12 Books to Read in 2012

One thing I missed doing in college was reading for pleasure. Words and terms became facts and concepts to be memorized instead of stories and ideas to be enjoyed. Take a break from studying and curl up with of these must-reads for winter semester.

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What’s on tonight: IJET Spring Semester Kick-off

Tonight is the Institute for Justice Education and Transformation (IJET)’s Spring Semester 2012 Kick-off! Our Speakers and Trainers Series takes off with a free public lecture by John Francis, Visiting Professor at the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies. For those of you who don’t know anything about Francis, he’s known as the Planetwalker, after spending 22 years walking and 17 years in silence. He also likes vanilla milkshakes. 

‎”“If people are indeed part of the environment, how we treat ourselves and each other provides our first opportunity to treat the environment in a sustainable way, or even to understand the very nature of sustainability.” – John Francis, Ragged Edge of Silence

We’ll be streaming the event live: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/uwmadison-multicultural-student-center

By the way, the latest edition of Tapestry features a review for his book, Ragged Edge of Silence, by our very own Social Justice Educator, Cynthia Lin. Read it (the review and the book). They’re both very good.

Inside the Planetwalker’s Backpack

John Francis, Visiting Professor at the Nelson Institute of Environmental Studies, began a journey in January 1971 when he witnessed the devastating aftermath of two oil tankers crashing into each other in the San Francisco Bay.  He stopped using motorized vehicles as a means of transportation and began walking. He traveled extensively on foot for 22 years—across the continental United States and to South America—earning the nickname the Planetwalker. During this time, he also spent 17 years in voluntary silence.

We asked Francis some fun questions to learn some quirks about the remarkable man and environmentalist. What does he carry in that backpack his during long walks? What does he love to snack on? (Hint: It’s not trailmix.) The answers we received were incredibly humanizing and reflective of the Francis’ relatable nature.


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Threads: Connecting you to the Multicultural Student Center

Threads is the UW-Madison Multicultural Student Center (MSC) blog. In September, the MSC launched Tapestry, our monthly newsletter geared at students, faculty, staff, alumni and community members.  As an online extension of Tapestry, Threads is like our newsletter’s sassier, quirkier and more loquacious sibling. With a focus on multiculturalism, social justice, leadership and diversity, we will: cover news and events; feature photos, art and essays; provide tips on careers, technology, health and more; spotlight cultural celebrations and media trends; explore and discuss issues on campus and in the community.

Thread weaves together different pieces to become a whole. It connects and unites. In the online community, threads are ways people can discuss various topics in groups and forums. By bringing together multiple perspectives and interests, we hope to share valuable and compelling stories and resources with you and also provide an online community for you to share your thoughts with us.