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.

Why Conservatives Can’t Afford a Real Government Shutdown


President Obama should hang tough if conservatives in Congress continue their irresponsible threats.

It’s conventional wisdom that voters will mostly blame House Republicans if the federal government shuts down over their effort to defund the Affordable Care Act. That’s probably true, but it’s only part of what conservatives are risking. A real government shutdown, if it happens, will fundamentally undermine the conservative narrative in ways that could be profound and lasting for the right wing.

The Land(scape) of Opportunity

The photo above reads "Dear economy, don't eat my mom!" Removing unnecessary barriers to equal opportunity like antiquated zoning rules and concentrating residents in segregated neighborhoods is the smart thing to do. 

By Alan Jenkins

It’s the rare occasion when a significant social challenge is raised up in rigorous economic research and almost instantly answered by a creative and dynamic public policy response. Yet, in broad strokes, that’s what’s happening on a critical question of equal opportunity in America.

Talking Racial Profiling in the Wake of Two Landmark Developments

Mapbox.com shows density of stop-and-frisk practices in Manhattan. In the image shown above, intense activity occurs in Upper Manhattan.

Amazing things are happening on the criminal justice front. 

On Monday, August 12th, Judge Shira A. Scheindlin ruled that the stop-and-frisk tactics of the New York Police Department violated the constitutional rights of New Yorkers of color, calling it a "policy of indirect racial profiling" that has led to officers routinely stopping "blacks and Hispanics who would not have been stopped if they were white." In a lengthy and comprehensive decision, Judge Scheindlin found that New York officials demonstrated a widespread disregard for the Fourth Amendment's protection against unreasonable searches and seizures and the 14th Amendment’s guarantee of equal protection under the law. And she concluded that "the city’s highest officials have turned a blind eye to the evidence that officers are conducting stops in a racially discriminatory manner.” 

Selling for Your Time


Zakeia Tyson-Cross shares her thoughts on pop culture in the following poem: 

Can I have your attention?
Just for one moment
I have a point to stress
A product for you to see
It’s made with the best synthetic materials
Often passed as organically natural
If you eat or drink it
You will instantly become hooked
Like a junkie looking for its last fix
It may devastate your system over a period of time
Cause you to develop erratic cells
To form more violent ones
Make your youth look depressingly old and worn
But you will get your monies worth
And I will capitalize ….

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