from the world's big
What Makes a Leader
Juan Battle is a Professor of Sociology, Public Health, & Urban Education at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (C.U.N.Y.).
Prof. Battle is a Fulbright Senior Specialist and was the Fulbright Distinguished Chair of Gender Studies at the University of Klagenfurt, Austria. His research interests include race, sexuality, and social justice. Further, he is a recent president of the Association of Black Sociologists and is actively involved with the American Sociological Association (ASA).
Juan Battle: An essential quality that a leader needs to have for social change. I think a vision. They have to know what they want to change to. It’s not sufficient for somebody to say that what is isn’t sufficient.
Question: What leader stands out to you as having a vision?
Juan Battle: I have several actually, but as it applies to children Marion Wright Edelmen, who heads The Children’s Defense Fund. She clearly saw that there was a need for more efforts and more policy and more research and more resources geared towards the betterment of all children and she dedicated her life to making that happen and started a fabulous organization that does just that.
Question: When did social justice become your vision?
Juan Battle: When did I realize that social justice was a vision? I think I always felt that way. I probably began to work to create it… A couple of years as a professor I began doing some work with the Ford Foundation and that exposed me to a broader vision of the world and sort of possibilities and moving out of what is into what can be, out of what I call descriptive ethics into prescriptive ethics and that was sort of that was the beginning of it and as you can imagine once you get on that train it’s hard to get off.
The largest project I did I ran this project called The Social Justice Philanthropy Project and we had teams on the ground in Kenya, India, Indonesia, Peru and here in the United States and each project did something different around social justice and studying how philanthropy could be used specifically to bring about more equality in the world.
Question: How does philanthropy need to change?
Juan Battle: I think what does work is the shifting of resources and shifting of power. There are multiple forms of capital. There is economic capital, which philanthropy obviously is very much invested in and a part of, but then there is also social capital and cultural capital and human capital and in a capitalist society you know all that is tied to money and I think that something that philanthropy does is it does a very good job of sort of shifting that or broadening that. What I think philanthropy doesn’t always do as good of a job of is imposing its own agenda onto people and quite often it feels like it’s actually making a difference when if you were to show up to a bunch of poor people and say, “Hey, here is a check for $50,000 if you do X, Y or Z.” “Don’t you think it’s a great idea?” Of course they’re going to say it’s a great idea, but it may not be something that they want. It may not be something that is actually going to benefit them, but it makes the philanthropist feel good.
Question: What do you do to sustain your energy over the course of many years of working towards change?
Juan Battle: I purpose myself to partner with those and be in the presence of those who are doing the same thing and when you see the product of it the process is a little bit easier.
The right person has to know exactly what they want to change.
- Modern antibiotics can effectively treat bubonic plague, which spreads mainly by fleas.
Bacteria under microscope
needpix.com<p>Today, bubonic plague can be treated effectively with antibiotics.</p><p style="margin-left: 20px;">"Unlike in the 14th century, we now have an understanding of how this disease is transmitted," Dr. Shanthi Kappagoda, an infectious disease physician at Stanford Health Care, told <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">Healthline</a>. "We know how to prevent it — avoid handling sick or dead animals in areas where there is transmission. We are also able to treat patients who are infected with effective antibiotics, and can give antibiotics to people who may have been exposed to the bacteria [and] prevent them [from] getting sick."</p>
This plague patient is displaying a swollen, ruptured inguinal lymph node, or buboe.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention<p>Still, hundreds of people develop bubonic plague every year. In the U.S., a handful of cases occur annually, particularly in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado, <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/plague/faq/index.html" target="_blank">where habitats allow the bacteria to spread more easily among wild rodent populations</a>. But these cases are very rare, mainly because you need to be in close contact with rodents in order to get infected. And though plague can spread from human to human, this <a href="https://www.healthline.com/health-news/seriously-dont-worry-about-the-plague#Heres-how-the-plague-spreads" target="_blank">only occurs with pneumonic plague</a>, and transmission is also rare.</p>
A new swine flu in China<p>Last week, researchers in China also reported another public health concern: a new virus that has "all the essential hallmarks" of a pandemic virus.<br></p><p>In a paper published in the <a href="https://www.pnas.org/content/early/2020/06/23/1921186117" target="_blank">Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences</a>, researchers say the virus was discovered in pigs in China, and it descended from the H1N1 virus, commonly called "swine flu." That virus was able to transmit from human to human, and it killed an estimated 151,700 to 575,400 people worldwide from 2009 to 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.</p>There's no evidence showing that the new virus can spread from person to person. But the researchers did find that 10 percent of swine workers had been infected by the virus, called G4 reassortant EA H1N1. This level of infectivity raises concerns, because it "greatly enhances the opportunity for virus adaptation in humans and raises concerns for the possible generation of pandemic viruses," the researchers wrote.
The word "learning" opens up space for more people, places, and ideas.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought out the perception of selfishness among many.
- Selfish behavior has been analyzed by philosophers and psychologists for centuries.
- New research shows people may be wired for altruistic behavior and get more benefits from it.
- Times of crisis tend to increase self-centered acts.