Zero Tolerance 2.0

I recently heard a story from a student finishing her sophomore year at a small liberal arts college in the Midwest.  A story set in a quiet college neighborhood, its characters all part of the college’s community. Here’s how it went – A group of friends were hanging out in a dorm room.  All were men, all members of the football team and all, incidentally, considered strong students by respected faculty members. … Read More

Why Read a Blog on Leadership and Change?

You may know this blog has a history.  It started January 21, 2009 – the day after Barack Obama was inaugurated for his first term as President of the United States.  It was a time when the ragged red underlining of word processing programs – the marks used to flag misspellings – showed up without fail beneath the two words, Barack and Obama. The blog first followed my road trip around the… Read More

A Mandan-Hidatsa Elder and Civilian Warrior Speaks of Fracking

Today is Veteran’s Day.  Today we honor people who have placed their lives on the line to recover peace. Per Capita, more Native Americans serve in the U.S. military than any other ethnic group.  In recent data out of the Department of Defense (2010) the contrast shows up in the fact that while Native Americans make up 1.4% of the total U.S. population, they compose 1.7% of the country’s military.  Over 20%… Read More

Unplugged — a guest blog

Gary Ferguson is a writer.  His subject over the past 30 years has the natural world and the relationships we have with it as human beings.  His setting has most often been Yellowstone National Park, but here, in the first of two guest blogs, Gary tells of his three months with 14-17 year-olds in the desert wilderness of Utah.  People living these years are change-on-legs as far as my memory and observation… Read More

On Defending the Dream until it is Made Real

I am writing this week to remind myself and anyone who might read here that the passage of time does not make the circumstances of last week’s blog any less immediate – any less critical than they were.  Racism and all other forms of social oppression are not gone.  The violence – physical, emotional, intellectual, physical – continues daily.  Please listen to this.  Linten in yourself.  Listen in the experiences and profound… Read More

Native – nonNative Partnerships: One Step in Making it Real

Yay!  A publication. Lots of you know that I write pretty regularly for scholarly outlets.  I don’t mention that stuff often here, but word just came in from the Teachers College Register (TCR) of Columbia University that a very cool commentary just went live on the TCR webpage for this week.  It’s title — PARTNERSHIP WITH NATIVE AMERICAN COMMUNITIES:  CAN HIGHER EDUCATION SHOW UP?  It’s only free for a week, then TCR charges for… Read More

Social Class and Knowing

One of the things I do in my work is to serve as a reviewer for scholarly manuscripts that social science researchers submit to academic journals – vying for one of the coveted publication spots so necessary for advancing in higher education professions. Hmmm. Well first, let’s go back and take a look at that sentence.  The one I just wrote and you just read. Its message could easily invoke a yawn. … Read More

What are the Barriers to Social Justice?

On Friday I had the opportunity to speak briefly with a small group of friends and colleagues about social justice.  It was a time that qualifies for sure as a moment in the story of my life.  And the particular narrative of that time is transition – big transition – so big that I’m not yet prepared to write about it here.  Odd, since this is the place I write and write… Read More

Earth Day – a Week after Boston

Earth Day.  Two days after 4/20.  A week since the Boston Marathon Explosion.  Ten days since the Senate voted against background checks for gun purchases. Pedantic as it may sound, if it weren’t for the Earth, none of these other things would have a place to happen. When it comes down to it, it doesn’t matter how it sounds – it’s simply so.  Without Earth, marijuana would not grow, humans would not… Read More

Succession – We’re in Great Hands

This week’s blog is a montage.  My qualification to put these images together here with my ideas about what I’ve seen and experienced of the Student Alliance Project arises only from the generosity with which the young adults of this thriving community organization have informed and befriended me as an ally. Last night I attended a celebration.  There were hundreds of people in a room that barely held them, sitting at circular… Read More