Read a Book

Martha McCormickSocial 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 McCormickSocial 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, 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

Blessings

Martha McCormickSocial 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

Keep Fighting Poverty

Martha McCormickSocial JusticeLeave a Comment

As I reenter the US after two weeks in India, one of the first things to strike me is the comfort, the plenty. The homogeneity of the people I see. Well dressed and fed. Driving cars and trucks, often alone. In contrast, a man transporting four goats on a scooter the last day I was in India. I’ve returned to … Read

Connect to Mother Earth

Martha McCormickOutdoors, Social JusticeLeave a Comment

I walked into the kitchen and had to squint. The morning sun was shining brightly through the door. It’s been a challenging winter; judging by the number of people walking and running outside yesterday, we’re ready for it to end. The cardinals, goldfinch and house finches are emptying my bird feeders again. I’m itching to get back into my garden—fantasizing … Read

Start with Hope

Martha McCormickPhilosophy & Musings, Social Justice1 Comment

I met with a colleague this morning; she’s launching a freelance career in marketing and communications. We talked about our Be the Change dinner discussion series, and what we hope to accomplish. I’ve thought a lot about how hard it is to communicate in concrete terms, but I came a little closer this morning. I often feel overwhelmed and helpless … Read

Let’s Talk Activism

Kyla CoxSocial Justice1 Comment

What does activism mean to you? Is it writing letters, lobbying, picketing, boycotting, community building? Maybe it’s volunteering somewhere or meditating on peace. Most people don’t even consider themselves activists. I think we are lucky, if at some point in our lives there is at least one issue important enough to spur us into action. Why do I say lucky? … Read

Hope is a Verb

Martha McCormickSocial Justice1 Comment

It’s hard to be hopeful when we’re bombarded with news 24/7. Sometimes it’s next to impossible to scare up the courage just to go out into a world where it’s ok for almost anyone to carry an automatic weapon. Much less to speak up about what we believe, whether it’s a big issue–climate change or a small one. Well, after … Read