May 2012 TruthToTell Archives

Something about the violence that occurs behind the doors of family homes has made it untouchable in our culture. The rage born of violence inflicted in the heat of arguments over money and power, usually fueled by drugs and alcohol, may have its roots in the sense of powerlessness arising from relentless unemployment or underemployment, from oppression outside the home, or from mental illness of one kind or another. Shifting such a cultural taboo from a blind eye to interventions and community responsibility has been a tough journey for women’s and children’s advocates.

It’s tough to tout a program that places such a premium on volunteerism and/or minimal recompense for work often required of certified teachers, but this week, we talk about this very program of using young people help kids get into and out of higher education and working out of several youth oriented non profits as well as the public schools. We hear quite a bit, on and off, about the AmeriCorps program, which has its roots in the original VISTA – Volunteers in Service to America – program – a sort of Peace Corps for the domestic side – right here in US cities and communities.

Community and urban gardens are IN! Diverse communities are marching in lock-step toward a better and healthier families.
In fact, in many large cities across the country which have found their cores eaten away by poverty and abandonment, rotting and fallen houses are being replaced with very real farms.
Here in the Twin Cities, however, the trend is toward finding people who need, but haven’t been able to access locally grown, fresh foods and more stable and healthy diets as a result – and getting them into the business of seeking and even growing their own fresher foods.

Now, the task may be to fight the powerful fast food and corporate farming industry who advertise the fat foods with little attention to fresh vegetables everyone needs.

This week we combine two burning issues, both of which dovetail in the daily onslaught of media – the reckless drive for shock value among wildly competing messages and personalities and the insensitive pursuit of profit at the expense of the civic peace.