“Moral Mondays” Preacher Barber, Forbes

Dr. James A Forbes, Jr of New York and Rev. Dr. William J Barber II of North Carolina, perhaps best known for his impassioned testimony against his state’s so-called “bathroom bill,” drew a crowd from  all races, genders, and walks of life to Our Savior’s Lutheran Church in Milwaukee Wednesday for the final stop of their Moral Revival tour.“The Revival: Time for a Moral Revolution of Values” is a national, multi-state tour to redefine morality in American politics. The tour includes over 20 stops.

The evening began with a call to action. The leader asked, “what do we want?” the congregation then replied, “moral revival!” That moment led to worship with songs to get the crowd warmed up and filled with motivation – motivation that would lead to wanting to make a change.

Following an impassioned singing of “I woke up with my mind stayed on freedom” — with plenty of clapping along — Barber started off saying that we will no longer hide our deepest moral values. “Forward together. Not one step back. Now get out to vote,” he said. (more…)

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Dark States – Heroin Town
full documentary | Huntington, West Virginia | Opioid Epidemic

Dark States – Heroin Town

 

The Dark States Heroin Town |  The opioid epidemic or opioid crisis is the rapid increase in the use of prescription and non-prescription opioid drugs in the United States and Canada in the 2010s. Opioids are a diverse class of moderately strong painkillers, including oxycodone (commonly sold under the trade names OxyContin and Percocet), hydrocodone (Vicodin), and a very strong painkiller, fentanyl, which is synthesized to resemble other opiates such as opium-derived morphine and heroin. The potency and availability of these substances, despite their high risk of addiction and overdose, have made them popular both as formal medical treatments and as recreational drugs. Due to their sedative effects on the part of the brain which regulates breathing, opioids in high doses present the potential for respiratory depression, and may cause respiratory failure and death. (more…)

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How To Make Expensive Cities <p>Affordable for Everyone Again
COMMUNITY | EDUCATION | EMPOWERMENT | HOUSING | SOCIAL JUSTICE | YOUTH

How To Make Expensive Cities

Affordable for Everyone Again

Recently, we wrote about a new report from the California Legislative Analyst’s Office that found that poorer neighborhoods that have added more market-rate housing in the Bay Area since 2000 have been less likely to experience displacement. The idea is counterintuitive but consistent with what many economists theorize: Build more housing, and the cost of it goes down. Restrict housing, and the cost of it rises. If you’re a struggling renter, you’re better off if there’s more housing for everyone.

Many readers responded by saying “of course! supply and demand!” as if we’d just uncovered the obvious. Many others responded “of course! supply and demand!” — by which they meant, facetiously, that market dynamics clearly don’t work this way in neighborhoods like the Mission in San Francisco, where poor residents feel pushed out by tech workers moving in.

This question — how do we make room in highly desirable cities for everyone — gets at a defining problem of our times. And even experts (economists, sociologists and land-use scholars) don’t agree on the best answer. So we asked several of them to hash out the debate further for us here: What happens to housing affordability when we build more housing that’s not subsidized? Do the laws of supply and demand really apply here?

More market-rate units won’t protect low-income renters

Alex Karner, assistant professor, Georgia Tech School of City and Regional Planning, and Chris Benner, professor, University of California, Santa Cruz Environmental Studies Department (more…)

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“The Fat Fish” in South Berkeley
COMMUNITY | EMPLOYMENT | FOOD

“The Fat Fish” in South Berkeley

Hyun Kang is an entrepreneur who has made Berkeley his home territory for his restaurant, the Fat Fish. Walk in and see what this entrepreneur has done for a small business in a small town. He serves the freshest fish and seafood. He has reviews on Yelp! and now, he has a new article to showcase his business.

The Fat Fish started out something different from it is today. At one time, about three years ago, Bong changed his menu, the name, and the way he did business. Now, his business is booming, thanks to the fish of the day and the hard work he puts in. There are three employees plus him and his wife. Whether you enjoy prawns, catfish, red snapper or oysters;  customers say “perfectly cooked”, OMG the coleslaw is incredible, crispy and southern seasoned.

Hyun Kang is the owner, the cook, as well as serving and hosting the people who visit. He has many opportunities to grow in the business for someone willing to work. There are many advancement opportunities for employees who work for Bong. Finding the right person to hire at The Fat Fish  who is willing to work hard, work long hours and train at small business wages is challenging.

Kang has a heartfelt appreciation for  Berkeley and when asked why, he answered “I love Berkeley. I love the history of South Berkeley, the community for Asian & African-Americans living and working side by side. And there is not much competition for the restaurant.” So much so that he could pay off his ten-year loan because of the ten years he has been in business.

He enjoys the area and uses local suppliers to supply most of his goods he uses. He would like to give back to the community but has no idea how to do so. If someone was to come to him with an idea, he would love to support ideas good for the community. (more…)

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Ten Habits of Incredibly Happy People
HAPPINESS IS SYNTHETIC - YOU EITHER CREATE IT OR YOUR DONT COMMUNITY | WELLNESS

Ten Habits of Incredibly Happy People

The mistaken notion that major life events dictate your happiness and sadness is so prevalent that psychologists have a name for it: impact bias. The reality is, event-based happiness is fleeting.

Happiness is synthetic—you create it, or you don’t. Happiness that lasts is earned through your habits. Supremely happy people have honed habits that maintain their happiness day in, day out. Try out their habits, and see what they do for you:

  1. They slow down to appreciate life’s little pleasures.

By nature, we fall into routines. In some ways, this is a good thing. It saves precious brainpower and creates comfort. However, sometimes you get so caught up in your routine that you fail to appreciate the little things in life. Happy people know how important it is to savor the taste of their meal, revel in the amazing conversation they just had, or even just step outside to take a deep breath of fresh air.

  1. They exercise.

Getting your body moving for as little as 10 minutes releases GABA, a neurotransmitter that makes your brain feel soothed and keeps you in control of your impulses. Happy people schedule regular exercise and follow through on it because they know it pays huge dividends for their mood.

  1. They spend money on other people.

Research shows that spending money on other people makes you much happier than spending it on yourself. This is especially true of small things that demonstrate effort, such as going out of your way to buy your friend a book that you know they will like.

  1. They surround themselves with the right people.

Happiness spreads through people. Surrounding yourself with happy people builds confidence, stimulates creativity, and it’s flat-out fun. Hanging around negative people has the opposite effect. They want people to join their pity party so that they can feel better about themselves. Think of it this way: If a person were smoking, would you sit there all afternoon inhaling the second-hand smoke? You would distance yourself, and you should do the same with negative people. (more…)

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Why The Ford Foundation <p> Launched A Program for <p> Formerly Incarcerated People
Community | Crime and Safety | Education | Employment | Empowerment | Equity | Financial Freedom | Training | Wellness

Why The Ford Foundation

Launched A Program for

Formerly Incarcerated People

In late 2015, Darren Walker approached the foundation’s Talent and Human Resources team and asked us to create a professional development program for graduates of the Bard Prison Initiative (BPI). At the foundation, we’ve long supported the innovative work of BPI, which gives incarcerated men and women an opportunity to earn a Bard College degree while serving their sentences. And we’ve highlighted our commitment to this program, how it transforms the daily realities of incarcerated people and offers them a sense of possibility that is essential to rebuilding their lives and participating in their communities after their release from prison.The foundation’s work with BPI also aligns with our support for fair-chance hiring policies and other efforts to eliminate barriers to employment for people with conviction records. In short, we don’t believe a prior history of convictions should disqualify people from employment—especially since this is a problem that disproportionately affects people of color, whose lives have been hit hard by decades of overcriminalization.So when Darren approached us with the idea, we were as eager as he was to figure out how we could “walk our talk” on these issues.Listen to the NPR story featuring BPI graduate and Ford Foundation employee Lavar Gibson:The first steps: Listening and learning .

As a social justice foundation, we had the advantage of in-house expertise on prison education and re-entry issues. But our human resources team had limited experience working purposefully with formerly incarcerated people who were re-entering the workforce. We had a clear goal—to deliver a program that built the BPI graduates’ skills and knowledge and prepared them for jobs that would lead to a career. But we also had lots of questions. So we started by talking to the experts: members of our staff who work on employment, education, incarceration, and racial justice. In turn, they connected us to leaders from organizations they support, including JustLeadershipUSA, the College and Community Fellowship, A New Way of Life, and the Vera Institute of Justice. Experts from those organizations generously shared their insights into how we might structure our program and maximize its benefits for everyone involved. And, of course, we also relied on the knowledge and expertise of BPI co-founder and executive director Max Kenner. Jed Tucker, BPI’s director of re-entry, was also a key partner in this effort. (more…)

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“Tagged.”
New York Film Festival 2017 | Mural Inspiration | Pedro Pietre

“Tagged.”

Tagged,” which compellingly explores the history of a magnificent and mysterious mural on an East Village apartment building in New York. Source: Director, Videographer | Elaine del Valle  | Oct…

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Wiz Kid / Lemonade Stand
EMPLOYMENT | EMPOWERMENT | ENVIRONMENT | YOUTH

Wiz Kid / Lemonade Stand

Mikaila Ulmer was 4 when she had an important epiphany inspired by the pain of a bee sting. A couple of bee stings, to be exact. “I got stung by two bees in one week!” she says about her initial run-in with the winged pollinators. “I was super, really afraid of bees.” But after using extensive research as a way to overcome her mounting fear, Ulmer had a realization: “Honeybees were important, they were dying, and we needed to save them.” Her solution? Making a lemonade brand inspired by her great-granny’s recipe that would taste delicious and help the plight of the honeybee. (more…)

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Former Foster Child <p>Devotes His Life to Helping Kids in Foster Care
COMMUNITY | WELLNESS | YOUTH

Former Foster Child

Devotes His Life to Helping Kids in Foster Care

When Rob Scheer opened his door in 2009 to meet his first-ever foster children, he did not expect to be reminded of an old, painful memory that would propel him into philanthropic action.But the jostled memory was so powerful that it eventually prompted Rob and his husband, Reece, to found a charity that has now helped more than 20,000 foster children.

The Scheers’ charity, Comfort Cases, provides foster children with backpacks filled with comforting supplies to carry with them as they traverse what insiders call “the system.” The hand-packed bags replace the standard-issue foster child suitcase: A plastic trash bag. That is what little Amaya and Makai, then ages 4 and 2, respectively, had with them when they arrived at the Scheers’ rural Maryland front door seven years ago. It also is what jostled Rob’s memory of a deeply painful experience.

“The doorbell rang,” says Rob, recalling the day a social worker arrived at his house with the two children. “There stood a little girl in braids, carrying a little boy. The girl didn’t smile. The boy was almost like a wet noodle. And they were carrying all their belongings in trash bags. ”The sight of the bags took Rob’s breath away.“We put our garbage in trash bags,” Rob tells PEOPLE. “We discard our trash. Why would you treat a child’s meager belongings like trash? A child whose life is crumbling around them? What a horrible thing to do to a child.”Rob should know. He went through the experience himself. (more…)

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