A teacher offering space and wisdom in the face of Trumpism

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wood, nails and colored thread created by high school student

My colleague Anne Porter offers advice on her blog wordsarestrong giving teachers a framework that helps students with facts, rigor, empathy, respect and morality.

She says “each student’s inner voice is sacred and deserves respect, and that we are teaching social justice every time we step into the classroom, whether we plan to or not, by what we do or what we don’t do.”

Seeing students use head and heart in balance is the goal.

Both Anne and I work at an independent high school in San Francisco.

Thank you, Anne.

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Raise your voice

S_Gillibrand I was reminded this morning after watching my daily dose of Jon Stewart that Senator Kirsten Gillibrand is an excellent example of how an elected official should behave. Part 1 and Part 2. She continually looks for ways to improve the lives of Americans. As emphasized during this excerpt for The Daily Show, she is currently fighting for renewing the 9/11 health programs for those first responders who helped during one of the most terrible moments in our nation’s history. Now, that’s not only justice but the right thing to do. The Senator also points out that there is a disconnect between the public and congress. I venture to say that there is a disconnect between congressional members too, which this Senator patiently yet firmly takes head-on.

“If you want to do something, call your Congress member. Frankly, the only time anything ever works in Washington is when regular people stand up and demand action. So, your voice matters. Please be heard on this issue.”
— Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand on renewing the 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act.

Click here for more information on making that call.

Would you like to stand up and demand action on issues affecting the poor here and globally, though aren’t exactly sure how to do it? Check out RESULTS to join others who are developing their political will. I can also help connect you with someone in any state to get you started.

As I ease into this 4th of July weekend, Senator Gillibrand sets a perfect example for the rest of us to get off the sidelines and raise your voice. After all, isn’t that what America is all about?

Photo: Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s book “Off the Sidelines – Raise Your Voice, Change the World”.


This symbol of racism must come down

Confederate_flagFirst sadness, then outrage and finally helplessness are what I felt after the massacre in Charleston. Yes, a mentally ill young man allegedly killed nine people but this crime belongs to all of us. America has truly not moved beyond racism or properly addressed our guns laws. In his response, President Obama said “this type of mass violence does not happen in other advanced countries. It doesn’t happen in other places with this kind of frequency. And it is in our power to do something about it.”

A small step in exerting some power would be to remove the Confederate flag. It is not a symbol of pride yet a reminder of racism. Over 360,000 people have signed MoveOn’s petition to get the flag taken down. Read more about the effort to get the flag taken down here from Good. Sign the petition or tweet #takedownthatflag and be part of the solution.

I now feel a little less helpless.


Vaccines – LTE

My letter to the editor at the Marin Independent Journal.  See it here too.

Vaccine law needed to protect our children

Good to read Mary Piepho’s commentary about the vaccine bill, SB 277, and if passed will protect our children and communities.

As a mother, I look forward to that assurance. I know, however, that this happiness and joy is not possible in families of the 6.3 million children who die every year of preventable and treatable diseases like measles, pneumonia and rotavirus.

Over the years, the United States has helped reduce the number of global childhood deaths by more than half through efficient programs with proven success. Now we have another opportunity to reduce these avoidable tragedies more efficiently and faster.

New legislation in Congress is being developed to give more structural support, targeted goals, measured achievement and more accountability to our USAID programs. It is a way of increasing the outcomes of our dollars without increasing our investment.

My wish is that our senators, Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, will co-sign this bill in the Senate when it is introduced and Rep. Jared Huffman will do the same when the bill appears in the House.

As their constituent, I will let them know that they have the power to support this worthy effort towards a healthier, safer but less heartbreaking world.

— Lori Saltveit, Corte Madera


Four Ways to Observe International Women’s Day

Screen Shot 2015-03-08 at 8.18.38 AMThank you Bread New Mexico for your handy blog posting today. I invite each of us to stand today and everyday with women and girls for gender equality around the world. Every word and action that is spoken will make a difference.


Eva Longoria, a desperate housewife? I think not.

Cover of "A Path Appears"

Cover of “A Path Appears”

Eva Longoria’s journey to Colombia is written about in the book A Path Appears by Nicholas Kristof and Sheryl WuDunn and seen in the accompanying three part PBS documentary of the same name. CARE friend Kristy Wooten writes about Eva Longoria too in today’s Huffington Post.

Everyone knows Eva Longoria as Gabrielle Solis from Desperate Housewives and what you might not know is that Eva has tremendous capacity to share justice. In A Path Appears she brings to light the stark fact that teenage pregnancy in Cartegna, Colombia is out of control. Watch this video clip and then check out the PBS documentary which airs the second episode tonight.


Gender equality at home

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After listening to sound bytes and pondering analysis of President Obama’s SOTU address, my thoughts keep coming back to making sure that mothers are given every opportunity to raise healthy, strong families.  Whether they do it singly or with a partner, having equality is key.  Here in the United States, we’ve got a ways to go.  Glad to see it’s staying in the minds of our country’s leadership.  My friend Jeanne Faulkner writes for Every Mother Counts. Shortly after the speech, her outtakes from the President’s speech showed up on the blog.  Thanks Jeanne!