Beyond Colorism: Beauty and the Many Shades of Brown


Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o discusses colorism at the Black Women in Hollywood Luncheon

In the era of Michelle Obama, first lady of the United States, some black women see themselves as beautiful, strong, and intelligent. They are also combating racial stereotypes that are perpetuated within their communities and are now coming into their own. They are now seen as industry leaders within science, business, education, social justice, entertainment, and more. However, many of them have not been able to see their own beauty past the color of their skin. What does beauty mean in the black community and how does colorism affect our livelihood?

Homeownership and Affordable Housing Remain Tough Goals


Despite negative experiences with the housing crisis, many Americans believe homeownership is an important part of the American Dream. While Americans are more confident in their ability to make housing-related payments, they also find obtaining a mortgage as difficult and costly. Recent data on falling home purchases and mortgage applications reflect these beliefs. Public opinion data also shows that Americans believe finding affordable housing is more difficult than ever. Affordable housing, an important way to invigorate communities and prevent poverty, is a top priority for minority groups and Millennials. However, the recession and the housing crisis have disproportionately affected these groups.

A Year of Major Milestones for Home Opportunity...Let's Not Screw It Up!


There was major action on the Home Opportunity front in 2013, the result of persistent activism by advocates, joined by millions of everyday Americans.  The gains set the stage for much-needed relief to homeowners, more equal opportunity for diverse communities, a boost to our economy, and a reinvigoration of the American Dream.  But those outcomes are far from guaranteed, and we could easily screw it up.  Let’s not.

Creative Change Alumni’s 10 Amazing Gift Ideas

You know that culture is a powerful force for moving hearts and minds. This holiday season, share your great taste and your desire to support transformative social change with these AWESOME gifts.

A Tale of Two Covers

So these two magazines arrived at my house over the weekend. The juxtaposition is amazing. The new issue of The Atlantic touts a cover story on "The Future of Work," which it illustrates with a photo of three white guys in business suits standing over a woman who's dutifully typing at a laptop. In other words, the "future" of work, as this cover imagines it, looks a lot like the 1950s--laptop notwithstanding.

Contrast that with the December 2013 cover of Fast Company, which features "Secrets of the Most Productive People" and depicts musician, producer and burgeoning business mogul Pharrell Williams.

When Art is the Change: A Look at Native Philanthropy


Attendees of the Seventh Generation Fund-sponsored "'Empower Your Story' Digital Media Training & Workshop," february 2013. Photo courtesy of Working Narratives. 

This blog was originally posted by Working Narratives 

“For many Indigenous peoples the world is dreamed, told or sung into being. The act of creativity is the act of creation,” says Betsy Richards, who leads the Creative Change program of the Opportunity Agenda, and was previously the program officer for Media, Arts and Culture at the Ford Foundation, where she funded Native American and place-based cultural communities. “Culture and creativity are at the center of ourselves and our societies, rather than being entertainment that we consume at the end of our day.”

Q&A with Helvetika Bold, Social Justice Superhero

This was originally posted by Lightbox Collaborative on Nov. 5

This week, we’re honored to share some ideas from communications superhero, Helvetika Bold. Created by our friends at Opportunity Agenda, Helvetika Bold is the kind of hero our movements need—sassy and strong, outspoken and on-message. Enjoy the tips and tricks she shared with us in a recent interview!

Is There A Problem? Racial Profile Cases Take Center Stage in the City of New York

Barneys New York was accused of racial profiling 19-year-old Trayon Christian, an engineering student of Queens, NY, and 21 year old nursing student and Brooklyn native Kayla Phillps who alleged that they were harassed by undercover cops after purchasing merchandise. Christian, said that he knew exactly what he wanted before stepping foot into the upscale retailer on April 29. He coveted for a Ferragamo belt with a silver buckle and reversible black and white strap, which was seen being worn by popular hip hop rapper “Juelz Santana. Two months prior, Phillips was approached by undercover officers after purchasing at $2500.00 orange suede Céline handbag.

Ten Headlines Tell the Tale of How Conservatives Defeated Themselves on the Shutdown

Conservative icon Grover Norquist famously voiced the right wing’s hopes and dreams for our federal government: “I’m not in favor of abolishing the government,” Norquist quipped, “I just want to shrink it down to the size where we can drown it in the bathtub.” Well for almost three weeks archconservatives in the House of Representatives, enabled by House Speaker John Boehner, held the federal government’s head under the water. It was the American people who, ultimately, forced Republicans to pull the plug.

Public Skeptical About Incarceration Policies

By Jhanidya Bermeo

With more than 1.5 million people currently in prison, the United States maintains the highest prison population of any country in the world by far. The International Centre for Prison Studies calculates that for every 100,000 individuals in the United States, 716 will be in prison. These numbers amount to a prison occupancy capacity level of 99%, with budgetary costs close to 7 billion dollars. According the Bureau of Justice Statistics, incarceration rates have been decreasing by 1% - 2% for three consecutive years since 2012. This slight decrease has been attributed to a changing legislative and public mindset in recent years, a mindset which has emphasized curbing the excessive growth of the prison system. This emphasis is thought to be due in part by state and federal level budgetary restrictions, decreasing crime rates, and a more lenient attitude towards low-level non-violent drug offenses. Though recent public opinion polls about the criminal justice system are lacking, we can draw insights from several studies conducted in the last decade, particularly on attitudes towards incarceration and non-violent drug offenses. 

To read more, visit Public Opinion Monthly page.

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