It's only three weeks into 2007 and my resolutions are toast, but I'll keep trying. A friend said "That's cheating—it's over for this year!" But why do we fear failure and resist starting over? In this issue we show the promise and power of facing what's not working, changing course midstream, and shaping a new path forward.
Education Outreach, YES! magazine
Help students explore why facing failures and continually re-assessing their goals and strategies are essential life skills that can lead to lasting success.
JUSTICE ~ learning about our role in the family of nations
The (Sometimes) Beautiful American
Throughout its history, the United States has shown two faces: one that’s peaceful, promoting justice and freedom, and one that’s selfish, defining its national interests in ways that result in suffering and discrimination. The late John Mohawk, author and YES! contributing editor, wrote that if the United States can regain its status as defender and practitioner of its own principles we can find the justice and peace that elude us.
PROSPERITY ~ learning about making trade more fair
A Conspiracy of Hope
As globalization has overtaken traditional ways of producing and selling, activists have united across borders to demand more just forms of trade in raw materials, agricultural products, and labor. Movements cross-fertilize each other, and while some 'fail' in the short term, long term they've contributed to real change. Some struggles have been forgotten now, leaving current movements to re-invent and repeat mistakes. There are ways to pierce historical amnesia, learn lessons, and find paths for success. (Discussion Guide)
SUSTAINABILITY ~ learning about how to build cities that work for everyone
Cities For All
An Interview with Angela Glover Blackwell
Sprawl overruns open space, jams up roads, degrades air quality, and leaves city centers without jobs and services. Policies that fight sprawl, says Angela Glover Blackwell, could bring new life to cities and inner-ring suburbs, diversify our neighborhoods, and save the environment. Is it too late to change the way we design our cities and live our lives?
"Though no one can go back and make a brand new start,
anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending."
Carl Bard, writer
Current issue of YES!
We thrive when working together for better communities. (Discussion Guide)
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United Nations Development Program works with governments and citizens in more than 160 countries to reduce poverty, hunger, disease, illiteracy, environmental degradation and discrimination; Publishes Human Development Reports and other resource materials.
International Labor Rights Fund advocates child labor rights, rights for working men and women, and sweatshop monitoring around the globe; Educates consumers about shopping responsibly and holding corporations accountable.
National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities lists books, journal articles, and web-based guides on using a school’s built environment as a context for learning.
The Environmental Justice Resource Center at Clark Atlanta University offers books, curriculum guides, and reports on environmental and economic justice, urban land-use planning, transportation equity, suburban sprawl, smart growth, and community health.
“Sometimes I feel discriminated against,
but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me.
How can anyone deny themselves the pleasure of my company?
It's beyond me." Zora Neale Hurston, writer
Congressman Chooses The Quran
By Andy Davey, YES! Education Outreach Intern
While campaigning for a seat in the 110th US Congress, Keith Ellison, a black Muslim from Minnesota, said he'd be sworn in with a copy of the Quran if he won. Negative reactions came swiftly, notably in a letter from Virginia Congressman Virgil Goode who did not support the use of the Quran in the ceremony. He wrote that the U.S. should change its immigration policy (ignorant that Ellison was born in the U.S.) fearing growing Muslim immigration would threaten traditional American values. Ellison stood his ground, and this month was sworn into Congress with his hand on the Quran once owned by Thomas Jefferson.
Religious freedom is a fundamental American value established by founding fathers, like Jefferson, and is inscribed in the Constitution. Congressman Goode, however, is arguing that ceremonial use of the Quran and Muslim immigration are threats to American values. What do fundamental values regarding religious values and freedoms really mean? How should we embody them? YES! article Sometimes A Great Nation explores the history of American failures and achievements on human rights and charts a way forward.
"There is no ‘negro problem.’ The problem is whether the American people
have loyalty enough, honor enough, and patriotism enough,
to live up to their own constitution."
Frederick Douglass, Abolitionist and advisor to President Lincoln
We're thinking about dedicating another issue of YES! to innovations and successes in education — share your story ideas for a school, program, or teacher we should consider!
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