1. Charter Schools: Structural Exclusion and Discrimination?

    The promise and successes of public charter schools have been increasingly lauded. One of the main measures of success are high test scores (they’re actually very comparable to traditional public schools, natch). But have you considered how the charter school model can unjustly doctor enrollment to control their student population (and exclude certain students that would negatively impact test scores)? They, wittingly or unwittingly, do so through structural decisions that include: chosen niche (who they dedicate to serve), location, marketing (i.e. race portrayed in promotional materials and the language the material is offered in), illegal document requirements, specific admissions preferences, not providing services or resources for English learners or students with disabilities, conditions for application, and harsh discipline policies. Students with disabilities, English learners, students of color, and students in poverty face a number of barriers when seeking to enroll in charter schools. Kevin Welner breaks it down in “The Dirty Dozen: How Charter Schools Influence Student Enrollment” (read here).

  2. these-teen-quotes:

    Motivational Quotes

  3. Reality

    When governments prioritize the economy and financial interests of transnational corporations over the well-being of their people and the health of their environments; when community stakeholders’ voices are repressed and dismissed; when social protestors are criminalized and violently attacked; when this is the reality of neoliberal economic globalization for millions of people in resource-rich countries…we must recognize that the need for corporate social responsibility, alternative business models, and accountability for human rights has nothing to do with marketing, profit, or creating value for shareholders. This may not be your reality, but you are a citizen and consumer whose companies and government contribute to this reality. This is a global struggle for compassion, sustainability, and innovation to transition to more equitable and just systems, and we are not removed from it.

  4. "I’m comin’ out," December 6th, 2013

  5. Is Philanthropy Complacency?

    How can we encourage a transformation of consciousness in which further awareness is brought to the inequities and injustices that are inherent in our institutions? When philanthropy is born of the gross concentration of wealth that has resulted – both directly and indirectly – in today’s global social ills and human rights violations, is philanthropy just a band aid? Our current economic model encourages a “race to the bottom,” in which the transnational search for the most efficient and cost effective use of capital too often leads to worker exploitation, unsustainable use of natural resources, and unilateral foreign policies. Therefore, is philanthropy a complacent approach to avoid sacrificing the lifestyle to which the powerful and privileged have become accustomed? Are we unable to divorce ourselves of a system that puts markets and profits before people, and which so clearly benefits those who received cards stacked in their favor (ie: race, class, nationality)?

    Thanks to globalization and the increasing interconnectedness of our world, we can no longer claim to be removed from the challenges facing foreign populations, such as poverty, hunger, and global warming. In other words, the same issues that many grantmakers seek to alleviate with their dollars. As consumers, we are faced with thousands of ethical choices every day in deciding what brands to support with our buying power. National boundaries are blurred as capital and labor grow increasingly mobile, resulting in lengthy global supply chains where a raw material may be sourced in one country, processed or manufactured in another, and ultimately sold in our local store. Our dependence on diverse global actors to provide for our consumption in terms of food, fuel, and other daily staples, are evidence of the invisible ties that run throughout humanity, regardless of nationality or where we live on the map. Large corporations or entrepreneurs that have made their fortune thanks to global supply chains often establish foundations or contribute to charitable organizations. Therefore providing money to address the symptoms of a system that produces and is sustained by inequality, yet which they themselves perpetuate and benefit from. How can we truly address the root causes of inequality and injustice if we are unwilling to break the cycle and imagine alternative economic models or ways of doing business?