…and a black woman (trigger warning)

Three Young White Men and a Black Woman / Christiaen van Couwenbergh, 1632 / Musée des Beaux-Arts, Strasbourg The Bath / Jean-Léon Gérome, ca. 1880–1885 / Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Mildred Anna Williams Collection

Microcredit and the Alternative to “Job Creation”

When money is lent to the right people under the right conditions, it can transform lives and even entire communities.  This principle has been driving a revolution in international development: the microcredit revolution. Normally, the only financing available to impoverished communities comes from loan sharks, who require such exploitative rates that borrowers can never escape … Continue reading

“Roadkill” – a Bus Ride to Human Trafficking

I’ve received a lot of invitations to plays about human trafficking. At first, I’d go. I wanted to support the organizations fighting this problem and see how they use theater to raise awareness. But, I have to be honest, many of them felt contrived at best. Most seemed to glory in the suffering, a la … 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

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

Hidden Gulag – Live Tweeting

Hey everyone! Don’t forget I’m live tweeting today from Hidden Gulag – a conference at the Peterson Institute in DC on the prison camp system in North Korea. It’s hosted by The U.S. Committee for Human Rights in North Korea – a non-governmental research and advocacy group working for the end of oppression in DPRK. … 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

Dirty Laundry

I’ve been reading up lately on a scandal in Ireland surrounding the Magdalene laundries/asylums. In case you’re unfamiliar with these crazy horrible places (as I was until just recently), here’s a quick run-through: Protestants and Catholics set up Magdalene laundries in Ireland – and elsewhere on a smaller scale – as a way to reform … Continue reading

You Have Immunity in the Next Challenge

I’ve always hated immunity, even and especially on reality shows. I mean come on, how will you ever find the next great fashion designer when you give Bert a free pass to be a lazy bum on the first unconventional challenge of the season? Of course he’s just going to grab the dog store fabric … Continue reading

Good News Friday

Better late than never! Here’s some good news to take into your weekend: Rise of Activism Against Child Slavery in the Uzbek Cotton Industry: After a somewhat successful petition on Change.org meant to raise awareness for and protest the use of forced child labor in the cotton industry, activists are riding the momentum to demand … Continue reading

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