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Written by nicoleszucs on Feb 8, 2014

Latin America has a very dynamic and contrasting culture. It is full of life and colors, yet the social, environmental and economic situation is still hard and unfair in many places. The political environment is gearing towards more populist governments, which shows us the struggle of the people, and the need for change. On the other hand, the growing economic status of the countries emphasizes the gap between the rich and the poor. Young people all over the region are manifesting their concerns about society and their future. Human rights, violence, environmental issues, woman’s rights, unemployment, indigenous rights, neo colonization are some of the topics for which activists stand up. Often times, the form of expression of these concerns are popular art and street art. 

I love Latin America, I love the people and the fact that there is history and art in every corner...

Written by Jana Morgan on Feb 3, 2014

If keeping citizens in the dark is your thing – you might have been better off staying in bed on January 16, 2014.

Yesterday marked an important milestone in the global fight for transparency. Canadian mining industry associations – representing over 1,300 companies – and civil society organizations released recommendations to the government for a mandatory disclosure requirement in the Canadian mining sector after nearly a year and a half of consultation and negotiation. The Resource Revenue Transparency Working Group members include the Prospectors and Developers Association of Canada, the Mining Association of Canada,...

Written by steveperaza on Jan 29, 2014

Will increasing the minimum wage protect workers from poverty? 

623 President Obama says, yes. His logic is simple: If minimum-wage workers fall into poverty because their wages are too low, then increasing the minimum wage will prevent them from backsliding into poverty. In his 2014 State of the Union Address, therefore, the president encouraged employers to “raise your employees’ wages,” and in order to “lead by example,” Obama promised to pass “an executive order requiring federal contractors to pay their federally-funded employees a fair wage of at least $10.10 an hour because if you cook our troops' meals or wash their dishes, you should not have to live in poverty.”  ...

Written by steveperaza on Jan 20, 2014

622 University at Buffalo (SUNY) is one of many research institutions invested in the digitization of archival records. UB recently published an audio recording of a 1967 speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in Buffalo called “The Future of Integration”.

Perhaps this is professional bias, but I’m convinced that history is one of the most underreported stories in the world. Now that everything is a mouse click away, I want to encourage students of the past to be their own historians and make use of the primary source materials available to you on the Web. Help history get the coverage it deserves! 

The decision-makers of the...

Written by steveperaza on Jan 17, 2014

621 I wish I could celebrate President Obama’s antipoverty program and commend the national media for finally spotlighting the issue of poverty. But I can’t because the Promise Zones Initiative, in theory, attacks the social safety net and, in practice, benefits too few Americans to really make a difference.   

If you let D.C. tell the story, the keyword is “partnership.” The President’s flagship program, the Promise Zones Initiative, will handpick a total of 20 sites across the country, where local leaders in public, private, and faith-based institutions have demonstrated success fighting poverty and crime. The...

Written by Jana Morgan on Jan 17, 2014

In a recent speech at the 2013 Open Government Partnership (OGP) Summit, I was pleased to hear that British Prime Minister David Cameron announced that the UK was making several important commitments in the country’s new National Action Plan (NAP) to increase transparency and combat corruption.

Amongst these commitments, of particular note for campaigners working with the Publish What You Pay coalition are those that are focused on improving governance of the extractive industries....

Written by rossrobinson on Jan 12, 2014

Imagine your life without cell phones, computers, or electricity. Imagine no combustion engines—no cars, no home furnaces, no airplanes. Imagine a world without surgeries, Advil, or the cures for your loved ones’ otherwise terminal illnesses. Imagine the built environment without synthetic materials and artificial fabrics. Imagine cities with buildings no taller than a couple of floors, with no structural steel, and no safe bridges or roads. Imagine a world where we couldn’t alleviate environmental pollution, or understand the natural world of which we’re apart—including phenomena as varied as the tides, biological evolution, and the cosmos at large! In short, imagine the world as an unpredictable, brutal, and more dangerous place. That is the world without science, technology, and engineering.

In popular culture today, the fruits of scientific and technological insight are...

Written by carolyn_dellinger on Jan 11, 2014

I will be spending the semester in London and examining the street art that I encounter around the city. Street art has begun to gain more respect than it previously had in the past; it is no longer looked at as simply illegal defacement of public property but an art often beautiful and sometimes even brimming with political and social messages.  I think that what initially got me interested in street art is its satirical approach to important issues. I like that street art isn’t commissioned and is just the raw viewpoint of the artist. I think that an outsider can learn so much about a city’s local issues through street art because it isn’t censored.

I am particularly drawn to London street art as an outsider because I hope that I will be able to get a clearer sense of the city’s concerns through these artistic messages. These works of art help to reveal the city’s...

Written by Sheila Murray on Jan 5, 2014

The countdown begins -- In just a few short weeks I will be Costa Rica bound and here is a bit of what is to come:

I will kickoff my trip by volunteering for 15 days on the west coast through the “Association of Volunteers for Service at Protected Areas” (ASVO).  The organization offers programs in protected areas and specifically focuses on sea turtle conservation.  I will either...

Written by johncollins on Jan 3, 2014

607 Dr. Eyad El-SarrajThe following interview with Dr. Eyad El-Sarraj, internationally renowned founder of the Gaza Community Mental Health Programme (GCMHP), was conducted in May 1997 as part of field research for my Ph.D. dissertation focusing on popular memories of the first Palestinian intifada.  The research was subsequently published in the book Occupied By Memory: The Intifada Generation and the Palestinian State of Emergency (NYU Press, 2004). I have chosen to publish the interview now in memory of Dr. El-Sarraj, who ...