Confronted with the “fierce urgency of now”

I had conversations with two people today that were reminders that the world is full of hate and loss. I also had the chance to go to a celebration of life for someone who was 95 when he died, and who leaves a legacy of love and faith and steadfastness. There is something about someone’sContinue reading “Confronted with the “fierce urgency of now””

What we permit, promote, and prohibit

Earlier this week, when news broke about the Haitian immigrants at the border of Del Rio, I couldn’t comprehend it, just in terms of the sheer numbers of people. When I saw images of people being chased by DHS officials on horses, I couldn’t process it. Then I saw Bernice King’s tweet, pictured below, andContinue reading “What we permit, promote, and prohibit”

Metaphorical masks and bearing each others’ burdens

Every fall semester I teach a class on macro practice where the focus is on community organizing and development, as well as organizational development. Early on, as I am trying to connect with the students, we talk about community and what it means to us. This year, I tried something different. I gave every studentContinue reading “Metaphorical masks and bearing each others’ burdens”

“Minding the gap”

In London, “minding the gap” is a phrase you hear frequently when using the subway. It is a reminder to pay attention to the space between the train and the platform. It can also be a metaphor for paying attention to the space between where you are, and where you are going….or a reminder/call toContinue reading ““Minding the gap””

Masks, Social Policy and Reconciliation

One of the principles of Dr. King’s vision of the Beloved Community is Reconciliation. One way to think about reconciliation is seeking friendship and understanding with your opponent (https://thekingcenter.org/about-tkc/the-king-philosophy/) Aside from the discussion of vaccination or anti-vaccination, I can’t think of anything more immediately divisive right now where I live than the issue of maskContinue reading “Masks, Social Policy and Reconciliation”

“No sense of identity” and “menaced by a lack of vision” (James Baldwin)

James Baldwin was born on August 2, 1924, which happens to be the same year my grandmother was born. It is strange to think of them being in the same age cohort. That is a rumination for another day! If you haven’t seen I Am Not Your Negro, do that as soon as you can.Continue reading ““No sense of identity” and “menaced by a lack of vision” (James Baldwin)”

Tools and weapons: “Worship of the written word”

I have been reflecting on pieces of an article and framework this summer by Tema Okun, on traits of white supremacy culture. You can delve into it here, and let me tell you, it is powerful: https://www.whitesupremacyculture.info/ It has been hard to read and see elements of myself in these traits. What is helpful (andContinue reading “Tools and weapons: “Worship of the written word””

Myles Horton: Ally, accomplice, disruptor

Today is the birthday of Myles Horton, who founded the Highlander Folk School (now called The Highlander Center) in Tenn. Still the site of training for organizers and activists of all ages, Highlander was heavily involved in labor rights organizing and in the the civil rights work in the 50’s and 60’s. The Highlander FolkContinue reading “Myles Horton: Ally, accomplice, disruptor”