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June 2018

Inclusive Healthy Places [gehlinstitute.org]

How do we know when public space supports health, and when processes that shape public spaces are inclusive? Despite the growing evidence connecting place and health, design and physical activity, the natural environment and mental well-being, and more, there are few available resources to help planners and policymakers identify the kind of real evidence that is needed to help make decisions and fund public space projects that promote individual and community health and well-being.

Managing Holiday Loneliness with Self-Compassion

Good cheer, happiness, family and a spirit of giving are a big part of the holiday season. But for many people, stress and loneliness are major players that upset plans to stay positive. If your tension level rises when the decor goes up, you are not alone. It is common for some people to feel more anxious or lonely as the season begins. Holiday stress can trigger negative thinking that builds on itself. To avoid this cycle, we can take this opportunity to find new comforts and enjoy the...

“Get the Lights On” Trauma Playbook to work with traumatized youth and families

Jamel needs help. He is part of a street gang, he sleeps in school, he’s failing his classes and he’s often absent from school. Jamel’s mom can’t pay the bills, his dad isn’t involved at all and CPS is about to remove Jamel and his siblings from the home. A therapist is assigned to assist Jamel and his family but there has been little progress in nearly a year. Jamel’s therapist developed a plan and she wanted it to work but it wasn’t. Jamel and his mother wanted the plan to work too but it...

Coming back to ‘The Wall': building resilience by learning to trust

Recently, we did an object lesson as part of our Resilience-based series that I call “the Wall.” We talked about how bad things happen in this world despite having a loving God that looks over us. We make bad choices at times that hurt us, and others make bad choices that hurt us. In general, there is a lot of brokenness in relationships that causes a lot of damage. So, I told the children, we learn how to protect ourselves. Just like castles have BIG walls or our cottages on campus have...

A Worldwide Teaching Program to Stop Rape [nytimes.com]

Second in a three-part series about solutions for sexual assault. High rates of sexual assaults on college campuses get a lot of attention — and rightly so. But do you know what group has higher rates of sexual assault and rape than college women? College-age women who aren’t in college . These sexual assaults, unfortunately, don’t get a lot of attention. One reason is that while college women gather in a place that’s held responsible for their safety, non-college women are scattered.

Mother's attitude towards baby during pregnancy may have implications for child's development [medicalxpress.com]

Mothers who 'connect' with their baby during pregnancy are more likely to interact in a more positive way with their infant after it is born, according to a study carried out at the University of Cambridge. Interaction is important for helping infants learn and develop. Researchers at the Centre for Family Research carried out a meta-analysis, reviewing all published studies in the field, in an attempt to demonstrate conclusively whether there was a link with the way parents think about...

Crow Wing County: Tackling community problems in new way [brainerddispatch.com]

Crow Wing County officials are taking a new tact in dealing with issues such as suicide, juvenile offenses and dropout rates by partnering with Bridges of Hope for a "self-healing community." The idea is to "engage the public, inspire innovation, support peer helping and ease the daily stress burden of parents to promote change so that together communities can better protect and nurture the next generation." "We actually were the instigators of this whole idea," Community Services Director...

First They Came for the Migrants [nytimes.com]

The sci-fi writer William Gibson once said, “The future has arrived — it’s just not evenly distributed yet.” In America in 2018, the same could be said of authoritarianism. Since Donald Trump was elected, there’s been a boom in best-selling books about the fragility of liberal democracy, including Madeleine Albright’s “Fascism: A Warning,” and Timothy Snyder’s “On Tyranny.” Many have noted that the president’s rhetoric abounds in classic fascist tropes, including the demonization of...

Peace Corps to Foster Care Reform: Ezra Spitzer on Youth Advocacy in New Mexico [chronicleofsocialchange.org]

Ezra Spitzer is executive director of the New Mexico Child Advocacy Network (NMCAN), which recently saw its bill offering incentives to employers to hire foster youth signed into law. Prior to joining NMCAN, Spitzer spent two years in the Peace Corps in post-Soviet Uzbekistan. The Chronicle sat down with Spitzer in Albuquerque, N.M., following a celebration of NMCAN’s legislative victory . When did NMCAN first start focusing on youth engagement, and how has the work changed over the years?

How Universities Deal With Sexual Harassment Needs Sweeping Change, Panel Says [nytimes.com]

Years of efforts to prevent sexual harassment in science, engineering and medicine have failed, and universities need to make sweeping changes in the way they deal with the issue, a searing new report by a national advisory panel concluded on Tuesday. “There is no evidence to suggest that current policies, procedures, and approaches have resulted in a significant reduction in sexual harassment,” said the report, which was more than two years in the making , starting well before the #MeToo...

Supreme Court Affirms Native American Treaty Rights to Harvest Salmon [yesmagazine.org]

The Supreme Court affirmed the treaty rights of tribal nations in Washington state today in a case that also confirms the treaty rights of tribes throughout the West. By ruling to leave in place a lower court decision mandating that the state of Washington replace salmon blocking culverts with passable ones, the Court upheld the treaty rights of tribes to have sustained access to their First Foods: salmon. The tribes in Washington state are rejoicing. “It’s a fantastic day for Indian...

Immigration Agencies are Facing Accusations of Rampant Racial Profiling [psmag.com]

When immigration officers raided a rural Pennsylvania poultry transport company early last year, a lawyer for five undocumented men arrested saw plenty of evidence their rights had been violated. The Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers had no warrant to drive past the company's "No Trespassing" signs and block the exits with their vans, or to demand documentation on the workers' legal status. According to witnesses, the officers seemed to target workers solely based on their...

The Power of Giving the Homeless a Place to Belong [citylab.com]

Twenty years ago, Jim lived under a highway bridge in New Haven, Connecticut. He was in his 50s and had once been in the Army. After an honorable discharge, he bounced from one job to another, drank too much, became estranged from his family, and finally ended up homeless. A New Haven mental health outreach team found him one morning sleeping under the bridge. His neon yellow sneakers stuck out from underneath his blankets. The team tried for months to get Jim to accept psychiatric services.

Living with neighborhood violence may shape teens' brains [medicalxpress.com]

Flinching as a gunshot whizzes past your window. Covering your ears when a police car races down your street, sirens blaring. Walking past a drug deal on your block or a beating at your school. For kids living in picket-fence suburbia, these experiences might be rare. But for their peers in urban poverty, they are all too commonplace. More than half of children and adolescents living in cities have experienced some form of community violence – acts of disturbance or crime, such as drug use,...

Managing Holiday Stress at Family Gatherings

Do holiday family gatherings stir up feelings of excitement and dread at the same time? Do you feel a little thrown off your game as your visit gets underway? Maybe you’re like the golfer in this story. Stick with me here — it relates back to holiday stress, I promise: There’s an old joke about a golfer who meets up with a friend to play a round of nine. The friend is not a good player, so he asks for two “gotchas” to help even the game. The golfer says, “You mean two ‘gimmies'” — two shots...

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