Phenomenal Women

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We must remain aware of the prevalent and nightmarish dynamics of intimate partner abuse or domestic violence. Maybe that’s why I cannot let go readily of this amazing experience I share with several homeless women who reside in NCCF’s emergency family shelters or transitional housing programs. The occasion is a Saturday afternoon event in recognition […]

This is America

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“There’s something evil in our society that we as Americans have to work to try and eradicate. I would like you to put my trauma center out of business. I really would. I would like to not be an expert on gunshots. Let’s get rid of this. This is not America.” – Dr. Janis Orlowski, […]

Boys II

The beautiful, graceful anchorwoman asked me on her live newscast, “What is going on? How can these youths kill someone out of boredom?” I paused. Who can really answer this probing question without direct and detailed knowledge of these young offenders? Yet, I also was not surprised or shocked by the tragedy — simply and […]

There Are No Flowers There

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Today was the height of the ever so brief National Cherry Blossom season. I normally take a sort of suburban, somewhat distant notice of the cherry trees along the Tidal Basin in Washington, DC when this magic day arrives…..when the thousands of trees bloom all along the Potomac River. After all, they were donated to […]

The Illustrious Team and Its Leader

Even as a young child, I was highly conscious of leadership. I was born to be fascinated with the power of groups and how individuals influence them and are influenced. I was a member of every peer group in my community: foster children, poor children growing up in the streets, college bound children attending elite […]

Letting Down the Mask

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After working with angry, injured, neglected youth for over 40 years, I am accustomed to having a mask presented to me when I first meet a teenager who psychologically is “in the world alone.” Indeed, he usually prefers to brandish a mask at the initial introduction. See, I’m crazy.  Really, I am bad.  If brave enough, the […]

Legacy of Loss or Hope?

Last week, I thought that we had managed our way soberly, but successfully, through another anniversary of 9/11, with all of its remembrances.  This bookmark in our country’s story recalls also days in my offices on the 23rd floor of Two World Trade Center, during the 70s.  I was employed by the New State Division for Youth as […]

Holders of Hope: Challenging Complex, Wicked Problems

Last Tuesday, I had the honor of speaking before a sold out, national audience of 1,000 social workers in Washington, DC.  Dr. Elizabeth J. Clark, executive director, National Association of Social Workers (NASW) led  this meeting of the decade with the theme “Restoring Hope: The Power of Social Work.  I joined Terry Cross of the […]

Mother’s Memorial Day Blog: Keeping it Positive!

The past two weeks have constituted a dizzying series of celebrations. Mother’s Day, as usual, brought out the most wonderful (and well appreciated) expressions of love from my family. And, of course, there was the hyper market exploitation of Mother’s Day throughout our society—the sales, the flowers, the long trips home! But for the first […]


So I never had sisters.  Just one younger brother who ended up going to Brown with me. Although I was admitted in the last class of Pembroke College (all women), became a student activist leader, and later a Trustee of the Brown Corporation, I felt like an outsider. Not rational. I also attended Boston’s Girl’s […]

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