Social Justice and Equality

My reporting for Changing America by The Hill on the topics of equality.

First-time voters make their voices heard on LGBTQ+ issues and beyond

Throughout 2020, members of Generation Z have been making headlines for some pretty unorthodox demonstrations of their political views — from bombarding far-right Twitter hashtags with Korean pop (K-pop) content or rallying on video platform TikTok to promote a mass purchase of Trump rally tickets. According the the Pew Research Center, Generation Z, those born in 1996 or later, is the most pro-government and anti-Trump generation. With that being said, they do not hold the same party alliances

T-Mobile to give free internet to 10 million students in need

The start of September usually marks a return for students back to the classroom, but pandemic-related concerns are keeping a record number of them at home. Many of these students are now expected to participate in remote learning, meaning they will require a solid internet connection at all times in order to participate in lessons, assignments, activities and more. Remote learning presents a challenge to many students and their families who either cannot pay for or do not have access to high s

A California assembly member voted on the House floor with her newborn in tow after being denied the ability to vote remotely

When the final night of the session and one of the most important votes — on affordable housing and key family leave policies — rolled around, California assemblywoman Buffy Wicks (D-Oakland) realized what she must do. Wicks had just given birth to her daughter Elly, who was born with jaundice, a few days earlier on July 26. Elly’s condition means that Wicks cannot be away from her for an entire day, as her baby requires consistent nourishment to stay healthy. Wicks was understandably worried a

Celebrate Women's Equality Day with this award-winning female historian

Today marks the hundredth anniversary of the adoption of the 19th Amendment, which sealed into law that “the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex.” Now recognized annually as Women’s Equality Day, the historic adoption of the 19th Amendment on Aug. 26, 1920, kicked off a century of uneven-but-steady progression for the legal voting rights of all women in the United States. Fast forward to the presen

New study confirms that female-led countries fared better against coronavirus

This year, world leaders have largely been measured by their responses to the coronavirus pandemic. Soon after the outbreak began to quickly spread, a theory emerged that female leaders had been reacting exceptionally well to the pandemic, keeping infection levels low in their country and coming up with inventive ways to keep their citizens safe and well-informed. Back in April, we spoke with Kathleen Gersen, a professor of sociology at New York University, about the idea that female-led countr

HBO's 'Stockton on My Mind' features a young mayor at the helm of a struggling city

Directly post-commencement, most college grads are sussing out their next move, whether that means finding a desk job or continuing their education even further. For Michael Tubbs, it was a different story altogether. After graduating from Stanford University in 2012 on a full ride scholarship, Tubbs returned to his hometown of Stocktown, Calif., to mourn the loss of his young cousin who was shot to death — his stay extended indefinitely when he decided to run for, and won, a seat as the city's

It has been 100 years since the passing of the 19th Amendment

It has officially been 100 years since Aug. 18, 1920, the historic day that the 19th Amendment was ratified and women were, in so many words, granted the constitutional right to vote in the United States. It’s an event glamorized and glorified in textbooks, an event that did help pave the way for the progression of the women’s rights movement, especially in the realm of politics. But many Americans are unaware of the full story. In reality, the 19th Amendment didn’t even name women explicitly,

Kansas could elect its first openly transgender lawmaker to state legislature this year

From the young age of 12, Stephanie Byers knew she wanted to become a music teacher, and that’s exactly what she did. “When I was a kid I started band practice, in sixth grade, and my band director made life just...wonderful and fun. I kind of grew up in a tough neighborhood and where I went to school there were tons of kids like me that, you know, did not have money,” says Byers. “This gentleman made us all realize that we were somebody, and it didn't matter how much money we had or didn't hav

Joe Biden selects Kamala Harris as his vice presidential running mate, making history

Joe Biden announced Tuesday that he had chosen Kamala Harris, a prominent senator from California, to be his running mate for the upcoming 2020 election ballot. The decision marks a historic moment in the gender and racial equality movement, as Harris, the daughter of immigrants from Jamaica and India, will soon be the first Black woman to run on a major political party’s presidential ticket. If elected, she would also be the nation’s first female, first Black and first Asian American vice pres

Latinos disproportionately affected by coronavirus, sheds a light onto existing inequities

This July, the United States registered more than 1.9 million new COVID-19 infections, making it increasingly obvious that the infectious disease isn’t going anywhere any time soon. As case numbers around the world continue to slowly wane, here in the U.S. they are surging in several Midwestern states as well as the South and West, where the virus has been spreading rapidly after restrictions were lifted earlier this summer. By now, more than 4,770,000 coronavirus cases and 156,000 fatalities h

Kevin Valdez of Apple TV+'s 'Little Voice' on being an actor with autism

The new music-filled series “Little Voice,” which debuted on Apple TV+ earlier this month, is a comforting antidote to the hectic 24-hour news cycle set in a pre-COVID New York City. While the show may center around the gifted but self-doubting songstress Bess, one of the show’s real breakout stars is Kevin Valdez, who plays the lead character’s brother, Louie — an aspiring Broadway actor who lives in a group home for those on the autism spectrum.

Online retail giant Zappos is now selling single shoes to help those with disabilities

Popular online shoe retailer Zappos just launched a refreshingly inclusive shopping experience, in which single and different sized shoes are now available for purchase. The pilot program is the first-of-its-kind, and allows customers with physical disabilities the opportunity to purchase exactly what they need for their specific situation. “The Single and Different Size Shoes Test Program is very close to our hearts – we wanted our community to know that we heard them, and continue to listen a

Pentagon bans the display of Confederate flags on military bases

The Pentagon released a new policy on Friday effectively banning the display of the Confederate flag on all U.S. military bases around the world. The language of the policy does not explicitly name the flag — rather it lists the types of flags that are allowed to be displayed, which include the American flag, the flags of the U.S. states, territories and the District of Columbia, military flags and those of allies. "The flags we fly must accord with the military imperatives of good order and di

Trump administration reverses controversial policy for foreign students

Just last week, U.S. officials announced a new policy that would force international students studying at American schools to return to their home countries if online-only classes were offered this fall. The confusion and blowback from the decision was swift, with many prestigious higher learning institutions such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard choosing to fight the decision legally. More than 1 million international students attend school in the U.S., which contribu

Trump administration reverses controversial policy for foreign students

Just last week, U.S. officials announced a new policy that would force international students studying at American schools to return to their home countries if online-only classes were offered this fall. The confusion and blowback from the decision was swift, with many prestigious higher learning institutions such as Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Harvard choosing to fight the decision legally. More than 1 million international students attend school in the U.S., which contribu

Washington NFL football team to change controversial name, logo

When Dan Snyder bought the Washington Redskins in 1999 for $750 million, he was a multimillionaire who made his money through marketing firm Snyder Communications, which went public in 1996 and then was bought by global media agency Havas in 2000 for more than $2 billion. Now, after more than 20 years of ownership by Snyder and 87 years with a controversial name, the Washington Redskins moniker will soon be a thing of the past; on Monday it was announced that a name and logo change are official

New ICE regulations for international students prompt Harvard, MIT to sue

It was announced on Monday by a division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that international college students on F-1 visas will not be permitted to stay in the country if their college or university does not resume in-person courses this fall semester. The directive would strip international college students of their U.S. visas, causing confusion and panic for schools that have been scrambling to establish reopening policies amid the coronavirus pandemic. The White House measure is

Are you experiencing racial trauma? If you're a BIPOC, most likely.

Over the past several weeks, news headlines and social media feeds have been flooded with triggering words, images and videos, from footage of the deaths of Ahmaud Arbery, George Floyd and Rayshard Brooks to videos of peaceful protestors being tear gassed by police and shot with rubber bullets. If you’ve felt overwhelmed by it all, you’re not alone, and for Black Americans, this is nothing new. Exposure to a never-ending stream of violent footage can lead to a particular kind of collective trau

LGBTQ+ Pride Month Is Drawing to a Close. Don’t Let It.

It was May 25 when a Minneapolis police officer pressed his knee into George Floyd’s neck for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, and a short two days later that a black transgender man, Tony McDade, was shot and killed in Tallahassee. Each year, LGBTQ+ Pride stands for something. Sure, it’s a time of celebration and jubilation and rainbow everything, but oftentimes people seem to forget that it’s also a time of remembrance — and a quickly passing 30 days to remind ourselves, and the rest of the world, t

New 'Mayors for Guaranteed Income' program explores cash payments

The ongoing COVID-19 crisis has impacted every American’s life in one way or another, leading to a historic loss of jobs while also exposing pre-existing issues in the U.S. economic system. Last year, a Federal Reserve survey found that almost 40 percent of American adults wouldn’t be able to cover a $400 emergency with cash, savings or a credit-card charge that they could quickly pay off — a real problem when more than 20 million Americans are now unemployed. Research has also shown a growing
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