Category Archives: Policy & Issues

Why Environmental Groups Need More Volunteers of Color

Earth Day comes right before National Volunteer Week, an annual celebration of North American volunteerism in late April. This fortuitous timing gives environmental nonprofits an opportunity to engage prospective volunteers, especially nonwhites who live in communities exposed to environmental injustices. The Conversation But although people of color are more likely than whites to live in… Read More »

This Could Be Reparations’ Best Chance Since 1865

Reparations for African-Americans were once a boutique demand from fringe groups of black nationalists. Not that the concept lacks pedigree: In 1865, Union Gen. William Sherman set aside thousands of acres for the newly freed by way of a special field order. But President Andrew Johnson soon returned the titles to the original white owners,… Read More »

Where Did All the Black Teachers Go?

I started first grade at an all-black elementary school in Chester, Pa., a deeply segregated factory town near Philadelphia, in 1957 — three years after the Supreme Court ruled in Brown v. Board of Education that school segregation was unconstitutional. The crisply dressed first graders who moved hesitantly that day through the halls of the… Read More »

The age of mass incarceration may actually be abating

Among the many shameful legacies of racial discrimination and segregation in the United States is the fact that African Americans make up a disproportionate share of both those who are victims of violent crimes and those who are incarcerated for committing them. “Locking Up Our Own,” a remarkable new book by Yale Law School professor… Read More »

A Focus on Health to Resolve Urban Ills

On a crisp morning in the struggling Bay Area city of Richmond, Calif., Doria Robinson prepares a community vegetable garden for an onslaught of teenagers who will arrive that afternoon. Beyond the farm, a Chevron refinery pumps plumes of smoke into the atmosphere. The farm won’t remove the pollution, but Robinson believes it can make… Read More »