God Squad: Ending the Cycle of Mean

Americans are sad and lonely, and we don’t feel like we belong. With depression and “deaths of despair” on the rise, over half of us say that no one knows us well—a truly alarming statistic that doesn’t bode well for our future. As if matters weren’t bad enough, we’re not just sad and alone—we’re becoming more mean to each other, and it’s likely part of the same cycle of pain.

A Salty Story

Moonlight raids, fugitive slaves and hidden campsites—they’re all part of how Florida saltmakers tried to help the Confederate cause. By Robert Taylor Abraham Lincoln was elected president of the United States in November 1860, and by February, seven slave-holding Southern states had withdrawn from the Union. On Jan. 10, 1861, Florida became the third to secede. But few expected the state to count for much in the coming conflict. Only

Audubon, Revisited

A brilliant naturalist and illustrator, John James Audubon was also an unrepentant slaveholder. Can we separate the artist from the man? By Gregory Nobles At first light on a Florida morning in late December 1831 John James Audubon set out from Live Oak Landing on the Halifax River, canoeing upriver in search of brown pelicans—and not just one or two, but two dozen or more. The famous artist wanted to

God Squad: Shut Up and (Don’t) Sing?

With our culture wars at a full rolling boil, apparently all it takes to send our enmity over the edge is…a good old-fashioned country song?? The furor over Jason Aldean’s Try That in A Small Town (and then there’s Oliver Anthony’s Rich Men North of Richmond) is reminiscent of the old furor over The Dixie Chicks—only the “sides” have switched up.  As The Village Square aims to build  hometowns where

Dr. Todd Rose: “Collective Illusions”

At the core of the deep societal divisions we navigate every day is an assumption that we share little with “those people” with whom we share a country—a belief that leaves us on dangerous ground as a nation. But author and entrepreneur Dr. Todd Rose says we’ve got that all wrong. According to Dr. Rose, not only do we agree more often than we think but we’re making terrible assumptions

Dr. Robert D. Putnam and Shalyn Romney Garrett: “Join or Die”

This is when you meet a living legend and get the benefit of his thinking on the topic he’s been brilliantly, prophetically right about for more than three decades: the deterioration of our connectedness with each other across almost every demographic and every aspect of our lives—our loss of social capital.  And yet here we are, painfully and tragically paying the price for our failure to put our shoulders to

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