Member Blogs


Men of Grosser Blood

Written by // Stephan Wolfert Categories // Member Blogs

Howl Round

But eventually, the training and wars end. And camaraderie gives way to "going home."

This, to me, is our national crisis. We as a nation, much like Shakespeare's plays, are brilliant at using camaraderie to: define masculinity, create and dehumanize an enemy, and to motivate our men and women towards violence. But after the "blast of war blows" in their ears, where is the blueprint for what to do after killing? Where are the speeches post-combat that teach men and women how to reconnect with their humanity? Where is the camaraderie and training to leave the "stiffened sinews" of combat training behind and learn how to regain the "modest stillness and humility" of peacetime? Why isn't there an equal amount of time and energy in creating camaraderie as a tool to heal after war?


The friendship crisis: Why are boys so lonely and violent?

Written by // Niobe Way Categories // Member Blogs

The Washington Post

The solution lies in our willingness to make a "moral and ethical commitment" for a brotherhood, a sisterhood and a more humane community in which having high-quality relationships, including friendships, become core components of our definitions of maturity and manhood and where our common humanity is recognized and nurtured.


The Crisis in Manhood that Goes Far Beyond Elliot Rodger

Written by // Gary Barker Categories // Member Blogs

The Shriver Report

Why are we creating so many angry young men? What can we learn from this tragic incident that makes us look not just at the Elliots, but at all of us? It is not simply questioning manhood that will fix the toxic childhoods that turn some men into killers. But to acknowledge that the humanity of all of us is damaged when one of us kills or is killed is to begin to heal our crisis of connection. And it is to end the rigid ideas about manhood that affect not just Elliot Rodger and the women and men he killed, but all of us.


D.C. classrooms welcome babies in effort to teach empathy

Written by // Mary Gordon Categories // Member Blogs

The Washington Post

"As important as it is to learn to read, it's also important to learn to relate," said Mary Gordon, who founded the Roots of Empathy program in 1996. "So we teach them emotional literacy, the words to understand what you feel based on what you've witnessed with the babies."

Roots is one of many character-education and social-emotional learning programs that are in vogue. President Obama has spoken of the need to address the nation's "empathy deficit," while KIPP — the well-known and successful charter school network whose motto is "Work hard. Be Nice." — has popularized the effort to teach grit and other intangible traits in addition to rigorous academics.


The Science of Your Racist Brain

Written by // David Amodio Categories // Member Blogs

Mother Jones

When you take a look at the emerging science of what motivates people to behave in a racist or prejudiced way matters can quickly grow complicated. In fact, if there's one cornerstone finding when it comes to the psychological underpinnings of prejudice, it's that out-and-out or "explicit" racists—like Sterling—are just one part of the story. Perhaps far more common are cases of so-called "implicit" prejudice, where people harbor subconscious biases, of which they may not even be aware, but that come out in controlled psychology experiments.

Much of the time, these are not the sort of people whom we would normally think of as racists. "They might say they think it's wrong to be prejudiced," explains New York University neuroscientist David Amodio, an expert on the psychology of intergroup bias. Amodio says that white participants in his studies "might write down on a questionnaire that they are positive in their attitudes towards black people…but when you give them a behavioral measure, of how they respond to pictures of black people, compared with white people, that's when we start to see the effects come out."


What the White House Isn't Getting About Sexual Assault

Written by // Amber Madison Categories // Member Blogs

The Huffington Post

In an effort to stop blaming women for sexual assault the White House has shifted the conversation to focus on men: you need to look out for your wives, girlfriends, and daughters. In the PSA featuring celebrities from Steve Carell to Benecio Del Toro, and even Joe Biden and Barack Obama, the message that it's men's responsibility to prevent, report, and support the victims of sexual assault comes through in a chorus of deep, manly, and almost scolding sound bites.

Although the White House tackling sexual assault is a victory for advocates for sexual assault survivors and prevention, the way the task force is framing this issue is fundamentally flawed. This PSA, while an honorable effort, promotes an extremely patriarchal view of women -- a view that fundamentally goes against what research says is necessary to stop sexual assault.


What Relationships Mean in Educating Boys

Written by // Michael Reichert Categories // Member Blogs

Education Week

Pundits ranging from academic demographers to New York Times columnists have weighed in recently on the declining prospects for males in the developed world—a situation the journalist Hanna Rosin suggested in an article and 2012 book might herald an "End of Men."

Yet in the midst of mounting panic sparked by the gender-gap reversal, there is a story that is often missed. However troubling some trends involving today's male students may be, these failures to engage in and master schoolwork are neither universal nor normative. The intriguing fact of the matter is that some boys in some schools—in fact, some boys in most schools—are productively engaged and exceed expectations. We might look here for answers to how to engage boys more effectively.


What Drives America's Go-To Expert on the Sharing Economy?

Written by // Arun Sundararajan Categories // Member Blogs

Next City

PACH member Arun Sundararajan has become the favorite public intellectual of sharing-economy advocates because he offers a gaze that sees beyond the gritty in-the-streets battles convulsing the field in New York City, where rules around sharing have piled up over generations, to the more unsettled turf of India, or San Antonio, or Chicago. It's in those places that sharing offers, as he sees it, intriguing possibilities. Next City sits down with Sundararajan to profile his career, his work, and his thoughts on the emergence of a sharing economy.


Time to Adapt to a New Economy

Written by // Arun Sundararajan Categories // Member Blogs

The New York Times

Online services like Airbnb, Lyft, SideCar and Getaround are disrupting old economic systems rooted in firm-to-consumer interactions and individual ownership, and opening new ways to stimulate economic and social activity. This is blurring the boundaries between personal activities and the commercial provision of services. We need to rethink our local governance and regulatory framework to accommodate this new economy while ensuring that a few bad actors don't bring down the entire system.


Exposing the Hypocrisies of the New York Liberal

Written by // Ginia Bellafante Categories // Member Blogs

The New York Times

Expressions of prejudice were not uncommon among Progressive-era writers and thinkers, who at the same time devoted so much energy to improving the lives of whole populations against whom they seemed to feel such animated bias.

Today we find ourselves in the midst of a different, inverted paradox, one that makes it possible for whole news cycles to be given over to the luridly disgraceful words of someone like Donald Sterling while we are able comparatively to ignore a study like the one released in March, from U.C.L.A.'s Civil Rights Project, ranking New York as the state with the country's most segregated schools.


Three Million Syrians Go Hungry as UN Waits

Written by // John Jackson Categories // Member Blogs

Huffington Post

"If the UN seizes this moment and deliver what is vitally needed for our brothers and sisters in Syria at the their time of greatest need -- they will remind us all of their reason for being."


Thrive: A Third Metric Live Event

Written by // Agapi Stassinopoulos Categories // Member Blogs

Huffington Post

The relentless pursuit of the traditional measures of success — money and power — has led to an epidemic of burnout and stress-related illnesses, an erosion in the quality of our relationships, family life, and, ironically, our careers. Money and power are only part of the equation. What's missing is "The Third Metric" – a combination of well-being, wisdom, wonder, and giving.

Hosted by Arianna Huffington and Mika Brzezinski, THRIVE: A Third Metric Live Event, brings together leaders from a variety of fields, including Tory Burch, Katie Couric, and Julianne Moore to join them for a conversation about their own experiences and steps they've taken to live a more sustainable, fuller and more impactful life.


Traveling While Black

Written by // Farai Chideya-Chihota Categories // Member Blogs


"Once again, my travels had taken me to a place — not just a physical but a mental place —where the rules as I knew them had changed. That is partly what drives my wanderlust. And I am part of a sizable fellowship of African-Americans on a mission to see the world."


A Team of Teams World

Written by // Bill Drayton Categories // Member Blogs

Standford Social Innovation Review

The rate of change has been accelerating exponentially since 1700 at least. So has the number of people causing change. This acceleration also applies (and I believe this is especially important) to the number of combinations, and combinations of combinations, of change-makers collaborating.The combined effect of these accelerating historical forces is profoundly changing how people work together. And nothing is more explosive than changes in how people interact—because they change everything.


Treating Humans Worse Than Animals: Prison System Voices Decry Solitary Confinement of Mentally Ill

Written by // James Gilligan Categories // Member Blogs

Democracy Now

Dr. Gilligan discusses restructuring prison systems in the United States. Gilligan proposes that Rikers Island take the mentally ill inmates, about 40 percent of the Rikers Island inmates have a diagnosis of mental illness of one sort or another, and create a mental hospital on the grounds of Rikers Island that would be staffed by a professional mental health staff, ideally affiliated with a local medical school, so that it can serve as an extension of the teaching hospitals in the medical school.

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