Artika Tyner, Esq., Interim Director of Diversity & Clinical Law Fellow, Guest Blogger
In celebration of community, the University of St. Thomas School of Law welcomed to our campus. Dr. Cahn is an attorney, law professor, author, creator of Time Dollars and president and founder of TimeBanks USA.
Cahn has committed his life to serving as an engineer of social change. A few of his notable accomplishments include:
- Serving as the co-founder with his late wife Jean Camper Cahn of the Antioch School of Law, UDC-DCSL’s predecessor; the first law school in the United States to educate law students primarily through clinical training in legal services to the poor;
- Founding and directing the Time Dollar Youth Court, in which teen juries judge cases of teens arrested for the first time for non-violent offenses;
- Serving as one of the co-founders of the National Legal Services Program.
As a part of his keynote address, he discussed what inspired his work and what led to the creation of timebanking. His purpose in life is to serve. According to Cahn, the most important part of life is “getting up with a purpose.” He equates this to being “life giving.” He reminded those in attendance of the power that lies within our hands. He wisely stated that we have the “power in our lifetime to make a difference.”
Cahn realized this power through the development of the foundational precepts of co-production and timebanking. The purpose of co-production is “helping others to be all they can be.” Timebanking further these principles by “rewarding people for being the best human being.” It begins by looking at money since money determines outcome by price. According to Cahn, the basic concepts of money have devalued the fundamentals: building community and standing up for what is right. He reminded the audience to revere what makes human beings special- the most special thing is “helping other human beings.” Time banks provide a structure for coordinating these “helping” opportunities.
Timebanking draws upon the strength of coalition-building across our global community. According to Cahn, the process begins with “enlisting partners, respecting their contributions, and valuing their contributions.” This process has yielded positive results by strengthening communities across the globe.
To find out more about timebanking and how to get involved in a local timebank, please visit: www.timebanks.org