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Empower a girl, transform a community

By Kakenya Ntaiya ~ TED ~ Kakenya Ntaiya turned her dream of getting an education into a movement to empower vulnerable girls and bring an end to harmful traditional practices in Kenya. Meet two students at the Kakenya Center for Excellence, a school where girls can live and study safely — and uplift their community along the way. “When you empower a girl, you transform a community,” Ntaiya says. Watch…

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Food insecurity linked with low self-esteem in children: study

By Bev Betkowski ~ folio ~ Children in households with uncertain access to nutritious food are twice as likely to have low self-esteem and less likely to believe they can make healthy choices, new research shows. Uncertain access to enough food can starve a child’s self-esteem and confidence in making healthy life choices, new research shows. Children living in households with food insecurity have double the risk of low self-esteem…

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The endless struggle over racism

By Alvin Powell ~ The Harvard Gazette ~ Forum examines rising tide of hate, while promoting approaches that encourage tolerance Picture a world where political leaders refuse to promote racist stereotypes, where social media companies break down hate-filled echo chambers, where police are trained to counteract implicit bias, and where schools teach children tolerance so all feel safe. That’s the complicated recipe to fight ongoing and rising racism and hatred…

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White people cause the most pollution, but people of color suffer the most from it

By Ellie Anzilotti ~ Fast Company ~  Buying things–especially things that require a lot of shipping–causes air pollution. White people in the U.S. are bigger spenders, but the pollution their dollars create primarily affects people of color. If you are black or Hispanic in the United States, your environmental footprint is probably much lighter than the average white American. But at the same time, you probably breathe in much more…

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Extra arts education boosts students’ writing scores — and their compassion, big new study finds

By Matt Barnum ~ Chalkbeat ~  When you’re the big fish, it’s not OK to pick on the little fish just because you can. That’s an important lesson for everyone. But some Houston first-graders got a particularly vivid demonstration in the form of a musical puppet show, which featured fish puppets and an underlying message about why it’s wrong to bully others. The show left an impression on the students…

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The Growing Wealth Gap Marks the Return of Oligarchy

By C.J. Polychroniou ~ Truthout One of the most striking features of our era is the widening gap between rich and poor. In fact, wealth inequality may be higher today than any other era, although we lack the data to draw meaningful comparisons with the distant past. Moreover, the gap between the haves and the have-nots seems to be growing, as the annual reports from the development charity Oxfam clearly indicate. What are…

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Dying in childbirth on rise in U.S.

By Brett Milano ~ The Harvard Gazette ~  Harvard panel discusses why maternal mortality has doubled, and what can be done about it Deaths during childbirth have declined sharply in most parts of the world — but not in the United States. Maternal mortality doubled in this country between 2000 and 2014, and it disproportionately affects African-American women, placing them at three to four times greater risk. A panel at…

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Energy burden: Why the poor pay more for electricity

By Sara Peach ~ Yale Climate Connections ~  Americans commonly spend three or four percent of their income on energy bills. But in many low-income communities, that number is higher. Smith: “In Atlanta, for example, you have some people paying over eleven percent of their income on utility bills, and if you add that to the transportation costs, housing costs, food costs – nothing is left over in many of…

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The diversity gap for public school teachers is actually growing across generations

By Michael Hansen & Diana Quintero ~ Brookings ~ The public teacher workforce has been slowly growing more racially diverse over the last three decades. A notable study from Richard Ingersoll and Lisa Merrill finds the number of teachers of color more than doubled between 1987 and 2012, resulting in the share of nonwhite teachers in America’s public schools expanding from 12 to 17 percent over that same period. More current survey results from…

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A Wall Street Mini-Tax Could Benefit the Poor and Reduce Public Debt

By Ronald M. Glassman & Gerald E. Scorse ~ DISSIDENT VOICE ~ Truthout ~ With great fanfare, politicians on the left are thinking big on tax reform: a 70 percent rate on incomes over $10 million, a wealth tax on the super-rich, estate taxes as high as 77 percent. With no fanfare at all, the nonpartisan With great fanfare, politicians on the left are thinking big on tax reform: a 70 percent rate on incomes over $10 million,…

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