human rights Archive

Life wins

It’s hard to get around these days without stumbling into a march. The Women’s March on Washington spun off hundreds of “sister” marches around the world, including in several North Carolina cities. On Feb. 11, the Historic Thousands on Jones Street (HKonJ) march, led by the North Carolina chapter of the National Association for the
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I’ve been thinking a lot about hope lately. Granted, I’ve had more time than usual to think. That 3 a.m. wake-up call, wherever it’s coming from, has been pretty constant since Nov. 8. The radiator ticks, the cat snores. The willow oak leaves rustle. And I wonder how I got here, how we all got
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A bathroom break

Shakespeare famously wrote, “All the world’s a stage.” A question North Carolinians are asking is why our state legislature is so focused on the stage that is public bathrooms. Full disclosure: I’m stealing this opening from a friend, the writer Jenn Bishop. While we were pursuing writing degrees together at the Vermont College of Fine
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Who will sound the alarm?

In a packed Page Auditorium on Duke University’s West campus, a distinguished older gentleman stood to speak. On stage was Jennifer Pinckney, the widow of Charleston Rev. Clementa C. Pinckney, shot by a racist on June 17, 2015. Pinckney, a state senator, was leading bible study at Mother Emanuel AME Church. With him died eight
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“The fierce urgency of now”: gun control

My wonderful colleague Joy Olson, the executive director of the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), posted this to her public Facebook page on January 6. It’s her account of President Barack Obama’s historic announcement on gun control on January 5. Yesterday I had an experience that will stick with me. I was at the White House
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Hope for Glenn — and refugees

Every Sunday evening this fall, you’ll find me clutching a cabernet in The Tavern’s back room as I watch “The Walking Dead.” Fans know this story isn’t really about zombies. What keeps us hooked is how the characters react to the zombies and struggle to retain their humanity in the apocalypse. The zombie has a
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Sheltering refugees is who we are as Americans

BY DAVID H. SCHANZER AND ROBIN KIRK The call by politicians across the country, including Gov. Pat McCrory, to halt the admission of refugees from the Syrian civil war is a travesty. This ill-considered decision strengthens the politics of fear that ISIS spreads, undercuts our long-term efforts to combat extremism and abandons long-standing American values
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Selfies worth seeing

2014 was declared the “year of the selfie” by Twitter, for what it’s worth. Since then, selfies have only increased in popularity – and ubiquity. After a recent trip abroad with students, I sifted through dozens of their photos searching for shots of the places or people we’d visited. What I had, though, were selfies.
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Is torture a “meet cute” plot device?

I was delving into the torture report released by the Senate Intelligence Committee last week when my daughter texted [since I originally posted this entry, new chair Senator Richard Burr (R-NC) has withdrawn the report from the site in a misguided effort to suppress this damaging information —  however Amnesty International made the entire report available here.] A senior
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A boycott that worked

Like many, I was shocked to hear that Barilla CEO Guido Barilla had told an Italian radio host that the family company “would never do [a commercial] with a homosexual couple, not for lack of respect, but because we don’t agree with them.” Barilla, based in Parma, Italy, is the world’s largest manufacturer of pasta. The
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