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Friday, September 22, 2017

Day Two:The Life of Kenneka Jenkins and The Life of Zaire Kelly

Okay, so yesterday I wrote while I was still processing what I had read regarding Kenneka Jenkins.

Earlier today I sat and watched television news for at least 30 minutes solid and saw a number of topics except for what recently took place in Chicago.

I kid you not, there was a story about a gentleman's missing wedding photographs...and zip, zilch, nada about the unfathomably gruesome death of  a 19 year old. She was one of us. When I say us, I mean to say that she was part of the larger human family.

The idea of having a life expectancy of 19 in the modern world is absurd. That sounds like something from the neolithic era.

According to the World Health Organization, "Today there is a 36 year gap in life expectancy between countries.;" with the ages ranging between 47 and 83. So how does that break down when you start talking about the varying demographics that make up our world, our country, our local communities etc...

The Center for Disease Control publication, "Deaths: Leading Causes for 2014," includes a section entitled, "Deaths and Percentage of Total Deaths for the 10 Leading Causes of Death, by Race: United States, 2014;" using the categories of  American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian or Pacific Islander, Black, Hispanic,Non-Hispanic Black, Non-Hispanic White and White. This publication states that Assault (Homicide) was listed as the cause of death for thousands of  individuals in five of these categories. Given that there are only seven categories, that speaks volumes.

10:51 PM
While sitting here about to finish up my post today, I just read about the death of another young person, this time in Washington, DC. Information regarding 16 year old Zaire Kelly can be viewed via NBC Washington. The area that is made mention of in the reporting available through the aforementioned link is one metro stop away from where I used to live in Washington, DC.

I think this is enough for one night.

This is profound.

My aim was to post more information about one death and I am now writing additional content about yet another death, both of which have occurred within the space of a few weeks.

Okay, so I see we as young Black American people are walking a tightrope.

What kind of support systems can be built up to prevent these kinds of things from happening?



In Peace-The 50 Co-Op















Thursday, September 21, 2017

19 Year Old Kenneka Jenkins


Think for a moment what you can remember from when you were 19 years old.

Several media outlets have already reported on the death of Kenneka Jenkins of the Chicago area. I keep seeing content about the fact that she was at a party rather than who she was as an individual, what she meant to her friends and family and what her life was like outside of the context of this tragedy.

Keeping in mind the importance of writing responsibly regarding such an important matter, I thought to simply provide a link to a statement from her family.

The family of 19 year old Kenneka Jenkins has released a statement via the Chicago Tribune which can be viewed at the link below:    

Chicago Tribune
http://trib.in/2hmMYLV

The Huffington Post has also reported on this story and you can view their coverage at the link below.

http://bit.ly/2haPqsl

Here is what the New York Times has to say:
http://nyti.ms/2wZmgTk

Earlier today I was thinking about how we can become better as a society, how we can treat each other better and how there are so many circumstances in which you can certainly say, "People deserve better."

Social Media news coverage from the Chicago Tribune can be viewed using the handle
"@chicagotribune".

In Peace-The 50 Co-Op












Sunday, August 27, 2017

Potter's Crackers

originalMy interest in cooking and preparing snacks and meals as of late is based around the fact that I have quite a commute to work and by the time the day is over and even when I have an off day, I like to be able to prepare meals and snacks as quickly as possible.

Something as simple as going to your local grocer and picking up some pre-made chicken salad to be paired with a crisp or cracker is all you have to do to have a healthy and tasty snack.

Potter's Cracker's offers the chance to have the flavors of Wisconsin right at your table!

Potter's Crackers has ties to Sacramento,California as well as Madison,Wisconsin and their products can be purchased through a variety of vendors throughout the United States in the District of Columbia, California, Florida, Georgia,Indiana and Wisconsin among other locations.

Locations
http://bit.ly/2vtlIko

Home Page
www.potterscrackers.com

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Public Health:Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations


 

It has been a while since I did a post related to food assistance. The North American branch of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations is participating in a really interesting event coming up that I myself would like to live stream. 

Based in Washington, DC FAO North America is participating in the upcoming 1st Annual Food Tank Summit which will be held at the George Washington University on January 21st. You can sign up to watch the live stream and check out the participants such as the National Young Farmers Coalition,Harvard Law School and the GWU Institute for Sustainability on the Food Tank website.

I spoke with Nicholas Nelson, Director of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations in North America on a variety of topics.

Q How did you come to develop an interest in agriculture and social justice?


The organization I work for, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), is a specialized agency of the United Nations with headquarters in Rome, Italy, and 5 Regional Offices which are in Africa, the Near East, Asia, Latin America, and Europe. FAO also has more than 80 country offices in those regions, where we advise governments directly and conduct project operations. The FAO is a key player in the global community’s fight to end hunger and poverty and I’ve been privileged to work for FAO for over 25 years in several roles, the latest as director of the FAO’s North America office in Washington, DC.


Q What was the impetus for the creation of FAO and specifically, the priority of Investment in Agriculture?


The founders of FAO over 60 years ago had the foresight to understand the central role of agriculture for human development and the duty of the international community to tackle the problem of hunger and malnutrition. They realized the need for an international organization with equal representation by all nations in the world which could coordinate agricultural policies and global interventions and give a voice to millions of people living in poor countries and who are unheard. FAO has been able to adapt to the demands of a constantly  changing world and help countries respond to new challenges that have emerged: climate change, degraded land and water resources, wide-scale animal epidemics, food crises and natural disasters, and in recent years soaring food prices and market instability.

As to the priority of investment in agriculture, it’s been demonstrated over the last two decades that investment in agriculture is one of the most effective ways to reduce hunger and poverty, especially in rural areas.

Many countries that have consistently invested in agriculture are on track to achieve the UN’s first Millennium Development Goal which is to reduce by half the proportion of hungry people in the world. FAO’s recently published State of Food and Agriculture (2012)* (2014 publication is at the link below) provided comprehensive data on the relative sizes of investment and expenditure flows by farmers, governments, donors and private foreign investors in low- and middle-income countries. 

                              State of Food and Agriculture 2014 

 


What emerged is that in these 76 low- and middle-income countries, farmers themselves are by far the largest investors in agriculture, but face all kinds of risks because of poor access to resources, lack of infrastructure, political instability and lots of other challenges. 


Recognizing that investing in agriculture raises productivity and incomes and reduces hunger, FAO has drawn up guidelines for countries to improve their governance of land and resource rights, and principles for responsible investment as a basis for determining long-term benefits and choosing the best investment options.

Q Is it possible to end hunger and/or poverty?  


Measuring the different dimensions of food security is very complex; one standalone indicator that most people are familiar with is the number of people in the world suffering from chronic hunger, which is defined as suffering for at least one year without enough food for an active and healthy life. While this number has dropped from 1 billion people in 1990 to 842 million as most recently reported in 2012, the rate of progress is too slow to reach the international goals for hunger reduction set by the United Nations (part of the UN’s Millennium Development Goals), often because of high rates of population growth in many hunger-affected countries. Still, it shows that real progress can be achieved when countries and communities take action to address the various dimensions of food security which are: food availability, economic and physical access to food, food utilization and stability (vulnerability and shocks) over time.

Some countries, notably Brazil and others just a few years ago, set much more demanding targets of eradicating hunger, and in 2012 the UN took up that theme with its own “Zero Hunger Challenge” with the goal of eliminating hunger in our lifetimes. The global community is putting much more effort into addressing the burdens of malnutrition: hunger, under-nutrition, micro nutrient deficiencies, and overweight and obesity.                                                       

                                            

Q Are these conditions reflections of the worst parts of human nature?   




Most people are unaware that the quantity of food produced on a global basis is more than enough for everyone, and yet chronic hunger persists on such a scale whereby one person in eight around the world cannot get enough food to live an active and healthy life. 


There are severe and lasting consequences to this problem because hunger is accompanied by under-nutrition: one in four children in the world under five years of age is stunted; this means 165 million children are so malnourished they will never reach their full physical and cognitive potential; about two billion people lack the nutrition they need to grow and develop into healthy human beings. 

Is the role of government to (1) recognize the value in preventing poverty and hunger, (2) recognize that this requires constant effort and (3) be responsible for creating and enforcing legislation that establishes a standard quality of life for all?


Well, returning to the theme of investment in agriculture, and that farmers must be central to any investment strategy, a good investment climate depends on markets and governments. Markets generate price incentives that signal to farmers and other private businesses when and where opportunities exist for making profitable investments. 

Governments are responsible for creating the legal, policy and institutional environment that enables private investors, both smallholder farmers and larger enterprises, to respond to market opportunities in socially responsible ways. Without this enabling environment and market incentives, farmers will not invest enough in agriculture or achieve socially optimal results.  

Q In a world where all governments were responsible (according to the standards set by international social justice organizations), would non profit organizations and non governmental organizations solely exist to conduct scholarly research and advise political representatives during the process of creating legislation?



A world facing a major challenge such as eradicating hunger needs all possible resources and entities involved in food security to be committed to action: no single entity or sector can achieve such a goal alone. Over the last several years the UN system, built on a traditional constituency of member nations, has become much more inclusive in its formulation of policy and thematic challenges to be addressed by the world community. 


The FAO, among others, has greatly expanded its dialogue beyond governments in order to get full involvement of civil society organizations and NGOs in the analysis of issues, exchange of concrete on-the-ground experience in all areas affecting food security. The challenges of hunger are vast and multi-dimensional; no government can confront these issues alone. Partnerships with CSO, NGO, academia and the private sector is the only way to achieve progress and lasting results.  

Q From the perspective of the young person living in poverty in a rural area what kinds of current programs, initiatives and opportunities exist to improve their life in the immediate future as well as over the long term? 

On a global scale, many factors justify a strong focus on better enabling smallholder farmers to invest in agriculture, starting with their sheer numbers and economic importance and relative productivity. About 85 percent of 525 million farms worldwide are operated by smallholders on plots measuring less than 2 hectares. Sampling in developing countries showed that smallholder farms generate 60 to 70 percent of total rural income through farm and non-farm activity; they have high potential to be engines of growth and poverty reduction. 


Compared to large-scale farmers, smallholders can have significant advantages in terms of land productivity. At the same time smallholders face disadvantages such as access to land, markets, inputs, credit insurance and technology and sometimes government polices work against them. Many smallholders are women, for whom these constraints are, almost everywhere, even more severe. Closing the gender gap and ensuring equal access by women to resources and assets is needed to accelerate agricultural and rural development and reduce poverty.

Q Are under served communities, both rural and urban, in the United States and other developed counties, included in the conversations and investment priorities of FAO and other partner organizations? If not, what steps are necessary to move this outcome?


While developed nations are the main financial sources for the FAO and other humanitarian and development organizations, the governance, the definition of objectives and priority setting is decided and agreed together as a community of member nations, with most of the work directed to support developing countries in the challenges of food security. 

The developed nations also provide vast technical expertise, goods and services which are deployed in developing countries under FAO programs and projects. The experience of developed nations in addressing their own challenges of poverty, hunger and rural development, or confronting animal, crop and plant diseases, is also a factor in determining priorities and action plans. 

                                                       

Monday, July 31, 2017

Communication Fingerprint

I was getting my day started and thinking about communication styles, idiosyncrasies we all have as a result of where we are from, where we have lived, languages spoken etc....

In short, communication fingerprints and how interesting they are in their origin.

While living in NYC a few years ago I met a student who was originally from India but had been raised in Sweden. I got the impression that she had fielded more than one awkwardly worded question about 'what' she is.

I can remember meeting a Ghanaian who speaks English as a fourth language and she shared that her husband (then fiancee) is Korean and was adopted by an Italian-American family.

Working for a non profit in Washington,DC I met a London School of Economics grad who was raised on a Norwegian compound in Madagascar.Not making that up folks.Although I would think that having this sort of experience in your formative years would yield a pretty exceptional worldview, I didn't set off with an endless stream of questions.

According to a Pew researcher featured in the hourly news summary currently up on NPR, interracial marriage is on the rise.Add to that, if it's not just my impression, people in general seem to be moving all over the place for work, education,marriage or just travel for their own leisure.

What will communication fingerprints look like in the future?

Saturday, July 22, 2017

#Artscape2017 The Loading Dock: Nonprofit Building Materials Reuse Center


Image may contain: 2 people, people smiling, outdoor

Made it to Artscape 2017!

I wanted to make sure to connect with a non profit organization while taking in everything else going on at Artscape and I found out about an interesting organization called The Loading Dock.Based here in Baltimore, this is an organization that ties together themes of environmental consciousness as well as social impact.

Beginning in 1984, they hold the distinction of, being, "the nation's first successful, self-suffiecient, non-profit building materials reuse center."

Their work keeps materials from being wasted and makes them available to those in the market for building materials.
You can click here to read about their workshops which earned the distinction of being named as one of, "The 15 Best Things To Do In Maryland."

www.loadingdock.org

Facebook The Loading Dock



Friday, July 7, 2017

Potter's Crackers- Potter's Crackers Wisconsin "Organic Artisan Crackers Delivering The Flavors of Wisconsin"


Today I am adding another entry for The 50 Co-Op Kitchen!

original
My interest in cooking and preparing snacks and meals as of late is based around the fact that I have quite a commute to work and by the time the day is over and even when I have an off day, I like to be able to prepare meals and snacks as quickly as possible.

Something as simple as going to your local grocer and picking up some pre-made chicken salad to be paired with a crisp or cracker is all you have to do to have a healthy and tasty snack.

Similar to any other type of snack food, crsips and crackers can be found in all types of flavors and textures. Potter's Cracker's offers the chance to have the flavors of Wisconsin right at your table!

Potter's Crackers has ties to Sacramento,California as well as Madison,Wisconsin and their products can be purchased through a variety of vendors throughout the United States in the District of Columbia, California, Florida, Georgia,Indiana and Wisconsin among other locations.

Locations
http://bit.ly/2vtlIko

Home Page
www.potterscrackers.com

Monday, July 3, 2017

Injinji Performance Wear

What keeps you motivated in reaching your fitness goal(s)? I define Fitness as a lifestyle rather than something temporary.

Having the best gear for your individual needs is a step in the right direction. Prior to running in Injinji performance toe socks, I was just wearing regular socks and not thinking too much about proper athletic gear.

I used to jog over the Brooklyn Bridge sometimes so my main focus as far as running gear had been to invest in a wind mask and running pants with wind panels on them.

Currently, I run in performance toe socks from California based Injinji (In-jin-jee). This company started in 1999. The name Injinji is a word of African origin which refers to the point at which a drumming circle reaches it peak.

The Injinji Blog features some interesting features including "Foot to the Floor: Why You Should Choose Toesocks."

Through July 31st, Injinji is running an Instagram contest in which they will be giving away a free pair of socks every day.


Injinji's affiliations include The Independent Running Retailer Association as well as The Conservation Alliance, whose mission is,"to engage businesses to fund and partner with organizations to protect wild places for their habitat and recreation values."


I like the Injinji, "Manifestoe". It is as follows, “Forever committed to innovation that allows your feet to live and perform at their peak. We are a better way.”

                                      

injinji_journey-01

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

The Life of Trayvon Martin

I thought about not writing this post. Earlier today I had an exchange that brought to mind the concept as well as the power of perception.

My work day was over; as well, or so I thought, as my all day-every day-every time I leave the house effort, to field consistent slights based at least in part on being a visible minority.

Being as race is the death knell of casual conversation, it often makes good sense to think twice before bringing up the, "R," word.

However, given the topic of this post, race is most definitely a factor.

The life of Trayvon Martin was ruined in less than the space of a day because of perception.

When we talk about perception, are we speaking essentially about human nature? Human frailty?

So humanity, here we are in 2017.

The Adam Smith approach to nation building puts forward the idea that there is a direct relationship betwixt and between the overall well being of the individual and that of nations as a whole.

So what do we make of this if we extrapolate the following information to the scale of an entire country? I think the numbers say a whole heck of a lot all by themselves.

Age  17 to 20  
$10          x   25  Hours/Week  =   $250.00        per Week
$250        x   52  Weeks/Year   =   $13,000.00   per Year
$13,000   x   3    Years             =   $52,000.00   GROSS Earnings

The spaces below are intentionally blank.

Age  21 to 25   -
Age  26 to 30   -
Age  31 to 35   -
Age  36 to 65   -
Age  65 to ...

$52,000.00 is enough to fly around the world a few times and still have some left over.It is also enough to support local businesses, start looking into home ownership, pursue professional development and/or higher education and other such aspirations.

The ripple effect of destroying people goes beyond the life of one individual.

Must this be a painfully slow process...




Sunday, May 7, 2017

National Diaper Bank Network


I think it's fairly well known that there is such a thing as a food bank/pantry etc... When it comes to locating additional resources for families and/or individuals in need there is an organization called the National Diaper Bank Network which is based in New Haven Connecticut.Executive Director and Huffington Post contributor Diane Goldblum spoke with me about her work.

Q
What are your thoughts on why food pantries that have clothing and various other products such as medicine and home goods may not carry much by way of baby products?
"I think there are a couple of reasons, often they're dealing with donated products and so there are a lot more clothes and home goods that people replace regularly. Baby goods are very closely monitored and changed frequently, even cribs we used when my son was a baby are no longer acceptable by modern safety standards so there a lot of legal issues."

Q
How did you come to find out about the National Diaper Bank Network?
"I am the founder and Executive Director. About 10 years ago I started the New Haven Diaper Bank. In New Haven CT, I saw parents who had to keep their children in a diaper for more than a day.
I saw a level of poverty in my neighborhood that was really just untenable."

Q
What kinds of factors do you feel should be taken into consideration while putting together ideas about creating assistance programs that are sustainable with or without grants?
"I think that there is a great deal you can do in a community without significant financial support. There are a lot of small organizations that take in used goods and redistribute them and that can be done in your house. When you get to a certain tipping point;then you need money. It's a matter of finding in your community individuals who have some money who want to support what your doing."

Q
Any thoughts on patterns that are found in rural areas measured against urban areas?
It is, "harder for people in rural areas because transportation is such an issue; services are spread out."

Q
This may seem like an obvious question.Why don't hospitals have some kind of public health mandate to provide such an essential item?
"Hospitals sort of generally speaking don't have mandates; they come from insurance regulations or public health regulations. Diapers are not included in any insurance formula.Food stamps for example is purely a nutritional program so they don't pay for hygenie products. Insurance, when you look at the basis for what it is supposed to be, it's for emergency situations;hospitals provide diapers if children are in patients."

Q
What can people do to empower those in need of these services?
"I don't consider giving people diapers a band-aid or a handout, I think that parenting is incredibly difficult, it's incredibly difficult with resources and support.Without those things we take away from the child's potential. When you reach out to a child you are reaching out to two generations.The mother child bond is increased when a mother or parent is able to have that really positive interaction with their child.
I have a social worker background. I  have always felt like there is a huge disparity in income and in what's available to people and how much that really impacts this next generation. I grew up in a very left of liberal household."

--

On the National Diaper Bank Network website they have a feature on the left hand side of the home page called Find a Diaper Bank. There are listings on the site in various locations such as Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Tennessee,Michigan, Colorado, Washington, DC, New Jersey,Arizona, Florida etc...

I am always interested in learning more about public health, and now consider this to be a public health issue. Certainly, in order to have a thoughtful conversation about issues such as quality of life for young families overall and access to diapers and other hygiene products in particular, it makes sense to cultivate an awareness of how public health is tied to other social topics such as cost of living as well as access to gainful employment as well as being able to earn a living wage. I usually keep my posts centered around facts and the direct personal experiences of those I interview. That being said I welcome comments about the issue of fair wages.

http://diaperbanknetwork.org/

Sunday, April 30, 2017

Is Gun Violence a Public Health Issue?

How is public health defined, who decides what that definition is and on what information are they basing their decision? Who has a seat at the table while these topics are being discussed?

Recently, I found myself thinking; " How many people have to die before action is taken to decrease gun violence?" I suppose there is an argument for the fact that all societies are desensitized to their own failings.

Where then, must we go to gather together those that have the right thinking on the issues that hold us back from living up to the ideals of our society?

Although I don't recall the first time I thought about the idea of fostering discussion around gun violence as a public health issue, even a brief google search shows that this topic is already out there.

There's a lot to delve into here...

I do think that a civil society has an obligation to provide certain services to its citizens. Health care, being one of them. In order to move from talking about heady ideas and lofty goals to actually identifying what specific steps to take to create a better quality of life when it comes to access to health care, you have to get into economics.

An idea by itself is stagnant without the necessary resources and oversight to actually take action.

Rather than write this entire post from an editorial perspective, I think it will be more useful for me to give an overview of some of the voices that have chimed in to the discussion about whether or not gun violence is a public health issue.

No matter how you define it, public health only moves forward when facts are given pride of place over everything else.

If you google Public Health, the first entry that comes up is the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Other sources of information are the WHO (World Health Organization) and the APHA (American Public Health Association).

If you want to see a fact sheet on gun violence, the APHA has a resource titled, "Gun Violence Prevention.Forbes.com has an article that reviews several different perspectives on the topic of whether or not gun violence is a public health issue.

Diversity of thought  is necessary to yield any kind of forward thinking approach to improving our society; thus community activists, students, think tanks and colleges and universities should all have a role in shaping the discourse around gun violence and how best we can understand it and prevent it.

I spoke with Professor Jon Vernick, Co-Director of the Center for Gun Policy and Research  at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health about the idea of framing gun violence as a public health issue.

"Guns claim more than 30,000 lives in the United States alone every year and another additional 70,000 or so non-fatal violent injuries are associated with guns. By thinking of it as a public health problem we can consider all aspects of the problem, not just gun deaths by homicide which are of interest to the criminal justice world, (but) we can also think about suicide and accidental gun deaths. We can consider upstream solutions. Whereas the criminal justice system thinks primarily, though not exclusively about punishment, public health thinks primarily about trying to keep people from getting hurt in the first place.

Public health also has a tradition of focusing on the vector of a particular cause. In this topic, the vector is the firearm. There is a history in public health about 'how we can modify the vector'; how to keep guns out of the hands of a violent person in the first place.

There is a history of success that public health has had in other areas such as motor vehicles.By thinking of guns as a public health problem maybe there is inspiration that can be drawn from other successes."

This quote brings to the surface the idea that there are multiple aspects to gun violence which, in my opinion, is an important point. In order to make progress it is necessary for the major media outlets to inform the public of the kinds of things that are taking away from our ideas and ideals as a nation. Moving forward, it is absolutely critical to have more in-depth conversations about preventative measures. These conversations, guided by a nuanced perspective of the topic(s), inform the voting public and the wheels of progress turn...or at least that's the idea.







Wednesday, April 12, 2017

MACDC Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporations

I first learned about collaborative work spaces when I was living in Brooklyn. I vaguely remember that it was a writer's space so I did a quick google search and came to the Brooklyn Writers Space. I remember thinking about how that might be a good resource for entrepreneurs and would like to eventually create my version of a collaborative work space at some point.

One of the United Way's partner organizations is the Boston based Massachusetts Association of Community Development Corporation. Their website provides information about the Transformative Development Initiative (TDI): Co-Work, which includes grant funding for collaborative groups. 
I found out about MACDC while attending an event a few years ago and had a chance to interview President Joe Kriesberg. 

I like that MACDC's Theory of Change incorporates rural communities into it's focus. What feedback can you share regarding how the unique needs of rural communities are an important part of community development work?
 
Community development in rural areas shares the same values and basic elements as community development in urban areas, but it manifest itself differently. Community engagement is harder when people are spread out, and it can be even harder to identify and engage low income people as they are more disperse.

That said, most rural communities have a strong network of existing leaders that can be engaged and smart CDCs find creative ways to engage new leaders.

Rural CDCs are more likely to focus on home repair and of course their housing projects are much smaller – something that can be challenging given the affordable housing system’s preference for scale.  Many rural CDCs are highly focused on economic development given the economic struggles that can be found in much of rural America.

We see our rural members more focused on growing local businesses and supporting entrepreneurs.

Another difference we find is that rural CDCs are often filling the void created by small local governments with little community development capacity. Rural groups often help their towns to raise and administer grants and help construct or even manage community facilities.

With all these differences, however, the same three elements remain: community building, improving the built environment, and help people to transform their lives.

A few years ago I attended a NYSERDA event (link copied below) and am interested to know; is there a comparable organization or state funded initiative that services Massachusetts?

http://www.nyserda.ny.gov/

I don't think we have an organization like this, but we do have strong energy programs at our state energy office and Mass Development plays some of the same roles with financing projects, I think.

There is a youth movement called Power Shift that aims to function as a gathering place for the youth climate movement. I'm interested to know of any similar programs and/or initiatives that you may wish to draw attention to including MACDC's Green Community Development movement.

CDCs are committed to environmental sustainability as documented in a report we released a couple of years ago. http://macdc.org/research

MACDC’s big priorities right now are the Community Investment Tax Credit and the Mel King Institute. We may be launching an effort around community development and health later this year.

How did the relationship with the LISC come about and what kinds of outcomes are MACDC and LISC looking to create through the classes offered at the Mel King Institute? 

MACDC and LISC have been close partners for 20 years or more – long before I arrived so I’m not sure how it started.  The major outcomes we hope to achieve long term is (1) stronger, better trained CD staff; (2) younger more diverse workforce; (3) more and better partnerships among CDCs and between CDCs and other stakeholders; (4) better community level outcomes due to higher CDC production.



Thursday, March 16, 2017

Is Gun Violence a Public Health Issue?

 

Recently, I found myself thinking; " How many people have to die before action is taken to decrease gun violence?" I suppose there is an argument for the fact that all societies are desensitized to their own failings.

Where then, must we go to gather together those that have the right thinking on the issues that hold us back from living up to the ideals of our society?


Although I don't recall the first time I thought about the idea of fostering discussion around gun violence as a public health issue, even a brief google search shows that this topic is already out there.


There's a lot to delve into here...


I do think that a civil society has an obligation to provide certain services to its citizens. Health care, being one of them. In order to move from talking about heady ideas and lofty goals to actually identifying what specific steps to take to create a better quality of life when it comes to access to health care, you have to get into economics.


An idea by itself is stagnant without the necessary resources and oversight to actually take action.


Rather than write this entire post from an editorial perspective, I think it will be more useful for me to give an overview of some of the voices that have chimed in to the discussion about whether or not gun violence is a public health issue.


No matter how you define it, public health only moves forward when facts are given pride of place over everything else.


If you google Public Health, the first entry that comes up is the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Other sources of information are the WHO (World Health Organization) and the APHA (American Public Health Association).


If you want to see a fact sheet on gun violence, the APHA has a resource titled, "Gun Violence Prevention.Forbes.com has an article that reviews several different perspectives on the topic of whether or not gun violence is a public health issue.


Diversity of thought  is necessary to yield any kind of forward thinking approach to improving our society; thus community activists, students, think tanks and colleges and universities should all have a role in shaping the discourse around gun violence and how best we can understand it and prevent it.


I spoke with Professor Jon Vernick, Co-Director of the Center for Gun Policy and Research  at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health about the idea of framing gun violence as a public health issue.


"Guns claim more than 30,000 lives in the United States alone every year and another additional 70,000 or so non-fatal violent injuries are associated with guns. By thinking of it as a public health problem we can consider all aspects of the problem, not just gun deaths by homicide which are of interest to the criminal justice world, (but) we can also  think about suicide and accidental gun deaths. We can consider upstream solutions. Whereas the criminal justice system thinks primarily, though not exclusively about punishment, public health thinks primarily about trying to keep people from getting hurt in the first place.


Public health also has a tradition of focusing on the vector of a particular cause. In this topic, the vector is the firearm. There is a history in public health about 'how we can modify the vector'; how to keep guns out of the hands of a violent person in the first place.


There is a history of success that public health has had in other areas such as motor vehicles.By thinking of guns as a public health problem maybe there is inspiration that can be drawn from other successes."


This quote brings to the surface the idea that there are multiple aspects to gun violence which, in my opinion, is an important point. In order to make progress it is necessary for the major media outlets to inform the public of the kinds of things that are taking away from our ideas and ideals as a nation. Moving forward, it is absolutely critical to have more in-depth conversations about preventative measures. These conversations, guided by a nuanced perspective of the topic(s), inform the voting public and the wheels of progress turn...or at least that's the idea.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

  Love 146

                                      http://love146.org/
   * All photography,video content and verbiage is credited to Love 146.


 https://twitter.com/love146https://www.facebook.com/Love146.orghttps://www.pinterest.com/officiallove146/http://vimeo.com/love146http://instagram.com/love146
   

"link 
between
substance
abuse 
and 
  exploitation"
                                                   recognizing
                                                   substance 
                                                     abuse
                                                        as
                                                         a
                                                   healthcare
                                                      topic (t5c)





                                                          http://love146.org/


                           “Because we want you to know 
                                                 that you’re never alone, and that 
         someone is always awake and there 
                                                 for you, even if you don’t need them.”



                                                     
                                                   
                                               

                                                     

LGBTQ                            Interfamilial                            100,000                          CSEC

                                              
prevention_02"...“trauma bonding” 
an abuser forms or fosters an emotional attachment (“friendship,” “love,” etc…) in the life of a victim."

"...a classic tactic abusers use to maintain their position of exploitation."

"We’ve encountered children who are not happy to leave their abuser because they’ve grown attached to them. Be aware of this potential complexity as you approach a piece."



family_blog_tattoo
                                      




                                         



     Frame Experiences As Events, Not Identities

"It’s more accurate and dignifying to victims to simply say what happened in the past instead of  framing your language in a way that carries that event into a stationary identity for the person. Instead of “Trafficking  survivor, Jessica, ….” say “Jessica, who escaped trafficking in 2010…”



Love146

                                                          







                                               
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join3


partner4







create3






host3
  
                                                                 


Agape                       AgApE                      aGaPe                   agapE                  









                   






 http://love146.org/
                                                                                               

Sunday, January 15, 2017

We Fight For Whitney

                                           












Red Brick Station  

02/05/2017  
3PM-7PM  
                                                                                                          
Restaurant and Brew Pub
redbrickstation.com      
8149 Honeygo Blvd, White Marsh, Maryland 21236       
       

Craft Brew Program of the Year-Winner
(The event will be held in the Banquet Room) 


Live Music Featuring

Rob Thomas and Suzy Taylor

Facebook                       Facebook

Rob Thomas                 Suzy Taylor
http://bit.ly/2ilTRyz           http://bit.ly/2iIiIKR



Directions

http://bit.ly/2j8t0qz

GoFundMe

Whitney's Cancer Fund
http://bit.ly/2j9ta1m


**Event will be held in the Banquet Room**
Multi-Vendor event featuring Premier Designs,
Lularoe,
Direct Cellars Elite Wine,
Pampered Chef,
Rodan + Fields, and more...

Gift Basket Raffles!!


If you are unable to attend and would like to make a donation please visit the Go Fund Me page for Whitney's Cancer Fund.

Let's help support Whitney so she can focus on beating cancer. Thank you and hope to see everyone!