Knowledge is Power Conference May 4-5
US Institute of Peace, Washington DC
Over 300 chapter members, leaders, grantees, staff, and volunteers gathered in Washington to celebrate DFW’s 15th Anniversary and help plan the future. The energy, sharing, laughter, and learning could not be beaten! Safe to say we all wanted the weekend to continue – how many conferences can you say that about?
See more on DFW’s Facebook and website and, if you’re not a member already – find a Chapter near you and join now!
As one wonderful grantee said at the beginning of her panel remarks, “I didn’t realize it before I came, but this feels like a secret society. You can say anything and everyone just helps you!”
Believe it or not, Chris Hedges wrote this in 2011, when our current political climate was nowhere on the horizon.
When you think about education and what it should do, contemplate this afresh:
The truly educated become conscious. They become self-aware. They do not lie to themselves. They do not pretend that fraud is moral or that corporate greed is good. They do not claim that the demands of the marketplace can morally justify the hunger of children or denial of medical care to the sick. They do not throw 6 million families from their homes as the cost of doing business. Thought is a dialogue with one’s inner self. Those who think ask questions, questions those in authority do not want asked. They remember who we are, where we come from and where we should go. They remain eternally skeptical and distrustful of power. And they know that this moral independence is the only protection from the radical evil that results from collective unconsciousness. The capacity to think is the only bulwark against any centralized authority that seeks to impose mindless obedience. There is a huge difference, as Socrates understood, between teaching people what to think and teaching them how to think. Those who are endowed with a moral conscience refuse to commit crimes, even those sanctioned by the corporate state, because they do not in the end want to live with criminals—themselves….
“The greatest evil perpetrated,” Hannah Arendt wrote, “is the evil committed by nobodies, that is, by human beings who refuse to be persons.”
As Arendt pointed out, we must trust only those who have this self-awareness. This self-awareness comes only through consciousness. It comes with the ability to look at a crime being committed and say “I can’t.” We must fear, Arendt warned, those whose moral system is built around the flimsy structure of blind obedience. We must fear those who cannot think. Unconscious civilizations become totalitarian wastelands.
From “Why the United States is Destroying its Education System”
Here’s a perfect collaboration: one of my favorite schools – New Gate Montessori IB in Sarasota, Florida – and one of my favorite causes – Cities for CEDAW. What a team!
The New Gate students created a PSA about our local CEDAW initiative. They did a brilliant job explaining exactly how this global topic applies directly to Sarasota residents.
Take a look and stay tuned for more on the Cities for CEDAW initiative. And thanks to all these 11th-year students who donated time to help the local Chapter of UN Women-USNC.