Rhonda CalderonCoaching for Growth, Service & Social Justice, Team Building1 Comment

White Bread

Let’s see a show of hands: When it comes to racism in the United States, who out there describes themselves as “woke?” Okay, good. Now, readers of color, please put your hands down so I can see how many white folks describe themselves as woke. Okay, very interesting! White folks, you can put your hands down. Let me ask you … Read

Ain’t I A Woman?

Martha McCormickService & Social JusticeLeave a Comment

Women on TP Shuffle

“If the first woman God ever made was strong enough to turn the world upside down all alone, these women together ought to be able to turn it back, and get it right side up again! And now they is asking to do it, the men better let them.”–Sojourner Truth, 1851 As I understand it, when Sojourner Truth  spoke the … Read

Black History Month 2018

Martha McCormickService & Social JusticeLeave a Comment

Watts Towers

The day after the 2016 election, I met with D Anderson, a young Black man I’ve worked with for a number of years. I hadn’t slept much the night before. Eating dinner at the Drake Diner counter that night​, the election results rolled in, and my dreams of a woman president rolled out. The night sky was a stunner as well​. … Read

Devastation in Puerto Rico

Sara LockieEnvironmental Education, Philosophy & Musings, Service & Social Justice1 Comment

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Shelly Johnson, Martha McCormick and I planned to travel to Puerto Rico this Tuesday. Next Step was chosen to present at the North American Association of Environmental Educators’ (NAAEE) Annual Conference in San Juan this week. Our presentations were planned, and we were looking forward to learning about a place we had never visited. Instead, we have anxiously followed the … Read

Run for Office

Martha McCormickService & Social JusticeLeave a Comment

Women's March 2017--Iowa State Capitol

The loss of the 2016 election seems to have galvanized women to activism. The year of our next presidential election will be the 100th anniversary of women getting the right to vote. Just 100 years ago, our foremothers were still fighting for full citizenship in this country. The US has terribly few women in leadership positions. It’s a problem from … Read

Read a Book

Martha McCormickService & Social JusticeLeave a Comment

Reading on the Subway

Black History matters. We are at a critical juncture in race relations in our country. There is so much conflict and very little understanding. This February offers some unusual opportunities for learning about the Black perspective on American culture and history. Fences is a powerful movie based on a play about a Black family in the 1950s and early 60s. I had such … Read

Black History Matters

Martha McCormickService & Social JusticeLeave a Comment

Charleston wall

What a great start to Black History Month. Attending a performance of Abraham In Motion wasn’t the mindless escape from reality I naively expected. I’ve been buying tickets to the Dance Series at the Des Moines Civic Center for several years, and I usually let myself be surprised at the three performances. In other words, I hadn’t done my homework; didn’t check Kyle … Read

Suit Up and Show Up

Martha McCormickPhilosophy & Musings, Service & Social Justice1 Comment

Wheels of the past

Nobody died. But it feels like a tragedy of major proportions. We have a president-elect who has openly expressed contempt for women, people of color, immigrants, Muslims, disabled people and LGBTQ folks. What have we done? How do we respond to this? I honestly don’t know, but I have some thoughts in this first 18 hours or so of pondering. … Read


Martha McCormickService & Social JusticeLeave a Comment

child drawing a face on paper, Next Step Adventure educational programming

I’ve read that violence is decreasing in the world. It’s hard to believe this as we are bombarded with acts of violence nearly every day. Everyone is a potential journalist; we all have instant access to recording devices. And viewing devices. It’s hard not to know about the latest violence. Unless you hide under a rock. It’s tempting. Young black … Read