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ICYMI: ‘A Place of Hope’: Eric L. Motley on His Life in the Historic Madison Park Community

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The Madison Park community in Montgomery, Alabama, has one of the most interesting and important histories in the country. Founded in 1880 by fourteen former slaves, they established a school, a church, and ultimately, a philosophy of community that has lasted for generations. One such person to be raised there was Eric L. Motley, the youngest appointee in the White House under the Bush Administration, where, immediately after obtaining his Ph.D from the University of St. Andrews, he became of the Deputy Associate Director, Office of Presidential Personnel, at the age of 27. Since that first appointment, Motley has held positions such as Special Assistant to President George W. Bush; Director of the Office of International Visitors in the Bureau of Educational and…

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Tips You Need to Know in Time for NaNoWriMo

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It’s almost November 1st, and for thousands of writers across the world that only means one thing: it’s time for NaNoWriMo! Short for National Novel Writing Month, NaNoWriMo challenges authors to try and finish an entire novel throughout November. The goal is to produce 50,000 words by the end of the month, kick-starting the writing process in an organized and immersive way. Writing a book is never easy, and it’s certainly not any easier to cram it all into just 4 weeks. But NaNoWriMo isn’t necessarily about creating a perfect draft – it’s about making your writing a priority and finally diving headlong into a big project. The month-long event has only grown and grown over the years, swelling up…

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TED Talks: How Does Theaster Gates Revitalize Crumbling Neighborhoods?

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How to you rebuild a crumbling neighborhood? For Theaster Gates, the answer can be found in art and community building. Gates, who is a potter by trade and a social activist artist by vocation, discusses his inspiring method for reviving his Chicago neighborhood in this talk from TED2015. By teaming up with community members and rebuilding old and abandoned buildings into artistic hubs, like museums and movie theaters, Gates discovered his neighborhood changing for the better. This passionate talk shows that using what you’ve got to create culture and beauty can be an amazing catalyst for social change. Recommended reading: Theaster Gates (Contemporary Artists), Carol Becker, Achim Borchardt-Hume and Lisa Yun Lee (Phaidon Press, October 2015) This is the first…

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Mind-bending Plots for Your Midsummer Binge

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When it comes to television, I love to have my mind twisted in weird ways. I want epic, sweeping plots with complicated storytelling that’s just this side of confusing. Time travel? Yes, please. The whole thing was a dream? Bring it on. Which is why I was so excited by the new Doctor Who trailer that premiered at Comic Con:   More creepy aliens! Awesome guest stars! I’m getting goose-bumps just thinking about it. So here are three shows (and one book) with mind-bending plots for your binge-watching pleasure. And no, Lost isn’t among them. Sure, it was awesome, but all those loose threads and polar bears? It might have been too complicated even for me. Doctor Who After years…

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Save our show! Fans unite to save our favorite TV programs

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I’ll admit it: I donated to the Veronica Mars Kickstarter campaign. My $30 bought me a digital copy of the movie, a T-shirt and the satisfaction of seeing my favorite TV show brought back to life. Which, as far as I’m concerned, is basically priceless. I realize I might be in the minority for thinking this way. Plenty of my friends and family have no idea what it’s like to fall in love with a show, to be consumed by it, to care so much you’re willing to spend your hard-earned money to keep it alive. I don’t simply watch my favorite shows, I scour the Internet for spoilers, I watch endless YouTube fan videos, I dream about them. And…

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