse of homosexuals by police, and the other was against a paper which called for the hanging of perceived homosexuals. “We’ve created a visibility in my country. The government can’t say there are no homosexuals in Uganda anymore,” Mugisha said.last_img read more

Faith-based ministry aids African communities

first_imgDespite stress over midterm exams, fall break plan, and the upcoming football game against Stanfore, some members of the Notre Dame community made time for the lunch and reflection about the role of missionaries in Africa in the Geddes Hall Coffee House on Wednesday. The discussion titled, “To be called is to be sent: Being Church in Africa and its implication in the U.S.” was sponsored by the Center for Social Concerns and the Africa Working Group of the Kellogg Institute. The discussion featured guest speakers Fr. Joe Healey, Maryknoll priest and networking coordinator of the Small Christian Communities Global Collaborative, and Tara McKinney, a 2000 Notre Dame graduate, who worked in Tanzania as a Maryknoll lay missionary. McKinney is currently the international projects officer for Africa for Cross Catholic Outreach, a faith-based organization supporting Christian development projects in Africa, Asia, Latin America, and the Caribbean. McKinney said her belief in the importance of faith-based development drew her to work first as a lay missionary and now as an international projects officer. “For me the mission of the church is manifest in faith-based development,” she said. “Faith plays a role in development, because it’s not just about building the house, it’s about how you are present for those people.” Healey said faith-based development is distinct and more beneficial to its recipients than development efforts without a religious element. “You widen the meaning of development,” he said “It’s not just economic development. It’s holistic development.” Another reason missionary work is important, McKinney said, is the governments of the respective nations are often remote from the particular communities and do not provide the enduring presence of faith-based groups. “They’ll tell you, ‘The Church is the only one who stays,’” she said. Healey has worked in Africa for over four decades and said heeis still learning about the African way of life. “I’ve been in Africa since 1968 and I am a student, a learner of African culture,” Healey said.  “My teachers are the African people.” Healey said one of the main things he has learned from his work in Africa is the importance of lay people in a Christian community. “There are about 120,000 small Christian communities across nine African countries and in these communities the lay people are the leader ,” he said. “The African lay people teach me what it means to be a community.” In her role at Cross Catholic Outreach, Mckinney said she she administers cash grants to ministers on the ground in Africa and provides them with technical assistance. She oversees 45 projects, 41 of them Catholic, and the largest reaches up to 7,000 beneficiaries. McKinney said she witnessed the same concept of lay leadership in at least six countries. “I started seeing and hearing certain trends across the different countries,” she said. “The main trend was new models of leadership. It shows the priest does not have to be the one in charge.” She pointed out the Ewuaso Kedong Baraka Catholic Kindergarten in Kenya as an example. The idea for the school came from a group of Maasai mothers and was built with help from Cross Catholic Outreach, she said. Healey said the lay involvement in many African communities parallels a trend in missionary work toward temporary missions and lay missionaries. “We’re now in the wave of short term missionaries, and at the same time there’s a new energy of lay people,” he said. The experience of the Maryknoll society is evidence of this trend. Mayknoll only ordains one priest each year, but there are currently 700 lay Maryknoll missionaries and 1,000 Maryknoll affiliates, Healey said. Healey said this increasing participation of lay people is a fulfillment of what individuals are called to do as Christians. “By our baptisms we’re sent out to preach the good news as disciples and missionaries,” Healey said. McKinney said there is also significant diversity among the religious missionaries; some are Americans; some are from Europe, Asia, Latin America, and other parts of Africa; and some are nationals of the country in which they work. Healey said there is another trend in missionary work toward mutuality. He said it is captured in a Ugandan proverb: “One hand washes the other.” “There needs to be a mutuality of mission, a mutual enrichment, between the Church in America and in Africa,” he said. Healey said missionary workers are also using different vocabulary,esuch as the phrase “global south.” “We don’t use the terms developing nation or third world anymore. Instead, we say a country is a part of the global south,” he said. Healey said ongoing missionary work in Kenya has focused on the concept of “see, judge, act” as a means of finding ways to improve the lives of people in the various small Christian communities. “We start with our experience, and out of that experience we judge our situation,” he said. “We then use this judgment to determine how to act. We use ‘see, judge, act’ to become agents of change.” When reflecting on the work Maryknoll and other organizations have done in Africa, Healy said it is important to remember the African proverb, “That which is good is never finished.”last_img read more