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Practically Idealistic blog
 
The title for this blog originated with use of the term “practical idealist” in this 1996 opinion piece, which asked: “To what kind of work should a practical idealist aspire?” A century and a half earlier, Emerson, in his 1841 essay Circles, wrote: “There are degrees in idealism.  We learn first to play with it academically. . . .  Then we see in the heyday of youth and poetry that it may be true, that it is true in gleams and fragments.  Then, its countenance waxes stern and grand, and we see that it must be true.  It now shows itself ethical and practical.”  John Dewey and Mahatma Gandhi embraced practical idealism in the 20th century, as did UN Secretary General U Thant.  Al Gore invoked it in a 1998 speech. In the context of this blog, the term is meant to convey idealism tempered but not overwhelmed by realism: a search for the ideal on a path guided by common sense.

Sunday, June 12, 2022

Family Reunification Month, Petit Family Foundation

During this Family Reunification Month of June, Connecticut CASA recently received a grant from the Petit Family Foundation.  We learned, too, of a grant from the TEGNA Foundation.

Diversifying Connecticut CASA's financial base in this way is important as the organization continues to grow, depending on sources including public dollars, foundation grants, and individual donations.  Many thanks to all!

9:30 am edt 

Monday, May 30, 2022

Reflections of a Reunion Panel

With mass-shooting atrocities in Buffalo and Uvalde--not to mention the Ukraine war and much else--on our minds, my undergraduate class just held a reunion.  It was good to see old friends and to get better acquainted with other classmates from years ago.

Recognizing the scale of challenges--from racism, inequality, gun violence and democratic truth in the U.S., to war and climate change beyond--it was inspiring to be on a reunion panel with Makunda Abdul-MbackeMarco A. DavisLillian Diaz Gray, and Julie Horowitz.

An accomplished audience participated--seeking new ways to connect generations and to engage for the better with their communities and the world, whether through the private sector, nonprofits, or government.

11:37 pm edt 

Thursday, May 12, 2022

The Great Give, 2022--and Thanks to Donors, Anytime

Thank you to everyone who has donated to support Connecticut CASA's professional preparation of its volunteer court-appointed special advocates for children!

Among the ways to support our work is through the Great Give, where our organization reached its 2022 goals and was included in the Community Foundation for Greater New Haven's subsequent news release.

That news then ran in the New Haven Independent.

As the Community Foundation noted, there is also a year-round "Give Greater" platform--where Connecticut CASA has a profile.  Whether there or via Connecticut CASA's own website (or by check, donor-advised fund, etc.), donations are of course welcomed anytime!

9:02 pm edt 

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Child Abuse Prevention, Volunteer Month

For April--recognized as Child Abuse Prevention as well as Volunteer Month--I wrote an opinion piece published in the Connecticut Mirror and the New Haven Register, among other Hearst CT Media newspapers.

9:47 am edt 

Saturday, March 12, 2022

Donor Generosity, and How Private/Nonprofit Institutions Can Complement Public Ones

Groton School's Quarterly alumni/ae magazine includes a piece on my work with Connecticut CASA.

The interview provided a chance to reflect on my experience of benefiting from financial aid and my appreciation of how the generosity of donors--and leadership from Temba Maqubela among others--has expanded such aid over the decades. There is also a keen sense of how such private options are merely a complement to--not a substitute for--investment in public institutions.

10:10 pm est 

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