There is no Other

This morning, I was proud to join my Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman, as President of Congregation Shaarei Shamayim, at the public announcement of the formation of the Dane Sanctuary Coalition. Together with First Unitarian Society, Advent Lutheran Church ELCA, Community of Hope United Church of Christ, and Orchard Ridge United Church of Christ, with support from First Congregational United Church of Christ, First Baptist Church, James Reeb Unitarian Universalist Congregation  and Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ, our faith communities have joined together to provide sanctuary to immigrants and refugees who are under threat of deportation due to, “immoral immigration policies that threaten families, instill fear in our communities and violate the most basic ethical standards of our faith traditions,” as so eloquently stated by Rabbi Bonnie Margulis.

20170706_111551

When Kelly Crocker, Minister at the First Unitarian Society, with whom my synagogue shares space and thus joins us in offering sanctuary, gave her remarks, she offered a profound way of viewing the world.

There is no other, just a neighbor you haven’t met yet.

Her simple statement resonated with me as I stood behind her this morning. It is among many reasons why my synagogue joined this coalition and why we offer sanctuary in a public manner. We join together in order to build community, not destroy families and the communities in which they live.

Last week, the Dane Sanctuary Coalition wrote letters to local Mayors, the County Executive and law enforcement officials, to let them know that we are publicly offering sanctuary to immigrants and refugees under threat of deportation. We do so at some risk to ourselves and our faith communities. But we are willing to take that risk to help protect our vulnerable immigrant and refugee neighbors from oppression. After all, we are a nation of immigrants and virtually all of us are here because either we or one of our ancestors immigrated here.  We sincerely appreciate that Madison Police Chief Mike Koval responded by stating:

I am always appreciative when constituents step up to make Madison a more inclusive and accessible community for all.

In our congregation’s recent newsletter, which informed our community that our Board of Directors had voted to join the Dane Sanctuary Coalition, our Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman wrote:

As a Jewish community we are called to welcome the stranger and protect the oppressed. Out of a deep sense of social justice, we are responding to the urgent needs of Dane County’s immigrant communities, and we will stand with them in this act of solidarity.

Sanctuary can provide a deterrent to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), thus giving the individual an opportunity to plead his or her case in court rather than being summarily deported. Providing sanctuary is a humanitarian act for an individual, as well as an opportunity to raise public awareness of deportations in our community. We are not hiding an individual; rather we are publicizing our action in the media and to ICE. This makes a powerful public statement that we will not stand idly by.

Offering sanctuary is a centuries old method which faith communities have offered to protect vulnerable people from oppression. I am thrilled that in my leadership role as President of my synagogue, we are now part of the growing New Sanctuary Movement which includes over 1,000 congregations nationwide offering sanctuary to immigrants and refugees under threat of deportation.

Providing sanctuary to people under threat of deportation will take a huge community effort, but I am confident that our faith communities will succeed in this effort and I look forward to the day when immigrants and refugees are welcomed in our nation and offering sanctuary is no longer necessary.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

For more information on how I can help you accomplish effective, progressive systems change contact Jeff Spitzer-Resnick by visiting his website: Systems Change Consulting.

The Need to Connect

A few days ago, I was reading an interesting article entitled Separated at Birth in which the author seeks out adults who were born on the same day in the same hospital as he was in 1949. He describes a variety of common themes that he has with his fellow baby boom generation members, but one particular quote from one of his birth mates struck a chord. He suggested that the reason the author, Daniel Asa Rose, was on this quest was that,

You’re interested in what connects Homo sapiens. You grasp the plain, astronomical truth that we’re on a microscopic pebble hurtling through space at sixty-seven thousand miles an hour–and in a very real sense, connecting with one another is the only thing that matters.

handshake

Since November’s election, I have received daily inquiries about how to respond. My usual quick response is to advise people to act locally and give hugs. While this may seem simple, what I am really suggesting is that the more we connect with each other, the harder it will be for those who seek to divide and conquer us to succeed.

Ever since he started his campaign, and throughout his first few months in office, the President has utilized classic demagoguery to disconnect us from each other. He and his allies actively encourage hatred, arrest and deportation of those who do not look like him. That is why so many of us have such an unsettled feeling. Since a healthy society requires that people connect with each other, living under the leadership of an administration that seeks to destroy that state of connection raises our anxiety level to unprecedented societal heights.

While I support those who seek to change the leadership in Washington, this task truly starts by digging deep community building roots at the local level. For me, it includes;

  • making eye contact as I walk down the street, thereby acknowledging the humanity of every stranger I encounter;
  • living in a neighborhood with sidewalks where neighbors and strangers regularly encounter each other on a daily basis;
  • mentoring youth who face daily struggles with poverty and discrimination;
  • supporting those released from incarceration to succeed upon entering our community;
  • leading my religious community in a manner that helps our community connect with disenfranchised communities in order to combat racism and xenophobia;
  • providing support to friends and family both near and far to maintain connections and offer help when needed;
  • leading a local lake district to work together to protect the environment;
  • engaging in genuine dialogue to build consensus to solve problems rather than sow divisiveness; and
  • providing unique legal and consulting services to disenfranchised clients who likely would not find the help they need elsewhere.

These paths of connection are simply the ones that I choose. Everyone can choose their own path to connect with friends, family, neighbors and strangers, but connect we must. Through a web of connection, we can build hope. Failure to do so will allow demagoguery to prevail.

____________________________________________________________________________________________

For more information on how I can help you accomplish effective, progressive systems change contact Jeff Spitzer-Resnick by visiting his website: Systems Change Consulting.

We Can’t Bury Ourselves

Yesterday, I went to the funeral of a dear friend, who was one of the wisest women I have ever known. I first met Judy Zukerman Kaufman nearly 30 years ago, when she was one of a small group of people, including my wife and I, who decided to form a new inclusive Reconstructionist synagogue in Madison, which became known as Shaarei Shamayim

Judy was a strong believer in a feminist Judaism because religion without equal participation simply made no sense to her. Indeed, before Shaarei Shamayim was formed, she became the first woman President of Madison’s Conservative synagogue, Beth Israel Center. It was fitting therefore, that at yesterday’s funeral, both the current and former Rabbis from Beth Israel Center were there, as well as the Rabbi from Shaarei Shamayim.

Judy never missed an opportunity to teach. In fact, throughout her adult life she taught hundreds of children and adults, many of whom were at her funeral. When our son, Josh, was 12 years old, my wife and I had no doubt when we chose Judy to tutor him in order to prepare him for his Bar Mitzvah. Our confidence in Judy’s teaching ability was reinforced immediately when she made clear that a Bar Mitzvah is not an event. Rather, it is a process, and through that process, our son learned not only how to read Torah and lead a Shabbat service, but more importantly, he learned important lessons that Jewish sages have provided the world for thousands of years about how to engage in tikkun olam (repair of the world). In fact, Josh enjoyed studying with Judy so much that he voluntarily continued tutoring lessons with her for over a year after his Bar Mitzvah.

Although we had been friends prior to Josh’s Bar Mitzvah, the process of Judy’s tutoring Josh helped to bind our families much closer. We celebrated many holidays together and supported each other through a variety of health crises.

Judy’s last health crisis involved an infection that she was unable to fight off. After her first hospitalization to treat the infection, she was sent home with daily (though not constant) home health care, as she was still on IV antibiotics. Since she did not have round the clock assistance, and lived alone, I went to help her out one afternoon to bring her food, and keep her company. We had a lovely visit, though I recognized that she was very frail, and I worried about how long she would be able to live alone. Fortunately, my son Josh was available during my visit with Judy, and I connected them on a video phone conversation. Of course, none of us knew that this would be our last chance to talk to and see each other.

Shortly after my visit with Judy, my wife and I left for Israel to visit Josh, where he has been attending college at the Technion in Haifa. Before Josh left for college, Judy informed him that when she and her husband Jerry lived in Haifa many years ago, her favorite place was a lovely sculpture garden overlooking the city and harbor. Josh took us there during our visit with him which gave us another way to connect with Judy. This particular sculpture evokes the way Judy cared for so many children over her long, fruitful life.

IMG_3474

Judy’s funeral was longer than most because so many people had so much to say about her remarkable life. Rabbi Ken Katz, who presided over the funeral, made clear that these things just “take the time that they take.”

When Judy’s husband Jerry died a little over 2 years ago, they decided to opt for a natural cemetery outside of Madison, called Natural Path CemeteryJudy was buried right next to Jerry. The day before, her children and some friends dug the grave and I had the honor of being one of the pall bearers and lowering her simple unfinished pine casket into the grave.

After her casket was at the bottom of the grave, and we removed the ropes which we used to lower it, Rabbi Katz reminded us that, “we cannot bury ourselves,” and therefore it takes a community of friends and family to receive a proper burial. For what felt like a very long time, many of us took on the burden of doing what she could not do for herself, and filled her grave. We initially put flowers on her coffin and then topped off the soil with more flowers.

20170320_151335

As I contemplate the many lessons which Judy taught me, this last one, that we can’t bury ourselves may be the most profound. In addition to being a Jewish educator, Judy was also a civil rights advocate. Indeed, during our last conversation, she told me about her advocacy for the home health care workers who cared for her. We both shared grave concerns about the trampling of civil rights which the current President seems so eager to do. Yet, remembering that we can’t bury ourselves serves two important lessons.

  • We must support each other in community from birth until death, because as independent as many of us may hope we can be and may wish others were, we truly need each other to survive the many challenges which life presents; and
  • While many of us may wish to bury ourselves under our blankets while demagoguery oppresses others, we simply do not have that option. We can’t bury ourselves because we have a duty to help each other.

May Judy’s memory be a blessing. I know that the many lessons she has taught so many will continue to make this world a better place for many years to come.

_________________________________________________________________

For more information on how I can help you accomplish effective, progressive systems change contact Jeff Spitzer-Resnick by visiting his website: Systems Change Consulting.

 

Building Community: Now more than ever

Like many people around the world, the election of an American President who has actively engaged in and encouraged racism, sexism, anti-Semitism and xenophobia, frightens me. It reminds me of why I never bank on electoral politics to provide the solutions to our nation’s and our world’s problems. Of course, I vote, but in the end of the day, I only have one vote, and in this particular instance, even when the candidate I favored won a majority of the popular vote, our political system nevertheless gave the Presidency to her opponent.

I have spent my entire professional career working for progressive systems change. This election does not alter that. In fact, it will only cause me to work harder on behalf of the disenfranchised people I represent. A former colleague once called me a “good loser.” At first I did not understand that she was giving me a compliment. Then, she explained, that I never give up even after losing a hard fought battle. I simply examine the new situation for the best way forward and get back to working on making our world a better place. That is what we all must do right now.

Starting last night, many people have asked me what they can do in response to America electing perhaps the scariest President in its history. My sister-in-law just called me in tears. The vast majority of our nation was targeted by our President-elect, including women, people of color, Muslims, Jews, Mexicans, and people with disabilities, as somehow less worthy. But we know better. We also know that, now more than ever, we need each other, and together we can still accomplish great things.

So, here are a few suggestions (with underlined links to prior posts for more detail):

P1030631

So, today, give hugs to friends and family. Tomorrow, start looking for local projects that you can dive into to make your local community a better place. Together we can build community and create a better world for everyone.

_________________________________________________________________

For more information on how I can help you accomplish progressive, effective systems change, contact Jeff Spitzer-Resnick by visiting his web site: Systems Change Consulting.

A Fence to Step Over

Wars are fought over borders. Presidential candidates support absurd border fences. Nations erect walls naively thinking they will somehow ensure their safety. These fences pit people against each other and fuel the fans of hatred and bigotry.

However, sometimes fences serve useful purposes. Responsible dog owners have a fenced backyard to allow their dogs to get some exercise in their backyards, while keeping the dogs out of other backyards and safe from street traffic.

Sometimes fences are really just symbolic. These symbolic fences are not designed to separate people. Rather, they simply demarcate different plots of land.

Last weekend, under the auspices of the Goose Lake Watershed District (GLWD), which I Chair, my friend (and former Chair and Treasurer of the GLWD) Onie Karch, who lives on the other side of Goose Lake from me, and I painted a fence at the beach at Goose Lake, which had recently been repaired. As this picture shows, it is a simple, low, white fence, which simply marks the property line between the private homeowner’s front yard, and the public beach.

20160731_135629

Onie and I spent a couple of hours painting the fence. We could easily step over the fence to paint both sides. John, who lives in the house on the other side of the fence, was unable to help us paint the fence due to recent knee surgery, but he gladly offered us water and was pleased to see the fence being maintained.

20160702_153524

Symbolically separating the beach from private property simply allows the public to enjoy the beach without negatively impacting on the private property owner’s land. Maintaining the beach and the fence has brought praise from both visitors and local residents, some of whom have been kind enough to extend praise for the improved beach to the Town of Jackson Chairman. This type of goodwill will likely encourage the Town of Jackson to help the GLWD improve the road leading to the boat launch to reduce unwanted runoff into the lake.

So, instead of building fences that fuel fear and hatred, policy makers should strategically build fences we can step over, allowing us to build community and make friends with our neighbors and the visitors whom we are glad to welcome into our neighborhood.

_________________________________________________________________
For more information on how I can help you accomplish effective, progressive systems change contact Jeff Spitzer-Resnick by visiting his website: Systems Change Consulting.

Building Community with Grains of Sand

This past weekend, as our nation celebrated its independence from colonial rule, the Goose Lake Watershed District (GLWD), which I chair, brought our small community together at a beach picnic. Neighbors enjoyed each other’s company and new acquaintances were made. Towards the middle of the afternoon, I took the opportunity to inform Goose Lake residents about how much a small group of volunteers has accomplished under the auspices of the GLWD.

In just a few short years, our 5 member elected volunteer commission has made the most out of our small budget (roughly $18,000 in tax revenues annually).

  • A few years ago, we bought a used weed harvester, which a volunteer maintains and harvests lake weeds and provides them for organic farming;
  • We have vastly reduced invasive weeds through effective non-toxic bio-management and hand harvesting;
  • Last fall, we started a 3 year fish stocking program with an initial stocking of over 3,000 fish;
  • We removed a hazardous bridge and boardwalk; and
  • This spring we brought in new sand to our small beach and made initial improvements to the boat launch.

20160702_153524

In the near future, we hope to establish a web site and in 2017, in cooperation with Adams County and the Town of Jackson, we hope to vastly improve the roadway leading to the boat launch to reduce runoff into the lake.

American skepticism about government is very high. In late 2015, survey data showed that:

only 19 percent said they can trust the government always or most of the time, and 74 percent said most elected officials put their own interests ahead of the country’s.

However, I have long believed that when money and partisan politics are removed from government, as is the case with the GLWD, and citizens see that government is effectively leveraging their tax revenues for the common good, then citizens will support government not only through their taxes, but through volunteerism.

None of the projects I mentioned above, including the picnic itself, would have happened without the effective participation of citizen volunteers working with our small government unit. While I understand that problems of scale increase as the size of the government and the magnitude of its problems increase, nevertheless, I firmly believe that reducing money and partisanship in politics combined with clear demonstration of effective work performed by government officials, will increase the support for the necessary work that we all need government to perform. Simply put, most people will pay for things that produce value they can see, including government.

Perhaps the most important function government can perform is building community by supporting the shared interests of its local citizens. This past weekend, as the children playing on the Goose Lake beach and in the water clearly demonstrated, we demonstrated that we can build community with grains of sand.

_________________________________________________________________

For more information on how Jeff Spitzer-Resnick can help you accomplish effective, progressive systems change, visit his website: Systems Change Consulting.

Deepening the Ties the Bind Us

This morning, I was fortunate to be able to attend the annual Faith-Labor breakfast sponsored by the Interfaith Coalition for Worker Justice (ICWJ). It was a well attended event of a few hundred faith and labor leaders and supporters as well as low wage workers encouraging support for the Fight for $15 campaign to increase the minimum wage.

The guest speaker was the Rev. Michael Livingston, the Executive Minister of the famous progressive Riverside Church in Manhattan.

20160203_090531

In discussing his campaign to support federal contract workers earning less than $10/hour, Rev. Livingston encouraged each one of us to put ourselves in his shoes. He coined the term “policy violence” when he discussed the many ways our legal system institutionalizes poverty, racism and injustice.

While struggling for justice for people who are oppressed by the rich and powerful is often daunting, Rev. Livingston was able to confirm for us that many battles can be, and indeed, are won. After multiple strikes of low wage federal contract workers, President Obama announced in his 2012 State of the Union address, that he was signing an Executive Order which compelled all federal contractors to pay their workers a minimum wage of $10.10/hour. While this is still a poverty wage, it is significantly above the current federal minimum wage of $7.25, which Congress refuses to increase.

When Rev. Livingston took questions from the audience, he provided a good recipe to those questioning how they can hope to achieve their goals for worker justice in the face of so many obstacles. Quite simply, he affirmed what I have believed and wrote about many times. The foundation of systems change is community buildingHe want on to say that in order to build community, we must “deepen the ties that bind us in one human family.”

Rev. Livingston opened and closed his remarks with the encouragement that in our work to improve the world we, “open holy doors.” I was proud to sit next to my Rabbi Laurie Zimmerman, at a table of my fellow congregants from the Congregation Shaarei Shamayimwhich co-sponsored this morning’s event. I am equally proud that my Rabbi’s wife, Rabbi Renee Bauer, is the Executive Director of the ICWJ. Together, Rabbis Laurie & Renee open holy doors on a daily basis and welcome all who are prepared to roll up their sleeves to improve the world.

______________________________________________________

For more information on how I can help you accomplish effective, progressive systems change contact Jeff Spitzer-Resnick by visiting his website: Systems Change Consulting.

Blessing

Some children just beam. Blessing is one such child and I believe the future will be bright for her. I met Blessing last Sunday, when I joined members of my synagogue, Shaarei Shamayim (Gates of Heaven), help children at Christ the Solid Rock Baptist church work on their reading while their parents attended church. Here is blessing introducing herself and telling us what she is grateful for.

20151108_121445

Christ the Solid Rock’s pastor is Everett Mitchell, a strong spiritual and community leader who is also an attorney. His sense of justice is so strong that he is currently running for judge. A couple of years ago, Shaarei Shamayim’s rabbi, Laurie Zimmerman and Pastor Mitchell agreed that our two communities could benefit from getting to know each other better and one way to do that was to help his church members’ children read.

First, we helped the church raise funds for a small children’s library and assisted them with setting it up. Once the library was set up, we have provided volunteers to read with the children. I had previously participated in the church dinner/fundraiser, but this past Sunday was the first time I volunteered in the reading program, and I am very glad I did.

Blessing was the first child in the library. Not only did she beam, but although she wanted to play games, she was easily redirected and sat in my lap to read. She is a good reader, and already knows her colors in Spanish as well as English which I thought was pretty impressive for a 5 year old kindergartner.

Of course, not all the children read so willingly. After playing some word games in the large group, we divided into age groups and I worked with the 3rd grade children. One boy was pretty fidgety and did not want to read. Given my special education advocacy background, I suspected that he might have a learning disability, so when it was his turn to read, I read to him. But on his next turn, I decided to challenge him and told him that I didn’t think he could read. He insisted that he could read. So, I asked him to show me. Sure enough, my challenge worked. He could read.

After our session was over, many church members were out in the hallway. One member greeted me with a warm hug and made me feel very welcome.

While I cannot predict the future, I have a strong feeling that Blessing will go far. Not only does she beam, but she is embraced by a community which values its children. I am glad that my community is doing its small part to build connections and support children like Blessing.

______________________________________________________________

For more information on how I can help you accomplish effective, progressive systems change contact Jeff Spitzer-Resnick by visiting his website: Systems Change Consulting.

Welcoming the Homeless to our Neighborhood

For nearly 3 decades, my family has lived in the Tenney Park neighborhood in Madison. It is well known as a welcoming neighborhood where diversity is appreciated and generosity towards our neighbors is the norm. I have previously written about how our neighbors build community by opening up their front yards to neighborhood children, and how our sidewalks facilitate community building.

IMG_1529

But, last week my neighbors, elected officials and I were all surprised when we read the news that the County had signed a contract to purchase a recently closed restaurant supply store to use as a permanent day resource center for people who are homeless. The surprise announcement resulted in many of my neighbors immediately questioning the process amid concerns about how it will impact the neighborhood.

Fortunately, our city alder, Ledell Zellers, and County Board Supervisors Heidi Wegleitner and John Hendrick, have agreed to convene a neighborhood meeting at the Messner’s site on October 7th at 7 PM. This morning I met with Supervisor Wegleitner to learn how this project has the potential for being an integral component to address the needs of Madison’s chronic homeless population, and I plan to attend the October 7th meeting to learn more. She expects County staff and a facilitator to help the meeting run well.

As an attorney, I am well aware that process is important. But, I am equally aware that it can be used destructively. In this case, the County failed to engage the neighborhood before announcing the purchase and plan publicly, which was a genuine breach of good neighborhood planning. However, while my neighbors have every right to complain about the bombshell manner in which this project was announced, that initial mistake should not be used as a cover for yet another neighborhood to invoke the NIMBY (not in my backyard) syndrome to kill a project that our community desperately needs.

Today’s front page news included both our community’s ability and inability to effectively deal with the people who are homeless in our midst. The positive: the first shelter for homeless teens will open tomorrow. The negative: those who are homeless will be no longer be allowed to sleep on the City-County building’s front porch, coincidentally also starting tomorrow.

As I observed some of my neighbors raise the genuine process problems, and other siting concerns, rather than welcoming a needed service into our community, I have chosen to learn more and while questions remain, I am cautiously optimistic that this new day resource center could be an integral piece of solving the long term needs of our neighbors who need housing and other services.

First, some facts:

  • The County board has not yet approved this purchase, and will not consider it until November;
  • The City of Madison must issue a conditional use permit in order for the resource center to operate, and fortunately our Alder serves on the Planning Commission;
  • There is neither a design plan yet, nor an operator for the proposed resource center; and
  • We have had a temporary, but inadequate, resource center just a few blocks closer to the Capitol that has operated without significant problems.

Next, some possibilities:

  • The shelter is intended to provide needed and centralized resources in order to connect people to the services that are integral to gaining housing for them;
  • There is a prioritized wait list for the most vulnerable people who need housing, and local service provider Housing Initiativesrun by Madison school board member Dean Luomos, has had great success providing housing for 550 people who have a mental illness, and will hopefully work with this resource center to provide more housing for those in need;
  • Given the proximity to elementary schools, middle school and a high school, the school district can potentially bring educational support services into the resource center; and
  • There are good models, such as Carpenter’s Place in Rockford, and the Dorothy Day Center in St. Paul. We should learn from them.

Of course, proper planning needs to be done, including how to make effective use of the large parking lot next to the building, which could include recreational space and community gardens. But, this planning should be done with a mindset towards making this project a model of success to help our neighbors in need, rather than pushing them away. It was not that long ago that many of my neighbors opposed the siting a village of tiny houses for the homeless near East High school, but the project is now widely considered a success.

Madison is a wonderful place to live: for most of us. But too many of our neighbors struggle every day just to survive and put a roof over their heads. Indeed, when it comes to many quality of life indicators examined through racial disparities, Madison is the worst place in the nation. So, as I have long advocated, let’s use this new resource center as another opportunity to move Madison from worst to first.

_________________________________________________________________

For more information on how I can help you accomplish effective, progressive systems change contact Jeff Spitzer-Resnick by visiting his website: Systems Change Consulting.

Building Community through Music

A couple of weeks ago, I received a lovely invitation to a musical jam session in a nearby park hosted by a very talented local klezmer band, Yid Vicious. The invitation mentioned that they were celebrating their 20th anniversary and wanted to get 20 musician friends together to help them celebrate. I love klezmer music and we had Yid Vicious play at our son’s Bar Mitzvah party 5 1/2 years ago, which inspired virtually everyone there to dance the night away. In fact, they were nice enough to allow me to rehearse a couple of tunes and join the band during the party, which was a lot of fun and truly a memory I will treasure forever.

Much to my pleasant surprise, what I thought was going to be a jam session, turned out to be a rehearsal, as Yid Vicious wanted us to join them for the last 2 songs of their 20th anniversary show at the 38th Annual Willy Street Fair.

WSF-Logo-20151

The band asked us to join them at the end of their set for the last 2 songs, but I arrived in time for the beginning of their set to enjoy the music and watch dozens of people dancing on a beautiful day. The band informed the crowd that they had invited 20 musicians to join them for their 20th anniversary and when the time came, the band members got down off the stage to mix in with their musical friends. The sound was beautiful. The dancers kept dancing. But best of all, through their generous sharing of their special musical moment, Yid Vicious helped build community by inviting so many friends to join the band in celebration.

12010744_10154229754974278_6619965056578883688_o

Photo by Paula A. White

Music carries great powers. I have written about how it can combat racismand improve academic performance and behaviorBut like all great powers, it achieves its greatest strength when used wisely. My hat goes off to Yid Vicious, whose band members understand that the value of their music expands tremendously when they build community through sharing the stage. A heartfelt thanks for a wonderful community building experience.

________________________________________________________________

For more information on how Jeff Spitzer-Resnick can help you accomplish effective, progressive systems change, visit his website: Systems Change Consulting.