This week in community development: 3/14/14

Every week, Praxia Partners shares important community-building news. Check out what we’ve been reading this week.

Economic opportunity

  • The wealth gap between black and white households is larger than ever.
  • When we discuss global economic progress, it time to retire the terms “developing country” and “developed country?” Bill Gates thinks so. What do you think?

Building community

  • What can cyber cities teach us about smart urban planning? (The Atlantic)
  • This April, the World Urban Forum will focus on “Urban Equity in Development – Cities for Life” and feature several online conversations. Right now, you can join in on “Urban planning and design: laws, regulations, and the informal city.”
  • “Organizing for Distressed Cities” will address many aspects of how to help cities recover from crisis. It’s free, open to the public, and runs April 7 and 8 at Wayne State University in Detroit. Learn more here.

Inclusion and equality

  • LGBTQ rights have been in the news recently due to restrictive laws coming under fire in Uganda. The Nation points out that human rights are under attack in other nations, including Cameroon, with less international scrutiny.
  • Meanwhile, you can follow the evolution of LBGTQ rights on this new map of the U.S. Where does your state stand?
  • There’s no doubt that media representation shapes how we view one another. A new study breaks down how women are portrayed in the top 100 movies of 2013, the results are pretty outrageous. Men are consistently over-represented in film as protagonists, main characters, and even minor characters with lines. In 2013, a whopping 85% of protagonists were male. When women have speaking parts in film, white women are massively over-represented– 73% of all female characters were portrayed by Caucasian women. Learn more at San Diego State University’s Center for the Study of Women in Television in Film. How do you think media representation of “minorities” and women affect society?

Environmental stewardship

  • Check out Community Renewable Energy’s post tracking the rise of solar power in the US and abroad.

What do you think was the most important community development story this week? Share your insights and thoughts below or by email.

For news about solar power and sustainability, visit Community Renewable Energy’s blog.

About Holly

Holly Jensen is a writer and poet who has worked with nonprofits and businesses for over a decade. She also serves as editor of The Ghazal Page, an international literary journal.
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