Integration Movement Needed During Divisive Election

IMG_0814Elections are inherently divisive, with deep contention portending for November, but ruptured personal relationships aren’t a predestined outcome of differing political views. While the ballot box garners attention, groundwork for unification starts in local communities. This concept was reinforced during an engaging recent discussion with a University of Illinois student working to create a campus integration movement.

Although our discussion focused initially on her pursuit of a leadership certificate at the Urbana-Champaign campus and my role as her coach in that endeavor, it was quickly clear that our pairing has a broader purpose. Whoever created the partnership saw past age and ethnicity differences to focus on what matters most; common interests.

The increasing political segregation of our nation and risks associated with this division inspired my first two novels. Having identified potential solutions to these problems, I had thoughts to share. She also imparted her experiences and insights—highlighting safety, inclusion and opportunity concerns based on obstacles in daily life, and compounded by a “Build the Wall” rally held by one candidate’s supporters outside La Casa cultural house and other venues frequented by Latino/a students.

Several integration movement paths forward that don’t need to wait for November are evident, including many highlighted in Brandeis University Professor Susan Eaton’s book: Integration Nation: Immigrants, Refugees, and America at its Best. [Continue reading]

Mental Health Steps to Reverse Troubling Suicide Trends

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Last week’s Centers for Disease Control release of deeply disturbing suicide trend data reminds us that even many proven mental health steps still require widespread attention and support. Even as understanding of brain function and chemistry … [Continue reading]

Principles on Faith and Humanity

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Ever since being confounded by contradictions in my childhood religion as well as finding disconnects between that religion and my instincts, I’ve searched for spiritual truth. Decades into that journey and still bereft of many definitive answers, I … [Continue reading]

I Want to Die; Dealing with Severe Teen Depression

It has been many months since I joined Dr. James Sutton on The Changing Behavior Network, but he still considers that interview to be "one of his best." Discussing my years when "I want to die" was more than a passing thought for me, the interview … [Continue reading]

A Mother Turns Tragic Loss Into a Lifetime of Purpose

Speaking at University of Illinois leadership development program.

A varsity football starter, 16-year-old Kyle Braid led naturally. A standout among his peers for an inclusive, inspirational attitude in addition to exceptional athletic ability, Kyle's positive presence created a deep, wide imprint at an early … [Continue reading]

Post-Nevada: Caught Between Political Hell No and I Don’t Know

Long troubled by the disproportionate primary process control of party extremists, I’m struggling to find a presidential candidate who offers me refuge from political homelessness. With my political philosophy defined by non-traditional concepts … [Continue reading]

I Can Explain Trump Supporters (With Help)

Only racism, bigotry or hatred could explain the call from presidential candidate Donald Trump for a temporary ban on Muslim travel into the United States or his months-old statements about Mexican immigrants. Right? How can nearly 30 percent of … [Continue reading]

Give With Me on Giving Tuesday

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Give with me on Giving Tuesday. 100% of earnings from December sales of Suicide Escape will be donated to mental health groups and you'll have a gift for someone you care deeply about (perhaps even yourself). While it didn't win the Writer's … [Continue reading]

Lessons from Civil Rights Legend Timuel Black

Chicago 96-year-old civil rights legend Timuel Black, Jr. and his wife Zenobia

It could have been one of life’s passing pleasures, a serendipitous opportunity to spend an evening absorbing the insights of 96-year-old civil rights leader, educator and World War II veteran Timuel Black, Jr. on what it was like to create his own … [Continue reading]

Does Russia’s Re-Expansion Threaten Global Peace

A critical aspect of Golden Rule government is acquiring knowledge and imagining ourselves in the situation of others. With the news today that a Russian General has walked into the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad to request/tell the U.S. to pull its … [Continue reading]