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

Tweets Re: North Korean Gulags

Thank you to everyone who followed along yesterday with my live tweets from the Hidden Gulag conference here in DC. It was a really fascinating event, and as you could probably tell I tried to capture as much as possible on Twitter. Before I post any further thoughts and resources, I wanted to give you … 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

Ways to Help Famine Victims in the Horn of Africa

Somalia and neighboring countries are facing the worst drought in 60 years, which has led to severe famine affecting approximately 10 million people. Hundreds of thousands of people – the majority women and children – have been displaced in the Horn of Africa. As in most cases of humanitarian crisis, one of the best ways … Continue reading

Good News Friday

It’s Friday again, and a day for good news. I don’t know about you, but I’ve been looking forward to a little pick-me-up. So here’s a rundown of some great things happening: Anti-Trafficking Laws Passed in Tennessee On Tuesday, the governor of my favorite state signed a series of bills meant to protect victims of … Continue reading

Mail and the Marginalized

The image above is from the National Postal Museum in Washington, DC. The words read: Messenger of sympathy and love Servant of parted friends Consoler of the lonely Bond of the scattered family Enlarger of the common life We take a lot for granted. Sure, mail is dead in some ways. These days it isn’t … Continue reading

Koman Coulibaly and the Marginalized

Today the U.S. Men’s National Team takes on Algeria in their final group round match of the World Cup. In case you’ve been unconscious for the last week and missed it, last week’s game between the United States and Slovenia ended in both glory and controversy. The U.S. recovered from a 2-0 deficit to tie … Continue reading

The Real Football and North Korea

It is always strange for me to see North Koreans compete at high-profile events like the World Cup. It seems out of place: the most brutal dictatorship on earth taking part in fun and games. Something doesn’t seem right about it, like stories about children raised by wolves. They often seem to get there, though, be … Continue reading

Human Trafficking on Your Block

In case you aren’t aware of the 100,000-300,000 American children at risk of human sex trafficking in the United States, now you can be. NPR spoke on it late last week and gave a disturbing inside look at how it can happen: predators and pimps prey on at-risk youth, sometimes even by going to their … Continue reading

A New Earthquake or a Fabulous Easter Gift?

Monsanto has announced that they will ship $4 million worth of seeds into earthquake-ravaged Haiti. The seed gift will include corn, cabbage, carrot, eggplant, melon, onion, tomato, spinach, and watermelon. The first 60 tons arrived in Haiti last week. When Haiti approved the donation back in April, Monsanto called it a “fabulous Easter gift.” But Haitians … Continue reading

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