Going out with a bang: Some good news to end 2012!

If you’re anything like me, you, too, are in sore need of some good news, as we head into 2013.

This year has been rough around here–a massive tax cut turned our Kansas half-a-billion dollar ending balance into deficits as far as the eye can see.

I’m buying reams of paper for my kid’s public school. Things are depressing.

But we have to gear up for the year to come. We have a lot to do and reasons to believe that we can do much.

So, a list of some good news (not exhaustive, certainly) about which we should get excited.

I’m crowdsourcing this one, because, quite honestly, my list isn’t long enough and I need some help here. Please share your good news–encouraging progress with a client, progressive policy changes I missed, social movements that we should be excited about, even just random acts of kindness worth sharing.

As we inoculate ourselves for the year to come, we can use all the good news we can get.

  • DACA Scholarships: I love it when people get it, that immigrant students are one of the best things we have going for us, and then are willing to put their money behind supporting their dreams. This rocks.
  • The economy has improved: I don’t know if it will last, and it certainly doesn’t erase the hardship, but every new job opening means an opportunity for someone who needs one, and we need to celebrate that, even while working harder to build an economy that will really work for working people.
  • $500 can mean the difference between a kid going to college or not: Think about it. Seriously. For less than the cost of a fancy new television, we can dramatically alter a student’s educational prospects, just by providing them with seed money to orient them towards college. And, hurray! Research works, too!
  • Advocacy works, and people want to help us do it better: I’ll have more next year about the findings of this report, but, for now, I’m rejoicing that there were so many successful advocacy campaigns and advocacy organizations for them to profile. Advocacy can make a difference.
  • People are still welcoming: I love Welcoming America, and I love Welcoming Week, and I love that people–teenagers and church women and city council people and librarians and business owners–are coming together to reject anti-immigrant rhetoric and build welcoming communities that are prosperous and harmonious.
  • Scholarships to assist people with mental illness in completing higher education: I have been enriched by my opportunities to learn from my students who have mental illnesses, and I am grateful for efforts to reduce some of the barriers that these potential students face in their education.
  • Half the Sky: I really, really needed that this year. Are these women the most amazing and inspiring people? Yes. Do I appreciate even more their apparent averageness, because it challenges me to do more, instead of just putting them on a pedestal? Also yes.

What else? What good news are you sitting on that you just have to share?

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