Why The Words Of MLK Should Still Spur Us Into Action Today

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By Catherine Miele

One of the biggest struggles I’ve grappled with since Donald Trump’s election and inauguration has been this: respecting the office of the presidency.

When President Obama was in office, it always angered me to hear people question his citizenship and speak of him in a derogatory, racist manner, especially since I believe President Obama truly cared for the country and was a superb leader.

Having different social and political views from many of my family and neighbors, I endured a plethora of hate-filled rhetoric about one of the men I most admire. Continue reading

An Open Letter to Sarah Huckabee Sanders, From a Survivor of Assault

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By Christie Page

Dear Sarah Huckabee Sanders,

It is finally time I penned this letter to you directly. I have spent quite some time deciding on the tone of this letter and what I want to reflect. Most importantly, I have asked myself if I were you, what would I need to hear to empathize with the plight of millions of women who have bravely come forward in an effort to be heard?

I wonder about you. I wonder if in those moments when you are alone in your car on your commute to work, or when you first wake up in the morning before your feet hit the ground, if ever there is a time when you say to yourself: “I can’t do this anymore.” Continue reading

Sexual Assault Survivors Don’t Owe You Their Stories

Sexual Assault Survivors Don't Owe You Their Stories

By Jillian Leslie

A two-word hashtag started by actress, Alyssa Milano, filled up our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram feeds this week. #MeToo was created to shed light on the amount of women who’ve fallen victim to sexual assault. It was successful to say the least. Countless brave, heroic women shared their horror stories and bared their scars for the world to see. Women spoke out in an effort to educate the unaffected and break down the barrier of silence our society builds around sexual assault. While scores of women participated, others purposefully left themselves out of the dialogue for fear of being criticized, judged or triggered. Do sexual assault victims owe the Internet their story? No, and here’s why: Continue reading

If Your Response to Rape Culture Is #NotAllMen, You’re Part of the Problem

By Kirsten Parnell

Numbers have never been my strong point — math class used to reduce me to tears on a semi-regular basis. But over the last few days, as more and more allegations against Harvey Weinstein have surfaced, and millions of women have shared their stories of harassment using the hashtag #metoo, I’ve started to have more faith in numbers. The sheer volume of stories makes the Harvey Weinstein scandal feel like a watershed moment. I’ve watched the media coverage with a mixture of sadness and relief: the pervasiveness of the problem is depressing, but now it’s dominating the news agenda, maybe we’ll actually start to see a change. Continue reading

Now Is Not The Time To Be Neutral

Now Is Not The Time To Be Neutral

By Jillian Stacia

On Friday, the New York Times released its new Social Media Guidelines for its newsroom.

The guidelines covered a variety of topics, but the one that has everyone talking is its first and most vital point: “In social media posts, our journalists must not express partisan opinions, promote political views, endorse candidates, make offensive comments or do anything else that undercuts The Times’s journalistic reputation.”

And while the intention behind these guidelines is clear: The Times wants to remain a nonbiased organization – it seems impractical and frankly inadvisable to require employees to follow these guidelines in today’s society. Continue reading

How Do We Raise Children In a World Where Mass Shootings Are the Norm?

By Catherine Miele

It’s Wednesday, and we’re still reeling from the news of the horrific mass shooting tragedy in Las Vegas. As desperately as I try, I cannot wrap my mind around the sheer terror and sorrow the survivors and victims’ families undoubtedly feel.

I don’t want to wrap my mind around it, truthfully, because humans shouldn’t be able to conjure such hurt and hatred. We do it here in America—more frequently than other developed nations, might I add—but we shouldn’t have to wake up to this and make sense of something utterly senseless. Continue reading

We Don’t Need Thoughts And Prayers — We Need Stronger Gun Laws

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By Molly Burford

On December 14, 2012, Adam Lanza entered the halls of Sandy Hook Elementary School with three guns in tow and opened fire. 26 people (20 students and 6 adult staff members) were killed. The child victims of the attack were ages six and seven. It was after this horrendous tragedy that stole young and innocent lives that America vowed, “Never again.”

But, unfortunately, it did happen again. And again. And again. Continue reading

A Letter to My Unborn Son in the Wake of the Las Vegas Shooting

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By Jillian Stacia

This is a letter written to my unborn son on the day of the Las Vegas shooting. I plan to give it to him when he is older and able to responsibly understand today’s events. I am currently 31 weeks pregnant.

Dear You,

I woke up today to terrible news. 50 people dead in Las Vegas. Another mass shooting, the worst in modern American history.

My heart feels heavy, and I can’t seem to focus on anything. All my other responsibilities feel trivial and unimportant. My mind is numb and my body feels sluggish. This is becoming an all too familiar feeling in America. Continue reading

It’s Our Moral Obligation To Be Decent

It's Our Moral Obligation To Be Decent

By Kate Kole

I was glued to the news this weekend. To the point of shock, then confusion, then rage. Against my better judgment, I scrolled through the trending stories on Twitter, righteously nodding and vehemently shaking my head – depending on what the stranger on the internet in front of me had to say. I can’t even count the amount of times I said to my husband, “Okay, I know we’re already done talking about this. But, I just have one more thing to add.” Because that’s what I do when I’m upset. I talk. I process. I attempt to sort out the mess. And right now, I just can’t.

It feels like we’re standing in the middle of a screaming match. The lines are drawn. Our stances have been decided. There’s little, if any, wiggle room left for any of us to truly claim that we can see both sides. In my mind, I’m definitively right. In yours, you are too. Our belief systems are powerful things, equal parts passion and stubborn. Continue reading