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Global IMC Network

Re-Thinking High School

July 22, 2017 by pegjohnston

“When you think about it, we’ve gone from the Model T to the Tesla, from the switchboard to the iPhone. But high school has stayed the same.”

Union-Endicott's Tiger Ventures program which is an alternative high school in the Linnaeus West school was recently awarded a $2.5 million grant from XQ America Rethinking High School. XQ helps public high schools across the United States create innovative programs that engage students in creative projects, team building, and interactive learning. The XQ Super School Bus is on tour and visited the district Saturday with a bus filled with facts about American education. On their site they argue, "IQ (Intelligence Quotient) is important. It measures how we process information. But it isn’t everything.In fact, the latest science shows that intelligence is not fixed and that there’s a lot more to a person’s capability than what can be measured in an IQ test. What also matters is a person’s EQ (Emotional Quotient)—the ability to relate to others, understand emotional cues and collaborate.But today, neither IQ nor EQ is enough. There’s a certain something, something we call XQ, that’s essential for success in the new era we’re entering."

The Super School bus facts reveal that while American elementary schools perform well compared to other countries, the US falls behind dramatically at the high school stage. XQ also challenges the notion that every student can get an education and prepare people for college, noting that some schools don't even offer basic subjects like biology, chemistry, calculus and others. In an attempt to re-define high school they have funded 10 schools and have recently funded 8 more, one of which is the UE school.

The Tiger Ventures Project at UE has been in existence for one year and serves young people who can benefit from learning differently. For instance, it has a Maker's Space in the school and art programs and communications equipment for TV/video production. Students can apply or get referred into the program. The project competed for the first round of funding and ranked in the top 50 but did not win. However, they founded the program anyway, and were surprised when they got the call that their efforts were noticed and they were being awarded 2.5 million dollars.

For a video and more information about the project visit

One America Seeks Trump Supporters

July 1, 2017 by pegjohnston

Better Angels Project seeks Trump Supporters for ‘One America’ Gathering

When: July 14 - 16
Where: Coddington Rd. Community Center, Ithaca, NY

Dana LaCroix - or 607-238-7279

The Better Angels organization ( is currently seeking Trump supporters to join non-Trump supporters for a weekend of facilitated conversation, refreshments, music and fellowship as part of its ‘One America’ National Bus Tour. The project, which will take place in Ithaca (venue TBA) the weekend of Friday, July 14 – Saturday, July 16, seeks to help bridge the divide between citizens on the political left and right.

“It is necessary that we have an equal number of ‘red’ Americans and ‘blue’ Americans participate in the gathering and so far our ‘blue’ numbers are too high.” said Dana LaCroix, one of the project’s organizers. “In our efforts to reach out to Donald Trump supporters we’ve found that many are reluctant to participate for fear of being attacked or criticized for their views. But the goal of the One America workshop is that everyone who attends should leave the workshop feeling they’ve been heard, regardless of what their standpoint on any issue may be. We are interested in conversation, not conversion,” said LaCroix.

Keith Johnson, a Republican voter and Trump supporter who participated in the One America workshop in Southwestern Ohio said, “If you did 20,000 of these across the nation, you would change the world… because people are talking to people!”

The goals of the project according to the Better Angels organization are “to better understand the experiences, feelings, and beliefs of those on the other side of the political divide; to see if there are areas of commonality in addition to differences; and learning something that might be helpful to others in our community and the nation.”
The workshop is organized by area residents and moderated by David Blankenhorn, president of Better Angels, and Bill Doherty, senior fellow with Better Angels and family therapist and professor at the University of Minnesota. The weekend will end with a pot-luck dinner and live music. Participants will receive modest compensation as a thank you for their time.

Interested individuals please contact Dana LaCroix at or 607-238-7279.

Update: Tarik Abdelazim announces for Binghamton Mayor

June 11, 2017 by pegjohnston

Tarik Abdelazim has officially announced as a candidate for Binghamton Mayor. In announcing at Sunflower Park in the First Ward, Abdelazim said, "

My work has brought me to communities all across the country that struggle with the same problems we face here in Binghamton: factories closed and jobs gone; empty grocery stores and vacant homes dragging down our neighborhoods; working families and seniors struggling to get by; an epidemic of addiction; too many youth lost to gangs, drugs, and crime....

CLIMATE MAYORS commit to Paris Agreement

June 9, 2017 by pegjohnston

285 US Climate Mayors commit to adopt, honor and uphold Paris Climate Agreement goals


The President’s denial of global warming is getting a cold reception from America’s cities.

As 285 US Mayors representing 60 million Americans, we will adopt, honor, and uphold the commitments to the goals enshrined in the Paris Agreement. We will intensify efforts to meet each of our cities’ current climate goals, push for new action to meet the 1.5 degrees Celsius target, and work together to create a 21st century clean energy economy.

We will continue to lead. We are increasing investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. We will buy and create more demand for electric cars and trucks. We will increase our efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions, create a clean energy economy, and stand for environmental justice. And if the President wants to break the promises made to our allies enshrined in the historic Paris Agreement, we’ll build and strengthen relationships around the world to protect the planet from devastating climate risks.

The world cannot wait — and neither will we.

Among the 285 is:

Mayor Richard C David
City of Binghamton, NY




June 6, 2017 by imc-editor

Broome County has launched a new website that shows you how to find all kinds of outdoor activities and events. With an interactive map it lists all parks, hiking trails, biking, paddling, fishing, and more. Go All Out Broome is also on Facebook and Twitter.


Mural Fest 2017 at Floral Ave. Park

June 4, 2017 by pegjohnston


Public Art Workshops Mural Fest 2017 at Floral Ave. Park JC

October 7th, 2017 11 am – 4 pm

This year Mural Fest will offer even more community engagement with art, guided by artists. The Dept of Public has permission to paint murals on several structures at Floral Ave. Park in Johnson City. This year DPA will create workshops with community members led by experienced artists to plan a mural, including choosing a theme, gridding the design, choosing colors, prepping the space, and then painting it at Mural Fest. Similarly, DPA is partnering with Southern Tier Solar Works to create solar lanterns for neighbors: the workshop would come up with designs that use upcycled materials, learn how to assemble the solar lights, and gather materials for a table at Mural Fest where people could build their own solar lantern. Another idea is to create either a Box City or cardboard animals for small children to paint and play with at the previous Mural Fest at Cheri Lindsey Park.

"Leaving behind permanent murals is important," said Peg Johnston of DPA, "and just as important is engaging people in the process of creating art in public places. We are grateful to the Village of Johnson City for the opportunity to paint several structures at Floral Ave. Park."

Interested?  Stay in touch!  We will be announcing workshop details throughout the summer email us at  to get our updates. Include your name, email, phone, and what you would be interested in.

ONE SHOT A book review

May 16, 2017 by pegjohnston

One Shot by John Leary takes on all the major issues of the day--climate change, poverty, hunger, emigration, and more-- and puts forth mankind's "one shot" at saving the world--forest gardens.  Leary is director of Trees for the Future which has planted millions of trees around the world and has innovated an approach to devastating deforestation and soil erosion in the most impoverished areas of the world. A forest Garden encourages small farmers in Africa to plant a ring of fast growing trees around their small 1-4 acre plots. Bushes keep animals from trampling crops and vegetables are planted under the trees. A wide diversity of trees and crops gives greater economic sustainability and the leaves from the trees fertilize the soil.  The trees trap the water into the earth interrupting the downward cycle of drought, deforestation, starvation.

Leary recites the bad news of the world that is probably familiar to most aware folks. He gives a good overview of the mess the world is in and all of us who have been freaking out about climate change and other environmental problems are receptive to the "One Shot" to solved these problems. What is novel about this book is not that it advocates forest gardens for impoverished countries but that he advocates a similar approach for Western agriculture. He mentions, but doesn't elucidate, the dilemma of large scale farms in the US, especially drought, soil depletion, and lack of biodiversity. I kept reading to discover what that change might look like in the US where mono crops and huge agri biz dominate. In the end I was disappointed although not surprised as Trees for the Future focus exclusively on farmers in the most distressed environments like Haiti, Africa, South America.

But what would Forest Gardens look like in Central New York? We have rapidly become an important agricultural  area with small farmers, innovative entrepreneurs, and government encouragement. One feature that Leary suggests is small farmers  taking charge of their own land and lives. It's hard to imagine giant corporate farms transitioning to more diverse crops but it is possible to conceive of family farms in upstate NY adopting some of these methods to overcome our own challenges in agriculture. Anyone have an idea of what that would look like?


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