How to Promote Long-Term Choices In a Short-Term World

What happens when you’re a parent in the developing world who can only provide for the family if you take your kids out of school and have them work?  Not giving them an education will sacrifice their long-term potential, but sometimes short-term needs are just too urgent. Conditional cash transfers (CCTs) attempt to make that … Continue reading

We Already Know How to Help These Women

I want to talk today about something difficult to discuss. You don’t hear about it in the news very often, likely because it affects people the West commonly ignores, and might be too overwhelming for the typical 24/7 news cycle. The problem is a medical one: fistula, or when an abnormal tract forms between two … Continue reading

Ash on the Reservation

The Reid Gardner Station is a coal plant located outside Las Vegas in Moapa, NV. Owned by NV Energy, it stands adjacent to the Moapa Band of Paiutes reservation. For years, residents have complained of extremely high cancer and asthma rates, which they associate with the 50-year-old plant and its coal ash dump (a landfill … Continue reading

How to Help Syrian Refugees

As their country enters the third year of a bitter civil war, roughly 4 million Syrians have fled their homes. At least 1 million have crossed into neighboring countries like Jordan, Lebanon, Iraq, and Turkey. The rest are displaced within Syria, including a large contingency hiding out in Roman-era caves. And to make the situation … Continue reading

When They Die, Who Mourns Them?

Today I want to highlight a group of heroes out there doing amazing, practical work. I hope their hands-on response to the global crisis that is HIV/AIDS will inspire us to deeper compassion and give us just one example of how we can care for the people in greatest need among us. Joseph’s House is … Continue reading

Growing Up Without AIDS

What I remember most about AIDS growing up is the silence. In Memphis, where more than one friend actually went to ex-gay camp, I don’t remember hearing much about the disease that has now killed over 30 million people. To be fair, I also don’t remember any hateful statements about how AIDS cures homosexuality. No, … Continue reading

The Normal Heart and Larry Kramer’s Letter

As part of my post today, I’d like to direct you over to We Love DC for my review of The Normal Heart – currently running at Arena Stage here in DC. The director and two leading actors helped this show – an intense drama about the first months and years of the AIDS epidemic … Continue reading

Bearing Our Own Energy Burden

The Keystone XL pipeline – once relatively unknown to everyone but energy execs and protestors – has become a major US election issue and the source of much controversy lately. The proposed pipeline would carry oil 2,000 miles from Canada’s tar sands through the US and down to Texas. Environmental activists have been fighting the … Continue reading

A Zagat for Bleeding Hearts

Next time your waiter brings you that side of fries, how do you know she hasn’t coughed a nasty stomach virus onto it? Who can a busboy talk to about having his wages stolen from him? When a line cook leaves work, does he have a place to call home? Earlier this month, Restaurant Opportunities … Continue reading

We Need Cleaner Air and Cleaner Hearts

Last week NPR featured a series on poisoned places exposing the ways polluted air continues to harm residents all over the US. When I heard this report on All Things Considered, I recognized the place immediately: thick fog, benzene in the air, burning eyes and throats, obscure cancers. Perhaps this was LaBelle, PA – the … Continue reading

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