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To transform child welfare, take race out of the equation

TED Talk by Jessica Pryce In this eye-opening talk about the impact of race and neighborhood on foster-care decisions, social worker Jessica Pryce shares a promising solution to help child welfare agencies make bias-free assessments about when to remove children from their families. “Let’s work together to build a system that wants to make families stronger instead of pulling them apart,” Pryce says.

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Hurricane season not only brings destruction and death but rising inequality too

By Junia Howell ~ The Conversation ~ Hurricane Lane, which drenched Hawaii with four feet of rain, is a reminder of the devastation hurricane season can bring. Only one year ago Hurricane Harvey ravaged Houston, followed closely by Irma and Maria, which left a trail of destruction across Florida and Puerto Rico. Despite the private and government aid provided after these disasters, thousands continue to struggle even today. However, not…

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Sex and gender diversity is growing across the US

By Georgiann Davis ~ The Conversation ~ This week, Christine Hallquist, a transgender woman from Vermont, made history as the first openly trans person to ever win the nomination of a major political party for governor. Sex and gender diverse people were once only able to be their authentic selves in gay and lesbian spaces. Today, from Danica Roem in Virginia to Betsy Driver in New Jersey to Hallquist in…

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The Power of City Camping

By Allison Torres Burtka ~ Sierra ~ Until the last couple of months, no one had used Detroit’s sole campground in more than a decade. In May, the first group of kids arrived to set up camp. The site, unbeknownst to most Detroiters, is nestled in the city’s 1,184-acre Rouge Park. Just three years ago, Scout Hollow, once a staple of local Boy Scouts’ camping regimens, was overgrown. That’s when…

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Pressuring schools to raise test scores got diminishing returns, new study of No Child Left Behind finds

By Matt Barnun ~ Chalkbeat ~ Does tightening the screws on schools and teachers lead to benefits for students? For the past couple of decades, school reform efforts have assumed that the answer is yes. Setting ambitious goals, and putting pressure on schools to reach them, would push students ahead. And past research has shown that math scores rose as more states began threatening and sanctioning schools with low test…

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CEO compensation surged in 2017

By Lawrence Mishel and Jessica Schieder ~ Economic Policy Institute ~ What this report finds: This report looks at trends in chief executive officer (CEO) compensation, using two different measures. The first measure includes stock options realized (in addition to salary, bonuses, restricted stock grants, and long-term incentive payouts). By this measure, in 2017 the average CEO of the 350 largest firms in the U.S. received $18.9 million in compensation,…

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Sex education lessons from Mississippi and Nigeria

By Rachel Sullivan Robinson ~ The Conversation ~ Nigeria and Mississippi are a world apart physically, but the rural American state and the African country have much in common when it comes to the obstacles they had to overcome to implement sex education in their schools. Three lessons about overcoming these obstacles come out of research that several colleagues and I conducted on how sex education came to be in…

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The resurgence of a culture of makers: re-localizing production

By Daniel Christian Wahl ~ Hackernoon ~ One way to empower local communities and their regional economies to manifest their visions of a better future is to re-localize production and consumption and thereby strengthen regional economies. There is an important role for international trade and global exchange of goods and services, but not when it comes to meeting basic regional needs. Wherever feasible we should meet our needs as locally…

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‘Major Victory for Public Health’: Court Orders Trump EPA to Ban Pesticide That Harms Kids’ Brains

By Jessica Corbett ~ Common Dreams ~ “Children, farmworkers, rural families, and science are all huge winners today… EPA’s job is to protect public health, not industry profits.” In a “major victory for public health,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit on Thursday ruled the Trump administration illegally blocked a ban on chlorpyrifos—a pesticide linked to brain development delays in children and nervous systems issues for all…

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How To Create An Inclusive Environment For LGBTQ Employees

By Janice Gassam ~ Forbes ~ The average full-time American works 47 hours per week, with approximately 90,000 hours of an individual’s life spent at work. With such a huge portion of our lives dedicated to our jobs, it is of ever-increasing importance that work is a place where we feel comfortable. Estimates indicate that approximately 46% of LGBTQ employees have not disclosed their LGBTQ identity to their employers. According…

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