Disclaimer: Content on the YP4 blog does not necessarily reflect the views of Young People For or People For the American Way Foundation. The views, ideas, statements or claims posted on this site by members of the public cannot in any way be attributed to either Young People For or People For the American Way Foundation.
Equal Rights for All Americans Championed at Oscars
By Kevin Gosztola
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February 13, 2009
Judges Paid to Send Teens to Juvenile Detention Centers
I posted on the People For the American Way blog about the an awesome project happening at Change.org. Change.org is running a great contest to get ideas for real change and innovation from the public and presenting some of the best ones to the Obama transition team. As we've seen, the Obama transition team is very open to citizen input and as its eye turned toward innovative approaches to current and future challenges. It's encouraging. Here's a great way for YOU to participate.
I recently received an email showcasing The Onion's (www.theonion.com) historic front pages. One of them featured President-Elect Obama with the headline reading, "Black Man Given Nation's Worst Job." The Onion has a clever way of adding a twist of sarcasm and humor in current politics, and many times, is successful at calling out the elephant in the room, this example included.
Like many people I wondered if Joe Biden was a good choice for Barack Obama. However after reading a CNN article which analyzes the first national poll taken after Obama’s selection of Biden I don't think so. http://www.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/08/24/election.2008.poll/index.html
Like millions of Americans across the country, I too, was glued to my gym's television as I witnessed Senator Clinton suspend her campaign and officially endorse Senator Obama for president. As mentioned in a previous blog, I am thankful to have witnessed having both a person of biracial descent, and a woman, running as viable presidential nominees for a major party. However, I admit being disappointed at the negativity and divides that have risen during the primaries. I am troubled at the focus on Obama's African/Kenyan heritage, an attempt to or unintentional failure to acknowledge his biracial background. I question the use of fear and myths during the primaries as means of getting out the vote for one candidate over the other.
This song/video brought tears to my eyes:
Dear YP4 Family,
Spread the word, share the video. History is in the making...
In my leadership studies at Baylor University in central Texas, I've come to notice that handling dissent can show how leaders fare in the face of adversity. A good leader not only knows themselves - their strengths, weaknesses, and tendencies - but also they know how to speak to those that may not agree with them.
Part of my recent experiences with this has been in challenging majority communities to see, recognize, and embrace the needs of the marginalized. For some communities, they include people of color or a different sexual orientation. While it is easiest to lead with a room full of committed supporters, the best leaders can look into the crowd for those with less enthusiasm and vigor to bring them on board.
As you consider what leadership looks like on your campus, I would encourage you to look past the planning, mobilizing, activism and busyness for the internal cause that drives your constant doing. The relationships you chose to develop versus those you wouldn't mind losing are a testament to your character. I strongly believe that a healthy dealing of dissent serves as mark of leadership genius. Being able to challenge differing ideas is not easy, and it should never be. Leaders must challenge people to lose a part of themselves that is not congruent with what they say - to match action with ideology is not impossible for those willing to put in the work.
In all, I wish you the very best of luck to you, change agents!