May 23, 2015

Democratic Activism

Freddie Gray’s Death: Due to an Inadequate Supply of Charter Schools in Baltimore? Really?

Freddie GrayThe tragic death of Freddie Gray had roots in Baltimore’s history of racial inequities and problems of police-community relations, but to conclude that an increase in the city’s acceptance of charter schools might be a prominent solution seems like a big, non-racial non sequitur.

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Political Grandstanding Overwhelms Reason at Judiciary Committee Hearing on Policing

RacismNine months after the killing of Michael Brown in Ferguson, and more than three years after the killing of Trayvon Martin, the House of Representatives finally held a committee hearing on the deteriorating relations between police departments and black communities. Based on the grandstanding that ensued in the hearing, no progress whatsoever was made.

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Volunteers as a Key Element of Nonprofit Org Design: Braille Institute San Diego

NewsThe key to incorporating volunteers is to commit to the concept and make it part of your core organizational identity and design.

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The Lessons of Somaly Mam’s Return: Charities Disgraced by their Founders

 

MamThe news last year that Somaly Mam was starting a new charity dedicated to fighting human trafficking and sex slavery raises the question of how a damaged icon like Mam can rebuild her charitable brand.

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We’re Fed Up! Detroit’s Janitors Join the Battle for a Living Wage

Living wage for janitorsAs a city emerges from bankruptcy, workers see the fight for a living wage as part of the effort to rebuild their city.

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Board Fractures, Director Leaves—How Do You Get People to Do Stuff?

board-fractureThe description of the infighting at the Pinellas County Homeless Leadership Board is excruciating, but there may be a relatively simple solution to the impasse.

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Nonprofits and Zoning Disputes: A Common Conundrum

Buena VIsta EastA study in contrast: A high-end museum in Miami and a homeless shelter in Winston-Salem meet local community opposition to their building plans.

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Hopes for Jimmy Carter’s Quick Return to Peace and Democracy Work

CarterThere are many reasons to admire Jimmy Carter for his post-presidential career dedicated to peace and human rights. We hope he recovers quickly from the illness he developed while monitoring elections in Guyana.

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Madison School Superintendent Urges Protesting Students to Stay Safe

NewsBefore today’s upcoming announcement of whether the officer who shot 19-year-old Tony Robinson, Jr., will be indicted, the superintendent of the Madison School District paused to give advice to parents of students who may protest.

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Fast Food and Living Wages: Can They Coexist?

Fight for $15It was an interesting week that was in the fight over minimum wage.

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Social Enterprise Uber Alles: What Kind of Social Enterprise is Uber?

 

Uber taxi protestAmong social enterprise advocates, the Uber ride-share business gets lots of plaudits, but critics question what Uber means for labor protections and collective bargaining.

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Remembering the Lessons of Vietnam Means Rejecting the Pentagon’s Revisionist History

VietnamThe Pentagon has apparently backed down on its plans to issue its own whitewashed history of the Vietnam War, but there is more to be done to ensure that the public gets the full story on what really happened five decades ago.

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Will this Revolution be “Televised”? Social Media and Civil Rights in the 21st Century

#BlackLivesMatter“Our demand is simple. Stop killing us,” says Johnetta Elzie, one of the social media organizers of the Black Lives Matter movement.

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Rodney King and Freddie Gray: Has Anything Changed?

 

Rodney KingTwenty-three years and 2,300 miles separate the stories of L.A.’s Rodney King and Baltimore’s Freddie Gray, but there are some disturbing similarities.

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Memory and Silence: Carrying Vietnam Era Antiwar Lessons Forward

AntiwarFor those who did not live through the protests of the Vietnam War era, here are some reflections and lessons from that historic movement as expressed by some of its leaders.

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Obama’s TPP Testiness Emerges at Organizing for Action Summit

TPPThe struggle within the Democratic Party over President Obama’s plans for the Trans-Pacific Partnership and fast-track trade authority has nonprofit dimensions, exemplified by President Obama’s comments about TPP opponents at the summit of the Organizing for Action network.

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Engaging in an Unlikely Manner: Artists as Environmental Stewards

LA River An arts collective is helping to foster a sense of public ownership around the long-neglected Los Angeles River. Other rivers and broader environmental concerns also benefit from artist-activists.

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The Philanthropy of Peace

PeaceAt the Global Philanthropy Forum, one panel focused on philanthropic support for NGO peacemakers—as hard a job as there might be in the nonprofit sector, and one that is not well supported by the funding community.

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Student Testing: A Flashpoint for Debate about National Educational Policy

TestingControversy about the impact of testing on students has grown into a national protest movement.

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Court of Appeals to Directors of Nonprofits: “Nonprofit” Does Not Mean “No Risk for You”

Risk

 

The business judgment rule offers directors some protection, but it is not an all-purpose shield against claims based on dereliction of duty, let alone disloyalty or self-dealing.

 

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An Unusual Employee Onboarding Requirement—Or Is It?

Holocaust MuseumNonprofits might want to think about this values-laden example of an employee onboarding process and consider what they themselves can do.

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Penn Students March to Promote School’s Payment of PILOTs

UPennIn the U.S. Northeast, nonprofits are fighting state and local government efforts to raise revenues from them.

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As FEGS Tries to Transfer Programs, Staff Resign and Costs Mount

NewsPerhaps unsurprisingly, the FEGS bankruptcy appears to be messy and costly despite attempts to control it.

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For Discussion: Ukrainian Pianist Dropped from Toronto Symphony for “Offensive” Tweets

Toronto Symphony memberIs asking a prominent figure in a public-facing institution to restrain her political tweets legitimate, or a violation of her free speech rights?

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Timing Could Be Deciding Factor in Sweet Briar Case: Will Court Act Quickly to Prevent Damage?

 

TimeIf the court doesn’t take action on Sweet Briar soon, the whole process may become moot as students and teachers prepare to flee.

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Occupy’s “Illuminators” Replace Removed Snowden Statue with Hologram

SnowdenThough living in Russia, Edward Snowden appears to be haunting a park in Brooklyn with the help of local artists trying to spark civic dialogue.

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North Dakota Students Fight for Constitutional Right to Pro-life Club

NewsA nonprofit law firm has charged the Fargo Public School district of unconstitutionally discriminating and violating the Federal Equal Access Act by refusing to approve a pro-life club.

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The Children who Organize Free Little Libraries

Little Free LibrarySome children in every generation are born activists and organizers. These eight- and nine-year-olds organized libraries as part of a worldwide movement.

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Fix This Now: California Endowment Mulls Divesting from Indiana Businesses

FIX THISIn one of many points of protest, The California Endowment has written to Indiana-based Anthem, in which it invests, to say it is reviewing its Indiana-based investments.

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National Review Magazine Goes Nonprofit to Prepare for Growth

National ReviewDylan Byers of Politico reports that, lured by the potential of tax-deductible donations, the conservative National Review is apparently transitioning to become a nonprofit.

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