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Comm(Unity) Weekly: Twelfth Edition

JUNE 8, 2020

In this edition of Comm(Unity), we recap last week’s conversations with Jay Williams and Dr. Peniel Joseph on race and inequality, and Dr. Meghan O’Sullivan on the global oil markets. We also explore how U.S. protests might mimic other global protests like Tahrir Square in 2011 and how Pakistan is planting trees to quell unemployment during quarantine.

Weekly Episode(s)

On our special discussion —
Jay Williams, President of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving and Dr. Peniel Joseph, Chair in Ethics and Political Values at the University of Texas at Austin, on the roots of racism and inequality in our nation, how inequality manifests in our Greater Hartford community today, and how we can start contributing to solutions.
Stream Now.

Read more on Dr. Peniel Joseph’s take on how this national moment could become a marker of public shame or a symbol of American renewal.

On our 11th episode —
Dr. Meghan O’Sullivan, of the Geopolitics of Energy Project at Harvard Kennedy School and author, talks with us about the impact of the shifting energy markets and changing oil prices on the current world order. Moderated by CEO, Megan Clark Torrey.
Stream Now.

Read more from Meghan O’Sullivan on how the global oil collapse is actually a geopolitical reset in disguise

Weekly Article Roundup

Follow along with the CTWAC staff on this week’s article roundup (with some special recommendations!):

Steven Cook, CFR, draws comparisons between Lafayette Square, and Tahrir Square and other global protests
Hear more from Steven Cook on this topic live this Wednesday, June 10

Six military and defense experts, including CTWAC speaker Gen. John Allen (USMC, Ret.), weigh in on the high stakes in the U.S. right now
Trump’s call to use the military to put down protests was not well-received

Iran made headlines after it sent multiple fuel tankers to Venezuela – but what is the nature of the Iran-Venezuela relationship?
CSIS explores how Iran defied the U.S. campaign against Maduro

Countries that rely on tourism have taken a hit from COVID-19, but what is the true cost of Europe’s soon-to-be lost summer?
Yasmeen Sehran for The Atlantic explores the potential ramifications

Militias in Somalia have historically defined the African country’s dangerous conflict landscape, so why do people still want them?
Vanda Felbab-Brown reports for Brookings

Weekly Entertainment


Ta-Nehisi Coates writes this powerful letter to his son on what it means to be black in the U.S. and we can all reckon with our nation’s history.


The WHO (…And not the band)

Listen to this episode of CFR’s The President’s Inbox that discusses how the World Health Organization works.


Just Mercy

Just Mercy tells the story of Bryan Stevenson’s journey to help Walter McMillian appeal his own murder conviction in Alabama.


NASA Space Place

Does the NASA SpaceX expedition have your students thinking about the universe? They can explore it further through NASA’s game hub.


Roasted Banana Milk

Don’t let the name deter you – adapted slightly from Andrew Chau and Bin Chen’s recipe in The Boba Book, this roasted banana milk is the drinkable snack we didn’t know we needed.

Global Good News

Pakistan hired 63,000 people, unemployed by COVID-19, to help plant 10 billion trees

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan launched the 10 Billion Trees Program to help counter droughts, flooding and rising temperatures. These jobs serve as a lifeline for the unemployed workers and help the environment simultaneously.
Read more.

Weekly Cartoon

Check in next week for another CTWAC exclusive cartoon:

Courtesy of Caroline Schaefer

It’s been a big week of change in the United States. We realize that COVID-19 is still a threat and it isn’t possible for all of our members and community to gather face-to-face to discuss current domestic and global challenges, like racial injustice or the coronavirus pandemic. In light of that, we are excited to have another Comm(Unity) Roundtable discussion where the speakers are you. We hope you will join us for both our digital episode and Comm(Unity) roundtable this week.

Caroline Schaefer
Virtual Communications Specialist

Image Credits:

[1] Jay Williams: Hartford Foundation / [2] Dr. Peniel Joseph: University of Texas / [3] Meghan O’Sullivan: Belfer Center / [4] Spain Alicante beach: Cale Weaver on Unsplash / [5] Between the World and Me image: Apollo Theater cover image / [6] Banana Milk: Christopher Testani for Food52 / [7] Pakistan worker: Upworthy / [8] Cartoon: Caroline Schaefer / [9] Caroline Headshot: Caroline Schaefer

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