Nathan Tanner: Taking responsibility for the inequality facing the Navajo Nation – Salt Lake Tribune

While some news organizations claim that poverty in tribal communities created the conditions for coronavirus to thrive, these analyses fail to account for factors that created and presently maintain social stratification in native communities. The Navajo suffer from the effects of pandemic illness disproportionately to non-native populations presently for the same reasons they did historically: systemic inequality caused by colonialism, capitalism and racism.

In his study of the 1918-1919 influenza epidemic among the Navajo, Utah State historian Robert McPherson asserted that the Navajo experienced such a disproportionate influenza mortality rate in the early 20th century because of their spiritual practices and living conditions e.g., tendency to live close to one another, engage in ceremony that required physical contact and a perceived lack of access to medical attention. However, this historical interpretation neglects the complex system of social stratification the Navajo have persistently encountered since the arrival of the first Euro-American colonists.

In a major way, the Navajo Nation in 2020 is experiencing the prolonged effects of the dispossession of their land, the intentional result of centuries of Euro-American pathogenic genocide, corporate and military expansion and sociopolitical destabilization. It can be assumed that in the absence of the U.S. federal governments land theft, forcing Americas indigenous peoples onto reservations what could easily be construed as a form of sociopolitical apartheid subverting and restructuring indigenous economies, complicating tribal authorization processes, battling tribal nations over sovereignty in court and severely limiting consumer networks (which force people to either live very near one another or travel great distances for essential resources and services), the Navajo would not be troubled by the current coronavirus.

While some may view this as an anachronistic reading of the causes of the current pandemic crisis, youd be hard pressed to convince indigenous folks or any serious student of history or sociology that this is not the case.

In her book, Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz cites native historian Jack Forbes as having stressed that, While living persons are not responsible for what their ancestors did, they are responsible for the society they live in, which is a product of the past. That said, descendants of settlers, like me, can assist Navajo Nation and other tribal communities by doing the following:

1. Urge political representatives to carefully reconsider the eligibility rules they create when crafting policy like the CARES stimulus package. Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez has described the complications Navajo Nation has had accessing essential federal funds amidst this COVID-19 crisis.

2. Encourage government agencies to collect tribal affiliation in vital statistics. Desi Rodriguez-Lonebear and others have called for increased visibility for native peoples where they have historically been erased.

Nathan Tanner, Urbana, Ill., is a former Salt Lake City teacher pursuing a Ph.D. in education policy, at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

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Nathan Tanner: Taking responsibility for the inequality facing the Navajo Nation - Salt Lake Tribune

Why are white supremacists protesting to ‘reopen’ the US economy? – Thehour.com

Shannon Reid, University of North Carolina Charlotte

(The Conversation is an independent and nonprofit source of news, analysis and commentary from academic experts.)

Shannon Reid, University of North Carolina Charlotte and Matthew Valasik, Louisiana State University

(THE CONVERSATION) A series of protests, primarily in state capitals, are demanding the end of COVID-19 lockdown restrictions. Among the protesters are people who express concern about their jobs or the economy as a whole.

But there are also far-right conspiracy theorists, white supremacists like Proud Boys and citizens militia members at these protests. The exact number of each group that attends these protests is unknown, since police have not traditionally monitored these groups, but signs and symbols of far right groups have been seen at many of these protests across the country.

These protests riskspreading the virus and have disrupted traffic, potentially delaying ambulances. But as researchers of street gangs and far-right groups violence and recruitment, we believe these protests may become a way right-wingers expand the spread of anti-Semitic rhetoric and militant racism.

Proud Boys, and many other far-right activists, dont typically focus their concern on whether stores and businesses are open. Theyre usually more concerned about pro-white, pro-male rhetoric. Theyre attending these rallies as part of their longstanding search for any opportunity to make extremist groups look mainstream and because they are always looking for potential recruits to further their cause.

Exploiting an opportunity

While not all far-right groups agree on everything, many of them now subscribe to the idea that Western government is corrupt and its demise needs to be accelerated through a race war.

For far-right groups, almost any interaction is an opportunity to connect with people with social or economic insecurities or their children. Even if some of the protesters have genuine concerns, theyre in protest lines near people looking to offer them targets to blame for societys problems.

Once theyre standing side by side at a protest, members of far-right hate groups begin to share their ideas. That lures some people deeper into online groups and forums where they can be radicalized against immigrants, Jews or other stereotypical scapegoats.

Its true that only a few will go to that extreme but they represent potential sparks for future far-right violence.

Official responses

President Donald Trump, a favorite of far-right activists, has tweeted encouragement to the protesters. Police responses have been uneven. Some protesters have been charged with violating emergency government orders against public gatherings.

Other events, however, have gone undisturbed by officials similar to how far-right free speech rallies in 2018 often were treated gently by police.

Police have tended to be hesitant to deal with far-right groups at these protests. As a result, the risk is growing of right-wing militants spreading the coronavirus, either unintentionally at rallies or in intentional efforts: Federal authorities have warned that some right-wingers are talking about specifically sending infected people to target communities of color.

One thing police could do which they often do when facing criminal groups is to track the level of coordination between different protests. Identifying far-right activists who attend multiple events or travel across state borders to attend a rally may indicate that they are using these events as part of a connected public relations campaign.

[You need to understand the coronavirus pandemic, and we can help. Read The Conversations newsletter.]

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article here: https://theconversation.com/why-are-white-supremacists-protesting-to-reopen-the-us-economy-137044.

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Why are white supremacists protesting to 'reopen' the US economy? - Thehour.com

Virtual Coworking Is Giving Our Need For Connection A Workout – Allwork.Space

What happens to coworking communities when they cant be physically close to one another? The theories are being put to the test as people practice physical distancing.

Like many people-focused industries, coworking has been forced to put its regular activities on hold, at least temporarily, while the world adapts to physical distancing measures.

Here at Allwork.Space we choose to refer to these measures as physical distancing rather than social distancing, as we believe that social experiences can (and should) continue even while we keep physically distant from one another. We are human after all, and we thrive on social contact. Its a natural part of our wellbeing, and while many people around the world are living and working in near-isolation, we need each other more than ever.

Amy Banks for Psychology Today explains the thinking behind physical distancing vs. social distancing as acknowledging that the virus has no power over our ability to support and nurture one another in this time of extraordinary threat.

Advocating for re-naming the national strategy as physical distancing, Banks says that this change emphasises the need for human connection so we can remain safe, but also hold onto the heightened need we all have for one another right now.

Giving our need for connection a workout

Banks noted that we all need our connections during this extraordinary time.

Perhaps now more than ever we must be intentional about giving our neural pathways for connection a workout.

And thats exactly what the coworking world is doing.

Coworking was born out of our need for person-to-person contact, connections, and collaboration. Thousands of shared hubs and communities have mushroomed across the world in the past decade or so, driven by our natural desire to be close and interact with other people. Thats why millions of people, even those who can do their work remotely, choose to work from a coworking space every day.

So what happens when that physical place is suddenly removed?

Some coworking owners have always said that the physical space doesnt matter, that communities can move, and will move, with you. That theory is being put to the test during the health crisis as coworking spaces take their communities online.

Virtual coworking

Last week, Cat Johnson hosted a Coworking Convo dedicated to virtual coworking, how it works, whats working, and whats not.

Virtual coworking brings workspace communities together in a digital space. This usually involves a scheduled video call using a platform such as Zoom, to which displaced coworking members can log in and work or socialise (or both) with their coworkers.

Suggested Reading: Virtual Coworking: Keeping Members Connected During Lockdown

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Some sessions are structured, and may involve a work sprint or a workshop with an expert speaker. Other times, the sessions are open and flexible, enabling people to join for a little while and simply enjoy being around other people.

More than 170 participants joined Cats online discussion, which shows just how important this activity is at the present time.

Attendees shared some of the things that are working for their online communities, and the challenges they have faced over the past few weeks.

Here are some of the takeaways from the Convo (find out more about future Coworking Convo events here):

If youre looking for inspiration for virtual coworking events, take a look at Cat Johnsons list of 25 virtual activities for coworking communities.

How is virtual coworking working for you? How are you keeping your community engaged? Get in touch and share your ideas with us.

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Virtual Coworking Is Giving Our Need For Connection A Workout - Allwork.Space

Hall Presidents Council: Hall of the Year award winners – Observer Online

After last nights announcement of the three 2019-2020 Halls of the Year, the Hall Presidents Council Executive Board would like to provide background about the year-long process of promoting resident life in our halls, up to and including the award determination. The year has shown tremendous community development for each of Notre Dames 31 halls. Especially during this unprecedented year where we are unable to celebrate these halls on campus in person we believe in the integral component dorms play in the life and education of students at Notre Dame. We see this every day still in the Zoom hall councils and online community building that hall executives are doing during our time away from campus.

We, the Hall Presidents Council, are a group of 31 sets of Hall Presidents and Vice Presidents that serve our individual halls and collaborate to bolster the Notre Dame community. Our Executive Board consists of six former Hall Presidents and Vice Presidents: Co-Chairs Tom Walsh and John Desler, Athletics Chair Gracie OConnell, Social Chairs Amanda Bono and Maddie Heyn and Finance Chair Frank Dijak. Our purpose is to foster a community of friendship and learning for all the halls. We coordinate programming among residence halls, provide a forum in which our members can represent their constituents in discussing matters of resident life, and disseminate information to the hall communities. In short, we hope to ensure that students of Notre Dame are developing personally, as members of the hall community, and as members of the community beyond the hall. Hall Presidents Council also allocates funding for Signature Events, an important part of campus culture and hall identity. In the 2019-2020 academic year, there were an intended seventy residence hall Signature Events.

This year, the Hall of the Year calculation included 50% Rockne submissions (taking the average score of seven monthly submissions) 45% Hall of the Year Presentation and a 5% discretionary allotment, which is updated each year to represent matters deemed important to the campus community by our executive board. Constitutionally the 5% that normally is a grade of a hall council was added to the presentation weight as we were not able to complete all of them before the cancellation of in-person classes. This year, the five percentage points were allocated for developing the GreeNDot program in hall communities and growing the participation in hall events open to the campus community. Midway through the first semester we sent benchmarks for both of these that the halls would have to pass to get the allotment. The GreeNDot benchmark was 400 points, following a system based on an allocation for percentage trained and events held by halls that the executive board and director of GreeNDot agreed upon. Participation was a benchmark of 50% of the dorm headcount checking in at a qualifying dorm participation event. Both of these benchmarks were then adjusted down to compensate for the lost time. 338 points for GreeNDot based on the days experienced vs expected and 22.58% because only 14 out of 31 qualifying events were able to occur. Using these measures as a lens, the Hall of the Year Review Board was able to evaluate the degree to which hall communities flourished this year.

The 2019-2020 Mens Hall of the Year was awarded to Dunne Hall. This hall exemplified a lot of characteristics that the hall of the year award works to encourage halls to move towards, but most importantly this year we were continuously impressed with this dorms authenticity and constant endeavor to improve their events and community. It was important to this community that they craft a strong identity to serve as a foundation for the men of Dunne Hall for years to come. Their leadership made hard choices about cutting events that were not reaching their community in the way they were intended and worked with commissioners to make the events they kept around to be the best they could last for the years to come. This year in particular they started a new mens group to share in their faith and made a stronger presence for themselves with other dorms with several joint hall councils and intercommunity building events. Within their own dorm they worked with their commissioners to improve their retreat and dance. Their hall councils reached record attendances and kept them up with new fun traditions. In true spirit of community, in their Rocknes and presentation they gave credit to the hard work of their commissioners and residents.

The leadership of Dunne Hall strived to create a home for their residents, despite the hall not having many traditions of its own. Popular signature events such as the DunneDance Film Festival and the Dunne Funne Runne made a name for this hall on campus, which this year is especially impressive considering they still received submissions and were able to hold their film festival on Zoom during quarantine. However, they did not just focus on improving their established events; the hall held a slew of inaugural events throughout the year. They held new events such as their very first parents weekend and a mentorship meet and greet for their First Years. At the beginning of their term, the leaders of this hall established a traditions committee to plan events that would build a sense of hall identity and last for years to come. Taken from one of their Rocknes about their SYR, This event is one of the longest standing traditions in [this hall] (it has been around about 4 years). Even though seeing 30 guys dressed up as a beloved celebrity during a football game is already a pretty successful tradition, the men of this hall never settled and continued to build up their community throughout the year. Congratulations to president George Lyman and vice presidents Nick Spitzer and Carson Richter on an excellent year.

Womens Hall of the Year for 2019-2020 was awarded to Flaherty Hall. This womens hall started the year strong ready to improve and strengthen their community. They were intentional in their widespread collaborations with other halls, student groups and community partners. They reached the GreeNDot and hall participation allocation threshold with 449 points and 76% participation. They encouraged programming that included all types of residents and brought back old favorite events such as a holiday week, study abroad socials and an annual hype video. They strengthened their tie with Beacon Childrens Hospital throughout the year with fundraising, supply drives and DVD collections. Their focus on sustainability included creating a textbook exchange program, helping clean Saint Marys lake and collecting seven pounds of pop tabs for Ronald McDonald House.

Flahertys hall leadership team developed heart, mind and spirit for their fellow residents. They encouraged self-confidence through Grace & Gratitude, and created a safe space for difficult but much needed conversations surrounding mental health, sexual assault and female empowerment. Their fighting spirit extended beyond successful signature events and they inspired healthy lifestyles with pilates on the patio and a yearly retreat. This hall builds community and skills in many other ways such as balancing two food sales services along with Bear-BQing indoor and outdoor with other dorms. Their support for many causes such as the Boys and Girls Club of South Bend and Center for the Homeless show how eager they are to bear the load for others and support one another with enthusiasm and passion.

Their final presentation was structured like a resume. But like any recruiter at the career fair, we took a quick glance at it and threw it away. Because residential life at Notre Dame is not just about checking things off the list. That spirit that you hear about during Welcome Weekend, that spirit is not something you can point to, but rather something you can feel. This hall was always passionate about fostering community, within and between residence halls, and that is the mission of Hall Presidents Council.

Finally, the 2019-2020 Hall of the Year is Carroll Hall, led by President Aidan Cook and Vice President Jacob Stellon. When we first met these two, they had clear eyes set on one goal: winning Hall of the Year. Now, most of our hall presidents and vice presidents have this nominal goal in mind somewhere in their consideration of how they will approach their time in office, but what made Aidan and Jacob stand out was the way they interpreted this goal. They saw it as the natural culmination over the course of the year, we saw the tremendous growth of community and spirit, characterized by a culture of small acts guided by family and familiarity. Carroll, more than any other hall, represented a place of inclusivity and hall spirit, where all Vermin are welcome and loved. This atmosphere allowed for a fluid development of events that catered to every member of the community.

They had the perfect intersection of small events encompassing every conceivable aspect of life at Notre Dame. This programming included many lake cleanups, third-floor ab workouts with new partner dorms, lots of support for their brother/sister dorms and a new Carroll Cares volunteer program. None of these events seemed forced on their part, as they had terrific participation in most of these events. The frankly absurd Lime Week that has become a smash hit among the residents even with the untimely demise of Lime Bikes speaks to the fun community that is flourishing on the side of the lake. They have become a true family, bonded as they say by their 13-minute walk to Debart. Especially impressive was the large number of events collaborating with other dorms and unwavering participation in events across the campus even with their small numbers. They won the Dorm-Based Athletic Attendance Contest, easily had the most student participants in the Kelly Cares 5k, even though it was during the early morning of a football game day and knocking our own hall event participation out of the park.

We could continue to list the multitude of events Carroll put on a mens group, speaker series, etc. but its almost endless. What we really cared about was their genuineness in their actions, as everything they did helped the residents of their dorm. Aiden and Jacob wanted to put Carroll on the map and change the perception of the dorm. Instead of someone telling a freshman they are sorry they got put in Carroll they wanted that person to congratulate them and say how lucky they were instead. We believe Carroll Hall has done just that.

A huge congratulations to these three halls and the remaining twenty-eight, each of which we are extremely proud of for providing an inclusive, unique, and fun home for Notre Dame students. Our campus community will soon welcome one new residence hall in Baumer Hall as well as see the girls of Pangborn officially become the amazing community of Johnson Family. We cannot wait to begin Fall 2020 as 32 homes under one Dome. Thank you to all who helped make Hall Presidents Council 2019-2020 term a terrific one and helped us leave our mark on Notre Dame.

Hall Presidents Council

Tom Walsh


John Desler


Maddie Heyn

social chair

Amanda Bono

social chair

Frank Dijak

finance chair

Gracie OConnoll

athletics chair

Apr. 28

The views expressed in this Letter to the Editor are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

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Hall Presidents Council: Hall of the Year award winners - Observer Online

Sacred Heart has remote day of service – Amherst Bee

Kaitlyn Jones, left, and sister Lindsey Jones, a freshman at Sacred Heart, pose with their sidewalk art for the virtual Day of Sharing on Wednesday, April 22. Photo courtesy of Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart

For students, faculty and staff at the Buffalo Academy of the Sacred Heart, service, which functions as a pillar of the school environment, took on a new form and significance amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

For over a decade, springtime has featured Sacred Hearts annual Day of Sharing, which entails a day of school-wide community service throughout Western New York. Under normal circumstances, students, administrators, teachers, parents and alumnae of Sacred Heart commemorate the Day of Sharing by venturing into the community and volunteering at sites such as nursing homes, hospitals and organizations serving individuals with disabilities throughout the region.

As with so much else, however, the havoc of COVID-19 inevitably disrupted and altered Sacred Hearts traditional Day of Sharing plans for the spring of 2020. With more than a month of successful distance learning under their belts, the leaders of Sacred Heart opted for a virtual Day of Sharing on Wednesday, April 22, rather than canceling the event altogether.

We had a Zoom meeting where we decided that we werent going to cancel, that it was too important to the integrity of the school and what we do, Bridget McGuinness of Sacred Hearts campus ministry department said. So we started thinking about things that we could do within the confines of best public health practice, while still doing something.

To commence their day of service, the Sacred Heart community hosted an assembly and prayer service over Zoom, before students individually embarked on their volunteering adventures. Although scattered throughout Western New York, all those participating in the virtual Day of Sharing wore their Sacred Heart class T-shirts, and documented their projects with photos and videos to share over school social media.

Of course, for this Day of Sharing, the service opportunities differed from those traditionally offered. Perhaps most critically, all options took social distancing and New York PAUSE parameters into consideration. The Sacred Heart community, nevertheless, still found innovative ways to magnify its Franciscan values with service.

I work really hard to keep my finger on the pulse of social service stuff regularly, McGuinness said. I was really trying to pay attention to all the kinds of little random acts of kindness, and we decided not to make them random acts. We wanted to make them intentional acts of kindness.

For artistically inclined students, volunteer activities included performing in a Zoom-based coffeehouse concert, building a bird feeder from recycled materials and knitting or crocheting baby blankets. Student athletes, meanwhile, could employ their talents by recording a childrens sports tutorial video or producing a short home workout video.

To take advantage of the fact that students could serve from home, this Day of Sharing also offered opportunities such as creating artwork for a neighbor, writing uplifting chalk messages on the sidewalk and planting bulbs or vegetables. In addition to the more out-of-the-box options, many students addressed the basic needs of their communities by donating to Little Free Food Pantries throughout the region.

Although the name Day of Sharing implies a 24-hour window of giving, Sacred Heart has extended its initiative to include an online giving campaign to assist students families in continuing to afford their daughters education. Given the financial hardships that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought to many, the online giving campaign has prioritized helping students return in the fall of 2020.

[The online giving campaign] was born out of another act of kindness, McGuinness said. Some of our families are confronting financial pictures that they didnt ever expect to confront, like lost jobs and decreased income. We always have such a strong parent presence for Day of Sharing, so this was a way we put out for our parents to still participate and lift up other families.

Donations to Sacred Hearts online giving campaign will benefit an emergency tuition assistance fund through June 30, 2020. With those funds, financially vulnerable families will receive aid to ease the burden of tuition payments. To make a donation to Sacred Hearts online giving campaign, visit http://www.sacredheartacademy.org/apps/pages/make-a-gift.

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Sacred Heart has remote day of service - Amherst Bee

Republic’s Rich Kang Solves Problems With a Creative Flare and Personal Touch – waste360

Republics Rich Kang has worked many jobs at Republic, including those now held by his current direct reports.Between his previous experiences in those positions and what he learns from his staff who now hold those jobs, he has gone far. Its this union of different perspectives, and bringing people together in general, that he attributes to his success.

Rich has held several different leadership roles with Republic Services throughout his career in finance, business development, and operations and is now leading our South area as an area president.

He has influenced our business during every one of his leadership roles. Rich is a collaborative leader, whose approach is pragmatic and intentional. He enjoys solving business problems through a creative approach, says Genevieve Dombrowski, vice president of Talent, Republic Services.

Rich has a genuine care for all of his employees. He has an authentic leadership style that makes him a leader worth following, she says.

The 2020 Waste360 40 Under 40 awardrecipient sat down with us to discusshis personal philosophy with regard to working with customers, and how he acts on that philosophy; as well as why he loves working with kids.

Waste360: Can you speak a little on each leadership role you have held with Republic Services?

Rich Kang:As Republics area president of the South Area,I am very responsible for the people, and that is a responsibility I take very seriously. I have eight direct reports managing critical functions of the business for our area, including sales, operations and human resources. First and foremost, my job is to ensure I have an engaged team. I truly believe an engaged team will take care of customers. Ultimately, I am responsible for achieving operating and financial results which also comes back to having an engaged, customer-oriented team from the frontline employees to their supervisors and managers.

Going back in time, I joined Republic Services in 2013 as the director of Financial, Planning and Analysis at the corporate office where I was responsible for the companys budgeting process and financial analysis.

I have also served as the market vice president Mid-Atlantic where I was responsible for achieving operating and financial results for the greater Virginia/Maryland/Washington, D.C. markets,andI worked with the general managers within my area who reported to me, and I ultimately reported to the area president.

As director of Operations Support Mid-Atlantic I was charged with maximizing operating performance through each support function including safety, engineering, fleet maintenance, and hauling and post collection operations.

And as director of Business Development I was responsible for acquisitions, market strategy and infrastructure development.

Waste360: What did you take from each leadership job that you still use in your job as south area president?

Rich Kang:My previous exposure and work experience have enabled me to build a strong foundation. This helps me understand what each position entails, but at the same time, my team members bring different perspectives than those I had when I was in those roles. This is important because I believe there is no one right way to accomplish something. This helps us make the best decisions for the company.

Waste360: What do you view as the most critical part of your job, as well as the most rewarding parts?

Rich Kang:At Republic, prioritizing safety above all else is critically important to us. The safety of my employees is my responsibility. If my employees are safe, I know they can reliably serve our customers. But the truly most rewarding part of my job as an area president is investing my time in developing talent and working alongside smartand engaged teammates, including my area leaders and their teams, our drivers and frontline employees.

Waste360:What is your approach to problem-solving?

Rich Kang:I am always looking for creative opportunities to further develop an inclusive and engaged team, especially with a geographic footprint that encompasses nearly 4,000 employees. One approach is inclusion opening my meetings not only to my direct reports but a broader team, including at staff meetings and through area-wide communications.

Another approach I take is making it personal. Im out there meeting with team members, and the next morning I send emails saying I appreciate their time and contributions, and if they need anything, they know they can reach out to me directly. I send handwritten birthday and anniversary cards. All these little moments mean something to our employees.

My intent is to make sure that there is a personal touch to make that larger group feel a little smaller and more connected as we step up to challenges and work to solve problems.

Waste360: You have an expansive financial background and subsequent experience in mergers and acquisitions and strategic corporate development.How has this experience given you a leg up today?

Rich Kang:Prior to Republic, I was the director of Corporate Development and Strategy, and before that I was an investment banker.

Growing our business is a core part of my responsibility now. My previous experience has provided a foundational knowledge of valuation, identifying synergies, and ensuring seamless integration. These learned skills have allowed me to build a pipeline and acquire companies that are accretive to Republic.

Waste360: What is your philosophy with regard to working with customers, and how do you act on this?

Rich Kang:Listening and understanding the needs of our customers is the core of who we are, so I sit down with them and I listen.

We know our customers want to recycle, despite the challenges we face withChinas policieson acceptablerecyclables. We are partnering with our municipal customers to create a more sustainable recycling model.I am working closely with my leadership teams to make sure we identify solutions that will allow customers to achieve their recycling goals as well as create a sustainable model for them and their communities.

Waste360: Tell me about your engagement with students.

Rich Kang:I truly enjoy working with children, especially when it comes to talking about sustainability that impacts their future. I, along with my area and local leaders, work with school administrators and educators to host local school events around America Recycles Day and Earth Day where we talk with students about recycling, safety and other important topics.

We want to educate and empower students so they can be expert recyclers in their homes and at school.

For me, having an interactive lesson is important. I will typically show a short video on what we need to recycle and the recycling processes. And we use examples that make it personal for them. For instance, most kids love pizza. We know that putting a greasy pizza box in the recycling bin is a common mistake and use this as an example of something they can avoid to make a difference for the better.

The key is having something students can relate to, and making it fun and engaging. This will help create a sustainable future for the children and their families while enabling us to recycle more and reduce contamination.

Waste360: What other outreach do you do?

Rich Kang:At Republic Services, we are actively involved in our communities; it is important to give back to the communities where we live and work. For example, under my leadership last year, Republics Charitable Foundation, National Neighborhood Promise, made a $250,000 donation to Avenue, one of our not-for-profit partners. Together with the non-profit, using the donation, our manpower and resources, over 120 volunteers revitalized several homes and a school playground in Houston. We are committed to working with this non-profit again in 2020 in Houston, along with over 20 other charitable giving projects across the country.

Waste360:What is your favorite thing to do when you arent at work?

Rich Kang:Thats easy.When I am not at work, I enjoy spending time with my family. I have three boys so when we are not on a soccer field you can find us fishing. Family is very important to me. I encourage my teams to make sure they get as much time as possible with their families too.

Excerpt from:

Republic's Rich Kang Solves Problems With a Creative Flare and Personal Touch - waste360

Bren Brown on how to get through a pandemic: ‘We have to be intentional about choosing kindness and generosity’ – Yahoo News

Bren Brown shares advice for navigating the current crisis. (Photo: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images for Netflix)

Bren Brown, the research professor with the celebrity following and Netflix documentary, is using her new podcast to help people navigate uncomfortable moments in life including the one the world is facing right now.

Unlocking Us, which launched in March, was not planned with a pandemic in mind, but Brown, made famous for her incredibly popular TED talk The Power of Vulnerability, is now using the platform to talk to experts about topics that are impacting listeners in COVID-19 isolation, including loneliness, suffering, grief and empathy.

In an interview with the New York Times, Brown shared more about her thoughts on what the public can look to learn, and perhaps even gain, from this collective coronavirus experience. A crisis highlights all of our fault lines, she said in the interview. We can pretend that we have nothing to learn, or we can take this opportunity to own the truth and make a better future for ourselves and others.

Brown peppered the interview with other pearls of wisdom. Get curious about what youre feeling and introspective about where that comes from, she said while also making sure to note that in these times, we need to allow ourselves some grace and compassion.

A lot of us already felt like we were half-a**ing it with work and half-a**ing it with the kids now were like quarter-a**ing it. We need empathy around that rather than perfectionism.

Brown says that in order to get through this difficult time it will be important for us to note the scale of the trauma were all facing. Its not just what we can see or are personally affected by, she tells the New York Times. We need to take a step back and look at the loneliness, and the joblessness, and the racial disparities, so that we can understand how to help different communities that were disproportionately affected.

Brown, who played herself in the Amy Poehler movie Wine Country, also spoke about the individual impacts of this moment and how people are all dealing with it on a personal level. If there was ever a time to avoid working your stuff out on other people, this is it, she said.

Story continues

As for how shes been managing, Brown says she is conscious about how much coronavirus news she reads or watches. If she finds herself taking in too much, I start going down this rabbit hole, and then I get frustrated and scared and snap at my husband, she said.

Her most salient advice for getting through this time seems to be the most simple: We have to be intentional about choosing kindness and generosity.

For the latest coronavirus news and updates, follow along at https://news.yahoo.com/coronavirus. According to experts, people over 60 and those who are immunocompromised continue to be the most at risk. If you have questions, please reference the CDCs and WHOs resource guides.

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Bren Brown on how to get through a pandemic: 'We have to be intentional about choosing kindness and generosity' - Yahoo News

It’s Always ‘Safety Third’ in Emergency Medicine – MedPage Today

"A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what a ship is for." -William Shedd, Salt from My Attic (1928)

Emergency medicine physicians have a long history of caring for large volumes of patients in challenging, resource-limited, and overburdened environments. Despite many forefathers and foremothers dedicating their work to medical care in the emergency setting, Emergency Medicine as a boarded specialty, is relatively young, having only been recognized as a specialty in 1979. However, our heritage is deep and may serve as a case study for other specialties in dealing with pandemics, disasters, and societal threats.

The term "in the trenches," frequently used to describe emergency medical work, reminds us of our common mission throughout medicine to care for the sickest and unruly of patients, as well as the wartime-like environment many of us feel we work in. We are all in this together -- multiple minds, one team, strength, power. The term "the shop" in reference to the emergency department reminds us that the work we do is methodical to us as if we were mechanics of the body, but alien to those standing on the outside.

We care for anyone who walks through our doors without question of ability to pay or even desire to follow up all of the work we pour into each individual. We see a problem as a challenge, and we accept the challenge -- time and time again. Our work is physically and emotionally exhausting at baseline but we constantly train for the surge in capacity that happens daily around the country. In the war on COVID-19, emergency medical professionals and EMS may be the shock troops, the spear point. Still, there is a vast army of professionals also engaged in the conflict, who need an equally robust explanation of the risk management plan for delivering health care in this pandemic era.

We published the "Safety Third" concept in 2018. That article, first appearing in the Journal of Emergency Medical Services, outlined an emergency services paradigm with intellectual roots in the Safety Third concepts of Burning Man and in the works of Mike Rowe from "Dirty Jobs."

The fundamental postulate of the argument is that "Safety First" can never be accomplished in emergency services. Emergencies do not occur in safe environments. Here, we suggest that risk management paradigm can be extended to pandemic management by healthcare professionals as a whole.

The JEMS article addressed the question of, "if safety is third, what comes first and second?" First there must be a mission, and accomplishing it is the first goal. Second, the player's heart must be in that mission. You, as an emergency medicine physician, must identify with that mission to justify putting yourself at risk. You must not only identify with that mission but you must accept that mission. Third, safety protocols can be implemented to lessen the risk involved, and increase the probability of success, when completing the task at hand -- bringing safety into its rightful place as a contextual modifier within the very first priority. This paradigm was developed out of Hawk Ventures and its Carolina Wilderness EMS Externship program. A 2019 extern, John Allen, himself a Special Forces combat veteran and now a fourth-year medical student, expressed these principles succinctly: "Get it done (mission first), have fun (purpose), and safety is third."

This idea of Safety Third in prehospital and emergency medicine rings truer than ever now amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Nowhere is safe -- our jobs, our homes, our grocery store, our parks. By the time this article is posted, the number of cases may have doubled, tripled, quadrupled. The economy has plummeted as our citizens are ordered to stay at home and avoid social contact in a social distancing public health effort not seen within the last 100 years, designed to keep the caseload manageable for our current healthcare system. Safety first is not relevant anywhere right now. The hospital is the least safe of all places as COVID-19 patients sit in the hallways waiting for rooms that will likely not be available during the course of their illness.

While the entire world is mandated to be tucked snugly inside of their homes, we, emergency medicine physicians, and other critical operators on the healthcare team, venture out of our homes to the hospital where the threat is imminent.

We go every day to face our fate. We put ourselves in the line of danger because we have a mission -- for the good of our communities, we must work mechanically, diligently, and as quickly as possible in a disaster zone with no end in sight. We accept that mission. We thrive in that mission.

This is not to say we are not anxious, frustrated, or angry. We are human and we are vulnerable. We are all of these things at various points during our days. We are a special breed of physician, and we show up when others cannot. We push past these thoughts of anger and feelings of frustration and fear. We have trained for this. We show up because we identify with a mission to care for our fellow humans suffering from a disease that we, ourselves, fear.

Safety Third recognizes that we do have steps we can take to make the process of achieving our very first priority, accomplishing our mission, safer. Personal protective equipment (PPE) is critical to accomplishing those steps. One need only read the moving words from a former Ebola nurse to understand how PPE, and safety, are crucial to the first priority of "Get it done":

"Doing nothing [if you don't have PPE] may be the hardest thing you've ever had to do in your life. Many of you say, I could never do that. I wouldn't be able to stop myself from rushing in and saving my patient. Liberian nurses and doctors said the same thing, and many did run in to help, saying 'PPE be damned. My patients need me.' Then they became infected, they infected others. And they died. They didn't help anyone after that. Do not let the deaths of hundreds of healthcare workers be forgotten."

We have watched our fellow physicians, nurses, patient care technicians, EMS personnel, and law enforcement personnel contract this virus and die. We have appealed to our administrations for the right to wear PPE or for assistance in obtaining PPE. These are the same administrators that have preached "Safety First" all of our careers and the same NIOSH that has governed our safety-first PPE mandated by OSHA. We have voiced our anger with the changes of federal standards based less on science and more on availability set forth by NIOSH. We have stood up against those telling us to "calm down" and "a surgical mask will be fine." We recognize our needs, and we fight. We fight together, no matter our differences.

It is up to us to support each other through this pandemic. It is up to us to create social media groups with our peers across the world who voyaged this sea first. It is up to us to share workflow and to support each other emotionally through this tragedy. We have created our own protocols with our families and roommates to keep them as safe as possible while we fight on the frontlines. We have sat down and had difficult and unfortunately necessary discussions with our loved ones surrounding what happens if we succumb to this disease. Some of our families have determined that the mission to keep the family together, and as seemingly as normal as possible, is stronger than the mission to avoid contact with each other. Some of our families have determined that the mission to avoid transmission between family members is most important.

These are decisions that each physician and his or her family must make together -- intentional or not, these decisions are weighed against the Safety Third model. What is the family's mission? Is the family connected to this mission? What safety protocol can be put in place to support this mission?

In the end, we recognize that our best protection against this disease is proper PPE. It is PPE that can be worn every shift for the entire shift and that follows best practices and science rather than political considerations. We gather together to share resources and knowledge surrounding proper PPE to protect ourselves and our colleagues against this virus. We have seen our peers and colleagues fired while fighting for proper PPE to be provided and worn in our departments and throughout the hospital. Our professional societies have taken a strong stance to protect their emergency physicians with proper PPE and against administrations retaliating against physicians speaking out for their safety to simply be third. We need to unify behind this message. Safety may be our third consideration on its own, but during a pandemic, it is intrinsically required to complete our first priority: getting the job done and caring for our patients.

Seth Collings Hawkins, MD, is an American emergency physician, writer, and anthropologist. Sarah Frances McClure, DO, NRP, is a resident physician in emergency medicine in New York City. Christopher Ashby Davis, MD, is an emergency medicine physician in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Benjamin Abo, DO, EMT-P, FAWM, is an assistant professor of emergency medicine and EMS at the University of Florida in Gainesville.

Last Updated April 28, 2020

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It's Always 'Safety Third' in Emergency Medicine - MedPage Today

COVID-19 and the crisis in memory and compassion – rabble.ca

"Mattresses full of urine; wheelchairs they were sitting in were drenched with urine. I believe they were sitting in urine and feces for about a day or so When I got into my car, I still had the stench of urine and feces up my nose. I broke down and cried." (City News, April 8, 2020.)

"The stench here is appalling ... Many patients are so helpless they cannot be toilet trained. The floors are scrubbed as often as three times a day by an overworked staff but, since they are wooden and absorbent, no amount of cleansing will remove the odors of 70 years." (Toronto Daily Star, 1960.)

"Several patients, they were bedridden with a wet, wet diaper and calling out incessantly for help It was just --it was mayhem." (CBC, April 5, 2020.)

"This is what it looked like. This is what it sounded like. But how can I tell you about the way it smelled?" (Geraldo Rivera. 1972.)

2020 will go down as the year of COVID-19. The global pandemic has turned cities into ghost towns and toilet paper into a fetishized commodity. As most of us try to settle into the new reality of social isolation complete with digitally Zooming into work and visits with family and friends, a horror is once again revealing itself to the nation: the warehousing of people in long-term institutional or congregative facilities.

The four quotes at the beginning of this article are describing what life is like in long-term congregative facilities. Two are describing the reality of institutional life under a COVID-19 outbreak, while the other two are describing the everyday institutional life for people with intellectual and or developmental disabilities from the 1960s and 1970s. The similarities are striking, but the details should not be surprising.

Nearly half of all COVID-19 deaths in Canada are linked to the outbreaks in long-term congregative facilities. The Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver, B.C, the Herron long-term care facility in Dorval, Quebec, and Pinecrest Seniors Home in Bobcaygeon, Ontario have all been lead stories in the media in April 2020.

The current debate over what went wrong has connected this crisis to neoliberal politics that have caused the rise of austerity measures, and privatization and deregulation. It's all about the rights of corporations over citizens; profits over people. The effects this has had on long-term care facilities is the reduction of government inspections, understaffing, an emphasis on part-time, low-wage work with few benefits, and low staff-to-resident ratios. There has been a call for increasing the wages for support staff and workers, and to stop workers from working at more than a single workplace. Support staff and workers are essential workers, and they should receive higher wages with benefits. However, putting more money into long-term congregated care facilities is not the answer. While neoliberal politics are responsible for the deterioration of the social safety net, neoliberalism is not responsible for why long-term congregative facilities make up nearlyhalf of all deaths and represent the epicentrefor most outbreaks.

What went wrong was the decision to provide institutional care. Public or private, institutional care leaves people vulnerable to neglect and abuse, and, as COVID-19 is demonstrating, vulnerable to viruses on a massive scale. Institutions are not determined by how many people live in them, but rather are characterized by the following:

Lack of autonomy --little to no choice.

Housing connected to health care and personal assistance.

Congregating statistically similar people together.

Living with strangers.

Isolated from families and wider community.

Distrust of staff.

Restraining routines.

Poor quality of food.

Delays in getting help.

Little to no privacy.

Inadequate facilities.

Long, boring days.

Not a home.

Abuse and neglect.

Once you remove someone's rights and autonomy, you start to see them as somehow less-than human. It then becomes easier to adapt to a culture of abuse and neglect. Key to the disciplinary power of institutions is the culture of fear amongst the residents, and the culture of silence between staff who despite not perpetrating abuse remainsilent and tell no one.

In 2018, CBCexamined six years of statistics from the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care and found that on average six seniors were being abused every day in 2016. A 2018 World Health Organization report examining nine studies from six countries found that while only oneout of 24 cases of abuse are reported, twoout of threestaff admitted perpetrating abuse over a one-year period.

While neoliberalism began in the 1980s, the institutional model first emerged in the late 1800s and is deeply connected to the ideology and history of colonialism and eugenics. Significant in this history and forgotten in our collective memory is the institutionalization of children and adults with intellectual disabilities. These institutions were located right across Canada and were government run. Families were not given a choice as to whether to keep their children and loved ones at home with no supports or hand them over to the institutions where they were assured they would get an education and the full supports they needed. For the most part, they were cut off from their children and loved ones and lost decision making abilities and visitation rights while their children were victimized by the institutional culture of abuse and neglect.

In 1960, Pierre Berton wrote an expos published in the Toronto Daily Star that documents the Huronia Regional Centre in Orillia, Ontario, which was at the time called the Ontario Hospital School. This institution was run by the provincial government. The second quote at the beginning of this article is from that story. The centre first opened in 1876 and was an institute for children and adults with intellectual disabilities. At the time of Berton's story there were 2,808residents living there. Former residents described experiences of"being kept in caged cots, having all their teeth removed for safety reasons and being held upside down with their heads under running water as punishment for not eating"and "routine beatings, degrading treatment and the frequent use of psychotropic drugs to manage behaviour."

The Woodlands Institute was run by the provincial government of British Columbia and opened in 1878. It was located on the Fraser River in New Westminster, a mere 30-minute drive from Vancouver. Trapped inside with windows too high to look out of, children and adults with intellectual disabilities were victims of not only isolation but also abuse. In 2001, a provincial government report identified horrific physical and sexual abuse as well as neglect. Documented abuse included "kicking, smacking, slapping, striking, restraining, isolating, grabbing by the hair or limbs, dragging verbal abuse including swearing, bullying and belittling sexual abuse included assault, intercourse and in the result, injuries and in a few cases, a pregnancy."

Woodlands closed its doors in 1996, marking the end of large-scale institutional care in British Columbia. The Huronia Regional Centrewas closed in 2009, and Ontario ended its large-scale institutionalization policy the same year. There were class action lawsuits and provincial apologies. Despite the closures and apologies, the industrial warehousing complex that saw 3,000 children with intellectual and or developmental disabilities living in Woodlands has now been replaced with new institutional models called centers, homes, group homes, intentional communitiesand facilities.

Today, there are approximately 30,000 adults with intellectual disabilities living in long-term congregated facilities in Canada while there are approximately 425,000 seniors. A further 10,000 adults with intellectual disabilities under the age of 65 are living in hospitals and seniors long-term congregated facilities. Everyone in a facility that is founded on the institutional model is vulnerable to abuse, neglectandpandemic.

It isn't just seniors'facilities that have seen COVID-19 outbreaks, neglectand abuse. Participation House in Markham Ontario receives government funding and is a 42-bed group home for adults with intellectual disabilities. As of April 15, 2020, 37 residents and at least 13 staff have tested positive.Two residents, Martin Frogley and Patty Baird, have both died from the outbreak. Make no mistake, this is not a home.

The fourth quote that started this article was from a Geraldo Rivera documentary from 1972 exposing the infamous Willowbrook Institute in New Jersey. The following headline captures what was happening in New Jersey in April 2020:

"Death Toll Climbs Inside Group Homes for the Developmentally Delayed: Advocates say that because many of the [intellectually] disabled live in congregate residential settings with underlying health conditions, they are exponentially more likely to get sick and die from the novel coronavirus"

Pierre Berton closed his expose on the Huronia centrewith the following warning:

"But Orillia's real problem is one of public neglect. It is easier to appropriate funds for spectacular public projects such as highways and airports than for living space for tiny tots with [disabilities]. Do not blame the present Department of Health for Orillia's condition. Blame yourself.

Remember this: After Hitler fell, and the horrors of the slave camps were exposed, many Germans excused themselves because they said they did not know what went on behind those walls; no one had told them. Well, you have been told about Orillia. It is, of course, no Belsen. In many respects it is an up-to-date institution with a dedicated staff fighting an uphill battle against despairing conditions. But should fire break out in one of those ancient buildings and dozens of small bodies be found next morning in the ashes, do not say that you did not know what it was like behind those plaster walls, or underneath those peeling wooden ceilings."

We have been warned again about the horrors of warehousing people in facilities that are founded on an institutional model. Only this time the warning occurred not because of a fire or an old dilapidated building, but over COVID-19. You have heard the history, you have heard the stories, and now you know. But will you remember? We need to say no to all institutions and work with our governments and our community partners to create inclusive communities where everyone, young or old, receives the supports they need and can live a life with dignity and free from fears of abuse, neglector deadly outbreaks.

What does this newer rights based model of long-term care look like? That will be discussed in the next article.

Fiona Whittington-Walsh, PhD, teachesat Kwantlen Polytechnic University in British Columbia. She is president of the board of directors for Inclusion BC.

Image: PublicDomainPictures/Pixabay

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COVID-19 and the crisis in memory and compassion - rabble.ca

City of Angels Is a Worthy Successor to Penny Dreadful, With Key Differences – tor.com

The original Penny Dreadful and its new spiritual sequel, Penny Dreadful: City of Angels are fundamentally different projects, at least if the inaugural episode of the latter is any indication. There are definitely some through lines in the series obsessions: a macabre fascination with ecstatic religious praxis, a characterization of mankind as essentially venal and corrupt, and a desire to acknowledge the racist history of Anglo and American empire. But otherwise, the shows seem to mostly share a desire to communicate a deep love of the times and places in which they are set. Showrunner John Logans devotion to bringing 1891 London to glorious, operatic life seems similarly channeled, here, to the Los Angeles of 1938.

The differences between localities also means a difference in tone. The original Penny Dreadful is a somber, Gothic elegy. Its protagonists were plagued by inner turmoil expressed in quiet, contemplative tones (save for the few, delicious moments when Eva Green went full Eva Green). The shows color palette was full of grays, muted greens, and dark, woody browns. City of Angels, which premiered last night on Showtime, is more brooding than sombera classic noir. Its palette is the oversaturated whites and tans and yellows that feel both surreal and, somehow, exactly like the Los Angeles outside my window (I live right along the Arroyo Seco, where much of the action of the show takes place).

City of Angels focuses on the Vega family: mother Maria (Babel and The Strains Adriana Barraza) is a maid and worshiper of Mexican folk-goddess and psychopomp, Santa Muerte (Lorenza Izzo); middle son Tiago (Daniel Zovatto) has just been promoted to the first Chicano LAPD detective; eldest son Raul (CSI: Miamis Adam Rodriguez) is a cannery worker and the leader of a protest group trying to save the Vegas Arroyo Seco community. There are two younger Vega siblings, Mateo and Josefina (played by Jonathan Nieves and Jessica Garza, respectively), who are part of the main cast but dont yet figure heavily into the plot.

This focus on a single family is another departure from the original Penny Dreadful, which was obsessively focused on a found family of outcasts, exiles, and dissidents, most of whom were estranged from or actively trying to escape their families of origin. But that tonal shift is especially apt as this incarnation of Penny Dreadful is centered on the very corporeal, external oppression of communities of color rather than the tortured convolutions of individual white psyches. If the original was, to an extent, all about the horrors of isolation, City of Angels is about the violence and tensions that build as communities press up against malicious ideologies and business interests.

This first episode sets up many interconnected strands that dont yet come together. Tiago and his partner, Lewis Michener (Broadway legend Nathan Lane), investigate the murder of a wealthy, white evangelical family whose corpses have been carved and painted to look like icons of Santa Muerte. They also clash with Police Chief Vanderhoff (Star Trek: TNGs Brent Spiner) who worries that a white family seemingly murdered by non-white cultists will inflame racial tensions.

Raul attempts to stop Councilman Townsends (Mad Men alum and Orson Welles doppelgnger Michael Gladis) plans to bulldoze Arroyo Seco neighborhoods to build what will eventually become the Pasadena Freeway (yes, this is the plot of Who Framed Roger Rabbita familiar tentpole of Angeleno noir is transportation politics, or water politics, or both). Townsend is later approached by Richard Goss (Thomas Kretschmann), a Nazi spy who offers to make Townsend Mayor of Los Angeles in return for his allegiance to Hitler.

Rory Kinnear (the only returning cast member from the original series) is allowed to have his actual hairline this time around, though not allowed to use his actual accent in his role as Peter Craft, a seemingly kindly German physician whose public, affable endorsement of Nazism is the most chilling element in an episode that includes a heavy dose of supernatural body horror.

Hovering over all of this is the demonic Magda (Game of Thrones Natalie Dormer), the sister of Santa Muerte who wants to incite an all-consuming race war. She is an earthier, less ethereal being than her sister (who sports white robes, intense contact lenses, and an ornate crown thats half Mexica calendar, half Catholic reliquary). Magda, by contrast, stalks scenes of brutality and carnage wearing what looks like a black leather reinterpretation of Eva Greens wardrobe from the original show, whispering in the ears of hapless combatants, inciting them to further violence. She also adopts human form, taking on various incarnations: pretending to be an abused, Berlin-born housewife whose son is one of Crafts patients, as well as serving as Townsends magnetic, indefatigable secretary who arranges his meeting with Goss.

By the end of this first episode, the pieces have slid into place and the Vega family is torn apart as Tiago is forced to shoot a Magda-ensorceled Raul who, in the midst of an LAPD attack on Arroyo Seco protesters, begins indiscriminately murdering police officers. Brother has killed brother, and Magdas race war has begun.

Screenshot: Showtime

Where issues of race were a decidedly mixed bag in the original series, they are front and center here, and are handled with a great deal of care. John Logan has made sure to have Latinx writers, directors, and producers on the project which, thus far, seems to have the effect of keeping characters of color from serving as disposable bit players (as they often did in Penny Dreadful).

The subject matter itself also makes such erasure and relegation far less possible. In the original series, the racist foundation of Sir Malcolms colonial African explorations and Ethan Chandlers service in the American cavalry were addressed, but they were mostly treated as bits of backstory. Here, the oppression and murder of people of color for profit serves as the axis of the plot, in keeping with the setting: Los Angeles has had a long and awful history of destroying its indigenous and non-white communities.

There has been a recent move in prestige TV to address some of that history. The second season of AMCs The Terror focused on the internment of Japanese Americans in concentration camps during WWII, with the raid of the Japanese immigrant community on Terminal Island being a central moment. TNTs I Am The Night told a true(ish) crime story about black identity set against the backdrop of the 1965 Watts Uprising. So far, I am cautiously optimistic that City of Angels will avoid the pitfalls of its predecessor and join the recent season of HBOs Watchmen in bringing largely forgotten American atrocities to light.

Screenshot: Showtime

Late in the episode, there is an exchange between Maria Vega and the summoned apparition of Santa Muerte wherein the Vega matriarch begs for aid:

Santa Muerte: There is a prophecy that a time will come when nation will battle nation, when race will devour race, when brother will kill brother until not a soul is left.

Maria: And is that time now?

Santa Muerte: Who can say?

This feels like one of the cleverer nods to the shows unfortunate relevance to the present day. With fascism and bigotry (especially anti-Latinx bigotry) on the rise in the United States, Marias assumption that 1938 is the singular apocalyptic moment when hatred destroys humanity feels far more tenuous than it might have four years ago. There has been a lot of recent TV devoted to the legacy of Nazism. But unlike, say Amazon Primes Hunters, which contends that, post-WWII, Nazis hid in the shadows and needed to be ferreted out, or The Man in the High Castle, which imagines that our current world is the better, less horrific timeline that we must get back to, City of Angels tackles an important question head-on: how do we confront Nazism and white supremacy that sits in the open and asks to be given polite consideration?

Townsends Faustian bargain with Goss is the typical anti-Nazi stuff: the Third Reich skulks around the corners of American society, embarrassed or unwilling to show its face in the open. But in Crafts German-American Bund, we see a far more unsettling face of fascism. Craft, throughout the entire episode, never displays any behavior that is unsympathetic. He is kind to his wife (Piper Perabo) and their children. He is good to Maria, his maid. He resists the temptation to have an affair with his patients mother while still displaying a singular empathy for her bleak situation. Even when he dons Nazi regalia and marches while flying a swastika flag, he is offputtingly charming and thoughtful, and funny.

The scene reminds me of nothing so much as the Tomorrow Belongs to Me number from the 1972 film adaptation of Cabaret. The power of the fascist state and its state-sanctioned genocide is not in the violence that America loves to represent in war films when it rightly condemns Nazis. It lies instead in its seductive, aesthetically-pleasing, pastoral fantasies of recapturing a simpler past once again. In putting the disarmingly kind Craft at the center of its Nazi plotand especially in giving us nearly ten uninterrupted minutes painting him as a likable, compassionate manCity of Angels asks us to, momentarily, sympathize with its Nazi protagonistthe better to sicken and appall us when we understand what he is asking of his fellow Angelenos. It is essentially following the argument that literary critic Stanley Fish makes about Paradise Lost in his 1967 book, Surprised by Sin: you cannot understand the danger that the Devil poses if youre never drawn in by the temptation he embodiesMiltons Satan forces us to confront our own spiritual vulnerabilities. The fact that Craft pointedly ends his speech with the words America First delivers a disquieting gut punch to the audience.

It also seems as though one of the major themes of the series will explore how evil is aided by indifference. In the aforementioned conversation between Santa Muerte and Maria, the goddess refuses to help, saying that she is so choked by the agony of death that she has no heart to care for man. City of Angels imagines a world where active malice and despair is weighed against weariness and exhaustion. Evil flourishes because those who should oppose it can no longer muster the energy to fight. Its bleak, and it feels very pointed in this particular moment.

Screenshot: Showtime

When I saw the first episode of the original Penny Dreadful, the thing that impressed me most was how much its creators clearly loved the Victorian Gothic. They wanted, it seemed, to get things exactly right. City of Angels seems to have the same approach and attitude towards Los Angeles. Now, as a Chicanx lifelong Angeleno who teaches Victorian Gothic literature, it does seem like John Logan might be interested in narrowcasting directly to me. But even if you arent Tyler Dean, I think there is still quite a bit to love about the shows portrayal of L.A.

I mentioned its perfect color palette before, but the shows location scouting and cinematography is also great. John Conroys shots capture the Los Angeles river with its arcing bridges and stark, concrete basin, looking like nothing so much as a great, sun-bleached ribcage. The doomed Arroyo Seco bungalows are an invitingly shady bit of a forgotten Los Angeles, still visible if you squint at nearby neighborhoods like El Sereno or Franklin Hills. While Goss waxes grandiloquent about Albert Speers architectural overhaul of the Third Reich, there is an impressive Art Deco majesty to L.As City Hall and the Grand Park fountain, even if it is the site of Crafts pro-Nazi oration.

There are little details as well. Though we have only gotten a glimpse of Sister Molly (Halt and Catch Fires Kerry Bish), an evangelical proselytizer held in deep reverence by Tiago and Michesons murdered family, all of her iconography looks to be a perfect pastiche of Los Angeles own Depression-era prophet, Aimee Semple McPhereson. In the opening scene where Santa Muerte and Magda battle over the souls of mankind, there is a long tracking shot of Magda wandering through lettuce fieldsfor a moment, before they erupt into fiery chaos, the plants desiccate and whither. It feels like a subtle visual nod to the last shot of the series premiere of that other great (partially) Southern California-based, 1930s supernatural horror epic: HBOs Carnivle. One of that shows alums, the great Amy Madigan, is set to be a recurring character this season, so perhaps the nod is intentional.


All in all, if one can forgive the weirdly subpar CGI in the opening sequence, City of Angels looks to be a worthy companion to the original Penny Dreadful. It isnt a sequel. It likely wont scratch your Eva Green itch. But, thus far, it feels like a series crafted with the same love, attention to detail, and interest in unsettling, atmospheric horror as Logans earlier story. As a shameless stan of the previous series, Im both disappointed and relieved that it is staking out its own territory, so unrelated to the original. I desperately want more of the singular magic that was Eva Green/Vanessa Ives, and that stellar supporting case. But it also frees up City of Angels to be its own show and live outside the shadow of the original. Ill take what I can get where Penny Dreadful is concerned, and if the premiere is any indication, there will be plenty of reasons to stay tuned this season.

Tyler Dean is a professor of Victorian Gothic Literature. He holds a doctorate from the University of California Irvine and teaches at a handful of Southern California colleges. He is one half of theLincoln & Wellespodcast available on Apple Podcasts or through your favorite podcatcher. More of his writing can be found athis websiteand his fantastical bestiary can be found on Facebook at@presumptivebestiary.

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City of Angels Is a Worthy Successor to Penny Dreadful, With Key Differences - tor.com

COVID-19 Must Radicalize Doctors — We Cannot Continue to Work on the Political Periphery – Truthout

Medical education is known for its stress, with high rates of mental illness and burnout often attributable to a toxic work environment even in the absence of a pandemic. But I firmly believe those in the medical profession arent destined to become lifeless drones. They have the agency to change these conditions. Medicine and political activism can go hand-in-hand.

For instance, in my limited spare time in medical school, I co-organized a meeting between Occupy Wall Street and Tahrir Square activists from the 2011 Egyptian revolutionary movement. This meeting was intended to culminate in a joint protest and mutual nonviolent arrest in Zuccotti Park in 2011, as well as a trip to Cairo. The project failed for multiple reasons, including poor management as well as likely behind-the-scenes interference involving the Egyptian government. But nevertheless, it was a unique experience for a medical student.

I have often hidden my political beliefs from my co-workers throughout medical school and residency. Mainstream media may depict universities as hotbeds of radical thought. But in my experience, elite U.S. colleges tend to reward centrism and moderation over confrontation.

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Whether intentional or unintentional, medical school socializes doctors into incrementalism. Beliefs that change comes slowly and compromise is necessary fit comfortably with the upper-middle-class lifestyles we obtain after residency. Any deep recognition of structural inequalities or class privilege would ultimately lead us to implicate ourselves in that system of privilege.

Not all physicians fall victim to this mentality as witnessed in multiple organizations, such as Physicians for a National Health Program, Physicians for Human Rights, Physicians for Social Responsibility, etc. But many in our profession value comfort over ambition.

In the COVID-19 era, however, class privilege will no longer keep us safe. The pandemic will affect all socioeconomic strata, including millions in traditionally affluent developed countries. Unprepared hospital systems are overwhelmed by a disease that spares none. Health care providers are no longer protected. Health profits are no longer protected.

Global economic depression will affect millions of skilled workers, including health care workers. Even highly lauded medical specialties are experiencing the politics of austerity, as layoffs and budget cuts are occurring for many nonessential but highly trained specialists in light of this crisis. A doctors career is no longer insulated from political realities.

COVID-19 may be a radicalizing moment for many health care workers. Doctors and nurses will witness longstanding structural inequalities in the U.S. health care system, as they are thrown into surge-capacity mass casualty events. Health care providers will become sickened patients themselves, suffering physical and psychological consequences for decades to come. In the next 12 months, I suspect every physician in the United States will witness at least one or two colleagues unnecessarily killed due to federal inaction on protective equipment.

Other lower-income front-line workers, such as respiratory therapists and nursing assistants, may suffer even more severe health consequences. Ironically, even though these front-line workers have even more face-to-face time with patients than physicians or nurses themselves, they have even less access to protective equipment.

Americans can laud health care workers on social media as heroes on the front lines. But regardless of virtue signaling, a large portion of the U.S. public still support politicians who mismanaged this disaster in the first place. We need to become more confrontational as a professional community. We cannot work as doctors without engaging the political systems that influence doctors. No longer can we remain on the periphery of these conversations, in technocratic or suburban bubbles.

Fortunately, physicians are generally held in high regard. We have a level of public trust that we can use to advocate for change. Perhaps if we are more politically active, our opinions will win over the Beltway pundits that dominate our media landscape.

It is time to hold elected leaders accountable, not only now, but at the polls in November as well. Trumps current administration has been a menace to COVID-19 prevention and treatment. His administrations inaction is responsible for a bulk of current COVID-19 deaths. He has openly ridiculed hospital requests for face masks, and he has transformed his bully pulpit into a pseudoscience platform. He is literally rationing hospital supplies and doling them out to his political supporters.

Medical professionals must also hold our professional communities accountable for electing these officials in the first place. Health administrators often regularly support profit motives over patient lives, so it would make sense that their political preferences reflect this profit motive. Hospital CEOs and physician leadership organizations should be shamed publicly if they financially support re-election campaigns for politicians who failed in their responses to COVID-19. It is important for investigative journalists to identify dark money donations from these leadership organizations. Additionally, physicians must also point fingers at themselves. Let us not forget that a substantial minority of physicians voted for Trump in 2016.

Political change also encompasses more than the presidency. Many state and district Republicans took steps behind the scenes to downplay the severity of the COVID-19 crisis, to impede access to medical treatment and to block essential stimulus payouts to ordinary Americans. We must hold these local officials accountable, in addition to our national congressional and presidential candidates.

But in reality, the potential for substantial political change may be too limited in our current political system. Regardless of good voices, both the Democratic and Republican Parties are often driven by corporate donations and opportunism.

It would be easy if party politics could solve all our problems. But the COVID-19 crisis partially reflects the failures of our institutions to provide a proper social safety net. To a significant degree, the current iteration of the Democratic Party also contributed to these budget cuts. While compromise is understandable, the COVID-19 crisis demands a safety net far more substantial than anything viable in our current political system.

Therefore, we must weigh whether to transcend our political comfort zone. We must consider the role of broad social movements for change including protest movements to achieve health care justice in the post-COVID-19 era.

Many experts predict future pandemics as inevitable, especially in an era of worsening climate disruption and habitat destruction. This will not be the only pandemic in our lifetime. Nor will it be the only pandemic-associated political fight in our lifetime. Medical interventions wont do that much for communities, especially if a medical crisis is accompanied by economic instability and shock doctrine special interests. Thus, physician participation in large social movements may become necessary to truly adhere to the Hippocratic Oath.

Physicians already serve as whistleblowers for high-risk COVID-19 groups. Doctors have led the fight for vulnerable incarcerated patients and immigrant detention patients. Nurses have publicly protested anti-quarantine marches funded by right-wing groups. We should think about how our individual actions could translate into larger collective action.

Imagine strategically targeted strikes of physicians and nurses in non-surge settings, if a hospitals administration was unwilling to meet the demands of their workers for personal protective equipment. Imagine groups of health care workers from each district permanently occupying their congressional offices in civil disobedience, if upcoming stimulus bills failed to adequately protect ordinary Americans. Imagine an increasing number of U.S. physicians and organizations supporting Medicare for All. (In case youre unaware, most health care lobbying groups that supposedly represent physicians oppose Medicare for All.)

Ultimately, it would not be surprising if physicians in the United States gravitated toward anti-austerity social movements. Anti-austerity protests serve as a vanguard to protect the social safety net around the world. They reveal and oppose entrenched power systems, such as the corporate administrators and special-interest lobbyists that dominate our health care systems. One can argue that the entire Sen. Bernie Sanders presidential campaign was a homegrown tribute to these anti-austerity movements.

I still encounter antipathy and distrust when I attempt to discuss protest movements with my doctor colleagues. But U.S. hospital administrators continue to cut provider jobs, occupational protections and hazard pay, even while in a disaster response scenario such as the COVID-19 pandemic. In this environment, protests may become increasingly appealing.

If weve learned anything from the last few months, it is that previously unquestioned political norms may change in a crisis. The whole discipline of pandemic prevention was previously a side hustle in D.C. politics, relegated to the same feeding frenzy pool as other federal contract requests. But it is now the forefront of major news headlines, for weeks straight.

Americans without public health training now take to Twitter to discuss the obscure math of flattening the curve. Trump now confesses to the press that there are benefits to universal health coverage. Emergency medicine previously had some of the most lifestyle-friendly hours of the specialties. But now, emergency room doctors are literally dying on the front lines of a war. Up is down, black is red. We now live in an alternate universe.

Although U.S. physicians are largely reared in comfort and privilege, we are now literally facing our own mortality, daily, at work. Our sense of moral injury will only intensify as the true death toll kicks in for all cities. If most U.S. cities resembled the scorched landscape of New York City, will we still regard Medicare for All as controversial? Will we still regard progressive political candidates as overly divisive? Will mass protests receive our mass support?

These are questions we must consider, if doctors want to transform their collective post-traumatic stress into a movement that can heal the country. Previous public health crises in U.S. history have often reached a boiling point. Environmental health issues in the 1970s, including the Superfund movement and the anti-nuclear movement, resulted in sit-ins and civil disobedience. Union fights have been a longstanding part of hospital politics for decades. AIDS activists went so far as to shut down the entire New York Stock Exchange in order to draw attention to the cost of antiretrovirals.

If doctors want to make a difference in the COVID-19 debate, we need to think at the same level of political intensity.

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COVID-19 Must Radicalize Doctors -- We Cannot Continue to Work on the Political Periphery - Truthout

The Top Five Voter Suppression Tactics – Rantt Media

Learn more about the top voter suppression methods that undermine democracy in the United States and help cement minority rule.

A voter ID warning outside the polling station of Ward 1 in Nashua, New Hampshire November 5, 2013 (MarkBuckawicki/Creative Commons)

Since the Voting Rights Act was essentially sidelined by the Supreme Court in 2013, states have increasingly attempted to institute laws that infringe on the rights of voters. More than half of state legislatures have passed bills that enshrine voter suppression tactics into law, targeting poor, minority voters and seeking to disenfranchise Americas youth. The prevalence of voter suppression tactics in the United States is one of several factors that led to it being ranked as a flawed democracy in The Democracy Index alongside countries like Japan and Israel.

While draconian tactics such as literacy tests and poll taxes may sound like voter suppression methods of the past, todays less than subtle versions of those same machinations have enabled minority rule in the United States for several decades.

Suppressing votes is a dirty bit of business that both Democrats and Republicans have engaged in throughout the history of American democracy. However, in recent years, its been a focus for the Republican party who have courted rural districts and sought to control state legislatures to enact a variety of voter suppression laws.

The system of government designed by the founding fathers has been commandeered to provide greater influence to a handful of rural states. In fact, five rural states have 50% more electoral votes and three times as many senators per resident than other states. Some argue this imbalance was intended to address sparsely populated areas of the American frontier, but its been hijacked by partisan politics and weaponized to deny some Americans their right to equal representation.

Here are the five ways votes are suppressed and elections are won despite the will of the people in the United States.

It helps to win elections if you can pick your voters instead of relying on them picking you. Gerrymandering allows candidates to essentially select voters more favorable to their policies through redistricting. By moving electoral boundaries, the party in power can choose demographics that are likely to favor their platform and isolate or cut out others.

This is done through two separate strategies called packing and cracking. Packing forces more voters into a district thats likely to be won by the opposing party, freeing up other districts to be more competitive. Cracking breaks up voters into multiple districts, dispersing their influence and watering down the vote for the opposing party.

While both parties have engaged in gerrymandering, Republicans do it more often. In fact, its a well-known cornerstone of their strategy called REDMAP (Redistricting Majority Project). This Republican effort targets control of state legislatures in order to draw maps more favorable to GOP candidates.

States where this is a problem: North Carolina, Texas, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and other GOP-controlled states have blatantly gerrymandered to such an extent that court decisions have forced maps to be redrawn through an independent redistricting commission. However, most of these rulings have been based on redistricting that specifically disenfranchises minority voters. States like Wisconsin that have tried to overturn partisan or politically gerrymandered districts have not yet found sympathy with the Supreme Court.

Its estimated that more than 6 million Americans have been disenfranchised by states that deny felons the right to vote. While some states only block voting for felons while they are incarcerated, 11 states take away a felons right to vote indefinitely.

Because of the massive inequality in rates of incarceration for minorities, denying felons the right to vote significantly impacts election fairness across the United States. Many states, recognizing the racial disparity of such laws, have recently restored felons rights to enable those convicted to vote immediately after release from prison.

States where this is a problem: In Florida, Kentucky, and Tennessee, nearly 20% of the African American population has experienced felon voter disenfranchisement. A ballot initiative in Florida to allow felons the right to vote passed in 2018, but was contested by the GOP. Currently, Florida only allows its 1.4 million felons to have voting rights restored if they pay all fines, fees, and penalties associated with their incarceration. Voting rights activists say Floridas stipulation is essentially a poll tax and violates the Voting Rights Act.

Suppressing the vote has many different flavors but perhaps the most popular is a whole pack of new voter ID laws. Currently, 34 states have some sort of voter identification requirements in place with 18 of those states requiring photo identification. Because they typically require a valid drivers license, military ID or state identification card, these laws disenfranchise poor, urban, elderly and minority voters who are less likely to hold government-issued forms of identification. Its estimated as many as 11% of the eligible voting population in the United States does not have an acceptable form of identification.

In addition to identification requirements, studies show minorities experience widespread intimidation tactics at the polls. Nearly 10% of Black and Hispanic voters reported they were falsely told they did not have proper identification at the polls compared to less than 5% of white voters.

States where this is a problem: The South has some of the strictest voter identification laws in the country with widespread accounts of voter intimidation in states like Georgia and Texas. There have also been states that attempted to curtail voter registration through a litany of restrictions. Then-Secretary of State Kris Kobach tried to institute proof of citizenship requirements in Kansas and in North Dakota state officials required voters to register with a street address, which disenfranchised large numbers of Native American voters.

After evidence emerged that many voting machines were vulnerable and accessible to hackers in the 2016 election, calls to ratchet up election security mounted. Most states have aging machines with flawed software that doesnt provide a verifiable paper trail. Data suggests disinformation campaigns on social media were also part of active measures by Russia to influence the election and designed to specifically target African American voters.

However, calls for increased election security and social media accountability have gone largely unanswered, leading to speculation that the failure to secure Americas elections from foreign influence is an intentional voter suppression tactic. The Republican-controlled Senate thus far has refused to take up a single bill to address election security or to allocate funding to states to shore up their cybersecurity. The partisan divide was further underscored earlier this year when GOP senators actively blocked two election security bills Democrats attempted to bring to the floor.

States where this is a problem: States like Florida, Arkansas, Kansas, Indiana, and Tennessee have received poor grades for election security due to a lack of paper trail, no post-election auditing, and voter registration systems that were easily breached. There are also long-standing issues in Georgia, where 127,000 votes went missing in the last election in black precincts all over the state.

The last line of defense in voter suppression is to sow chaos on election day. That can be accomplished through a variety of methods, but some of the most effective are closing polling places and purging voters from the rolls. Voter purges are a way of deleting voters from the rolls due to outdated, incomplete, duplicate, or illegible information. However, these purges are often conducted in a way that targets minority voters. As many as 17 million voters were purged from the rolls between 2016 and 2018, many of them in states with a long history of voter discrimination.

Closing polling places or restricting voting hours is another time-tested suppression tactic because it concentrates volume in densely populated areas and leads to long waits and frustration. Since the Voting Rights Act was undermined by the Supreme Court in 2013, more than a thousand polling locations, many of them in black southern communities, have closed. In Arizona 1 in 5 polling places have been closed in recent years while in Texas, its estimated as many as 1 in 10 polling places have been shuttered.

States where this is a problem: Voter turnout in states appears to directly correlate to the degree of voter suppression present. Some of the states that make it the most difficult to vote include Mississippi, Virginia, Tennessee, Indiana, and Kentucky.

Voter suppression is a collection of tactics and methods used to make it harder for certain segments of the population to vote. While the Voting Rights Act of 1965 was designed to overcome some of the barriers that prevented minorities from having equal representation in the United States, a Supreme Court decision invalidating certain aspects of the law has lead to a resurgence of voter suppression.

During the period of reconstruction after the Civil War, voter suppression was the first line of defense for many states that wanted to deny minority voters the rights theyd earned in the 15th Amendment. These methods, referred to as Jim Crow laws, were designed to discourage minorities from voting. Voter suppression in this era was so successful that until 1940, only 3% of eligible African American voters were registered to vote.

The Rantt Rundown

Despite booming urban centers, an embrace of progressive policies, and an increasingly diverse population, some parts of the United States still manage to elect politicians that do not represent the will of the people. Voter suppression tactics often target minorities and the disadvantaged in America and continue to hamper efforts to develop an engaged and enthusiastic voting populace. As long as these suppression efforts are widespread and go unchallenged by the courts, democracy will continue to struggle and the advance of human and civil rights in the United States will suffer.

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The Top Five Voter Suppression Tactics - Rantt Media

Is This the Future of Intentional Communities? – InsideHook

Theres something utopian about the phrase intentional communities, and for good reason a number of high-profile examples of this kind of community have countercultural or ecologically-minded elements. (Or both.) As more and more people question assumed notions of where they should live and where theyd like to live, its not surprising that living alongside people with a similar ethos to yourself could be appealing.

A new article atBloomberg by Gisela Williams explores a more technologically advanced, architecturally distinctive side of intentional communities. Among them? Serenbe, located in Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia a little over 30 miles from Atlanta. Reading about it, the appeal is easy to see: geothermal heating for the homes, distinctive restaurants and an appealing design sensibility.

Williams dubs Serenbe one of a few dozen relatively new utopian-lite communities in the country and also notes that not all of these communities are eager to adopt the intentional community label due to some of its connotations. Regardless, the other examples cited also sound intriguing:

That includes Powder Mountain in Utah, being developed by the invite-only entrepreneur network Summit Series LLC, and Salmon Creek Farm in Mendocino County, Calif., a 1970s commune being reimagined as a progressive arts colony by Los Angeles-based artist Fritz Haeg.

Not surprisingly, theres been an increased level of interest in communities like these since the coronavirus pandemic became more and more prevalent in everyday life. If, as some have speculated, one of the enduring effects of this period in history will be an uptick in people working remotely, the idea of a more idealistic way of life could have an even greater allure.

Williams uses the phrase eco-enclave to describe the particular corner of intentional communities described in the article. And theyre not solely limited to the United States, either. Its a fascinating look at a fascinating corner of architecture and urban design one which may grow more popular in the years to come.

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Is This the Future of Intentional Communities? - InsideHook

Questions to ask students in class to help them deal with the changing world around them (opinion) – Inside Higher Ed

Twice last year, one of us -- Jill, a professor at Southern Methodist University -- walked into classes populated by students who were acutely aware of horror. They wrote in discussion posts in real and profoundly personal ways about feeling helpless, and hopeless, in the wake of the Tree of Life synagogue shooting and the New Zealand mosque attack. As they studied philosophical, comparative and social scientific approaches to religion, students wanted -- needed -- some way to make sense of their relationship to horrendous violence and its consequences.

One student wrote about realizing for the first time that people wanted to kill him because of his religious heritage. Another expressed profound frustration that such things happen despite education, governance or other factors that we commonly think of as mitigating.

Were in a similar place today. Disruptions caused by the COVID-19 virus have left students, faculty members, administrators and parents profoundly uprooted. With classes moved online, students and faculty displaced from campuses, looming economic fallout, and the threat of a very real contagion and its devastation, it is a deeply anxious time for all of us.

What can we do to acknowledge that anxiety without letting it take over? How can we create the conditions that will allow us to speak openly about what this experience means and go deeper in, rather than avoid it? How might we meet this moment in such a way that our students and our communities find the sources of strength we so vitally need in the days and months ahead?

We must first recognize that anxiety will be in the [Zoom/Canvas/Google Hangouts/Groups] room, whether we address it or not. Finding structured ways to acknowledge that anxiety and transform it into meaning and purpose allows it to exist without completely taking over, thus making space for connection to one another and to course content. In addition, reflection exercises -- brief journaling, check-ins and -outs, time to think on a guided question, opportunities to ask questions of each other -- lead to the kind of engagement that allows students to better understand themselves and their connection to other people and ideas. Taking a pause, in other words, can lead to the kind of productive curiosity that allows us to find strengths and even hope in the midst of disruption.

So, what does this look like? It cant happen by chance or accident. We need to be intentional and consistent in creating spaces for students to engage with the evolving world around them. Based on processes pioneered by Essential Partners -- where Jill is a faculty associate and the other of us, John, is co-executive director -- and developed in collaboration with a team of academics from several disciplines, dialogic classrooms structured for listening and deep engagement offer some models.

Taking a few minutes at the beginning of class to ask students to think about a time when theyve faced a major life challenge and found the strength to overcome it, where they found or learned that strength, and who helped them at that time is a start that may keep some of the demons of chaos at bay. Students can recall that this is not the first time that disruption has touched them.

Similarly, asking students to take a few minutes to name what the virus has taken away from them, and why they miss it, may help reduce a generalized anxiety and make it specific, even answerable. Students may miss being in a lab or on a sports team. But if its the people in those labs or on those teams that they come to realize they really miss, maybe they can find a way to connect. If its the routine, maybe they can recreate that as theyre in a new situation. Then, asking what opportunities the changes we are all living through provide, or what hopes or gifts people have as they navigate those changes, may allow students to recognize possibility and agency where they dont believe or have forgotten they have it.

After the Tree of Life and the New Zealand mosque shootings last year, Jill invited students to fill out 3x5 cards. On one side, they finished the sentence I can On the other side, I will She didnt collect the cards. In fact, some students report still having them and being grateful for the space to think about their own reactions to the events. The exercise didnt solve the problem of religious violence, but it did create a space where students could pivot from generalized anxiety and despair to something like localized, even internalized, purpose and hope.

Good questions, and the courage and care to create community, can do that. In this time of disruption, it is something educators can, and should, provide.

Here are some suggestions for check-ins:

Choose one question and invite students to reflect on it for a minute, then briefly report back.

Some ideas for longer discussions include:

Finally, we suggest some ways you might use 3x5 cards to stimulate student thinking.

COVID-19 has been disruptive to an extreme that many of us could not have imagined, and its a safe bet that the vast majority of professors and students are struggling to teach and learn in the ways we know best. Leaning into that disruption together, however, can make us even more connected and strengthen the communities that classrooms form and, down the road, the institutions of which they are a part.

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Questions to ask students in class to help them deal with the changing world around them (opinion) - Inside Higher Ed

COVID-19 is showing us what climate apartheid will look like – UConn Daily Campus

Nature doesnt discriminate. There is nothing intrinsically racist or classist about a flood, a drought or a pandemic.

But if those natural disasters make landfall on an unequal society, their destruction will be distributed unequally. The COVID-19 pandemic has made this clear.

As professor and writer Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor laid out in a brilliant article last week, ... the pace at which African-Americans are dying has transformed this public-health crisis into an object lesson in racial and class inequality Black people are poorer, more likely to be underemployed, condemned to substandard housing and given inferior health care because of their race.

This inequality, in turn, leads to vulnerability. Black and brown Americans are dying to COVID-19 at a rapid pace not because the virus is racist, but as a result of centuries of discrimination. This discrimination is intentional, enforced at every level of government and designed to economically and socially disenfranchise. For decades, federal bureaucrats, urban planners and real estate capitalists have forced poor black and brown Americans into segregated neighborhoods. These neighborhoods are often industrially polluted, riddled with food deserts and lacking healthcare infrastructure, leading to long-lasting health issues. The war on drugs has ravaged black communities and resulted in the imprisonment of a wildly disproportionate number of young black men, who are now among the most susceptible to the spread of the virus.

Years of austerity have left indigenous populations particularly vulnerable. A lack of basic infrastructure and dramatically underfunded health systems have resulted in severe outbreaks on reservations like the Navajo Nation.

Across the board, poor communities are much more vulnerable to COVID-19 than wealthy ones.

This section of the article could fill several books, but by now you probably get the jist.

As Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor also notes in her article, the response to COVID-19 has been no better. Fewer tests have been administered in poor black neighborhoods than wealthier white neighborhoods. Meanwhile, hospitals in these same neighborhoods have cut services, while jails and prisons have refused to release portions of their predominantly black populations.

American history is pockmarked with examples of racist disaster response, from Hurricanes Katrina and Maria to the Flint water crisis. COVID-19 is just the latest chapter in this American tradition of institutionalized violence against black, brown and indigenous communities.

It wont be the last.

The pandemic is a horrifying tragedy, but it pales in comparison to the coming climate apocalypse. Climate change will prey on the same race and wealth inequalities as COVID-19, but on an unprecedented scale. It will ravage poor countries in the global south and devastate vulnerable communities within the global north.

The significance of learning from this pandemic cant be understated: We are seeing, with our own eyes, exactly how the climate apartheid will play out. We are also gaining further clarity about what must be done to fight it.

First, explicitly anti-racist social protections are inseparable from any calls for climate justice, as are reparations for the scars left by centuries of American racism and colonialism. We must secure housing, healthcare, food, water, education, workplace protections and the freedom to move (within cities and between countries) as inalienable rights for all people. Without equal provision of these services, the effects of climate change will be decidedly unequal.

Second, the climate justice program must be radical, focused intently on recognizing capitalism as the source of inequality. Until we move past the commodification of social goods like housing and healthcare, market-enforced and state-sanctioned shortages will continue to deprive billions of the chance to lead a safe and happy life. Democratic control of the economy is a necessary precondition to decommodifying these basic social goods. Its also important to note that capitalisms insistence on perpetual growth and the predictable consequences for our natural environment has led us to this point. In order to beat climate change, we have to escape its destructive logic.

Third, the climate justice program must be international and anti-imperialist, committed to not only creating an egalitarian and just America, but a just world. The same nationalist and colonial tendencies that have been unmasked during this pandemic which anecdotally include Trump offering to pay a German company to produce vaccines for Americans only, the parking of an infected U.S. Naval ship in the heavily militarized territory of Guam and leading French doctors suggesting a vaccine should be tested in Africa will continue as the climate crisis worsens. Climate justice must be a call for global solidarity, not insular nationalism.

These lessons, of course, have been apparent for years to many activists and frontline communities. But COVID-19 is the starkest demonstration yet of what climate change will look like if we dont change course.

Its a warning that we cant ignore.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed by individual writers in the opinion section do not reflect the views and opinions of The Daily Campus or other staff members. Only articles labeled Editorial are the official opinions of The Daily Campus.

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COVID-19 is showing us what climate apartheid will look like - UConn Daily Campus

The Next Generation of Diverse Talent from Low-Income Communities Are Worried About COVID-19’s Impact on Their Quality of Life, Overall Well-Being -…

LOS ANGELES, April 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ --Young adults of color are worried about the adverse effects thenation's response to COVID-19 will have on their quality of life, access to healthcare and their mental well-being, according to a national survey by talent development accelerator LeadersUp.

For its "Flatten the Curve, Bridge the Divide Insights Series," the first release, "Amplifying the Voices of the Next Generation of At-Risk Talent," is based on a national survey of 551 young adults to find out how they are faring during the unprecedented crisis. Labor market statistics suggest Generation Z (64% of respondents) and young Millennials (24% of respondents) are more likely to be low-wage, hourly workers and disproportionately impacted by layoffs due to COVID-19. The survey was conducted between March 23 and March 28, approximately two months after the first COVID-19 case was confirmed in the United States and the week that the U.S. surpassed China in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases.

LeadersUp is a social enterprise that connects young adults to economic opportunities and talent development solutions to address labor market disparities and economic inequities in low income and historically marginalized communities of color in Los Angeles, Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area. More than 80% of survey respondents live in one of those three cities. Half are from Chicago, which along with San Francisco is among the cities hardest hit in the U.S. by the spread of the coronavirus.Nearly 90% of the respondents are 16-30 years old, 95% identify as a person of color and more than 70% are female.

Among the key findings:

- 1 in 7 (14%) live with a dependent child- 1 in 8 (12%) live alone

Young adults are most likely to turn to their family and friends in their time of need, followed by community organizations and government agencies, the results show. They are least likely to look to schools based on their current enrollment status and are reluctant to turn to employers and faith-based organizations.

"This speaks to the need for employers to develop community-based partnerships and relationships to provide support, including health and wellness, skills building and employment assistance," said LeadersUp President and CEO Jeffery Wallace.

- 76% believe they will find a job within 16 months - 11% believe they will find a job in less than 1 month

Wallace says that might be overly optimistic.

"History has shown us that economic shifts leave behind the most vulnerable populations," said Wallace. "Youth disconnection rates during the recession of 2008 were 5 percentage points higher than the national unemployment rate. We anticipate that young people of color from low-income households will be among the hardest hit Americans, as our research shows that 52% of young people surveyed were either laid off or in fear of being laid off. Yet, they are the least likely to be heard and to be hired following COVID-19. This at-risk talent contributes to median household incomes that are already very low, on average, compared to median household incomes of Whites and Asians.Policy makers and employers need to be intentional around diversifying post-COVID-19 hiring incentives and processes to be inclusive of the next generation of diverse talent."

Wallace will be joined by Sen. Holly Mitchell (D-California, 30th District), Gary Frazier, founder and CEO of OM Healthcare, Inc., and other corporate and civic leaders in the virtual roundtable "COVID-19: Flatten the Curve, Bridge the Divide," on Tuesday, April 21, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. (PDT). Sponsored by theStupski Foundation, the thought leaders will discuss creating opportunity markets that drive sustainable and inclusive economic recovery and growthstrategies for those most severely impacted by COVID-19.

"Young adults of color have the talent and drive that we need to rebuild our economy after this public health crisis," said Jennifer Nguyen, Director of Postsecondary Success at the Stupski Foundation, based in the San Francisco Bay Area. "These same young people are experiencing disproportionate levels of layoffs, food insecurity and housing instability as a result of COVID-19. At Stupski, we are committed to supporting students so they can pursue their career goals. We are grateful to LeadersUp for amplifying the voices of young adults of color so we can understand their experiences and think collectively about how we can rebuild a workforce that is more inclusive and equitable."

Media who would like to attend can email Karen Lewis at [emailprotected]. Visit leadersup.org to download the full report. Watch a video of young adults impacted by COVID-19.

LeadersUp has curated a value-added ecosystem that connects employers with the untapped potential of diverse, next-generation talent, more than 38,000 young adults in five years. LeadersUp partners with school districts, community colleges, juvenile justice organizations and community-based groups to provide free access to its career readiness tools. To flatten the curve and bridge the divide, LeadersUp is optimizing its digital tools to provide access to coaching, job and career development on hand-held devices.

"We are committed to standing in the opportunity gap so that the disparate economic outcomes that low-income young adults of color are already facing aren't deepened by this crisis," Wallace said.

About LeadersUp: Established in 2013 by Starbucks and forward-thinking business leaders, LeadersUp is an independent 501(c)3 nonprofit and talent development accelerator that bridges the divide between the untapped potential of young people and the business challenge of finding and keeping the best talent. LeadersUp provides professional development training and career opportunities via its Future at Work Summits in Chicago, Los Angeles and the Bay Area/Silicon Valley to connect the untapped potential of young adults who are out of work and not in school with employers in need of talent.

Media contacts: Karen Lewis | [emailprotected]| 323-424-9400 (LA/San Francisco Bay area) or Shawn Taylor | [emailprotected] | 312-371-6260 (Chicago).

SOURCE LeadersUp


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The Next Generation of Diverse Talent from Low-Income Communities Are Worried About COVID-19's Impact on Their Quality of Life, Overall Well-Being -...

Sometimes the cure is worse than the affliction | Letters To The Editor – The Star Beacon

Profits over people. Thats how the effort to begin opening up the U.S. economy is being framed. Its a false distinction. Sober-minded people recognize that the current suspension of business and commerce is unsustainable. Big business loses billions, small business (i.e. 1-500 employees) millions. With our inter-related economy, bankruptcies will spiral out of control, the federal government helpless to stop it. As goes the U.S. economy, so goes the world. Witness the Great Depression of the 1930s.

Within this very possible doomsday scenario, consider the millions of lives affected: loss of job, home and hope. A plague worse than the coronavirus.

We saw this ripple effect on a much smaller scale beginning about 25 years ago when manufacturing moved to China. Local businesses that supported them and profited from them dried up and the middle class shrank. Ashtabula and thousands of communities across the U.S. suffered greatly. Many people never recovered and thriving communities became ghost towns.

Communities now are facing a loss of tax revenue that we depend on to make life livable. Remember this when our streets arent plowed, law enforcement officers are laid off, school levies fail and hospitals close. As Cleveland Clinic and University Hospitals lose revenue due to suspension of elective surgery, how many hospitals will remain in Ashtabula County? Dont imagine for a minute that the federal government will bail us out. To print money without a solid base supporting it will render our dollar as worthless as the Confederate dollar with hyper-inflation like that of Venezuela.

Im thankful to Auditor David Thomas, who knows more about money than most of us, for his letter to the editor last week pointing out the drastic effects weve already experienced. President Trump, the supposed dictator, has wisely left the opening up process to individual governors while urging an intentional but gradual process.

The coronavirus will always be with us and more will die. Thats not callous, Im in a vulnerable group myself, but far fewer have died than was predicted. We must confront it with safety precautions and all the medical tools at our disposal, while we return to a strong, robust economy that will protect the well-being of all of our citizens.

Mary Ellen Blake


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Sometimes the cure is worse than the affliction | Letters To The Editor - The Star Beacon





TRENTON Senator Ronald L. Rice praised Governor Phil Murphy for his leadership during the coronavirus pandemic and called upon him to appoint the states Lieutenant Governor and Diversity Officer as key members of the New Jerseys COVID-19 Economic Response Team.

In letter sent Tuesday evening, Rice commended Murphy for his governance during this extremely difficult chapter in New Jerseys history and the inspiration derived from his selfless attention to the desperate scenarios playing out across our state.

As Chair of the New Jersey Legislative Black Caucus, Rices letter described howCOVID-19 has pointed a laser beam on the pre-existingstructural and systemic inequitiesthathavediminished access to quality healthcare, employment, housing and economic opportunities for communities of color, resulting in a disproportionate increasein deaths and economic desperation for Blacks, Latinos and the disadvantaged.

As the state moves forward in developing an Economic Response Team, it is of critical importance that Black and Latino legislators and equity leaders are embedded into the workgroup to inform and guide policy decisions and programs, wrote Rice. Their inclusion and input from the start will ensure: (1) Direct, immediate access to information about government sponsored programs and resources; and (2) Policies and processes designed todeploy programs and fund allocations equitably.

Toward that end, paralleling a model even Donald Trump has adopted to position his second-in-command on the national taskforce, Rice advised Murphy to appoint Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver to the New Jersey response team. In addition, the Senator recommended that Chief Diversity Officer Hester Agudosi, Esq. be included for her outstanding strengths.

Regarding the professional qualifications and expertise of the two officials, Rice wrote:

As former Speaker of the New Jersey State Assembly, Lieutenant Governor Oliver is singularly qualified to share valuable insight on the intricacies of the legislative budget and the functions of departments and agencies. Just as important is her thorough understanding of the mechanics of legislative politics and her intimate knowledge of the needs, concerns and issues that plague residents, small businesses and communities of color.

Likewise, Diversity Officer Agudosis vigilance in safeguarding inclusion and equality is vital to our states progress in the best of times. Now, at this crossroads, it is critical. Her ability to recognize and create business and economic opportunities for women and minorities, and to monitor the performance of our statewide strategic Diversity and Inclusion Plan is essential to our recovery from catastrophe.

Rice concluded the letter by framing the challenge of the COVID-19 crisis as a chance to tap the diverse talents and experience of a multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multifaceted state, writing, As we stand before this momentous opportunity to create a new, improved normal for New Jersey, a diverse response team demonstrates an intentional effort to embrace a status quo that now represents us all.

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