Headlines and Hope

It’s been a hell of a summer for things coming out of downtown Raleigh.

And don’t tell me you don’t know what I’m talking about. Our state government makes decisions that capture the attention of the likes of The Daily Show, Stephen Colbert, Rachel Maddow, and Bill Maher. Any time that happens, it can’t be good.

In fact, it’s been pretty frustrating.

The most recent headline out of downtown Raleigh is something you’ve probably seen or heard of by now, as the story was picked up by pretty much all local media, Good Morning America, Huffington Post, Time, NPR, and Al-Jazeera…and gone viral with the help of social media.

Love Wins Ministries was told by local PD to stop their typical weekend Saturday and Sunday morning routine of going to Moore Square to feed their friends who live outside. Failure to comply (because they were in violation of an undisclosed ordinance) would result in arrests. I’m not sure what prompted this particular event on this particular Saturday morning when Love Wins has been operating in this manner for 6 years, unobstructed.

Needless to say, people were outraged. Love Wins has done their best, though, to respond well and engage in conversation with the appropriate people on all sides of the issue…including Raleigh mayor, Nancy McFarlane, and the Raleigh City Council. And the conversations have already begun…an effort which seems to have promise.

In all honesty, I have felt, deep within my innermost being, THE most hopeful about this headline from downtown. The situation is not resolved–far from it. But for once this summer, people from different sides are actually having conversation in an attempt to understand and reach a solution that is beneficial for as many people as possible. And THAT is the key reason I have hope.

For more on the story, you can go here: http://lovewins.info/2013/08/frequently-asked-questions-about-the-moore-square-indicent/

In the mean time, you can continue to follow along on Love Wins website and, for more immediate updates, on their Facebook page.



The Short List

In thinking a lot about poverty these days (and in what to write about for a social psychology paper), I have a short list of books to read that deal with how to address global poverty. What I really need to do, is check out local (i.e., American) poverty to see what sort of an impact it has on our education system and the programs we develop or the way we structure schools as we redistrict in crazy ways in this county. Either way, you may be interested to see what’s in the queue:

The White Man’s Burden: Why the West’s Efforts the Aid the Rest Have Done So Much Ill and So Little Good–William Easterly

The End of Poverty: Economic Possibilities for Our Time–Jeffrey Sachs

Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty–Muhammah Yunus

Creating a World Without Poverty: Social Business and the Future of Capitalism–Muhammad Yunus

If you know of others or if you’ve read these, feel free to comment. I have no idea how they will be, but there are some interesting ideas put out by these different individuals…More to come as I get into it further.