Connections 2000 September

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Race, Class, and Civil Rights
Poverty, Homelessness, and Unemployment
Imperialism and Economic Injustice
Nuclear weapons
Education, Information, and Communication 
Democracy and Religion
Hunger and Health Care
September: Education, Information, and Communication -- For starters: information and communication pathways, main stream media shaping all perceptions, public/private education, student loans, text book distortion, school funding, teachers, homophobia, AIDS, homogeneity as a goal, maintenance of the status quo, literacy, prejudice, elimination of nonconformity, educating children to be responsible, caring people; tenure, administration of universities, censorship, propaganda, corporate advertising in schools...

The following was written by Bob Kinsey, published originally in the "Colorado Peace Mission" journal and used by the author's permission.
"We are drowning in information but starved for understanding," says John Naisbitt. "Teens should be surrounded by people who know deep things if they are going to learn the joy of learning," says Carl Sagan. As a high school teacher I am concerned that all people, young and old, are spending less and less time discussing the deep things that lead to understanding or that stretch the imagination. Education is presented as meeting standards of skill or information that will be useful in the market place. Discussions about relationships that are equitable or about the achievement of higher, non-materialist social goals are often judged as impractical or even disloyal to the republic that has created an idol of private property and so-called economic laws.

"History texts and news media avoid the great issues of justice and meaningful participation in the community, the market place, the work place, or the environment. For instance, the labor movement is reduced to a footnote. Yet these are the issues which will determine the quality of life for most humans in the future. Big government is an object of distrust even though government is the major way citizens can work toward greater, nobler community goals. On the other hand, big profits and concentrations of wealth are accepted as inevitable and desirable even though for most people the odds of participation in the royal flush society are lottery small.

Young people--all people, need to forge images of themselves based on knowledge of how the past has brought them to the choices now available, and a vision of the particular portion of the globe where they dwell in relation to the whole earth. This is to become wise rather than to simply have information. We need to explore together the deep things that will empower us as citizens of a fully interconnected world."
Pick up your pen, or put your fingers to your keyboard and compose a letter to the editor of your local paper about these subjects from your own perspective and your own activism. Lack of a full flow of accurate information is the most significant barrier to social progress.

Write a letter a month.

Support alternative news sources such as Pacifica's "Democracy Now."

Balance your efforts between your own activist focus and the broad picture.

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