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Front Page » Authors » Bio for Jenifer Daniels » Archives for Jenifer Daniels

By Jenifer Daniels on August 28, 2010

It's called the Kalamazoo Promise and it is funded entirely and in perpetuity by private, anonymous donors. Their goal - to send every school-aged child attending Kalamazoo Public Schools to community college, college or a university in the state of Michigan.

Many observers called it 'groundbreaking', 'a bold new experiment', and 'a model for America'. I call it a 'no-brainier'.

Read more of this post here ...

By Jenifer Daniels on July 20, 2010

This week, I will be attending Netroots Nation 10’, a progressive blogger conference, in Las Vegas. And while the thermometer will surely note a ‘heatwave’, what will be even hotter are the speakers and the training sessions.

As we deal with what the media is dubbing “post racial America”, we at Netroots will spend our time understanding and crafting the messages that will resonate in 2010 and 2012. With guests like Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Majority Leader Harry Reid, Sen. Al Franken, Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood, Elizabeth Warren, Gov. Brian Schweitzer, Ed Schultz, and Van Jones, we’ll be sure to tackle the issues that America is talking about.

Read more of this post here ...

By Jenifer Daniels on June 29, 2010

Sometimes I hate to admit that I once voted for Kwame Kilpatrick. But why wouldn’t I? Young, charismatic, intelligent, and driven -- he possessed all of the qualities that I believe I wanted in a mayor of a city on the rebound. Not only did I vote for him, I convinced others that I knew to do the same. I ignored their comments of “he’s too young”, “he doesn’t have enough experience” or “there’s something funny about a career politician.” Again, I didn’t care. I felt that the enthusiasm and his determination for change would be enough.

Boy was I wrong. In the past few years, former Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick has gone from Democratic darling, surely on his way to congress (by way of his mother’s old seat), to a current felon recently indicted by the Feds. But the most criminal of his behavior was his ability to squander an awesome opportunity.

Read more of this post here ...

By Jenifer Daniels on March 29, 2010

What's the big deal about returning your census form? Everything.

The past few days I've been glued to my netbook. My husband has looked on, perplexed, as I go from computer to cell phone back to my computer.

My mom, however, well she is ecstatic. It seems as if I've picked up one her personal attributes - curiosity.

What has my 3 year old begging me to get off the 'puter and play with her'?

The census. That's right, the census.

Read more of this post here ...

By Jenifer Daniels on February 23, 2010

A few weeks ago in my Public Speaking class, one of my students remarked about the political differences between he and his girlfriend. He mentioned that she was center-left and he was center-right. He went on to say that some of our current policies are promoting laziness and that he was a strong supporter of self-responsibility. I thought to myself that I should say something witty like – “so why are taking financial aid to come here?” but I refrained from saying it aloud as not to embarrass him.

Read more of this post here ...

By Jenifer Daniels on January 11, 2010

I’ve had some time to think about Harry Reid’s comments and after finding out that he was his own leak for the book Game Change, I am now more determined than ever to officially request my Green Party membership.

I have been feeling dismayed with the Democratic Party and even told a few of my Netroots Nation scholarship colleagues (Pam included) that I was grading President Obama a C+ thus far (and this was in August 09). Today I am ready to give the party a D.

Maybe I am just too progressive on most issues but I take the word progressive literally. It means ‘actual progress’ to me. And today, I am convinced that Harry Reid is not progressive (notice I didn’t use the prefix of 'a'). And Harry Reid is like many others in the Democratic Party and the Republican Party for that matter.

Foolish of me for initially thinking that electing an African American to the highest office in the land meant that we were healing old wounds and moving forward to a more unified nation. The media even dubbed it ‘post-racial’. But we aren’t ‘post racial’… hell, the media can’t stop talking about this story, comparing it to past offenses or even stop saying the word ‘negro’.

Read more of this post here ...

By Jenifer Daniels on October 26, 2009

It has been over a month since my last post but its because I have been active.

While I love to share my voice through blogging and micro-blogging, I love action even more. Since May of this year, I have been assisting a local city council candidate in his run for an at-large seat. And I can honestly say that I've met some great people in the process and learned so much more about myself and my abilities.

I've discovered a new-found love for democracy itself and realized that the ideals that I held fast too are evolving. I am stronger in my conviction that we are 'the people', that we do have a voice and that we have the duty to make sure it is heard. I have gone from simply putting stickers on my car to repeating those mantras in public. I have elevated my e-activism to face-to-face activism - empowering myself and those around me. I have led dialog that has helped to open minds and hearts, encouraging others to be pragmatic and fair.

Read more of this post here ...

By Jenifer Daniels on September 10, 2009

I hate that I even have to revisit this subject but as you can see, the disrespect in this country has grown in multitudes.

By now, we know about the 'incident' at the President's speech last night but what we may not be aware of is the tenor in the room. Keith Ellison even tweeted that he could hear groans and even some whispered vulgarities prior to the outburst. Imagine how those who sat around this discord felt. Imagine how they feel now knowing that they must continue to work together for the best interest of the country when they see that their colleagues are simply working in their own best interest.

In my first post about the age of disrespect I pondered loosely on whether its roots were in racism. I no longer have to ponder - I know.

Never in my life, my mother's life and [still praying on this] my grandmother's life have we ever witnessed such animosity towards the president. But we have seen this animosity towards people of color. So I can only surmise that this disrespect is an extension of that animosity.

I guess I secretly wish that those with ill feelings would simply admit their true nature and just 'come right out with it'. But it reminds me of a bad rerun of 'All in the Family'. But hell, at least George knew how Archie felt. He could chose whether or not to be associated with him. Sadly, we are not being given a choice. Self serving bias is ruling the day and making decisions for all of us and we seem to be standing by helpless.

Read more of this post here ...

By Jenifer Daniels on August 4, 2009

My mind has been in a tizzy for about a month. I can't stomach the sound of this noise coming from the radio and TV. The sound I am hearing is ignorance. And its giving me a headache.

I was always taught that in life, there is only one constant - change. So imagine my surprised when some neophyte upstart from Illinois ran on this tenet. I was like 'wow, this guy gets me'! And foolish of me to think that the rest of America grew up like me.

So fast forward a few months to this upstart of ignorance that is running rampant in this country. And no, while you or neighbor hasn't fallen prey to it - someone has, and they are spreading it like a disease.

My first foray into this ignorance came in one of my classes. I was simply going about teaching a communication theory that involves red herrings and I mentioned something about the President and this birth certificate issue and low and behold (and through my laughter) I hear a student perk up and say 'what's so silly about that?' and wouldn't you know, I was shocked.

I knew I'd read about this 'birther' business on blogs but I had no clue that folks were taking this argument off of the interwebs and into the mainstream. Heck, half of the class didn't even know what I was talking about. But this student did and he was adamant that this was a fair question to have asked. And that is when I knew we had a problem.

Read more of this post here ...

By Jenifer Daniels on July 1, 2009

The funniest thing happened to me the other day... I realized that I wasn't doing my part. Yes, I volunteer for local community organizations and even sit a few boards and committees. I vote in every election and encourage those around me to do the same. But there is a bit more that I could do...

so I thought about this... what if we took Stephen Covey's principles of 7 highly effective people and refashioned them for today's American? what might these principles look like?

1. Don't sit still
As an American, our culture allows us to live passive lives. We tend to function in our own circles and rarely move beyond them. We can also get complacent and let the daily doldrum of our lives paralyze us. The outcome produces laziness and naivety. We miss real problems because we are too lazy or naive to see them. That is why I want to challenge Americans to not sit still. We will easily miss the issues that could be solved and learn more about ourselves and others in the process. Sitting still is passive and we want to live a life of action. What a better way to do so than by becoming active in your community.

Read more of this post here ...

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