What becomes of a refugee when they’re no longer a refugee? We spend so much time talking about migration caps and vetting that we seem to ignore all the Americans living amongst us, trying to acclimate to their new country after the harrowing journey from their former homeland. Would it surprise you to learn that they start their new life in substantial debt? Or that they don’t have many of the basic items they need to live, let alone feel like a human being? Wouldn’t you like to know how you can help?
In this episode, Miry Whitehill tells us the inspirational story of how she started helping these former refugee families—and how she created an easy way for you to help them too. She created MirysList.org.
To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the arrow in the player here. Or download it and subscribe through ApplePodcasts, Soundcloud, or Google Play, Stitcher, or your favorite podcasting app – click the links or search “usc bedrosian.”
In this episode, Aubrey Hicks, Oliver Mayer, Christopher Shaw, and John Sonego examine “how, over time, the rituals that we enact color, reflect, refract back upon who we are, at any time – politically, culturally,” as Oliver points out so poetically. These two plays feature characters whose creative work reflects back onto their civic and personal lives. Will these plays, theatre in general, help a polarized country learn to spend time with each other, and listen? Can theatre help us make order from chaos? What can they reflect about America today?
To listen to the Policy at the Playhouse click the arrow here, or download and subscribe through Apple Podcasts, Soundcloud, Stitcher, Google Play, or your favorite podcasting app!
In Matt’s second piece on mandatory voting, he asks about the cost of low voter turnout.
Our society is made up of a wide range of groups with very different needs and aspirations, and therefore have different requirements of their candidates at election time. Thus, who actually participates has real material consequences in our community. So out of those who do choose to vote, who specifically is turning out?
When you think about your rent increasing and how ridiculous paying $1000+ for 400 square feet of space is when others pay less for an entire mortgage, I bet all you want to do is punch your greedy landlord in the face. In many cases, the parents of other young professionals are frustrated too because like in Failure to Launch, they want their “naked room,” but their kids just won’t move out. With a parent’s age and wisdom, they recognize that landlords are just pawns; it’s the developers that are cheating us.
Tom Nichols’ The Death of Expertise is a broad look at the antipathy toward “experts” and “expertise” among the citizenry of contemporary United States. Nichols contends that this antipathy is dangerous for our democracy, that this distrust not only makes for unhealthy conversation but damages both political and public relationships with the very experts’ guidance. Spoiler alert – we do assume you’ve read it!
Featuring Richard Green (), Aubrey Hicks (), Pamela Clouser McCann, Anthony Orlando (, and Jan Perry ()
To listen to the Bedrosian Book Club discussion of The Death of Expertise click the orange arrow in the Soundcloud player on this post. Or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcasts, Soundcloud, or Google Play
You may think politics isn’t for you. It’s for the elites. It’s for the rich and powerful. It isn’t for people who look like you or talk like you or live like you. Well, that may be the world we’ve constructed, but it’s not inevitable. You deserve better.
Still not convinced? Good! This episode is for you! Learn how you can become a part of the solution.
In this episode, inspirational speaker and social work professor Melissa Bird knocks down the misconceptions that marginalize us and replaces them with the attitude we need to take on the injustices in our nation today.
To listen to this episode of Our American Discourse, click the arrow in the Soundcloud player here. Or you can download it and subscribe through ApplePodcasts, Soundcloud, or Google Play.
In our previous post on community engagement, we talked a lot about innovation and how to make citizen engagement more attractive for community members. Additionally, during our first LA Civics Initiative workshop, we talked about the barriers that prevent people from becoming civically engaged in LA. One of the barriers that our attendees pointed to was a certain disconnect or feeling of apathy from Angelenos towards government or other formal institutions. Could online engagement and social media be the keys to making communities feel more interested and connected to local governance and decision-making?
One of the barriers discouraging civic involvement identified in our LA Civics Initiative kick-off workshop last year was “baseline knowledge”—the idea that people need to be informed and educated in certain issues and processes in order for them to fully engage and participate. It is no surprise that Sherry Arnstein writing on citizen participation in…
Last summer we launched the LA Civics Initiative – a collaboration with City Impact Lab meant to start a conversation about civic participation in Los Angeles. Through collaborative projects and workshops, we sought to figure out how the city’s residents can become more civically-minded as well as civically-active. Living in a representative democracy, most citizens…
We think we know how federalism works. Republicans believe in states’ rights, and Democrats want a strong federal government, right? Not so fast. New research reveals a whole different tug of war playing out on Capitol Hill. Our legislators don’t always do what they say, but they do have a strategy to design and implement our laws. It turns out that federalism is ground zero in their battle for partisan power—and now we finally know how the game is being played.
In this episode, we go behind-the-scenes with the researcher who uncovered these terms of engagement, Pamela Clouser McCann.