Thank you gifts: Wonderful Stuff to Share

This week is my blog-a-versary, or whatever you’d call that, so today’s post is just great stuff that I want to share.

I am grateful for you, and for what you’ve allowed me to do over these past four years, and, well, I like to share cool things.

Enjoy.

  • The awesome women at MomsRising created the coolest online advocacy tool I’ve ever seen this year for Valentine’s Day. You could create a Valentine to send to your members of Congress, asking for stronger gun control laws. And, as you’ll see, you can ‘decorate’ it electronically, making it the perfect advocacy project for, say, a 30-something mom and her 4.5-year-old daughter who loves hearts and sparkles. THIS is how you do advocacy with parents, people–asking them to take 3 minutes to do something fun with their children that teaches critical messages about social change. They’re going to the top of the end-of-the-year donation list again.
  • This American Life really outdid itself with the two-part series on Harper High School in Chicago. I am, actually, a TAL fanatic, guilty of using up almost all my data minutes just for streaming TAL on my phone, but this feature on the impact of gun violence on teenagers in Chicago, and on a school in particular, was extraordinarily gripping. It provoked an extra 3 miles on the treadmill because I couldn’t stop listening. Yes, that good.
  • I get posts from epolitics delivered to my email inbox and, while I don’t often share them here, because it’s a bit beyond the niche of this blog, I’m really fascinated by the research analyzing the role of social media and online engagement in shaping how Americans do politics, today, and what that means for all of us, tomorrow. Plus, it helps me understand what wonky tech people are talking about.
  • IREHR, always good for a buzz kill. On Kansas Day this year (yes, there’s a day, people; we celebrate it in school), my good friend Lenny was asked to speak about racism and anti-Semitism in Kansas history. And that’s what makes him, and the Institute for Research and Education on Human Rights, which he heads, so important. They remind us of the parts of ourselves we’d rather forget, so that, in remembering, we have a chance to overcome. More than a few times, he’s pointed out how a given politician I’m trying to build an alliance with is a radical with ties to white nationalism. On a road trip once, he pointed out a Christian Identity trucking company. It’s a big burden to carry, this immersion in the nasty sides of everything, but he does it for our own good. And I’m grateful.
  • The award for best email subject line ever goes to Communities Creating Opportunities’ 2013 Covenant for Families initiative, which sent me an action alert this spring titled, “Woe to those who make unjust laws.” That is an awesome use of the prophet Isaiah. Even better is what they’re doing to engage people of faith in social justice work, now across the state of Kansas, where we can use some woe-bringing.
  • Having a great state representative is pretty terrific, really. I am so glad to call Representative Barbara Bollier my elected official. She’s smart, hard-working, and not afraid to take stands on controversial issues. She’s also extremely accessible and quite selfless. Yes, there are still really good people willing to run for office. And I’m glad.

Is there anything you’d like to share, in the cause of well-wishing? The only thing better than my list of wonderful stuff is that list with yours added to it.

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