Hear from California alums: Does knowledge come with a moral obligation?

We asked some of our California alums to let us know whether knowledge comes with a moral obligation:

“Unquestionably, knowledge is inherently moral and calls us to certain orientations and actions. But what’s more is that knowledge is constituted by the movements of ideas between communities. We don’t “hold” knowledge, it is in motion through us and around us. I would say those who regularly read op-eds make up a certain kind of knowledge community, and writing persuasively for that community is both an art and a science. I’m so glad to have The Op-Ed Project’s help in figuring all that out!”

unnamedInterfaith expert Rahuldeep Singh Gill PhD guides leaders in business and higher education to more inclusive environments for work, collaboration and cross-cultural understanding. His engaging lectures and workshops deepen appreciation of faith and cultural diversity and inspire compassion. He develops leaders with broad perspectives who can collaborate in teams and achieve goals that drive innovation.

“Knowledge comes with the moral obligation to communicate wisely. Every bit of knowledge has the potential to galvanize communities, to influence policymakers, and to create enormous positive change, but its impact can be lost, or worse, arouse suspicion, hatred or fear if not communicated properly. As a lobbyist for a workers’ rights organization, how I communicate my knowledge to lawmakers can make the difference in whether meaningful legislation is passed.”  


Mariko Yoshihara is the lobbyist and political director for the California Employment Lawyers Association (CELA), the largest and strongest statewide organization of attorneys who advocate on behalf of workers.  She also directs the CELA VOICE, a project dedicated to promoting the voice of workers and the attorneys who represent them.

“If taken to heart, the potential value and moral obligation of our knowledge can replace questions like “Is my punctuation perfect?” with more meaningful declarations, like “It’s time to get serious about creating an affordable, accessible child care system for working parents”. Most important, this moral obligation can encourage us to replace the often pompous pronouncements that populate our nation’s opinion pages, and move our knowledge, our stories and our voices center stage.”


Kate Karpilow directs the California Center for Research on Women and Families (CCRWF) and is founder of the Women’s Policy Summit. She brings 30 years of hands-on experience managing policy initiatives on child care, poverty, working families, women’s health, child welfare, and the representation of women in politics and government.

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