The US Represented Weekly Update

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Hi USR members and guests,

We had a good week at US Represented. In “Breaking the Cycle: Building Self-Esteem to Create Better Futures,” Emily Badovinac discusses The Hanger, a Colorado Springs clothing shop where foster kids, ages 12-21, come to work, shop, and much more. “[A] project of CASA’s Milton Foster Children’s Fund committee, [The Hanger] hosts theme nights the first Sunday of every month that offer dinner and life skills.” Jane Hegstrom has played a pivotal role in helping the operation “provide stylish outfits, a resume option, and a haven to the foster children and alumni of Colorado Springs,” and she and her colleagues throughout the city oversee a number of other projects that help foster children secure the basic needs necessary to gain confidence and function effectively in a difficult world. Emily’s “Ten Reasons to Donate to Local Organizations and Thrift Stores” explains why keeping resources in the community and donating to trustworthy organizations matters. Emily also discusses strategies for becoming more involved in community charities.

This week’s Cadence poetry section features Andrew Lemesany’s poem “Gods of the Woods,” which says the woods are “for those that belong, / not surviving, but thriving, / strong and discerning; the masters of wind, water and wild.” Mallary McHenry’s poem “Sober” is a “liquid courage anthem. / Every lemon life throws is sliced, rum coated, and vodka injected.” In “Interview with Miguel Huerta, Mover of Mountains,” Lindsay Deen shares a conversation with the man responsible for organizing Move Mountains, “a program designed to empower and enrich the lives of the local youth in [the San Luis, Colorado] community. The program works to train young people to bridge the gap between their contexts and those of their elders in the community, find common ground, and take their rightful places as their elders hand the keys down to the next generation.”

In our new weekly feature Post Radical, Pete Howard examines Popular Culture as being shaped by a consensus among people about what is entertaining, stylish, and valuable in our society. What is dangerous about it is that, while having the appearance of a democratic process in which the will of the people is honored, the system may be driven by invisible forces that undermine free will by employing various sophisticated forms of propaganda that ensure conformity and predictability of the masses. These underlying forces have two goals: to ensure that the flow of money comes their way, and to maintain their position of power by controlling the behavior of the masses. Like rocks in the river, our job is to disrupt the flow by challenging mainstream ideas. In his first Post Radical installment, Pete explores the resurgence of an old form in “Illustrated Men and Women: Body Art—Is it Really?” Finally, Eric Stephenson’s “Pathological” portrays a scenario concerning a terrible virus that could be within the realm of possibility.

As always, it’s a pleasure sharing our work with you. Keep being who you are, and we’ll talk to you soon.

The USR Staff