There hasn't been a day this week, where at a dinner or boardroom table, the topic of the Stanford sexual assault case hasn't come up. What is markedly different about this particular violent act, what has spurred so much outrage, grief, bewilderment, and therefore widespread discussion -- is the brave and powerful statement made by the anonymous victim.
In this time when our self-inflicted troubles seem so obvious but the possibility of change -- that is to say, political transformation, through awareness, compassion and common sense -- feels more illusory than ever, something extraordinary, that is to say real, is on the brink of happening in Chicago.
As the school-to-prison pipeline system continues to be under scrutiny, schools in the Los Angeles area are working to reduce this, armed with mounting evidence that harsh punishment for small offenses at an early age does not reduce crime rates, but makes it more likely that offenders go to prison than to college.
It feels as though there is a gaping hole in our nation's soul. It is time we take a serious look at the epidemic of violence in America, and begin to implement real solutions; they are out there. It's hard to deny that easy access to guns, especially semi-automatics, play a serious role in these mass shooting tragedies in the U.S. How many mass school shootings happen in nations with strict controls on guns? How many mass school shootings happen in the United Kingdom, Australia or Canada each year? None. And yet, our mass shootings in the U.S. continue to rack up. There is certainly a correlation. But there are other important causes at play as well. We must develop social structures and comprehensive strategies that can help bring healing to our communities and build resilience in our society. Can we really afford to wait any longer to do so?