“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

Freedom From? Or Freedom to Do and Become?

The dominant trend in international development today is to provide individuals with the means to climb out of poverty on their own terms.  The key theorist responsible for this trend is Nobel Prize laureate Amartya Sen. In his 1999 book, Development as Freedom, Sen proposed a new definition for development. Rather than thinking of development … Continue reading

Relating to a Plea from China

Last month a Falun Gong practitioner and former prisoner in China admitted to writing a letter found by an Oregonian woman in her K-mart Halloween decorations. The letter alleges the product was made in a Chinese labor camp by prisoners who work 15 hours a day and face torture and abuse. It requests, “Sir: If … Continue reading

One Million Bones

This past weekend thousands of volunteers, dressed in white, laid out one million bones on the National Mall as part of the One Million Bones project. Students, artists, activist groups, and other organizations from around the world crafted the bones. Each bone represented victims of genocide and mass violence. The event was solemn… But also … Continue reading

30%. Gone.

As of May, more than 5.5 million people had fled their homes as a result of the conflict in Syria. That’s nearly 30% of the country, or 1.5 million refugees outside of Syria and 4 million people displaced within the border. When I first read those numbers, I found myself imagining 1/3 of my building … 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

Carefully Taught

In 1949, many critics demanded Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II remove the following song from their new Broadway musical South Pacific. These naysayers predicted the number would/should doom the production because it justified interracial marriage and offended the standards of decency commonly accepted in musical theater. Rodgers and Hammerstein fought boldly for it, claiming … Continue reading

Charter Cities Attempt to Reduce Poverty by Providing Options

The dominant trend in international development right now is to provide individuals with greater means to climb out of poverty on more or less their own terms. NYU development economist Paul Romer has pioneered what may be the latest, and perhaps craziest, idea in this trend.  What if we provide individuals with greater means to … Continue reading

Meet Our New Author!

I’m really excited to announce that TheMarginalized.com is gaining an author: Michael Castle-Miller! Michael will be writing on law and development from a human rights perspective, which will include urban planning, relevant national and international cases, and more. Anyone who knows Michael knows he’s a great fit for a this site; but in case you … Continue reading

Desperation in Guantanamo Bay I really appreciated this NPR report and interview on the hunger strikes happening at Guantánamo Bay. Former inmate Omar Deghayes’ recollection of communicating through the walls reminded me of stories from the communist gulags. Listen in to learn more about what’s really going on there, and how the hunger strikes could be … Continue reading

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