Happy Day, Happy Spring!

Personal Narrative
Happiness is neither a frivolity nor a luxury. It is a deep-seated yearning shared by all members of the human family. It should be denied to no one and available to all. ~Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon Today is the International Day of Happiness! On June 28, 2012, the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution proclaiming March 20th the International Day of Happiness. While acknowledging that happiness may have different meanings for different people, the UN chief said that all could agree that it means working to end conflict, poverty and other unfortunate conditions in which so many of human beings live. Read more about the International Day of Happiness Day here. [youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8bhfu1KnKjM] The mega producer Pharrell teamed up with the UN to to help lift lift spirits and spread good cheer. Videos featuring…
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The undoing of schools as prisons

Abolition & Justice, Education, Love
I have a post in draft form that pulls together a couple of recent articles related to schools as sites of love, but I didn't want to let the day pass without sharing this piece from the Atlantic. Last year I wrote for The Atlantic about a notorious North Philadelphia junior high school known for years as the “Jones Jail.” Its rambunctious students wreaked such terror on the neighborhood that the police put the streets surrounding the school on lockdown every day at dismissal. Nearby shop-keepers locked their doors and porches as 800 of the city’s poorest kids streamed out the doors, often reportedly climbing over parked cars in their unruly rush to get out of school. When the John Paul Jones Middle School was taken charter and reopened as the Memphis Street Academy,…
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Schools as sites of love

Abolition & Justice, Education, Love
Love is one of my favorite topics. Especially love as it plays out in society. Since it's something I speak about and highlight often, even without provocation, I've decided to write more about it this year. Love is a broad idea, so I've been brainstorming ways to approach it in meaningful slices. Given my professional background, it seems a good place to start would be schools as sites of love (or not). With my concurrent interests in prison abolition, the school to prison pipeline, and restorative justice, love is perhaps a natural lens through which to consider those intersections. To that end, I'd like to share this piece from yesterday's Washington Post. School leaders in Alexandria agreed to implement a restorative justice program this school year. The school year is…
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At dusk, I’m thinking

Feminist Thought, Politics, News & Notable
It's Wednesday and the sun is setting. I'm enduring a rare headache. It has not drowned in water nor drifted away in sleep, despite my best efforts. I guess it's here to stay a bit. I'm due to stay up this evening and watch American Horror Story. I'm not normally a night owl, but I'm doing it this one time in solidarity with Sojo and Ms. Smart so we can do one of these. Just this one time though...I'm thinking about compassionate capitalism. I imagine such a thing exists. I want you to imagine it, too. I aim to find it, and write about it, as to expand our understanding about what's possible in a loving society. I'm thinking about practitioners of restorative justice, especially those in Georgia or in the south.…
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More on Restorative Justice

Abolition & Justice
Today a girlfriend said, people are never going to operate from a place of love 100% of the time. I agree. But societally and individually, we could strive for it more often, yes? We can choose compassion over fear and closure. We can choose restoration and transformation over revenge. If there's a reaction to every action, what happens when every choice is a punitive, vengeful one? How can we break the chain of spite? I think about this quite a bit, but it's pretty theoretical. What does it look like to make such choices? This is where the idea of restorative justice comes into play. "Restorative justice recognizes that crime hurts everyone - victims, offenders and community. It creates an obligation to make things right." For many, the righting of things…
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Restorative Justice and the Caring Community | #30in30 #WriteLikeCrazy.

30 Day Blog Challenge, Abolition & Justice
I'm at a conference, so I'm on and off the grid this weekend. While traveling, I had a short, but productive bout of writing-as-thinking. I decided not to push myself to finish either of the two pieces I started, but they are definitely seeds, firmly planted. One of the pieces was a follow-up to my post on a caring community. Even now, I'm still thinking about it. It all goes back to love, methinks. I sometimes wonder why love is such a revolutionary act. But why wouldn't it be? We are submerged in a world of violence. We see violent images on our televisions. We use violent language with people we love. Sing songs with violent lyrics. Think violent thoughts. Send violent energy with looks and gestures. And then we…
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