Exit the Terrarium: Why Your Community Needs You!

IMG_20160613_191409.jpgI’m not going to lie, since the tragedy in Orlando, I’ve been having trouble mustering up the emotional energy to write a blog post. Instead, I found  myself furiously Googling and making plans to build a terrarium. It’s not TOO strange when you consider that I am a proud lizard owner (see Dandy, pictured above), but it is a weird thing for my mind to be mysteriously fixating on in the wake of this tragedy. However, I think the feeling mirrored my desire to close myself off in my own social ecosystem. In times like these, it is very easy for us to choose one thing to focus on, and huddle up with like-minded friends in a miniature version of the “real” world. Continue reading

Advertisements

How to Argue Better!

262H.jpg

Life in 2016 is fraught with controversy. Politics are growing more and more polarized, casual racism and microaggressions are becoming less socially acceptable, and traditional gender roles are being challenged. No matter where you stand on the issues (or if you have yet to form an opinion), chances are, you’ve got someone yelling at you on either side. This makes staying cool, respectful, and rational all the more difficult. Here are some tips on how to share your opinions on controversial topics in a way that is most likely to get your point across without any hard feelings: Continue reading

Ways to Make America Great (Besides Voting)

old-glory-1546377-1600x1200.jpg

These day, election coverage is unescapable. While I am thrilled that some of our front-runners are making “YUGE” gains in raising awareness about the struggles faced by oft-neglected demographic groups and issues, many of the articles and memes don’t capture the full story. Since our news feed is already fully saturated with stories about how candidate X will boost the economy, candidate Y will improve the U.S.’s international standing, and candidate Z  is possibly the Zodiac killer (really?), I thought I would focus today on some real talk: What can you do to make America greater in your everyday life? Continue reading

How stigma hurts (and how to fight it!)

379367_7377

Stigmatizing members of our community who are already at risk is, sadly, extremely common. When you see someone in need, sometimes it is easier to suppress your compassion than to offer help. You might even think that this will help to make them more resilient or encourage them to work harder or become more independent, but in truth, perpetuating stigma against marginalized groups makes life worse for them and for the health of our community. This week I am going to explore how stigma hurts and how you can help fight it. Continue reading

Advocacy in the Face of Stigma

fear shadow

Standing up for a disadvantaged or oppressed group takes great personal strength, and can sometimes feel like an uphill battle. This week I am pleased to be joined by Felicia Johnson, Mental Health Advocate and Author of Her the Book, a novel which explores the real-life complexities of struggling with mental illness and what it means to be a survivor. This type of advocacy (or any type, really) is stressful and can take a toll on a person, but it also can pay off in a big way. Today’s post offers some tips for staying motivated and achieving your goals as an advocate for a cause.

Continue reading