Nicolle Gonzales has the stamina of a long-distance runner, which she is, and the authority that comes from guiding nervous mothers-to-be through difficult labor. Her confidence was hard-won: She is a survivor of sexual abuse who gave birth to her first child at age 20 in a noisy hospital room, crowded with relatives and attended… Read More For Native Women: A Place to Give Birth and Take On Trauma
I arrived just before the holidays, after dodging snow storms all the way from the pueblos of northern New Mexico, through Moab, Salt Lake City, Burns (before all the excitement started), and Portland. After 12,000 miles and four months on the road, it was so good to be back home in Suquamish, reunited with friends and family. Many… Read More I Made It Home …
Above: Rev. Wes Magruder wasted little time in speaking to the refugee issue at the First Methodist Church of Kessler Park in Dallas. A Syrian refugee family has just arrived in Dallas. The occasion is generating a great deal of controversy, more than you might expect for the arrival of two small children, their parents and… Read More Amid Tensions, Christians Show Support for Syrian Immigrants in Dallas
Cincinnati, Ohio, is among the fastest growing cities in the Midwest. It hosts corporate giants like Procter & Gamble and Kroger, and some of its close-in neighborhoods have become chic, with coffee shops and new condominiums. But prosperity is not trickling down to the poorest residents, predominantly African American, who are more likely to get… Read More The Economics of Compassion: Can Cincinnati Wipe Out Debt by 2019?
For years, women and children fleeing domestic violence in 17 counties in Kentucky turned to the Bluegrass Domestic Violence Program. The organization’s 24-hour hotline and shelter offered help to women who were physically and psychologically battered in this economically depressed region. Many of the women were isolated from families and friends, and often they fled… Read More More Than a Shelter, Greenhouse 17 Offers Growth After Domestic Violence
Back in the day, factory workers at the Chicago-based Republic Windows and Doors were simply told what to do. That wasn’t unusual. Workers might have seen ways to improve the production process, but at Republic their supervisor wasn’t interested, said former employee Armando Robles. “Whatever the bosses want, we do it. We’d say, ‘Look, this… Read More Owning Your Work in Chicago: This is What People Power Looks Like
This week, I returned to Detroit as I do every few years. On Thursday, I visited the James and Grace Lee Boggs School and heard of the influence Grace had in founding a school that is deeply rooted in community. On Friday, I visited the Boggs Center and talked to board members about their perceptions of… Read More Remembering Grace Lee Boggs and the Revolution She Inspired in Me
Nearly every day at Growing Power in Chicago, trucks pull up and dump huge piles of discarded fruits, vegetables and loads of wood chips. Growing Power’s farm crews layer these together to create stacks of nitrogen and carbon that heat up and break down to form rich compost. This will become the farm’s vegetable beds.… Read More Just Food Makes a Way Out of No Way
I am back in Chicago after taking a break from the road to attend a YES! Magazine board meeting. And I got engaged! My partner of seven years, Dee Axelrod, and I decided to make it official. Thanks to the state of Washington and the U.S. Supreme Court, we can so legally! Hurrah! Meanwhile, here is what… Read More New from Chicago and a Question: Where Should I Visit in the Midwest?
Everywhere I go, people take me to water. It’s a little unexpected. I thought I was researching resistance to fossil fuel extraction, especially in Montana and North Dakota, but the topic quickly turns to rivers, lakes, ground water, and creeks. Alaina Buffalo Spirit, member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, took me to the Tongue River… Read More To Water, With Love