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Earlier this year, as part of our work with the Southern Rural Black Women’s Initiative and Human Rights Watch, we spoke to a young woman from rural Bolivar County, Mississippi. She had been planning to attend college this fall, the first in her…
News
Last July, I spoke with Sky H., a 20-year–old who identifies as non-binary and grew up in a very conservative rural town in the Black Belt region of Alabama. In school, Sky received abstinence-only…
Desks in an empty classroom
News
Amid protests against racism and police brutality in Minneapolis, Minnesota Public Safety Commissioner John Harrington likened police investigations of arrested protesters and their associates to contact tracing for COVID-19. This reckless analogy…
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News

Many Detainees Should Be Released; States Should Halt Transfers

As people across the United States prepared for Memorial Day last month, a second person in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody died of complications from Covid-19. Santiago Baten-Oxlaj, 34, from Guatemala, passed away at the Piedmont…
An illustration of a man in a prison uniform lying in fetal position at a crossroads (the roads have barbed wire)
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The accounts from people inside Ohio’s Marion Correctional Institute expressed an overwhelming fear. In early April, as COVID-19 rapidly spread, they described living in dormitories with well over a hundred other men, double their capacity, in stacked…
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Across the globe, people experiencing homelessness face serious risks—this was true before the Covid-19 pandemic. In many wealthy countries, homelessness has come to be seen as a fact of modern society. Some governments have claimed it can’t be…
Tents line a sidewalk on Golden Gate Avenue in San Francisco, Saturday, April 18, 2020.
News
In the week and a half leading up to my daughter’s birth last July, I saw an obstetrician several times, then was hospitalized to monitor my high blood pressure. I was diagnosed with severe pre-eclampsia, a condition that can lead to serious, and…
U.S. Representative Lauren Underwood (D-IL), co-founder and co-chair of the Black Maternal Health Caucus,  speaking at the Black Maternal Health Caucus Stakeholder Summit at the Capitol in Washington, DC on July 11, 2019.
News

The ongoing coronavirus pandemic underlines the urgent need for safety nets for domestic workers.

Few workers have cause to celebrate May 1, International Workers' Day, this year. COVID-19 has been accompanied by another pandemic - of job loss and economic insecurity. Domestic workers, primarily women, have particularly precarious jobs and often do…
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Many things are at stake as the nation battles the Covid-19 crisis; among the central long-term concerns is the fate of our right to vote. Facing so much suffering and death has left many grief-stricken Americans feeling robbed of a voice -- and voting…
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News

The Trump administration is talking about freezing immigration for 60 days, at a time when it’s urgent to address the vulnerability of thousands of Venezuelans in the United States.

As COVID-19 spreads, it’s clearer than ever that millions of Venezuelans who have fled a brutal government crackdown and an already collapsed health system in their home country can’t return safely. The U.S. government has the ability to grant…
People protest outside the children's hospital JM de los Rios because of lack of medicines, in Caracas, Venezuela March 12, 2020.
News
On March 23, the US government began temporarily barring “nonessential” travel to the United States from Mexico and Canada, which raises the question of what makes one traveler’s need to move essential and another’s not? In making the announcement…
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We already have an epic health crisis; we don’t need a racialized social crisis as well.

He watched me like I was a spider crossing the road. I was pushing my shopping cart toward the front of the Home Depot, aiming to stock up on hand soap and other supplies. He was in a dark green car and had slowed down and stopped to let me cross. He…
Jessica Wong, of Fall River, Mass., front left, Jenny Chiang, of Medford, Mass., center, and Sheila Vo, of Boston, from the state's Asian American Commission, stand together during a protest, Thursday, March 12, 2020
News
When Abba M. learned that a sexual partner had exposed her to the human papillomavirus, commonly known as HPV, she did “a bunch of Googling.” The 21-year-old Alabama resident knew very little about it. Turning to her friends proved…
A billboard by the Alabama Department of Public Health in Eutaw, Greene County, raises awareness of recommended adolescent vaccines, including the HPV vaccine.
News
What does it mean to be a human rights voter? Support candidates who want the government to adopt and enforce laws that promote and protect human rights. This means candidates who defend people from abusive systems, officials, individuals, and…
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News
The damage done by Hurricane Maria was far worse than Alvarez, or anyone, could have imagined. With broken roads, and hospitals overwhelmed as blackouts roiled the island, she gave birth at home a few weeks later. She relied on her doula skills and a…
People wait at the Jose de Diego Elementary School to file FEMA forms for federal aid in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in Las Piedras, Puerto Rico
News
My dad’s hearty laugh and sparkling eyes faded—and his care needs grew—as dementia set in. For his last few years, my dad lived in a care facility. The memory care unit staff treated him well. But he needed more than the staff. He needed…
Dementia