Most of us can remember a time when media coverage of sexual violence were left to the police blotter in the local newspaper, but in the last year alone, the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements, fueled by allegations of violence perpetrated by celebrities like Harvey Weinstein, Kevin Spacey, and even President Donald Trump have made top news headlines in print and online and sparked a reckoning on the prevalence of sexual violence worldwide.
In a way, I joined the Community Catalyst family before Community Catalyst even existed. When I was in my twenties, I worked as a community organizer for South Carolina Fair Share, a multi-issue grassroots advocacy organization that educated constituents and advanced public policy to improve the health and well-being of South Carolinians.
Every year on March 31, people observe International Transgender Day of Visibility to honor strides made for trans and non-binary (TNB) people across the world, while also recognizing the continued challenges and threats to their basic rights. This year, as health advocates, we are celebrating the increased access to gender-affirming care for TNB people under the Affordable Care Act (ACA), but also calling attention to the Trump administration's latest attacks.
Over 42,000 people died from opioid overdoses in 2016, and–while official numbers for 2017 have yet to be declared–the Center for Disease Control insists that they don’t imagine the drug’s fatalities declining any time soon.
Just because there is no solution in sight, doesn’t mean efforts haven’t been admirable. In the past two decades, multiple pieces of legislation have passed to battle the brutal disease.
Presidential candidate Rand Paul pointedly opened a University of New Hampshire forum Monday by suggesting that former Florida governor Jeb Bush’s opposition to the decriminalization of marijuana is hypocritical.
Speaking to about 100 people at a Students for Rand rally, the US senator from Kentucky said he “didn’t necessarily” have a problem with Bush’s admission that he used marijuana as a young man.
But he added, “What I do have a problem with is that he’s still for laws to put people in jail for that, and I think the hypocrisy is that in general wealthy kids don’t go to jail for marijuana. Poor kids do.”
This weekend, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri took home the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture – Drama. I’m not the biggest fan of award shows, but this particular win struck a chord with me both as a survivor of sexual violence and as an activist.
Three Billboards tells the story of Mildred Hayes’ (Frances McDormand) public callout of her local police department with three billboards that read “Raped while dying. And still no arrests? How come, Chief Willoughby?” on a backroad in Ebbing, seven months after her daughter, Angela, was murdered.
How do you create an impromptu campaign against sexual violence? Just ask Alyssa Milano.
“If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote ‘Me too.’ as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem,” read a photo tweeted by the actress last Sunday. The hashtag drew responses from stars like Viola Davis and Lily Allen, and after just two days, #MeToo generated 13 million Facebook and Twitter posts.
When you think of “health care,” you probably think of a doctor’s office, or a hospital, or maybe your insurance coverage. But what if you got sick and needed to get to a doctor and didn’t have adequate transportation to get there? Or if your doctor prescribed bed rest, but you’re experiencing homelessness and don’t have access to a safe bed? Transportation, housing, education and other social services certainly aren’t “health care,” but they do have an outsized impact on health outcomes.
It happens every time news breaks of a mass shooting. While large majorities of the public call for sensible new restrictions on guns, the organized gun lobby may offer their “thoughts and prayers,” but insist there is no legislation that possibly could have made a difference in preventing--or even limiting the scale of--the most recent carnage. Conservative commentators derail talks of common-sense gun laws with calls for the public to refrain from “politicizing a tragedy,” when in reality, these tragedies cry out for public policy responses.
The debut season of Hulu’s Emmy-nominated series The Handmaid’s Tale caught the attention of lovers of dark suspense thrillers and poignant social commentary last year. Some say the series seems all too relevant considering the current political climate, given the attacks on reproductive freedom and protections for marginalized communities that have brought fringe political groups into the mainstream.
Doug Jones’ victory in Alabama signals, without question, that Americans want health care progress, and they are willing to use their votes to elect candidates who share these values. As the people of Alabama elected the first Democrat to the Senate in nearly three decades, last night offered a harsh rebuke of the 'repeal and replace' political rhetoric iterated repeatedly by the right for the last 7 years. Jones ran a campaign rooted in support of policies that have a proven record of expanding access to health care, including the Affordable Care Act, DACA and guaranteed reproductive rights.
As a middle schooler, when you pictured your upcoming years of high school, did you ever imagine suing your administration for discriminating against you and your friends?
The West Bend High School Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) existed for years, but was unrecognized by their school. They had an advisor and regular meetings, but official recognition from administration would allow them to advertise their events around campus, have a photo in the yearbook, and request funding if they ever needed it (they didn’t, they just wanted to hang posters).
Who would guess that a self-identified introvert would acquire one of the most envied address books in the alternative rock music industry, combine a DIY radio station with rockstar show hosts and reach millions of worldwide listeners a month? Tom Cheney certainly didn’t, but that’s exactly what he’s doing as president and founder of idobi Network. Yet, for him, it’s more about creating genuine friendships than networking.
Published in Substream Magazine Issue #49
Trump Administration Threatens Reproductive Health, Personal Choice and Economic Security Through Birth Control Coverage Mandate Rollback
Just recently, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R) signed off on legislation safeguarding access to contraceptive care for Massachusetts residents. While most of the protections codified under this legislation are enshrined in the Affordable Care Act, recent executive actions by the Trump administration have significantly undermined these guarantees, placing the onus on states to protect their constituents’ rights to access contraceptive services.
Matt McGorry ’08—of Orange Is the New Black and How to Get Away with Murder fame—says feminism and social justice “prov[ide] a framework” for him to be the best version of himself.
McGorry visited his alma mater on October 25 alongside national BuzzFeed reporter and former Huffington Post senior editor Tyler Kingkade for an event titled “Activists and Allies: A Conversation About Dismantling Power-Based Violence on College Campuses” at the Emerson/Cutler Majestic Theatre.