August 1, 2014
University of California researcher, Paul Piff, and his colleagues have been studying privilege.
In one study, they set up a rigged game of monopoly. The players who had been randomly assigned to get more money and other advantages began to demonstrate some disturbing differences from the other players. They began to move their pieces around the board more loudly, displayed “signs of dominance and nonverbal displays of power and celebration,” ate more pretzels, and came “ruder, less and less sensitive to the plight of the poor players, and more likely to showcase how well they were doing.” After the game, the rich players attributed their success to their skills and strategy, not the systematic advantages they had over the other player, even though they knew the advantages were real and were randomly assigned.
In a rigged game of Monopoly, denial of unearned privilege has few consequences, but what about in the rigged game called life?
February 29, 2012
I offer this post in memory of my father, John D. Ogden Jr. (1942-2012), who passed away much too young this past Saturday after a two year fight with cancer. Known to all of his friends and family as a good and kind man, my father was also the inspiration for much of my interest in conscious evolution and the fight for justice. From his time as one of the first Peace Corps volunteers in Liberia, he spent his career promoting inter-cultural understanding, most recently as director of international programs at SUNY Cortland. My dad once told me the older he got, the more radical he became. Read More
December 28, 2011
|Photo by ad551|http://www.flickr.com/photos/aaddaamn/5196833268|
As 2011 comes to a close, we here at IISC can look back on a year full of multi-stakeholder change work. I think I can speak on behalf of the entire team when I say that it has been our pleasure to contribute our process design, facilitation, and collaborative capacity building skills to a range of differently scaled social change efforts, linking arms with convenors and catalysts in a variety of fields. These have included (to name a few): Read More
October 10, 2011
The first person I met when I went to Dewey Square was a mom, about my age, who came down to see what her son was involved with. I have sons in this age range myself. Occupy Boston has me thinking a lot about what kind of elders we need and what kind of elder I hope to be.
In my college days, I had the privilege of knowing Bob Moses, of Freedom Movement reknown. He mostly spoke to us about issues of the day, always in a way that challenged our thinking and pressed us to think about what was calling our generation forward. He had taken a page from Ella Jo Baker’s book, focusing on building our capacity and confidence to shape our own agenda. We rarely talked about his Movement experiences and I was a little intimidated about asking a living legend about those days.
Early attempts to link Occupy Boston and community efforts focused on related issues have me thinking how best to share lessons and wisdom without squashing the enthusiasm of the younger folk. Younger folk—what kind of elders do you need? And older folk—what kind of elders do you want to be?
October 5, 2011
I too, sing America
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.
I’ll be at the table
When company comes
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed –
I, too, am America.
I write this on a train to New York City, after a whirlwind half-weekend in the nation’s capital a/k/a Chocolate City. My time spent in DC is always edifying — good for my soul. Monday, I attended the opening day of what I expect will be a history making event – the Take Back the American Dream Conference 2011, sponsored by the Campaign for America’s Future and the Institute for America’s Future. Read More