A Q&A with Alicia Kennedy | My awareness of all the ways in which eating meat intersects with systems and outcomes that I don’t agree with unfolded gradually. It was a very instinctual, spiritual conviction that made giving up meat feel both enticing (at first) and necessary (at last), and then the more cerebral reasons for why I was drawn to it came into focus.
By Christian Coleman | When loved ones perch at the table together for holiday gatherings, it’s not just the star protein with fixings that gets served. Whether it’s on Thanksgiving, Christmas, or any other occasion for feel-good feasting in big company, those mashed potatoes and greens come with a side of divergent viewpoints on touchy, real-life subjects. Sometimes they’re served respectfully, sometimes with vitriol, but on many occasions, they stir up tough conversations, and the meals become so ideologically fraught that digestion seems out of the question.
By Leigh Patel | As child in elementary school, I distinctly remember being excited every time my teacher passed around the Scholastic Magazine. The paper of the magazine was thin, like newsprint. I’d fold the corners of the pages that had books I was interested in. Many times, I didn’t see anything and folded zero corners of the pages. It would be some time before I came to understand and question the power of a large corporation and its selection of what books it deemed worthy, in essence, to sell to young readers, teachers, and schools.
By Jonathan Rosenblum | There’s a whole truckload of things to celebrate in the new tentative agreements won by the United Auto Workers (UAW) at Ford, Stellantis, and General Motors (GM). The deals were wrested from the Big Three companies after 46 days of expanding strike action—what new UAW President Shawn Fain dubbed the “Stand Up Strike,” in which workers incrementally extended picket lines to more plants, slowing turning the vise tighter on the companies. By the time the last holdout, GM, settled this past weekend, close to 50,000 of the UAW’s 146,000 autoworker members had walked off the job.
By Jonathan Rosenblum | It’s not just actors, writers, and autoworkers powering this year’s strike wave in the United States. Healthcare workers, too, are flexing their collective muscles in greater numbers. And for good reason.
By Aviva Chomsky | Few predicted that the peace accords and neoliberal reforms of the 1990s would lead to a flood of out-migration in the following decades, as flight would increasingly become the last resort of people desperate to survive, and ties to the United States made it the obvious destination. Migration has been an inherent aspect of all human history, including Central American history.
A Q&A with Bill Ong Hing | I have seen children as young as two separated at the border from their families. When I interviewed these traumatized children in border patrol detention, I was ashamed of our what our nation does in the name of border enforcement. When I said goodbye to a fifty-year-old undocumented man at his home the night before he was deported, it was impossible for me to explain the rationale behind the removal of a twenty-five-year resident with no criminal problems to his US citizen children for whom he had served as soccer coach, homework tutor, insurance provider, driver to after-school programs, and loving father.
By David Delmar Sentíes | The way we access good tech jobs in this country is essentially a pay-to-play model: you need to spend a lot of money to make a lot of money. If you don’t have the opportunity to graduate from college, you’re shut out of many of those jobs. And that’s it. There die our hopes for an equitable tech workforce. There’s not a DEI workshop in the world that can change that, and we need to stop pretending that there is. Equity cannot be achieved by coloring inside the lines of a system that is inherently inequitable.
By Christian Coleman | So much has happened for Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz’s “An Indigenous Peoples’ History of the United States” in the ten years since it was originally published. It won the American Book Award. It made the New York Times Best Sellers list in 2021. Filmmaker Raoul Peck used it as source material for his HBO docuseries “Exterminate All the Brutes.” The young adult version adapted by Jean Mendoza and Debbie Reese came out in 2019. Since then, the YA adaptation has earned the honor of becoming a banned book in Texas.
By Christian Coleman | When Latinx workers across the US came together for International Workers’ Day on May 1, 2006, their strike sent more than one message. As historian Paul Ortiz writes in An African American and Latinx History of the United States, they protested immigration restrictions that threatened their families, their livelihoods, and their dignity. The protested to pass national legislation for a living wage. Shutting down meat packing, garment manufacturing, port transportation, trucking and food services in many parts of the country was an act of resistance to neoliberalism, mass incarceration, militarism, and imperialism. Latinx workers from numerous cultures were all in.
A Q&A with Amanda Montei | I’ll say that in both creative and academic circles, the subject of motherhood is often seen as niche and unserious, and personal struggles with caregiving and domestic work are as well. I’ve experienced some pretty outright sexism over the years, but also so many subtle dismissals of my work and my intellect as a mother writing about motherhood, or even just “women’s issues.” Alongside the very real struggle of securing affordable childcare.
By Heidi Boghosian | A new bill designed to strengthen kids’ privacy online might have the opposite effect. The Kids Online Safety Act of 2022 (KOSA) could expose users to heightened surveillance and data collection while also leading to digital content censorship. Increases in surveillance and content cutbacks will affect not just kids but adults as well.
By Naomi McDougall Jones | Because filmmaking is hard—for anyone, even in the best circumstances—I am well aware that there are still skeptics about whether there is discrimination against women in Hollywood at all. Thus far, I’ve built the case, I hope, for what is happening. But if you work long enough and hard enough at it, you could suggest reasons why discrimination wasn’t at the heart of each anecdote and career story I’ve provided. Let’s zoom out, then, to look at the wide shot of what is happening to women and their careers in Hollywood. Let’s look at the data.
By Christian Coleman | Come on, Barbie! Let’s go party . . . in your library! You’re about to become Bookworm Barbie and read the days and nights away. Don’t worry about Ken. He’ll be fine because he’s just Ken. Now that you’re in your self-discovery era, you’ll have lots of questions. Like why you’re in a blockbuster summer movie and how the film industry works. We got you. And everything you want to know about empowerment for women and girls, beauty (and health) standards, life in plastic in the real world, the patriarchy, and all the badassery in women’s history is in these books from our catalog. Each sold separately!
By Ben Mattlin | When you’ve grown up in a world not quite made for you or are forced into one from an accident or illness, and when you feel you should be able to do what everybody else seems to do, when you feel as if you’ve been inexplicably singled out for punishment, it can be utterly, achingly soul sinking. Worse still, it’s hard to shake. “Internalized ableism” is believing the prejudicial assumptions and expectations thrust on you by society, believing you’re inferior, undesirable, burdensome, don’t fit in, and/or in need of repairing or healing or fixing or curing.
A Q&A with Nora Neus | This decision was a key component of the book from the very beginning, and the thing I thought could (and almost did) sink the whole project. Prevailing wisdom from experts in this space say that interviewing and quoting white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and members of other hate groups either (1) gives them a “platform” from which to spew their hateful ideology or (2) minimizes the threat they represent if treating them as just another actor in the story.
By Jane Strauss | One of the things that many parents seem to be unhappy about when their child is labeled “Autistic” is this: “But they will not have play dates.” Friendship, “socializing,” and human interaction are seen as central to our very humanity. Females often fly under the radar for being labeled on the autism spectrum because their social development is different from that of males, generally resulting in more social orientation, better imitation skills at a younger age, and earlier speech, of whatever kind, than their male counterparts.
By Christian Coleman | We took the crushing news pretty hard. The TV adaptation of Octavia E. Butler’s “Kindred” didn’t get a fair chance when it was cancelled nearly a month and half after all eight episodes were uploaded in December 2022 to stream on Hulu. With the blessing of Butler’s estate, playwright and showrunner Branden Jacobs-Jenkins made bold choices—some of which might make Butler purists gasp—to modernize and expand upon Butler’s classic while staying true to her message.
A Q&A with Sarah Rose Cavanagh | I was drawn into this topic for a few different reasons. First, I was watching the news and reading articles warning about a growing mental health crisis in our youth—and this was even before the beginning of the pandemic. As a college educator who studies psychology, and as the parent of a teenager, this news was of high concern to me, both personally and professionally. Second, I was observing these battles taking place in higher education, where one side argues that youth need more compassion, care, and flexibility, and the other side says that we’ve already given too much, and that young people need more challenge, exposure, and risk-taking.
By Christian Coleman | Ah, Florida! The hottest tourist getaway where you can refine your tan, stoke your adrenaline on Disney World rides, and soak up state-sanctioned prejudice and ignorance under the sun. Joining fellow civil rights groups League of United Latin American Citizens and Equality Florida, the NAACP issued a travel advisory for the Sunshine State to warn tourists about the laws and policies that are “openly hostile toward African Americans, people of color, and LGBTQ+ individuals.” If Stefon from SNL were in charge of promoting DeSantisLand—gawd forbid!—he’d say this hot spot has everything.