I had the great honor to curate a panel at the Brooklyn Museum of Art’s Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art on Sunday. The best part is that the conversation that we had there–meant as a sort of performance–has actually had me thinking a lot about the state of our democracy, particularly around election time (the panel was called The American Hero, The American Dream, and was about contemporary political narratives). Ramin Hedayati, friend of CM and best friend of mine, showed this clip which he produced:
And it got us all talking about Continue reading
Courtney E. Martin
- Tomorrow, Tuesday, September 30, Courtney will speak at Penn State Erie, Behrend College at 7:30pm. Check the link for more details!
- On Wednesday, October 1st, Courtney and Kate will speak at Barnard College in NYC on the panel Writing the Real: A Panel of Barnard Alumnae Nonfiction Writers and Editors at 7pm. Check the link for more details!
- On Saturday, October 4th, Courtney will speak at a panel discussion about the film “Who Does She Think She Is?”, a film about artists and mothers, at The Broad Institute at Wellesley in Cambridge, MA, at 6pm. Check the link for more details!
- Daniel was quoted in David Segal’s article “Where Have All the Protests Gone?” in The Washington Post
Over the past few years, I have spent a lot of time interviewing and learning about prostituted minors. Commercial sexual exploitation is a topic I’ve researched extensively in my day job; it’s a theme in my forthcoming novel, Commencement; and it’s an issue about which I am generally obsessed.
Much like domestic violence before it, the anti-sex trafficking movement (which covers women who have been coerced and transported across national borders, as well as American minors) has been carried along largely by women, but in order to see real, substantive change, laws and male behavior need to shift too. In recent years, many experts in the field have started looking more carefully at the demand side of the equation: Who are the men who buy sex from underage girls? What are their attitudes about prostitutes and about women in general?
Last spring, a fifteen-year-old prostitute in Harlem told me that one of her regular customers was a suburban dad who would often show her pictures of his wife and kids. That’s when it dawned on me that a lot of these guys might be what we’d consider average, maybe even upstanding (see also: Eliot Spitzer.)
“He doesn’t have any pain?” The nurse checked her watch. “It’s been three hours. This is usually time for the worst of it.”
The dad shrugged. The nurse observed the young patient add more water color to a canvas.
“I think it’s the art,” she whispered with a knowing nod.
If I heard her mention the magic pain reliever, the kid must have heard her as well. But he kept his eyes on the brush and swirled it around in a soupy yellow.
This Saturday, Sustainable South Bronx will celebrate the first-ever Green Jobs Now National Day of Action from 1pm to 4pm with a concert and party at the Hunts Point Riverside Park. They’re celebrating five years of graduating local citizens from their BEST project (Bronx Environmental Stewardship Training), which provides 10 weeks of free “green collar” job training and placement for “the people and places that need it most.”
If you don’t know SSBx and its founder, Dr. Majora Carter, you should — they call themselves an “environmental justice solutions organization,” and they’re creating major change for the South Bronx and areas like it around the world. (I’m so impressed by them that I’ve written about Carter and SSBx twice, once for ReadyMade and once for BUST.)
Green Jobs Now will spotlight low-income communities and communities of color across the country, including Atlanta, Los Angeles, New Orleans, Oakland, and Coal River, WV, because these places and people are the most likely to be devastated by our shifting climate, and they can also benefit most profoundly from programs like BEST and other green economy jobs.
According to the latest survey results that were just released by Sallie Mae, here’s how the average American student pays for college: students borrow 23 percent, parents borrow 16 percent, 15 percent comes from grants or scholarships, 10 percent comes from friends/relatives and 32 percent comes from parental income.
So, on average, students and parents borrow 39 percent of the cost of college.
Unfortunately, it’s no secret that our buy-now-pay-later philosophy may not be such a great idea after all. Excessive debt has overwhelmed ordinary Americans and sunk the greedy institutions that not only lured us into borrowing more than we could afford but convinced themselves that betting on burdensome debt was a no brainer.
The whole sub-prime mortgage fiasco was predicated on the idea that housing prices will always increase in value and that those who can’t afford the adjustments on their adjustable rate mortgages can always sell their house to repay the bank. Unfortunately, we now know what happens when the value of your home plummets at the same time as your no-money-down home loan skyrockets.
Could the same thing happen to students loans?