Blog

Why Poor, Low-Level Offenders Often Plead to Worse Crimes [TheAtlantic.com]

In the United States, local jails process over 11 million admissions in a single year. Most of those who are arrested get the option to post bail and go free until they are arraigned. But those who can’t afford bail sit in jail awaiting trial, which can hurt their ability to mount a defense. It’s harder to collect evidence. It’s harder to meet with lawyers. A defendant can’t do things that might be looked upon favorably by a judge, like entering rehab, or getting a stable job, or attending...

4 Black Women Writers Get Honest About Mental Illness And Race [HuffingtonPost.com]

July is Minority Mental Health Month , a month to spread awareness about how mental illnesses specifically affects people of color, and to erase the stigma and misinformation that plagues POC when it comes to mental illness. One way to spread awareness is through dialogue. I had a candid conversation with three black women writers (Ashley Reese, Minaa B, and Angelica Bastien) who deal with mental illness about how our mental health ― including depression, ADHD and suicidal thoughts ― affects...

These Black Lives Matters protesters planned a march. The police threw them a cookout instead. [WashingtonPost.com]

Activist A.J. Bohannon had organized more than 1,000 Black Lives Matters protesters to march the streets of Wichita on Sunday. But then, days before, he received a call from the new police chief with a different idea. Instead of having an event that drew a hard line between protester and police, why not bring them all together for an evening of summer revelry and open dialogue? So instead of marching, they gathered in a wooded park where the police department cooked and served up burgers.

14 Inspirational Quotes From Brene Brown [Blogs.PsychCentral.com]

If you’re like me, you can’t get enough Brené Brown! I love her books , her Ted Talks , and her videos on Oprah’s SuperSoul Sunday. And I especially love her inspiring quotes. She offers such wisdom, truth, and authenticity. I’m sure you’ll find a few that inspire you or maybe even push you out of your comfort zone with a ah-ha moment. 1. “What we don’t need in the midst of struggle is shame for being human.” 2. “What’s the greater risk? Letting go of what people think – or letting go of how...

Dose of Hope for Activists & Adults with ACEs - Donna Jackson Nakazawa

Childhood Disrupted: How Your Biography Becomes Your Biology and How You Can Heal , by Donna Jackson Nakazawa, will be out in paperback on July 26. Here's part of a presentation that Donna did: "For those who have faced childhood trauma, it may feel as if you are just swimming against this impossible current of long ago forces as you try to make your way toward a happy and fulfilling life. And it may take a major life trauma, a disease, a divorce, certainly the fear of this translating into...

How Noise Pollution Impairs Learning [TheAtlantic.com]

One July afternoon in 1972, a team of psychologists took sound meters into the Bridge Apartments, a cluster of four high-rise buildings straddling Interstate 95 in Manhattan. Because of the towers’ proximity to the highway, the hum of traffic filled the buildings’ halls. Even on the eighth floor, the decibel level was 66 , just slightly quieter than a running vacuum cleaner . The noise died down as the researchers climbed the stairs, though. On the 32nd floor, the reading was 55 decibels, or...

Why Voter ID Is Racial Discrimination, for the Record [CityLab.com]

A panel of 15 judges for the Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled 9-6 Wednesday that a photo voter-ID law passed by Texas almost five years ago discriminates against people of color . The Texas law, SB 14, would allow the use of drivers licenses and gun licenses to vote, but not college IDs . Experts testified in the years-long court battle over the law that it would potentially disenfranchise upwards of 600,000 eligible voters . Most of the disenfranchised would be Latino and...

What to do if you’re stopped by the police [MiamiHerald.com]

When Lincoln High School government teacher Nathan Gibbs-Bowling teaches his Tacoma students about the Constitution, he adds a few lessons on survival skills. He wants them to understand their rights under the constitution’s Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure by police. But he also wants his students to know how those powerful words can play out in real life. “I encourage them to assert their rights in an informed, responsible manner,” Gibbs-Bowling...

How the New Civil Rights Movement Can Build on the Lessons of the Old [BillMoyers.com]

We asked a number of contributors to share their reactions to a post by activist and author Michelle Alexander that we published earlier this month in the aftermath of the police shootings of Alton Sterling and Philando Castile. Here is a response from political organizer Marshall Ganz , a senior lecturer in public policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. You can view all other responses by clicking on the “ Building a New America ” tag. Sixty years ago, the...

The Community Cure for Health Care [SSIR.org]

Twelve-year old Anna has asthma. She lives in a low-income neighborhood and gets her care at a clinic affiliated with a major teaching hospital. Despite high-quality medical care, Anna’s asthma is not well controlled. Last year she missed almost two weeks of school, had two urgent care visits, and a brief but scary (and expensive) hospital stay. Her pediatrician believes that the old, rent-subsidized apartment where Anna’s family lives may be part of the problem: The presence of mold,...

Protect Our Girls From System and Build on Their Strengths [JJIE.org]

As the November presidential election draws nearer, it is clear that for the first time in American history a woman will be the presidential candidate for a major political party. And while we have significant work to do to achieve true justice and equity, women overall experience more opportunity than they ever have. For many little girls growing up today, this country is looking more promising. But not all. Girls who have traditionally been marginalized — girls of color, those who grow up...

She Offered The Robber A Glass Of Wine, And That Flipped The Script [NPR.org]

This week's Invisibilia podcast and show explore what happens when people flip the script, responding to situations in ways that are completely unexpected. We tend to respond to aggression with aggression, kindness with kindness. Usually that works just fine. But sometimes turning 180 degrees can change the world. Think Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King Jr. In this Invisibilia excerpt on NPR's Morning Edition, we tell the tale of a mellow Washington, D.C., dinner party that was suddenly...

In Our Schools, Black Lives Matter, Too [BillMoyers.com]

The Black Lives Matter movement has drawn much-needed national and worldwide attention to the deaths of African-Americans at the hands of those sworn to protect them, igniting a long-overdue discussion about the systemic injustices African-Americans face in the realms of policing and criminal justice. As a society, however, we need to take that discussion a step further. We must acknowledge the obvious fact that black livesof all ages matter. Among other things, this means putting a stop to...

Can Mindfulness Fill Corporate America With Better, Happier Workers? [PSMag.com]

In 2012, when the New York Times reported that Google was offering its employees a chance to try out mindfulness techniques, the paper of record adopted a tone of befuddlement. “Sharing feelings?” the story asked; “Sitting quietly for long, unproductive minutes? At Google?” Four years later, workplace mindfulness initiatives are everywhere. When cloud computing giant Salesforce opened a new San Francisco tower this spring, it set aside a room on each floor as a device-free “mindfulness zone”...

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