Deepening your understanding of sensitive issues

Few issues are as sensitive or divisive as abortion. Indeed, when I ask One Small Step participants at MLWGS if there are issues they’d prefer NOT to discuss, abortion is the most frequent response. For those who hold strong pro-life or pro-choice opinions, talking to someone on “the other side” may seem impossible because your opinion is deeply rooted in personal experience, faith, or something else. Discussing it just feels too vulnerable – so I won’t ask you to.

However, in light of recent news about a possible Supreme Court ruling that could overturn Roe v. Wade and the heightened tensions this news has caused within and beyond our community, I do ask that you respect each other. I also encourage you to read about and reflect upon the issue.

For policy issues that feel too volatile to discuss, one place to start your research is in Issues Researcher. On the leading issue page for featured topics, you’ll find a historical timeline, and articles expressing both pro and con opinions about a related question. You can then expand your search by searching the database directly. You can find more resources for exploring contrasting viewpoints in that very section of the library’s Research Toolbox, located in the resources section of the Dragons Research group in Schoology (where you can also download the password list for the library’s databases).

As we discussed in FIRC Speech and FIRC Social Studies, immersing yourself in a chorus of like-minded views may feel affirming, even comforting. Yet, it does little to foster your capacity for the civil civic discourse that many of you have said you’d like to see more of. So…before you engage with issues that ignite strong emotions inside you, take one small step toward the civility you seek by enhancing your ability to speak about them from a solid foundation of historical knowledge and argument awareness, as well as from your heart.

Young Libertarians, Young Democrats, Young Republicans, otherwise affiliated, or apolitical – you are ALL welcome in the MLWGS Library. This is a purple zone where you can access resources that reflect a diverse range of policy positions, opinions, and interpretations — from The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times to The Nation and The National Review, or books by former Supreme Court Justices Ginsburg and Scalia.

I’m grateful to work with and learn with you: passionate, intelligent, curious Dragons with a wide range of values and beliefs. If you have questions, stop by the library, where the motto is Wonder. Research. Repeat.

Earth Day! What do you love about Earth?

It’s Earth Day, the perfect time to take a moment to reflect on what you love about Earth – and add something to the library’s chalkboard wall.

While you’re here, browse books designed to deepen your wonder for this remarkable planet.

Poetry, creative nonfiction, memoir, and more about nature.
Dirt, trees, birds, insects, animals, the ocean – learn more about a part of nature that fascinates you.