Blogs

Presented by The Bridge Alliance Education Fund.

The views expressed in blog posts are strictly those of the author and do not represent the views of the Bridge Alliance or its affiliates.

The Vaccine Passport Is Coming—And It Won’t Be from the Government

Posted by Free the People on April 09, 2021

By Taylor Lewis. Reposted from FreeThePeople.org.

Score one for Alex Jones. Americans are about to be introduced to the concept of a “vaccine passport.”

Did I say “about to be”? Mea culpa on the misphrasing. Vaccine permission slips have long existed in America: inoculation proof scripts are a prerequisite to attend many public schools and colleges (with precious few conscientious exemptions). It’s not even federal policy—states enforce the mandate in a decentralized and patchwork manner. All 50 states and the District of Decency’s Columbarium require a handful of inoculums, including for pertussis and polio. More blueish states expand the list of necessary immunizations to include hepatitis B and pneumococcal infections. Massachusetts even makes kids get the annual flu poke.

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4 Ways to Sustain Your Engagement

Posted by Ceep on April 02, 2021

By Rachael Houston. Reposted from CampusElect.org.

The 2020 Election saw unprecedented levels of civic engagement among the youngest generation. We witnessed a new generation of civically engaged student leaders step up to meet the challenges they faced. Now, we have to find ways to keep that momentum going to create lasting change in local communities across the country. Below we have a few ways that you can keep that momentum going and make lasting change in your community:

  1. Maintain your Connections

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It's a Different World

Posted by Sllf on March 26, 2021

By Thomas H. Little, Ph.D. Reposted from SLLF.org

In recent weeks, leaders across the country have been gaveling their chambers to order for the 2021 legislative session. If history is an accurate indicator, about half of those leading these sessions will be new to their positions and many new to leadership. It is to these “newbies” that I offer these thoughts.

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Conflict resolution, close to home

Posted by Jennifer Thompson on March 18, 2021

Reposted from CivilSquared.org.

On a visit to London some years ago, I stood in the American Memorial Chapel at St. Paul’s Cathedral. I found myself overwhelmed by pride and sadness. In the 1950s, when the English rebuilt parts of this historic church damaged in the Blitz, the chapel was dedicated to thousands of Americans who died in World War II. 

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America needs fighters. It also needs bridgers.

Posted by Kristin Hansen on March 11, 2021

Reposted from CivicHealthProject.org.

In so many arenas of American life, we laud those who demonstrate a “fighting spirit” … our athletes, our business leaders, our movement builders, our politicians.  We have deeply internalized the belief that “some things are just worth fighting for.” That in pursuing a righteous cause, we “shouldn’t go down without a fight.” After all, hasn’t America secured its greatest achievements when brave people stood up and fought — for independence, for the end of slavery, for civil rights, for freedom abroad?
In this light, it is perhaps a bit more comprehensible that many who participated in the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol claim they were responding to a patriotic call to “fight like hell.” And it may also help explain why polls indicate a level of sympathy — even support — for their actions among many Americans who did not themselves storm the Capitol.

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Questioning the Givens

Posted by Interactivity Found on March 04, 2021

By Jack Byrd, Jr., Interactivity Foundation. Reposted from InteractivityFoundation.org.

When students entered Dr. Anita Sherwood’s class she handed each of them a tennis ball. “We are going to do a simple demonstration today. I want each group to form a circle. You should give all the tennis balls to one person who will start the demonstration. Then that person will pass the tennis balls to others in the same order. The time when the last tennis ball gets to the final student will be measured. You will get three attempts to improve your time.”

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Business Leaders Must Step Up

Posted by David Nevins on February 23, 2021

Like so many other Americans I am frustrated with the unbridled lack of civility, crippling partisanship and dysfunctional gridlock that prevents our country from solving the serious problems we face on a daily basis.

We must require a higher standard from our elected officials. A new paradigm of politics — one based on civil political discourse, critical thinking, and personal accountability.   This can and should be demanded by the electorate of its leadership, and the time to do so is now.

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5 Things Facilitators Can Do When Conversations Get Hot

Posted by Meg Griffiths on February 11, 2021

Reposted from WhatIsEssential.org.

When I’m working with new facilitators, one of the most common questions I get is some version of, “What do I do when things go off the rails?” 

This question is often rooted in fear and worst case scenario thinking. But there are also times when that question is rooted in a particular experience of destructive or dysfunctional communication patterns. Perhaps you’ve witnessed it happen in your own classroom or staff meeting and you’ve felt stuck, unsure of how to proceed, repair the harm done, and keep the group moving forward together.

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Remember Those Heartwarming Campaign Ads for Utah Governor? Here’s What’s Needed to Make Them the Norm

Posted by AllSides on February 01, 2021

By Jackson Lanzer, Los Angeles World Affairs Council. Reposted from AllSides.com

In a year when partisan rancor was rampant on the national political stage, glimmers of hope for positive campaigning still shone through. One case of this was the Utah gubernatorial election.

Chris Peterson and Spencer J. Cox, opponents in the election, produced very popular shared ads promoting civil discourse and affirming their commitment to the principles of democracy. In an opinion piece co-written by the opponents, they wrote that they “hope to serve as examples in reforging a national commitment to civility and respect for the peaceful transfer of power.”

Peterson and Cox also encouraged other politicians to campaign similarly, writing that they should focus on promoting their own policies instead of degrading their opponent. This form of campaigning is called positive campaigning, and it reincorporates civility into politics.

While it is encouraging to see politicians advocate for civility on the campaign trail, positive campaigning is far from being widely adopted. In Utah, the election‘s lack of competitiveness allowed the candidates to pursue altruistic goals without affecting the outcome. The Republican ultimately won more than twice as many votes as the Democrat.

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Tech & Innovation: Priorities for 2021 and Beyond

Posted by R Street Institute on January 19, 2021

By Jeffrey Westling, R Street Institute. Reposted from RStreet.org.

With the pandemic forcing Americans online, the role that technological innovation and deployment play in promoting prosperity has never been more clear. As the new administration begins to prioritize different policy initiatives, technology policy must remain at the forefront. And while legislators may feel the impulse for broad regulatory reforms, targeted actions can better help industry bring services to consumers without some of the significant unintended consequences which may come with overbearing regulations.

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