The Real Value of AmeriCorps

Written by Judith Fenlon

In 1993, President Bill Clinton signed the National Community Service Trust Act, which created the AmeriCorps program. In 1994, the first class of 20,000 AmeriCorps members began serving in more than 1,000 communities nationwide. Twenty years later, there are still people committing a year to national service.

I entered the program in November 2001, a recent college graduate with a sense of purpose and patriotism, following the terrorist attacks on September 11. I longed for a sense of community in a confusing time….

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#America, #ChildWelfare, #King

Dreaming of a Safe America

The airstrikes against the Islamic State, a decidedly violent and oppressive group, are deeply unsettling, bringing forth memories of 9/ll and the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars, along with fears that America will never extract itself from this region of the world, or be safe from revengeful terrorist groups. At such times, it’s natural to become defensive, fearful, and even hopeless.

One of the things that makes America a wonderful place to live is that we feel entitled to freedom and safety and feel others are entitled to freedom and safety too. Yet rarely do airstrikes like the ones on Syria feel like a simple exercise in the protection of human rights. America has too many unresolved traumas, too many unspoken desires, for the public to trust a motive as simple as the preservation of freedom and safety.

In this blog post, I try to understand how unconscious dreams and unresolved traumas influence our defensive reactions to threat, much like the child that suffers chronic traumatization is altered by conditions of abuse and neglect. I believe we are at a time in our nation’s history when we must examine the disparity between what we have dreamed of becoming and deal with the reality of what we are: stressed, even traumatized, increasingly fragmented, yet also passionate, resourceful, and capable of honest evaluation. But first we have to let go of our defenses. Even during times of war….

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#America, #Isis, #Trauma, #USA

Susan Grettenberger Finishes Strong in Race for Congress

Susan Grettenberger surprised Michigan’s Democratic Party establishment with her strong showing in the August 5th primary for the 8th Congressional District seat in Congress.  She pulled in 11,398 votes (38%) falling just short of the 13,621 votes (41%) garnered by her opponent, Ingham County Treasurer Eric Schertzing. …

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#America, #Congressional, #Government, #Professor, #Research, #SocialWork

We’re All Libertarians

I was looking at internet videos the other day when I came across one of a well-known political pundit talking about libertarians.  His first words described libertarians as a faction of the Republican Party.

And he couldn’t be more wrong.  I’d venture to guess that most every American in their heart is a libertarian, whether you identify with the Democrats, the Republicans, the Tea Party, or the Socialists.  We’re just libertarians in different ways, as we see fit to be….

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#America, #Libertarians, #Politics

The Most Free State: North Dakota?

When you think of freedom it’s obvious that one of the first places that should come into your mind is North Dakota. Well the Mercatus Institute thinks so too in their ranking of U.S. states by levels of freedom. This ranking is based on one particular freedom, economic, given that this is an…


The Bill Appreciating Social Workers

It seems Congress hasn’t entirely sequestered. S. Res. 78 was introduced on March 18, 2013, “Supporting the goals and ideals of Professional Social Work Month and World Social Work Day.” The bill calls for the American people to recognize social workers and encourages “the people…


Are Children Going Hungry in America?

BBC Reporter, Duncan Walker, reports child poverty in the United States of America has reached “record levels.” Walker reports that nearly 17 million children are now affected in America and that number is growing on a daily basis.
Walker interviews the Haywood family: Kaylie, 10 years old,…