JBMTI Blog

The Jean Baker Miller Training Institute is proud to welcome you to the JBMTI Blog! Our hope is to create a place where the JBMTI community can visit often to check out the latest news on Relational-Cultural Theory practitioners, events, applications, and inspirations.

Please feel free to send us any ideas for posts to jbmti@wellesley.edu.

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I doubt that our forebears who ratified the Second Amendment in 1791 ever imagined how carelessly and callously firearms would be used centuries later. Witness the senseless slaughter of 20 innocent children and 6 adults last month in Newtown, Conn. As a mother of two and grandmother of four, I can’t imagine a more painful loss.

If you are as concerned as I am about the safety of your children and grandchildren, consider that it may be time for a grass-roots movement, comparable to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, to help break the stranglehold the National Rifle Association seems to have on our elected officials. Do you really want, as the association proposed, an armed guard in every school?

The Connecticut massacre occurred just two months after the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a new policy statement on firearm-related injuries to children. Murder and accidental shootings were not the academy’s only concerns. “Suicides among the young are typically impulsive,” the statement noted, “and easy access to lethal weapons largely determines outcome.”

In an article published online last month in The New England Journal of Medicine, Dr. Judith S. Palfrey, a pediatrician at Boston Children’s Hospital, and her husband, Dr. Sean Palfrey, also a pediatrician in Boston,highlighted the shocking statistics. (- Excerpt from 1/7/13 NY Times article by Jane E. Brody)

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open circle logo 25th celebratingA message from Open Circle, the elementary school social emotional learning (SEL) program at the Wellesley Centers for Women:

"In light of the recent shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, we are writing to share some resources that school communities might find helpful at this time. This tragedy touches all of us, both near and far, regardless of whether we are educators, parents or students. Open Circle would like to offer its assistance during this difficult time by helping schools support students who, understandably, may have questions or concerns in response to this tragic event.

"Children may need reassurance that their classroom and school are safe places for them. It is important to recognize the needs of individual children who might have a harder time coping with this event than others. Often children who are prone to anxious feelings or those with their own trauma history can be triggered by another traumatic event, even if it did not directly happen to them. In addition to the positive, supportive classroom climate and the social and emotional learning tools that Open Circle provides, some students may need additional time with a school psychologist or guidance counselor to help them manage their fears.

"It is also critical that adults get the support they need to help students with their questions and feelings about this tragic event. Modeling how to stay calm and knowing when to ask for help yourself will help reassure students of their safety and remind them that the adults in school will be there to take care of them.

"During difficult times, safety, consistency and predictability are critical to helping children maintain a sense of stability and psychological comfort. Open Circle provides a classroom routine and climate that is safe, consistent and predictable. Continuing to do Open Circle, as usual, is very important. Revisiting and applying the following skills and concepts may be one way to help students and adults as they deal with this traumatic event.

Calming Down
Being able to apply calming-down techniques is helpful for both children and adults. It is normal and understandable for adults to feel anxious when upsetting things happen, and yet children take their emotional cues from adults. When adults model ways to calm down, they are reinforcing a critical self-regulation skill. The physiological benefits of calming down are also useful as we try to take care of ourselves during stressful times.

Knowing how to calm down contributes to a child's courage and resiliency. Children are empowered to take charge of their own bodies and emotional reactions. They can use this strategy in and out of the classroom, whenever they feel worried or upset.

Understanding Feelings
In Open Circle, children learn that people have all kinds of feelings - some feelings may be comfortable or uncomfortable, but all feelings are OK. We are encouraging children to share their feelings and expand the range of feeling words that children can identify. Our emotions give us information about our internal state, and they can pass with time. Children can learn to identify many feelings to best communicate their emotional state, and they can also learn that even uncomfortable feelings don't last forever. We do not need to bring up the tragic event directly to encourage use of feeling words. For example, we can ask, "When you wake in the middle of the night and hear loud thunder, how might you feel? Are there other examples of times when you felt that way?"

Feeling words allow us to let people know in words rather than in actions how we feel and therefore keeps them from misinterpreting, let's them know what's wrong, and helps them to pay attention to our experience. Sharing children's books such as The Way I Feel, by Janan Cain, or Lots of Feelings, by Shelley Rotner, might be one way to help young children expand their feelings vocabulary beyond "sad" and "mad," so that they can communicate with more accuracy. Some children will have difficulty expressing feelings and say that they are feeling "nothing." This is at times a self-protective strategy when feelings are experienced as too overwhelming. (At other times, children are simply unaware of their feelings at given moments). We cannot push children to talk about feelings if they do not want to, but rather we can teach the necessary skills and create a safe and caring environment so that when they are ready, they can participate.

Speaking Up
Even if children can identify feelings and find feeling words, they are not always comfortable with speaking up and therefore they may not share the feelings they are experiencing. The Open Circle lessons on speaking up focus on the importance of speaking up on behalf of oneself and others.

Dealing with Double D Behavior and Telling a Responsible Adult
In Open Circle children are learning to identify at least one adult with whom they can speak if they feel anxious or scared. This lesson also reminds children that when they tell a responsible adult about dangerous or destructive behavior they are keeping themselves and others safe.

Listening Skills
In times of crisis and stress, children need the support of adults who will really listen to them. In the Open Circle lesson on listening skills, children learn to identify what listening well looks and sounds like and which people are capable of listening to them when they need to be heard.

Problem Solving
Some classes might want to find ways to help victims of a tragedy. The process of giving to others is often empowering, as well as helpful. The problem-solving process can guide students as they choose an appropriate way of helping. If your class uses a problem box, keep this box available and remind students that it is anonymous. If you are not comfortable dealing with what a child writes for the problem box, consult with school counselors, administrators and parents.

Additional Resources
We recommend the following additional resources from the National Association of School Psychologists and the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration:

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6723277761_984f052703.jpgIn 1997 I arrived in Geneva to work for a year at the headquarters of a relief organization. Feeling overwhelmed by my job and lonely in a city of overworked expats passing through for two to three year stints at the United Nations or other organizations with the rather nebulous goal of “changing the world,” I made friends with a group of women. I was 22, and all three women — one American, one German, and one Argentinian – were 30 years older than I and had worked for the same organization in various administrative capacities for the length of time I’d been alive. After one lengthy, boozy dinner of fondue and buckets of white wine, they quickly took me into their friendship fold and jokingly referred to themselves as “the Wrinklies.” We met once a week for dinner, and saw one another every day at the espresso machine in the hallway, in the fabulously lush cantina, on the expertly-tended grounds of our superluxe office building outside the city limits. We had inside jokes and secret looks. We gave each other little gifts: a cookie, a note, a bar of chocolate, a little token of affection spotted at a shop and slipped underneath an office door.

All three women (and myself as well) were unmarried, living alone, and working to assist people in real need in countries around the world. Despite the fact that I immediately felt accepted, supported, challenged and nurtured by each of them, when I first joined their weekly dinner group, I felt sorry for them. They weren’t married, they weren’t mothers – and at this time, and up until very recently, I clung to the belief that this constituted some failure on their part. They found me equally mystifying. Was I really worried about the size of my ass or trying to finagle a recent date with a man they thought (from my description) was boring and slightly odious? (He was.) Was it a good use of my time, they wondered, to hang out in bars getting smashed and looking to score and by doing this (they were rightfully doubtful) find “the love of my life” when I said I wanted to be a writer? Sure, sure, I said, but I dismissed their concerns, and mourned what I interpreted as their missed opportunities to have a real life, which I assumed would only start for me when I was married and a mother. I loved them, but in my mind I was remembering that old phrase I’d heard for most of my life, in hushed and shameful tones: old maid. I was also keen to make my life look “normal” and “acceptable” in some way because I have a disability; if I didn’t get the body part right, I reasoned (irrationally, although it seemed quite rational at the time), I could get the “what your life looks like” part right. While I was obsessing about how I looked and who would love me, these women were helping to save the world – not in a way that would win them accolades, certainly – but the work they were doing was important and life-giving. And there I sat, foolishly pitying them. (-Excerpt from "Transformation and Transcendence: The Power of Female Friendship," by Emily Rapp, 1/22/12, on www.therumpus.net)

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imgres.jpgIntensive early behavioral therapy, considered by many autism experts to be the best in developing language and thinking skills, might also help normalize brain activity in children with autism when they look at faces, and improve their social skills, according to a new study.

Researchers at the University of California Davis’ MIND Institute looked at 48 children diagnosed with autism between 18 and 30 months old. Half of the children were randomly selected to receive a form of intensive early behavioral therapy called the Early Start Denver Model for 20 hours a week for two years, while the other half received other forms of intervention. After two years, the researchers used electroencephalograms to measure the brain activity of children with autism, as well as of children without autism, while they watched faces and toys.

The majority of the autistic children treated with the Early Start Denver Model showed greater brain activation when looking at faces rather than objects, a response common to children without autism. The opposite was found among the kids with autism who received other interventions.

The autistic children with increased brain activity at the sight of faces also had better social and behavioral skills. The study is the first to find underlying changes in brain function along with behavioral changes after early therapy. (- Excerpt from Boston.com article by Lara Salahi)

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2012-11-26-ShadiaPic.jpg"It's messed up, I had to lose an eye to see things clearly," Alia said, shaking her head. My charismatic and confident classmate then carefully tucked her hair under her veil. "Bushwick Bill?" I asked. She smiled and showed off her perfect row of teeth. "Yes!" She seemed pleased, yet slightly embarrassed that I had noticed that she was quoting an old-school rapper. I was intrigued by Alia's story and by the words she used to describe how fortunate she was compared to her "sisters" in the poorer parts of the city. "Do you listen to hip hop?" I asked. "Do I listen to hip hop?" she laughed, "not only do I listen, but for your information, I am the most talented yet least famous undercover MC in all of Cairo. Matter of fact, not even my parents know of my musical accomplishments!" I leaned back and listened.

The year was 1993, I was a high school exchange student in Cairo. It was the first time I had heard of the growing underground hip hop/rap movement in the Middle East -- a movement in which young Arab women played a prominent role.

Rewind.

South Bronx in the late 1970s -- also known as the birth place of hip hop -- was plagued by unemployment and racial discrimination. At the same time, the civil rights movement helped establish a sense of identity for minority and marginalized communities. It also helped shape the hip-hop mindset and movement, empowering the young and disenfranchised and giving them a creative outlet to share their stories of growing up in the inner city, about feeling ignored or being taken advantage of.  (-Excerpt from The Rhythm of Empowerment: Female Rappers From Morrocco to Gaza, www.huffingtonpost.com, 11/26/12. Photo credit: Ridwan Adhami.)

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146538141.jpg.CROP.article250-medium.jpg Actors and writers in Hollywood generally dodge direct questions about the role that race or gender have played in their careers, so it's decidedly refreshing to hear Brenda Chapman, the creative force behind Brave, address the issue head-on. “We need a woman. And you’re the right price,” she says she was told by the Disney higher-up who hired her in 1987.

Despite that jarring sound bite, Chapman writes about her experience as the first woman working in Disney Animation's story department as a largely a positive one. Rather than isolating her, Chapman's male colleagues treated her hiring as a more important crack in the glass ceiling than even she was inclined to do. And her impact on the team was more than just symbolic. "I think by just having my presence in the room, and because we had such a mutual respect for each other, the men were more aware of what might be condescending, or to put it bluntly, 'sexist' toward women in their work," she writes. "We all seemed to work together trying to move the Disney fairy tale into a more contemporary point of view for the heroines—and the audience."(-Excerpt from Slate.com's "Disney Hired Brenda Chapman Because She's a Woman. Good Decision," 10/24/12. Photo credit: David Livingston, Getty Images)

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JBMTI's Director Judith Jordan appeared on the 4/26/12 edition of "All Together Now" Charlene Spretnack on the Progressive Radio Network.

The Relational Shift in Psychology: a conversation with Judith V. Jordan, director of the Jean Baker Miller Training Institute (housed at Wellesley College), about the Relational-Cultural Model of the self and human development, which she co-developed beginning in 1978; the relational shift in the field of psychology from a Freudian model (the separative self) to a more realistic model of dynamic interrelatedness, with attention to the effects of social systems as well. - (Program description)

 

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Wellesley College President H. Kim Bottomly today announced the appointment of Layli Maparyan, Ph.D., as the new Katherine Stone Kaufmann ’67 Executive Director of the Wellesley Centers for Women (WCW), one of the nation’s largest and most influential organizations conducting scholarly research and developing action programs centered on women’s and girls’ perspectives. Maparyan will assume her new responsibilities effective July 1, 2012.

“I am so pleased that Dr. Maparyan will join Wellesley in this important role,” said Bottomly. “Her work on women’s issues and her dynamic leadership abilities are ideal for building upon the Centers’ legacy of influential and groundbreaking programming. The invaluable work by scholars at the Centers—undertaken in the United States and abroad—reflects Wellesley’s century-long commitment to investing in women and women’s leadership.”

As executive director of the Wellesley Centers for Women, I see my role as working to identify cutting-edge frontiers of policy development, expanding sources of funding, and ensuring that WCW continues to attract and support leading scholars to maintain the rigorous standard of research for which the Centers is known,” said Maparyan. “I’m committed to women’s issues across a wide spectrum—and further, to the role of scholarship in informing meaningful change in the broader community.”

From 2003 to the present, Maparyan served at Georgia State University as associate professor in the Women’s Studies Institute (WSI) and associated faculty of the Department of African American Studies. At Georgia State, she has been graduate director of the WSI as well as a University senator. Previously, Maparyan had served as an assistant professor in the Department of Psychology and the Institute for African-American Studies at the University of Georgia, where she was founding co-director of the Womanist Studies Consortium. Her civic engagement includes coordinating the National Center for Civil and Human Rights’ Women’s Initiative in Atlanta. Maparyan will hold a faculty appointment in Wellesley College’s Department of Africana Studies. (-Excerpt from WCW 4/23/12 press release)

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Richmond - Many people question why some sex trafficking victims stay with their traffickers. As a survivor, I know this simple question requires a rather complex explanation.

I am a survivor of sex trafficking and of child abuse by a family member. My story demonstrates that an untreated case of child sexual abuse can lead to the sex trafficking of that child victim. 

My history of sexual abuse began when I was under the age of ten. To make this trauma worse, my parents instructed me to lie about it when confronted by a social worker at home. My parents seemed to believe that they needed to protect our family from the social stigma associated with child sexual abuse. But by squelching the truth, they in turn sentenced me to an adolescence of misunderstanding and distrust. My resilience and sense of self-worth further diminished.

Without proper counseling, I harbored a secret of past abuse, a secret which slowly ate away at my self-confidence. The day I met my trafficker, I was shuffling behind my friends in the mall.  I was feeling angry and depressed.  I hated my parents and teachers.  At the same time, I was losing my friends in the naturally changing social circles between middle and high school.

My self-esteem had spiraled downward throughout intermediate and middle school. I endured several exploitations by older high school boys and men who prowled the neighborhood and local skating rink for unsupervised girls.

By the time the trafficker spotted me in that New Jersey shopping mall, I had already been broken down.

Smith goes on to quote Price:

Kate Price, M.A. lectured in a Wellesley Centers for Women seminar titled, Longing to Belong: Relational Risks and Resilience in U.S. Prostituted Children. Price stated a link between the prior history of sexual abuse and the prostitution of minor victims.  She stated it really is that history of betrayal that really is a risk, and oftentimes…the entryway, into how children even end up in prostitution.

Price reports that at least 60 percent of sexually exploited children, which includes prostituted children, have a prior history of sexual abuse. Studies also show that roughly one in four girls—and one in six boys—will be victims of childhood sexual abuse. (Excerpt, Washington Times, 4/8/12. Photo credit: Holly Smith)

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Editor's note:Dr. Charles Raison, CNNhealth's mental health expert, is an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Arizona in Tucson.

Ever noticed how scientific opinions swing from one extreme to the other?

Take the importance of mothers in the development of children. In the early days of psychiatry almost every mental illness, from depression to schizophrenia to autism was blamed on bad mothering. Then in the 1960’s and 70’s the discovery of medications that helped these illnesses allowed psychiatry to reframe them as biological conditions, no different from cancer or heart disease. Parents were fully absolved for the mental illnesses of their children, except to the degree that they passed along bad genes that caused chemical imbalances in the brain.

Myths inevitably survive long after they’ve been scientifically disproven. Such is the case with the fantasy that mental illnesses can be written off solely to genes and chemicals. Over the last decade a string of scientific discoveries has shown that the biology driving mental illness has at least as much to do with the environment as with chemicals or genetic inheritance. And it increasingly appears that the single most powerful environmental factor is the love - or its lack - that children receive from their parents. So in a very real way we parents are back on the hook for the lifelong emotional well-being of our kids. (Excerpt from CNN.com's "The Chart," 3/12/12. Photo credit: ThinkStock)

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Conference at Brandeis University, Monday, March 19th, 12-6:30pm

In Speaking Truth to Power, Anita Hill highlighted the particular hurdles Black rape survivors face in U.S. criminal justice system. Together, Anita Hill and Bernadette Brooten seek to enhance public discussion of this problem in order to promote both social and legal change. The conference will draw upon theater, religion, law, history, and public policy to help participants become agents for change.

We will begin with award-winning actor Vanessa Adams-Harris’s “Who Will Sing for Lena?” a dramatic representation of a woman’s response to a rape. Panelists will then offer insights from their respective disciplines.

The Brandeis Feminist Sexual Ethics Project commissioned two meta-analyses of legal and social-scientific research confirming that Black rape survivors face greater hurdles than do those of European origin. ??The research found that societal myths about race and sexuality combine to play a significant role in responses to sexual assault—from the victim’s reaction to an assault, to a prosecutor or judge’s confidence in the validity of her story, to the credibility members of the jury give to her testimony and their willingness to accept the act described as a sexual violation.

Because these responses are societal and cultural, we recognize that any effort to address them must go beyond the legal system itself, to the larger society. Please join us in this interdisciplinary conversation.

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To have and to be able to maintain healthy and supportive relationships throughout life is central to growth and well-being for persons and society (J. B. Miller, 1986). However, when persons or societies assert patterns of interaction based on inequality and devaluing differences, marginalizing and oppressing those they consider "less than", persons and societies are harmed.

Such is the case with human trafficking. Human trafficking is a violation of human rights (Art. 4 United Nations Human Rights) and an extreme form of social injustice. It is perpetuated by dominant-subordinate attitudes that condone violence, resulting in significant suffering for individuals, and harm to societies.

The conference will mutually explore the challenges facing the international community to address human trafficking. The goals of the conference include: increased insight into the needs of trafficked victims and their communities, comprehension of the complexities of international cooperation, support for a collaborative path forward to care for those affected, and renewed resolve to help put a stop to violence and exploitation.

Conference Style

  • 3-day International Conference
  • Theory and Practice Oriented - involving experts in academics/ research and service providers
  • Open to the public with educational credits available for ongoing training for students and professionals
  • Main speakers and workshops

Conference Target Groups

  • Researchers and (Higher) Education Instructors
  • Professional Service Providers: Criminal, victim-service providers, NGOs, international organizations , church organizations, social service agencies, women‘s and men‘s organizations, health services, etc
  • Students
  • General public with interest in this issue

Sponsors and Supporters

  • European Information Centre of Lower Saxony (Europäisches Informations-Zentrum Niedersachsen)
  • European Commission
  • Hans Böckler foundation
  • HAWK Hildesheim/Holzminden/Göttingen, Office for Gender Equality
  • HAWK Hildesheim/Holzminden/Göttingen, IIW
  • HAWK Hildesheim/Holzminden/Göttingen, Faculty of Social Work und Health, Hildesheim
  • HAWK Hildesheim/Holzminden/Göttingen, Faculty of Management, Social Work, Construction, Holzminden
  • HAWK Hildesheim/Holzminden/Göttingen, International Office
  • Centre for interdisciplinary women’s and gender studies (ZIF)

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The Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation has rejected charges that its decision to discontinue funding for the Planned Parenthood Federation of America was politically motivated.

In a statement posted on its website and a video on YouTube late Wednesday, Komen said its action had been "mischaracterized" so the organization needed to "set the record straight."

In the video, Nancy G. Brinker, who founded and leads the organization, said that the decision was made as part of a broad effort to use donations more efficiently.

The foundation regretted the impact of its new policy on groups such as Planned Parenthood, Brinker said. But she denied politics played any role and called accusations against Komen "scurrilous" and a "dangerous distraction" from the battle against breast cancer.

"Susan G. Komen will always fight for and serve the poeple who need us the most. We won't rest until every woman — rich, poor, insured or uninsured — can face a life without breast cancer," said Brinker, whose sister died from breast cancer. "That was my promise to my sister and my promise to you."

The foundation, known for its pink ribbon campaigns and Race for the Cure fundraisers, is a powerhouse in the world of breast cancer in the United States, raising billions of dollars for breast cancer research, care and advocacy. (Excerpt from www.wbur.org)

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Everyone agrees the United States needs to improve its education system dramatically, but how? One of the hottest trends in education reform lately is looking at the stunning success of the West's reigning education superpower, Finland. Trouble is, when it comes to the lessons that Finnish schools have to offer, most of the discussion seems to be missing the point.

The small Nordic country of Finland used to be known -- if it was known for anything at all -- as the home of Nokia, the mobile phone giant. But lately Finland has been attracting attention on global surveys of quality of life -- Newsweek ranked it number one last year -- and Finland's national education system has been receiving particular praise, because in recent years Finnish students have been turning in some of the highest test scores in the world.

Finland's schools owe their newfound fame primarily to one study: the PISA survey, conducted every three years by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). The survey compares 15-year-olds in different countries in reading, math, and science. Finland has ranked at or near the top in all three competencies on every survey since 2000, neck and neck with superachievers such as South Korea and Singapore. In the most recent survey in 2009 Finland slipped slightly, with students in Shanghai, China, taking the best scores, but the Finns are still near the very top. Throughout the same period, the PISA performance of the United States has been middling, at best. (Excerpt from the article, "What American Keep Ignoring About Finland's School Success, in the 12/29/11 Atlantic)

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Workers are dropping out of the labor force in droves, and they are mostly women. In fact, many are young women. But they are not dropping out forever; instead, these young women seem to be postponing their working lives to get more education. There are now — for the first time in three decades — more young women in school than in the work force. 

“I was working part-time at Starbucks for a year and a half,” said Laura Baker, 24, who started a master’s program in strategic communications this fall at the University of Denver. “I wasn’t willing to just stay there. I had to do something.”

Many economists initially thought that the shrinking labor force — which drove down November’s unemployment rate — was caused primarily by discouraged older workers giving up on the job market. Instead, many of the workers on the sidelines are young people upgrading their skills, which could portend something like the postwar economic boom, when millions of World War II veterans went to college through the G.I. Bill instead of immediately entering, and overwhelming, the job market. (Excerpt from NY Times, Instead of Work, Younger Women Head to School, 12/28/11.  Graph: Women Departing Labor Force, source Bureau of Labor Statistics)

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The Jean Baker Miller Training Institute will be on holiday break until after New Years. We will begin posting items to the blog again in January 2012.

Thank you to all of our amazing RCT practitioners and supporters around the globe. We had an wonderful 2011 and look forward to connecting with you in 2012.

Happy holidays, everyone. We hope you have a peaceful holiday season.

Too many suits: And not nearly enough skirts in the boardrooms

“PERHAPS WE WOMEN should just keep out of this male circus,” said one of the participants in a forum on “German Female Executives” run by Odgers Berndtson, a firm of headhunters. Gabriele Stahl, a partner in the firm’s Frankfurt office, recalls this comment because it seems to sum up the way many female managers feel about getting to the top of the corporate tree.

If they ever do. A study by Elke Holst and Julia Schimeta by the German Institute of Economic Research in Berlin found that in 2010 women held only 3.2% of all executive board seats in Germany’s 200 biggest non-financial firms. In the largest companies their share was even smaller. Financial institutions and insurance companies, where at least half of all employees are female, did no better than the rest, and state-owned companies were only slightly ahead. On the supervisory boards, the other component of Germany’s two-tier board structure, women are slightly better represented because some of the seats are reserved for employees, but last year they still made up only 11% of the total—and one-third of these boards had none at all. That list includes household names like Porsche, E.ON and Robert Bosch. The glass ceiling, like everything else in Germany, is pretty solid. (Article excerpt)

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Enjoy a preview of Callie Crossley, moderator for this Thursday's colloquium, "Getting to the truths about race: The politics of connection in The Help," discussing the book and movie on her WGBH radio show. This episode originally aired August 18, 2011.

Visit The Callie Crossley Show's website

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This is the second video in Mama Hope’s Stop the Pity, Unlock the Potential Campaign. This video represents a movement about humans and human dignity. With every school we construct, well we dig, orphanage we build, there are faces and names of people who are impacted; Lives that are changed.

Our latest video sets out to show the energy and potential of Africa and the interconnectedness we share. It is only when people are no longer seen through the stereotypes of poverty that we can begin to see we are not so different from each other. When the pity stops, the potential can be unlocked. This means more progress, but it will take all of us. This movement is our first step towards building a global society based on hope and connection. If you agree with us, join our movement and raise awareness! Join us in unlocking potential for a better future.

Directed by Joe Sabia and Bryce Yukio Adolphson
Shot and edited by Bryce Yukio Adolphson

Visit mamahope.org

Whether it's the rise of the Arab Spring in the Middle East or the killing of major Al-Qaeda figures – it's been a year of major changes on foreign shores. Staying on top of these sweeping changes has kept Secretary of State Hilary Clinton plenty busy. Clinton has been working aggressively behind the scenes to oversee the transition to democracy in the Middle East. At the same time, it's been a challenge to work within an administration headed by a former political rival.

Carol Costello speaks with Massimo Calabresi, who wrote this week's TIME Magazine new cover story on Clinton, to discuss the Secretary of Ctate's use of "smart power" – and her surprising obsession with social media. (From CNN.com - Photo credit: Time)

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