Being a poet, and writing poetry, requires that one be capable of touching the taut, electric rope that connects the valleys and hills of Earth with the horizons and vastness of sky and space, and that one do so without recoiling from the pain or being overwhelmed by the view.
Almost any debate about the need for improvements to America’s public education system, k-12 as well as community college and university, will include a comment along the lines of, “We need to do a better job of preparing our young […]
“We [who practice nonviolent direct action] are not the creators of tension. We merely bring to the surface the hidden tension that is already alive. We bring it out into the open, where it can be seen and dealt with. […]
I’m going to present two data points and follow them up with an impertinent question: “Despite being only 13 precent of the overall U.S. population, 40 percent of those who are incarcerated are black.” (American Progress) “Among black males born […]
I am angry and despondent. The world seems to be going to hell: blacks shot by police, a fascist with a chance to become President of the United States, myriad terrorist attacks, civil war in Syria, an attempted coup d’état, Brexit, […]
Thinking about certain aspects my job for just a few minutes can induce a feeling of anxiety, a tightening of the chest and quickening of the heart; in contrast, reading a couple pages of a book on physics can release […]
Another Example of My Stupidity! Thirty minutes into my planned 45-mile bike ride yesterday I experienced a flat tire (as a result of course, of my stupidity–I had overinflated the damn thing) and duly pulled over to fix it. I had […]
Mission Versus Business
Here’s a fundamental challenge in our business: the greater the alignment between our lending and our mission, the greater the strain on our loan portfolio performance. Phrased another way, the highest impact loans–those to ex-offenders, domestic violence survivors, and the temporarily homeless– are also the riskiest. This is through no fault of their own; rather, it’s simply a result of the tremendous strain that personal and financial instability places on a person.
As a nonprofit, it is incumbent on us that we adhere to our mission, which is to use financial services to create pathways out of poverty. Yet as a business, especially as one that debt finances its lending operations, we must also ensure that we are fiscally sound. To address this tension, we’ve taken several approaches. First and foremost, the interest rates we charge are designed to compensate for higher losses