This Week in Links: 6.1.15

Fact Sheets on the Benefits of Class Size

Does Class Size Matter?

Two Biker Rallies. One White, One Black. One ‘Badass,’ The Other, Just ‘Bad’

Voter Turnout in U.S. Mayoral Elections Is Pathetic, But It Wasn’t Always This Way

The Link Between Walkable Neighborhoods and Race

The Myth of the Hero Teacher

Standardized Tests: Symptoms, Not Causes

The G Word: Gentrification and Its Many Meanings

How did you begin to unlearn racism?

Why don’t poor people just get jobs? Because they already did.

Unfair Admissions Criteria?

Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2014

Long Odds in the Game of Life

Hey, White People! If You Really Want to Help End Racism, You Need to Invest in Other White People (Yeah, We Know It Sounds Counterintuitive)

The Shockingly Simple, Surprisingly Cost-Effective Way to End Homelessness

Firming Up Inequality

The Political Economy of State and Local Investment in Pre-K Programs

Tim Smeeding on how to reduce income inequality

How Eminent Domain Abuse Harms the Poor

The Cost of an Adjunct

GOP prosecutors bolster Wolf’s case for more Pa. pre-K funding

The Legacy Of Redlining In Baltimore: Using Credit To Curb Social Mobility

Why Are There So Many Shuttered Storefronts in the West Village?

Preliminary Notes on Inequality and Urbanism

What Incarceration Costs Cities

Inequality – What To Do About It?

Can We Finally Treat Food Workers Fairly

Mapping the Hourly Wage Needed to Rent a 2-Bedroom Apartment in Every U.S. State

10 Words Every Girl Should Learn

Inequality and social mobility: Be afraid

Addressing the Inequity Gap

How to Fix a Broken Police Department

The Birth of Race-Based Slavery

Here Comes Summer, There Goes Your Running Water

Is rent out of reach? Study shows how 11 U.S. cities stack up

When Boston Created an All-Black Police Unit

Income inequality, social mobility, and the decision to drop out of high school

The Worst Kind Of Groundhog Day: Let’s Talk (Again) About Diversity In Publishing

The Insecure American

Yale to the class of 2015: Repair the World!

The following is the text of the Baccalaureate Address by President Peter Salovey to the Yale College Class of 2015 and their families and guest gathered in Woolsey Hall. 

Colleagues, friends, families, graduating seniors: it is such a pleasure for me to greet you today and offer a few words on everyone’s favorite weekend of the year.

I have participated in the baccalaureate service as a member of the faculty, as a dean, and as provost. But this is only my second time around as Yale’s president. I have noted over the years a charming Yale tradition. And I would like to honor it today:

Might I ask all of the families and friends here today to rise and recognize the outstanding — and graduating — members of the Class of 2015?

And now, might I ask the Class of 2015 to consider all those who have supported your arrival at this milestone, and to please rise and recognize them?

Thank you!

The President urged the audience to applaud the graduating seniors, and asked the seniors to show their gratitude by applauding those who supported them through the years. (Photo by Michael Marsland)
I delight in this custom, and last year even focused my baccalaureate remarks on the topic of gratitude. This year, however, I want to try something different with you. Not because gratitude is unimportant on a day like today — far from it! And not because I am personally some kind of ingrate! But a few weeks ago, I conducted a little thought experiment: If a graduating senior asked me to capture the purpose of life after graduating from Yale in just a few words, what would I say? What would that purpose be? Could I articulate your life’s mission as you leave Yale — on Commencement weekend, no less — while “standing on one foot”?

The phrase “standing on one foot,” as some of you know, derives from a story about Hillel, the first-century B.C.E. rabbi and scholar. He was asked to summarize the meaning of the entire Torah (the Old Testament) while standing on one foot. His reply: “What is hateful to you, do not do to your neighbor. … That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation of this — go and study it!”

Well, in trying to address the question — what is the purpose of life for a Yale graduate? — I am a bit concerned that I will be vividly defining hubris while standing on one foot! After all, what does a university president know about such matters that you have not already figured out for yourselves?

There are many perfectly fine answers to the question about your commitments after Yale. Your purpose in life might be to find work that is meaningful to you: a wonderful goal. Your purpose in life might be to find someone to love, nurture a family, and create the next generation: also wonderful goals. Your purpose in life might be a kind of long-term loyalty to those who have supported, inspired, and shaped you by making very, very certain that — as the song goes — “time and change shall not avail to break the friendships formed at Yale.”[2] This is also a laudable desire. Your purpose in life might be to accumulate whatever amount of wealth would make you feel comfortable and secure, and — despite what you might suspect — I am not going to argue with that goal either.

What I am going to suggest to you today, however, is that your purpose in life as a graduate from Yale is simply this: to improve the world. In the Jewish tradition this is called Tikkun Olam, literally to repair the world.

Continue reading and get the full story here.

May 2015 Social Good Round Up!

In addition to our monthly Newsletter, we are also bringing you a monthly round-up of our favorite programs from our partners and from across the web. The opportunities below are separated by long term (6+ months), short term (6 months or less) and ongoing service, social good, and travel opportunities.

Be sure to check back monthly for updates and new finds!


Commit…To Service!     (Long-Term Programs)

You Want To Go To There.      (Short-Term and Travel Opportunities)

Be Social. Do Good.    (Social Good Jobs, Events and Campaigns)

Repair Inspiration: The Body Image Movement

File this under LOVE! Most women (and many men too) are all too familiar with the words “I hate my body.” From magazines, to TV commercials to our own inner monologues, there are a million narratives out there telling us – both subtly and explicitly – to do exactly that.

One woman from Australia, Taryn Brumfitt, is out to change the conversation about body image. Her Body Image Movement is, “on a quest to redefine and rewrite the ideals of beauty” and “harness and facilitate positive body image activism.” Brumfitt and her team want to reach as many women as possible and help them accept, embrace, and celebrate exactly who they are.

Check out the video below to learn more about Brumfitt’s story, and hear more about the movement.

This Week In Links 5.18.15

Keep Harriet Tubman – and all women – off the $20 bill

There Are No Urban Design Courses on Race and Justice, So We Made Our Own Syllabus

Killing Draco: Is it time to get rid of bail?

The absent black father myth—debunked by CDC

The Real Problem with America’s Inner Cities

When income distorts equal justice under the law

How Racism Doomed Baltimore

Boosting Education For Babies And Their Parents

Good News! We Can Cancel The Tests Now!

Leave Those Kids Alone

The Surprising History of ‘We Shall Overcome’

Whole Foods Should Embrace Food Stamps

Racial And Ethnic Gaps Remain A Big Question in Medicine

5 Common Assumptions You Never Realized Were Classist

Of Museums and Racial Relics

Smart Social Programs

Don’t unfriend your racist Facebook friends. Teach them.

Protests and Peace

Sidewalk chalking and the law

Where Sidewalk Chalk Laws Clash With Free Speech

Baltimore had lots of warning about issues surrounding Freddie Gray

Why Preschool Shouldn’t Be Like School

The Rules are What Matter for Inequality: Our New Report

Are There Too Few Teachers, Or Too Few Good Ones?

Freddie Gray’s life a study on the effects of lead paint on poor blacks

Home Economics: The Link Between Work-Life Balance and Income Equality

Color-Blind Policy and Color-Conscious Morality

How Today’s Developers Maintain Jim Crow Housing Segregation

I Should Support Charters

Insider: The Hot New Schools Cure-All That Isn’t a Cure-All

Race and the Death Penalty by the Numbers

The Case for Riding the Subway to the Last Stop

It’s Too Damn Hard to Convict Awful Cops

Crowdsourcing Neighborhood Boundaries

In the Twin Cities, Commute Times Vary Dramatically by Race

The Stark Inequality of U.S. Public Schools, Mapped

Would graduating more college students reduce wage inequality?

How to Eat Healthy Meals at Restaurants

The Rise of “Middle Class” as an Ordinary American Term

22 Kids Who Got Detention for Doing Things You Have to Admit Are Hilarious

Michelle Obama’s Inspiring 2015 Commencement Speech

Every year around this time, we at Repair the World try to bring you some of the best and brightest commencement speeches from around the country. This year, we are just bringing you one: First Lady Michelle Obama’s recent address at Tuskegee University in Alabama.

The First Lady is, naturally, a popular commencement speaker, and we’ve included her words in past years’ roundups. But this year she brought things to a different level by sharing her own story, talking candidly about gender and race, and sharing her thoughts about making one’s way through a world filled with adversity without succumbing to “feelings of despair and anger.” It takes no small amount of bravery to open up in front of a crowd of young graduates (and, thanks to YouTube, the world) or to tackle topics these personal and powerful.

Not surprisingly, a commencement as provocative as Ms. Obama’s has already begun to make waves in the press. Because in the end, all successful speeches do. They must. That is how the world gets shaken up and how important conversations get started. Check out The First Lady’s inspiring 2015 address below, and let us know what you think at @repairtheworld!