Imagine living with no toilet in your home, village or slum. As a woman, your best option for privacy is to walk to the bush or an open field to urinate, defecate, or manage your menstrual hygiene needs, or to risk dirty crowded alleyways because latrine blocks are unavailable to you. But you know it’s not safe after dark: people are robbed, murdered, and raped. Now, imagine it’s the middle of the night, and you really need to go. What do you do?
Fifty years ago, Americans from community after community came together and committed to a vision for justice and equality. People fought. People died. People transcended the small interests of their own needs, as Blacks, Jews, women, gays and lesbians, took real risks to advocate for change and common cause.
Charles Dickens wrote “I hope I have taken every available opportunity of showing the want of sanitary improvements in the neglected dwellings of the poor.”
He couldn’t have been more spot on in his observations of the links between sanitation, poverty, rapid urbanization and population growth in the 19th century.
It isn’t often that we get to see American teens in peak physical condition showcasing their athleticism on the world stage. So it was especially thrilling to watch the U.S. women’s gymnastics team—and other young Olympians—win gold at this summer’s London Olympics. Their achievements are an important reminder that it is still possible to be young and fit in America. But the sad fact is that the opportunity to be healthy is still eluding too many children and youth.
It’s harder for smokers to find places to light up these days - cigarettes face increasing regulation and heavy taxation around the world. But the tobacco industry isn’t worried. Just last month, the chief executive of Reynolds American, the parent company of R.J. Reynolds, touted to stockholders a 35 percent increase in net income and a profitable future ahead.
You have to wonder about the level of Mitt Romney's desperation to select Representative Paul Ryan as his running mate. By all accounts, Mr. Ryan seems like a nice all-American guy: former McDonald's employee, waiter, and personal fitness trainer. But all of these ordinary working class jobs Ryan held in his youth do not cover the fact that he is aiding and abetting the most extraordinary financial heist in U.S. history.
Mad Men is about to make Emmy history with the highest number of nominations for a drama series. The show depicts an era of American history when the priorities, preferences, and opinions of men prevailed in the public and private spheres of American life, often to the detriment of women. While the show is set in the 1960s, we could imagine what its storyline would look like if written for today's era.
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Kezia Williams, Founder of Capital Cause
Kezia Williams serves as Chair of Capital Cause, a DC-based fiscally-sponsored nonprofit dedicated to engaging young philanthropists in giving. Her work with this organization has included growing the organization from five vested members to over 5,000 young professionals influenced by the message of young philanthropy.Read more
Written by U.S. Rep. Charles B. Rangel
I am pleased that the President's FY14 Budget addresses the student loan crisis in our country. From leading the world into the age of democracy to spearheading the technological revolution, America has always been at the forefront of greatness.