How LGBTQ People Are Resisting Bolsonaro’s Brazil Through Art

Brazil (Conversation) – Jair Bolsonaro was elected president of Brazil in October 2018 and took office in January 2019. Since then, the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights has chosen to remove the legal protection status of lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) people. Some politicians are now pushing for a ban on talking about gender diversity and sexual orientation in schools. Bathroom laws pertaining to which toilet facilities trans people are allowed to use and bills defining what constitutes a family, same sex marriage and laws enabling…

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Americans Might Love Cinco de Mayo, but Few Know What They’re Celebrating

United States (Conversation) – Many Americans celebrate Cinco de Mayo, but how many actually know the story of the holiday? Contrary to popular belief, Cinco de Mayo doesn’t mark Mexican Independence, which is celebrated on Sept. 16. Instead, it’s meant to commemorate the Battle of Puebla, which was fought between the Mexican and French armies in 1862. In Mexico’s long and storied history, the Battle of Puebla is generally considered a fairly minor event. But its legacy lives on a century and a half later, particularly in the United States….

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“Guns and Safety Aren’t Synonymous for Us”: Some Black Texans Fear Plans to Arm More Teachers

Texas, United States (TexasTribune) – Ahmir Johnson knows what can happen when people who look like him get in law enforcement’s crosshairs. The senior at Round Rock High School recalled hearing stories earlier this year of a black student who was grabbed and thrown to the ground by a police officer just outside of nearby Cedar Ridge High School. He recounted another incident at his own school a few years back in which a school resource officer reportedly grabbed a student by the throat after being called to break up a…

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Is There a ‘Feminine’ Response to Terrorism?

New Zealand (Conversation) – After a terrorist shot and killed 50 people in two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, in March, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern responded differentlythan most leaders have after similar attacks. Usually, history shows, presidents and prime ministers try to appear rational after terrorism. They reassure people that the situation is under control, thank police and other first responders and offer updates on the investigations. Other world leaders, most of them male, have reacted by launching mass surveillance of the public, repressing civil liberties, strengthening law enforcement or…

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France’s ‘Everyday Sexism’ Starts at School

France (Conversation) – In France, the #MeToo movement has a livelier name: #BalanceTonPorc, or “Name and Shame Your Pig.” It inspired hundreds of women to denounce sexual harassment on the streets and in the boardroom. The latest workplace harassment scandal, exposed online in mid-February, involved France’s so-called “LOL League” – an anonymous boys club in the media industry – that in 2010 began bullying female colleagues online. Prominent news editors, including the managing editor of the French edition of Slate and of the venerable news daily Libération, had targeted female…

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Why Federal Student Aid Should Be Restored for People in Prison

United States (Conversation) – Congress is thinking of lifting a longstanding ban on federal student aid for those serving time in prison. The “Restoring Education And Learning Act of 2019,” or the “REAL Act of 2019,” seeks to reinstate federal Pell Grant eligibility for incarcerated individuals. Pell Grants are federal grants meant to help students who need money to go to college. If Pell Grants were reinstated for those serving time, about 463,000 people in prison would become eligible for the grants. As director of the University of Baltimore’s Second…

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Central American Women Fleeing Violence Experience More Trauma After Seeking Asylum

United States (Conversation) – The number of Central American women who make difficult, often harrowing, journeys to the United States to flee domestic and gang violence is rising. I’m a social science researcher and a social worker who has interviewed hundreds of women after they were detained by immigration authorities for my research about the relationship between violence against women and migration. I find that most female asylum seekers experience trauma, abuse and violence before they cross the U.S. border seeking asylum. What these women go through while detained by…

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A Quest to Reconstruct Baltimore’s American Indian ‘Reservation’

United States (Conversation) – A few years ago, I invited a group of students to go on a short walking tour of the Lumbee Indian community of East Baltimore. Lumbee are indigenous to North Carolina but have been present in Baltimore since at least as early as the 1930s. My grandparents moved here in 1963 with their three children, one of whom was my mother. I was born here, and that makes me a first-generation Baltimore Lumbee. I grew up to be a community-based visual artist and a folklorist. I’m…

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Extinction Rebellion: Disruption and Arrests Can Bring Social Change

United Kingdom (Conversation) – Extinction Rebellion burst onto everybody’s screens with disruptions and mass arrests across the UK and around the world, in protest against government inaction on climate change. Radical disruptions have been at the heart of Extinction Rebellion’s activism since it was founded in 2018 – from January’s disruption of London Fashion Week, to the infamous naked protest in Parliament – but the scale of the most recent actions has finally succeeded in forcing mainstream news cycles to start giving the politics of climate change the attention it…

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Ban Leggings on Campus? Ludicrous – Wearing Leggings Allows Women to Move Like Superheroes

United States (Conversation) – I’m writing this at my office computer wearing leggings and a short skirt. I wear the leggings because I ride my bike to work and they keep my legs warm. I add the skirt when I get to the office because most here would consider leggings alone inappropriate work attire for a middle-aged academic administrator. After this week, it’s clear that some people don’t think they are appropriate attire for students on campus either. Maryann White, a mother of four sons, made news with her plea…

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