Monthly Archives: January 2011

installations that create conversations

At the University of Florida late last week, I heard a presentation by the staff of Local Projects, a design firm that creates interactive public installations that provoke constructive discussions. For instance, in StoryCorps, people enter a kiosk in pairs, … Continue reading

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the good citizen and the good person

(In Gainesville, FL, en route to Orlando)–Yesterday, as I guest-taught a University of Florida class on “redefining citizenship,” several questions arose that I found interesting. Here are the questions, with answers that the students suggested (or that I have added … Continue reading

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the Bob Graham Center for Public Service

Gainesville, FL–I am visiting the Bob Graham Center for Public Service at the University of Florida today. Senator Graham himself is a strong proponent of youth civic engagement and the author of a wonderfully practical book about how to organize … Continue reading

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a typology of denominations

I think that in the Abrahamic faiths, guidance and inspiration come mainly from four sources: Scripture, understood as the written word of God, which may variously include the Pentateuch, the whole Hebrew Bible, both Christian testaments, or the Qur’an. A … Continue reading

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“A Tale of Two Cities”: comparing the best and worst cities for civic engagement

I am one of several co-authors of a new report released on January 24 in Miami by the National Conference on Citizenship and its Florida and Minnesota partners. According to Tale of Two Cities: Civic Heath in Miami and Minneapolis-St. … Continue reading

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we can have political reform and equitable political engagement even if the economy is unjust

Justice Louis Brandeis is supposed to have said, “We can have democracy in this country, or we can have great wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can’t have both.” Whether or not Brandeis uttered these exact … Continue reading

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artistic excellence as a function of historical time

The New York Times music critic Anthony Tommasini has compiled his top ten list of all-time greatest classical composers. As explanations for his choices, he offers judgments about the intrinsic excellence of these composers along with comments about their roles … Continue reading

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making guest lecturing pay

I think guest lectures are helpful: they broaden the perspectives and expertise available in a given course. In general, they happen as the result of a kind of “gift economy”: you agree to give a guest presentation in a colleague’s … Continue reading

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Sargent Shriver, 1915-2011

I never met Sargent Shriver, who died on Tuesday, but I have been knocking around the movement for national and community service since the 1980s and know several people for whom his death is a personal loss. My condolences to … Continue reading

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what is socioeconomic status (SES)?

More articles that you could read in your lifetime demonstrate that socioeconomic status correlates with important outcomes, from voting to longevity. But what is SES? The American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Socioeconomic Status says (PDF): social status is commonly … Continue reading

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