This is a reminder that the arts are powerful ways to communicate, to raise awareness of contemporary issues. Local singer-songwriter Matt Bednarsky recently wrote a song titled "Garden", about losing touch with our roots and surroundings. "Where I’m currently living, there’s a factory that’s nearly always working away. Constantly and consistently humming, clanking, and … [Read more...] about ‘Garden’, by Matt Bednarsky
Community & Culture
Strong communities allow more sustainable practices to empower the people to create a more sustainable society.
Working together on common interests creates opportunities for both personal and community growth, promotes involvement in the arts and local government, and fosters equality.
Fair Trade America interviewed key people at three companies that have committed to Fair Trade. Their responses should be enough to convince you how important it is to buy / coffee, chocolate, & tea that has the FairTrade seal (and the Organic seal, of course). Vague terms such as ‘fairly traded’ or ’sustainably grown’ are often used to cover up products that aren’t … [Read more...] about If It’s Not Fair Trade, It’s Not Fair to Small Producers
Most of the inmates at the facility that I am interested in are there for non-violent (specifically drug-related offenses). The process of re-entry for those in jail for shorter periods of time is much different from those who are imprisoned for longer time periods. I'm curious about the different challenges that people face depending on how long they have been imprisoned. I'd … [Read more...] about Death Penalty in Slow Motion
I am on a quest to make a change in this world. Inequality, injustice, and inhumanity exist around us, and we need to open our eyes to it. Last year, I joined a club at my university called the Prison Project. Each week I travel to the Northampton County Prison and tutor inmates on a variety of subjects, helping them to prepare for their GED. I love knowledge; I feel that it … [Read more...] about My Personal Prison Project
I recently watched a film called Circles by Shanti Thakur that discussed an alternative form of sentencing, called Circle Sentencing, used with Aboriginal offenders. In this process, the focus is on healing the community, offender, and victims. This film made me ponder a few very important questions about the prison system. Throughout these past few weeks of doing interviews … [Read more...] about What is the purpose of prisons?
A recent article by Janice Lee ('What Humanity Can Learn From Plants'), raises this question. It's well worth reading! Lee asks why we value 'scientific' knowledge over all other ways of knowing and points out some other limitations of our ways, such as rendering non-human living beings as 'it', as if they were inanimate objects. She suggests we could learn a lot from trees … [Read more...] about Peter’s blog: ‘What could we be learning from others?’
As an intern for Alliance, I was able to meet and hear the concerns of local officials and important community stakeholders. We discussed issues and gathered advice from a diverse array of people like city councilmen, NGO leaders, and company executives. I learned of the extensive detail and nuance that is necessary to create an effective sustainability assessment. It was a … [Read more...] about My summer internship: Sustainability Impact Assessment
The ravaging of the homelands and attacks on the Indigenous Peoples of Colombia and Honduras (and why people might leave their home countries to come here . . . ) About attacks on indigenous communities that are fighting against the encroachments of international interests and assassination of indigenous peoples and their leaders . Dot #1: Colombia: The FOR Peace Presence in … [Read more...] about Out of Left Field: On the unsustainable path in Latin America
Some municipalities require impact assessments for proposed projects, but they often are inadequate or focus primarily on economic considerations. An integrated and comprehensive sustainability impact assessment is essential to understanding the range of inter-related impacts a project will have on climate change, community, health, environment, and economy. This summer, a … [Read more...] about Peter’s blog: ‘Development can be sustainable — or destructive’
“Boys will be boys,” the mother says as her son pulls a girl’s hair because he wants her toys. “Boys will be boys,” the teacher responds dismissively as they hear high school boys objectifying a female student. “Boys will be boys”: a phrase used to excuse the intolerable behavior of boys instead of trying to correct the problem. At surface value, this phrase does seem innocent. … [Read more...] about We Need to Hold Boys Accountable