Fight Poverty

Martha McCormickSocial Justice3 Comments

The Community Action Poverty Simulation Kit from Missouri Association for Community Action provides a glimpse into the challenges individuals and families in poverty face every day. I purchased a kit in 2011, and am facilitating a simulation in West Des Moines in November. I helped out with poverty simulations in their early years at Iowa State University, and recognized some … Read

Be Inspired

Martha McCormickSocial Justice1 Comment

I’m on a news break right now. All the bad news from around the world and around the nation was getting me down. It’s overwhelming when you are just one person, and you don’t see how the little bit you can do will make any difference at all. But then I found Amiya. She is changing the world, one dance … Read

Row Your Boat

Martha McCormickSocial Justice2 Comments

I got my water bill today. For a little over $70 a month, I get clean, safe water delivered to my sink, shower, tub, yard and toilet. I also get my garbage picked up, recycled, composted and dumped, and my sewage disposed of safely. How much do I even think of water? Not so much. But I am in a … Read

Create Safe Spaces

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During the year I taught school in the early 1970s, some of the kids in my 8th grade homeroom became good friends, and often stayed after school to talk. A couple years later one of them, Sammie, joined the 4-H teen programs we were starting–helping with the newsletter and planning programs. We took the kids on campouts, held workshops on … Read

Celebrate Service

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Chihuly glass, St. Louis Botanical Center

I grew up in southern California, and have often been asked what I’m doing in Iowa. But I’m proud to live in a state with such a strong history of  civil rights, fairness and equality. Iowa again blazed this trail through extending the right to marry to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people. This controversial Iowa Supreme Court decision follows … Read

Speak Your Mind

Martha McCormickOutdoors, Social Justice1 Comment

Nature hike

Polk County Conservation is collecting input from the public about renovations for Yellow Banks Park in the southeast part of Polk County, and for Thomas Mitchell Park in Mitchellville, the eastern part of the county. You can fill out a survey here– Yellow Banks Park Survey Thomas Mitchell Park Survey …and you can see the survey results here– Yellow Banks … Read

Fly

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My next birthday is one that ends in a “0” and requires a significant celebration. Last week I was told that this, my 60th year, is one of extraordinary challenges and opportunities in areas I’ve been exploring all my life. One of those areas is fear of heights. Learning to climb poles comfortably was a huge step toward conquering that … Read

Find Amelia

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March 2010–Women’s History Month–flew by as is its habit. Again I am aware of my ignorance about the women who have shaped our country and our world. And again I find I know only a little about the women I did learn about as a kid. Amelia Earhart for instance… The other night I watched the movie, “Amelia.” Before I watched … Read

Join the Movement

Martha McCormickOutdoors, Social JusticeLeave a Comment

Go outside! It’s spring, and Iowa is joining a broad based movement to renew a close, personal relationship with the out of doors. April 10-11–As part of Iowa’s “Reconnecting Children with Nature” effort, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and Next Step are organizing the Iowa Outdoor Youth Summit. The goal of the event is to bring groups of youth … Read

Work for Equal Pay

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Nitro Crossing

On January 29, 2009, President Barack Obama signed his first bill into law–The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Restoration Act. It extends the rights of women and other minority groups, to sue for equal pay for equal work. Lilly Ledbetter was paid less than her male co-workers for almost two decades, but she didn’t realize it until it became too late … Read