The Mission of MLK Lives On

King’s sacred mission of nonviolent organized political pressure, toward justice for all, still stands as the moral compass of our nation. The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., stood for universal rights and the never-resting moral imperative that we honor the call to be of service to one another. His eloquence was personal, spiritual, and…

We Must Empower Each Other to Lead

This Presidents’ Day, we remember those who have served honorably to build and to defend government of the people, by the people, and for the people. We commemorate the service of: General Washington who with his infantry camped through a dangerous winter at Valley Forge, to stage the most improbable victory against the most powerful…

A Time for Wild Mercy

Hope, good will, and fairness are participatory. Without active, committed, forward-thinking collaboration and attentive participation, they are just words. Whatever political system we live in, it is a universal longing that leaders show deep loyalty to the graces that would allow their leadership to liberate people as they move through the everyday. We must remember…

Reject Hate, Every Time

The gift. It is an area of inquiry in deconstructionist postmodern philosophy, that connects to all the human aspirations we might classify as altruistic. The true gift asks nothing in return, not even recognition. At the heart of the act of giving, there lies a paradox: one must have the intention to give in order…

Barcelona som tots

There is a place in Barcelona, next to the Basilica Santa María del Mar, where an eternal flame arches over a unique, concave public square, in honor of all who have sacrificed to defend the ancient laws of Catalunya. It is a place to reflect on what makes people behave selflessly in service of others….

Stand with Charlottesville

Heather Heyer lost her life and liberty standing up for yours and mine. She gave her life in service of the simple, universal value that no form of violence, tyranny, or injustice, can be allowed to stand unchallenged. She knew she was facing danger; she told friends the threat worried her. She made a choice…

The Liberating Genius of Open Civics

My father’s father, whom we called J.R., was ideologically conservative and a committed Republican. He came to New Jersey from Indiana, to train with the Army Signal Corps, before shipping out to an around-the-world tour of duty in World War II. He ran for and won elective office as a mayor and state legislator. He…

Non-Partisan Citizen Empowerment is Working

Originally published April 28, 2017, by ICLEI USA Throughout the 21st century, cities are likely to be more and more the engines of design that determine how we live and whether our way of making a living in the world is sustainable. Every society everywhere grapples with questions of how much decision-making authority should be…

The Civics Lesson in Cassini’s Saturn Ring Dives

The unknown is a vast and threatening landscape. Acting without exploring the boundaries of what we know is still more perilous. Misinformation disempowers people and institutions. Confusion disrupts our sense of capability. Exploration gives purpose. In finding truth, we learn about ourselves—about our limits and how to transcend them, and about our role as witnesses…

The Time for Everywhere-Active Climate Civics is Here

We’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how the shifting political ground of recent months affects the project of opening up a new and wider space for climate civics around the world. As some political forces seem to be arrayed against serious progress on mitigating climate change, we see the role of local, national,…