Monday, November 03, 2014

Practicing Civic Engagement

Election Day

Tuesday, November 4th is Election Day in California.  If you haven't voted already, by Vote-by-Mail ballot, find your polling location using the Voting Information Project tool.  Learn more about the candidates and propositions for which we'll be voting in the General Election Voter Information Guide.

Practicing our right to vote is one way in which we participate in the democratic processes of our representative democracy in the United States.

Barbara Ehrenreich Visits University of Redlands

On Wednesday, November 5th at 7pm in Memorial Chapel, Barbara Ehrenreich (journalist, social commentator, and best-selling author) will speak to the Redlands Community.  Ehrenreich has spent most of her life practicing civic engagement through her writing and activism.  Much of her writing focuses on social injustices including women's health, the working poor, homelessness, and predatory lending practices.

Ehrenreich's visit precedes the Theatre Arts Department's production of Joan Holden's comedy Nickel and Dimed based on Ehrenreich's Nickel and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America (2008).  "Determined to find out how anyone could make ends meet on $7 an hour, [Ehrenreich] left behind her middle class life as a journalist except for $1000 in start-up funds, a car and her laptop computer to try to sustain herself as a low-skilled worker for a month at a time. In 1999 and 2000, Ehrenreich worked as a waitress in Key West, Fla., as a cleaning woman and a nursing home aide in Portland, Maine, and in a Wal-Mart in Minneapolis, Minn. During the application process, she faced routine drug tests and spurious "personality tests"; once on the job, she endured constant surveillance and numbing harangues over infractions like serving a second roll and butter. Beset by transportation costs and high rents, she learned the tricks of the trade from her co-workers, some of whom sleep in their cars, and many of whom work when they're vexed by arthritis, back pain or worse, yet still manage small gestures of kindness. Despite the advantages of her race, education, good health and lack of children, Ehrenreich's income barely covered her month's expenses in only one instance, when she worked seven days a week at two jobs (one of which provided free meals) during the off-season in a vacation town." [From Publishers Weekly.]

Many of Ehrenreich's books are available at Armacost Library.

Theatre Arts Department presents Joan Holden's Nickel and Dimed

The University of Redlands Theatre Arts Department presents Joan Holden’s comedy Nickel and Dimed, based on Nickel and Dimed: On (Not ) getting by in America, by Barbara Ehrenreich, November 14, 15, 21, 22, and 23, 2014 in the Frederick Loewe Theatre. The play uses humor to tell an eye-opening story about the people who serve us food, ring up our purchases and clean up hotel rooms while making ends meet in the increasingly brutal world of the minimum wage. First produced in 2001, the issues raised in the play about economic justice and widening income inequality are now back on the front burner of public concern and confusion. 

Producing creative works and performances that address social justice issues are also forms of civic engagement. 

Purchase tickets for Nickel and Dimed.

In what ways are you practicing civic engagement?

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