Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Leaders in thought and action


This piece about Thought Leaders is troubling. 

More and more of my students--Europeans, Africans, Americans--fit the description in the last few paragraphs of this piece as new public intellectuals. They are straddling the academy, small businesses, cooperatives, social movements, non-governmental organizations, and other sectors. They know universities may not or cannot extend a secure embrace to them. Yet they cannot bear to participate in business or government as usual. So they are ceaselessly refining a new kind if bricolage, building new forms of economy perhaps even of society. 

They are so vulnerable but also so smart. They work so hard. They are relentlessly engaged, theoretically astute, realists or even cynics yet also able to delight in this world. They give me so much hope. They take so much care--of me, of their environment, of each other. Some days i feel if i did nothing more than support them and serve as a bridge among them i would have lived as God hoped me to in the face of human folly. How clear that face has become! How smug...



Wednesday, February 8, 2017

IEN: Call to Action - Trump Can’t Build DAPL Without a Fight

 IEN: Call to Action - Trump Can’t Build DAPL Without a Fight

Water Protectors, cold and exhausted, are rallying again. All i have done thus far is send some coats, and forward some posts. But as the veterans and the native americans and the allies of various kinds out there huddled in tents on the Dakota plains rally for a last stand, I want to know what more I can do. Listen to our three part series on the recent history of NODAPL activism on the digital media platform "It's Hot in Here" to get oriented, if you are only now getting involved.

Meanwhile, the term "intersectionality" has worked its way into the activisit lexicon, and the word "nasty" is getting appropriated and ever better defined to mean creative, disruptive, hard hitting--but not hateful nor illegal--actions (embedded in this show is a great discussion of just that term).

Last sunday, at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Ann Arbor, from the sanctuary during the sermon I heard a great formulation of the intersectionality question. Actually, I heard it on loudspeakers while sitting in the social hall, typing in information on recommendation letter forms for my students who seek to move on from school and make at least a living wage making the world a better place. This is really not corporate consulting, i fear. Then again, maybe the intersectionality of social movements is like a whole new meaning for "mergers"?

While i pondered this, our interim Minister asked:

"why would we hone in on single issue action? None of us leads single issue lives...."

Amen.

So whether water is your thing, or indigenous rights, or fossil fuel transcendance,  be alert (sooo much nuance to the information out there; so many versions of reality...did anyone hear the BBC interview this morning on Russian domestic politics?) We need critical thinking skills more than ever to discern different vantage points and assess them against evidence. Tune in or turn out. Work on a brief or help out on a blockade. Stay hopeful.