Welcome to the AFEV blog. Please buckle up.

First of all, we want to acknowledge that it’s highly unlikely most people are going to want to read things we post here because they’re liable to be hefty. Sure, content is king. Legitimately difficult content is a punch in the face.

We know. We can empathize. We’re still going to post heavy-duty long form writing. It’s just necessary.

Second, we should really talk terms, because AFEV is into clarity.

Specifically, let’s talk culture, straight out of Merriam-Webster (because we’re an org that’s shooting to influence culture):


a:  the integrated pattern of human knowledge, belief, and behavior that depends upon the capacity for learning and transmitting knowledge to succeeding generations

b:  the customary beliefs, social forms, and material traits of a racial, religious, or social group;also:  the characteristic features of everyday existence (as diversions or a way of life) shared by people in a place or time

c:  the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an institution or organization

d:  the set of values, conventions, or social practices associated with a particular field, activity, or societal characteristic

Now, the inconvenient thing about complicated things is that they’re complicated. The complicated thing about culture is that it’s rather all-encompassing.

The convenient thing would be to eat a little pistachio ice cream and binge watch Netflix in some sweats.

We’re not doing that here.

The Blog is a Piece by Piece Look at American Culture

As an organization, Agency for Emerging Voices, Inc. has come together to investigate and influence the inconvenient, complicated social, philosophical, and ethical issues that are driving modern American culture and sculpting the future of our nation and society. Our work is all about the conversation between those of us who identify as Gen X (the Agents) and our younger siblings, Millenials and Gen Z (the Voices)—a group of seriously inspiring young people on a major search for meaning—with a big mess on their hands.

We are desperate to help them.

As agents, we want to lead the charge of those whose work is far more important than our own, whom we’re dedicated to inspiring, encouraging, and equipping–to uncovering their own agency.

While we’re working on formal, public media, educational, social, and research projects on one end, the AFEV blog is more like a 5,000 piece puzzle we’re dumping on the country’s collective dining room table, each post another small portrait of the American culture that informs what it means to be educated. It’s going to get a little esoteric.

That makes sense, though. A puzzle of this magnitude, a portrait of Our Culture, should be overwhelming: so many colors, shapes, and patterns. Half the pieces are upside down or tangled up. One can spend days or weeks merely sorting through the contents of the box, piling them by how they seem to be related, rarely stumbling across anything that actually connects. It’s dusty, piecemeal work.

If we’re talking about everything from craft cocktails to rape culture, we should expect things to be off kilter.

We’re convinced, though, that the more familiar we all become with each piece of the puzzle added here, the more we’ll begin to see the bigger image, at which point we can begin to address solutions. Not everything will click on day one, but we’re confident it’s going to snap together in the long run. We believe that when examining something big and tricky there’s no other way to address it than to remain calm and listen to one voice at a time.

It’s a pain in the ass. We aren’t entirely sure what it is we’re piecing together, but we have a hunch.

You are part of that discovery. We hope you’ll add your own voice, too.