Is the 1% Beginning to Worry?

After President Obama’s State of the Union speech this year, I blogged about the emphasis on wage equality and the continued decline of the middle class. Since that time, unions and other organizations have continued to fight to move the minimum wage up and there have been some successes, including Seattle’s increase in the minimum wage to $15.

Nick Hanauer, Seattle entrepreneur (Photo Credit – Politico)

A recent article in Politico, The Pitchforks Are Coming…For Us Plutocrats, by Nick Hanauer, a Seattle entrepreneur, may be an indication that those who are benefiting by a successful middle class …read more

Social Justice for Autistic Adults

Adapted from this post in WellPower:

Wikipedia defines “social justice” as the “ability people have to realize their potential in the society where they live.” In terms of Autism, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 1 in 68 children have been identified with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) – many of whom will need some form of assistance, counseling and/or coaching with the following life skills:

Autism Awareness Ribbon, Colorful Puzzle Pieces, Free Creative Commons Public Domain Download (Photo credit: Beverly & Pack)


Establishing and maintaining personal and professional relationships Finding an appropriate living …read more

Dr. King’s Message is Still Relevant for All

Martin Luther King leaning on a lectern. Deutsch: 1964: Martin Luther King Português: Martin Luther King (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since 1999, I have had the privilege of being involved with the organizing and planning for the annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service. Over the years, I have often received questions from MLK Day organizers about engaging more people of different racial or ethnic groups—whites, African Americans, and Latinos. The question varies:

How do we engage groups that don’t feel the day has relevance for them? How do we engage groups who fear that participating in MLK …read more

The Arc of History Bends towards Access for Everyone

For 35 years, “care” has been at the center of Baltimore-based healthcare provider, Chase Brexton’s mission. At their Cathedral Street location, they have served thousands of community members in the areas of medical care, behavioral health, dental care, pharmacy services and specialty services, to name a few.

Chase Brexton Health Services groundbreaking (Photo credit: MDGovpics)

For months, we have watched as the beautiful old Monumental Life Building on Charles Street was transformed into Chase Brexton Health Services’ new home. The 178,000 square foot building allows the service provider to throw open its doors even wider, and to better honor …read more

What if George Zimmerman had known Trayvon’s Dad?

Interracial Marble Relationship 3 (Photo credit: wjserson)

What if George Zimmerman had known Trayvon’s Dad? I’ve been pondering that question for the past 24 hours and for me it’s progress and one step toward healing. For the past few weeks, my questions have been a lot more contentious.

In a statement released by Robert Cohen, President of the Southern Poverty Law Center, after the Zimmerman verdict, he asks many of the questions that have been on my mind and the answers were making me equally angry and sad. I’m saddened by the verdict, though it was not unexpected—many legal …read more

A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action

Trayvon Martin Protest – Sanford (Photo credit: werthmedia)

Sorry Elvis, we still need to talk. Saturated, but it seems absurd to contemplate writing about anything other than Trayvon Martin this week. Staring at the masthead of our blog, and reading the tagline, viewing social justice challenges and opportunities through the prism of current events, I keep thinking, “now is no time to be silent,” because in the simplest of terms, this is both a challenge AND an opportunity.

But it is hard to have words, much less the right words. My head has been scrambled with the news accounts, …read more

Fitch the Homeless

You have probably heard the remarks made by Abercrombie and Fitch (A&F) CEO Mike Jeffries that he doesn’t make women’s clothes in sizes extra-large because he doesn’t want uncool kids and larger women wearing his clothes. To quote this grand wordsmith “Candidly, we go after the cool kids. We go after the attractive all-American kid with a great attitude and a lot of friends. A lot of people don’t belong [in our clothes], and they can’t belong. Are we exclusionary? Absolutely.”

Additionally in an effort to keep the brand exclusive, A&F goes to the lengths of burning their damaged …read more

G’Day Gun Reform

Recently on the Daily Show, John Oliver did a 3 part series examining gun reforms in Australia and their subsequent effects. The segments are not only hilarious; but also inspired me to learn more about Australia’s successful gun reforms, and our own country’s recent failure in this realm. So, I did some investigating and found that the statistics in Australia are quite astounding.

Australia had 13 gun massacres in the 18 years before the 1996 gun reforms, but has had no mass shootings since. Around 650,000 automatic and semiautomatic guns were destroyed as a part of the Australian government’s …read more

The Post-Mystique

As a female born on the cusp of Generations X and Y, I grew up firmly believing that women and men are equal. I’ve visited different countries and developed relationships with people who were not raised in in an environment that reinforced gender equality. Yet, I have always considered myself an advocate for women, never fully understanding why there would be any grey area on the issue.

Then, I started reading Betty Friedan’s The Feminist Mystique for a book club – thinking that this would be an interesting relic of the past – and it blew my mind. Here were …read more

Rippling Innovation and Action

(Photo credit: laRuth)

This week I had the opportunity to attend a discussion with Beverly Schwartz, the author of the new book ‘Rippling: How Social Entrepreneurs Spread Innovation Throughout the World‘. In her book, and during the discussion, Schwartz encourages everyday individuals to become social entrepreneurs, or at the very least work alongside social entrepreneurs, to make real, sustainable, systemic changes in society.

During the discussion numerous examples of social entrepreneurs were discussed, all of whom are or were fellows of Ashoka, the social change organization that Schwartz works for. I found the stories of these innovators inspiring on …read more