1. Arts & Activism in Museums, On the Street, & in Prisons

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    by Jan Roberts I love the beauty and the power of the arts to bring my emotions to the fore. I also am loving the increasing engagement and visibility of the arts in activism that promote the wellbeing of humanity, communities and the planet.  Despite their valid concerns of turning off potential audiences or donors, museums have been putting their toes in the waters being stirred by pressing societal problems. They are being aided by partnerships with artist groups and art organizations that use art to inspire and engage viewers emotionally and intellectually to be agents of change. The Museum...
  2. Three Cities Showing the Way Forward: Youth Jobs – Medical Services – Food Economy

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    In 2004, I was at a conference on Gross National Happiness Indicators taking place in Canada. It’s a way to measure wealth in a nation that includes the wellbeing of people, communities and planet. At the time, I was not feeling very upbeat about such innovation becoming reality in the U.S. The Canadian participants shared in their conversations with me that they believed that the hope for the future in the United States lay with the cities. It seems cities are still leading the way, today. Here are three recent examples of cities implementing solutions for youthful employment, medical services...
  3. Now Is The Time To Ask What Can I Do?

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    Please don’t get overwhelmed by that question. When JFK first posited it in 1960, the implication seemed to be that you/I/we needed to do something pretty big to help our country. I’m thinking a bit smaller. First, it’s important to acknowledge that things are not so hot in the U.S. Yes, there is President Trump and choices being made that I don’t agree with. However, there has been gridlock in DC and a cultural ethos of materialism and greed going on for a long time. So, please let’s just move past the political divide and focus on what is being...
  4. Where Do You Fit In: Protester Or Community Builder?

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    I was a participant in the Women’s Movement in the 70’s and have remained involved in social, environmental and economic change efforts since then. Although, I may not be an expert on social movements, I have formed an opinion on their process based on my experience. In a nutshell, I believe there are at least two components: (1) Protest & Resist; (2) Community Building & Solutions. I was not on the leading edge of the Women’s Movement. I did and do admire those who were out front confronting patriarchy in a variety of ways—marching in the streets, launching feminist magazines,...
  5. The Power of Hope is Real for You & for Society

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    by Jan Roberts  The power of hope IS real. Hope is the belief that circumstances will get better. It’s not a wish for things to get better — it’s the actual belief, the knowledge that things will get better, no matter how big or small. Hope has the amazing power to create positive change for individuals and for society. On the individual level, hope has a healing impact in the treatment of personal mental challenges. For instance, studies have shown that Hope Therapy is effective in a variety of situations ranging from mothers of children with cancer to amphetamine users....
  6. Gar ALperovitz, Worker Owned Cooperatives & Resources To Make Them Happen

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    Gar Alperovitz is a political economist, change-agent, highly respected professor, much read author and a down to earth straight talking expert on what is happening in the New Economy. On my Road Trip Video Series, I interviewed him in his home in Washington DC on the New Economy. He speaks about an explosion of on the ground initiatives that have a powerful potential for addressing wealth inequity in this country. Video In his newest book, What Then Must We Do: Straight Talk About the Next American Revolution, Gar challenges us to think differently about the future: He writes: “We remember the future. We unconsciously project...
  7. The Women’s March Leads Me To The Earth Charter

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      Over one million people participated in the Women’s March in DC  and approximately three million more marched in 600 cities around the country on behalf of women’s rights, human rights, Black Lives Matter, climate change, immigration and diversity, democracy and more. I experienced a Déjà vu when I took in the multiplicity of causes and issues.  I had been engaged for years with the Earth Charter, an international declaration for a sustainable future based on the principles of universal human rights, economic justice, ecological integrity and a culture of nonviolence and peace. I couldn’t help but wonder if the...
  8. Remaining Sane in These Times

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     Where do I pick up the gauntlet and fight? There are so many battles.  There are not only presidential cabinet nominees that seem, for the most part, interested in eradicating the agencies they are supposed to be serving but it’s also getting impossible to keep up with the presidential directives. For example: Stopping airport arrivals including green card holders from seven Muslim-majority countries except from those like Pakistan or Saudi Arabia, which really did export terrorists to our shores; Putting millions of women at risk around the world by defunding organizations not only for abortions but for any family planning like...
  9. Road Trip Through Civil Rights History

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    As I hit the road for a weeklong trip to visit the civil rights museums in the southeast, I wasn’t sure why I was doing it even though I did know that I was deeply concerned about the surge in hate crimes after the presidential election.  It seems obvious now that this feeling would be what urged me to go. However, at the time I was only aware that I wanted to have an adventure that would enlighten me about something I cared about. So, my fellow traveler and friend, Genie Skypek, and I stocked the Prius with thermoses of...
  10. Democracy Labs Are Brewing a New Economy

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     Democracy Labs are brewing the New Economy in several states. For instance, experiments are taking place to use a new metric for economic success and performance that gives a broader picture of sustainability and growth.  Vermont became the first state to pass a law introducing Genuine Progress Indicators (GPI), which take into account the wellbeing of citizens, communities and the planet. There are 26 ways the GPI can go up in a state or a nation such as getting more energy from renewables; increased energy efficiency; reducing the income gap; volunteering more for your community; preserving wetlands, forests, and farmland;...

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Operation Bon Appetit is an initiative of the Cultural Innovations Agency, Inc. (CIA), a 501c3 nonprofit corporation, with the mission to engage ordinary people in sustainability and social change that emphasizes conviviality, arts, conversations and actions. The ethical framework for the CIA recognizes the interconnection of economic justice, human rights, respect for nature and a culture of peace.

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