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Front Page » Table of Contents » Leaders & Innovators

By Angelo Lopez on December 17, 2010

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By Angelo Lopez on December 8, 2010

In the early 1930s, Peter Maurin and Dorothy Day conceived of a newspaper called the The Catholic Worker. Dorothy Day was a radical anarchist who was heavily involved in the leftist political movements of the 1910s and 1920s before she converted to Catholicism, and she wedded her radical convictions to her new Catholic spirituality. Peter Maurin was a devout itinerant Catholic who disdained both capitalism and marxism, believing instead in an economic and political philosophy based on the Catholic Social Philosophy. As well as finding the Catholic Worker newspaper, Peter Maurin wanted to found Houses of Hospitality to care for the homeless and unemployed. Maurin's vision of Houses of Hospitality combined with Day's experiences with unions and social movements and soon Catholic Worker communities were formed all over the nation. Today, the Catholic Worker communities live on, advocating for the poor, for immigrants and against war.

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By Pamela Jean on November 23, 2010

"My name is Wendell Potter and for 20 years I worked as a senior executive at health insurance companies, and I saw how they confuse their customers and dump the sick -- all so they can satisfy their Wall Street investors."

That's how he introduced himself to a Senate committee.

As a senior vice president of CIGNA, Potter had access to the inner workings of major insurance companies.

He had walked away from a six-figure salary and two decades as an insurance executive because he could no longer abide the routine practices of an industry where the needs of sick and suffering Americans take a backseat to the bottom line. The last straw: when he visited a rural health clinic and saw hundreds of Americans standing in line in the rain to receive treatment in stalls built for livestock.

Now, Wendell Potter is the insurance industry's worst nightmare.

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By Angelo Lopez on October 2, 2010

These are extremely partisan times. Democrats and Republicans seem to be unable to work together as they fight to an impasse in Congress over such issues as climate change, gay rights, immigration reform, and health care reform. Tea Party members try to vote out of office any politician who is not sufficiently conservative, while progressives decry the Obama administration for taking too many compromises in the health care reform bill and the stimulus bill. Though these times may seem exceedingly partisan, a look at our history shows that America has always had its partisan conflicts and divisive issues. From the Vietnam War to Civil Rights to Abolition, Americans have always been arguing about one issue or another.

In spite of these many disagreements, history is replete with many friendships of individuals with opposing viewpoints. Liberal Ted Kennedy and conservative Orrin Hatch were best friends in the Senate. Ronald Reagan and Tip O'Neil would argue during the congressional debates, but would share drinks and exchange jokes afterward. When Reagan was shot, O'Neil visited his bedside and comforted his wife Nancy. Jimmy Stewart and Henry Fonda were best friends even though Stewart was a conservative Republican and Fonda was an ardent New Deal liberal. The most famous friendship of opposites in American history was the friendship of Thomas Jefferson and John and Abigail Adams.

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By Darrell Hamlin on June 6, 2010

Lately most of what I have read about Facebook is complaints about security and privacy. It’s legitimate to worry about how a company might appropriate all the personal information exchanged by those who use the site. Whether all of that data is being adequately protected from stalkers and scam artists is important too.

But in the last forty eight hours I have also seen how Facebook users have turned a social network site into a support network for a beloved teacher. Today there are scores of former students reaching out to let Virginia Witte know that her battle with cancer is our battle too.

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By Angelo Lopez on June 6, 2010

Benjamin Franklin has always been my favorite Founding Father. Of all the Founding Fathers, he seemed the most witty, the most personable. When I watched the movie 1776, I really enjoyed the jolly Benjamin Franklin persona that I watched on the screen. I admire Franklin's accomplishments as a scientist, a politician, and a diplomat to France and England. When I read the book Founding Brothers: The Revolutionary Generation by Joseph Ellis, I didn't realize the extant of Benjamin Franklin's involvement in the fight to abolish slavery in the early nation. Ellis' book details Benjamin Franklin's attempt in 1790 to force Congress to confront the issue of slavery. This last crusade of Benjamin Franklin before he died was the culmination of a lifetime where he evolved in his views on slavery and the equality of African Americans.

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By Gerald Britt on January 28, 2010

When I was growing up my window to the world of Black America, as it were, were national Black periodicals. Sepia Magazine, Ebony Magazine and Jet Magazine, to name a few. Of course there were the local publications as well: The Post Tribune, the Dallas Express and others. But nationally, the aforementioned publications were the means by which you were exposed to national news and news makers important to African-Americans. I had some role models that covered a broad spectrum of entertainment, sports, business and politics. There was one such role model who managed to traverse nearly all of those areas and he recently passed away.

Percy E. Sutton, was an attorney, entrepreneur and politician in New York, whose accomplishments were constantly spoken of in the Black media. Of course in New York and elsewhere, he was known in almost every circle. Sutton died December 26, 2009, at the age of 89.

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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...

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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 Tatiana McKinney on January 21, 2010

They dreamed, inspired, and gave hope to many Haitian Women among Others...

According to CNN.com, "Myriam Merlet, Magalie Marcelin and Anne Marie Coriolan, founders of three of the country's most important advocacy organizations working on behalf of women and girls, are confirmed dead -- victims of last week's 7.0 earthquake."

One returned to her Haitian roots, to give voice to women, honor their stories and shape their futures.

Another urged women to pack a courtroom in Haiti, where she succeeded in getting a guilty verdict against a man who battered his wife.

A third joined the others and helped change the law to make rape, long a political weapon in Haiti, a punishable crime.

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