We live in a time when faith can get easily politicized, thrown into an opponent’s lap like a hot potato. But don’t let all of the talk of organized religion fool you. We also live in a time when faith can be tailored to fit an individual’s needs and beliefs.

In this issue of InTheFray, we explore some of faith’s personal, social, and cultural manifestations. Belton-Martell Mickle journeys to Ghana to discover his roots — and the importance of the Diaspora to African development. And ITF activist’s corner editor Anja Tranovich tackles a classic hotspot for belief in her interview with Palestinian-fighter-turned-peace-activist Ashraf Khader. The two discuss Khader’s work with Combatants for Peace, the difficulties of renouncing violence in a land plagued by armed conflict, how inciting violence led him to fight for peace, and his group’s hope for a politics without militarization.

Rounding out this month’s stories, cancer patient Robinette Pelka uncovers the waiting room’s dark underbelly and creates her own rituals for enduring this melancholy space.

If you haven’t donated to ITF yet, I hope you’ll do so. The past year has been an exciting time for InTheFray — we launched our new site at inthefray.org, our writers received national awards, and we expanded our content with a new section devoted to activist interviews and an eclectic assortment of articles from five continents. But we need your help to continue providing high-quality writing and photography on topics that matter. In the coming year, we plan to broaden our pool of talent by increasing the compensation paid to our contributors and staff. We will also raise awareness of the magazine through targeted marketing and advertising. We hope that you will join us in our mission to inspire conversations about identity and community, foster tolerance and unity, and help society come closer to a vision of justice, transparency, and opportunity for all people. Please support our efforts and visit inthefray.org/donate to make a donation. You can even use it as a tax write-off!

Thanks for reading!

Laura Nathan
Buffalo, New York

In The Fray is a nonprofit staffed by volunteers. If you liked this piece, could you please donate $10?