Category Archives: Portfolio

The Guardian: For mentally ill too often prison means solitary, neglect, and even death

Published at The Guardian, March 2015. 

“Since Tony’s death I have not stopped,” she says, “and I want to ensure that this never happens again. This is a way of life in the [ADC].” Her nephew’s death radicalized this prison reformer, turning her into a force of nature who nearly explodes over the course of our conversation, frustrated with what she sees as needless hangups in the prison system.

Read more at The Guardian.

The Guardian: Why we hate selfies so much

Published at The Guardian, February 2015.

If you peruse my Instagram feed, you’ll find an assortment of images. Food, cats, random things I see on my travels. And pictures of myself, mostly taken by myself. (I am a greedy and jealous person who rarely hands my phone over to people.) People have been taking pictures of themselves, in one form or another, for an extremely long time. Ancient works of art clearly demonstrate that artists painted, drew and sculpted themselves. Self-portraits in visual media have provided fascinating glimpses into how artists perceived themselves and their relationship to the world. When photography was first developed (forgive the pun), photographers used timers to shoot themselves, in part because they wanted to learn how to use the equipment and experiment with portraiture.

Read more at The Guardian.

Time: Why Tech Can’t Help Us Find Missing Airplanes

Published at Time, December 2014. 

In an era where it’s possible to track a stolen Macbook Pro at the click of a button, it seems ludicrous to imagine an entire airplane disappearing. Yet, that’s exactly what happened this year, twice, when Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 mysteriously vanished in March, followed by a similar disappearing act on the part of AirAsia QZ8501 on Sunday. And, thanks to the outdated technology we use to track aircraft, it’s an event that could happen again. The next time you’re on a flight over the ocean, look down. There’s a high probability that nobody knows where you are.

Read more at Time.

Nerve: How Amy Schumer Fought for the Right to Talk about Sex on TV — and Won

Published at Nerve, November 2014.

If you’ve watched Jon Stewart pretty much ever, you’ve probably heard him throwing around the Comedy Central-approved “dick” (as the FCC doesn’t regulate language on cable). But until very recently, “pussy” was still verboten on everyone’s favorite comedy network—until, that is, Amy Schumer’s production crew went on an all-out offensive for gender parity in slang. This month, they finally won, and the word will no longer be accompanied by an obnoxious bleeping noise on air. Score one for the feminist agenda.

Read more at Nerve.

Time: Why Are We Upset About a Dog When Thousands Are Dying of Ebola?

Published at Time, October 2014. 

It’s hard to break into theNew York Times obituaries section, but apparently being the first U.S. Ebola patient to die will do the trick. Thomas Eric Duncan, who contracted Ebola by helping an infected pregnant woman into a taxi, is dead. For perspective, though: According to the CDC’s most recent count, 3,439 people have died of Ebola in West Africa, and only a handful of cases are being treated outside the hot zone in Africa.

Read more at Time. 

Bitch Magazine: Examining Blindness in “The Fault in Our Stars”

Published at Bitch Magazine, July 2014. 

It was a strange choice for a summer blockbuster. A weepy film about a girl dying of thyroid cancer who meets her boyfriend in a support group and then travels to Amsterdam so she can meet the author she idolizes before experiencing the ultimate heartbreak. The film’s distributor handed out tissues at advance screenings, counting on audiences to break down even if they included some of the most hardened and jaded film fans. Without a single explosion, spy versus spy showdown, or car chase, the opening box office of The Fault in Our Stars was $48 million, handily beating the latest Tom Cruise flick.

Read more at Bitch Magazine

The Daily Dot: Inside the real world of Teach for America

Published at The Daily Dot, July 2014. 

Is Teach for America (TFA) a neo-liberal disaster contributing to the utter destruction of U.S. public schools, or is it an innovative program providing new opportunities to children growing up in underprivileged communities? Can the students of the Internet age help fix education? It’s one of the most controversial education reform initiatives in the United States, with passionate advocates on both sides of this question. As the 2014-2015 school year approaches, TFA graduates are completing their training and getting into classrooms, and this debate is becoming even more acute.

Read more at The Daily Dot.

xoJane: What Happened In Oklahoma Last Night Was Disgusting and Shameful

Published at xoJane, April 2014. 

What happened in Oklahoma on Tuesday night was disgusting. Watching it unfold was horrifying and shameful, and it reminded me of why I am so ferociously against the death penalty. It’s cruel and unusual punishment, it’s wrong, and it’s a fundamental human rights violation. Worldwide, 51 percent of countries have already stopped using it, and we’re in the company of human rights trailblazers like Syria, Iran, and Iraq. 

Read more at xoJane.

Truthout: GOP Refuses to Extend Jobless Benefits

Published at Truthout, December 2013.

Research on the effects of long-term unemployment benefits on the economy shows that for every dollar the government pays out, the economy benefits to the tune of $1.60. As people on benefits spend them on food and other supplies, they stimulate their local economies, engage local businesses and keep their communities economically functional. Without these benefit funds in the economy next year, already depressed and struggling communities could face even more problems, leading to a spread of economic depression including a surge in the unemployment rate as companies are forced to let people go. Thus, the refusal to extend benefits could have a long-term ripple effect with seriously negative outcomes.

Read more at Truthout.