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Viewing: Blog Posts Tagged with: urban, Most Recent at Top [Help]
Results 1 - 25 of 33
1. Working

I'm drawing Philadelphia's Italian market which is terribly fun to do.



0 Comments on Working as of 1/30/2013 2:06:00 PM
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2. and if the flowers are in bloom

 I'm playing catch up at the moment. Not on the drawing front (I have NOT stopped drawing recently) but on all the other things that go along with that. Like blogging. These are a couple more drawings from last weekends sketch crawl in Buxton. And very shortly I'll post the drawings from this weekends sketch crawl in Chesterfield. Our group seems to have a very busy schedule because there's more planned for next weekend. Phew. Exhausting, but great too.

I did this little one in the Buxton Museum and Art Gallery where I held my exhibition last year. This is of the mantelpiece in the Victorian room. At least I think it's the Victorian room. But don't listen to me I seem to think everything old is Victorian. I have no idea why.

2 Comments on and if the flowers are in bloom, last added: 5/29/2012
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3. rapping on the windows, whistling down the chimney pots

 Since I got less scared about drawing outdoors a whole new world of subject matter has opened up to me. It was bad enough when I was having my attention caught by all the indoor potential drawings, but Holy Smoke, there's now drawing opportunities EVERYWHERE I look.

Here's some of the chimney pots on our row of houses. I love chimney pots, they have so much character. Plus, with houses as old as ours, the pots have been added and replaced over the decades (centuries even) so that every chimney is different from it's neighbour.

 These aren't the greatest drawings or journal spreads that I've made but I was just getting to grips with this subject matter. I was just getting my pen around chimney pots. To be honest too, I actually made these drawings from the comfort of my armchair. They are a selections of the chimneys that I can see from my window. Well, it was VERY windy.

12 Comments on rapping on the windows, whistling down the chimney pots, last added: 5/18/2012
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4. Pull

Pull by B.A. Binns, WestSide Books, 2010, 310 pp, ISBN: 1934813435


Recap:
After his father shoots and kills his mother, it's up to David to keep his family together. Determined to reinvent himself at his new school, David changes his last name and works to keep a lower profile. But even the best of intentions aren't enough to hide who a person really is inside. And for better or for worse, keeping a low profile just isn't in the cards for someone like David.

But as David stands out more and more - battling with Malik, aggravating the principal, dazzling on the basketball court, and winning the attention of the tempestuous Yolanda - will he continue being able to protect his family? Or is he only pushing them away?

Review:
Yes, Pull fits pretty perfectly in my February personal reading challenge, but I also picked it up because the boy on the cover looks exactly like one of my former students. The resemblance is just incredible. He's only in 7th grade now, but once he hits high school, I am recommending this book! Once he gets over his reflection on the cover, he is going to love David's story.


I was shocked to learn that author B.A. Binns was a woman. She has 100% nailed the voice of a teenage boy. Check out this article from Ms. Binns on how she learned to "write like a boy."In fact, she wrote so convincingly, that sometimes I actually wished we could hear less of David's thoughts. For example, do I really need to hear a detailed description of the...effect...Yolanda has on him every time that she comes close? No, I do not. But that (frequent) over-sharing is my only David-complaint. His voice was aggressive, strong, and at turns both arrogant and achingly guilt-ridden - depending on the topic of his thoughts. Just when he got a little too cocky, Binns would show David hard at work at his night job - a construction site - or give us a tender scene with David and his sisters and I would be back on his side again.


The general premise of David's story revolves around his mother's shooting, his and his siblings' guilt over not being able to stop it, and David's efforts to start over. While threads of that tragedy run throughout the entire novel, it gradually becomes much more about David's relationship with a girl named Yolanda and her boyfriend, Malik. It still turns my stomach a little just to write Malik's name down. He was a true villan - literally using and abusing any girl who would let him, and they all let him. That aspect of the plot was a sad, sad comme

1 Comments on Pull, last added: 2/22/2012
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5. Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty

Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty by G. Neri, Lee and Low Books, 2010, 96 pp, ISBN: 1584302674



Recap:
Yummy has been convicted of dozens of felonies.
Yummy is a member of the Black Disciples.
Yummy is a murderer.
Yummy is only 11-years-old.


This is his true story.


Review:
This book just might break your heart. G. Neri has taken the very true story of Yummy, a pre-teen killer whose mugshot graced the cover of Time magazine, and made is accessible for adolescent readers.


His story is horrifying and just really, really sad. For all intents and purposes, Yummy was parentless. Although he was supposed to live with his grandmother, she had nearly 20 other kids in and out of the house, so Yummy could disappear for days at a time without anyone noticing. He started out small - stealing kids' lunch money and breaking into cars, but as his crimes escalated, he garnered the attention of the Black Disciples - a well known gang. The gang used young kids like Yummy to do their dirty work, because sentencing was always more lenient for minors. Yummy was so eager to prove himself and belong somewhere, he would have done anything. And he did. He killed a 14-year-old girl he had grown up with.


Neri's text and duBurke's illustrations highlight the fact that no one can know for sure why Yummy did what he did, although many have certainly speculated. This book also shines a light on what is perhaps the most disheartening aspect of this story: Yummy was only a child. And in his last days, he was most likely not the swaggering criminal that he had tried so hard to become. He was a scare

4 Comments on Yummy: The Last Days of a Southside Shorty, last added: 2/20/2012
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6. An Ugly Confrontation

Image via Wikipedia

In a fast food restaurant in the city, two young women are chatting while they wait in line for their fried chicken orders. One of the women is a young mother with her daughter. The child appears to be around two or three years old. The first lady tells the mother that she has recently gotten married. While they’re talking, the child swings around a rope that is connected to a brass stand creating a maze for the customers. The little girl, bored, climbs up and down the metal stand and pulls the rope down each time she goes under it. The mother sees but says nothing.

The woman with the child responds to the other.

“I don’t want to get married. There’s not enough money in the world for me to put up with the same man every day.”

The first woman still has rice in her eyes.

“I couldn’t be happier. We’ve got a little house near the waterfront.”

A handsome man with muscles bulging through his shirt walks up to the register and places an order. The mother’s jaw drops.

“I need me a son,” She says loudly. “I got my two girls. I don’t want to get married. I can take care of my children myself.”

The newlywed, unaware that the dynamic in the restaurant has changed, tries to appeal to the mother’s common sense.

“I don’t mean to overstep, but you’ve got two children already by two different dads and…”

“You just crossed the line. No one has the right to say anything about my kids. I’m a damn good mother!”

The bride tries to explain herself.

“I only meant that it’s not easy for a single mother with two children. You’re saying that you want to have another child. What kind of sense does that make?”

The mother is insulted.

“You’re saying I’m stupid?”

“No of course not, I’m just saying that a third child will only make things more difficult. Your older daughter is what…four? This one is two, right?

“What are you trying to say?”

“Look. I don’t want to argue with you.”

“I don’t want to argue with you, either. If you say one more word, we’re through talking.”

Everyone standing on the line is silent until the man behind the counter walks over with a large plastic bag and calls a number. The mother had ordered her food after the other woman, but somehow her food is ready first. She hands her receipt to the man, snatches her bag and walks off the line without a word to her friend. As an afterthought, she looks back and calls her young daughter.

Stomping through the dining area, she approaches her older child who has been waiting at one of the tables. She nearly comes to a stop.

“Let’s go.”

The woman and her children leave the restaurant.

At the counter, the other woman breathes a sigh of relief. She exchanges her receipt for a bag of food when her number is called. She exits the restaurant. Outside she finds the woman waiting for her.

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7. An Ugly Confrontation

Image via Wikipedia

In a fast food restaurant in the city, two young women are chatting while they wait in line for their fried chicken orders. One of the women is a young mother with her daughter. The child appears to be around two or three years old. The first lady tells the mother that she has recently gotten married. While they’re talking, the child swings around a rope that is connected to a brass stand creating a maze for the customers. The little girl, bored, climbs up and down the metal stand and pulls the rope down each time she goes under it. The mother sees but says nothing.

The woman with the child responds to the other.

“I don’t want to get married. There’s not enough money in the world for me to put up with the same man every day.”

The first woman still has rice in her eyes.

“I couldn’t be happier. We’ve got a little house near the waterfront.”

A handsome man with muscles bulging through his shirt walks up to the register and places an order. The mother’s jaw drops.

“I need me a son,” She says loudly. “I got my two girls. I don’t want to get married. I can take care of my children myself.”

The newlywed, unaware that the dynamic in the restaurant has changed, tries to appeal to the mother’s common sense.

“I don’t mean to overstep, but you’ve got two children already by two different dads and…”

“You just crossed the line. No one has the right to say anything about my kids. I’m a damn good mother!”

The bride tries to explain herself.

“I only meant that it’s not easy for a single mother with two children. You’re saying that you want to have another child. What kind of sense does that make?”

The mother is insulted.

“You’re saying I’m stupid?”

“No of course not, I’m just saying that a third child will only make things more difficult. Your older daughter is what…four? This one is two, right?

“What are you trying to say?”

“Look. I don’t want to argue with you.”

“I don’t want to argue with you, either. If you say one more word, we’re through talking.”

Everyone standing on the line is silent until the man behind the counter walks over with a large plastic bag and calls a number. The mother had ordered her food after the other woman, but somehow her food is ready first. She hands her receipt to the man, snatches her bag and walks off the line without a word to her friend. As an afterthought, she looks back and calls her young daughter.

Stomping through the dining area, she approaches her older child who has been waiting at one of the tables. She nearly comes to a stop.

“Let’s go.”

The woman and her children leave the restaurant.

At the counter, the other woman breathes a sigh of relief. She exchanges her receipt for a bag of food when her number is called. She exits the restaurant. Outside she finds the woman waiting for her.

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8. 'Prom Night In Mississippi' & The Myth Of Post-Racial America

This week I watched the HBO documentary "Prom Night In Mississippi" — and was struck by the contrast between what happened in Charleston, Mississippi, in 2008, and this notion that we are living in some sort of post-racial society. When I... Read the rest of this post

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9. 'Glee', 'Greek' And How Diversity Plays Into An Ensemble Cast

I'd like to start this off by saying I still love "Glee." For so many reasons. It's original, sharply written, well acted (for the most part) and the first musical production I've seen since "Guys and Dolls" three years ago that didn't make me want... Read the rest of this post

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10. High Hopes, Good Intentions & Black Dolls

This week we saw more heated discussions around the unprecedented and  very public steps toward diversity recently taken by major merchandisers Mattel and Disney. As you've heard by now, this year saw both the introduction of Princess Tiana, the... Read the rest of this post

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11. Writing Emerald Cities

Joan Fitzgerald is Professor and Director of the Law, Policy and Society Program at Northeastern University.  Her new book, Emerald Cities: Urban Sustainability and Economic Development, is a refreshing look at how American cities are leading the way toward greener, cleaner, and more sustainable forms of economic development.  Emerald Cities is very readable and Marco Trbovich of the Huffington Post wrote, “Fitzgerald combines the academic discipline of an urban planner with the rigors of shoe-leather journalism in crafting a book that documents where real progress is being made….”  In the original post below Fitzgerald shares how she found the fine balance between “academic discipline” and “shoe-leather journalism”.

Emerald Cities is my first true crossover book—a serious piece of scholarly research rendered as a journalistic narrative for a wider readership. In recent years, I have had plenty of practice on this front, writing several oped pieces for the Boston Globe and longer features for The American Prospect, a monthly magazine that often draws on academics to write many of its policy-oriented articles.

My journalist and editor husband, Bob Kuttner, has long urged me to discover the joys of the interview, both on the record and on background. And indeed, when you follow a formal research design or rely purely on data, you don’t get to ask impertinent questions. You are at risk of missing what is really going on.

When I first started writing more popular pieces, Bob would say, “Get some quotes” and “talk to people off-the-record.” So I did. Interviewing facilitates networking. One interview leads to another. I was intrigued at how much I learned—say about an industry such as solar or wind and the true state of play as opposed to the self-serving claims—in a few phone calls with industry insiders. If one is intellectually honest, this kind of interview is a legitimate scholarly technique as well as a tool of narrative journalism.

Journalistic reportage also helps bring prose alive. Reporting on data without bringing in a human element makes for dry reading. Another discipline of writing in a more journalistic style is that your ideas need to be compressed into a lot less space. The standard academic article is 25 pages. An oped piece is typically three typescript pages and a Prospect policy article between six and eight. It is amazing how many words some academic writers waste, telling you what they are going to tell you, then telling it, and then telling you what they told you.

The discipline of tight, lucid writing also clarifies one’s thinking process. In fact, I now require my policy students to write regular short assignments or op-ed-style pieces. At first, they hate them—they find it easier to write 10 pages than 2, which reminds me of the old saying, “I would have written it shorter but I didn’t have the time.” It does take time, and many drafts. Professor John Kenneth Galbraith, a scholar much admired for his incisive prose was once told by an admirer how “

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12. Urban Renewal from NYC to Amsterdam: A Podcast

Michelle Rafferty, Publicity Assistant

The forces of real estate development and rebranding campaigns are transforming urban landscapes around the world─and Sharon Zukin has seen much of it first hand. In the following podcast she explains what happens to the people when a city gains financial capital or decides to change its image.  Zukin teaches sociology at Brooklyn College and the City University Graduate Center, and is author of this year’s Naked City: The Death and Life of Authentic Urban Places.

Sharon Zukin: The basic industry of New York has been real estate for many years—the selling of land, the building of more expensive offices and apartments to replace the buildings that came before. This is just an unrecognized, really big part of New York City. New money from bigger investors comes in and drives out the people who are still paying low rents.

Michelle Rafferty: So Manhattan has become a place where many people who work in the city can’t actually afford to live there. Where else do you see this happening in the world, and how do we know when a city is on its way to becoming more elite or less diverse in terms of class?

Zukin: In every city of the world where the center of the city is redeveloped for the financial class and welcomes expatriates and transnational investors, that’s where the local population is being kicked out to the edges of the city. Yes it’s happened in New York, but it’s also happening in Shanghai. Yes it has happened in London, and Paris, but it’s also happening in Nam Ping. The centers of the city, in contrast to the 1960s and 70s have become valuable again. They’re valuable financially, they’re valuable logistically, they’re valuable culturally.

Rafferty: You just were talking about other cities in the world and I know you travel a lot. You get to see how a lot of other cities are changing, compare those changes to New York City. I know recently you went to Amsterdam, and specifically you saw what was going on in the Red Light District. I’m wondering if you can talk about that a little bit more, how that area is changing.

Zukin: The Red Light District has begun to look like a serious disadvantage for marketing Amsterdam. There’s even a kind of “I Love Amsterdam” campaign that copies the “I Love New York” campaign of the past few decades. So the new marketing of Amsterdam is more family friendly and really can’t deal with the drug traffic and the human trafficking of the sex industry. So there’s an attempt to evict those uses of the space and turn the windows of the brothels at least temporarily over to fashion designers and visual artists who display their work in the shop windows.

There was a very interesting exhibition at the Amsterdam Historical Museum this year that shows Ed Kienholz’s installations that reproduce the interiors of some of the very sordid rooms of the prostitutes of the Red Light District. But the exhibition also documents–in video form and in printed interviews–the desires of many of the prostitutes to continue working in the center of Amsterdam. There’s a curious dynamic of women’s control over their bodies and their work in a legalized prostitution situation, and the criminality of a lot of that industry, all of which is played out in urban redevelopment.

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13. Paul Volponi: Part 1

As an educator, there is nothing that I want more than to help every single one of my students to fall in love with reading. I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that reading opens doors to the future. If you are a reader, you will be able to acquire the words, tools, and skills to accomplish anything you want in life.

However, I also know that gettings kids to love reading can be far easier said than done.

Maybe all of their "required reading" has been boring, maybe reading is "uncool," maybe reading has just always been a personal struggle... there are so many reasons why some kids just do not like to read.

I am on a mission to combat all of those reasons. And author Paul Volponi is my newest ally.

Volponi spent six years teaching incarcerated teens on Rikers Island. He spent another six years teaching teens in drug day-treatment centers. When it comes to writing about kids in trouble, this man knows what he is talking about.

All of his young adult novels focus on high-interest topics: race, relationships, addiction, family, gangs, drugs, and tough choices. Without ever becoming overly preachy, each book has a clear message that is expressed through a difficult choice faced by the protagonist. Readers of Volponi's novels are forced to put themselves in the shoes of the main character and really question what choice they would make in that same situation. There is some adult language, but it is never used gratuitously. One of my favorite things about Volponi's writing is that it is accessible to struggling readers. The vocabulary is very simple, so I would feel comfortable putting these books in the hands of high schoolers (or upper middle!) at any reading level.

Side-Note: Up till now, my go-to books for male, struggling readers have been the Bluford High series. Again, these books focus on very high-interest topics and have clear messages about making good choices. Even better, Bluford books are a series (that can be read out of order!) so kids love seeing the same characters pop up again and again. They are perfect for middle school readers and my kids eat them up like candy. They constantly go missing from my classroom library so I've had to re-purchase the series at least 3 or 4 times. But, I do not mind for two reasons. #1: Blufords make kids love to read! I would buy 50 more sets just for that reason. #2: Their publisher, Townsend Press, is freaking amazing and will sell the series for a dollar a book. Who can beat that? PS: Girls get obsessed with these books just as quickly, but in my experience boys are harder to hook so I always point them toward the Blufords first.

But we are really here to talk about Paul Volponi! I'm hoping that Volponi's books will do for my high school kids what the Bluford

3 Comments on Paul Volponi: Part 1, last added: 7/8/2010
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14. PUNK

Urban Tribes

This is the first illustration of a series I am working on about creatures in an Urban backdrop
If you like it, dont forget to check out my art

1 Comments on PUNK, last added: 11/28/2010
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15. Hound Dog True by Linda Urban

Last Tuesday was the official release date of Hound Dog True by Linda Urban. It was not an especially noisy book release, but then again, it's not a terribly noisy sort of book. Fans of Linda's first middle-grade novel, A Crooked Kind of Perfect, will not be surprised by that. Come to think of it, fans of her picture book, Mouse Was Mad, won't be that surprised, either, since Mouse's display of anger is so very, very silent and still.

I must say up front that Linda is a friend of mine. And that I've been in love with this story for a very long time. As in, before it was officially a book, since I had the extreme good fortune to be one of the people who read it when it was still a manuscript. In fact, I still love parts of the book that aren't actually there anymore. So, you know, I'm not entirely unbiased.

However, I should add that part of why I love this book so much is that Linda nails how it feels to be a new kid at a new school - and as a kid who attended eight schools from kindergarten through high school (actually, it was eight between kindergarten and eighth grade), I know what I'm talking about here. My inner twelve-year old felt validated by reading the descriptions of how Mattie felt about getting ready to start at (another) new school.

So, even with my particular biases out in the open, I have to ask: What's not to love about a character-driven story that touches on important issues such as identity - who am I, and what is my place in this world? do I fit in? (I promise I'm not quoting lyrics from "Out Here on My Own" from Fame, though it sorta seems that way at the moment.) And family - how does family fit together? How do family members interact with one another? Is it possible to change established roles and act in a way that's different from an established pattern? And creativity: what is it? how does it manifest itself? and isn't it scary to put yourself and your work product out there where others can see it (and comment on it)? And, at its heart, it's about courage.

The kind of courage that's needed when you move to a new place. The kind of courage it takes to speak up for yourself when things aren't going the way you'd like. The kind of courage it takes just to show up or speak up when you're a shy person. The kind of courage it takes to make art, and to share it with the world. The kind of courage it takes, sometimes, to risk making a new friend.

All of these are things that kids face every day - even non-shy kids have trouble sometimes speaking up when they've got an issue with something going on at home. Or adjusting to a new house and/or school. Or dealing with new friends. Or sharing their music/art/writing/dance or whatever talent it is they have. The world can be a risky place, and this story about Mattie Mae Breen conveys that well, from the beginning of Chapter One, where Mattie notices the warnings on a ladder:

  The stick man has bolts of cartoon electricity shooting out of him. Attention! Avertissement! it says over his head. Atención! Achtung! Do not use ladder in electrical storms. May cause severe injury or death.

  Mattie is glad she is not in an electrical storm. She does not want little bolts of lightning to shoot out of her. Of course, she's just standing at the bottom of the ladder, holding it two-hand steady, eyes level with the warning labels pasted to its metal sides. It's Uncle Potluck up top, like the stick man, so probably Uncle Potluck would get the death. Mattie'd only get severe injury, she figures, and for a minute she thinks about what kind of injury that might be. Lightning could split a tree, she knew. Maybe it would split her. Take a leg off or som

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16. Brands Reach Out To Generation Ñ

Without a doubt, the Hispanic and Latino populations are the fastest-growing minority groups in America today. Brands looking to connect with and effectively market to these cultures must step up to the challenge of understanding their youth. An... Read the rest of this post

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17. R&B Featuring Hip Hop: A Lyrical Dilemma

A recent study featured on EurekAlert concluded that youth who listen to music with sexually degrading lyrics are more than twice as likely to engage in higher levels of sexual activity. The psychologist who authored the study, Dr. Brian A. Primack,... Read the rest of this post

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18. Haunted By 'Ghosts In The Machine' @ PSFK

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the PSFK New York Conference down at the Museum of Jewish Heritage. For those who aren't familiar, PSFK is a trend research and innovation company that publishes a daily news site. Their coverage, while not... Read the rest of this post

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19. Ypulse Interview: Gonzalo Perez, Motivo Insights

Today's Ypulse interview is with Gonzalo Perez of Motivo Insights, an independent consumer insights company that works with advertisers and marketers looking to connect with youth, urban and Hispanic consumers. If you fit that description or have an... Read the rest of this post

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20. blane - rest at skate session



10" x 10"
oil on illustration board

created for the stoked sessions l.a. fundraiser show.

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21. Princess Like Me: Questions Raised By Disney's 'Princess And The Frog'

Today's Ypulse Youth Advisory Board comes from Megan Reid who weighs in on some of the recent debates sparked by Disney's upcoming "Princess and the Frog." Remember, you can communicate directly with any member of the Ypulse Youth Advisory Board... Read the rest of this post

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22. Live Coverage Of The First Ypulse Urban Mashup

Our two volunteer live bloggers, Valerie Kameya and Eric Martinez (with the generous help of Ypulse friend and fan Derek Baird) will be covering the Ypulse Urban/Multicultural Mashup right here Monday morning (see the agenda)…Join the... Read the rest of this post

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23. Youth Tribes, Double Bottom Line & Multiple Platforms

I haven't had time to plow through our live blogs or read everyone's Tweets, but I thought I would attempt to summarize three themes I heard at this year's Ypulse Youth Marketing Mashup event come up repeatedly. The old way of slicing the youth... Read the rest of this post

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24. Race Is Important To Youth, But It Doesn't Define Them

Advertising Age's Big Tent blog picked up on the discussion that emerged out of the Ypulse Urban/Multicultural pre-conference about the evolving role or importance of race/ethnicity in marketing to youth. The author, Pepper Miller, highlights our... Read the rest of this post

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25. The Politics Of Social Networks And Keeping The Youth Vote Plugged In

Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending the sixth annual Personal Democracy Forum here in New York. The overarching discussion addressed how technology has and will continue to affect politics in terms of participation and collaboration, but the... Read the rest of this post

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