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February 2021

Meditation Techniques for Managing Emotions

Are you emotional about a certain situation? Or feeling "too much,"? Well, you are not alone in this, and it is not entirely a bad thing to feel this way. However, our emotions shape the way we perceive certain events and might even cloud our judgment regarding people and incidents. At the same time, it is also important to understand that emotions are part of life, and they complete us. It is part of human nature to feel certain things, and one cannot simply escape this reality. What we can...

An Open Letter to Police Chiefs: The Need for Trauma-informed Policing

Recently, I was provided a form letter addressed to a local police chief and friend of mine who knew of my interest in trauma-informed policing and who thought I should read the letter. The letter claimed that trauma-informed policing, specifically as it related to domestic violence and sexual violence allegations, was everything from “junk science” to “prejudicial against men.” Needless to say, I found the letter uninformed and unpersuasive.

Azzi-Lessing: Reform the Child Welfare System to Protect Vulnerable Children

The child welfare system — like other powerful institutions, including law enforcement and the incarceration system — is under attack. The devastation of the COVID-19 pandemic along with a reckoning with systemic racism and inequality over the past year are shining a harsh spotlight on child protective services (CPS), the nation’s system for protecting children from abuse and neglect. Similar to the movement to defund the police, long-standing concerns about racism and other gross inequities...

I know Valentine's Day has passed, but will you be my Valentine?

Hello, It's Sunita here. You are precious to me every day. Including Valentine's Day. But more importantly, I treasure you every day. I love you. I adore you. I put you above all others. Most times, I only want to be with you. I can't bear to be away from you. So, I keep you close to me, even when I am far from you. When I don't get enough alone time with you, I get irritable and cranky. I don't think right, and I can't see things clearly. It has taken a lot of courage and work to put you...

Five Things We Get Wrong (D'OH) with SEL

SEL. Social-Emotional Learning (SEL). My lil’ ole school counselor heart should be beaming with joy. SEL is FINALLY receiving the limelight it has long deserved in education. Most everyone everywhere is proclaiming the importance of SEL! So why do I want to smack myself upside the head (Homer Simpson style – D’OH) most every time I read about, hear about, or see an SEL effort in a school. Because we keep getting it WRONG! So before I start in with all the ways in which we are screwing it up,...

America Prefers Teachers Who Offer Themselves as Tribute. And That Needs to Stop. [luzcollective.com]

By Myriam Gurba, Luz Collective, February 23, 2021 As a kid, one of my favorite films involved Mexicans who counted. That movie, Stand and Deliver , was inspired by the real-life story of Jaime Escalante, a Bolivian immigrant who became a celebrated calculus teacher in East Los Angeles. The film rightly brought out the fangirl in me. Many of Escalante’s students were stubborn Chicanos and I related; I was a Chicana and I hated algebra; history was my jam. The movie also featured Latine...

Big Companies Ask Regulators To Help Quash Paid Sick Leave Initiatives [dailyposter.com]

By Julia Rock, The Daily Poster, February 26, 2021 Last March, as part of Congress' first COVID relief bill , the federal government enacted a blanket paid sick leave benefit to ensure that people infected with COVID-19 could stay home without fear of losing their wages. The benefit had gaping holes, including a provision that exempted companies with 500-plus employees from the policy, leaving millions of workers without protections. Then in December, Congress declined to extend what was...

At William & Mary, a school for free and enslaved Black children is rediscovered [washingtonpost.com]

By Joe Heim, The Washington Post, February 24, 2021 It has been more than a decade since academics and researchers began taking a closer look at a small, unremarkable old building on the campus of the College of William & Mary to see if maybe it had a more important story to tell. Archives were scoured. Centuries-old letters and memoirs were pored over. Archaeological digs were made. Last year, a scientific analysis of the building’s original wood framing nailed down the year of its...

Teaching Students A New Black History [npr.org]

By Anya Kamenetz, National Public Radio, February 25, 2021 When you think of the history of Black education in the United States, you might think of Brown vs. Board of Education and the fight to integrate public schools. But there's a parallel history too, of Black people pooling their resources to educate and empower themselves independently. Enslaved people learned to read and write whenever and wherever they could, often in secret and against the law. "In accomplishing this, I was...

Mind Matters Online Training Apr. 5-9, 2021

Mind Matters: Overcoming Adversity and Building Resilience with Author Carolyn Rich Curtis, Ph.D. and Master Trainer Michele Wilson April 5 –9 , 2021 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM Pacific/ 12:00 PM –3:30 PM Eastern $949 for 5 days of half-day training sessions. CEUs are available with additional charge. For more details and to register, click here . Each trainee must have a copy of Mind Matters ($325 plus tax—select states—and S/H). Seats are limited to 25 participants and registration closes March 24,...

Livestream: The Racist Roots of Work Requirements: Where Do We Go from Here? [cssp.org]

From Center for the Study of Social Policy, February 2021 The Biden Administration has indicated that it plans to take a new direction in social and economic policy, and it has taken initial steps to roll back work requirements. Over the last four years, one way that the Trump administration sought to limit access to Medicaid, SNAP, and other basic needs programs was by promoting new and more stringent work requirements, which require people to report participation in work activities for a...

14- and 15-year-olds can't be tried in adult court, California Supreme Court rules [sfchronicle.com]

By Bob Egelko, San Francisco Chronicle, February 25, 2021 Fourteen- and 15-year-olds in California cannot be prosecuted in adult court, where they would face sentences of up to life in prison, the state Supreme Court ruled unanimously Thursday, upholding a 2019 state law that was challenged by prosecutors. The law requires youths younger than 16 to be tried in juvenile court. The maximum confinement for juveniles is up to age 25, although a juvenile court judge could then order a “safety...

Tackling America's Youth Mental Health Crisis [blog.superbetter.com]

By Superbetter Blog, February 26, 2021 Our nation is facing a youth mental health crisis, and it started well before the pandemic. The mental health of America’s youth has been declining for nearly a decade. Depression rates surged +61% among 12-25 year-olds between 2011-2017 ( Journal of Abnormal Psychology ). Youth anxiety and suicide rates are way up too. Teachers are on the front-lines of our youth mental health crisis. They see the impact in their students’ lives nearly every day. K-12...

The Childhood We Carry With Us: An Overview of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and Trauma [pinetreeinstitute.org]

Friday, February 26, 2021 1-2pm EST. What we experience as children has an effect on the adults we all become. In this brief webinar, we will discuss the research behind certain types of childhood stress or trauma, some of them quite common, known as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). ACEs have been scientifically proven to significantly impact physical, mental, and behavioral health outcomes for individuals and communities. For example, ACEs are directly correlated to heart and lung...

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