When Parenting Feels Like a Fool’s Errand: On the Death of Michael Brown.


There was another police shooting of an unarmed teenager (18) last night. This time it was St. Louis, Missouri. Details about the incident are very sketchy, but this blog post about this shooting, and so many others like it, is very moving. Read on…

Originally posted on stacia l. brown:


I don’t want to talk about the boy and the sneakers peeking out from the sheet crudely draped over his corpse in the street, because I have been happy this month and it is so rare that I’m happy and that you, at age 4, don’t have to touch my knee or shoulder or face and say, “What’s wrong, Mama? You sad?”

I don’t want to think of who will go out on her hands and knees to scrub what’s left of the boy’s blood from the concrete. It will probably be a loved one, her hands idle after hours of clenching them into fists, watching what used to be her breathing boy lie lifeless, as she waited and waited and waited for the police and the coroner and the county to get their stories straight and their shit together and their privilege, sitting crooked as a ten-dollar wig, readjusted till it was firmly intact…

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Making Movies performs at TEDx Kansas City

Very proud to announce that Making Movies is performing at a big TEDx event at the Kaufman Center in Kansas City. The name of the program is, “Changing the Narrative.” Details here.

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Pope Francis-inspired soccer getups? Check!


Argentina fans represent their country’s team, and their fellow countryman, the Catholic Church’s Pope! Photo by: GETTY IMAGES

See 31 other great fan outfits here via GlobalPosthttp://bit.ly/1nios9r


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Welcome to São Paulo, Ground Zero of Protest, Foment, and Labor Strife


Interesting stuff by a professor at Brazil’s Universidade Federal Fluminense in Niterói.

Originally posted on FUSION Soccer | FusionSoccer.net:

Stop! Go! Yes! No! And where, for heaven’s sake, is the stadium?

The metro strike has ended in São Paulo, Brazil’s largest city, for now. Jerome Valcke, FIFA’s Secretary General in town for the FIFA Congress, says there is no Plan B to get 61,000 fans to the nearly finished Itaquerão stadium. Of course, there might be a general strike across the country on Thursday, but it’s maybe, probably just a rumor. Panic has ensued. Calm Down! Hurry up! Slow down! How do I get to the stadium?

For those who may be confused about the stadium that will host the opening match between Brazil and Croatia on Thursday (if it’s ready, and you can get to it), it’s known locally as the Itaquerão, after the Itaquera neighborhood in eastern São Paulo, where it’s located. FIFA, on the other hand, calls the stadium Arena Corinthians or Arena São Paulo. It…

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#PEACE IS A LIFESTYLE: #AntiViolence Conference in #NYC

PeaceIsALifestyleFLYER-2Proud to say this anti-violence conference is happening at my place of work:

The 1st Annual PEACE IS A LIFESTYLE Conference
“How we can stop the violence in our communities”
(A One-Day CITYWIDE Conference)

Saturday, June 28, 2014

9:00am – 3:00pm

Fordham University
Lincoln Center Campus
113 West 60th Street
(at the corner of 60th St. & Columbus Ave.)
Pope Auditorium
A, B, C, D and 1 subway trains to 59th Street/Columbus Circle

Throughout the day we will discuss issues like gun violence, hate crimes, bullying, and violence against women and girls, their causes and effects, PLUS solutions and what action steps we can take going forward.

KEYNOTE SPEAKER: Kevin Powell, President & Co-Founder of BK Nation (of MTV’s first even season of The Real World! Remember him?)


For more information email dyer@fordham.edu or call 212-636-6623


Facebook event page can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1463910310517252/

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Another walk around Jersey City


City Hall


Van Vorst Park neighborhood of Jersey City.


Under the marquis of Loews Theater.


Close up of the Virgin Mary statue at St. Bridget’s.


Van Vorst neighborhood, on Montgomery St.


Interesting looking tree on Montgomery.



St. Bridget’s on Montgomery St. Check out this amazing photo I found of the inside of this church: http://cdn.c.photoshelter.com/img-get/I0000ahnbOkVuA3k/s/650/Saint-Bridget-Church-3040.jpg


Virgin Mary outside of St. Bridget’s.


St. Bridget’s doors.


St. John the Baptist on Kennedy Boulevard near Journal Square. Here’s a great photo of the inside of this church here: https://c2.staticflickr.com/6/5214/5493885970_4d1af473c3_z.jpg


“Little India” or “India Square,” lined with TONS of Indian restaurants and shops. Newark Ave. in Jersey City. Info here.


Supermarket storefront in Jersey City’s “Little India.”


Classic ticket booth of the landmark Loews Theater on Kennedy Boulevard.



The Jersey Journal.


Saint Aedan’s, St. Peter’s University Church.


View of 1 World Trade Center from Exchange Place, Jersey City.

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Prison statistics: Is the increase due to drug offenses or something else?

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I’m fascinated with prison. I couldn’t tell you why, but I like to watch documentaries, television shows, and movies about it, and I’m currently reading “Newjack: Guarding Sing Sing (2001, Vintage),” about a correction officer’s one year on the job at Sing Sing prison in Ossining, New York. It’s a dark read. That job doesn’t sound fun AT ALL.

At Fordham University, we have a professor who researches elderly prisoners (of which there are a lot of these days), and it’s very interesting. Here’s an excerpt from a piece she wrote for The Huffington Post:

When 69-year-old Betty Smithey was released from Arizona State Prison last week after serving 49 years for murdering a 15-month-old child, walking with a cane, she gave a face to a population that often goes unnoticed — the aging men and women in our prison system.

With some 246,000 men and women over 50 in America’s overly stretched prison system, should we as a society consider releasing the fragile, the ill, and the dying among these prisoners?

Read the rest here.

Earlier this month, the National Research Council (NRC) released a report about the unprecedented growth in U.S. prisons.

It found that from 1973 to 2009, the prison population grew from about 200,000 to approximately 2.2 million. With this spike, the U.S. now holds close to a quarter of the world’s prisoners, even though it accounts for just 5 percent of the global population.

The report found that “although incarceration rates have risen, crime rates have followed no clear path. Violent crime rose, then fell, rose again and then declined over the 30-plus years tracked in the study.

“The best single proximate explanation of the rise in incarceration is not rising crime rates, but the policy choices made by legislators to greatly increase the use of imprisonment as a response to crime,” the authors note. Since the 1970s, these policies have come to include the war on drugs, mandatory minimums for drug crimes and violent offenses, three-strikes laws and “truth-in-sentencing” mandates that require inmates to serve at least 85 percent of their sentences. [source]

But analysis by a professor at Fordham Law finds fault with the NRC’s report. He says they shouldn’t be counting drug offenses and violent offenses separately, as the increase in “incarceration rates have always been a story about violence,” not drugs.

“Between 1980 and 2009, over 50% of prison growth is due to increases in violent inmates, and only about 22% due to increases in drug offenders,” he writes, adding:

Between 1980 and 1990, state prisons grew by 387,400 inmates, and 36% of those additional inmates were incarcerated for violent crimes. (The math is below if anyone wants to see it.*) Two things stand out here:

The NRC is right that drugs mattered more during the 1980s than after, and that violent crimes played the dominant role in the 1990s and beyond.
But even in the 1980s violent crimes mattered more. Drugs were important, but (by a slight edge) violent crimes even more so. US incarceration rates have always been a story about violence.

Interesting. Read his whole post about this over at PrawfsBlawg.


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