Isms stalk the land, but David Brooks hasn’t lost hope

first_imgIn the late 1980s David Brooks was reporting from Europe for The Wall Street Journal as a wave of reform swept the world. Across five years he would cover the fall of Berlin Wall, the breakup of the Soviet Union, the Maastricht Treaty, Nelson Mandela’s release from prison, the end of apartheid, and the Oslo peace process.It was “all good news,” Brooks said, except for the one story he mostly ignored: Civil war in Yugoslavia.“In retrospect, that was the most important thing that happened while I was there because that led to what we’ve seen ever since, and that’s tribalism,” Brooks, now a columnist for The New York Times, told a Harvard audience on Wednesday.The rise of tribalism in the U.S. was among Brooks’ topics during a talk at the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation. American tribalism and the appeal of President Trump, he said, owe largely to a shift from a community ethos to one of rugged and rebellious individualism.There are pros and cons to both, Brooks said. From 1932 to 1964, community was central to a sense of self and connectedness, and citizens put faith in big organizations — government, unions, corporations — to solve big problems.But if trust and “humility” were easier to find back then, Brooks said, so were rampant racism, sexism, and anti-Semitism, as well as more emotional distance in families, particularly between fathers and their children, and deeper conformity.The 1960s, Brooks said, produced a turn from “we are in this together” to a “free to be myself” sense of liberation that charged a range of social movements, including for expanded Civil Rights. But now, decades later, the country is “suffering a lot of the effects of individualism,” he said. Brooks pointed specifically to three social chasms: loneliness and isolation; a distrust of institutions; and a crisis of purpose.“What happens when you leave people naked and alone?” Brooks said. “Well, they do what anybody does with our revolutionary history — they revert to tribe.”,The Trump campaign understood that partisan conflict had shifted away from the size of government to a debate about the embrace or rejection of globalization. And he pounced. Deft with political theater, the future president “was good at exposing the holes of the old order … at picking every wound we have and sticking a red hot poker into it.”Brooks sees a moderating influence in organizations focused on missions such as civic education, rebuilding community, social mobility, and a better understanding of what our American purpose is “around the world.” The country needs to develop a better understanding of “why living in a democratic society is a better way of life,” he added. Perhaps most important, Brooks said, is that we look outward from our tribes in a spirit of “I commit to you.”Commitments, whether to a person or a profession, a community or a set of ideas, give us our identity, sense of purpose, higher definition of freedom, and moral character, Brooks said.Commitment to nation is the biggest challenge facing the country, he said, but it’s not insurmountable. The journalist sees hope in strong communities “rallying to action.”“People figure stuff out,” he said. “And the writers who say, ‘It’s the end of,’ ‘It’s the decline of’ — people like us, we are always wrong.”last_img read more

SMC student studies world female leaders

first_imgFor Saint Mary’s junior Lindsay Ellis, summer break will be an opportunity to explore the cultures of young female leaders from around the world. After receiving an email from the Center for Women’s Intercultural Leadership (CWIL) regarding new employment opportunities on campus, Ellis said she was intrigued by the chance to interact with international female leaders. “I am really excited to share my culture with other women leaders,” Ellis said. “With this opportunity, I will be able to find out how different I am from these other young women and how our cultures compare and contrast.” Ellis will participate in a study at Saint Mary’s that examines undergraduate women leaders from Burma, Egypt, Libya, Mongolia and TunisiaUnited States State Department’s Ellis. Ellis said the U.S. State Department’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs selected Saint Mary’s for a grant to conduct the study. Titled “Educating Tomorrow’s Global Women Leaders,” the institute will consist of four weeks of intensive studies of American women’s history, leadership and intercultural skills. This will be followed by a week of educational travel, culminating in a conference in Washington, D.C., Ellis said. “I am participating in the four weeks as a student mentor on campus, beginning on June 16 and ending on July 14,” she said. “I will be sharing a room with two international participants where we will participate in all of the activities. I will basically be an American host to the participants.” Hosted through CWIL, the institute helps participants to learn about the United States and to get to know their peers, Ellis said. “The program is designed through CWIL to include student mentors like myself so that the participants will have us as their American tour guides and mentors during their stay here,” Ellis said. Strong leadership skills and excellent intercultural competence were prerequisites for becoming student mentors, Ellis said. “I am a resident advisor in McCandless Hall, and women’s studies is one of my minors,” Ellis said. “This opportunity seemed to fit right in with what I like to do.” Ellis said she thought her experience as a Resident Advisor strengthened her application for the CWIL program. “We do diversity training and are involved with a lot of conflict resolution,” she said. “We also plan many events throughout the year, so all of that sort of molds us into people who fit the job description perfectly. I can’t wait to meet the other girls in my section, because I know we all bring something different to the table.” In addition to learning about other female leaders and their cultures, Ellis said she and other mentors will receive room and board as well as a stipend for their participation in the study. “I found the incentive in applying was that I’d be able to be back on campus for a few weeks and get to travel around while meeting new friends,” Ellis said. “The opportunity to travel to places like New York, Boston and Washington, D.C. all in one summer will be amazing.” The participants and their mentors will also make weekend trips from South Bend to Chicago, Ellis said. “This opportunity to travel and get to know women from other countries is going to be an experience I will never forget,” she said. “I am really looking forward to meeting all the participants and learning more than I ever imagined … I think because I love Saint Mary’s so much, I always want to share that love with new people, so this is the perfect opportunity for me.”last_img read more

Gov. Wolf’s Vision For Longtime Prosperity for Pennsylvania Agriculture Comes to Fruition

first_imgGov. Wolf’s Vision For Longtime Prosperity for Pennsylvania Agriculture Comes to Fruition SHARE Email Facebook Twitter July 01, 2019center_img Bill Signing,  Budget News,  Environment,  Press Release Harrisburg, PA – Governor Tom Wolf’s vision of a path to longtime prosperity for Pennsylvania agriculture came to fruition with the signing into law of new legislation establishing the Pennsylvania Farm Bill. The PA Farm Bill will make $23.1 million in strategic investments into the agriculture industry to grow opportunities and resources, remove barriers to entry, and cultivate future generations of leaders within agriculture.“The agricultural industry is the backbone of Pennsylvania’s economy. The PA Farm Bill is bold, aggressive, and necessary to protect our farming heritage and inspire the next generation of Pennsylvania farmers,” said Gov. Wolf. “Our commonwealth flourishes when Pennsylvanians have access to high-quality, locally sourced products – and when our farmers are competitive in a diverse range of markets. The historic investments made through the PA Farm Bill will improve the lives of all residents for years to come and create a pathway for a dynamic and prosperous farming economy in Pennsylvania.”The PA Farm Bill will provide support for and continued investments in the commonwealth’s agriculture industry, was modeled after Gov. Wolf’s six-point plan, which he first presented publicly last August at Ag Progress Days.“In my 20 years of public service, this is the largest investment I’ve ever seen made in Pennsylvania agriculture,” said Agriculture Secretary Russell Redding. “Thanks to Governor Wolf, this is the beginning of a new era of opportunities for our state’s top industry, and we’re proud to be here to witness it.”The PA Farm Bill will:Develop New Resources for Agriculture Business Development and Succession Planning• Invest $2 million to create the Agriculture Business Development Center to support business planning, marketing, diversification, and transition planning services to Pennsylvania farmers.• Create a realty transfer tax exemption for any transfer of preserved farmland to a qualified beginning farmer.• Provide for the construction and use of a residence for the landowner or an employee and provides for the subdivision of preserved farmlands.Increase Opportunities for Pennsylvania’s Agricultural Workforce• Create the PA Farm to School Grant Program, funded at $500,000, for pre-kindergarten through fifth grade students to support increased nutrition and agriculture education.• Re-establish the Agriculture and Youth Development grant program with an investment of $500,000 to support workforce development initiatives for agriculture and youth organizations such as FFA and 4-H.Remove Regulatory Burdens and Strengthen the State’s Agricultural Business Climate• Expand the allowable width for use of implements of agriculture husbandry from 16 feet to 18 feet.• Allocate $500,000 to the Agriculture Linked Investment Program to provide low-interest loans for conservation practices.• Support the Conservation Excellence Grant program with $2.5 million to fund best management practices in priority areas of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed.• Expand Resource Enhancement and Protection Tax Credits by $3 million to raise the lifetime cap and increase availability.Create More Processing Capabilities• Expand Pennsylvania’s Dairy Investment Program, funded at $5 million, to support innovation, value-added processing, marketing, and organic transitions in the dairy industry.• Utilize $500,000 to incentivize access to meat processing inspections for small farmers or butchers to reimburse costs for federal inspection compliance to access new markets.• Invest $1 million to create the Center for Animal Agriculture Excellence, which will assist with expanding processing capacity, providing technical assistance and resources for food safety compliance and establishing hemp as an approved animal feed.Increase Market Opportunities and Grow the Organic Sector• Invest $500,000 to support a state-level Specialty Crop Block Grant program to invest in priority crops for Pennsylvania, such as hardwoods, hemp, and hops.• Bolster enrollment in the Homegrown by Heroes Program by providing an additional $1 million to the PA Preferred program.• Improve agriculture infrastructure in urban areas by investing $500,000 in the Urban Agricultural Infrastructure Grant Program.• Direct $1.6 million in funding to support PA Preferred and create the PA Preferred Organic Initiative to enhance the growth of the organic sector.Protect Agriculture Infrastructure• Continue the fight against the Spotted Lanternfly and create the Pennsylvania Rapid Response Disaster Readiness Account, funded at $4 million, to provide a quick response to the next agricultural disaster, whether animal health, plant health, or foodborne illness.last_img read more