Ideas Ensnared, Beware

Forgive me if I’m buggin’

and I do a little pluggin’

But I’ve got a bit of news I’d like to share

You see, the inspiration

Came from grandkids fine donation

Of ideas of which they planted I ensnared

I made a little book, you see

of children and diversity

So I posted it without an ounce of qualm

And if you’d like to see it

If only for a wee bit

you can find it now on Amazon.com


Yes, You Can! available on Amazon.com

Inclusiveness Doesn’t Need a Permit

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WE CAN ALL GET ALONG

 

Come in the house, little mouse

I have a muffin just for you

it’s made with chocolate drops

and lollipops

quite yummy once you chew

 

Come in the house little cat

and be nice to little mouse

get to know her

you’ll adore her

besides, it is MY house

 

Come in the house, little fox

lick the ice cream I have made

It’s purple pink

and good, I think

It’s served with lemonade

 

Come in the house, little bunny

don’t be scared of little fox

have good sense

and confidence

and listen when he talks

 

Now, isn’t this just lovely

how we all can get along?

it doesn’t take

much food to make

to know we all belong.

 

© C. Dennis-Willingham

Edited version of my WIP children’s book

 

image by Pixabay

via Permit

 

 

White Girl Dancin’

Small town Mississippi

visitin’  a friend

 stayin’ in a shotgun house

tilted on one end

Main Street short

railroad long

light’nin’ bugs flicker

with their own torch song

Blues man playin’

me ‘an cook staff laughin’

 holding’ our bellies

at this white girl dancin’

White girl dancin’

White folk glarin’

Happy don’t care

 jus’ keep on starin’

visiting Miss“Mississippi’n Me”

 

 

 

 

Speaking out against bigotry

I was never a fan of George W. Bush when he was our U.S. President. In fact, I was very angry with him at the time. Time changes things.

Five or so years ago, I saw him and President Clinton speak together at a forum about education. Bush was not only likable but funny and quick witted.

Today, George W. has spoken out against bigotry and white supremacy.

“Our identity as a nation, unlike other nations, is not determined by geography or ethnicity, by soil or blood. … This means that people from every race, religion, ethnicity can be full and equally American,” he said during remarks at the George W. Bush Institute in New York City. “It means that bigotry and white supremacy, in any form, is blasphemy against the American creed.” 

“We’ve seen nationalism distorted into nativism — forgotten the dynamism that immigration has always brought to America,” Bush said. “We see a fading confidence in the value of free markets and international trade — forgetting that conflict, instability, and poverty follow in the wake of protectionism.”

 “Bullying and prejudice in our public life sets a national tone, provides permission for cruelty and bigotry, and compromises the moral education of children, the only way to pass along civic values is to first live up to them,” he said.

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He never mentioned the current President by name. But it was there, between every line.

Way to go, Mr. Bush. Way to go!

To see the speech, click here.

 

What does it mean to educate?

It means having a sister like mine. Words cannot express how proud I am of her. Pat has forever changed the lives of so many people including the ones who struggled and fought to be the first in their families to receive a higher education. Well done, “Dr. Witherspoon.” Well done.

Love always,

Your baby sister

P.S. Thank you for reading to me when I was little.

 

reference for following article:

Liberal Arts Dean Patricia Witherspoon Retires

Last Updated on August 30, 2017 at 4:15 PM

Originally published August 30, 2017

By Laura L. Acosta

UTEP Communications

 

When Javier Aguilar-Garcia met Patricia Witherspoon, Ph.D., nearly four years ago, he was wandering the halls of the Liberal Arts Building searching for a University 1301 class.

UTEP College of Liberal Arts Dean Patricia Witherspoon, Ph.D., (right) retired in August after 17 years at UTEP. Witherspoon and UTEP President Diana Natalicio (left) hold a caricature of Witherspoon by Nacho L. Garcia. Photo by UTEP News Staff

(UTEP College of Liberal Arts Dean Patricia Witherspoon, Ph.D., right, retired in August after 17 years at UTEP. Witherspoon and UTEP President Diana Natalicio, left, hold a caricature of Witherspoon by Nacho L. Garcia. Photo: Ivan Pierre Aguirre / UTEP Communications.)

As a freshman at The University of Texas at El Paso, Aguilar-Garcia was still finding his way around campus. At the time, the first-generation college student had no clue that Witherspoon, the passerby he stopped to ask for help, was the dean of the UTEP College of Liberal Arts (COLA). She smiled warmly and directed him down the hall.

Their paths would cross again a couple of years later when Aguilar-Garcia served as a COLA ambassador under Witherspoon. For two years, Aguilar assisted the dean at events, such as the college’s Pre-Commencement Awards and Hooding Ceremony.

While the Juárez native no longer needed directions to class, he began looking to Witherspoon for guidance about his future.

“What I learned from Dr. Witherspoon would take hours for me to say,” said Aguilar-Garcia, a multimedia journalism major who expects to graduate in December 2017. “I learned the value of hard work, to always be true to myself, and to not be afraid to think outside the box. She knows there is something special in each of us.”

Aguilar-Garcia was among the many students Witherspoon mentored over the past 17 years at UTEP. She retired from the University in August 2017 after a 36-year career in higher education.

“I came to UTEP for the students,” said Witherspoon, who led COLA since 2011. “I was impressed by these students who will do so much to get an education, and who understand so well that an education transforms not only an individual but a family.”

Witherspoon joined UTEP in the fall of 2000 as chair of the Department of Communication.

During the Dean’s Legacy Lecture this spring, Witherspoon recalled that shortly before she started her new job, her oldest son, Terry, told her that the people at UTEP really wanted her to come to the University, and she better not let them down.

Looking back, she said, “I hope I didn’t.”

At UTEP, Witherspoon hit the ground running. In 2002, she established the Sam Donaldson Center for Communication Studies, which provides academic enrichment for communication majors, communication programs to high school students, and continuing education and training for media and communication professionals.

The center’s inaugural event, “An Evening with Sam Donaldson,” in 2003 attracted top journalists, including Dan Rather, Helen Thomas, George Will and Ted Koppel, White House press secretaries and major news stations. The event raised more than $100,000 for the center’s endowment.

“That was a wonderful evening to remember and to honor Sam Donaldson, but it was also wonderful to see (these journalists) come out and hear about UTEP,” Witherspoon recalled.

In August 2008, Witherspoon was named dean of the University’s Graduate School. She held that position until 2010, when she became acting dean of COLA, UTEP’s largest and most varied college with nearly 7,000 students. A year later, she was appointed the college’s dean.

“There are lots of programs, lots of departments, lots of students, not enough faculty, and not enough staff,” Witherspoon said. “That is the beauty of the College of Liberal Arts; there is so much diversity here with the arts, the humanities and the social sciences.”

UTEP Senior Executive Vice President Howard Daudistel, Ph.D., was the college’s dean before Witherspoon. He said that under Witherspoon’s “extraordinary leadership,” the college strengthened its many student success initiatives and strived to continuously improve all of its academic programs.

“Dr. Witherspoon was a vigorous advocate for the many diverse departments and programs in the college and worked hard to recruit the highest quality faculty to support these programs,” Daudistel said. “Always attentive to student needs, Dr. Witherspoon was deeply committed to UTEP’s access and excellence mission while also supporting a diverse faculty of outstanding teachers, extraordinary scholars, researchers and artists.”

During her tenure, Witherspoon worked with faculty to develop forward-thinking programs that would foster student achievement. Among them was the Student Success Initiative in 2014, which provides tutoring and programs that support student academic development, and the Liberal Arts Honors Program (LAHP) in 2012, which offers academic enrichment opportunities to top undergraduate liberal arts students.

Witherspoon said the LAHP has exceeded her expectations.

“Many of our LAHP students go on to graduate school or law school and have wonderful internships in other parts of the country,” she said. “They’re just outstanding.”

Witherspoon credits much of her success to the college’s outstanding faculty and dedicated staff who she said made her look good, even on those days when she did not deserve it.

“It almost never felt like work,” she said with a laugh. Despite her many accomplishments, Witherspoon is most proud of watching students succeed. Her favorite time of year was celebrating the achievements of liberal arts students at UTEP’s spring and winter Commencement ceremonies. From the stage in the Don Haskins Center, Witherspoon would watch as wave after wave of liberal arts graduates walked into the arena, ready to make their mark on the world.

In retirement, Witherspoon plans to spend time with family and stay involved with the University. She may help raise funds for COLA’s 50th Anniversary fund or teach an online undergraduate course in communication and organizational leadership.

Other projects include writing a book on the effect of culture on leadership, focusing on Mexican-American and Latino influences.

“I feel very proud and very gratified of having been a part of this campus during the last 17 years,” Witherspoon said. “The last 17 years has been a time of tremendous change and great growth, not only in numbers but in stature.”

Daily prompt: Educate

Backstabbing during a hurricane

In case you haven’t heard, Trump continues to posture and force Mexico to build a wall on the Texas border to “keep Mexican immigrants out” of the U.S

Meanwhile, just over the border, Mexico has offered to help get Texas “back on its feet in the wake of Hurricane Harvey.” Apparently, vehicles, boats, troops, medicine, water and food are soon to arrive.

Trump has not said anything publicly about their offer, nor has he officially accepted the it. He did, however, accept Singapore’s offer to lend us Ch-47 helicopters for rescue efforts and spoke directly to their Prime Minister.

Here:

It’s unclear how Trump, who arrived in Texas on Tuesday to survey Harvey’s catastrophic damage, will react to Mexico’s offer to help. The president and Mexico have had an acrimonious relationship dating back to Trump’s first day as a presidential candidate, when he referred to Mexicans as rapists, murderers and criminals.

Mexico is still more than happy to help its Texas neighbor.

But here’s where it gets weird.

Although our (ahem) Governor Abbott has accepted Mexico’s kind offer, he has been working to implement Senate Bill 4 which would give ...

local law enforcement the authority to ask about a person’s immigration status during routine interactions such as a traffic stop.

It also required local officials to comply with requests from federal immigration authorities to detain anyone suspected of being in the country illegally. Local law enforcement officials could be fined and removed from office if they did not cooperate with federal immigration authorities

 

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Luckily, on Wednesday a US District Judge ruled that  “Texas officials may not implement Senate Bill 4, a controversial measure designed to crack down on so-called “sanctuary cities” in that state.

Ha! Take that, Trump and Abbott.

But Abbott promises to get the ruling appealed. It’s like he’s saying, “Come on in, Mexico. Help us out! Done? Now get out.”

Lee Gelernt, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project praised Garcia’s ruling.

“The court was right to strike down virtually all of this patently unconstitutional law. Senate Bill 4 would have led to rampant discrimination and made communities less safe. That’s why police chiefs and mayors themselves were among its harshest critics — they recognized it would harm, not help, their communities,” said Gelernt.

Friday, activists are planning a statewide protest against this discriminatory bill.

Ricardo Ainslie, director of the Mexico Center at the University of Texas at Austin said, “Mexico has been the brunt of a lot of highly pressured, hostile rhetoric. So I think it’s very interesting that Mexico is saying in so many words ‘Hey, we’re present, and we’re critical to things that happen in Texas.’ They’re showing real political maturity.”

Yes, Mexico has taken the high road and many Texan, like myself, are grateful.

As to the ungrateful, fear-mongerers — I just hope it’s not too hard for you to cross your own Rio Grande River without help.

References:

https://www.dallasnews.com/news/weather/2017/08/29/mexico-awaits-abbotts-response-offer-hurricane-harvey-relief

http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/2017/08/30/547459673/federal-judge-temporarily-blocks-sb4-texas-law-targeting-sanctuary-cities

Tomorrow, August 19th, freedom of speech will be tested again

 

Dear Boston,

Tomorrow, you have a choice. The far-right has scheduled another rally. Some may be your citizens, some may come from other places.

Some of you will oppose the rally.

Yes, the far-right has a right to speak. Perhaps, if you are like me, you will continue to “fight” for justice and equality for all people. But please “fight” with words.

Regardless of your “side”, I know how tense passions are – how they can escalate to the rise in blood pressure, to teeth grinding, to clenched fists. But please, put down your shields, your torches, your tear gas. In fact, don’t bring them at all.

And to my NON Alt-right friends: As difficult as it may be, perhaps you can stand back and listen. Then, maybe we will discover why the alt-right is so afraid of differences and what led them to that fear.

read more

Sincerely,

Carolyn D-W

hands

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