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Joan Blades

Entries by Joan Blades

Faith in Citizens

(1) Comments | Posted October 7, 2014 | 11:40 AM

September 20th I was invited to share the Living Room Conversations story at the Religions of the Earth Conference in NY preceding the climate march. I was thrilled because faith leaders are natural champions for respectful open-hearted civil engagement. These leaders were gathered to lift up the role of moral...

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Are College Students Sleeping With Toxic Flame Retardants?

(1) Comments | Posted August 1, 2014 | 1:00 PM

My daughter is going to college this fall and we are getting ready. Her school recommended a number of items for her dorm which we dutifully purchased. Having worked on getting toxic flame retardants out of the foam in our couches over the past several years, it occurred to me...

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Maternal Profiling Is Alive and Well in Pennsylvania

(13) Comments | Posted October 21, 2013 | 7:02 PM

After eight years of friendship and mutual support on the phone and online, I finally met Kiki Peppard last month! Kiki's experiences moving to Pennsylvania as working single mom of two children is the first story in The Motherhood Manifesto. Her story details her experiences going to interview for jobs...

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Let's Lean In to Updating Our Work Culture!

(1) Comments | Posted March 12, 2013 | 5:49 PM

Sheryl Sandberg's new book, Lean In, puts a spotlight on the shortage of women leaders in the work force. She underscores that motherhood is a time when many women get side tracked from their careers. She advises young women to "lean in" in order to stay on track, move up...

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A Living Room Conversation to Reinstate Glass-Steagall

(3) Comments | Posted January 14, 2013 | 12:54 PM

Tea Party and MoveOn activists joining voices to reinstate Glass-Steagall? That's not far-fetched... this is common ground.

I admit that I had butterflies in my stomach last week when I thought about co-hosting a Living Room Conversation about crony capitalism with my friend Mark Meckler, who is a co-founder of...

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Talking Turkey With Family

(4) Comments | Posted November 21, 2012 | 11:04 AM

Last year was launched with the goal of "revitalizing the art of conversation among people with diverse views and to remind our fellow Americans of the power and beauty of civil discourse." Living Room Conversations have been co-hosted by conservative/progressive host teams on energy, money in politics,...

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Reweaving the Fabric of our Society

(24) Comments | Posted May 22, 2012 | 2:17 PM

Some people say that Richard Lugar lost his Senate seat because he worked with Democrats. No wonder Congressional approval is at an all time low. Winning for politicians too often means failing the citizens they are employed to serve. Think budget crisis. Think immigration reform. Even judicial nominations have been...

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The Next Citizen's Movement -- Respectful Dialogue

(3) Comments | Posted December 5, 2011 | 5:16 PM

On December 4, 2011, the Livingroom Conversations Website went live and I co-hosted a demonstration Living Room Conversation gathering with my conservative partner Amanda Kathyrn Roman. I'm still feeling the glow. I expanded my understanding of where we might find common ground across party lines around reducing the...

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Telework: A Breakthrough Solution for Business, Workers, Climate

(5) Comments | Posted August 5, 2011 | 9:26 PM

Did you know that this year the federal government promoted a week dedicated to telework?
The intent was to encourage government agencies to overcome obstacles and discover the advantages of virtual work. General Services Administration administrator Martha Johnson explained, "Telework is revolutionizing the way government works, helping us...

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A Virtually Perfect Labor Day

(4) Comments | Posted September 7, 2010 | 9:56 AM

I work from home. So do all the people who work with and, the two organizations I co-founded. It works great for us and has for years, and so, when I read that the number of U.S. telecommuters dipped to 8.7 million in 2009...

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Admiring the High Performance Workplace

(3) Comments | Posted August 17, 2010 | 1:03 PM

I just got back from a Dr. Pepper plant in Texas where managers told me about people laughing at work a lot more since they began the transition to becoming a High Performance Work Place (HPWP). As a person who has been writing a book about work practices that...

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I Want Choice

(2) Comments | Posted April 16, 2010 | 12:16 PM

This year I have yearned for a Democratic primary race in California. Somehow in our great state, up until last week, all we were able to field in our governor's race was one Democrat. He's a fine Democrat. Heck, he was my Governor when I was a kid over 3...

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Peaceful Revolution: When Compromise Is a Dirty Word

(3) Comments | Posted September 21, 2009 | 5:13 PM

Compromise is a dirty word when it means that we fail to meet basic needs ... when it means that our country's future is compromised. U.S. citizens and businesses cannot afford a compromise on health care that is politically feasible but does not both reduce health care costs and provide...

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Peaceful Revolution: Save Our Mac & Cheese

(1) Comments | Posted August 25, 2009 | 5:17 PM

Did you know that Kraft Macaroni and Cheese is formulated differently for countries in Europe than for the U.S.? I didn't either until I read The Unhealthy Truth, a book about the toxicity of America's food supply.

The fact is, that in 2008, Kraft removed artificial...

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Outing the Toxics in Our High Chairs

(16) Comments | Posted July 3, 2009 | 1:34 AM

Baby products throughout the United States are saturated with toxic flame retardants, and it is going to stay that way if the bromine industry has its way. Parents would be outraged if they were aware. Because of an antiquated California flammability standard, California Technical Bulleting 117 (TB117), the foam in...

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Peaceful Revolution: Honoring Your Mother of the Year

(3) Comments | Posted May 6, 2009 | 5:43 PM

Sunday is Mother's Day! At this week is a bit like the week before Christmas in the retail world. Once a year Mothers are front page news and does our best to call attention to the peaceful revolution we are working to spark--a revolution that creates...

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Working Smart vs. Working Stupid

(19) Comments | Posted March 24, 2009 | 5:14 PM

Yesterday the Washington Post fed the insecurities of American workers with the headline, "As Cuts Loom, Will Working From Home Lead to a Layoff?" My response "Only if we are committed to a work model inspired by the 1950s and 'working stupid' by rigidly adhering to old work models that...

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Peaceful Revolution: I Love Seeing Babies at Work!

(9) Comments | Posted January 6, 2009 | 10:13 AM

MomsRising named this column A Peaceful Revolution because it is about envisioning and embracing culture change that enables parents to excel at home and at work. Win-win solutions are more accessible than most of us realize. This weekend the New York Times highlighted such an opportunity that far too...

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Procrastination Doesn't Fix It

(55) Comments | Posted December 22, 2008 | 7:38 PM

(or A Long Term Solution for Our Auto Industry)

There is a reason that the U.S. auto companies are bankrupt and it is not just that we are having an economic downturn. That has merely accelerated the crisis. Last week we the taxpayers gave the automakers a one month reprieve...

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Peaceful Revolution: A Magical Moment for the 21st Century Women's Movement

(1) Comments | Posted July 18, 2008 | 2:45 PM

This weekend hosted a remarkable conversation. I do confess that I was deeply anxious about gathering a multi-dimensionally diverse group for conversation about the women's movement of the 21st century at the Omega Institute. Having national organizers, local organizers, child care experts, environmentalists, bloggers, social entrepreneurs, an age range...

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