Minimum wage jobs

Recently I approached a checkout lane in a local grocery store when I overheard the clerk and a sacker having this exchange: “You’re still making $9.25? You’re kidding! Why would I stay here as long as you have and hope for checker job, when that’s all you make?” These two guys, likely about 21 (clerk)…

There were strings attached

One of the things I noticed as a new staff person at Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin in the early 1980’s was that both government and foundation staff were very helpful. They wanted Planned Parenthood programs to succeed. They valued sexuality education, clinical services, and advocacy. They got the point that to make every child a…

Closing a door

The countdown to my encore launch has begun. At 5:00 PM Central Time July 31, 2015 I am closing the door on this chapter of my life as the President and CEO of Diverse and Resilient. The following Monday, I will be attending more specifically to my work in community development with projects in Milwaukee and…

A ticket to ride

You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world. – Tom Brokaw Most nights when I let Dexter out at about 9:30 PM, I…

Wordless stories

Thus, in sharing stories, we have the potential for forging new relationships…. –  Dyson, A. H., & Genishi, C. (1994). The need for story: Cultural diversity in classroom and community. Urbana, IL: National Council of Teachers of English. This week I have been contemplating the mediating power of words as I blog about community building. This exercise…

Lost melodies

Reading in our culture has become so attenuated that all reading is now considered “good.” Children are admonished to read in general, as if all books are equal, but a brain bloated with truisms and clichés, with formulaic stories and simple answers to badly asked questions is hardly what we should aspire to. For the…

That spirited work

Grief, after all, is desire for the dead or for what’s been lost and can never come again. Grief is longing. This was stasis without fulfillment. This was the world stopped, meaning extinguished. – Siri Hustvedt, Living, Thinking, Looking More than a dozen years ago, Paul and I were in a serious train wreck with…