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Showing posts from May 31, 2020

How Can I Stay Positive for My Kids When I’m So Overwhelmed?

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Even for a psychologist who studies how kids understand racism and violence, talking to her own children about it is difficult.

After another harrowing week of violence, I sat down at my computer to attempt to “work.” Or to just do something, anything. But I continued to scroll, watch, or listen to terrible things.

By Allison Briscoe-Smith


Then, I received an email from a beloved colleague. The bolded subject line: “Dr. Briscoe-Smith can you help any advice about how to talk to children of color about these massacres?

My first reaction was simply “Nope. Why you askin’ me?” Just that afternoon I had hurriedly turned off the talk radio station as my son entered the car. I had quickly put down my phone as I felt my daughter looking over my shoulder at the images on my Instagram feed.

I was yet again seeing images of violence against black bodies, bodies like my own and like my children’s. There was overwhelming pain, grief, and rage. This wasn’t new—just another wave of what I’ve known …

It’s an Octopus?! It’s a Blanket!? What is this Awe-some Creature?

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Sometimes we need a little awe to reset our sense of wonder about the world!  When it comes to finding inspiration we need to look no further than the natural world. Billowing through the ocean, this giant creature will leave you with your jaw on the floor!

Octopuses have a reputation for being intelligent shapeshifters, blending in with their surroundings, and wowing us at almost every turn. As so often happens though, just when we think “how cool” nature is, it has even more wonder to reveal to us! Enter: the blanket octopus. These enormous technicolor creatures remind us that if we’re looking for awe, we need to look no further than the natural world!

by Liesl Ulrich-Verderber


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30 Articles on Nonviolent Protest

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"Even under aggressive provocation, nonviolence remains the key to success in the struggle against injustice. But nonviolence is a complex and challenging field of strategy, methodology and tactics which are always context-specific, eschewing easy generalizations about 'what works' from one time and place to another. To explore these complexities -- and often borrowing material from incredible partners like Waging Nonviolence and YES! Magazine -- we have published over fifty articles on nonviolent protest since 2013. Here are 30 of the best which provide important guidance both now and in the future." Michael Edwards shares more here.


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7 Ways Protestors Showed Up For Black Lives

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Amid the outpouring of outrage over George Floyd's killing, are glimpses of solidarity and hope around the world.

In the past week, demonstrations have erupted in big and small cities across the United States and in countries around the world over the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin.


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Savoring the Flavor of the Moment with Lemon Caviar!

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Can the juicy insides of citrus fruit change the way we experience life? We’re pausing to savor the moments that delight, starting with a tiny fruit that has a tasty, sunshiney surprise inside! Take your taste buds on an adventure by discovering the wonder in the caviar of the Finger Lime!

Life gets busy, and oftentimes we tend to forgo variety and pleasure in place of something fast and easy. But today, my dear friend, we’re inviting you to reinvent the way you think about food! Let’s rediscover the exhilaration that comes with tasting the unknown and savoring the moment, starting with finger limes!

By Renee Laroche-Rheaume


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Deep Water-- A Conversation with Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee

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Emmanuel Vaughan-Lee of the Global Oneness Project is a surfer, a filmmaker and an environmentalist inner and outer. His love of water led to his film, Elemental. The destruction of our water systems is a prime example of how separated we've become from whats fundamental to our survival. Rajendra Singh is one of the three people in Vaughan-Lees film. He brought seven rivers back to life in an arid region of India and now focuses on restoring the Ganges. Each story is entwined with the deep truths and issues of our relationship with water.


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How to Teach Online So All Students Feel Like They Belong

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Educators can foster belonging and inclusion for all students, even online.

COVID-19 ejected students from the familiar hustle and bustle of the classroom into unexpected and prolonged isolation at home. This has destabilized their lives and challenged their sense of self.

By Becki Cohn-Vargas, Kathe Gogolewsk


It is their identity—who they conceive themselves to be—that they use to forge their ideas of self-worth, and that ultimately guides their decisions and behaviors. These decisions affect them both socially and academically. School was a constant source of messaging that had fed into their sense of self, both positive and negative. Suddenly, that source has been reduced to time-limited, two-dimensional phone and online interactions.

We’ve studied what happens when classrooms feel “identity safe” for students. An identity-safe classroom (online and off) is one in which teachers strive to ensure that a student’s sense of self is an asset rather than a barrier to success in the classro…

What Will It Take to Bridge Our Differences?

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Here are some core insights from the GGSC’s virtual summit on dialogue and understanding across our differences.

We were supposed to meet face to face to talk about how Americans could bridge their differences.

By Zaid Jilani



But we couldn’t. COVID-19 prevented us from physically coming together. And so the staff of the Greater Good Science Center (GGSC) scrambled to turn “Bridging Differences: A Virtual Summit for Dialogue and Understanding” into a virtual event on May 15.

We didn’t know if it would work. We didn’t know if anyone would be willing to sit at their computers for hours on end to discuss the forces driving this country apart and how we can overcome them.

That’s why it was thrilling to see 400 educators, faith leaders, civil society activists, and others log on for one of the largest events of its kind. Together, we shared research and best practices about how to understand each other and talk across racial, religious, political, and cultural differences.

Here are some of the hi…

Activism in a Pandemic : Progressive Examples from Australia

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Each month the Commons Library provides a small taste of actions and events which challenged the status quo and pointed to better ways forward via their ever growing "From Little Things Big Things Grow: Events That Changed Australia" list. These posts generally focus on events from a particular month, but in response to the Coronavirus pandemic they are sharing protests, campaigns and events from the past which highlight ways in which we can undertake action whilst maintaining safe health practices.


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Restoring Sight to the Blind with a $3 Innovation

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Thought leaders who find ingenious solutions right at the root of problems can be an inspiration to us all. Here’s a doctor who is changing the lives of millions with a few fundamental shifts that drove costs of restoring someone’s sight down from $250 to $3!

What if you could help half of all impoverished blind people see once again by figuring out how to make a procedure cost go from $200 to just $3? With at least 51% of the world’s blindness caused by cataracts 1, this thought leader’s innovation has already changed millions of lives and the power to change millions more.

By Sam Burns


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Zadie Smith on Optimism and Despair

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Caught in the maelstrom of the moment, we forget this cyclical nature of history -- history being merely the rosary of moments the future strings of its pasts. We forget that the present always looks different from the inside than it does from the outside -- something James Baldwin knew when, in considering why Shakespeare endures, he observed: "It is said that his time was easier than ours, but I doubt it -- no time can be easy if one is living through it." We forget that our particular moment, with all its tribulations and triumphs, is not neatly islanded in the river of time but swept afloat by massive cultural currents that have raged long before it and will rage long after.


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Eight Verses for Training the Mind

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The Prison Mindfulness Institute's mission is to provide prisoners, prison staff and prison volunteers, with the most effective, evidence-based tools for rehabilitation, self-transformation, and personal & professional development. In particular, they provide and promote the use of proven effective mindfulness-based interventions (MBI's). Their dual focus is on transforming individual lives as well as transforming the corrections system as a whole in order to mitigate its extremely destructive impact on families, communities and the overall social capital of our society. 'Eight Verses for Training the Mind' is a text available on their website. It was composed by the Buddhist Master Langri Tangpa (1054-1123). This revered text from the Mahayana Lojong (mind training) tradition offers powerful practices for cultivating a mind of compassion, wisdom, and love.


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