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Monthly Archives: April 2016

Five Things I Learned About Social Activism and Civic Engagement

Last week, our faculty and students participated in the Social Activism and Civic Engagement Symposium, a daylong series of activities, presentations, and seminars focused on ways in which citizens can better understand the most pressing social issues of our time and find ways to effect meaningful positive change.

Here are my top takeaways from this compelling and enlightening event:

1) The cynicism of my generation—Gen X—is refreshingly absent in today’s high school students, who are not only thoroughly capable of describing some of the world’s most vexing social problems, they are prepared to offer viable solutions.

2) When you’re trying to grab eyeballs for your presentation, a good poster is every bit as important as a good pitch. Well done Global Citizenship students! (The Global Citizenship class is one of many engaging history  courses offered at Darrow, and served as host of the Human Rights Expo at the symposium.)

3) Using Skittles® as mock birth control pills to highlight a tactic used by sex slavers is very effective.

4) The U.N.’s  Universal Declaration of Human Rights is so far from being realized that I wonder which of them, if honored across the globe, would most increase the realization of the others. Which do you think is the most, or least feasible and effective? Please comment below.

5) As Margaret Mead said, “”Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

What if?

The comic strip Dilbert has long been a favorite of mine because it crystalizes the absurdities of our current moment into images and stories that are both true and funny. I respect, and am a fan of, Scott Adams because he thinks broadly and in divergent ways that can be startling and that create little micro-disruptions in our thinking; kind of like Michel de Montaigne did when he philosophized about topics that were off limits in his day, or at least highly unconventional.

Here’s to asking, “What if…?”

Creating a Low-Cost Life by Scott Adams

I would love to hear your opinions on Scott Adams’s vision for a sustainable future. Please feel free to comment below.