The name of this blog, Rainbow Juice, is intentional.
The rainbow signifies unity from diversity. It is holistic. The arch suggests the idea of looking at the over-arching concepts: the big picture. To create a rainbow requires air, fire (the sun) and water (raindrops) and us to see it from the earth.
Juice suggests an extract; hence rainbow juice is extracting the elements from the rainbow, translating them and making them accessible to us. Juice also refreshes us and here it symbolises our nutritional quest for understanding, compassion and enlightenment.

Thursday 29 November 2012

What to do about evil

Evil – a simple word, but, oh what sinister, demonic and malevolent images and notions it evokes.  Good and evil has been one of the most pervading of human predicaments throughout the centuries.  Most of us, particularly males, have played around with the duality.  As a boy I recall playing cops n’ robbers, cowboys and indians, goodies versus baddies.  The games always had the two opposites competing for whatever prize was on offer.

If only the playing was consigned to childhood.  But it’s not.  In adulthood the duality becomes Commies vs Capitalists, Catholics vs Protestants, Bible Bashers vs Immoral Atheists.  It gets played out in the Cold War, the threat of the Yellow Peril and nowadays as the War on Terror.  All require an evil force or an evil doer to fight against.

But what is evil?
“We must take up arms against this evil power that threatens our way of life.  With God on our side we must fight to defend our glorious traditions and values.”
Who said that?  George W Bush?  Or was it Osama bin Laden?  It could have come from the lips of either couldn’t it?  Perhaps it came from that devout Christian, Adolf Hitler.

Indeed, many of the atrocities that have plagued our history have been carried out in the name of eradicating evil.  By thinking that “the other” (person or community or nation) is evil we allow ourselves to justify harming or even killing that person or group of people.  That’s a trap!

The problem with a concept like evil is that it is viewed in terms of it’s dual opposite – good.  Good and evil is a dualistic conception.  By viewing the world through this dualistic lens we inevitably act in a manner that says “my side is right – your side is wrong.”  The conflict that ensues from this can then only be resolved by one side winning and the other side losing, often via violence.

The problem is further exacerbated by our propensity for seeing ourselves as separate entities.  I am separate from you and we are separate from them.  Another trap that is easy to fall into.

Perhaps, then, the evil is that we are too prone to look for evil in “the other”.  Continuing with the thinking of ourselves as separate and that the other side is evil means that when we look for evil we will surely find it.  For it was always there, embedded in our misguided thinking.  Time to reassess our thinking, methinks.

Monday 26 November 2012

The Circus of Injustice

Source: Creative Commons
“Just ‘cos you’ve got the monkey off your back doesn’t mean that the circus has left town”
This pithy, cynical quotation is attributed to George Carlin; a wonderful American comedian and satirist with an acerbic wit and the ability to cut through a lot of b.s. to reveal reality for what it is.
When I read this quote it struck me that in a few words Carlin had summed up a mindset that I see all too often amongst those who have grown up in less than fortunate surroundings and have gone on to become rich, famous or in authority roles.  Many times I have seen and heard from some that have benefitted in this way that because they were able to rise out of the situation they were in then anyone can do it and so those that remain destitute are undeserving of assistance.  “I did it, so can they”  I hear.
But, as Carlin so sublimely notes the circus is still in town.  The circus is well and truly in town masquerading as a system that allows for unbridled greed whilst many go begging.  Under the Big Top of Injustice there are communities who remain in poverty and cycles of unemployment, violence and discrimination.
It is because the circus is still in town that community development is so important.  Community development is just that, it attempts to develop communities not just individuals within communities.
Furthermore, community development recognises that there are systems, beliefs, worldviews, prejudices and social barriers that restrict and condemn some communities to remaining within the Big Top, never seeing the world outside the circus.

Wednesday 21 November 2012

5 More Inspiring Social Justice Campaigners

Clockwise from top left: Havel, Gandhi,
Mandela, Hanh, King.
Following my last post looking at 5 (female) Inspiring Social Justice Campaigners here is a listing of 5 men who are an inspiration.  Most of these names will be well known and maybe one or two not so well known.

Václav Havel

Václav Havel was the last President of Czechoslovakia and the first President of the Czech Republic.  When the Soviets invaded Czechoslovakia in 1968 Havel provided narrative on Radio Free Czechoslovakia thus helping the resistance.  As an essayist and playwright Havel wrote many publications opposing the Soviet occupation.  In doing so he found himself imprisoned numerous times, subjected to surveillance and questioning.  One of his most famous essays The Power of the Powerless was written during the Soviet occupation.

Although seen as a dissident, Havel was reluctant to view himself in the same way saying that “we simply went ahead and did certain things that we felt we ought to do, and that seemed to us decent to do, nothing more nor less.”  Nor was he interested in politics, or so he claimed, yet he became Czechoslovakia’s President two days before the end of 1989 and retained the Presidency in the country’s first free elections in 1990.  Following the dissolution of the country in 1992 Havel became the first President of the Czech Republic on 26 January 1993.

The Czechs seemed to have a love-hate relationship with him and sometimes it appeared that he enjoyed a greater popularity outside the country rather than within.  One of his first acts as the new President was to release political prisoners and those that had been falsely imprisoned during the Communist rule.  Included amongst this release was that of indigenous Germans imprisoned after WW II, a highly controversial act.

After quitting politics Havel remained active in human rights organisations and went back to writing plays.  In 2005 he was voted by Czechs as the third greatest Czech alive.  He received a number of awards including the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Gandhi Peace Prize, the Order of Canada and was the inaugural recipient of Amnesty International’s Ambassador of Conscience Award.

Mohandas Gandhi

What can be said about Gandhi that has not already been told and repeated dozens, nay thousands, of times throughout the world.  Most well known for leading the non-violent campaign to rid India of the British colonists, Gandhi had already become famous for campaigning for the rights of Muslim and Hindu Indians in South Africa.

Behind the highly noticeable campaign for Swaraj (independence of India from British rule) Gandhi had led nationwide campaigns to end untouchability, to expand women’s rights, to reduce poverty, to build religious and ethnic harmony and foster economic self-reliance.

Perhaps his most inspired act was the 400km Dandi Salt March in 1930 protesting against the national salt tax.  As a protest against the tax on salt Gandhi marched the 400km from Ahmedabad to Dandi so that he could make the salt himself.  It took him more than three weeks and he was joined by thousands of Indians along the way.  It was to be one of the most successful campaigns in ending British rule.

Often attributed as the father of nonviolent resistance Gandhi himself said that “I have nothing new to teach the world. Truth and non-violence are as old as the hills.”  He was however the first to utilise nonviolence on a large scale.

Nelson Mandela

Mandela was initially very influenced by Gandhi and his nonviolent approach to struggle, which he and the African National Congress (ANC) used until the Sharpeville Massacre. In response to this outrageous act, believing it to be the last resort, Mandela co-founded Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), the armed wing of the ANC in 1961.  Via this organisation he planned and undertook sabotage campaigns against the South African racist government.  Mandela was later to rue this move and admitted that the ANC had also violated human rights.

In 1962 Mandela was arrested and accused of sabotage for which he was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.  During his imprisonment Mandela became an international symbol of the world-wide anti-apartheid movement.  Mounting international pressure finally saw the South African president (F W de Klerk) reverse the ban on the ANC and other anti-apartheid groups as well as release Mandela in February 1990.

Mandela immediately went back to leading the ANC and helped lead the party to the country’s first multi-racial elections.  At those elections, held in 1994, the ANC won 62% of the vote and Mandela became the country’s first black President.  F W de Klerk was chosen as his deputy, the man with whom Mandela had shared the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.

Nelson Mandela has inspired not only human rights and social justice organisations world-wide but also a host of musicians including: Stevie Wonder, Carlos Santana, Simple Minds, Tracy Chapman, Whitney Houston, The Special AKA and Youssou N’Dour.

Martin Luther King, Jr.

As much as Gandhi was to Indian independence or Mandela to South African freedom, King was to African-American emancipation.  King was also significantly influenced by Gandhi and nonviolence.
So much was he inspired by Gandhi that King visited Gandhi’s birthplace in 1959.  At the end of that visit King stated on radio that: “Since being in India, I am more convinced than ever before that the method of nonviolent resistance is the most potent weapon available to oppressed people in their struggle for justice and human dignity.”

Following the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott inspired by Rosa Parks (see 5 Inspiring Social Justice Campaigners) King went on to found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) leading to the 1963 March on Washington.  It was here that King delivered what could arguably be considered one of the most inspiring speeches of all-time – “I Have a Dream”.  This famous speech was given in front of the Lincoln Memorial to more than a quarter of a million people of many ethnicities.

King remained committed to nonviolence (although some of the marches and sit-ins did turn violent) and led many marches seeking the right of African-Americans to vote, for desegregation, for the implementation of labour laws and other human rights,  Many of these campaigns were successful with the enactment of the Civil Rights Act in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act the following year.  He was arrested and imprisoned many times.

King was not just focused on human rights within the US but also outside of it.  By 1965 he was speaking out strongly against US involvement in Vietnam.  He recognised the injustice of one nation attempting to colonise another as well as the wastefulness of the war in terms of lives of young men (many of whom were black) and that money spent on the war was money that could be spent on welfare.

Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated on 4 April 1968 the day after giving another of his famous addresses: “I Have Been To The Mountaintop”  Words from this speech turned out to be prophetic.  There had been threats of bombs and so King had finished his speech with these words:

“I don't know what will happen now. We've got some difficult days ahead. But it doesn't matter with me now. Because I've been to the mountaintop. And I don't mind. Like anybody, I would like to live a long life. Longevity has its place. But I'm not concerned about that now. I just want to do God's will. And He's allowed me to go up to the mountain. And I've looked over. And I've seen the promised land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the promised land. So I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man”

Thich Nhat Hanh

In 1966 Vietnamese Buddhist monk, Thich Nhat Hanh visited the US for the second time and whilst there met with Martin Luther King, Jr. and urged King to denounce the war in Vietnam.  It was King who the following year nominated Hanh for the Nobel Peace Prize.  However, no such prize was awarded that year.

In the 1950s Hanh established a Buddhist University in Saigon and a corps of Buddhist peaceworkers who helped to build schools and healthcare clinics and re-build villages in rural Vietnam.

The 1960s saw Hanh lecturing in Buddhism at Columbia University and becoming proficient in six languages as well as his native Vietnamese.  At the end of the decade, in 1969, he was the delegate for the Buddhist Peace Delegation at the Paris Peace talks.  However, when the Paris Peace Accords were signed in 1973 he was denied permission to return to his native land and went into exile in France.

Although since managing to return to Vietnam a couple of times, Hanh continues to reside in south-western France where he established Plum Village along with Sister Chan Khong.  He is well known also for establishing the Order of Inter-Being and coining the phrase Engaged Buddhism (a movement that promotes individual contribution to social change within a Buddhist framework).

Thich Nhat Hanh has written well over 75 books many of which are geared towards Buddhist readers but there are many from a wider audience amongst his readers.  One of the most widely read is The Art of Power from which comes:

“It is my conviction that there is no way to peace – peace is the way.”

Wednesday 14 November 2012

5 Inspiring Social Justice Campaigners

Social Justice as a concept covers a range of issues; economic, gender, race, identity and freedom from violence to name just a few.  Hence, it is difficult to pick out just five campaigners to highlight here.  Those that I have highlighted are by no means the most important or the most effective or any other form of “most”.  They are simply five that I have found inspiring.

You’ll notice too, that all of them are women.  I do intend posting a secondary listing at a later date of 5 More Inspiring Social Justice Campaigners who happen to be men.

In the meantime here are five women who have been an inspiration to many.  A couple of them are well known and a couple less well known, especially within the Western world.

Asmaa Mahfouz

This 27 year old Egyptian woman is possibly not well known in the West.  But the movement she began certainly is.  In January 2011, tired of the way in which the Egyptian people were being victimised by Mubarak, Asmaa posted a video on Facebook saying that she was going to protest in Tahrir Square.  She and four others did so and were surrounded by security forces and moved away.

Undaunted, Asmaa posted another video announcing that she would do the same again a week later.  “Never say there’s no hope.  Hope disappears only when you say there’s no hope” she proclaimed.

This time her video got uploaded to YouTube and went viral.  The next time she went to Tahrir Square there wasn’t just her and four others – there were thousands and thousands of people.  The Arab Spring had begun.

The video that began it all

Aung San Suu Kyi

Source: Wikipedia
By now the Burmese Nobel Peace Prize recipient and leader of the Burmese pro-democracy movement is well known because of the movie “The Lady.”  The 2011 movie tracks the life of Suu Kyi in her campaign to end the brutal military dictatorship that had ruled Burma for decades.

Suu Kyi’s father was Aung San, considered to be the father of modern Burma, who was assassinated when Suu Kyi was just 2 years old in 1948.

In 1988 Suu Kyi returned to Burma, to care for her ailing mother, after studying at Oxford University and marrying a British academic.  She soon became involved with the National League for Democracy.

Although a general election was held in 1990 the military dictatorship refused to recognise the results and Suu Kyi was placed under house arrest until 1995.  It didn’t last long, she was placed under house arrest again in 2000, released in 2002 and re-arrested yet again in 2003.  She was finally released from detention in November 2010.  In the 21 years from 1990 to 2010, Suu Kyi had been under house arrest for 15 of them.

In April 2012 Suu Kyi and other members of the National League for Democracy won parliamentary seats although her struggle for democracy within Burma still persists.

Although she was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1991 it was not until June 2012 that she was finally able to deliver her acceptance speech.  One of her most famous quotes is:
"It is not power that corrupts, but fear. Fear of losing power corrupts those who wield it and fear of the scourge of power corrupts those who are subject to it."
Germaine Greer

Feminism without Germaine Greer is as hard to imagine as Cubism without Picasso or Rock n’ Roll without Elvis Presley.  Greer was at the forefront of the resurgent feminist movement of the 1970s and her book “The Female Eunuch” (1970) became a feminist classic.

Born in Australia in 1939 Greer courted controversy from a very young age and continues to do so today at almost 74 years of age.  With a highly academic background (her PhD is in Elizabethan drama) Greer has lectured in Coventry, Oklahoma and Cambridge.

But it was her book, “The Female Eunuch”, that thrust Greer into the headlines.  The central theme was that society and in particular the nuclear family represses women sexually thus rendering women as eunuchs. Furthermore, she asserted that women were taught to be submissive and so considered themselves as inferior to men.  From today's perspective these sound rather exaggerated ideas, but in the 1970s the claims resounded with thousands of women (and some men).

Much of her thought was informed by Marxism and anarchism (and Greer openly states this) and so although she espoused many freedoms she was wary of institutionalising those freedoms.  In a television interview just four years ago she stated that she
“believe(d) in permanent revolution. I believe that once you change the power structure and you get an oligarchy that is trying to keep itself in power, you have all the illiberal features of the previous regime. What has to keep on happening is a constant process of criticism, renewal, protest and so forth.”
Dame Whina Cooper

Source: Wikipedia
If Dame Whina Cooper is known at all outside her native Aotearoa (New Zealand) it is as the figurehead of the large Maori Land March (hikoi) that marched the length of the North Island in 1975 to protest the continued theft of land.  By the time the marching protesters arrived at Parliament Buildings in Wellington the 80 year-old Cooper had 5,000 marchers behind her.  There, on the steps of Parliament she handed a petition signed by 60,000 people to the New Zealand Prime Minister.

But Dame Whina Cooper was well known within Maoridom well before this.  In 1951 she helped found and became the first president of the Maori Women’s Welfare League, a highly influential and successful organisation that improved the conditions of Maori everywhere, especially those caught in the rural-urban drift trap..  When she stepped down from the presidency she was awarded with the title of Te Whaea o te Motu (Mother of the Nation).  She continued to work for the benefit of Maori people at a more local level until her calling in 1975 to lead the Land March.

Although Dame Whina Cooper’s work focused on the conditions for Maori she became widely respected within New Zealand society and was given the honour of opening the Commonwealth Games in Auckland in 1990.  When she died in 1994 over a million people watched the live broadcast of her tangihanga (funeral) on television.

Rosa Parks

December 1st, 1955 was a turning point in the history of the American Civil Rights movement.  On that day in Montgomery a 42 year old African-American boarded bus number 2857 and sat down in the coloured section.  When a white passenger boarded she refused the bus driver’s order that she give up her seat in the coloured section because the white section was full.  Rosa Parks was arrested.

It wasn’t the first time that buses and discrimination had played a part in Parks’ life.  As a child she and other black students had to walk to school whilst white students took the bus.  As she recalled:

“I’d see the bus pass by every day… the bus was among the first ways I realised there was a black world and a white world.” 

In 1943 she boarded a bus, paid her fare and then had to get off the bus and move to the back to enter via the rear door because there were white people sitting in the front of the bus and she was not permitted to pass them by.  As she walked to the rear of the bus, the driver drove off leaving her to walk home in the rain.  Ironically it was the same driver that ordered her arrest on that day in December 1955.

On 5 December 1955 Parks was tried on charges of disorderly conduct and violating a local ordinance.  The day before, a Sunday, 35,000 handbills were printed and distributed and black churches in the area announced plans for a Montgomery Bus Boycott.  Even though the day of the boycott was wet, African-Americans continued with the boycott and maintained it for 381 days.With dozens of buses sitting idle and the transit company’s finances being severely hit the city finally repealed its public transport segregation laws.

Rosa Parks (front) boarding the first desegregated bus in
 Montgomery. Source: "Through Zena's eyes" blogsite.

The Montgomery Bus Boycott, sparked by Rosa Parks refusal to submit to racial discrimination itself became one of the sparks that ignited the Civil Rights Movement in the US.

In her autobiography Rosa Parks refutes the allegation that she refused to move for the more mundane reason that she was “tired”. 
“I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in.”

Thursday 8 November 2012

Relate, Relate, Relate

Source: tuchodi (Creative Commons)
In Real Estate the mantra is “location, location, location”.  In Community Development it is “relate, relate, relate.”

The basis of any good community development work is and always has been in the building and maintenance of good relationships.  When you think about it, it makes absolute sense.  Community development is work that is people-oriented, persons-centred (if you like).  Only secondarily is it about sitting down by yourself and writing reports, devising plans or going over a budget.

First and foremost it is about people.

When healthy relationships are built we simultaneously build into the social structure beneficial values such as trust, confidence and understanding.

With trust comes openness, transparency and letting go.

With confidence comes learning, creativity and empowerment.

With understanding comes acceptance, tolerance and humbleness.

All these values are vital in community development, and they come from something as simple as building relationships.

And how do we build these healthy relationships?  No differently than we do with our partner, spouse, parents, children, family or significant others.  We want what is best for that person, we want for that person to feel valued, appreciated and loved.  It is no different for a community.  Just a few more people involved.

The indigenous people of the country in which I was born, the Māori, have a saying which is well known and widely quoted:
“He aha te mea nui?
He tangata, he tangata, he tangata.”
(What is the greatest thing?
It is people, it is people, it is people.)
Its as short and as simple as that: relate, relate, relate.

Tuesday 6 November 2012

We Pull Together

Satellite image of Hurrican Sandy
“We pull together.”  I heard this a number of times recently on television stories about Hurricane Sandy.  It was used by at least one US Presidential candidate, a Governor or two and maybe a couple of Senators.

“We pull together” at times like this, help one another out, share the load, make sure that our neighbours are safe, clothed, fed and warm.

It was a bad time for folk on the eastern seaboard of the US, as it had been a few days earlier in the Caribbean.

“We pull together” though, and we do.  Life continues.

I heard similar sentiment expressed 20 months ago whilst living in Christchurch, New Zealand.  The city had just experienced it’s second, and most deadly and disastrous, earthquake.  181 people had been killed, buildings had collapsed, homes had been engulfed by liquefaction (a word that very few of us had heard until those fateful days).

Where I lived cliffs had tumbled with some houses teetering on the edges whilst others, at the bottom, had been crushed by rocks falling upon them.  One man had been innocently picking strawberries for lunch when he was struck by falling rocks.  He was never to eat that or any other lunch.  Another had been crushed by a rock the size of a house behind the RSA building.

“We pull together” though, and we did.  Within hours, farmers from the hinterland were loading their utes and trucks with gallons of fresh water and delivering it to us city dwellers.  People were going door-to-door checking on neighbours, especially the elderly ones.

Without electricity or water those that had access shared with those that didn’t.  Those that had friends and family missing were comforted.

“We pull together".  In my suburb, within a day or so of the earthquake, a spontaneous community-driven information, support and distribution centre was established.  The first parcels of fruit cake from a community 1,500 km away in the North Island arrived.  Packets of soup and cans of fruit and vegetables materialised.  Not even the pets were forgotten – dog and cat food was donated.

A week or so later a young man who was a builder turned up with his tools in his truck from Invercargill, a 7 or 8 hour drive away.  Introducing himself he simply said “I’m here to help, who needs assistance?”  He helped people with their dangerously damaged chimneys, repaired windows and doors.  He stayed for a week.  As did another man, a plumber, from Nelson 500 km to the north of the city.

“We pull together.”  It was heartening, it was gladdening, it was humanity working at it’s best in the worst of times.

If Then, Why Not Now?

We can pull together in the worst of times.  Why, then, can we not do so in the best of times?

The aftermath of Hurricane Sandy is yet to come, but the experience of many other disasters around the world, including the Christchurch earthquakes, suggests that once the disaster is over then we often return to the same order as before the disaster struck.

We return to communities and societies in which poverty exists alongside enormous wealth, where families live in overcrowded dwellings whilst others rattle around in spacious opulence.  We return to an order in which many do not get the health care they need, where children grow up in abusive environments and where the elderly or those with disability are ignored.

“We pull together.”

Wouldn’t it be great if we could hold fast to the compassion and generosity that emerges during the worst of times and continue pulling together during the best of times?

We can.  In order to do so we must resource and encourage the bottom-up approach that arises during the worst of times.  We must also ensure that community development works to strengthen that approach.

In short: cut through the red tape, dispense with big brother knows best, allow and enable community development to emerge.

Friday 2 November 2012

Maybe the Mayans

We have less than two months.  At least that is what the doomsayers say about the coming end of the Mayan calendar.  Just four days before Christmas this year a 5,125 year long Mayan calendar cycle comes to an end.

Some predict that this heralds the end of the world.  Others say that it means that humanity will undergo a spiritual transformation.

The systems thinker, Ervin Laszlo, has used the date as a reference point to the crossroads at which humanity presently stands.  His view is that we are in a period of transition.  Transition to what?  Reflecting the conflicting predictions of the Mayan calendar believers, Laszlo suggests that we face one of two scenarios; breakdown or breakthrough.

We could breakdown and experience catastrophic natural disasters, wide-spread famines, rampant global pandemics, lingering droughts, severe flooding, serious water shortages, increasing distrust and anger.  All of which could fuel resource wars and acts of global terrorism.  In short, a breakdown of any semblance of human decency and order on a grand scale.

Or, suggests Laszlo, we could breakthrough and realise a humanity based on greater compassion, respect and mutual cooperation.  Concurrent with greater social cohesion and well-being would also come a desire for equitable, sustainable practises that would slow, halt and, eventually, turn back the detrimental effects of our growth-at-all-costs mentality of the past few centuries.

To Laszlo and others the end of the Mayan calendar could be a wake-up call that we humans need to hear.

So too could hurricanes such as Superstorm Sandy currently making headlines around the world.  Although Hurricane Sandy is a weather system and cannot be thought of as climatic in nature, many climate scientists find it difficult to track the connections between climate change and specific weather patterns, but acknowledge a link

In order for an hurricane (along with typhoons and cyclones) to form, the sea surface temperature must be warm.  Over the past few decades sea surface temperature has increased and in that time the annual number of intense storms (category 4 and 5) has nearly doubled.  Not only has the number doubled but they also make up a much larger share of all categories of storm.  In short, storms are getting more intense and bigger.

Indeed, Superstorm Sandy is the largest diameter Atlantic hurricane on record.

Another wake-up call?

A Role for Community Development

Community development workers must be amongst the first to hear those calls and respond to them.  It will increasingly become a fundamental role of the community development worker to enable communities to build resilience in the face of dawning changes.  Simultaneously, helping communities to envision a future of breakthrough will also be a key task for community development workers.

If community development workers haven’t heard or understood the thinking behind the phrase “think global, act local”, now is a time to do so.

It is time for community development workers to actively become community educators also.

Can we do it?  Can we breakthrough rather than breakdown?  Have we passed the tipping point?
Who can tell?  I’m reminded of the Chinese diplomat who, when asked what he thought of the French revolution, responded with “hmmm… too early to tell.”

It may be too early to tell.  It may (pessimistically) be too late to alter the outcome.

But it’s not too early, or too late, to act.