Ladybug Confessions and the Conditions for Good Behavior

Wallybug Divided

A few months ago I opened up the Seattle Times to see an amazing aerial photograph of “The Wallybug.” The Wallybug, a large street painting of a ladybug in Seattle’s Wallingford neighborhood, was my first real community organizing and placemaking project, completed right after I finished graduate school on the street where I lived. The Wallybug was also the first…

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Hitting Reverse on the Great Othering

Social trust is the dark matter of our Democracy.  Social trust is what allows us to get along and work towards a “greater good” with people who are different from us. It helps turn our differences and diversity into strengths. Without social trust, we become tribal and disconnected from one another, concerned only with our self-interests or the interests of…

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Why do only the White Folks show up? Diversity and Inclusion in Community Engagement.

“It was one of the most diverse neighborhoods in the City. The Steering Committee was four older white women…” “It was one of the most diverse elementary schools in the state. The people who showed up for the first community meeting were almost entirely white…” Sound familiar? With conversations about racism and diversity rising to the forefront of America’s consciousness…

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Sugar and Silver Linings: Covid & Community Part II

COVID-19 has forced us all to change our lives. For many this has meant regrouping closer to home, family, and those closest to us, gathering around digital and real fires. At times the Covid experience feels like a reversion back to nomadic life: wandering in small groups through a dangerous world, tending our flocks. Gone are the visits to “third…

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