In Honor of International Women's Day, Let's Go From Rhetoric to Reality

The strange case of the Georgetown 3L and the bombastic talk radio host has garnered a lot of news attention lately. Unfortunately, as is too often the case, that attention has been focused on the sound and fury, which signify nothing.

Honoring Justice


On March 1st, I had the honor of speaking at the memorial service for civil rights hero and respected jurist Judge Robert L. Carter. These were my reflections:

I had the privilege of serving as Judge Carter’s Law Clerk in 1989. But years before that, I was sure that I wanted to know this man, and to be known by him.

Poverty, Opportunity, and the 2012 Presidential Election

 A recent forum in Washington, D.C., sponsored by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, provided an in-depth discussion into the level of concern in the United States about poverty and opportunity, particularly concerning children. Spotlight on Poverty also looked at whether or not these issues will be factors in the upcoming presidential election. Overall, people believe strongly that equal opportunity for children of all races is very important; that not all children currently have full access to opportunity; and that presidential candidates’ views on poverty are very important. But, many think that neither the candidates nor the media are discussing poverty enough.

Obama’s Wrong Note on Foreclosures


As Election Day nears, President Obama is regaining his populist mojo. His State of the Union speech was mostly pitch perfect, evoking core American themes of opportunity and optimism, and calling for “an economy where everyone gets a fair shot, and everyone does their fair share, and everyone plays by the same set of rules.”

But the President has repeatedly hit a wrong note in talking about the foreclosure crisis. Not only is his story inaccurate, but he is promoting a harmful narrative that will make it harder to fix the problem.

Human Trafficking Awareness Day: Searching for Innovative Solutions


Photo by Brett Jordan

(This article originally appeared on the Kirwan Institute's blog Race Talk)

In recognizing January 11th as Human Trafficking Awareness Day, Race-Talk has invited three experts on trafficking in persons to share their thoughts. They have chosen to address a little-examined and nuanced, but crucial, aspect of the trafficking discussion, with a focus on innovative solutions.

Will growing poverty affect election 2012? An interview and new national poll.

On January 17th, Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity hosted a great forum in Washington, D.C. with pollsters—Celinda Lake, Jim McGlaglin and others—, members of the press and political analysts, including E.J. Dionne and Michael Gerson, to discuss whether and how growing poverty will affect the election in 2012. Following the event, I was interviewed to address that very question.

Honoring Judge Robert L. Carter


On January 3rd, America lost one of the greatest champions of equal opportunity and human rights that our nation has ever known. Judge Robert L. Carter, civil rights lawyer, jurist, and fierce defender of justice, passed away at age 94 after suffering a stroke.

Public Opinion Roundup: Equal Opportunity and Fairness

 Year after year, equal opportunity and fairness are critically important values on the minds of Americans. Surveys find a collective desire for greater economic equality, greater government involvement in employment and opportunity, and a more widespread distribution of wealth, but people don’t think that these values are reflected in the current economy.  For example, a November 2011 poll found that just over half of Americans said that a major problem in the U.S. is that “everyone does not have an equal chance in life.” The same number agreed with this statement in September 2010. More than two of three Democrats and one in two Independents agreed, but more than half of Republicans disagreed. 


Supporting Muslims at Christmas


Photo by babasteve

Like millions of American men, my Christmas list includes a bunch of power tools and do-it-yourself gadgets. (I’ve been hinting to my wife for weeks that the power sander on sale at our local hardware store would, actually, benefit the whole family). But our Christmas shopping this year will not include the hardware mega-store Lowe’s.

Human Rights in America

 Photo by Steve Rhodes

Around the world, millions of people will be attending a host of events and ceremonies on December 10 to commemorate and continue the campaign for the basic rights of all people. To be a prosperous society, it is vital that every individual has access to opportunity. Opportunity and human rights are crucial for ensuring that people can provide for themselves, their families, and their country. In order for barriers to opportunity to be lifted, the government needs to implement a domestic human rights policy that ensures that every American is treated with fairness and equality.

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