Poor People’s Campaign Gears Up for Mother’s Day Launch

At the briefing, the Poor People’s Campaign and the Institute for Policy Studies co-released a 120-page report on poverty and inequality, systemic racism, ecological devastation, the war economy, and militarism. The Souls of Poor Folk draws on empirical data and interviews with grassroots leaders in each of these inter-related areas to make the case for reviving the 1968 campaign.

Addressing the Systemic Challenge at the Heart of Escalating Inequality and Environmental Destruction

The inconvenient truth is that we face a problem beyond politics and reform, beyond good projects and initiatives and campaigns – ours is a systemic crisis at the very heart of our 21stcentury political-economy.

Universal Basic Income: Pennies from Heaven by Paul O’Brien – Review

Basic income would not eliminate the tired old choice between capitalism and socialism, right and left, but as O’Brien puts it, it would create a more ‘humane framework’ in which to make our political decisions. All in all it’s an exciting idea, and this book is well worth reading if you’re even mildly curious to learn more about its potential.

Sourdough Bread and the Cult of Convenience

Why does tending a sourdough starter seem so annoying? Pondering this question, I realized it had little to do with the ritual itself—which only takes five minutes—and everything to do with that lingering, underlying sense that it was inconvenient and that there were “other (more important) things I should be doing.”

On Imagination, Attention and Resisting “Electronic Enchantments”

On the other end, from the point of view of the receiver or the consumer, we are so glutted, so saturated with products, stimuli, you know, just information, that it’s very hard for people to receive, and respond to genuine acts of imagination. The faculty of attention and focus, that’s all under threat. Anyone who teaches at any level will testify to this too. It’s very hard to get anyone to calm down and focus on anything for more than the length of a soundbite.

A Society beyond Consumerism

Post-purchase dissonance is an expression psychologists use to describe the disappointment we sometimes feel on realizing that our latest consumer purchase does not fulfil the promise we bought it on. At first sight it’s a curious anomaly. On deeper reflection, it turns out to be the structural basis for the entire edifice. The engine of consumer society is discontentment. This is more than a rhetorical claim.

Realize that We are the Change: Harlem Grown

Hillery founded Harlem Grown to address the health and academic challenges facing public elementary school students in Harlem. In 2011, he began volunteering at a local elementary school and witnessed first-hand the lack of resources allocated to the schools and the poor nutrition of students. He transformed an abandoned garden, essentially a junkyard, into a thriving community garden.

Other than Mother? The Parenthood Decision with Resilience in Mind

I’m happy to continue to have conversations about the parenthood decision and ‘otherness’ and to offer spaces for others to meet, because it strikes me that these conversations are at the heart of the sort of resilience we need and are increasingly likely to need in the coming decades – and because it’s the least I can do for the biosphere.