“Trapped”: When Politics Trump Medicine

Cincinnati Law screens award-winning film 10/27 and welcomes filmmaker Dawn Porter.

“I feel like I can break at any moment.”

The woman quoted above is the mother of two boys, who are 13 months apart.  One is in third grade; the younger is autistic.  She is pregnant and feels “emotionally unfit” to take on the responsibility of another child.“Trapped,” a documentary by Dawn Porter, gives voice to this woman and others for whom the law has made a difficult choice more challenging.  Cincinnati Law screens this film Wednesday, October 27 in Room 118.  Continue reading ““Trapped”: When Politics Trump Medicine”

“Trapped”: When Politics Trump Medicine

History Lessons: Women of Color and Work-Family Conflicts

Progressive work-family policies must encompass the diverse experiences of all women.

jocelynfrye_600x900Guest Contributor: Jocelyn C. Frye, Senior Fellow, Center for American Progress

Author Toni Morrison once wrote, “If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”  Her words are a reminder that there is value in each woman’s unwritten story, and we are all empowered to write our own narratives.  Morrison’s charge is particularly timely in the present-day conversation about women, work, and family where incomplete soundbites too often substitute for  richer discussion about the diversity of women’s experiences and the history they bring to the table. This problem is especially acute when it comes to the discourse around work-family issues. Continue reading “History Lessons: Women of Color and Work-Family Conflicts”

History Lessons: Women of Color and Work-Family Conflicts

Cincinnati Preschool Expansion, Issue 44: For our children and their teachers

Guest Contributor:  Clement Tsao, (Cincinnati Law ’12), Labor Attorney, Cook& Logothetis, LLC

Much has bclement-tsaoeen written about the benefits of preschool and quality early learning programs. Significant investments in preschool have been linked to improved kindergarten readiness, future academic success, a reduced achievement gap for students of color, as well as long-term savings on government and taxpayers. If you’re not yet convinced, you can check out some good research and writing on the arguments for preschool investment here, here, here and here.

But, high quality preschool isn’t just about education and economics; investment in preschool is also about labor policy. After all, it’s people, i.e., the teachers, who engage with our children and can be a determinative factor in a quality learning environment. That’s why investing in preschool also requires investing in our current and future preschool teachers.

This fall, Cincinnati voters will have the opportunity to do both, thanks to Issue 44.  Continue reading “Cincinnati Preschool Expansion, Issue 44: For our children and their teachers”

Cincinnati Preschool Expansion, Issue 44:  For our children and their teachers

“I didn’t choose to be straight, white and male”: Blinding privilege

The Pew Research Center found in July that while 63% of women surveyed found gender still posed obstacles for women’s progress, 56% of men said such challenges were mostly history.  Then, this week, a headline in The Guardian put a human face on that divide with this: “’I didn’t choose to be straight, white and male’: Are Modern Men the Suffering Sex?”

Uh, no.  Continue reading ““I didn’t choose to be straight, white and male”: Blinding privilege”

“I didn’t choose to be straight, white and male”: Blinding privilege

Breaking the Debt Cycle: CFPB Targets Payday Lending

Get involved in the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s efforts to reform payday lending.

I need[ed] some money ASAP.  So I called my Mom.

“Mom, I need some money!”

And, she’s like, “No, why don’t you just go ahead and get a pay day loan?”

“What’s that”? 

“You just borrow some money from them and then you pay them back once you get your money on payday.”

I said, “Oh, okay sure.” So I do it, I get my little pay day loan.

This excerpt from a community-based research project involving UC Law Professors Emily Houh and Kristin Kalsem, and Public Allies Cincinnati shows how easy borrowing money can be.  The dialogue is from a “zine,” a small black and white publication that graphically depicted interviews about payday lending, a financial resource relied upon primarily by low-income communities of color.

Almost 30% of Americans don’t have banks, or, if they have them, rely heavily on alternative financial systems like payday loans, rent-to-to-own, or car title loans to make ends meet. Most do so because they don’t believe they have enough money to open a bank account. In addition, these banking alternatives are easy to use and conveniently located.

But these pluses come with significant minuses.

Continue reading “Breaking the Debt Cycle: CFPB Targets Payday Lending”

Breaking the Debt Cycle: CFPB Targets Payday Lending

Turning Challenges into Opportunities: Addressing Sexual Assault on Campuses

The new focus on sexual assault is an opportunity to make real change on campus.

557b8ee85d17a-imageGuest Contributor:  Ellen Eardley, University of Missouri
Assistant Vice Chancellor for Civil Rights and Title IX; Title IX Administrator; Cincinnati Law (’03)

Now more than ever, colleges and universities face new challenges addressing campus sexual assault.

Recently, and not without controversy, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 has been used to address sexual violence – an extreme form of sex discrimination.  The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has made clear that Title IX requires schools to have policies and procedures for responding to sexual violence. This requires careful attention to the rights and needs of students, faculty, and staff who experience and who are accused of sexual violence.

Some commentators have suggested that OCR has asked higher education to undertake a burdensome, and potentially impossible, balancing act. But rather than a burden, these guidelines present an opportunity to make meaningful shifts in addressing and preventing sexual violence.  Continue reading “Turning Challenges into Opportunities: Addressing Sexual Assault on Campuses”

Turning Challenges into Opportunities: Addressing Sexual Assault on Campuses

Spelman College: Leading at the Intersections of Race, Gender, and Sexuality

Spelman considers admitting transgender students.

Spelman College President Mary Schmidt Campbell welcomed students and staff alike to the new academic year with a news-breaking short letter.  Tucked among paragraphs about strategic planning and enrollment figures, was an announcement about a new task force—one that would recommend whether the storied historically black college for women should admit transgender students.

If Spelman changes its admissions policy, it would join the so-called “Seven Sisters” colleges in opening its doors to trans women.

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But even more importantly, breaking down this barrier would strike at the heart of racial and gender hierarchies limiting African Americans.

 

 

Continue reading “Spelman College: Leading at the Intersections of Race, Gender, and Sexuality”

Spelman College:  Leading at the Intersections of Race, Gender, and Sexuality

Black Girls and Zero Tolerance: A Call to Action

Barbara Perez headshot

Guest Contributor: Barbara Perez, President and CEO of the YWCA Greater Cincinnati

In Cincinnati, African-American girls are five times more likely to be suspended from school than white boys and nearly nine times more likely to be suspended than other girls. Nationally, black girls are suspended from school more than any other group of girls and at a much higher rate than white, Asian and Latino boys.

This is one of the consequences of “zero-tolerance” policies which use suspension, expulsion and even arrests in response to a range of school-based incidents. While originally enacted to address cases of violent behavior and drug use, the Department of Education recently reported that 95 percent of out-of-school suspensions are now passed out for nonviolent, minor disruptions such as tardiness or disrespect.

Continue reading “Black Girls and Zero Tolerance: A Call to Action”

Black Girls and Zero Tolerance:  A Call to Action

Back to School with #Black Lives Matter

Black Lives Matter as a vehicle for addressing racial disparities in school discipline

With a new school year approaching, I found myself thinking about #BlackLivesMatter (BLM).

Not just because of the violent summer of 2016, marked by more Black men dead at the hands of police and snipers targeting white police officers.

Or, because I worry about how my students process these terrible events, particularly against the backdrop of a political campaign season that has unleashed some of the most overtly hateful and vituperative racialized and sexist rhetoric I have ever seen.

BLM has elevated and placed into context the police shootings.   It has the potential to do even more.  As an “ideological and political intervention,” BLM is about more than just protesting:  its focus is on securing material change for African Americans.  That’s why, as we go back to school, I see BLM as a promising vehicle for challenging deep seated inequality contributing to Black dis-ease in society:  disparities public education.

Continue reading “Back to School with #Black Lives Matter”

Back to School with #Black Lives Matter