Elaine Ivy is a middle school teacher in Malden, MA, one of the most diverse communities in the state, where over 60 languages are spoken in the schools. She describes her students as funny and sensitive, touched by poverty, mental illness and domestic abuse, children of business owners, refugees, parolees, and war. Now that school is closed, she’s doing her best to stay connected to all of them. Ms. Ivy keeps her spirits high by thinking back to favorite pre-COVID moments with her students, chief among them, presiding over a Gingerbread House Baking Competition.
Good People for the Resistance is a monthly interview with people who give me hope. Today, meet Charles Daniels, who with his wife Samantha co-founded Fathers’ Uplift, an organization that helps absent fathers become part of their children’s lives, and provides counseling to children growing up without their fathers.
In a few short years, Charles has gone from an entry-level social work job to a 2019 Obama Foundation Fellow who’s earned national recognition for his work, appearing on CNN and Good Morning America. Last year, President Obama sent Charles a Father’s Day Twitter greeting, announcing, “This man has a brilliant solution to helping fathers reconnect with their kids.”
How’s Charles do it? Through a lot of hard work and, over the years, internalizing the teachings of his childhood hero, Mr. Rogers.
Good People for the Resistance is a monthly interview with people who give me hope. This week, meet Harvard Medical School student and Soros Fellow for New Americans, Natalie Guo. While eating breakfast the morning of March 15, Natalie had an idea: A way to restore restaurant jobs to the most vulnerable workers, and at the same time provide nutritious meals to hospital workers at the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. By dinnertime that same day, Natalie had arranged for two of Boston’s most renowned chefs – Tracy Chang and Ken Oringer — to deliver meals to emergency room and ICU staff at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
Three weeks later, Natalie’s new organization, Off Their Plate, has served over 6,000 meals to COVID frontline workers across Boston, New York, San Francisco, L.A. and Pittsburgh, and has provided $30,000+ in wages to restaurant workers she has kept in a job.
Natalie’s goal is to stay ahead of the predicted “peaks” in each city, a Herculean, and at times a heartbreakingly impossible task. Each of us can help. I urge you to contribute what you can.
NOTE: I typically report Good People for the Resistance in an interview format. However, because of the immediacy. and intensity of Natalie’s work right now, I decided not to ask her to spend an hour on the phone for an interview. Rather, I pieced together a Q&A using notes from a Zoom conversation that a small group of us had with Natalie last weekend, in which she briefed us on her work and funding needs, documents Natalie and her team have created outlining their business plan, and an interview Natalie did with the Soros Foundation last Spring. Read more Good People
Psychologist Angela Duckworth is a New York Times best-selling author, a McArthur Genius Grant winner, and her Ted talk has over 10-million views. She left a high-paying consulting job to teach 7th graders in a tough NYC public school. There, she observed that “grit” – not necessarily IQ – determined which students succeeded. Angela talked to Good News about the importance of grit and how to measure it, why she thinks Trump has it, and what she would say to him if they met. Read more Good People:
Good People for the Resistance is a monthly interview with people who give me hope. This week, meet Berkeley, CA-based writer Erica Etelson. In her new book, Beyond Contempt: How Liberals Can Communicate Across the Great Divide, Etelson takes on the gargantuan task of urging liberals to stop demonizing Trump, and start speaking to his supporters with curiosity and respect.
As a person experiencing severe “contempt fatigue,” I was excited to learn of Erica’s book. Reading it, my feelings vacillated between contempt for Trump and his supporters, guilt that I feel so much contempt, and gratitude that Erica wrote this book. Learn why Trump-related contempt is like Doritos — it makes us feel good for a moment, but that feeling just doesn’t last.
Good People for the Resistance is a twice-monthly interview with people who give me hope. This week, meet Los Angeles-based filmmaker Beth Dolan, who is in the final stages of finishing a documentary, Stranger At Home: The Untold Story of Military Mental Health. After working on TV situation comedies, NBC movies-of-the-week, and most recently, Los Beltran, an award-winning Spanish language comedy for Sony/Telemundo, Dolan has turned her attention to elevating awareness of the mental health crisis in the U.S. military.
(Personal note: This post is dedicated to my niece, Sergeant First Class Rosalind Atkins Green, who served 24-years in the military, including a year in combat in Iraq. Ros has taught me much about what it means to be a warrior – in every sense of the word. Years after retiring, she’s still there for any of her soldiers who need her).
Good People for the Resistance is a twice-monthly interview with people who give me hope. Today, meet Mexican artist Enrique Chiu, who is painting an enormous “Mural of Brotherhood” on the Mexican side of The Wall.
How’s he do it? With lots of volunteers, from all over the world. Interested in traveling to Tijuana with a group of Good News readers to help him? Send us an email. Read on to learn more ... Read more Good People:
Good People for the Resistance is a twice-monthly interview with people who give me hope. Today, meet Billy Shore, co-founder and executive chairman of Share our Strength, a D.C.-based organization that is well on its way to eliminating childhood hunger in the U.S.
Through the use of creative food events and the support of the nation’s top chefs, food industry executives, and Hollywood celebrities, Shore has raised hundreds of millions of dollars to feed millions of hungry kids in their schools and homes. How’s he do it? Largely by helping food insecure families connect with federal food programs that already exist, but which for a variety of reasons, they are not accessing.
Why do the Shake Shack, Williams Sonoma, Kevin Bacon, the Big Lebowski, and P!nk support Billy and Share Our Strength? Read On …
Good People for the Resistance is a twice-monthly interview with people who give me hope during these dark times. Today, meet Ezra Levin, co-founder of Indivisible, the nationwide, pre-eminent anti-Trump resistance organization.
In December, 2016, shortly after the election, Ezra and his wife Leah Greenberg wrote the Indivisible Guide, a Google Doc manual on how to create a grassroots movement to resist the GOP’s rule. As former Congressional staffers, Levin and Greenberg had witnessed the Tea Party’s rise, and its ability to stall and sometimes block Obama’s agenda. They knew that progressives had much to learn from the Tea Party’s tactics. With so many of us desperate to do something, the Indivisible Guide quickly went viral.
Remember all of those people showing up to challenge legislators at Town Halls, and flooding Congressional phone lines with calls? That was the work of Indivisible— now a national organization that supports 5,000+ Indivisible chapters across the U.S., with at least one chapter in every Congressional district. This year, co-executive directors Levin and Greenberg made Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential Leaders.
What’s Indivisible’s plan to beat Trump and save Democracy? Read on…
Good People for the Resistance is a twice-monthly interview with people who give me hope during these dark times. Today, meet Errin Douglas, Staff Assistant to Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley. Full disclosure: I’ve known Errin’s family for years. With a fierce, big-hearted mother and a brainy, indefatigable big sister as role models, it came as no surprise that Errin landed her Dream Job right out of college.
What’s it like to work for a member of The Squad? What have been her “pinch me I can’t believe this is my job” moments on Capitol Hill? Read the Good News …