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What Is the Real Cost of Mass Incarceration?

By Lornet Turnbull ~ Yes! ~ The documentary ‘Milwaukee 53206’ depicts the toll of the prison epidemic on families and entire communities. When documentary producers first approached Beverly Walker about featuring her family in a film, the Milwaukee mother and grandmother knew what that meant: cameras trailing them, her cherished privacy breached. But her husband, Baron Walker, by then having served nearly two decades of a 60-year sentence, saw an…

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FBI Reports Biggest Increase in Hate Crimes in Past Decade

By Jerica Deck ~ Global Citizen ~  And it shows no signs of slowing. Hate crimes in the United States have increased by 17%, the highest jump in more than a decade, according to a new report by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The annual Hate Crimes Statistics report said that 7,175 hate crimes were reported to authorities last year, compared to 6,121 in 2016. This is the largest rise in…

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Austin’s Fix for Homelessness: Tiny Houses, and Lots of Neighbors

By Megan Kimble ~ Citylab ~ Community First! Village’s model for ending homelessness emphasizes the stabilizing power of social connections. There are a lot of things that Richard Devore likes about the 250-square-foot tiny home he’s lived since early last year. He loves the wood cabinets in his house, the sprawling oak trees providing shade outside, the goats roaming in the pasture nearby. But most of all, he loves “the…

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This Shelter Gives Homeless People What They Really Need—Long-Term Jobs

By Sydney Worth ~ yes! A Fort Worth, Texas, program sees steady employment as an important step in helping guests rebuild their lives. When Kristy Yates’ daughter passed away in 2010, Yates sank into a deep depression and alcoholism that led to a drunken driving arrest. After a slew of health issues and losing all three of her jobs, the Fort Worth, Texas, resident became homeless and ended up checking…

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4 Laws That Could Stem the Rising Threat of Mass Shootings

By Melinda Wenner Moyer ~ Scientific American ~ The right gun laws do prevent shootings, research strongly indicates. And these laws do not mean confiscating everybody’s guns. Scientific American spoke with Garen Wintemute, director of the Violence Prevention Research Program at the University of California, Davis, Medical Center, and Daniel Webster, director of Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health’s Center for Gun Policy and Research, about four feasible legal…

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5 Ways New Movement Leaders Are Effecting Change

By Michael Silberman ~ yes! ~ Seasoned campaigners have long understood that the most effective messengers and organizers are those with the most at stake, or—like the Parkland students—little to lose. Those most directly affected by an issue can speak from the heart, while many campaigners and advocates sound scripted when they cite statistics or the latest study to make their points. Soon after taking the stage at the March…

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All Laws That Make It a Crime to be Homeless Should Be Repealed

By John Tharp, Maria Foscarinis ~ Other Words ~ Here’s what should replace them. When San Diego resident Gerald Stark’s rent increased and he couldn’t afford another apartment, the retired union pipefitter moved into his RV. But because he lacked an address, San Diego law made it almost impossible for him to park his RV legally. Soon the city confiscated it, leaving him out on the streets. There, he was…

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What Stands in the Way of Native American Voters?

By Carrie Levine ~ The Center for Public Integrity ~ Two years ago, when Chase Iron Eyes decided to run for Congress, he knew he had, as he puts it, “a snowball’s chance in hell” of winning. But Iron Eyes, a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, still saw the narrowest of paths to victory in the race for North Dakota’s sole congressional seat. If he and the two…

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California Gov. Jerry Brown Signs Landmark Bill Requiring Women On Corporate Boards

By Sebe Hamedy ~ Huffington Post ~ “It’s high time corporate boards include the people who constitute more than half the ‘persons’ in America,” the governor wrote in his signing message. California on Sunday became the first state to require corporate boards of directors to include women. “Given all the special privileges that corporations have enjoyed for so long, it’s high time corporate boards include the people who constitute more…

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How to put the power of law in people’s hands

By Vivek Maru ~ TED ~ What can you do when the wheels of justice don’t turn fast enough? Or when they don’t turn at all? Vivek Maru is working to transform the relationship between people and law, turning law from an abstraction or threat into something that everyone can understand, use and shape. Instead of relying solely on lawyers, Maru started a global network of community paralegals, or barefoot…

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