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How Destiny Won Over Baltimore [CityLab.com]

A few years back, Destiny Watford was canvassing her Curtis Bay neighborhood in south Baltimore, alerting her neighbors to the potential dangers of a gargantuan trash incinerator planned for their community. At 90 acres, the facility would be one of the largest incinerators in the world, and also one of the dirtiest. It would reportedly spew as much as 1,000 pounds of lead into the air annually, along with 240 pounds of mercury and millions of tons of greenhouse gases. And this would all...

Paid Leave and a Different Kind of American Exceptionalism [PSMag.com]

Americans in favor of paid leave are often quick to point out that the United States is one of only two countries that do not have it . That only the U.S. and Papua New Guinea have decided not to make this particular investment in our labor force. Their detractors will be happy to know that this is actually untrue. The U.S. and Papua New Guinea are not the only two countries in the world without paid parental leave, a policy that keeps women in the workforce and adds millions, if not...

Can a Notorious New York City Jail Be Closed? [TheAtlantic.com]

For Glenn E. Martin, the fight to close New York City’s Rikers Island is personal. Martin spent a year as an inmate there and served five years in a New York State prison after being convicted of armed robbery. He believes his experience, like that of hundreds of thousands of individuals released every year, provides needed perspective in the growing national call for reform. He also believes New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio could do more. The mayor published an opinion piece this month in...

Monroe Community Coalition coordinator mixing methods [MonroeMonitor.com]

For more than a decade, Sultan resident Joe Neigel has worked to improve the health of communities throughout Snohomish County using focused, evidence-based strategies meant to help prevent young people from abusing drugs and alcohol. Last year, after nearly 11 years as a prevention coordinator with Snohomish County, Neigel shifted gears and went to work as a prevention specialist for Monroe Public Schools. His decision came on the heels of the county’s announcement it would no longer serve...

Harvard Has a New Center for Happiness [TheAtlantic.com]

As two enormous, golden doors part, sunlight pours into an atrium filled with babies and puppies. Everyone is smiling. The air smells of freshly mown mint. Ripe avocados rain from the sky. (Somehow, they always miss the babies.) This is Harvard University’s new Center for Health and Happiness. At least, this is how I imagine it could grow to look. At a launch ceremony on Friday, the Harvard School of Public Health announced a $21 million initial investment in the happiness center. Its goal...

19 Ways You are Emotionally Abusing Yourself [PsychCentral.com]

He is a multimillionaire client of mine. Handsome. Accomplished. Respected. Gentle. Reflective. Kind. And I was examining every angle of why he was allowing a clearly destructive woman (borderline personality disorder) out of his life. He agreed over and over again that she was bad for him, that she felt no remorse, that suddenly abandoning partners was her longtime modus operandi, and yet, he couldn’t let go. With enough digging, a story emerged. “I was small as a kid. I was the last guy...

More American children and teens aren't just obese. They're morbidly obese. [Vox.com]

Public health researchers cheered an encouraging trend recently : Childhood obesity rates, which rose steadily through the 1980s and 1990s, seemed to have plateaued in the 2000s. But new research suggests a different, troubling problem lurking behind that plateau — a steep rise in the rates of severe obesity, particularly among older and minority children. The fraction of adolescents with severe obesity — a body mass index of 40 or greater — has more than doubled from 0.9 percent in 1999 to...

Troubled No More, Youths Bring Stories of Their Resilience to Probation Professionals [JJIE.org]

Twenty-two years seems like an awfully short time to already be talking about redemption. But the young man sitting on the velvet couch in the splendor of the Omni Parker House Hotel’s mezzanine is living proof that for someone who has survived the juvenile justice system in America, there is a fine line between ending your life and turning it around. DeAngelo Cortijo sat noiselessly mouthing the words of his speech — a dizzying childhood of crime and imprisonment and intermittent...

Thousands Leave Maryland Prisons With Health Problems And No Coverage [NPR.org]

Stacey McHoul left jail last summer with a history of heroin use and depression and only a few days of medicine to treat them. When the pills ran out she started thinking about hurting herself. "Once the meds start coming out of my system, in the past, it's always caused me to relapse," she said. "I start self-medicating and trying to stop the crazy thoughts in my head." Jail officials gave her neither prescription refills nor a Medicaid card to pay for them, she said. Within days she was...

Can More Money Fix America's Schools? [NPR.org]

This winter, Jameria Miller would often run to her high school Spanish class, though not to get a good seat. She wanted a good blanket. "The cold is definitely a distraction," Jameria says of her classroom's uninsulated, metal walls. Her teacher provided the blankets. First come, first served. Such is life in the William Penn School District in an inner-ring suburb of Philadelphia. The hardest part for Jameria, though, isn't the cold. It's knowing that other schools aren't like this. [For...

In Remembrance of Jordon Riak, an Advocate for Children and Humanity

An Activist for Children and Humanity (1935 - 2016) Executive Director, Parents & Teachers Against Violence in Education Years ago, when I was first jolted out of the collective blind stupor that dismisses violence against children, I was outraged and needed to do something. That is when I met Jordon Riak... (more) Just in! Recent Meta-Analysis of the Last 50 Years on Spanking Research Please spread the word and invite everyone you know who needs to find alternatives to punishment to the...

Documenting Stories of Homelessness [TheAtlantic.com]

According to a recent study by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, more than half a million Americans are homeless on any given night. HUD counted 1.5 million people who used a shelter in 2014, and then there are those who are crashing at a friend’s house or sleeping on the street. Those big numbers point to the scale of the problem nationally, especially in cities . But often homelessness can seem like an issue that’s too big to deal with on an individual level, something...

Left Outside the Social-Justice Movement's Small Tent [TheAtlantic.com]

Mahad Olad, a high school student, used to be active in “the local social-justice scene” around Minneapolis, Minnesota, attending meetings and leading demonstrations for feminist, LGBT, and anti-racism groups. Then he became disillusioned. When he was just 16, the ACLU profiled the teen activist. He came to the U.S. as a child. Later, his immigrant parents took him back to their home country, Kenya, so that their son could experience what it was like to live in that culture as well. “In...

Guest column: Reducing the impact of parental incarceration in Memphis [CommercialAppeal.com]

The future prosperity of Memphis and all of Tennessee depends on what we do today to provide opportunities for children to succeed in school, and become good parents and productive employees in the future. Memphis is a leader in Tennessee and the nation in identifying and addressing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). These are the kinds of experiences that disrupt the architecture of the developing brain, especially in young children. They include all types of abuse and neglect, and...

Tennessee among states with most incarcerated parents [Tennessean.com]

One in 10 children in Tennessee currently have or have had a parent in prison, according to a new Kids Count report. Tennessee is tied with five other states in third place for the highest prevalence of children with incarcerated parents, with Kentucky in first and Indiana in second. "It really cuts across all geographic, all socioeconomic classes," said Linda O'Neal, executive director of the Tennessee Commission on Children and Youth. "It’s a reality for everyone." O'Neal correlates the...

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