While the topic of death carries feelings of sorrow and loss, some cultures have found ways of making peace with this final stage of life and honoring those who have passed on. One particular tradition which is celebrated in Central America is Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead). You may have heard of Dia de los Muertos from the popular Disney movie “Coco,” which takes place during this holiday. Dia de los Muertos is a two-day festival held on November 1st and 2nd, however despite being situated so close to Halloween, the two are actually unrelated in origin. During this Latin holiday, people pay tribute to those who have died and look at death with an optimistic lens, not as something to be afraid of. Dia de Los Muertos is frequently associated with Mexico, however, it is observed widely throughout Central America and even in the U.S in places where there are large Latino populations such as Los Angeles. There are so many traditions and customs related to this holiday. For example, families generally create altars for their deceased family members. They fill them with photos, Marigold flowers, food offerings, candles and some of the favorite items of […]
On October 5th, USC Annenberg hosted another special guest as part of its “Annenberg Intelligence” series. Dean Willow Bay, as the host, welcomed NBA All-Star point guard and National Basketball Players Association President, Chris Paul. Considering I’m a former collegiate basketball player who admires Paul’s basketball genius and sought to once emulate him, I was star-struck at the outset of the discussion. Nevertheless, what made the conversation, and its encompassing topics, so marvelous went much deeper than basketball and athletic competition. During the conversation, Paul repeatedly stressed and underlined the significant role particular soft skills have played throughout his various, on and off the court, endeavors which have allowed him to thrive. Paul drew our attention to adaptability and effective communication which he identified as key elements for successfully persevering through a year with many adversities. No choice but to adapt In the midst of this horrific and dreadful virus, entire livelihoods have shifted, and everyone has had to adapt. For Paul, his resiliency and discipline allowed him to adapt and thrive in untreaded waters. Considering the countless challenges and obstacles Paul had to shoulder and overcome, one can only applaud his perseverance. For Paul, adaptability to a “new normal” […]
Right now the world is plagued with big issues that oftentimes seem unsolvable. Those who wish to right the wrongs of the world may feel hopeless or intimidated by the scale of these issues. During the closing celebration of Latinx Heritage Month on October 13, USC Annenberg held a Zoom discussion between USC President Carolt Folt and labor activist Dolores Huerta. Huerta reminded students and attendees that the answers to these seemingly unsolvable questions can be found within our own humanity: “We are one human race,” Huerta stated. It is Huerta’s strength in soft skills like empathy and her 360-degree thinking, that have helped her become a powerful organizer and activist for human and civil rights. Dolores Huerta is best known for her community service activism in co-founding the United Farm Workers, formerly known as the National Farmworkers Association, with late labor activist Cesar Chavez. She is also founder of the Dolores Huerta Foundation. At an early age, Huerta started lobbying, organizing farmworkers and negotiating contracts for laborers. Throughout her life, Huerta’s organizing skills originated from her strength in contextualizing her passions into soft skills and rejecting the status quo, while believing in the power of individual and collective action. Huerta’s […]
This virus or, as I like to call it, the stubborn beast known as Covid-19 has obviously destroyed and completely altered livelihoods for individuals across the globe. It has been especially arduous for those with young children. Parents have had to be teachers, cooks, housekeepers, psychologists, and overall multifaceted individuals throughout this horrific pandemic. Not to mention, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, America saw a staggering and frightening 14.2% unemployment rate in April. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, “How Many U.S. Workers Have Lost Jobs During Coronavirus Pandemic? There Are Several Ways to Count”, there is some data suggesting upwards of 40 million jobs were lost in the midst of this pandemic. Whether parents are employed and have the responsibility of remaining at work while also executing every other task, or whether they’re unemployed and have the compounded anxiety of lost wages, the overarching takeaway is that things are hard right now. We all may lie in the same seastorm, but everyone has different boats and distinct modes of security. One of the overwhelming predicaments for parents and children has been the transition to online learning. School sessions will obviously not be halted, […]
“Soft skills” is a term that gets thrown around quite often these days. It is one that most people have come to understand. Soft skills encompass “ interpersonal, analytical, and communication skills” which are necessary for working effectively in teams and independently (Hypolite, 2020). Soft skills have been increasingly highlighted by employers as the most essential skills that they look for in new hires. However, while most people now grasp the importance of these skills, what they may not understand is how to improve them. Here at the USC Annenberg Center for Third Space Thinking, we are committed to helping others learn and develop the five core soft skills which our research has shown are most valuable to employers and employees. (Adaptability, Cultural Competency, Empathy, Intellectual Curiosity, 360 Degree Thinking). While we love sharing our knowledge with students of all ages who are eager to grow their soft skills, we also want to teach our model to educators so that our efforts to prepare youth for success in all of their future endeavors may be compounded. Dr. Liane Hypolite, a research fellow at the Center, recently published a paper where she discusses how Third Space Thinking offers a useful paradigm […]
We have always believed the five attributes that make up our ACE-IT model are essential for any leader to master no matter what your profession. Recently we were able to share how those five attributes can be used to solve problems and navigate challenges, even in the military.
The Center for Third Space Thinking took our communication-based methodology online this summer during the Annenberg Youth Academy (AYA), a four-week course designed to give students a greater understanding of media, journalism, and essential competencies required for excellence in and out of the classroom.
We wanted to take the time to congratulate our Research Fellow Alison Horstmeyer on her first peer-reviewed journal article on USC Center for Third Space Thinking’s attribute, Intellectual Curiosity.
We are committed to the growth of essential soft skills crucial for navigating challenging times like these, which can only be overcome through unity.
Student’s have had to deal with some major shifts in their learning and work environments as everything is transitioned to home environments. During this time, it is even more important than ever to master soft skills such as empathy, 360 degree thinking, and adaptability.