Monthly Archives: April 2009

community mapping with Facebook

As described in this slide show, we have been working with college students at Tufts and UMass Boston to build one elaborate “network map” of civil society in the Boston area. The map already has many hundreds of nodes and … Continue reading

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greening the city

My hometown of Syracuse, NY was disfigured when interstate highways were blasted right through its heart, between the university and downtown, flattening a neighborhood that had once been home to moderate-income African-Americans. Their strong web of churches, businesses, and other … Continue reading

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youth turnout topped 50% in 2008

The Census has released its 2008 voting data, which is the basis of a fairly detailed new fact sheet by CIRCLE. We find that the turnout of under-30s rose to 51.1 percent. For under-25s, the turnout was 48.5 percent. These … Continue reading

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AmeriCorps and politics

If you Google terms like “Obama” and “community service,” you will find a very large number of conservative blogs and opinion pieces claiming that this is Obama’s “brown shirt” corps. They fear that young people will be indoctrinated by “ACORN … Continue reading

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the civic opportunity gap

Our main message at CIRCLE is that young people benefit from opportunities to do civic work, but those opportunities (such as discussions of controversial issues, service-learning projects, student governments, youth organizing, youth media, community-based research) are very poorly distributed, so … Continue reading

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youth volunteering down, but Kennedy Serve America bill may help

Our new study of youth volunteering rates is getting a lot of coverage. Martha Irvine’s Associated Press story has apparently been picked up by 1,300 outlets, and I did a national CBS radio news interview early this morning. Irvine puts … Continue reading

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AmeriCorps triples

Yesterday, the President signed the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act at a ceremony in a Washington, DC charter school that has reclaimed a violence-ridden block. The Act will triple the size of AmeriCorps (if Congress appropriates adequate funds) and … Continue reading

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Juan Sanchez Cotán

This is a remarkable painting that I saw in the San Diego Museum of Art last week. I like it for two reasons that often seem to apply to great works. First, it’s good in itself. If you had no … Continue reading

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a theory of free speech on campus

Last Thursday, students at my university (Tufts) assembled to protest an incident described as follows in the Boston Globe: The freshman, who is white, approached five men from the group who were practicing a dance for an upcoming cultural show … Continue reading

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counter-cultural politics

I ended my AERA presentation last week by saying that the best thing about good youth civic programs is not their impact on the kids whom they engage, nor the chance that they may increase political equality. The best thing … Continue reading

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