How to De-NEPAtize a Community and Make Positive Change Happen

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Why is Northeastern Pennsylvania a breeding ground for scandal? A local author has an answer, and it lies in the region’s history of immigrants and coal-mining.

Since 2008, Northeastern Pennsylvania (NEPA) has been ground zero for scandal and fraud. Episodes of anti-minority rage, divinely-inspired bigotry, organized crime, corruption in the courts and schools, and destruction of the environment by natural gas drillers are rooted in nepatism.

Writer and educator Kenny Luck defines nepatism: “It refers to a system of outdated beliefs born among immigrants who were exploited in the coal mines, mills, and factories in the region—be quiet, respect authority, don’t ask questions, and maintain the consensus. The coal is gone, replaced recently by natural gas, but the antiquated thinking remains the same.”
Luck’s new book NEPATIZED! is a cautionary tale. The nepatized mindset may be found anywhere in the country, but it can be countered with simple strategies.

Eight ways to de-nepatize and make real change happen in any community:

  •     Think about the issues that are important to you and how you can help bring about positive change. Don’t just accept “That’s the way it’s always been,” or “That’s how we do things around here.” Challenge the status quo.
  •     Keep an open mind. Get information from a variety of sources, not only those that endorse your own point of view. If you listen to FoxNews, then try NPR. And vice versa.
  •     Engage in friendly debate with your family and friends. Don’t be mean-spirited or obnoxious—encourage the exchange of ideas.
  •     Get involved with local government. Attend school board and council meetings. Run for office yourself!
  •     Find or start local grassroots groups to support. Volunteer your time or make a contribution.
  •     Contact your local and state officials and representatives. Let them know your opinions.
  •     Take advantage of technology. Read area newspapers and political blogs online. Find grassroots groups on meetup.com. Share information through social media.
  •     VOTE!

NEPATIZED! investigates the most recent scandals in Northeastern Pennsylvania. With more than 30 interviews with local politicians, media figures, and activists, this book takes a critical look at some of the people and events that have redefined the region.

CONTACT: Email NEPATIZED! publisher Lee Sebastiani at lee(at)avventurpress(dot)com or call Avventura Press at 570-876-5817. Email author Kenny Luck at kennyluck(at)avventurapress(dot)com. Web: http://www.avventurapress.com

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Lee Sebastiani
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