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Practically Idealistic blog
 
The title for this blog originated with use of the term “practical idealist” in this 1996 opinion piece, which asked: “To what kind of work should a practical idealist aspire?” A century and a half earlier, Emerson, in his 1841 essay Circles, wrote: “There are degrees in idealism.  We learn first to play with it academically. . . .  Then we see in the heyday of youth and poetry that it may be true, that it is true in gleams and fragments.  Then, its countenance waxes stern and grand, and we see that it must be true.  It now shows itself ethical and practical.”  John Dewey and Mahatma Gandhi embraced practical idealism in the 20th century, as did UN Secretary General U Thant.  Al Gore invoked it in a 1998 speech. In the context of this blog, the term is meant to convey idealism tempered but not overwhelmed by realism: a search for the ideal on a path guided by common sense.

Saturday, October 17, 2020

Ambassadors Encouraging Volunteers for Children

As previewed in an August post, CASA of Southern Connecticut held an October 15 forum with its ambassadors, Miye Oni and Brandon Sherrod--along with a volunteer advocate, Dwayne Jackson, a retired professional who explained his motivation to get involved with the CASA movement for children.  A recording of the event will eventually be available.

Already, News 12 TV featured Brandon Sherrod in a related segment, while Jim Fuller of the New Haven Register covered the roles of both Brandon and Miye in a piece titled, "Providing support for children dealing with neglect and abuse a passion for former Yale basketball stars."
10:10 am edt 

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Interrupting Cycles of Abuse
 
In connection with October's designation for domestic violence awareness and substance abuse prevention, I wrote an op-ed in the Connecticut Mirror, along with a similar version in the New Haven Register.  Other Hearst Connecticut Media publications such as the Connecticut PostStamford Advocate, and Greenwich Time also ran the piece.

 

Versions ran in the Good Men Project and via a Medium publication, Change Becomes You, too.
7:57 pm edt 

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

Literacy Coalition on "Virtual Teaching and Learning: Supporting Youth and Families in 2020"

The New Haven Independent published my piece on the Literacy Coalition of Greater New Haven's recent event--with a recording now available on YouTube--and a broader array of updates on the Coalition/literacy-related organizations.
8:07 pm edt 

Saturday, August 15, 2020

Ambassadors for a Good Cause: Miye Oni and Brandon Sherrod
 
A July 25 post below notes continuing progress for CASA of Southern Connecticut--for example with training our third cohort of volunteers, adding new board members and receiving a mentoring grant.  

Now, CASA of Southern Connecticut's ambassadors, Miye Oni and Brandon Sherrod (who both played basketball as Yale students), are making news.

Miye not only made the Utah Jazz roster, including the group currently in the Orlando "bubble"; he was there for the first game of the NBA's resumed season, including a powerful pre-game moment, when players and coaches locked arms to protest systemic racism and hear a rendition of the National Anthem by Jon Batiste.  In addition, Miye recently started his first NBA game.  After he volunteered to support the CASA cause in Connecticut, he also offered to be helpful to Utah CASA, for example inviting a boy in foster care to attend a Jazz home game before the pandemic.

Brandon grew up in Bridgeport and graduated Yale in 2016 with a degree in political science after taking a year off to sing and travel the world with the Whiffenpoofs.  In 2016, he was part of a Yale basketball team that won the Ivy League and a game in the NCAA tournament; he earned all-league honors in setting the NCAA record with 30 consecutive field goals.  While at Yale, he and Javier Duren formed Team Sober, to discourage underage and excessive drinking.  Since then, Brandon has played pro basketball in Italy, where he recently signed for a fifth season.

Save the date of October 15 for a Zoom forum with our Ambassadors.  Miye and Brandon will be the featured participants in a CASA of Southern Connecticut Zoom forum to encourage men in particular to volunteer as best-interest advocates for children.

For Zoom link and other information, please contact: info[at]CASAsouthCT.org

9:59 am edt 

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Board, Community Foundation, Grant News for CASA of Southern Connecticut

Recent weeks have seen CASA of Southern Connecticut:
The board and I welcome the Community Foundation's provision of this additional platform to raise awareness and funds for our cause: recruiting, training, and supporting volunteer advocates for the best interests of children in foster care. 
12:04 pm edt 

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