Black History Spotlight: James E. West

Have you ever talked on the telephone, or sung Karaoke for that matter? Well, I'll just assume you have – and we ALL can thank Dr. West for developing a microphone technology that’s used in over 90% of microphones in use today, including in telephones. A 40-year veteran of Bell Labs, he holds numerous patents, and …

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5 basic skills of power, and how you can learn to use them

Eric Liu is on a mission to make civics “as sexy as it was during the American Revolution or the Civil Rights Movement.” As he describes in today’s TED Talk (watch: Why ordinary people need to understand power), we are at a moment of crisis in the United States. The average person simply doesn’t know how to participate in local government, and this means that clout is disproportionately concentrated in the hands of the few who do. Liu’s solution to this imbalance? That we teach everyone the basic skills of power.

As the people of Ferguson, Missouri, stand up against police brutality, the topic of how to take back civic power is on many minds. Through Citizen University, Liu is creating a shared curriculum of power that will be available soon. In the meantime, he offers up several basic skills it will include, to help anyone interested in influencing change right now.

Skill #1: Understand the system.

“Before you…

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Five Things You Should Know About Race in America

40 Acres and a Cubicle

This guest post on the national environment in the wake of Michael Brown’s tragic death comes to us again from @SeeSenyour. Follow him and check this piece for ideas on how to get involved.

In the wake of the Michael Brown tragedy, my hometown of St. Louis is both literally and figuratively on fire. A gas station went down in flames on Sunday night. Concurrently a number of stores were broken into and looted as a riot broke out after hours of peaceful mourning, demonstrating, and protesting took place in the streets of Ferguson, Missouri–just 20 minutes from where I was raised in downtown St. Louis. The rioting may have garnered as much attention and national headlines as the killing at the heart of it, perhaps more. Mainstream media continues to magnify the transgressions of a few individuals, despite the fact that many more have good intentions and positive…

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Overcoming Your Greatest Challenge Is One Thought Away If we live in a world that is created by our thoughts, we can significantly change that world by altering our thoughts.  If our thinking towards a situation is negative, that situation continues to be a struggle and is possibly something we never overcome.  For example, “I’m too old to do that,” “I’m not smart …

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