Acknowledging The Great Divide

We were delighted to see President Obama touch on a theme that is near and dear to Humantific in his address to the nation last night from Osawatomie, Kansas. That theme, the continuing existence of what is being framed today as “The Great Divide,” seems to be re-arriving in mainstream consciousness in the United States.

For us it has been and is the central theme of an ongoing project that we have been privileged to participate in: the ground-breaking, social sensemaking book series entitled The Measure of America. Authored by Kristen Lewis and Sarah Burd-Sharps, The Measure of America began in 2008 as a book series but soon became a significant social change movement. The series has had a tremendous impact on bringing clarity to many dimensions of The Great Divide discussions. The 2010-2011 edition: The Measure of America 2010-2011: Mapping Risks and Resilience reveals how Americans stack up in health, education, and income.

Of course, many of us will recognize that the topic of inequality is not a particularly new one for this country. It is just that many of the issues remain largely outside mainstream media coverage and unresolved. The Measure of America series has been instrumental in changing that picture. All of a sudden, in 2011, everyone seems to be interested in subject of The Great Divide! Woooooo Hoooooo!

Of course understanding the “Divide” and acknowledging that it exists is not the same as repairing it. We remain optimistic that growing acknowledgement and broader discussion of The Great Divide will go a long way towards realizing much needed societal change.

See more from The Measure of America series:

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