Sunday, January 11, 2009

Yes PeCan! and A Good Hard Kick.

Sometimes a good cause is simply so good that it is effortless to take action. This one was brought to my attention through a facebook post (thanks, Marty!) and wins the creative capitalism prize for do-gooders and ice cream lovers. Reported by the Huffington Post, Ben & Jerry's will donate the proceeds from every scoop of 'Yes PeCan' ice cream sold in the month of January to the Common Cause Education Fund. And if that isn't enough, if you join common cause or donate a dollar to the Common Cause Education Fund, they will match your dollar with a dollar of their own. See the Ben & Jerry's or the Common Cause website for more information.

And even if ice cream isn't your thing, Common Cause is worth checking out. It's a "nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization...committed to honest, open and accountable government, as well as encouraging citizen participation in democracy." In addition to a national coalition, they support 36 state organizations and several city-scale branches that organize local activities devoted to government accountability and ethics. Broadly, their causes include: election reform, government accountability (including 'watchdogging the bailout'!!), ethics in government, and media and democracy. Check out their website for the political cause that fits your personal activism, or just eat more ice cream. (As if I needed another excuse!)

Secondly, I have to mention that this week's People magazine (January 12th - 19th) has a fantastic five page article on Street Soccer USA, the homeless soccer league born in Charlotte by my friend Lawrence Cann. Some of you may know the 'converted soup-kitchen parking lot' they refer to in the article as our very own ARTPARK. If you're waiting in line at the grocery store with your cart full of Yes PeCan, be sure to pick it up and take a look, pages 50 to 54 (sandwiched like Oreo filling between Oprah's weight frustration and women now half their size!).

And, oh my gosh, congratulations to Robby Johnston for being the first of his cohort (and maybe the first of my former students?) to become a registered architect! I know you take into that heady responsibility a commitment to be a conscientious leader in forming a more beautiful, meaningful, and thought-provoking world. As you have always championed, life is too short and our worlds too small for mediocrity.

So much more to come in the next few weeks. Thanks for all the encouragement, and all of your own small actions. Happy 79 degrees and sunny in LA this January.

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