Your Soul Food for Friday May 27th 2016: Remember Them This Memorial Day, Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Happy & GRIT

Happy Soul Food Friday!

This week:

Some gave all




burial at sea



On this Memorial Day let us give our thanks and prayers for those who have served our country, especially those who have made the ultimate sacrifice

Put aside the day’s clutter, & take a moment….


This WWII vet can bust a move!!

During a layover at the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport , a World War II veteran passed the time and entertained passengers with a sudden display of dancing!
A group of veterans were awaiting their Honor Flight home, when three women began singing The Andrews Sisters’ “Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.”
Encouraged by the lyrics “he started to dance” the sprightly old man jumps out of the crowd and starts to boogie. When someone offers him a walking cane he rejects it and instead, shows off some serious dance moves. His energy and enthusiasm gets the crowd of other vets joining in on the fun!
Honor Flights provide free flights to veterans who served in WWII, Korea and Vietnam by flying them to see the war memorials in Washington , DC built in their honor. It’s wonderful to see these brave veterans enjoying life in the moment after what must have been an emotional visit!

Memorial Day Speech by Ronald Reagan:

Those that say we are in a time when there are no heroes, don’t know where to look…


After those sobering notes…

 10 Scientifically Proven Ways to Be Incredibly Happy:

GRIT may not be as profound a factor as initial literature suggests though I still believe in it:

Thanks this week go to Larry H, Vicente R, and All of us with the grit and stick-to-it-ive-ness to seek happiness for ourselves and each other in the face of adversity

Make this life memorable. It is the only one we’ve got…


Pay it forward!



“To live is the rarest thing in the world.
Most people exist, that is all.”–
Oscar Wilde

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Soul Food for Friday May 20th 2015: Reaching Full Potential- Theory and Practice, Reversing the Lens- Who is Interviewing Whom, and Take the Stairs!- Urban Art from 20 of the World’s Most Stunning Stairs

Happy Soul Food Friday!

This week:


What the Nonprofit Sector Needs to Reach Its Full Potential by Dan Pallotta

Applied Practice

Help Make San Diego America’s Kindest Region and Join SDNA:


You are Important to San Diego’s Growing 

SNDA Panel

We Value your interest in Increasing Connections, Awareness, Advocacy & Impact for Our Vibrant Social Sector!


Individual Memberships are Currently Only $100 

FOR ADVANCE INVITATIONS, DISCOUNTS & at least One FREE ADMISSION to Powerful Professional Events, which may include:

    • Keys to Great Nonprofit Leadership with Top CEO/Executive Directors

    • The State of the County & Nonprofit Partnerships

    • Keys to Building Strategic Alliances

    • Cross-Sector Roundtables with Social Responsibility Leaders

    • The State of Diversity In our Nonprofit Sector

    • Building your Leadership Pipeline

    • Social Impact Collaborations

    • Lean/Agile Approaches to Nonprofit Management

    • The “ROI” of Events & other Revenue Generators

    • Keys to Sustainability

    • and more!

THANK YOU for your invaluable support to help grow and strengthen SDNA: San Diego’s 

“Chamber of Purpose”!

Click Here to become an SDNA Member Today!

Turning the Spotlight on Community Leader Drew Schlosberg

For the first time in 25 years, I’ll be turning the tables and the spotlight by interviewing host Drew Schlosberg on his San Diego Union-Tribune Community Spotlight Show. Although I’ve been a frequent guest over the years representing Mission Fed and our involvement with the community, this is a special opportunity for me to ask Drew his thoughts about community engagement, cultivating a spirit of giving and Drew’s passion for making San Diego such a special place to live, grow and give back. Join this lively conversation and log in Wednesday, May 25 from 10:30-11am PST at

Go to the day of the interview and click on Studio B to hear the show “live.” After the interview, the interview will be available on the channel’s website. Listen, learn and share the love of San Diego!

The Beauty Of Painted Stairs Around The World

Abandoning the flat canvas of buildings, some street artists take to the stairs, transforming them into magnificent works of urban art. It doesn’t matter whether it’s with paint, plants, mosaics or wallpapers – the end goal is beauty, shared and enjoyed by all. This phenomenon is not a localized one and is happening all around the world. These are 20 of the world’s most stunning stairs:

Extraordinary Stairs

If you are local…

Free SD County Fair Tickets for Any School Employee

Thanks Mission Fed!


MindFuelED Conference Reminder

MindFuelED Flyer AudienceFINAL

Thanks this week go to Sue S, Drew S,  Larry H, Terri M, the San Diego Nonprofit Community & Educators Everywhere!

Pay it forward!



“Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we have learned
here. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and
the acceptance of love back into our hearts.”

— Marianne Williamson

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Yummy Soul Food for Friday May 13th 2016: The Universal Force of Love, Educators as Equity Designers, R is for Relationships, Philosophy Makes Kids Smarter in Math & English, Cause Conference and MindFuelED!

Happy Soul Food Friday!

(I hear some of you save this to start the week off on Monday:) )

Little Neville

This week:

  • A Letter Einstein Purportedly Wrote To His Daughter About The Universal Force of Love:
  • Teaching Tolerance: Which Uses of Technology Support Young People’s Development Better Than Say Using a Pencil, and Which Are in Fact Worse?
  • The Missing Flow in STEAM is R for Relationships!
  • Teaching Kids Philosophy Makes them Smarter in Math and English

If you are local…

SD AMA Cause Conference May 19th 2016

Accelerate the Purpose Revolution.

MindFuelED on June 24-27: Leading EmpowerED Student-Centered Systems

A Letter Einstein Purportedly Wrote To His Daughter About The Universal Force of Love:

Note: Snopes disputes its authenticity but in the spirit of mythos v. logos, I choose mythos any day of the week!

Einstein and Daughter

Below is a letter that Albert Einstein wrote to his daughter about the universal force of love. The letter was released in the 1980’s along with over a thousand other letters that he wrote to different people.

“When I proposed the theory of relativity, very few understood me, and what I will reveal now to transmit to mankind will also collide with the misunderstanding and prejudice in the world.

I ask you to guard the letters as long as necessary, years, decades, until society is advanced enough to accept what I will explain below.

There is an extremely powerful force that, so far, science has not found a formal explanation to. It is a force that includes and governs all others, and is even behind any phenomenon operating in the universe and has not yet been identified by us. This universal force is LOVE.

When scientists looked for a unified theory of the universe they forgot the most powerful unseen force. Love is Light, that enlightens those who give and receive it. Love is gravity, because it makes some people feel attracted to others. Love is power, because it multiplies the best we have, and allows humanity not to be extinguished in their blind selfishness. Love unfolds and reveals. For love we live and die. Love is God and God is Love.

This force explains everything and gives meaning to life. This is the variable that we have ignored for too long, maybe because we are afraid of love because it is the only energy in the universe that man has not learned to drive at will.

To give visibility to love, I made a simple substitution in my most famous equation. If instead of E = mc2, we accept that the energy to heal the world can be obtained through love multiplied by the speed of light squared, we arrive at the conclusion that love is the most powerful force there is, because it has no limits.

After the failure of humanity in the use and control of the other forces of the universe that have turned against us, it is urgent that we nourish ourselves with another kind of energy…

If we want our species to survive, if we are to find meaning in life, if we want to save the world and every sentient being that inhabits it, love is the one and only answer.

Perhaps we are not yet ready to make a bomb of love, a device powerful enough to entirely destroy the hate, selfishness and greed that devastate the planet.

However, each individual carries within them a small but powerful generator of love whose energy is waiting to be released.

When we learn to give and receive this universal energy, dear Lieserl, we will have affirmed that love conquers all, is able to transcend everything and anything, because love is the quintessence of life.

I deeply regret not having been able to express what is in my heart, which has quietly beaten for you all my life. Maybe it’s too late to apologize, but as time is relative, I need to tell you that I love you and thanks to you I have reached the ultimate answer! “.

Your father,
Albert Einstein

Read More:

Teaching Tolerance:

Which Uses of Technology Support Young People’s Development Better Than Say Using a Pencil, and Which Are in Fact Worse?

Smart Tech Use for Equity

The Missing Flow in STEAM is R for Relationships!

There is more and more attention these days on the need for better Social/Emotional Learning (SEL) in our schools.  The research shows that when students have a higher EQ (Emotional Intelligence), they learn more, have less problems at school, and are happier.  Yet we do very little in the classroom to facilitate SEL.  Often the teacher’s excuse is “I don’t have enough time.”  There is evidence though, that if a teacher makes the initial time investment for SEL, they actually end up with more academic learning time, as the class flows more smoothly in general because of it.  Yes, first we realized we needed to re-emphasize STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) in the classroom, then we realized the Arts were just as important, so we had STEAM.  This article advocates that now what we really need is an emphasis on STREAM, adding the much needed R in for Relationships.  Education Transformations (www.edtrans.orgoffers the necessary tools for teachers to be able to bring SEL into their classrooms.


The Missing Flow in STEAM is R

If you are local…

SD AMA Cause Conference May 19th 2016

Accelerate the Purpose Revolution. Register for the Cause Conference today.


MindFuelED on June 24-27: Leading EmpowerED Student-Centered Systems

“If you are interested in issues related to leadership and cutting edge approaches to the work of transforming education I want to make you aware of an exciting event that may be of interest to you and your ecosystem.  The Department of Education Studies at UCSD is partnering with The Core Collaborative and Prism on an event called MindFuelED on June 24-27, with a commitment to expand student-centered systems while practicing mindfulness in an effort to empower all educational leaders to be more grounded, connected, focused and authentic.

In addition to learning the basics of neuroscience and mindfulness, teams will learn how to leverage social networks to expand student-centered systems.  Teams and individuals will also be able to choose from a variety of learning opportunities that all weave core ideas of mindfulness and the role of relationships.

Topics include:

  • Student-Centered Assessment
  • Scaling up with Success Criteria: Leveraging Student Ownership
  • The Power of Peer Assessment & Student Goal Setting
  • Student Centered Instructional Coaching
  • Student Centered Assessment for English Learners
  • Student Centered Assessment in the Secondary Classroom
  • Leading Powerful Student Centered Change in Systems

They are partnering with The Teaching Channel who does work with a video-enabled collaboration platform that enables teachers and instructional leaders within a state, district, or school to work together to improve effectiveness.

Work collaboratively to transform the teaching and leadership space in the region and beyond to be more mindful, collaborative, and networked.

Please note the cost covers all training, materials, and meals.!blank/ynxiy

Thanks this week go to Larry H, Mica P, Susan Y, Alan D and the whole team at UC San Diego Ed Studies, Carla SG & Jackie H, Marlaine C, Volunteers at the SD AMA Cause Conference, and Mindful, Student-Centered Educators Everywhere!

Pay it Forward!



“Everybody is a genius.

But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.”

Albert Einstein

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Happy Soul Food Friday for May the Fourth Be With You, Cinco de Mayo & Mothers Day Week- Better Aging, Rethinking the Classroom, Data Storytelling and the Happiest Workers on Earth!

Happy Soul Food Friday!




This week enjoy:

Tracing Back the Origins of Mother’s Day:

Mother’s Day is celebrated in different countries and cultures to honor the selflessness and love of mothers since 1900s. The American incarnation of Mother’s Day was created by Anna Jarvis in 1908 who later opposed to the extreme commercialization of the festival. Motherhood is the highest and most selfless human connection. Make this Mother’s Day special!

Old Photos!

Better Aging Through Practice, Practice, Practice:

Rethinking the Classroom:

Data Storytelling: The Essential Data Science Skill Everyone Needs:

The Most Annoyingly Happy Workers on Earth!

If you are local…

“Accelerating the Purpose Revolution” :Attend the San Diego AMA Cause Conference May 19th:

Bringing together hundreds of local and national companies and nonprofits that are “Accelerating the Purpose Revolution on May 19th

The Cause Conference is the west coast’s largest cause and purpose-driven marketing conference. It has become a driving force for social good and community impact. Check out the lineup of cause marketing leaders and brands like Aaron Hurst, author of The Purpose Economy.

I hope to see you at #CauseSD!

Thanks this week go to Victor P, John C, Alan D, Bea B, David P and Moms Everywhere!!



“To live is the rarest thing in the world.
Most people exist, that is all.”—Oscar Wilde


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Your Soul Food Friday for April 29th 2016: Smart doesn’t mean Happy, Everybody Dies but not Everybody Lives, High Performance Leadership, Earth Day on Passover & a God’s Eye View of San Diego!

Happy Soul Food Friday!

Earth Soup

This week:

Why So Many Smart People Aren’t Happy:

Everybody Dies, but Not Everybody Lives:

Connection: The Key to High Performance Leadership with Daniel Goleman

Earth Day Vs. Passover: 5 Lessons for Great Storytelling

Enjoy a God’s Eye View of Iconic Sights and Places in San Diego to Kickstart Your Weekend!

First Some Humor: Seniors getting Married

Two very active seniors (Jacob, age 78, and Mary, age 77), living in “The Villages“, are all excited about their decision to get married.

They go for a stroll to discuss the wedding, and on the way they pass a drugstore. Jacob suggests they go in.

Jacob addresses the man behind the counter: “Are you the owner?”

The pharmacist answers, “Yes.”

Jacob: “We’re about to get married. Do you sell heart medication?”

Pharmacist: “Of course we do.”

Jacob: “How about medicine for circulation?”

Pharmacist: “All kinds.”

Jacob: “Medicine for rheumatism?”

Pharmacist: “Definitely.”

Jacob: “How about suppositories and medicine for impotence?”

Pharmacist: “You bet!”

Jacob: “Medicine for memory problems, arthritis and Alzheimer’s?”

Pharmacist: “Yes, a large variety. The works.”

Jacob: “What about vitamins, sleeping pills, Geritol, antidotes for Parkinson’s disease?”

Pharmacist: “Absolutely.”

Jacob: “Everything for heartburn and indigestion?”

Pharmacist: “We sure do.”

Jacob: “You sell wheelchairs and walkers and canes?”

Pharmacist: “All speeds and sizes.”

Jacob: “Adult diapers?”

Pharmacist: “Sure, how can I help you?

Jacob: “We’d like to use this store as our Bridal Registry.

Why So Many Smart People Aren’t Happy:

There are three things, once one’s basic needs are satisfied, that academic literature points to as the ingredients for happiness: having meaningful social relationships, being good at whatever it is one spends one’s days doing, and having the freedom to make life decisions independently. But research into happiness has also yielded something a little less obvious…

Everybody Dies, but Not Everybody Lives:

Connection: The Key to High Performance Leadership with Daniel Goleman

We were talking about the huge difference between leaders who connect with the people around them, and those who do not…

Earth Day Vs. Passover: 5 Lessons for Great Storytelling

With Passover coinciding with Earth Day this year, it’s a rare opportunity to see how these two observances compare when it comes to delivering their message through the timeless art of storytelling…

Enjoy a God’s Eye View of Iconic Sights and Places in San Diego to Kickstart Your Weekend!

If you are local…

Enjoy Mission Fed ArtWalk April 30th & May 1st 2016:

AW 1

AW 2

2016 Mission Federal ArtWalk Featured Artists

AW 3

AW 4

AW 5

AW 6

AW 7

AW 8

AW 9

AW 10

2016 Mission Federal ArtWalk / ArtReach ARTIE Award Honorees


L to R:  Adam Moyer, Jennifer Borba Von Stauffenbert, Angela Carone, Kevin Hellman

The Artie Awards give recognition to some extraordinary individuals in San Diego, for their support of arts and culture in our city.

Presented by Mission Federal ArtWalk:

Alan Ziter has worked tirelessly to create a dynamic arts and culture district in San Diego. His vision and hard work for the past 13 years have made The Arts District at Liberty Station a home to some of the city’s most exciting visual and performing arts groups. Many of the artists you’ll see at the festival in April have their studios at Liberty Station. Alan has long been an activist in the arts in San Diego. Before NTC he directed the San Diego Performing Arts League and co-produced the memorable Bravo San Diego event for many years at The Westgate Hotel. 

Angela Carone covers arts and culture for KPBS and is the author of Culture Lust, the station’s arts blog. She is known for her insightful and honest on-air and online reporting on arts and culture in the region. Her fresh and authentic way of covering the visual and performing arts has both informed and entertained us, while keeping arts and culture in the spotlight in San Diego.

Jenn Borba Von Stauffenberg is the president of Olive PR Solutions.  As much as good public relations pros like to remain in the background, Jenn has more than earned this recognition not only for taking our festival public relations efforts to a new level, but also for supporting so many other visual arts programs in San Diego and nationally. She is truly passionate about visual art, and she has been investing in local artists for years by purchasing their works, holding art shows in her Little Italy office and more.  

Kevin Hellman is the publisher of San Diego Citybeat. Each year, for both of our annual festivals, Kevin comes up with a brilliant lineup of musicians who volunteer their time to entertain festival attendees. Kevin has played this role for ArtWalk events since 2005. When Kevin calls, musicians listen! But this is just one of the many ways he shares his love of music. He is president of the San Diego Music Foundation and he works with numerous local events to help them with their musical lineup.

Presented by ArtReach: 

Adam Moyer founded Knockaround, a local company centered around a sunglasses line that was simultaneously practical and stylish. In 2014, Adam invited ArtReach to partner with Knockaround to take a design exercise called Class Acts into local schools.  The premise was to give students a basic overview of the design process for sunglasses, to allow each student to create their own design and to pick one student-designed pair to manufacture and sell.  All proceeds go to participating schools and to ArtReach; over  $30,000 so far. Adam personally invests time and enthusiasm in this program. He makes philanthropy seem effortless and fun, but also very intentional.  We thank Adam for supporting visual arts education in San Diego. 

Thanks this week go to Larry H, Ron M, Marlaine C, Amon R, Lisa B and Artists of Life Everywhere!


Please pay it forward!



@ NevilleB108

“When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds.

Your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world.

Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.”   

                — Patanjali         

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Your Soul Food for Earth Day Friday April 22nd 2016: Restoring Civility in America and Beyond- We Are Better Than This!

Happy Soul Food Friday!

 Soul Food Friday Fans: I am excited to share that I am now also on Twitter, focusing on topics such as 21st Century Leadership, Education, Civic Engagement and Social Capital Optimization. Please tweet me @NevilleB108

earth day

This week:

A Story about Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody on Earth

 Restoring Civility in America and Beyond:

Are You a Prisoner of Your Preferences?

Can We Get Beyond the Left/Right Politically Polarizing Game?

On Race:

Obama Effect Triggers More Nuanced Conversations on Race

On World Cultures:

Persian Cuisine, Fragrant and Rich With Symbolism

29 Clever Drawings Will Make You Question Everything Wrong With The World:

RIP Prince!

A Story about Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody

This is a story about four people whose names are Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody.

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was asked to do it.

Everybody was sure that Somebody would do it.

Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did it.

Somebody got angry about that, because it was Everybody’s job.

Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody wouldn’t do it.

It ended up that Everybody blamed Somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done…

Are You a Prisoner of Your Preferences?

Can We Get Beyond the Left/Right Politically Polarizing Game?

Consider the third option or the “Purple Tent” – politics worthy of our kids, that might well be the salvation for a broken system that has deliberately and insidiously focused our attention- the currency of influence on:

Confirming what we believe instead of Learning what could be

Winning instead of building Relationships

Position-taking instead of genuine Problem-solving

Me instead of We


Instead of playing into a daily media bombardment of incivility and (hu)man’s inhumanity to man on the daily news feeds that perpetuates sensationalizing the very worst of the human experience under the auspices of an election, this week I was blessed to be introduced to a powerful antidote by my friend Dr. Ken Druck in an authentic conversation with Mark Gerzon, author of The Re-United States of America: How We Can Bridge the Partisan Divide at USD at the Restoring Respect’s 5th Annual Conference April 18, 2016

Mark used his most recent book as a framework to reset the table about the possibilities and promise of a “third narrative” beyond the platitudes of partisan politics:

“Although we come from opposite ends of the political spectrum, we believe our country needs to come together. “The Reunited States of America: How We Can Cross the Partisan Divide” will help us do that. It reconnects us to our country’s motto – ‘out of many, one’ –  and helps us meet the challenge of reuniting the country that we both love.”
– Grover Norquist, president, Americans for Tax Reform & Joan Blades, co-founder and Living Room Conversations

Mark is a thoughtful systems thinker, seasoned mediator on political bridge-building and was originally trained as a family therapist.

Mark shared that the first system we know and grow into is our nuclear family, and true to form, today’s leading political candidates, ALL are shaped and playing out scripts that were formed and informed in their family of origin; where their blueprint for success and ideologies were decidedly shaped and molded to play out the script we all see enacted in the media debacle of today.


Looking at this current election cycle through the lens of our kids (who ARE watching us keenly), we can’t help but feel disillusioned that this certainly can’t be the best we can do as a democratic nation. Reality TV has taken on a decidedly unreal tone…

Oddly, while we are lamenting this nonsensical farce and media circus, Gen Next are making conscious choices about a “third narrative”, beyond liberal or conservative or Democrat or Republican where “Americans are working together across the aisle to find common ground to solve our most pressing problems.”

Can we learn from them?

Millennials self-report 60% independent and aren’t buying either side of this political rhetoric BS media machine.

Both liberal and conservative camps are fueled in the $ billions, but voices in the center (like the ones listed at the end of this blogpost) are struggling for funding and by extension exposure

Millennials hang out with their friends on opposite sides of an issue and seem to get along just fine, and don’t get why we are so vitriolic, mean-spirited and self-centered, clinging to our monolithic views like mental life rafts.

Student debt in the $ Trillions is waking them up to the fact that the current model is simply not working for them!

 Consider the third option or the “Purple Tent” – politics worthy of our kids, that might well be the salvation for a broken system that has deliberately and insidiously focused our attention- the currency of influence on:

Confirming what we believe instead of Learning what could be

Winning instead of building Relationships

Position-taking instead of genuine Problem-solving

Me instead of We

The US presidential elections on November 8, 2016, will be the 58th quadrennial U.S. presidential election. Yet sadly, our electoral system has turned this like others into an endless campaign cycle that focuses only on winning on November 8th instead of what actually happens after that date.

While some may argue that every civilization goes through rises, declines and ultimately extinction, and this is just the beginning of the decline of America’s greatness as a nation, when it comes to civility this is not just about America- ethnocentrically- or even about all of us just speaking respectfully to one another, it is arguably the keystone determinant in our survival as a species.

One could make a good argument that the confluence of exceeding our adaptive and cognitive threshold, our reliance on confirmation bias (the bias bubble) and our selective application of attribution theory leave us no choice but to capitulate to current realities and behave into these polarizing roles.

Yet others have a more positive aspiration…

We can foster a deeper dialogue and not have to go down this proverbial rabbit hole

Here are some thoughts gleaned from our gathering with a small but mighty group of civic leaders:


Can we collectively burst the ‘bias bubble’, snap out of the social hypnosis and become aware of our own distortions?

  • Smart people think they know everything
  • Intelligent people accept there are things they don’t know
  • Wise people realize they must remain open to the possibilities of what they don’t know what they don’t know

Which one of these are you and me?

Redefine Self with an Open Heart

We must move from antiquated feudal and industrial age EGO-systems to 21st century connected era ECO-systems that focuses on learning, relationship and problem-solving together

Serve Community by Creating and Fostering Safe Space

If we are in fear and self-protection mode, we are unable to learn

Master facilitators create safe space for authentic conversations to occur and we need these now more than ever…

If you want to Lead through Conflict you need:

  • Integral Vision– Committing ourselves to hold all sides of the conflict, in all their complexity, in our minds
  • Systematic Thinking– Identifying all (or as many as possible) of the significant elements related to the conflict situation and to understand the relationship between these elements
  • Presence– Applying our mental, emotional and spiritual resources to witnessing and transforming the conflict
  • Inquiry– Asking questions that elicit essential information about the conflict that is vital to understanding how to transform it
  • Conscious Conversation– Becoming award of our full range of choices about how we speak and listen
  • Dialogue– Communication in order to build trust and knowledge that maximizes the human capacity to bridge and innovate
  • Bridging– Building partnerships and alliances that cross the borders that divide an organization

Want to go deeper?
Here are some resources and links for you, your family and extended community to see the world through a more balanced lens that doesn’t create political bipolar behavior fraught with incivility:  Polarization is destroying us. AllSides intends to fix this… Living Room Conversations is a new, open-source project exploring the power of revitalized civil discourse in America. We are the Bridge Alliance – a rising American tide of conservatives and liberals, centrists and moderates, business owners and workers, students and retired persons, diverse in age, color, faith and orientation.  We have come together in civility, respect, and goodwill to solve problems together. Together, we can become a powerful and positive voice in the American political landscape advocating “Country Before Party.” To Resolve a Conflict, First Decide: Is it Hot or Cold? WHY THE CLUSTERING OF LIKE-MINDED AMERICA IS TEARING US APART

Book: Dark Money

Alternatively, Google: trans-partisan, bipartisan and civility and see where your personal exploration takes you…

Too busy?

It is only the future of our country and our planet at stake…

Obama Effect Triggers More Nuanced Conversations on Race

When President Obama was elected did we usher in a new era of racial harmony. No… but many of us are having a more nuanced conversation about this subject

(scroll down to the fifth story)

Persian Cuisine, Fragrant and Rich With Symbolism

An ancient Zoroastrian festival of the spring equinox, Nowruz has been celebrated continuously for at least 3,000 years, more than a thousand years before the region’s Muslim conquest. It predates most of the holidays Americans celebrate today yet shares many of the same traditions.

29 Clever Drawings Will Make You Question Everything Wrong With The World:

From the Mind Unleashed

Even if you don’t agree with the messages behind some of these illustrations, it’s impossible not to appreciate the creativity involved in them.

Maybe we really do need to start paying more attention to the things we accept as part of our daily reality…

RIP Prince!


Can we collectively burst the ‘bias bubble’, snap out of the social hypnosis and become aware of our own distortions?

  • Smart people think they know everything
  • Intelligent people accept there are things they don’t know
  • Wise people realize they must remain open to the possibilities of what they don’t know what they don’t know

Which one of these are you and me?

Thanks this week go to Carla SG, Jackie H, Ken D, Mark G, Denis L, Sambhav D, Mark N, and Citizens Committed to Civility EVERYWHERE!

Pay it Forward



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Your Soul Food Friday for Emancipation Day 2016: Emancipate Yourself from Mental Slavery with Whole Person & Quality Education from Early Childhood Throughout Life

Happy Soul Food Friday!

Holding on

“Emancipate Yourself from Mental Slavery, None but Ourselves Can Free Our Minds” – Bob Marley

This week:

It’s Emancipation Day! Guess that’s why our taxes aren’t due until April 18th but did you know…

A Metaphor for the Impact of Early Education That Will Make You Smile: This is darling

A Nobel Laureate’s Education Plea: Revolutionize Teaching Because it is Almost Unethical to Teach Any Other Way!

A Focus On Student’s Emotion: Focusing on Academic Rigor and Test Scores Does Not Have to Be at the Expense of Social & Emotional Lessons, and if it is What Have We Really Taught?

 Thrivers and Strugglers”: A Growing Economic Divide where roughly three in four American households are the “strugglers”… Three demographic drivers – age/birth year, education and race/ethnicity – increasingly matter for building wealth and financial security

If you are local…

SDNA In The Know: Amplify Awareness & Engagement Via Media & PR Apr 21, 9am

Restoring Respect – 5th Annual Conference on Restoring Civility to Civic Dialogue – “Educating Civility”


Redemption Song- Bob Marley

It’s Emancipation Day:

Guess that’s why our taxes aren’t due until April 18th but did you know…

A Metaphor for the Impact of Early Education That Will Make You Smile:

A Nobel Laureate’s Education Plea: Revolutionize Teaching Because it is Almost Unethical to Teach Any Other Way!

“The quality of teaching is not something that university administrators are rewarded for, and correspondingly know or care about,”

…It is like running a hospital and not checking if your team are using antibiotics and still using bloodletting…

A Focus On Student’s Emotion:

Focusing on Academic Rigor and Test Scores Does Not Have to Be at the Expense of Social & Emotional Lessons, and if it is What Have We Really Taught?

Thrivers and Strugglers: A Growing Economic Divide: Three demographic drivers – age/birth year, education and race/ethnicity – increasingly matter for building wealth and financial security

By Ray Boshara, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Bravo to MacKenzie. When she was born, she chose married, white, well-educated parents who live in an affluent, mostly white neighborhood with great public schools. She also chose her birth year wisely, making sure that she graduated from college and entered the job market when the economy was rebounding from the Great Recession. Thanks to the wealth and financial savvy of her parents, MacKenzie graduated from a private, four-year selective college debt-free, giving her many career options as well as the ability to start saving for a home and retirement.

Because of her great “choices,” MacKenzie is likely to accumulate wealth and achieve financial health over her lifetime. She and her parents belong to the roughly one in four American households we can call “thrivers.”

But too bad for Troy. Despite being just as bright as MacKenzie, he chose nonwhite parents who never married and live in a poor, highly segregated neighborhood with lousy public schools and few opportunities to be involved in music, sports and civic activities. Troy’s young, hard-working, conscientious mother was never able to start college. In order to manage the frequent ups and downs in her financial life, she has accumulated debts to family members and credit cards. She also lacks the know-how and networks to get Troy on a college-bound track, something his school fails to do as well. And Troy unwisely chose to finish high school just as the Great Recession was getting underway. So, finding any job, let alone a decent-paying one with benefits, eludes him.

Because of his bad “choices,” Troy is not likely to accumulate much wealth or feel financially healthy over his lifetime. He and his family belong to the roughly three in four American households we can call “strugglers.”

Research from the Center for Household Financial Stability at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis suggests that three demographic drivers – age/birth year, education and race/ethnicity – increasingly matter for building wealth and financial security. MacKenzie and her family’s efforts to build wealth are buoyed by these demographic tailwinds, while the lack of them creates headwinds that hamper Troy and his family’s efforts to succeed financially.

Let us consider each of these characteristics, or drivers, separately.

Race, Ethnicity and Wealth

Beginning with race or ethnicity, a few facts stand out.[1] First, the wealth gaps are disturbingly large and the rankings have persisted since 1989. White families rank first, followed by Asian families, Hispanic families and then black families. With the exception of Asians, the median net worth of all groups in 2013 was about the same as in 1989; the Great Recession wiped out most of the post-1989 gains. However, prior to the recession, whites and especially Asians had seen dramatic increases in their wealth. Since 2010, they have seen their wealth begin to grow again, while the wealth of blacks and Hispanics has continued to decline. (See Figure 1.)


Also, wealth disparities are starker than income disparities. Median wealth for Hispanics and blacks is about 90 percent lower than that of whites. In contrast, median income of Hispanics and blacks is only 40 percent lower. This suggests these two groups may have had few opportunities to “convert” their diminished incomes into wealth, such as through home ownership and retirement plans. And although one would expect age and education to help explain the persistent differences in wealth accumulation across racial and ethnic groups (whites are generally older and better educated than blacks and Hispanics), our research shows that the wealth gap is largely unchanged even among equally educated, similarly aged whites and nonwhites. Stated more starkly, education does not appear to be an equalizer, at least in terms of wealth. Therefore, other factors must be in play, including early childhood experiences, parental influences and, of course, deep and historical discrimination against blacks and other minorities.

Education and Wealth

Not surprisingly, the association between a family’s education and its wealth is very strong and has become stronger with time, leading to large gaps in wealth by level of education.[2] Only families with college degrees or higher have seen their wealth increase since 1989 (even though all groups saw their wealth decline in the Great Recession). Those lacking a high school diploma saw their wealth plummet 44 percent between 1989 and 2013, while families with a high school diploma saw their wealth decline 36 percent. Meanwhile, families with a two- or four-year college degree experienced a 3 percent increase since 1989, while the wealth of those with advanced degrees spiked 45 percent.

Notably, however, the correlation between education and various measures of economic and financial success does not represent causation. That is, the college degree itself may only partially explain differences in wealth. The degree serves as a marker of many other factors also correlated with educational attainment, such as native ability, family background, marriage patterns (i.e., the tendency of college graduates to marry other college graduates), being read to as a child and the likelihood of receiving gifts or inheritances.

Age and Wealth

Finally, let’s look at age or, more precisely, year of birth. Of course, older families are expected to have more wealth than younger families. But what we are observing is something deeper, even historical.[3] To our surprise, age is the strongest predictor of balance sheet health, even after accounting for race and education. Americans in their 20’s and 30’s lost the most wealth in the recession and have been the slowest to recover. The wealth of younger adults is concentrated in home ownership, which suffered greatly during the recession. Younger adults also have significant mortgage and consumer debts, and few liquid assets. In addition, they faced severe labor market challenges during and following the recession. But this is not just a recession story; it’s a generational, more troubling story: An American born in 1970 is projected to have 40 percent less wealth over their lifetime than an American born in 1940. Clearly, some larger economic and social forces are underway, reshaping economic opportunity in the U.S.

Policy Implications

In a world where uncontrollable factors – birth year, race/ethnicity, parents – and education – a choice, but influenced by all of the above factors – appear to increasingly matter for building wealth and financial success, three policy responses hold particular promise:

1. Give greater weight to demographic factors in targeting public resources.

Although income has been the primary benchmark for safety net and tax benefits, our research suggests that age or birth year, race or ethnicity, and education must play a greater role in targeting scarce public resources. The U.S. has dedicated massive resources, ruled on issues such as desegregation and voting rights, reduced discrimination in housing and lending practices, built schools and universities, subsidized higher education for disadvantaged students and otherwise striven and often succeeded in helping less-educated and minority families move forward. College attendance rates have been steadily rising, and minorities now hold more elected offices than ever, for example. However, millions of these families remain economically vulnerable; in some ways, they are now even more fragile, given growing economic penalties on less-educated and minority families. Therefore, broad, ambitious efforts to invest in these families must not only continue but be strengthene d.

With regard to age, the U.S. has invested less during the earlier years of life, and the country lags in per capita spending on children compared with other advanced nations. In fact, the U.S. social contract has relied on the ability of younger workers to finance the safety net of older Americans. However, because that social contract is now threatened, and given the challenges facing younger Americans, smarter and more robust investments earlier in life are merited. For example, could we consider more of an age-based social contract, where newborns, school-aged youth and young adults starting their careers and/or families receive a public benefit to help them build human capital and net worth? These investments could be modeled on the “pay it forward” idea, where public investments in individual families (through, for example, no- or low-cost tuition plans) are paid back later in life directly through earnings or, indirectly, through greater productivity and economic growth.

2. Create ways for families to save when children are young and integrate savings plans into other early interventions.

In the assets field, there is a growing body of evidence that savings accounts and assets early in life lead to better outcomes later in life. The Assets and Education Initiative finds that “early liquid assets (ones the household has when the child is between ages 2 to 10)… work with children’s academic ability to influence whether they attend college. The effect is stronger for low-income children than it is for high-income children.”[4] Two studies using randomized trials in the SEED OK experiment in Oklahoma show that Child Development Accounts (CDAs)[5] have a positive impact on social development for children around age 4. This effect was greatest in children in disadvantaged groups.[6] A second study finds that CDAs increase the psychological well-being of mothers, and again the effect was greatest among disadvantaged groups.[7]

Consideration should be given to strategies that integrate CDAs and similar early asset strategies into the fabric of other interventions aimed at young children. For example, a CDA might be offered to every mother who enrolls in a prenatal health program, or to every child entering Head Start or a preschool program. Reading programs might offer an education-focused CDA. Pell grants might be “front loaded” so that income-eligible children at age 5 receive a small portion of their Pell in a CDA, which would then reduce their Pell grant at age 18 accordingly. The College Board has, in fact, advanced a similar idea. It will be difficult, in my view, for stand-alone CDA interventions to reach all economically vulnerable children. Accordingly, integrating early assets and early childhood interventions holds promise for both impact and scale.

3. Help parents and other adults build liquidity and financial assets.

Of course, we cannot build family financial health and well-being by investing only in kids and ignoring their parents and other adults. Accordingly, we should adopt a “two-generation” approach.[8] Struggling families need a range of sound balance sheet investments, including better banking options, credit repair, more college and retirement savings, fewer debts and paths to sustainable homeownership and small-business opportunities. But one intervention in particular cuts across family balance sheets and promotes both financial stability (a family’s first priority)[9] and economic mobility: creating liquidity.

The need for liquidity is well documented. The Federal Reserve Board’s Survey of Household Economics and Decision making (SHED) finds that an unexpected expense of just $400 would prompt nearly one-half of all households to borrow funds, sell something or simply not pay at all.[10] Fed data also show that the top savings priority for families is emergency or liquid savings, yet only about half of all Americans have such savings. And CFED finds that 44 percent of households are “liquid asset poor.”[11]

When families have more liquid savings, they can better manage their cash flows and volatility; rely less on friends, family and payday lenders to meet cash shortfalls; have better banking options; and save for education, training or a small business, as well as a home or apartment in a better neighborhood. In my view, no intervention better cuts across the health of U.S. family balance sheets – and does more to promote family stability and mobility – than building emergency savings and liquidity.

To be most effective, these three policy recommendations must be integrated into other efforts. Although one or two interventions, including the most promising ones, are not likely to erase enormous gaps in education, earnings or wealth, they are likely to significantly reduce the financial health disparities experienced between future thrivers like Mackenzie and strugglers like Troy.




Restoring Respect – 5th Annual Conference on Restoring Civility to Civic Dialogue – “Educating Civility”

The 2016 election season has already proven to be one of the most divisive and vitriolic in recent American history. From candidates’ personal attacks to paralysis and dysfunction in national government, the price tag of incivility, and resulting failure to reach political consensus, has never been greater. Join other concerned members of our community in an ongoing discussion about how to restore respect to the local and national civic dialogue. Explore ways to better educate the next generation of citizens and community leaders on how to better build our American community.

Redemption Song- Bob Marley

Have a soul-filled weekend!

Thanks this week go to NPR, Norm H, Jason P, David L, and Active Learners & Teachers Everywhere!

Pay it Forward…



“Inspiration does exist, but it must find you working.”
— Pablo Picasso

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