Category: Commentary

Braised Bourdain/by Jim Palombo

In applying Durkheim’s thoughts as to our own norms and values, functions and dysfunctions, as well as the nature of our societal balance,  one might begin by examining how the principles of democracy — think justice, fairness, equality, etc. get mixed with the practicalities of capitalism — think competition, material success, consumerism, etc. In this light it’s fair to ask to what extent these principles and practicalities can co-exist, how their interpretations might conflict with each other and what type imbalance might be evident in terms of overall societal objectives? In addition, a look into how our cultural instincts (tendencies that become part of our behaviors over time) get framed – think of these instincts in relationship to how generations were affected by their particular set of societal variables, especially in eras like the industrial and technological revolutions. In this regard, and in similar context, we would also have to consider our contemporary social concerns – think of work/labor problems, changing family dynamics, the environment, racial and gender issues, and even war and peace. 

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Agents of Change: Disrupting School-to-Prison Pipeline Score 0%

Agents of Change: Disrupting School-to-Prison Pipeline

Prevention We know many of the risk factors that require early intervention, such as mental illness, chronic absenteeism, and abuse. Failure to address these factors early on increases the probability of incarceration later. We need to make sure the children with the greatest need get the best teachers and we need to make sure we are meeting their learning needs.  Districts need mentoring programs, social and emotional curriculum, restorative justice polices, professional development strategies to build teacher and student efficacy, and aggressive efforts to promote academic success. We can’t just ignore it when kids are behind, and we can’t just suspend, expel, or refer kids away.

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Jim Palombo/Politics

…it’s becoming more and more difficult to hold to the sentiment’s true meaning while noticing the shadows hanging over issues and concerns tied to a whole slew of concerns. Just as examples: How are people making their choices? How are individual and societal responsibilities playing out? How are principles like justice, fairness and equality being interpreted?  How are the ever-increasing influences of the market/$ impacting our civic behavior?  How are gender and racial similarities and differences being translated? …

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Commentary/Henry A. Giroux

What cannot be exaggerated or easily dismissed is that Trump is the end result of a longstanding series of attacks on democracy and that his presence in the American political landscape has put democracy on trial. This is a challenge that artists, educators, and others must address. While mass civil demonstrations have and continue to erupt over Trump’s election, what is more crucial to understand is that something more serious needs to be addressed. We have to acknowledge that at this particular moment in American history the real issue is not simply about resisting Donald Trump’s insidious values and anti-democratic policies but whether a political system can be reclaimed in which democracy is not on trial but is deepened, strengthened and sustained.

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