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The Great White Social Justice Novel

The Great White Social Justice Novel

May 24, 2020

Originally published in Sydney Review of Books The US publishing industry has been embroiled in a controversy since the publication of the much hyped novel American Dirt earlier this year. The novel by American writer Jeanine Cummins tracks the escape of a middle class Mexican woman Lydia and her son Luca from violent cartels in […]

Against the Drums of Death

Against the Drums of Death

Dec 15, 2019

Originally published in Adi magazine   I participated in the committee for life and peace in Morón, against the drums of death that they wanted to bring for this people. —William Peraza, Carabobo, Venezuela William Peraza lives in the coastal town of Morón, in the northern Venezuelan state of Carabobo. In a storytelling workshop known […]

A Ship Adrift: Cuba After the Pink Tide

A Ship Adrift: Cuba After the Pink Tide

Apr 1, 2019

Originally published in NACLA In the early years of the post-Soviet period, when Cuba was reeling from the collapse of its main benefactor, a young Cuban emcee known as Randee Akosta rhymed, “We are a ship adrift that sails aimlessly, and without money, we’ve lost half our crew.” He was referring to the economic and […]

How Mumbai’s Sanitation Workers Won Their Rights

How Mumbai’s Sanitation Workers Won Their Rights

Mar 5, 2019

Originally co-published in The Nation and Scroll.in Anil Ambedkar, a sanitation worker from the outskirts of Mumbai, is part of a group of 2,700 contract workers who were recently made permanent employees of the Brihanmumbai Municipal Corporation (BMC), a city agency, after a 10-year legal battle. A serious man with deep-set eyes and a thick […]

All You Need is Love?

All You Need is Love?

Sep 30, 2018

Originally published on Open Democracy The last decade has seen many pioneering approaches to social justice organizing that revolve around personal-political transformation. One notable example is domestic worker organizing in the United States. During several Bill of Rights campaigns across the country, coalitions of domestic worker organizations emphasized the transformative power of love and connection […]

The evisceration of storytelling

The evisceration of storytelling

Jun 19, 2018

Originally published on the OUP Blog In his seminal essay “The Storyteller,” published in 1936, the German philosopher Walter Benjamin decried the loss of the craft of oral storytelling marked by the advent of the short story and the novel. Modern society, he lamented, had abbreviated storytelling. Fast forward to the era of Facebook, where […]

How Socially Engaged Activism is Transforming Cuba

How Socially Engaged Activism is Transforming Cuba

Feb 22, 2018

Originally published in The Nation Since 1944, the rhythms of daily life in the small rural town of La Conchita in Cuba’s western province of Pinar del Río have been tied to a bell that chimes at 7:50 am, noon, 12:50 pm, and 5 pm. This is the bell of the food-processing factory La Conchita, […]

Hairdressers of the World Unite!

Hairdressers of the World Unite!

Jan 28, 2018

Originally published in The Nation (You Have Nothing to Lose But Your Locks… and a Community to Win) In one Havana neighborhood, they’re doing exactly that. December 27 is celebrated in Cuba as the Day of the Barber and Hairdresser. The initiative was inaugurated by the prerevolutionary Cuban government in 1946, in honor of the […]

Trump’s Cold War Politics are Hurting Ordinary Cubans

Trump’s Cold War Politics are Hurting Ordinary Cubans

Nov 15, 2017

Originally published in The Nation It has been almost three years since Barack Obama declared détente with Cuba, initiating, with Cuban President Raúl Castro, a normalization of relations between the two countries. But since his election last fall, Donald Trump has attempted to revert to an obsolete and aggressive Cold War policy by strengthening the […]

We Need to Fight for All Undocumented Migrants, not Just Dreamers

We Need to Fight for All Undocumented Migrants, not Just Dreamers

Sep 8, 2017

Originally published in The Nation The announcement by Attorney General Jeff Sessions that the Trump administration will end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy is a devastating blow to those who are currently protected by it. (For more on how the rollback and six-month deadline works, see this piece by Julianne Hing.) We […]

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