Aug 31, 2011

Finally! A solution for structural violence and poverty in Honduras

[this post is copied in its entirety from - see also my previous posts on TOMS shoes]

Thank Goodness for NGOs, once again making the difference.

Or, as a friend who wishes to remain anonymous puts it:


Said friend, something of a shoe connoisseur herself, has a few pairs of the brand in question and notes that they are particularly quick to develop unpleasant odors and mold. I would never know these important ethnographic details on my own. She adds:

they are NOT conducive to walking from your soon-to-be-privatized elementary school through open sewage and maquila run-off to your house where your structural-violence-poor parents will not be able to throw them in the nonexistent clothes dryer

Aug 28, 2011

great coverage of the student movement in Chile

Roof Dancing from sitioquiltro on Vimeo.

I love teaching. One of the best parts for me is learning from and being inspired by my students. A former student of mine, Joe Hinchcliffe, has been in Chile for the last year and his blog is full of fantastic reports on the student movement, full of lots of fun short clips like this one.

If you haven't been following it, to quote Joe "its really exciting stuff. For the last few months students have taken to the streets to demand free and quality education. Hundreds of thousands of students. Many schools and universities have shut down and no one really knows what will happen next. Recently this movement has grown to include unions and many other protest groups. The movement enjoys the support of over 80% of the population and its fast becoming something much bigger, maybe the beginning of a new economic and political order for the country."

Want some inspiration? Read on!

Aug 13, 2011

study argues stimulating empathy reduces racism

from the Greater Good blog comes this report

In the study, published in the June issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, researchers showed participants a five-minute video depicting a black man named Glen and a white man named John. Both shopped in a department store, tried to buy a car, and interacted with police, but Glen clearly experienced discrimination.

Some participants were then asked to imagine Glen’s perspective—what he might be thinking, feeling, and experiencing. Others were asked to imagine what thoughts and feelings they would have if they were in Glen’s situation. A third group was supposed to remain objective; they weren’t told to consider Glen’s thoughts or emotions.

Then the researchers gave the participants’ a sophisticated test that measures unconscious biases.

The results show that participants in both perspective-taking conditions were less biased than participants who were asked to be objective. What’s more, it didn’t seem to matter how the participants went about taking Glen’s perspective: Participants who imagined Glen’s thoughts and feelings showed the same reduction in unconscious bias as those who imagined how they would feel if they were Glen.

In a variation on this experiment, the researchers found that participants showed less automatic bias even when they were simply shown a picture of a black man and asked to imagine his thoughts, feelings, and experiences. Another experiment in the study showed that perspective taking did not lead participants to ignore racial inequality, as previous studies have suggested.

and it goes on

Aug 5, 2011

Three strikes against the Empire

Joint Solidarity Statement by the October2011 Movement, the National Catholic Worker Gathering and SOA Watch South Florida/ SouthCom Watch (reposted from SOA Watch)

Grassroots resistance actions are being coordinated around the country [the US] in early October. Three efforts in particular share common cause:

The October2011 Movement in Washington, DC to decry the start of the eleventh year of war on the people of Afghanistan and the onset of the federal austerity budget, and to stand up to corporate rule and militarism;
The National Catholic Worker Movement and Nevada Desert Experience to demonstrate at Creech Air Force Base near Las Vegas, Nevada where armed drone aircraft are headquartered and controlled on their "hunter-killer" missions around the world, and at the Nevada National Security Site (NNSS, formerly the Nevada Test Site) where various experiments are conducted which perpetuate the US nuclear arsenal;
School of the Americas Watch South Florida / SouthCom Watch to march to the new headquarters of the U.S. Southern Command (SouthCom) outside of Miami, Florida, which is responsible for all U.S. military operations throughout Latin America and the Caribbean.

Our struggles are interconnected and we organize in solidarity with each other.

The nonviolent resistance actions in Washington, DC will start on October 6, 2011, on the 10-year anniversary of the U.S. war in Afghanistan. Thousands of people have pledged to gather on that day, to nonviolently resist the corporate machine by occupying Freedom Plaza to demand that America's resources are invested in human needs and environmental protection instead of war and exploitation. Nonviolent direct actions at the NNSS and at Creech AFB are going to take place on October 9 at the culmination of the 3 day Catholic Worker gathering, also being coordinated with the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space's annual Keep Space for Peace Week, October 1 to 8. The march on the U.S. Southern Command, with the intention to close it down and to reclaim the sacred land for the peoples of the Americas, will also take place on October 9, 2011.

These actions are united in the effort to build a world in which the values of justice, cooperation, and respect for the earth are upheld. We believe that people power and grassroots organizing are essential for achieving lasting socio-political change.

October2011 Movement,

National Catholic Worker Gathering,

SOA Watch South Florida / SouthCom Watch,