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Front Page » Table of Contents » Inspiration

By Diane Wahto on November 21, 2010

As November nears its end, people are showing signs of the joy that comes with the beginning of the holiday season. They are making plans to be with family for Thanksgiving and houses are decked out in their Christmas finery. This holiday season, however, is marred by the ongoing plight of those who have lost their jobs and their homes. Every Thanksgiving, for me, brings with the joy a sense of sadness evoked by memories of a bygone time.

On Nov. 22, 1963, I was getting ready to go grocery shopping. My husband was home for lunch and I could leave our three kids at home with him to shop unimpeded by their demands for Capt. Crunch, plastic toys, and the candy we encountered in the checkout line.

Read more of this post here ...

By Janet Morrison on February 25, 2010

Autism... it's something we often think of as a deficiency. However, autistic people are in tune to so many details the rest of us miss.Their skills can be an absolutely amazing asset and benefit (to themselves and us) if we know how to tap into their potential.

Temple Grandin is autistic. There is currently an HBO movie out about her. Though I think we have been heading in this direction anyway, listening to her TED talk (below) challenged me to think harder about how how we engage kids in our After-School Academy. We want to make sure we're tapping into their amazing potential... a potential that may be overlooked if we're not better in tune with them.

Read more of this post here ...

By Gerald Britt on February 1, 2010

If you are one of those who don't accept that 2010 is the beginning of a new decade, that's fine. You don't have to convince me. Personally, I'm trying to understand why 2011 doesn't start a new decade. But that's neither here nor there.

The video below (after the flip) shows that we have been through A LOT, in the past ten years. So much so its dizzying. It seems like only yesterday that we were holding our collective breath, wondering what 'y2k' was going to be. Many expected a technological meltdown. There were some who believed that the 21st century would signal the end of the world. I remember that our 'watch night' services, were pretty scarcely attended for years, even when we began having joint services with my father's church. But when the year 2000 was about to dawn, the place was packed!

There is so much that we could never have imagined: September 11; the Iran AND the Afghanistan wars; the first Black president; the economic meltdown... whew! And that's just the top of mind stuff!

Read more of this post here ...

By Gerald Britt on January 29, 2010

I'm a huge fan of Princeton University's Cornel West . I've read several of his books, but most inspirational has been the opportunities I've had to meet him on a couple of occasions. The first time was at a seminar sponsored by the Industrial Areas Foundation, where I and a group of leaders from across the southwest engaged in community organizing had a chance to not only listen to him lecture, but engage with him personally.

The second time was when I had the privilege of being a member of the inaugural class of Harvard University's Summer Leadership Institute. He was one of the presenters, at that time a member of Harvard's 'Dream Team', a group of African-American professors whose academic excellence and prodigious intellects were held in high regard.

Read more of this post here ...

By Gerald Britt on January 27, 2010

A stinging defeat for the Democrats in Massachusetts.

Health care reform legislation in jeopardy.

The U.S. Supreme Court rules that corporations, because they have the same standing as persons, should not limits placed on campaign contributions, that, have, for all intents and purpose, nearly completed the hijacking of the 14th Amendment and possibly derailed any possibility of serious campaign reform. For those who weren't watching it means while undocumented immigrants can't vote, foreign owned corporations can now buy a politician, with even greater impunity than before.

Take the time to watch this...

Read more of this post here ...

By Pamela Jean on January 26, 2010

"Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane." (Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

As we prepare to hear Barack Obama speak tomorrow night, I can't help but wish we were all gathering to hear Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. speak to us instead.

Why Dr. King and not President Obama? King didn't believe in incrementalism. His love for humanity gave him determination, resolve and the courage to fight. King demanded justice and nothing short of justice. King had a clear, bright, unequivocal, and unwavering acknowledgment of the differences between right and wrong. He was angry and brilliant and full of compassion and indignation.

What we need today and tomorrow is a President who strives to be more like Dr. King.

Perhaps, from within the White House bubble, our President cannot find his way to my blog post here. Yet, maybe he will. So, Mr. President, if you are reading this, I wish to respectfully ask you to read some words spoken by Dr. King at the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom, May 17, 1957 in front of the Lincoln Memorial. I believe these words are ones that should be addressed to you and our current leadership in Washington in the same spirit and with the same clarity that Dr. King addressed our leaders 53 years ago:

In this junction of our nation's history there is an urgent need for dedicated and courageous leadership. ...

There is need for a strong, aggressive leadership from the federal government. ...

This dearth of positive leadership from the federal government is not confined to one particular party. Both parties have betrayed the cause of justice. ...

In the midst of these prevailing conditions, we come to Washington today pleading with the president and the members of Congress to provide a strong, moral and courageous leadership for a situation that cannot permanently be evaded. ... The hour is late. The clock of destiny is ticking out. We must act now, before it is too late. ...

There is a dire need today for a liberalism which is truly liberal. What we are witnessing today... is a sort of quasi liberalism which is based on the principle of looking sympathetically at all sides. It is a liberalism so bent on seeing all sides that it fails to become committed to either side. It is a liberalism that is so objectively analytical that it is not subjectively committed. It is a liberalism which is neither hot nor cold, but lukewarm. ...

We call for a liberalism... which will be thoroughly committed... and will not be deterred by the propaganda and subtle words of those who say, "Slow up for a while; you are pushing too fast."

(Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.)

By Larry James on January 20, 2010

The speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. have been published broadly since his terrible death. Of course, his most famous speech, "I Have a Dream," occupies its rightful place in the "hall of fame" of American rhetoric.

Yet, other powerful, prophetic addresses by King have been set aside, at least in the popular mind of the nation. This week we celebrate his birth.

It seems a good time to recall his controversial address on the war in Vietnam. King regarded the war as a "war on the poor."

We live in a time of war again today, though most of us have no direct contact with its costs or sacrifices. King's words may not be easy to hear. You may not agree with his analysis or judgment. But the speech needs to be heard and not forgotten.

By Tatiana McKinney on January 20, 2010

I love it when people get together and dance for a cause. It is always inspiring and fun! Well, instead of raising donations the old-fashioned way, Providence St. Vincent Medical Center decided to spice it up and make a youtube video to raise Awareness for Breast Cancer and if the video gets 1 million hits, Medline will make a huge contribution to the hospital and offer free mammograms for the community.

Awesome right?

According to the E-mail message, "Here’s the story behind the video…" “Our daughter-in-law, Emily (MacInnes) Somers, created, directed and choreographed this in Portland last week for her Medline glove division as a fundraiser for breast cancer awareness. This was all her idea to help promote their new pink gloves. I don't know how she got so many employees, doctors and patients to participate, but it started to really catch on and they all had a lot of fun doing it.

Read more of this post here ...

By Janet Morrison on January 17, 2010

I just received a message from one of my staff saying yesterday was a sad day for her. While doing some service work, $220 was taken from her purse. She explained that she had already cried over it and had decided that someone else must have needed it more than she did.

Read more of this post here ...

By Janet Morrison on January 14, 2010

This is to show appreciation for a person who leads with the people and for the people in a way that engages all of the people.

Cory Booker

I don’t remember the first time I heard about Cory Booker, but I remember being fascinated by him when I heard he became the Mayor of Newark, NJ and moved into a housing development in the city. Beyond that, I cannot remember what else attracted me, but I was truly intrigued.

Read more of this post here ...

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