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Category Archives: Intentional Communities

When everything you need is here – The Boston Globe

Posted: October 11, 2021 at 11:01 am

What if you lived in a neighborhood that was designed so every one of your daily needs jobs, stores, cafes, libraries, parks, public transit was within a 15-minute walk or bike ride from your home? Youd be healthier because of all that exercise. Youd be safer, with fewer cars rushing through the roads on their way to someplace else. Youd be happier because youd know your neighbors and be more engaged in community gatherings. Youd even be richer without so much driving, since the cost of owning a car is about $9,000 a year.

This is the promise of the so-called 15-minute neighborhood or 15-minute city, a vision of urban planners that began in Paris and is now on drafting tables from Barcelona to Bogota. Its a beautiful, even utopian idea, easy to dismiss as a boutique fancy unattainable in a car-centric society such as ours.

But now The Boston Foundation has issued a practical guide outlining the policy changes this region would need in order to realize the dream of 15-minute neighborhoods. Prepared with the Massachusetts Housing Partnerships Center for Housing Data, and others, the report moves the needle from blue-sky thinking to a blueprint for action.

Most of the suggested steps are unsexy zoning changes: making it easier to mix residential and commercial uses; building denser housing around transit stops; lifting minimum parking requirements (which drive up the cost of housing as well as gobbling up public space). Many shift the focus from parochial control to broader regional standards. We think the state needs to take more of a role, said Luc Schuster, the reports coauthor. We cant keep going into these one-off, town-by-town fights over every zoning change.

In January, Governor Charlie Baker signed an economic development bill that takes some important first steps. The new law requires every community within a half-mile of a commuter rail station to create at least one district of reasonable size for multifamily housing. It lowers the threshold to approve zoning changes from a two-thirds vote of town governments to a simple majority. And it dedicates funds to encourage small-business development and neighborhood entrepreneurs, especially women and people of color.

For Lee Pelton, the new president and CEO of The Boston Foundation, the 15-minute neighborhood is a way to redress the damage from years of exclusionary zoning policies, especially in the suburbs, which enforce racial segregation and widen the wealth gap by making homeownership unaffordable. The importance of these neighborhoods is not [just] in their convenience, he wrote in an e-mail. Its in their opportunity to create more equitable communities.

In Paris, Mayor Anne Hidalgo was inspired to redesign housing and mobility patterns by the imperatives of climate change. She created hundreds of miles of bike lanes through the city, turned a highway along the Seine into a pedestrian pathway full of quayside cafes, and converted 185 public school buildings into seven-day community centers to encourage local gatherings. The plan has had its glitches, but its popular enough that Hidalgo is using it to launch a campaign for president of France.

Perhaps because of its association with Paris, the 15-minute city concept carries a whiff of elitism or at least of croissants. But its actually older, industrial gateway cities that are best positioned to develop such neighborhoods. These are places that once practiced 15-minute principles as a matter of course: dense, multifamily housing, mixed commercial and residential uses, apartments above stores.

The 15-minute lifestyle is so attractive that these districts can run the risk of gentrification. The report points to Jackson Square in Roxbury as one area where high demand is making the neighborhood more expensive and whiter. Schuster says the way to avoid creating 15-minute islands of privilege is to make sure more towns do their fair share to build desirable communities for a range of families and incomes.

The COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated new ways of thinking about the role of neighborhoods and public space; repurposing streets for outdoor dining is just one example. The pandemic has also caused many people to rethink the pace of their lives, to pause for the small pleasures, to value spending more time closer to home (say, within 15 minutes). These are not just personal choices but matters of public policy, made easier or harder through intentional design. The Boston Foundation report can help make sure these expansive new ideas outlast the pandemic.

Rene Loths column appears regularly in the Globe.

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Why Our Trauma-Informed Teaching Must Be More Culturally Responsive – EdSurge

Posted: at 11:01 am

Years ago, before I became an educator, I took a contemporary Native American studies course as one of my first college classes. For the final research assignment, I choose to explore the disproportionate rates of suicide among Native American youthan issue that impacts nearly all tribal communities, including my own, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.

From that assignment I learned that understanding trauma can help us better address complex behavioral issues in the communities we care about, whether those communities are our tribal nations or classrooms.

That research paper was the beginning of my relationship with what most educators know as trauma-informed practices, a term used for acknowledging the widespread effects of trauma, and started me on my journey of advocating for Native youth through education. I realized that in many cases, our understanding of traumawhere it comes from and how to address itis limited. In order to truly address trauma, we must also consider both the cultural experiences and socioeconomic inequities that impact our students.

Many years later, I find myself drawing on my early understanding of trauma from an Indigenous context quite often in my current position working for an urban school district in Arizona. As a Native American student achievement teacher for a federally funded grant program, I work directly with teachers of Native American students to develop their capacity for culturally responsive practices. On any given day, you might find me performing the duties of an instructional coach, professional development facilitator or classroom teacher for the 1,300 Native American students in our district.

The Native American students I work with, like so many other Indigenous youth, experience high rates of poverty and health disparities, especially in regard to COVID-19, which has hit Native populations particularly hard. All these things contribute to a higher chance of trauma-exposure, but more importantly the Native students in my district are citizens of tribal nations with longstanding cultural traditions of valuing reciprocal relationships with all living things, including their communities, lands and waters. In my experience, teachers who have the most success with their Native students take into consideration these cultural strengths during their planning and instruction.

While research has shown school-wide trauma-informed practices benefit all students, one-size-fits-all programs dont work. Mainstream approaches to trauma-informed practices often fail to address or prevent trauma, and at worst can actually perpetuate harm. In order for trauma-informed practices to be meaningful for studentsespecially the ones I work withtheir teachers and school leaders must question whether those practices are being rolled out in a culturally responsive way.

As with trauma-informed practices, culturally responsive practices are often mentioned but rarely understood within school communities. Although there are many definitions, I frequently find myself turning to the work of educator-turned-author Zarretta Hammond for a clear and comprehensive meaning of culturally responsive teaching.

According to Hammond, culturally responsive teaching is the intentional integration of students cultural experiences, knowledge and learning processes into teaching choices. Culturally responsive teaching is more than just a surface level recognition of multiculturalism. It requires educators to affirm and leverage whatand howstudents learn in their homes and communities.

This requires teachers to raise their awareness of their students cultural background, including the sociopolitical and historical contexts of their communities. Most importantly, culturally responsive teaching recognizes that students need to feel safesocially, emotionally and intellectuallyin order to engage in rigorous learning. This last aspect is what connects culturally responsive teaching and trauma-informed practices in classrooms.

As a starting point for making trauma-informed practices more culturally responsive, educators must critically reflect on the mindsets and assumptions they carry with them. In coaching conversations and professional trainings, I often share the following suggestions with educators who wish to bring a culturally responsive lens to their trauma-informed approach.

While working on that undergraduate research paper, I found the work of Dr. Maria Yellow Horse Brave Heart, who coined the terms Historical Trauma and Historical Trauma Response. Historical trauma considers sources of trauma that often go unaddressed in trauma-informed conversations by bringing attention to the ways collective and massive traumatic events can impact multiple generations of individuals. When I hear discussions of trauma in schools, they are almost always limited to interpersonal instances of harmoften abuse, neglect or violence in the home. Rarely, though, do we consider collective or ongoing events, such as colonization or structural racism.

In the past, I have heard teachers claim that Native families dont like to be involved at school when discussing why we consistently see such low academic achievement among Native American students. Few think about the sociopolitical or historical reasons why Native families might be hesitant to trust schools and teachers.

Part of my job is to help teachers develop an awareness of the experiences of Native American students that may impact their academic achievement. This can be difficult because we have over 45 different tribal nations represented in my district, each with their own unique history and context. But the federal policy of forcibly removing Native children from their families to enroll them in government mandated boarding schools is one experience that has touched nearly all 570 federally recognized tribal nations in the United States.

This policy was in effect from the early nineteenth until the latter half of the twentieth century. Hundreds of thousands of Native children were placed in schools that punished any use of their traditional language or cultural practices with harsh impunity. Separated from their families, Native American students were intentionally stripped of their cultural identity. This continues to have negative impacts on Native American peoples social, emotional, physical and psychological well being. For some, trauma has become associated with schooling itself.

Learning about historical trauma as a framework for understanding how the relatively recent colonization of North America has had lasting negative impacts on Native American communities helped me understand why I was seeing first hand disproportionate health disparities, including youth suicide, in my tribal community. This cultural context through which I came to understand trauma helped me to understand the importance of going beyond individual and interpersonal instances of trauma to consider sociopolitical and historical contexts as well. When we assume the source of students trauma is individual or familial in nature, we run the risk of implying that students, their families and communities are damaged. Frequently, its something larger.

This place might be the only time they get positive attention or For those kids, you are the only caring adult in their lives. I hear statements like this tossed around often in the schools I support. This type of mindset positions students and their families in a deficit light. Too often, educators adopt a paternalistic view when they assume trauma-affected students have no strategies or safe relationships to help deal with their high levels of stress. In reality, students, families, and their communities have always had culturally specific strategies for sustaining their wellbeing, but historical injustices, such as the boarding school policy, have kept those strategies out of schools.

Instead, I often suggest a shift to a strengths-based approach, which values the rich knowledge and experiences students bring into the classroom, instead of viewing it as the source of their trauma. When applied to trauma-informed practices, this can look like honoring students and families cultural and community-specific strategies for coping and maintaining well-being.

Teachers can create the time and space in their classrooms for students to share and practice those strategies in authentic situations, but they also need to develop opportunities for families to have input in trauma-informed policies and practices. Creating authentic partnerships with families requires two-way communication. Offering office hours, sending home surveys, and attending community events are a few ways that I have learned about the funds of knowledge, and specific wellness strategies, that my students bring into the classroom.

When I think about those wellness strategies already in place in my students home lives, my mind often turns to ceremonies, which play a pivotal role in maintaining overall wellbeing in Native American communities. However, I know from personal experience as a Native American person who lived and attended school in a predominantly non-Native city that urban Indigenous students may be less likely to engage in these formative experiences. Yet many of the urban Native youth I work with now share stories of returning home to their reservations for coming of age and other culturally significant ceremonies. This diversity of experiences speaks to the need for educators to be willing to take more of an inquiry-based approach that treats students and families as the experts in their own wellbeing.

We are all adjusting to teaching and learning in the time of an ongoing global pandemic, and it is critical that we resist one-size fits all approaches that are limited in their understanding of where trauma comes from and position students and families as damaged. Instead, we must consider how we can shift trauma-informed teaching to become more culturally responsive to the students and communities we wish to serve. Only when we take the time to learn about the socioeconomic and historical backgrounds of our students and leverage their cultural strengths and knowledge, will our schools become spaces for healing from trauma.

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The state that works has keys to thriving businesses – ECM Publishers

Posted: at 11:01 am

No doubt, our state has had great success over the years.

There are currently a half million businesses operating in Minnesota and about 300,000 of them employ only the owner/operator.

Some 94% of Minnesota companies have fewer than 50 workers.

That is not to ignore large employers. With 18 Fortune 500 publicly owned companies, Minnesota ranks ninth nationwide.

More impressive, the Twin Cities ranks first among the 30 largest metropolitan areas nationwide and our state ranks third in Fortune 500 companies per 1 million people.

In addition, Minnesota ranks 11th among the states and is home to six of Forbess largest private companies, including Cargill, ranked first in the nation at $134.4 billion in annual revenues. The state also is ninth in the number of private companies per 1 million people.

All businesses, of course, want to succeed for the benefit of their communities, employees and owners.

Among thriving businesses, certain common qualities deserve mention as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to economically challenge employers, employees and the public in getting back to full speed.

A business plan is not the only element in achieving success, but it certainly helps when crafted wisely and understood by internal and external audiences. Execution of the plan is 90% of the challenge. The mantra plan your work and work your plan has long been accepted practice among companies, organizations and governments at all levels.

A positive attitude, accountability for results and consistently high-quality customer service will help ensure companies maintain current workers and attract future ones.

Another key to prosperity is finding the right people to trust in making decisions. Larger companies hire such talent and smaller ones create ways in which non-paid advisors and outside board members effectively offer their insights in confidence.

Business leaders must frequently take calculated risks with clear outcomes in mind. As our nation and world have learned, doing so is required as economic climates have significantly changed over the last two years.

Effectively responding to challenges to America the Great Depression of the 1930s, various world wars, and the current pandemic can be successful over time.

Lastly, work-life balance is a goal for many thoughtful employers, allowing workers ample non-scheduled free time in their personal lives. For example, Psychology Today magazine interviewed scientists who had found that a creative personal hobby can lead to worker excellence; Nobel Prize winners almost always reveal that they had such outside interests.

Former five-year Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer, in writing for Bloomberg about employee burn-out, said that understanding worker resentment was necessary and you beat it by knowing what it is youre giving up and makes you resentful. I tell people to find your rhythm. Mayer, a native of Wisconsin, left Yahoo to start her own company in 2017.

Workplaces operating wisely as a team are possible when being intentional about it. Indeed, Minnesota continues to face serious challenges. However, we wouldnt bet against the state that works. Chuck Slocum (Chuck@WillistonGroup.com) is president of The Williston Group, a management consulting firm. He serves on the editorial board of APG of East Central Minnesota.

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UMD hosts Mental Health Awareness Week, emphasizes well-being amid in-person transition – The Diamondback

Posted: at 11:01 am

By Mythili DevarakondaFor The Diamondback

As the foliage slowly changes colors and masked students hustle to their classes, the University of Maryland almost feels normal. But, some at the university say the transition from online back to in-person classes has caused mental strain for students.

To aid in handling such a drastic change, this universitys Counseling Center held its annual Mental Health Awareness Week. The Counseling Center held events on Oct. 4-8, in line with the national recognition dates.

Mental health has absolutely been affected by the pandemic. And so, certainly, if a persons mental health has been affected, we want them to be addressing that, said Dr. Allison Asarch, staff psychologist and the coordinator of consultation and outreach services at the Counseling Center.

The Counseling Center teamed up with various mental health and student groups on the campus to organize a weeklong program of mental health events focused on self care and different communities.

Good mental health is essential for us to be able to live successful, enjoyable, meaningful lives, Asarch said. We offer many different services for students, but we also want to get out there into the community and not just be reaching the students who come to see us.

On top of engaging students in meaningful and intentional ways about different aspects of their mental health, Asarch said she would like for the students to realize the place theyre at mentally and seek out resources, such as the Counseling Center, to improve their mental health if needed.

[UMD School of Medicine professors conducts COVID-19 booster research, presents to FDA]

Nathan Blanken, a sophomore computer science major and the president of the Active Minds chapter at this university, said he was excited to collaborate with the Counseling Center and other organizations to tackle conversations surrounding mental health.

Mental health is the common theme between all of us, Blanken said. Just letting people know the options that they have is a huge thing.

Blanken shared that before this semester, even he was not aware of all the mental health resources available at the university, and was excited to help students with similar issues.

If we can help even just one person, its leagues of impact that we can make on other people, Blanken said.

Ashley Deng, a sophomore neuroscience major and director of health and wellness of the Student Government Association, helped plan some events for Mental Health Awareness Week, including Mondays Planting Healthy Roots event, where students could decorate and take home a potted succulent.

[Asian Latinx students, professors at UMD say they often feel ignored and underrepresented]

We estimated it would take three hours to hand out 300 plants but in reality, we actually gave out all of them in under an hour, Deng said.

Deng emphasized the importance of events like these, especially in light of the tough transition back to in-person classes.

Students really engaged with it, way more than we expected, which was awesome, Deng said. I think its so amazing that the Counseling Center really made such an effort to put together such an amazing event, all week for students to promote mental health, coming out of COVID, coming back to campus.

Beyond the events of the week, Asarch emphasized the importance of taking care of your mental health.

Wed like you to take a moment to think about, How can I do something thats good for my mental health? Asarch said. And if a student is able to take this with them so that they can have intentional moments of checking in on their mental health throughout the month, throughout the semester, or throughout their lives, that is wonderful.

CORRECTION: Due to an editing error, a previous version of this storys photo caption misstated Rachael Lous name. The caption has been updated.

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More than 1 in 3 rural Black southerners lack home internet access, a new study finds – NPR

Posted: at 11:01 am

A Viasat internet satellite dish is seen in the yard of a house in Madison, Va., on March 31. Al Drago/Bloomberg/Getty Images hide caption

A Viasat internet satellite dish is seen in the yard of a house in Madison, Va., on March 31.

Black residents in the rural South are nearly twice as likely as their white counterparts to lack home internet access, according to a new study from the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies.

The study, published Wednesday, examined 152 counties in Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia where at least 35% of residents are Black. Researchers found that 38% of Black residents in those counties do not have access to internet in their homes, compared to 23% of white residents in the same regions.

The study also found that nearly one in four Black residents in the rural South don't even have the option to subscribe to high speed broadband, compared to just 3.8% of Americans nationwide.

The research offers a stark snapshot of how the inability to access affordable broadband can be felt most acutely for Black Americans in the rural South, a region of the country where they account for nearly half of the total population.

For adults, having strong access to the internet impacts the kinds of jobs that are available to them, and is essential for tele-health appointments, especially in areas where many hospitals have shut down. During the pandemic, when many students were learning from home, children without internet access face even higher hurdles to learning.

The study was conducted by Dominique Harrison, director of technology policy at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a think tank that focuses on public policy issues and how they impact Black Americans. Harrison told NPR that her research differs from other data sets because Black rural residents are often overlooked in research about broadband access. Past studies, she says, encompass all rural residents, rather than specifically breaking down the data by race.

"Black residents in the rural South are rarely looked at in terms of research to understand the challenges they face in terms of access to broadband," Harrison said.

She also noted that the data helps provide more context for things like poverty rates, employment, education and health care. Harrison says in her study that 60.8% of residents in the Black rural South have incomes less than $35,000. Approximately 49% of Black children in the rural South live in poverty.

This new data comes as a $1 trillion bipartisan infrastructure package remains stalled in the House as Democrats in Congress remain locked in negotiations over broader legislation geared toward climate and the social safety net. The infrastructure bill doles out approximately $65 billion for broadband investments.

Harrison says her research helps paint a picture for how policy impacts certain communities.

"To isolate this specific community and really get to the details of what's going on I think paints a very clear picture to policy makers about the ways in which this infrastructure package, for example, can really have a targeted and intentional impact on these folks," she said.

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Nonconsensual Condom Removal/Stealthing Bill Signed By Governor Newsom – EastCountyToday

Posted: at 11:01 am

Sacramento, CA Governor Newsom signed trailblazing legislation that would include nonconsensual condom removal or stealthing in the CA Civil Code.

This new law is the first in the nation and confirms that stealthing is an illegal act that causes long term physical and emotional harm to its victims and those guilty of stealthing will now be held accountable under California law.

Stealthing is the nonconsensual and intentional removal or tampering with the condom during sexual intercourse. A study by Yale University (Columbia Journal of Gender and Law, Vol. 32, No. 2, 2017) calls stealthing a grave violation of dignity and autonomy and reports that cases of stealthing are on the rise among women and gay men. The article also encourages new Torts against the practice to allow victims to establish a cause of action. Stealthing has also been called rape-adjacent.

I have been working on the issue of stealthing since 2017 and I am elated that there is now some accountability for those who perpetrate the act. Sexual assaults, especially those on women of color, are perpetually swept under the rug. So much stigma is attached to this issue, that even after every critic lauded Micheala Coels, I May Destroy You for its compelling depiction of the horrors of sexual abuse including of stealthing, it got zero Golden Globe nominations. That doesnt seem like an accident or coincidence to me, stated Assemblymember Garcia.

Its disgusting that there are online communities that defend and encourage stealthing and give advice on how to get away with removing the condom without the consent of their partner. It is now clear in California law that this is a crime. This law is the first of its kind in the nation, but I urge other states to follow in Californias direction and make it clear that stealthing is not just immoral but illegal. More importantly, I encourage us all to not shy away from important conversations about consent in order to ensure we reduce the number of victims, concluded Garcia.

The 58th Assembly District includes the cities of Montebello, Pico Rivera, Commerce, Bell Gardens, Downey, Norwalk, Bellflower, Cerritos and Artesia.

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Ayanna Pressley Is Behind The Push To Get Wigs Covered By Medicare – Scary Mommy

Posted: October 7, 2021 at 4:19 pm

Drew Angerer/Getty

If its ever happened to you, you know that hair loss is an alarming side effect of a host of health conditions, from cancer treatments, alopecia, and hormonal changes from postpartum to menopause and even pandemic-induced stress to COVID-19 itself. But even though its incredibly common for adults of all ages to have periods of hair loss, that doesnt make it feel any less traumatic when its happening to you something a bipartisan bill is hoping to address by way of offering financial support to those who need it most.

Back in 2018, Representative James McGovern of Massachusetts introduced the Wigs as Durable Medical Equipment Act (H.R. 3332) to Congress, which would ensure that wigs would be covered by Medicare for people battling hair loss due to health conditions or medical treatments. Wigs are often extraordinarily expensive, and while some private insurance plans will cover some or all of the costs associated with cranial prosthetics, this leaves millions of Americans who cant afford private insurance in the dust.

On Friday, October 1, the bill was reintroduced, with Rep. McGovern receiving support from fellow members of Congress, including Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts. Since 2020, Pressley has been open about her experiences with alopecia, an autoimmune disease in which the body attacks its own hair follicles, leading to hair loss.

In a statement, Pressley opened up about why the bill is so important to the millions of Americans who experience hair loss. Since I first revealed my alopecia diagnosis, Ive been intentional about creating space and creating community for those of us who have medical conditions that impact our hair and this bill is a continuation of those efforts, she said. Every person living with alopecia, battling cancer, or facing another medical condition that leads to hair loss, should be able to access wigs and other head coverings. Our bill is responsive and sends a powerful message to these communities: we see you, you belong, and you deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. I am grateful to my friend Congressman McGovern for his partnership on this deeply personal and critical legislation.

McGovern was inspired to introduce the bill after meeting with the owner of a Massachusetts womens healthcare boutique that supports women after receiving a cancer diagnosis. She told him that many of the women she worked with on Medicare struggled to afford a wig, sometimes even opting for different treatment paths in the hopes of avoiding hair loss. With the average medical wig costing in the hundreds to thousands of dollars, this legislation would help alleviate the financial burden of so many Americans. Heres hoping its passed through soon. It would surely change so many lives. Check out the full text of the bill here.

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Here’s one way to get together – Coeur d’Alene Press

Posted: at 4:09 pm

If you look up intentional communities, youll find groups of people sharing a common social ideal, an ecological way of life, perhaps living together. Thats not the kind I mean.

Theres a different sort of intentional community, a collaborative, goal-based sort that may have lasting impact on social divides. When people of all sorts of persuasions come together to accomplish the same intent, say on a nonprofit board or a volunteer committee, thats a kind of community with a shared intent. And a great way to reconnect with people on the most important level: The human heart.

When people join a cause or a project theyre passionate about, serving veterans, abuse and childrens charities, homelessness, or job and literacy coaching, no one asks about politics or divisive issues.

Thats not the point of volunteering and charity work. We come together with the same intent: To work together to help. Leave your politics at the door, please. Were here to accomplish a goal.

Ive seen political opposites in such groups work well together, even become friends. Ive seen them cry tears of shared sympathy, and tears of shared joy when they see the fruits of their efforts shine in someone they helped.

Much of what were told to reduce the anger and divisiveness were seeing in our culture is to be better listeners. To be open toward personal growth and look for common ground (Pew Research shows theres more than we think; we just differ on how to reach the same or similar goals).

That all makes sense, but working together on something more concrete is faster and gets something accomplished here and now.

Forging unexpected relationships along the way.

Focusing more on that kind of intentional community (which can apply to work projects too) may better bridge the rising divides we see in American society.

It reminds us that love thy neighbor does not mean only neighbors who see things the same way. That deep down, we all love our kids and care about others, have health and work worries, and need the same things out of life, regardless of perspectives on how to secure it all.

Joining intentional communities of this kind and working side by side toward the same goal activates that humanity in us all. When you know someone better and watch them work to accomplish the same lofty goal as you, especially when it helps others, its hard to see them as an enemy. It becomes counterintuitive to treat one another uncivilly.

Intentional mini-communities such as these, built across generations, political labels, or personal and professional identities, foster trust and common good. In them we stop talking at, past, and about one another and instead come together with a shared devotion.

In them, instead of knocking heads we can stand shoulder to shoulder again. Thats not only practical, its hopeful.

Sholeh Patrick is a columnist for the Hagadone News Network. Email Sholeh@cdapress.com.

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New Haven Housing Authority awarded $3.9 million grant to find and fix hazards – New Haven Register

Posted: at 4:09 pm

The health and wellbeing of our residents is always our top priority, said Karen DuBois-Walton, president of Elm City Communities. This award allows ECC/HANH to enact its vision where every resident has a safe, decent home and opportunities to fulfill their goals. We look forward to making intentional choices to invest in our community with equity and justice in mind.

The 2020 Housing-related Hazard Capital Fund NOFO makes $20 million available in new competitive grants for public housing authorities to identify and eliminate housing-related hazards in public housing, including mold, carbon monoxide, pest infestation, radon, fire hazards and other housing hazards.

With this grant, Elm City Communities will further ensure that all of our residents all have equal access to safe, decent, sanitary, housing, said Latweeta Smyers, senior vice president of operations at Elm City Communities.

Our housing needs to support the wellness and safety of our residents, not cause illness or injury, Smyers said. So much work has been put into our buildings over the past few years, but this investment will allow ECC and our community to better evaluate, inspect, and resolve hazardous living conditions.

Elm City Communities plans to begin remediation work in 2022. In the coming weeks, it will also issue requests for proposals to hire contractors that specialize in testing for, identifying and eliminating housing-related hazards

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How Peloton builds a community around health and wellness to craft its brand – CNBC

Posted: at 4:09 pm

Cari Gundee rides her Peloton exercise bike at her home on April 06, 2020 in San Anselmo, California.

Ezra Shaw | Getty Images

Peloton wants to be known as a health and wellness company, not a fitness business, according to its chief marketing executive.

"We definitely want to make sure that we are reflecting the communities that we serve," Peloton's Chief Marketing Office Dara Treseder told Julia Boorstin Thursday during CNBC's CMO Exchange virtual event.

"One of the things I do with my marketing team is we debate ... and some people are like, 'We're a fitness company, and this is what it means to be fat.' And I have to be like, 'No, no, no. We are actually a health and wellness company, and that comes in different shapes and sizes.'"

Peloton has recently added "mood rides," which are geared to different emotions such as being happy, sad or calm. These rides as well as guided meditation classes are examples of how Peloton is trying to raise awareness around the importance of mental health, in addition to keeping in shape.

Treseder went on to say that Peloton's rampant growth during the pandemic largely stemmed from its loyal user base sharing their personal experiences with the brand to others. Peloton counts 2.33 million connected fitness subscribers people who own a Peloton product and also pay a monthly fee for access to the company's digital workout content.

"The reality is when you try to force something, it just doesn't work," she said. "So for us, that intentional cultivation of community is really focused on finding where there are organic sparks of connection within our member base, and then kind of pouring fuel on that ... shining a spotlight on those things."

Peloton has said it plans to soon ramp up spending on paid marketing, in order to advertise both its lower-priced Bike and its updated Tread machine.

But Peloton also utilizes its now-famous team of instructors to connect with users. The trainers are active across social media platforms and frequently interact with members online.

"We want them to be superstars," Treseder explained. "They're employees, and so they're invested in the success of the company. And we are invested in their success."

One instructor, Cody Rigsby, is competing on ABC's "Dancing with the Stars." Another, Alex Toussaint was recently signed by the athletic apparel brand Puma.

"I give so much credit to John [Foley] because that's a very hard thing to do. ... The natural thing to do is to say let's control them, let's brand them," Treseder said about Peloton's CEO and how he thinks about the instructors. "The fact is, that actually doesn't work, and people can see right through that."

The rest is here:

How Peloton builds a community around health and wellness to craft its brand - CNBC

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