Tulane VISTA Blog

Fighting Poverty with Passion

Live in New Orleans once, leave before she….

Baz Lurhmann’s Sunscreen song: “Live in New York City once, leave before it makes you hard. Live in Northern California once, but leave before it makes you soft.” I’ll be … Continue reading

July 8, 2015 · 1 Comment

Hierarchy of Needs: Non-profit version

Did everyone know that Maslow produced a revision of his hierarchy of needs in 1970, the year he died?  His first five level pyramid created in 1943 looks like this: … Continue reading

June 7, 2015

Lightswitches and Mulligans

In our restorative trainings we often say that becoming a more restorative person isn’t something someone can suddenly turn on; it’s a process.  There’s no magic lightswitch we could flip … Continue reading

May 8, 2015

Field Report: Center for Restorative Approaches – Serving What?

What does it mean to serve a nation without holding a gun or flying a jet? No one will be surprised to learn that Angela Davis is a major hero … Continue reading

April 13, 2015

Seeds and Souls

Seeds and kids are kinda similar. I love seeds because they are the only thing in the universe from which a plant can come.  We cannot manufacture trees or synthesize … Continue reading

February 23, 2015

Real Talk – Tom Zolot – Center for Restorative Approaches

Here is a link to the City of New Orleans’ press release supporting restorative practices and in particular the Center for Restorative Approaches:  Press Release  Its always impressive to me … Continue reading

January 23, 2015

Sticks and Stones and Words, O My!

When I was young I was Tommy.  To become more adult I declared that no longer would I be Tommy, but Tom.  The adult.  The strong.  Tom was a name … Continue reading

December 17, 2014

Our Obsession with Punishment III: Unlearning

I don’t understand our obsession with punishment. It drives those most in need of loving care away from whatever community they are deviating in.  Despite all the anger I feel, … Continue reading

December 1, 2014

Our Obsession with Punishment Part II: Zero Tolerance for Zero Tolerance

I don’t understand our obsession with punishment. Like a carpenter with only a hammer, every problem becomes a nail; so punishment becomes the right tool for every problem when it’s … Continue reading

October 22, 2014

Our Obsession with Punishment Part I: Lessons Learned

I don’t understand our obsession with punishment. The punishment reflex that pervades our schools, homes, and hearts baffles me.  We operate as if these punishments teach positive corrective lessons when … Continue reading

September 30, 2014



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