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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.
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Monday, July 27, 2009

Youth and Friends of East Rock Park

Friends of East Rock Park (FERP) and Youth@Work are teaming to provide summer work opportunities for, and to benefit from, four summer interns.  Follow their activities and reflections at this blog.

Funds are still needed to support their summer contributions and learning experiences.  Donate online at http://www.friendsofeastrockpark.org/ or send a check:

(with your address) made out to the Urban Resources Initiative to:
Friends of East Rock Park
c/o Justin Elicker
192 Willow Street, #3
New Haven, CT 06511

or e-mail info@friendsofeastrockpark.org
9:39 pm edt 

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence

Following on the July 13 post below regarding domestic violence, this WNPR "Where We Live" radio episode features Erika Tindill, executive director of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

Formerly volunteer co-president of Domestic Violence Services of Greater New Haven, Erika Tindill was at that time deputy director of the New Haven Legal Assistance Association.  Before that, she was a domestic violence prosecutor.

Also featured in the WNPR radio segment is Louise Hebert, herself a survivor of abuse who speaks powerfully of her experiences and their lessons for the broader public.  She is now among my colleagues on the advisory resource committee of Domestic Violence Services of Greater New Haven, a program of Birmingham Group Health Services.

Erika Tindill and Louise Hebert were among the participants in the October 2008 "Sound of Hope" event commemorating victims of domestic violence.  Look for information on the October 2009 event.

. . . . .

This New York Times article and editorial provide international context:

July 16, 2009
New Policy Permits Asylum for Battered Women
The Obama administration reversed the Bush administration on an issue at the center of a legal battle.

Editorial:  Asylum for Battered Women
For advocates, allowing battered women asylum from countries where domestic violence is tolerated by society and government is long overdue.

6:46 pm edt 

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Friendly Blood

In a January 6, 2009 post below, I wrote about donating blood.  The Red Cross has this corny top ten list of reasons to do so.

During July, there’s this modest additional incentive: a free container of ice cream from Friendly’s.

To donate blood, individuals must be at least 17 years of age, weigh at least 110 pounds, and be in general good health.

To make an appointment: call 1-800-GIVE LIFE, or go online at the American Red Cross.
1:15 am edt 

Monday, July 13, 2009

Domestic Horror, Ways to Help

Appallingly abusive, would-be murderer Richard Shenkman provides only the most stark, recent story of domestic violence in Connecticut.  The problem severely harms women, children, and some men across our communities, and has larger social costs beyond the pain of those directly involved.   From the law-enforcement, schooling, workplace, and child-welfare perspectives, domestic abuse is a major burden and injustice.

One way to help stop the cycle of violence and limit its effects is by supporting Domestic Violence Services of Greater New Haven.   Find information about its "Stay at Home" Fundraiser.

6:41 am edt 

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