Citizenship Requires Informed Voting

Twenty-first-century citizens should embrace the opportunity to vote. They should study their ballots. They must research politicians, their positions on key issues, and their proposed policies.

If we expect the government to provide services such as national defense, education and health services, the best we can do is show up to the voting booth prepared. Citizens owe it to the country to inform themselves about the options before stepping into the ballot box. Citizenship is not free from obligation. In the United States, voting is a right. But we should treat it as a privilege and cherish it accordingly. 

National Youth Poet Laureate Finalist Jessica Kim on Writing as a Road to Self-Discovery

National Youth Poet Laureate Finalist Jessica Kim wasn’t always a writer—in fact, she did not start writing until three years ago, when the pandemic seemed to shear all facets of normalcy.

Founder and editor-in-chief of The Lumiere Review and author of L(eye)ght, Kim never thought of poetry as something that could exist anywhere except in her own headspace. “Finding something that clicks with you and only you and not someone who would judge or review your work is extremely important in viewing yourself not only as a writer but as a very being.”

Women Everywhere Are Standing Up Against ‘Gender Apartheid’

The loss of our freedoms is mounting—from abortion rights, to lack of access to education, to being told what we must wear. The tragic death of Mahsa Amini connects us all at a time when it has never been more important to band together and push back against all forms of oppression.

That’s why, as feminists, we will stand with our sisters wherever there is a need—in Afghanistan, Iran, the DRC or here in the U.S. We know, in the end, we must prevail. There is no other choice.

A Century-Long Effort to Secure the ERA: ‘The Important Thing Is To Keep Fighting’

2023 will mark 100 years since the introduction of the Equal Rights Amendment to Congress. Of this milestone, Gloria Steinem remarked “I never thought we would still be fighting this battle after all these years.”
Steinem, along with Carol Jenkins, president emerita of the ERA Coalition, and Mona Sinha, board chair of the ERA Fund for Women’s Equality, formed a panel at Smith College on Sept. 16. Joined by moderator Becca Damante, legislative assistant to Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), the four discussed the merits of the ERA and its relationship with democracy.

Black Women Lead: From the Stage to the Streets

Our focus is on building the leadership capacity and political power of Black people and women. But we are struck by the complementary activism taking place in the arts to underscore this moment in history and to inspire progress.

Broadway’s Tony-nominated POTUS, Natalie Moore’s The Billboard and Molly Smith’s upcoming Arena Stage production, My Body No Choice, remind us to trust women as we collectively work to get our republic back on track.

‘The Future Is Disabled’: Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha on Creating a More Humane Social Order

Writer, disability-justice activist and performance artist Leah Lakshmi Piepzna-Samarasinha knows that it’s possible for society to become more equitable. Piepzna-Samarasinha’s latest book, The Future Is Disabled: Prophesies, Love Notes and Mourning Songs, lays out a bare-bones agenda for what is needed to make the U.S. more socially just.

Piepzna-Samarasinha and Ms. contributor Eleanor J. Bader communicated about the book, the disability justice movement and the ways that activists can support each other in the fight for a more ecologically sustainable and humane social order.      

‘Please Tell Me You’re Okay’: Watching Iran’s Protests Erupt

He is in Tehran. I am in Baltimore. The separation is unbearable. Right now, I don’t even want an answer. I want a sign that means he’s alive, that he’s not dead, that the internet has been restored, that he hasn’t been arrested or beaten.

The death of the 22-year-old Iranian woman, Mahsa Amini, at the hands of the “morality police” hasn’t just sparked spontaneous protests—it’s countrywide. Women are removing their headscarves and burning them because they are tired of being told what to do with their bodies. Men cheer them on, and some block the fists and batons crashing down on their sisters.