What if George Zimmerman had known Trayvon’s Dad?

Interracial Marble Relationship 3 (Photo credit: wjserson)

What if George Zimmerman had known Trayvon’s Dad? I’ve been pondering that question for the past 24 hours and for me it’s progress and one step toward healing. For the past few weeks, my questions have been a lot more contentious.

In a statement released by Robert Cohen, President of the Southern Poverty Law Center, after the Zimmerman verdict, he asks many of the questions that have been on my mind and the answers were making me equally angry and sad. I’m saddened by the verdict, though it was not unexpected—many legal …read more

Raising a Glass for Equality

Pride Crowd

With all of the positive news surrounding gay rights in the US: the ruling on DOMA, repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, and four new states recognizing the legality of same sex marriage, it’s easy to get swept up in the feeling that equality is nigh on the horizon.

DOMA is dead (Photo credit: vpickering)

While that may be the case for Americans it is most definitely different for our Russian brethren. This June, President Putin signed the most recent in a long line of bills punishing people for homosexual ‘propaganda’.

In the official release of the bill, it’s …read more

A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action

Trayvon Martin Protest – Sanford (Photo credit: werthmedia)

Sorry Elvis, we still need to talk. Saturated, but it seems absurd to contemplate writing about anything other than Trayvon Martin this week. Staring at the masthead of our blog, and reading the tagline, viewing social justice challenges and opportunities through the prism of current events, I keep thinking, “now is no time to be silent,” because in the simplest of terms, this is both a challenge AND an opportunity.

But it is hard to have words, much less the right words. My head has been scrambled with the news accounts, …read more

Don’t Mess with Texas’ Women’s Rights

We wrote about Wendy Davis on our sister blog, all things e last week and the importance of her 11 hour filibuster to prevent a vote on strict new abortion laws during a special session of the Texas Senate. “Over 120,000 tuned in to the livestream and comments abounded on Facebook and Twitter in support. When the vote seemed eminent spectators caused such frenzy that the gallery had to be cleared in order for a vote to occur. The clock struck 12:02 in the process and the special session was over. That act took many voices but the result was …read more

Can We Achieve One America?

This week, I’m attending the National Conference on Volunteering and Service in Washington, DC. The conference is a gathering of nearly 5000 people, mainly from the U.S. with some international attendees, who serve or work to build the infrastructure that allows others to serve their communities, the nation and the world every day.

The theme of this year’s conference is Service Unites and is focused on sharing ideas and best practices for solving critical community problems and showcasing the ways that service brings people together across the divides of race, class, religion, geography, and political ideology.

I was inspired by …read more

Through Violence You See_______

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April 27th is a date that is burned in my memory. Having served as a Peace Corps volunteer over two of these dates, the South African national holiday in is one that no one – especially a temporary resident –could ignore. National Freedom Day marks the first non-racial elections held in South Africa after almost three-hundred years of colonialism in 1994.

Inextricably tied to this celebration is Nelson Mandela, the leader of the South African liberation struggle. In 1990, Mandela’s release from nearly thirty years of imprisonment for his actions and planning in support of “non-racial alliances …read more

Overcoming the Prison Epidemic

Prison Bar(code)

Baltimore City detention center has made headlines after a scandal revealed the inmates were running the show and had been employing guards to smuggle in cell phones, food and drugs. Mother Jones recently produced a list of the top 10 worst prisons and the horrors that occur within their walls. In Louisiana, one in 86 adults is in prison. After release, ex-offenders are 38 times more likely to be unemployed than non-offenders.

Violence in prisons is nothing new; any TV show from OZ to The Wire will tell you that. In 2003, Congress enacted the Prison Rape Elimination Act, …read more

The Post-Mystique

As a female born on the cusp of Generations X and Y, I grew up firmly believing that women and men are equal. I’ve visited different countries and developed relationships with people who were not raised in in an environment that reinforced gender equality. Yet, I have always considered myself an advocate for women, never fully understanding why there would be any grey area on the issue.

Then, I started reading Betty Friedan’s The Feminist Mystique for a book club – thinking that this would be an interesting relic of the past – and it blew my mind. Here were …read more

What’s Next for Marriage Equality?

Anxious to find out what the outcomes of the Supreme Court arguments on Prop. 8 and DOMA a few weeks ago will be? Take a look at some of the ‘more likely’ outcomes developed by the Human Rights Campaign below.

Created by the Human Rights Campaign

The More You Know: Make your money red too

Money… (Photo credit: jah~)

We vote with our wallets. We affirm organizational missions and business practices over and over again based on where we spend our money. This creeps up suddenly, and while we think we know the image and corporate and social responsibility efforts of a particular company, we can often be mistaken. Among my family and friends we eliminated consumption at retailers like Walmart years ago, and opted for Target instead. Yet, in 2010, when news broke of Target’s giving to an anti-gay political group, we were at a loss, “Wait, we can’t shop at Target now …read more