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MAY 2023





Unbelievable! 2023 is one-third over! Take stock of what you have accomplished and where you have fallen short. What challenges did you overcome?  What could you do better?  Do you have any new or adjusted goals?

Revisit your Public Kinship Journal from January to now: What have you figured out from your journey thus far? What are the most important milestones you've passed? Where will you go from here? Who's going with you?

Some suggested areas to reflect on, inspired by the Lifesteps Foundation:


  • Your relationships -- personal, professional, vocational, spiritual, social

  • Your hobbies

  • Your health

  • Your good works

  • Your (re)commitment to yourself.



The Older Americans Month theme for 2022 is “Age My Way.” Celebrate, encourage, and empower seniors who wish to “age in place.” How do the elders in your community view the chance to age in place? What is being done to support their ability to stay in their homes? How could you get involved in the mission?

What to Do for Yourself


  • Take 10 minutes to imagine how you will feel when you are older. How do you think your life will look, and how would you like it to look?  Make a list of your hopes and needs for a time in the future when you may be a little less independent…but still active and involved! What do words like respect and dignity mean to you?

  • Reward yourself with a good story or two from an older person. Memories with historical and personal significance can be entertaining and educational. Get to know about US history from someone who witnessed parts of it. Get to hear first-hand wisdom, whether inspiring stories or lessons learned.


What to Do with Others


  • Make a Family Tree listing from your great-grandparents down to you.

  • Make an Appreciation card by hand or on a computer. Honor and celebrate an elder or two, thanking them for being a leader in your family or community. 

  • Listen to an older person. The format can be informal, and as easy as you keeping someone company. Or you could interview an older adult relative or neighbor. Go with a sibling or friend.  After asking questions, all three of you can discuss your thoughts together.

Nat'l Recommitment Month
Older Americans Month
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May is Older Americans Month!

May 15 – International Day of Families


Few commemorations are as closely linked to the spirit of Public Kinship as this United Nations initiative. According to the UN, 2022’s theme, Families and Urbanization, “aims to raise awareness on the importance of sustainable, family-friendly urban policies.” This Day is a good moment to reflect on the role that lived environments play in the lives and fortunes of families around the world – including your own and those near to you. How will you observe the day?

What to Do for Yourself

Simply put, honor families. Reflect on the variety of their experiences, languages, lifeways, aspirations, challenges, and structures of care.

What to Do with Others

The UN’s 2022 theme of families and urbanization provides a great lens for getting involved with Public Kinship work near you. Even if you live in a more suburban or rural area, sustainable policies for housing, air quality, and other vital 21st-century concerns still apply. Find an organization that acts in ways large or small to influence local decision-making on these issues. Make your voice heard, and put “family-friendly” Public Kinship learning and listening at its center!

IDF 2022.png

May 8 – Mother's Day!!!

No surprises here! Nothing says Mother's Day like a good Public Kinship deed. Why not share a page of your Public Kinship Reflection Journal with a mom in your life, and reflect together?

Mother's Day
Internat'l Day of Families

May 19 – Malcolm X's Birthday

Almost 60 years after his death, Malcolm X (born Malcolm Little) remains one of the most controversial and significant figures at the center of the Civil Rights movement in America. From his conversion to Islam, to his championing of Black nationalism, to his shift toward a more global and humanitarian vision of the rights of people of color, he spoke to the many – often opposing – sides of the fight for equality and justice in the United States. Above all else, the ability to see new sides of an issue, to change one’s own views while holding to the broad outlines of why one struggles and on whose behalf – this is Malcolm X’s Public Kinship legacy.

What to Do for Yourself


  • Malcolm X’s 1965 Autobiography is one of the great works of 20th-century American writing. Find a copy and experience for yourself his words, actions, philosophies, and changes of heart and mind. Find out if your local public library has the award-winning audiobook version, narrated by the great Laurence Fishburne!


  • Malcolm X was interviewed by journalists around the world who asked him serious questions and listened to his responses. That’s the kind of Public Kinship we need in our public sphere today! Check out this TV conversation.

What to Do with Others

Spike Lee’s Malcolm X (rated R) is a classic film. It presents Malcolm in all his complexity and paints a vivid portrait of the American mid-century. Watch it over a couple of nights with your social circle, and discuss the film’s many challenging moments and its treatment of the Civil Rights movement, the Nation of Islam, and Malcolm himself.

Birth of Malcolm X

May 25  Africa Day


Technically, Africa Day commemorates the founding of the Organization of African Unity (now the African Union) in 1963, a crucial event in the quickening pace of African independence movements after World War II. But Africa Day is also an opportunity for us, regardless of race or national identity, to think big about the challenges that confront countries, regions, continents, and the planet, and the ways we can address those challenges.


In that spirit, the African Union has named 2022 “The Year of Nutrition”, rededicating its commitment to strengthening resilience in nutrition and food security across the continent. How can you use Public Kinship to engage with this mission?

What to Do for Yourself

You don’t have to be from any particular country or part of the world to celebrate and learn about that area’s history and aspirations. Public Kinship can move backwards as well as forwards – learning about other places and ways of life can stimulate your own self-scan and the development of your moral mind.


So, learn about the African contexts for nutrition and food security. You can start here. You will probably learn a lot about these topics, and about geography and history as well. You can compare the experience of African nations and regions in terms of food security to the conditions that apply to your own neighborhood, city, state, and so on.


What to Do with Others

  • Apply what you’ve learned from doing the above to a food security or nutrition issue present in your community. You could work for a food pantry. You could get involved with a local extension program to learn about – and even teach! – nutrition classes.


  • How can the spirit of Africa Day – human rights, independence, cooperative approaches to common problems – influence your own community work? Read this interview with a prominent Burundian human rights advocate, share its ideas with your neighbors, and find ways to act through conversation and collaboration!

Africa Day
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