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12/27/2018

epgn.com — Part one of a two-part series.

 

Philadelphia remains the poorest of the top 10 most populous cities in the United States, according to census data released in September. While poverty rates have decreased in the nation overall, Philly holds that dubious designation for the 10th consecutive year, with 25.99 percent — more than 400,000 Philadelphians — living in poverty and 36.4 percent earning $25,000 or less.Philadelphia remains the poorest of the top 10 most populous cities in the United States, according to census data released in September. While poverty rates have decreased in the nation overall, Philly holds that dubious designation for the 10th consecutive year, with 25.99 percent — more than 400,000 Philadelphians — living in poverty and 36.4 percent earning $25,000 or less.

damemagazine.com - We’ve heard that term repeatedly since the 2016 election. Mainstream media has talked more about the plight of the working class in the past two years than it has in decades. Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton each made their own claims about this critical demographic, but none have been quite as bold as Trump.

damemagazine.com — A young woman in a wheelchair, her hands zip-tied behind her back like a criminal, screamed, “Kill the bill, don’t kill us!”The fear in her voice, her face unseen by the camera, should have sent a frisson of outrage through anyone watching. It did not affect the president nor the Republican-led Congress.

3/13/2018

curvemag.com — Frida Kahlo just became the first out bisexual Barbie. How thrilling is that? The American toy maker, Mattel, released a new line of 17 signature Barbie dolls to celebrate International Women’s Day and women’s achievements. The "Inspiring Women Series" Barbies are, according to Mattel, role models for young girls (or boys, we hope lots of boys, too) playing with the dolls. Mattel said, "Barbie dolls have long inspired young girls with their beauty and fashion sense.

2/22/2018

curvemg.com — Today is my birthday, I lead with this because if I died today, even though I would like to have another 10 or 20 or even 30 more years, living as long as my grandmother, to accomplish the work I still want to do, I would have already led a very full life. I’ve traveled. I’ve lived in different places. I’ve taught college. I spent several years in the domestic Peace Corps. I’ve been an LGBT rights activist, an AIDS activist, a disability rights activist.

 

I’ve taught in prisons. I’ve taught literacy classes. I’ve taught pregnant teens in a special program. I’ve taught writing at an elite college. I’ve published more than 20 books, five of which have won awards. I’ve started a small press to publish books by LGBT writers and writers of color. I’ve had a long career as a journalist, for which I have been recognized with numerous awards and for which I have been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize several times. If I died today, I would have led a full and accomplished life of which I could be proud and for which I am so grateful. I have loved and been loved and I could die at peace, even though it would be well before my time.

 

I say all this in part because birthdays make one contemplative and a recounting is always good–it makes one think about how one is spending one’s life. But I say it more because for the past week I have been thinking of all that the victims of the mass shooting in Parkland, Florida at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School never were able to do and now will never do. The environmentalist for whom their school was named herself lived to be 108.

 

I am thinking of the students, aged 14 through 17, who had barely begun their lives before they were shot and killed allegedly by Nikolas Cruz, 19, on Valentine’s Day. Several of the victims were seniors–they were already slated to go on to college, to further what were promising high school scholastic careers with college careers.

1/25/2018

lamdaliterary.org -- It’s been almost thirty years since I first met and interviewed the great doyenne of science fiction and fantasy, Ursula K. Le Guin. I was a young reporter then and still in the pinch-me stage upon meeting people whose work I had long admired. I had long admired hers. She was gracious and tough. She was argumentative and witty. She was brusque and endearing. She was one of the most feminist feminists I’d ever met and I left her feeling as if I’d attended a graduate seminar in the art of making women matter in fiction and in letters. She made me want to write.

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