Doing Good on Yom HaShoah

Today was Yom HaShoah – Holocaust Remembrance Day. As a Jewish commemoration, it ends in the evening at sundown rather than at midnight. It is a time to reflect and remember, and a chance to refocus our energy on preventing similar atrocities. Unfortunately, the latter half of the 20th century tells a different story than … Continue reading

Inaugural Peace Ball

Just a quick heads up that I’ll be covering the Inaugural Peace Ball live tonight from Arena Stage at The Mead Center For American Theater here in DC. The event, which celebrates recent campaigns for peace while also reflecting and refocusing on the many efforts still to be done, will include guests Ralph Nader (you … Continue reading

Talking Satire with Song Byeok

I was thrilled this week to get a chance to interview Song Byeok, former State Propaganda Artist for North Korea. Song lost both parents and a sister to the famine of the 1990s that ravaged his homeland. After trying to escape into China to find food, he was tortured by the same government he used … Continue reading

A Brief for the Defense

I’m feeling melancholy today. I found out my childhood music teacher passed away this weekend, and even though I’d been preparing for it since her diagnosis of Alzheimer’s a few years ago, it still hit me hard. She encouraged me to make music, and through that she helped ease the pain of some difficult school … 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

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

Good News Friday – The Good News About Disappearance

The good news about disappearance is that there’s something you can do about it. This week I shared a couple of examples of enforced disappearance in Iraq and Pakistan, but it occurs in far too many countries to discuss in a few short days. Fortunately, some folks are fighting back: 1. EDIEC (Enforced Disappearances Information … Continue reading

White Guilt vs. White Redemption

Writers like me get accused a lot of appealing to people’s white guilt, so I figured I’d address that today. By “like me” I mean a white girl from an affluent family who grew up in the burbs only to become some bleeding-heart idealist hippie spouting words like “oppression,” “disenfranchisement” and “Africa.” Take this definition … Continue reading

My Decade of War

I cried on September 11th because I worried it would affect my plans to attend NYU. Yep, I was that immature. I was in high school. Like most people I was also terrified that we were going to war, that the people I loved might die, and that the country as we knew it would … Continue reading

The Cure for Donor Fatigue: Start with the Soul

Let’s assume you’re one of those people who sets aside money for charitable causes/tithing/etc. When you sit down to write your checks, do you choose devastated and ignored Japan? Famished Africa? Recovering Haiti? Or the cancer walk your niece is helping to plan? If you’re like many people in 2011, you get overwhelmed, annoyed, and … Continue reading

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