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Blog Post Maternal Roots of Social Justice


I’ve been thinking about writing about faith and social justice for a while now, because I believe there’s a strong connection for many, because it is both the entry point and the sustainer of interest for many, and because I’m impatient with the “claiming” of faith by conservatives. This is not that blog post, however.


In thinking about that topic, I’ve come to the realization that my belief in social justice has an even more basic source - my mother. My mother’s reply to plaintive wails of “That’s not fair!” was simple and complicated - “What are you going to do about it?”

May 10 2015
Blog Post Hollaback & Harassment

Unless you’ve been on a TV/Internet fast for the past week, you’ve probably heard about the Hollaback video. And the inevitable backlash, from all sides. 

Just in case you have recently returned from a trip to the Himalayas, or my grandmother’s house (seriously, no wifi and a 3G dead zone?), Hollaback, an anti-street harassment group, recently released a video:

Nov 2 2014
Blog Post The Voice & Vision of Maya Angelou

Musings from members of our community about the impact of Dr. Maya Angelou on their lives, dreams, and creativity.

A Young Girl, Grabbing Life by the Lapels, by Eva-Marie Malone

It feels like a contradiction to mourn the passing of Dr. Angelou, because unlike many other well-known people who are gone, her life doesn’t seem incomplete. Often, the first response to the loss of someone famous is to imagine “what might have been” or what else they might have accomplished. Everything about Dr. Angelou’s life and writing felt complete.  Although this transition feels like a personal loss to many of us, her impact continues to resonate and breathe for all of us. 

Jun 2 2014
Page Top Public Opinion Insights To Begin The New Year

Photo courtesy of Flickr/kelly88ros

By Jhanidya Bermeo 

Dec 17 2013
Blog Post 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.

Nov 25 2013
Blog Post Dad, I’m Home!: What Does It Mean to Be a Stay-at-Home Dad?

Photo courtesy by tienvijftien (CC BY 2.0)  

In the 1950s, stereotypical housewives, like June Cleaver, of Leave It To Beaver and Margaret Anderson of Father Knows Best, may have brought immense joy and laughter in the households of many, and perhaps, in many women, a longing to be as flawless as they were. The two cleaned, cooked, and mended with complete delight all while maintaining their composure, beauty, and subservience to the wise father. Since the 1950’s the typical role of a stay-at-home mom has significantly changed. Today, our social trends have shifted and men are taking on nontraditional roles, such as becoming a full time caregiver and tackling everyday household chores while women bring home the “bacon.” An exploration of traditional and nontraditional gender roles of parenting may help redefine stereotypical roles that are perpetuated by various media conglomerates, and move us toward greater acceptance of gender roles that defy our long held core values and beliefs about the role of men and women.

Apr 30 2013
Blog Post Is Ignorance Bliss? The Use of Degrading Lyrics to Sell

When you think of the illustrious, beautiful, and talented Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, what comes to mind? Well… I’m sure the term “bitch” doesn’t resonate with you. Her latest controversial song “Bow Down/I Been On”, produced by Hit Boy has jolted the airwaves. In her song, Beyoncé explicitly asserts “This is my Sh__t, bow down B—es.” It is a far stretch from her fourth, studio album and debut single “Run the World.” And we must not forget her popular feminist salute, “If I Were A Boy,” which debuted on her third solo studio album. This raises a question: Are pejorative verbal tactics acceptable to increase record sales and to gain amiability from impressionable fans? The B-word implies a strong hatred for women; we should use no explicit words that will get our point across while avoiding demeaning terms that are insulting to females.

Mar 26 2013
Page Public Opinion Monthly (February 2013)

Public Opinion and Media Coverage of Immigrant Women

Feb 26 2013
Blog Post Redrawing the image of the LGBT community in the American mind.


Photo courtesy of Zap2It

 On November 6, 2012 the American people reached new historic milestones. Not only did we re-elect the first African-American president, we also elected the first openly gay indivudal to the U.S. Senate, Tammy Baldwin (D-WI). We also elected four new openly gay individuals to the U.S. House of Representatives, bringing their total to 6, a record for that chamber of Congress. Currently, there are more than 530 openly gay elected officials in the U.S, according to the Victory Fund.  

Dec 5 2012
Page Public Opinion Monthly (November 2012)

Redrawing the image of the LGBT community in the American mind.

By Eleni Delimpaltadaki Janis

Nov 28 2012
Blog Post Changing Stereotypes in Wake of Tragedy

The Opportunity Agenda hosted the panel "Learning from Trayvon." Photo courtesy of Ivy Ashe/The Vineyard Gazette

By Katie Ruppel  

Read original article here (PDF)

Music videos, movies, the Internet and the news have embedded the stereotypes of African American men as dangerous and violent in society, said the chairman and CEO of BET Networks, Debra Lee, at a forum on Friday afternoon.

“If we look at media in general and live off of what the mass media serves up about black men, you might arrive on the Vineyard in particular and think you are on another planet,” Mrs. Lee said in her opening remarks. “What do I mean by that? On the Vineyard you see black fathers with their children and their wives. And wait for it... they have jobs. This is not the impression that you get from media day-to-day in America.”

Aug 23 2012
Blog Post The Negative Influence of Reality TV on Teenage Girls


Many of us may have conversed around the water cooler about the provocative behavior that is displayed on some reality TV shows. It’s like junk food: we love it and we know it’s bad for us, but we—and our children—watch anyway. You might say that it’s a parent’s duty to steer a child in the right direction; however, with loads of technology available at our fingertips on a variety of devices, it can be next to impossible to shield a child from junk TV. Reality TV is popular entertainment that may be having an impact on teenage girls, making it seem that the impertinent verbal exchanges and sometimes violent confrontations displayed heavily on reality TV shows such as Basketball Wives and Real Housewives of Atlanta are normal and desirable forms of behavior.

May 2 2012
Blog Post 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.

Mar 8 2012
Page LGBT Report

Public Opinion and Discourse on the Intersection of LGBT Issues and Race

Download full report (PDF)
Read full report on Scribd.

Jan 20 2012
Page Public Opinion Monthly (December 2011)

By: Jill Mizell

December 9, 2011

Americans’ views of family are undergoing major shifts. Divisions arise over definitions of family, and many still hold a negative view of single parents, particularly mothers. Polling research shows the wide range of attitudes and perceptions that lead Americans to judge other people’s families, including families that do not mirror their own. 

Dec 9 2011
Blog Post What Can We Learn from the Dominique Strauss-Kahn Sexual Violence Case?


Photo by LeStudio1.com

Sexual violence and the criminal justice system

[This article originally appeared on race-talk]

This past August, over the span of a few days, the Manhattan Criminal Court issued two decisions in cases centered on sexual violence. One is the now-notorious case against Dominique Strauss-Kahn (DSK). The other, which has gone unnoticed, involves a client of the Sex Workers Project, whom we’ll call “JD.” The two cases serve as stark comparisons of how the criminal justice system does or does not help victims or complainants of sexual violence find justice, peace of mind, or financial stability.

Sep 22 2011
Page Telebriefing: Tracking the Crackdown - June 15, 2011

On June 15, New America Media and The Opportunity Agenda hosted a telephonic news briefing on efforts to amend the 14th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution to deny birthright citizenship to any child born in the United States to parents who are undocumented immigrants. This proposed change specifically targets immigrant women.

Jun 17 2011
Blog Post A Courageous and Compassionate Voice Leaves Us

Last week, Hazel Dickens, who dedicated her life to using song to give voice to the voiceless, died at the age of 75.  Dickens’ voice was wholly her own, bearing all the traces of her hardscrabble mountain upbringing, and her passing is a great loss to American culture as well as the movement to expand to create full and equal opportunity.

Apr 27 2011
Blog Post Bi-Weekly Public Opinion Round Up - Reproductive Rights


Woman and daughter at Planned Parenthood Rally - photo by Warm Sleepy

Women’s Reproductive Rights Under Attack Yet Again

“History shows that when women and girls have access to opportunity, societies are more just, economies are more likely to prosper, and governments are more likely to serve the needs of all their people.” - President Barack Obama

Apr 21 2011
Blog Post Bi-Weekly Public Opinion Round Up - International Women's Day


Mothers march on 100th anniversary of International Women's Day in San Francisco
photo  by Steve Rhodes



Mar 11 2011
Research Promoting Opportunity and Equality in America

In support of our ongoing efforts to expand opportunity in the United States, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and The Opportunity Agenda have published a report entitled, "Promoting Opportunity and Equality in America: A Guide to Federal Circuit Authority on Permissible Government Actions to Promote Racial and Gender Equality."

Nov 22 2010
Blog Post Biweekly Public Opinion Roundup: 2010 is "The Year of the Woman?"

Women bring something different to the table; a perspective that is distinct from men’s. Both experiences are equally important, and both need to be incorporated in to decision-making and represented in power-circles if we hope to embrace all viewpoints and make progress as a society. Yet advancement for women and for gender equality seems to have stagnated, and considering how far we are from equality, stagnation is tantamount to decline.

Nov 19 2010
Blog Post America Lags Behind on Equal Rights for LGBT Community

While Americans grappled over the military’s contentious “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy in court last week, the Argentine Senate passed a bill last Thursday legalizing gay marriage and allowing same-sex couples to adopt children.

Jul 22 2010
Page Public Opinion Monthly (May 2010)

Human rights are important to Americans, and most believe in protecting and defending these rights.  Many Americans agree on basic rights, such as equality, freedom from discrimination, and freedom from torture.  As the conversation gets more in-depth, however, beliefs and opinions involving rights become increasingly complex.  Indicative of these complexities are Americans' attitudes toward LGBT and reproductive rights.  Despite consensus that gays and lesbians face a great deal of discrimination, and the profuse declarations of freedom to "life,

May 19 2010
Blog Post Women Hold Up Half the Sky

In light of International Women’s Day and the 54th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, on Tuesday, March 9th, the Urban Agenda’s Human Rights Project, The National Council on Research for Women and the Center for Women’s Global Leadership joined together with The Opportunity Agenda to hold a side event at the UN Commission on the Status of Women.

Mar 12 2010
Blog Post Women Wouldn't Have Named it the iPad

An analysis of ten of Silicon Valley's largest companies shows that of their employees, just 33 percent are women. This is despite evidence that women in the workforce are clearly beneficial.

Mar 5 2010
Blog Post Victims of Severe Domestic Violence Eligible for Asylum

The New York Times reported last Wednesday that the Obama administration will support granting asylum for at least some victims of severe domestic violence.  This new position, written in a court filing submitted by the government in a currently pending asylum case, reverses the previous Bush administration stance.

Jul 22 2009
Blog Post Real Choices for Reproductive Justice

It is certainly an important time for America's discussions of health, but also an important time to talk about equality in America as it relates to access to reproductive health care.

Jun 15 2009
Blog Post The Power of a Diverse Supreme Court

In nominating Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court, the President has made good on his promise to appoint someone with stellar qualifications and intellect who understands the experiences of everyday Americans. Raised in a Bronx housing project by her widowed single mother, Sotomayor graduated summa cum laude from Princeton and has had a remarkable legal career as a prosecutor, a private attorney, a trial court judge, and an appellate judge.

May 26 2009
Communications Talking Points: The State of Opportunity Report (2009)

This memo offers guidance for using the 2009 State of Opportunity in America report, which examines various dimensions of opportunity, including health care, wealth and income, education, and incarceration. While expanding opportunity in America remains a goal of policymakers and advocates alike, this report finds that access to full and equal opportunity is still very much a mixed reality. Our recommendations to address this reality offer concrete ideas for moving us forward together.

Apr 15 2009
Research Report: The State of Opportunity Report (2009)

This is the 2009 State of Opportunity report.  Here you may download the final report, the final report with accompanying charts, a synopsis, and each of the indicators individually.

Read more about the report here.


Apr 1 2009
Communications Talking Points: Expanding Opportunity in Colorado (2008)

These talking points offer communications advice for educating audiences about the importance of equal opportunity policies.  It integrates recent opinion research, media trends, social science literature, and experience from the field to offer promising themes and messages.

Mar 23 2009
Research Report: The State of Opportunity Update (2007)

This is the 2007 update to the State of Opportunity report.  There are two files, the full chart of indicators and a summary.


Mar 15 2009
Research Report: State of Opportunity (2006)

SoO2006_0.pngIf the promise of opportunity is a core national commitment, it is essential to measure our success in fulfilling that commitment.  This report assesses the nation’s progress toward protecting and expanding opportunity for all Americans and encourages our policymakers, through bold leadership and innovative policies, to ensure the promise of o

Feb 15 2009
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