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Revelations: “the sea is another story”

March 09, 2014 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Anti-Racism, Arts and Culture, Eco-Justice, Spirituality

For Tilikum. And Dawn. For Kinship. And Love.

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Revelations: the acorn remembers

March 02, 2014 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Arts and Culture, Eco-Justice, Education, Science/Technology, Spirituality, What People are Doing to Change the World

Banned Ted Talk: The Science Delusion, Rupert Sheldrake at Whitechapel

the idea is that each species, each member of a species draws on the collective memory of the species, and tunes in to past members of the species, and in turn contributes to the further development of the species. So in the case of a potato, you’d have a whole background resonance from past species of potatoes, most of which grow wild in the Andes. And then in that particular case, because it’s a cultivated plant, there’s been a development of a whole lot of varieties of potatoes, which are cultivated, and as it so happens potatoes are propagated vegetatively, so they’re clones.

So each clone of potatoes, each variety, each member of the clone will resonate with all previous members of the clone, and that resonance is against a background of resonance with other members of the potato species, and then that’s related to related potato species, wild ones that still grow in the Andes. So, there’s a whole kind of background resonance, but what’s most important is the resonance from the most similar ones, which is the past members of that variety. And this is what makes the potatoes of that variety develop the way they do, following the habits of their kind.

Usually these things are ascribed to genes. Most people assume that inheritance depends on chemical genes and DNA, and say there’s no problem, it’s all just programmed in the DNA. What I’m saying is that that view of biological development is inadequate. The DNA is the same in all the cells of the potato, in the shoots, in the roots, in the leaves, and the flowers. The DNA is exactly the same, yet these organs develop differently. So something more than DNA must be giving rise to the form of the potato, and that is what I call the morphic field, the organizing field.

    ~ In the Presence of the Past: An Interview with Rupert Sheldrake

Wrong Turn: Biologist Rupert Sheldrake On How Science Lost Its Way

Morphic Resonance: Rupert’s Resonance, Scientific American

On-line Experiments to Change the World

Rupert Sheldrake Interviews

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Revelations: Mutual Aid

February 16, 2014 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Education, Intersectionality, What People are Doing to Change the World

matissephoto by Kathy Gorish for VINE Sanctuary

VINE Sanctuary began when two people drove past a chicken in a ditch and made the snap decision to stop and at least try to offer care to this unfamiliar animal. In the 14 years since, the sanctuary has been the scene of so many episodes of interspecies cooperation and care. These days, a gaggle of peace-keeping geese help us with the project of rehabilitating former fighting roosters. A cow called Buddy makes it his business to welcome every newcomer, regardless of species. The 3,000-pound cow called Thunder once used his huge forehead to gently nudge newly-arrived young turkeys into the coop where they could nest, feather to feather, with the rest of our truly motley crew.

As Peter Kropotkin showed in his classic 1902 book by that name, Mutual Aid among animals of different species is commonplace. On the internet, stories of trans-species adoptions or other instances of  one kind of nonhuman animal helping another always circulate widely. Such stories seem wondrous to us because we’ve been taught to be selfish and told that competition rather than cooperation is the norm in nature.

We’ve also been taught to see animals as passive objects of human attention rather than as active participants in problem-solving. Sheep tend to be particularly persistent problem-solvers, creatively trying different strategies until they figure out how to get where they are trying to go. And they are anything but “sheepish” when it comes to vocally expressing their wishes.

I can’t know what thought feels like to a sheep, much less what Lemon was thinking yesterday morning. But I do know that she deliberately helped Matisse solve the problem of the snowy pasture, taking time out of her day to do so. She could have run to join the other sheep scrounging for spilled birdseed by the pigeon aviary, but instead she stepped slowly, stopping each time Matisse needed to regain his balance on her wooly back. Such moments remind me that we are not the rescuers of animals but, rather, allies in the mutual project of care-giving.”

~ excerpted with permission from Ewe Helps Rooster Stay Out of the Snow, Vine Sanctuary News

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CI: Decriminalizing School Discipline

February 12, 2014 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Criminal Injustice Series, Education, Intersectionality, Prison Industrial Complex, What People are Doing to Change the World

Criminal InJustice is a weekly series devoted to taking action against inequities in the U.S. criminal justice system. Nancy A. Heitzeg, Professor of Sociology and Race/Ethnicity, is the Editor of CI. Kay Whitlock, co-author of Queer (In)Justice, is contributing editor of CI. Criminal Injustice is published every Wednesday at 6 pm.

Decriminalizing School Discipline: How to Stop the School to Prison Pipeline at The Source
by nancy a heitzeg

Last week, I had the privilege of participating on this panel at the American Bar Association Midyear Meeting: “The School-to-Prison Pipeline: What are the Problems? What are the Solutions?” The event was jointly sponsored by the ABA’s Coalition on Racial and Ethnic Justice, the Criminal Justice Section and the Counsel for Racial and Ethnic Diversity in the Educational Pipeline. Panelists included the Reverend Janette C. Wilson of RainbowPUSH; Dr. Artika Tyner, a clinical law professor and diversity director at the University of St. Thomas School of Law; Mariame Kaba of Project NIA and Prison Culture; Robert Saunooke, chair of the ABA’s Tribal Courts Council, and Julie Biehl, Director of Children and Family Justice Center, Northwestern University Law School.

The panel was a call for lawyers, educators, everyone to take whatever actions they could to interrupt the school to prison pipeline. In particular, emphasis was placed on the role of the new Federal Guidelines on School Climate and Discipline and the opportunity offered now to move away from decades of zero tolerance. The piece below, written for Praeger/ABC-CLIO Publishing’s on-line series Enduring Questions, highlights the role of zero tolerance policies and police in the schools, both key policy cornerstones in the school to prison pipeline.

Over the years, Criminal InJustice has written much on this topic, in part, with the  hope that this may be the a pathway into a larger social critique of the prison industrial complex which impels it. It has been my experience that however deep the commitment some have to “law and order”, to the harsh policing and punishment of adults, the school to prison pipeline gives many pause. There is something so shocking, so fundamentally unfair about the notion of children, increasingly young,  being policed in the pursuit of an education, being criminalized for mere childish misbehavior. It is so unfair it can sometimes shine a light back on the entire system that it is designed to feed.

So let it now.

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Revelations: Slaughter at Taiji, The Cove

January 26, 2014 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Eco-Justice, International Law, Intersectionality, What People are Doing to Change the World

Japan dolphin hunt goes on after slaughter: campaigners, New Straits Times

Ambassador Kennedy Criticizes Japan’s Dolphin Hunt, NPR

U.S. State Department Expresses Concern About the Japan Dolphin Drive, Supports Ambassador Kennedy, Seattle PI

Cove Guardians, SeaShepard.org

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Did mother of albino dolphin commit suicide after Japanese fishermen took its calf during mass slaughter? UK Daily Mail

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Revelations: Slavery, Depicted

January 19, 2014 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Anti-Racism, Arts and Culture, Civil Rights, Imperialism, Intersectionality

 

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“Which Story, What Story, and Whose Story Is Being Told?” Massa’s Gaze: Screenings & Discussions of the Depictions of Slavery in Film & Television (NYC)

12 Years a Slave Fails to Show Resistance”, Guardian

“The Horrors 12 Years a Slave Couldn’t Tell”, Aljazeera America

“Why I Wouldn’t See 12 Years a Slave With a White Person”, The Atlantic

“How 2013 Became the Year of the Slavery Film”, Daily Beast

‘The Good White Folks of the Academy” Aljazeera America

Twelve Years a Slave: Narrative of Solomon Northup, a Citizen of New-York, Kidnapped in Washington City in 1841, and Rescued in 1853 (Electronic Edition, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1997).

 

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CI: Feds Finally Take Action to End School to Prison Pipeline

January 15, 2014 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Criminal Injustice Series, Education, Intersectionality, Prison Industrial Complex, What People are Doing to Change the World

Criminal InJustice is a weekly series devoted to taking action against inequities in the U.S. criminal justice system. Nancy A. Heitzeg, Professor of Sociology and Race/Ethnicity, is the Editor of CI. Kay Whitlock, co-author of Queer (In)Justice, is contributing editor of CI. Criminal Injustice is published every Wednesday at 6 pm.

Feds Finally Take Action to End School to Prison Pipeline
by nancy a heitzeg

Last week, the Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division responded to more than a decade of data-driven critique of zero tolerance policies, the criminalization of education, and the creation of a school to prison pipeline. The Departments jointly issued extensive new guidelines urging schools to abandon zero tolerance policies, reduce a “policing” approach, and rely instead on restorative justice .

Persistent and consistent disparities in rate of suspensions and expulsions are the heart of the official critique. As the New York Times notes in “The Civil Rights of Children“:
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“The guidance documents included striking data on racial inequities. For example, African-American students represent only 15 percent of public school students, but they make of 35 percent of students suspended once, 44 percent of those suspended more than once and 36 percent of those expelled. Statistical information does not in itself prove discrimination. But research has shown that black students do not engage in more serious or more frequent misbehavior than other students.

The treatment of disabled students should be a source of national shame: They represent 12 percent of students in the country, but they make up 25 percent of students receiving multiple out-of-school suspensions and 23 percent of students subjected to a school-related arrest.”

This is consistent with a growing national concern over the school to prison pipeline.  The U.S. Department of Education and the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice committed in 2012 to addressing disparities in the school suspensions and expulsions as a civil rights matter, including filing suit against the State of Mississippi for operating a school to prison pipeline in Meridian. In December of 2012 the first ever Congressional hearings on the school to prison pipeline were held and featured expert testimony that detailed both the scope of the problem and solutions including calls for decreased funding incentives for police, increased funding for counseling, support staff  and educational resources, mandatory nation-wide data collection on suspension, expulsion and arrests at school, and support for evidenced-based solutions to end the persistent racial disparities that shape the contours of the pipeline.

The guidelines leave some questions – especially around the police presence at schools-but they are a much welcome step forward that reminds us too of the importance of federal framing and leadership. The complete set of resources is included below.

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Revelations: Reparations, Remembering Amiri Baraka

January 12, 2014 By: nancy a heitzeg Category: Anti-Racism, Civil Rights, Education, Intersectionality, Spirituality, What People are Doing to Change the World

Def Poetry – Amiri Baraka – “Why is We Americans”

Remembering Activist Poet Amiri Baraka, NPR

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