Today, Sesame Workshop launches its newest initiative, Little Children, Big Challenges: Incarceration. This bilingual (English/Spanish) multimedia outreach initiative provides much-needed resources to support and comfort young children (ages 3–8) throughout their parents’ incarceration. Go to http://www.sesamestreet.org/incarceration for more information and project resources.
This makes me so sad. I’m glad this need is recognised.
Chicago teachers see themselves as engaged in a movement to defend the public sphere from corporate acquisition. Wall Street hedge funders and other speculators are betting heavily on school privatization as the next great investment frontier.
Unwed white girls who became pregnant in the postwar years were considered psychologically disturbed but treatable, whereas their black counterparts were presumed to be biologically hypersexual and deviant. Historian Rickie Solinger demonstrates that in the 1950s an unwed white girl who became pregnant could go to a maternity home before her pregnancy showed, deliver the baby and give it up for adoption, and return home to her community with no one the wiser. (White parents concocted stories of their daughters being given the opportunity to study for a semester with relatives.) She could then resume the role of the “nice” girl.
Unwed pregnant black girls, on the other hand, were barred from maternity homes; they were threatened with jail or termination of welfare; and they were accused of using their sexuality in order to be eligible for larger welfare checks. Politicians regarded unwed pregnant black girls as a societal problem, declaring—as they continue to declare today—that they did not want taxpayers to support black illegitimate babies, and sough to control black female sexuality through sterilization legislation
— Leora Tanenbaum, Slut!: Growing Up Female with a Bad Reputation (via janersm)
Black April is observed on April 30th and is the English term used by most Vietnamese overseas to refer to the Fall of Saigon which occurred on April 30th, 1975. This marks the end of the South Vietnamese government bringing all of Viet Nam under the North Vietnamese communist regime. As a result of this, Saigon, which was the capital of South Vietnam, was renamed Ho Chi Minh City in honor of the late leader of the Vietnamese Communist Party. Furthermore, many people fled the country for various reasons leading to the large Vietnamese Diaspora that exists abroad today.
Last Saturday, a destructive earthquake struck China’s Sichuan province, near the epicenter of the devastating 2008 earthquake, damaging thousands of structures and triggering landslides in the mountainous region. As of yesterday, the death toll stood at more than 200, with nearly 12,000 injured, 23 still missing, and tens of thousands made homeless. The quake was measured at magnitude 7.0 by China’s earthquake administration and magnitude of 6.6 by the U.S. Geological Survey. Rescue teams and government aid personnel have struggled to reach the affected area, as many roads were damaged.
At about 3 on March 10, 2013 in Davis, California my girlfriend’s brother-31 year old Mikey Partida- was violently attacked and beaten to near death. Mikey had forgotten his keys at his cousins apartment and was on his way back when a man began kicking and beating him while yelling homophobic slurs. Mikey has suffered from a fractured skull, bleeding on his brain, multiple fractured bones in his face and a laceration to his head that left a pool of blood on the lawn where he was beaten. The bruising and swelling around his eyes is so bad he still has not been able to open them. He also has a cut under one eye that went all the way though the lid. The trauma to his ear is so severe it caused his ear to swell three times it’s normal size and had to be lanced to release the pressure.
A note from his mother:
Thank you everyone for your wishes and prayers. This was my kind and gentle son. Anyone that knows him knows that this act was akin to pulling the wings off a butterfly.
While the immediate challenges posed by the severity of his physical injuries are clear, the long-term impacts of PTSD are not. Consequently, we are in the process of seeking legal representation to secure every possible resource and support necessary to facilitate his recovery and healing.
I have since learned that in addition to a pre-existing history of violence, his attacker will have no trouble securing very good legal help. While I know it is difficult for him to accept monetary assistance (he has worked since he was ten) we are asking for contributions to ensure that this tragic and senseless, animalistic act, is immediately redressed.
To this day, I wake up at times, look in the mirror, and just stare, obsessed with the idea that the person I am in my head is something entirely different than what everyone else sees. That the way I look will prevent me from doing the things I want; that there really are sneetches with stars and I’m not one of them. I touch my face, I feel my skin, I check my color every day, and I swear it all feels right. But then someone says something and that sense of security and identity is gone before I know it.