We Aren’t the Only Ones Who Go to War Over Oil

South Sudan has been in the news lately because of escalating attacks from Sudan on its northern border. The cause? Oil disputes. In fact, as of yesterday the president of South Sudan claimed that Sudan had effectively “declared war” on his country after air bombardments continued for yet another day. Those bombings followed South Sudan’s … Continue reading

Ways to Help Central Africa and Countries Affected by the LRA

In response to my recent criticism of Nick Kristof’s Kony2012 column, one commenter asked that I offer up better solutions: I personally would prefer it if “armchair theorists” who have taken Invisible Children to task would also say things like, ‘Although I will not be joining the Kony 2012 campaign, I did make a small … Continue reading

Is Raising Awareness the First Step?

I wanted to follow-up briefly on my post earlier this week about Kony 2012 and the complexity of true compassion. It bothers me that modern media, whether videos, blogs, or photographs, is so truncated. I realize that in discussing the over-simplification of Kony 2012, I too simplified a complicated issue. Nick Kristof’s column in The … Continue reading

Owen May: Poetry

Today’s blog features a guest writer! J. Owen May is an old friend who also happens to be an excellent poet. I recently found some of his work and wanted to pass it along. With his permission, I have included two of his poems below. You can find more at owenmay.com. J. Owen May has … Continue reading

What You May Not Know About South Sudan

Recently I was talking with a friend about how the world map has changed, and we got into a bitter discussion about South Sudan, which she was certain is not a country but some sort of state. Beer bottles flew, burly men burst into tears, and I screamed “You’ll be hearing about this on the … Continue reading

Hunger + Hunger = Generosity

In researching a writing project, I recently came across what has to be one of the most beautiful stories in American history. Perhaps you’re already familiar with the Choctaw Indians and their incredible display of generosity during the 1840s. Regardless, read on because it’s worth the reminder: Beginning in the early 1830s, the US government … Continue reading

Going Local to Stop Displacement

Yet another reason to go to the farmers’ market! Around the world, federal governments and corporations have entered a new “global gold rush” – for agricultural land. They buy up property to use in the coming food crisis and cross national borders for the cheapest and most underused plots. But while purchasing these huge chunks … Continue reading

Chocolate and Child Slavery: Ten Years Later

In 2001, Congress attempted to force a slave-free label on all chocolate. In response, major chocolate companies lobbied relentlessly and eventually prevented the regulation. On October 1, 2001, they vowed to end child slavery in their supply chain on their own by 2005, and claimed that doing so via a 4-year plan without government interference … Continue reading

FELA! Opens in DC

As the audience gathered into Shakespeare Theatre Company’s Sydney Harman Hall for the opening night of FELA! in DC, I hoped all the congressional staffers making their way inside enjoyed a good happy hour beforehand. FELA! is, after all, an Afrobeat musical. Some fans came prepared, dancing in the aisles. Others came straight from work … Continue reading

Follow-up to “Stuck Between There and Nowhere”

[This is a follow-up to my article at Reject Apathy about refugees who suffer from being encamped long-term, and possible solutions to the problem. Check it out!] For those who have read it, here are some additional ways you can get involved with this issue: Look past the emergency – Often once the media hype … Continue reading

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