Privilege Highway

Recently I had the chance to visit with a long time friend, colleague and leader in the African American community.  We found ourselves speaking of the urgently needed, but still largely inactive national dialogue on America’s race history and relations.  He told me this story: “My friend was working with a group of teens at a local high school.  There were black, brown and white students in the group.  My friend had… Read More

Gratitude in Four Days

My dear friend, Valerie is a rock star.  This designation, star, is certainly figurative, but it’s also for real – like, it’s her job.  That’s not all.  Valerie’s a mom, and a wife, she’s a sister and a dancer and a teacher – and she is one of Dr. Day’s two daughters.  Valerie, her father, her sister and brother have been engaged for months now with the precious progression of Dr. Day’s transition… Read More

Grief Comes Home

Recently, a friend just older told me something about death that seems now obvious – the observation that sometime in a person’s fourth or fifth decade there is a subtle shift of awareness that shows up as no longer understanding one’s life in terms of how long it’s been since birth, but rather in relation to how much time is left.  It’s a shift that calls forward a new relationship with death… Read More

A Great Indigenous Leader Honored with a Public Award

Late yesterday, the longstanding and visionary environmental organization, Ecotrust, announced this year’s awardees for the Indigenous Leadership Award.  Among the five leaders named is Roy Hunter Sampsel, my dear friend and mentor.  What well-deserved recognition.  This man is a giant of leadership! I had a nagging sense of incongruence when my first move to announce how thrilled I am with this news was to put it on facebook – but such is… Read More

Youth Leading with Music

This past Tuesday morning, I met a friend for coffee.  Just a week earlier she had approached me, eyes shining especially (Soraya’s eyes about always shine) to say she hoped I’d have time to meet with her and her husband.  She described Chaz as a musician and a man of activism – quiet, but profound.  And not quiet when it comes to sound, because Chaz is a musician of sturdy repute.  He… Read More

Having it Happen

I was 19 when I met my fairy good mother.  Thirty four years later, in February of 2009, Mayme and I had our last conversation.  She is the … voice in 100 VOICES – AMERICANS TALK ABOUT CHANGE. I found Mayme through her daughter Margie.  She was in a nursing home and spending her days increasingly occupied with Alzheimer’s.  In spite of her condition, Mayme remembered me immediately and, well above the… Read More

Zaher Wahab – Educational Leader Extraordinaire

NOTE:  I’ve just received a note from my mentor, friend and colleague, Dr. Zaher Wahab.  A few years ago, Zaher retired his position as a professor.  We were faculty colleagues for 24 years.  Throughout his 40 years in the professoriate, he returned regularly to his homeland in Afghanistan.  Here is what he wrote today: Dear Colleagues and Friends, Greetings from Kabul. Yes, I know I have not written to you since last… Read More

Leading with Age

I’m pretty sure I’m on a soap box.  Have been for a few years, now.  My subject from this modest elevation:  The Reclamation of Elderhood ™ . Like most of us, I remember my grandparents.  I remember a few great uncles and aunts.  I even remember some of their friends.  My maternal grandmother, for example, was born in 1896.  I know too little of her life.  I know she was raised in… 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

Ready to Learn

Today I was a peripheral part of a discussion on schools – specifically that now familiar notion applied to preschool and kindergarten aged children, “readiness to learn.”  Hmmm. Ever since G.W. Bush announced the launch of “No Child Left Behind,” with its guarantee of advancing the fiscal security of the standardized test industry nationwide – ever since he said as part of that initiative that “every child will come to school ready… Read More