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How solar projects can transform low-income communities

By Sarah Kennedy ~ Yale Climate Connections In North Philadelphia, one organization is bringing the transformative power of solar energy to low-income neighborhoods. This past spring, Serenity Soular helped raise more than $37,000 from more than 300 donors to finance a solar installation at a community arts center. The group has also completed projects at a Baptist church and a community outreach center. Frank Ortiz of Serenity Soular says that…

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Ending the Secrecy of the Student Debt Crisis

By Daniela Senderowicz ~ YES! ~ Gamblers and reality TV stars can claim bankruptcy protections when in financial trouble, but 44 million student loan borrowers can’t. Unemployed, underpaid, destitute, sick, or struggling borrowers simply aren’t able to start anew. With a default rate approaching 40 percent, one would expect armies of distressed borrowers marching in the streets demanding relief from a system that has singled out their financial anguish. Distressed…

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How women in rural India turned courage into capital

By Chetna Gala Sinha ~ TED ~ When bankers refused to serve her neighbors in rural India, Chetna Gala Sinha did the next best thing: she opened a bank of her own, the first ever for and by women in the country. In this inspiring talk, she shares stories of the women who encouraged her and continue to push her to come up with solutions for those denied traditional financial…

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Social Inequality, As Seen From The Sky

By Romullo Baratto ~ Translated by Zoë Montano ~ arch daily ~ Across the world, urban clusters have — to a greater or lesser extent — social and economic differences. Reflected in space, these imbalances of income and access to education, health, sanitation, and infrastructure generate ruptures more or less visible – although drastically felt. Although a daily reality for some, socio-spatial inequalities can often go unnoticed. Photographer Johnny Miller…

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Poor nations at bottom of environment ladder

By By Peter Makwanya ~ NewsDay ~ THE poor, normally referred to, as the “common people” seem to be cursed or ostracised, as a result of not having recognition, no rights, and little freedom, in the societies they live in. Due to their placement in society, the poor normally derive their survival from the environment, in particular, the forest resources near them. When they cut down trees for building houses,…

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The CEO of Girl Rising is Making the World a Better Place for Girls, One Story at a Time

By Abigail Libers ~ The Garage ~ It’s not unusual for a movie to win awards, get rave reviews and win big (or lose) at the box office. But it’s not every day one helps to change the world. Girl Rising is a film that became a powerful movement and gave filmmaker Christina Lowery the role of a lifetime. Now the CEO of a globally recognized non-profit with connections to Michelle Obama…

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Separate is still unequal: How patterns of occupational segregation impact pay for black women

By Madison Matthews and Valerie Wilson ~ Economic Policy Institute ~ August 7th was Black Women’s Equal Pay Day, the day that marks how long into 2018 an African American woman would have to work in order to be paid the same wages her white male counterpart was paid last year. On average, in 2017, black women workers were paid only 66 cents on the dollar relative to non-Hispanic white…

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Excess Food, Which Normally Gets Thrown Out, Helps To Feed Hungry In Santa Barbara County

By Debra Greene ~ KCLU ~ Food that would normally be thrown out is now feeding the hungry in Santa Barbara County. Restaurants, supermarkets and caterers routinely dump their excess prepared food. But instead of filling up landfills with healthy, uneaten food, the Community Environmental Council came up with an idea. “It just seems wrong to send edible food to waste. Instead, we could be giving it to people who…

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What if urban planners treated green space like a drug?

By Sarah DeWeerdt ~ Anthropocene ~ Turning derelict vacant lots into pocket parks is associated with reduced feelings of depression and worthlessness among people living nearby, according to a new study conducted in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The study is the latest entry in a growing body of research documenting the mental health benefits of urban green space. Previous research has found that vacant lots, trash, and lack of greenery can contribute…

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How Do You Get Better Schools? Take the State to Court, More Advocates Say

By Dana Goldstein~ New York Times By his own account, Alejandro Cruz-Guzman’s five children have received a good education at public schools in St. Paul. His two oldest daughters are starting careers in finance and teaching. Another daughter, a high-school student, plans to become a doctor. But their success, Mr. Cruz-Guzman said, flows partly from the fact that he and his wife fought for their children to attend racially integrated…

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