Tag Archives: Politics

Cornel West Talks Newark, Cory Booker, & Youth Engagement [VIDEO]

1 Oct

Cornel West (Image: Manolomen.com)

Cornel West (Image: Manolomen.com)

This week in NYC is like Woodstock for activists, educators, and politicians.  There’s so much going on from a domestic violence workshop to a film screening on Rethink Afghanistan.

Starting things off, last night had the opportunity to attend Cornel West’s Barnes & Noble event in Midtown.  Brother West was there to introduced his latest book Living and Loving Out Loud, a Memoir and rap a bit with the folks.

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I Heart Andrea Batista Schlesinger and Dr. John H. Jackson

8 Jan

drummajor-vl-thumb

I gotta girl crush.

Andrea Batista Schlesinger is one of the leading public policy thinkers of this century.  And yes, you may quote me on that.

She’s the Executive Director of The Drum Major Institute For Public Policy and has lots of cool ideas about how we can best use what we know as a nation to help improve our social and political environments.

I was just recently introduced to Schlesinger at the 2008 Facing Race Conference in Oakland, CA.  I presented on a workshop panel, “Using New Media and Technology to Advance Racial Justice” on behalf of Brave New Films.  For reals – see side pic. dsc_10451

I didn’t meet Schlesinger directly, although I became familiar with her work through others who attended the conference.  Since then I’ve been eager to get my hands on her new book coming out this summer, The Death of Why: The Decline of Questioning and the Future of Democracy.

One notable quote from Schlesinger’s panel discussion that I take to heart goes a little something like this:

“I’m a radical. I think reality is the best place from which to make public policy.”

Best quote of ’09 so far (even though Schlesinger said it in ’08).

Okay, I admit.  I also gotta boy crush too.  Dr. John H. Jackson, President of the Schott Foundation, also spoke alongside Schlesinger at the same panel.  You can view the entire panel discussion at the Race Wire Blog.

Like Schlesinger, Jackson has some great insights into public policy matters, particularly as it relates to education disparities among boys and girls of color.  Though I didn’t get the opportunity to meet Schlesinger, I did get the chance to exchange ideas with Dr. Jackson.  There I was, this no-name writer who happens to work for two cool organizations speaking to a former Senior Policy Advisor to President Clinton and who is currently serving as part of Obama’s education transition team. Oh, and not to mention that Dr. Jackson has a bunch of degrees, his doctorate being from Haaaarvard.  But after we got talking, I realized that we weren’t much different especially since we both agreed that Lil’ Wayne’s rap lyrics are, like, not that profound.  For reals.  He is not the second-coming of ‘Pac.

Take a peep at this video, showcasing a glimpse of Jackson’s perspectives and visions during the conference discussion.

If you’re like me and you love all-things political, social, and current make sure you keep an eye out for Andrea Batista Schlesinger and John H. Jackson.  These two aren’t only my girl and boy crushes of ’09, they’re two intellectuals shaping the future of public policy.