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On This Ground

The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience is a directory of historic sites that interpret themes related to ethical, political, and social issues worldwide.
posted by Miko on Apr 17, 2009 - 5 comments

Child labor in Bangladesh

Child labor in Bangladesh
posted by Joe Beese on Apr 15, 2009 - 28 comments

Brave New Welfare

"Lies about surgical sterility requirements. Questions about their sex lives. Outright threats. Here's what faces families in Georgia when their luck runs out."
posted by Pope Guilty on Mar 16, 2009 - 91 comments

15104

Braddock, Pennsylvania has been classified as a "distressed municipality." This may be an understatement: From a high of around 20,000, its population has dwindled to below 3000, many of those people unemployed. Braddock's is a landscape so grim ("a mix of boarded-up storefronts, houses in advanced stages of collapse and vacant lots") that it was selected to serve as a backdrop for the film adaptation of Cormac McCarthy's post-apocalyptic novel, The Road. Its mayor, John Fetterman, considers Braddock “a laboratory for solutions to all these maladies starting to knock on the door of every community.” [more inside]
posted by kittens for breakfast on Feb 8, 2009 - 88 comments

Paging Mr. Dickens...

When welfare benefits the rich, and starves the poor: Despite soaring unemployment and the worst economic crisis in decades, 18 states cut their welfare rolls last year, and nationally the number of people receiving cash assistance remained at or near the lowest in more than 40 years. [more inside]
posted by dejah420 on Feb 2, 2009 - 68 comments

The City Where the Sirens Never Sleep.

"The city is so cash-strapped that firefighters have to purchase their own toilet paper and cleaning supplies. Their aging bunker gear is coated in carbon, 'making them the equivalent of walking matchsticks.' The firehouses' brass poles have been removed and sold off by the city." - The City Where the Sirens Never Sleep by Matt Labash.
posted by chunking express on Jan 20, 2009 - 38 comments

Religious takes on the global financial crisis

The Dalai Lama blames the financial crisis on a decline in spirituality. Hindus blame it on greed. Saudi Grand Mufti, Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh, blames the crisis on ignoring God's rules. Jewish scholars say we could have avoided a crisis by following Talmudic traditions. Pope Benedict sees the global financial system as "self-centred, short-sighted and lacking in concern for the destitute." Is it right to pray for the economy? (a Christian perspective). A Malaysian conference brings together Buddhists, Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Taoists, and Sikhs to discuss the crisis.
posted by desjardins on Jan 14, 2009 - 93 comments

A new vision for the future poor

Wearers of Adaptive Eyewear can make their own prescriptions. The lenses are plastic bladders that change shape and corrective power with a small syringe. So far 30,000 people who may never be reached by an optician or afford conventional eyeglasses now have corrected vision. Recipients are now able to read, mend fishing nets, sew, and perform other tasks requiring good eyesight. The inventor, Oxford University professor Josh Silver, hopes his nonprofit organization can begin manufacturing and distributing up to 100 million pairs a year.
posted by ardgedee on Dec 30, 2008 - 14 comments

More Than Photo Op or Foil

"The last eight years, in terms of engagement, [Washington] D.C. has just been a photo op for the president, or a foil," says Tommy Wells, a social worker turned D.C. Council member. [more inside]
posted by l33tpolicywonk on Dec 22, 2008 - 27 comments

"When I came here... I became a human being."

Necessary Angels. They are not doctors. They are not nurses. They are illiterate women from India's Untouchable castes. Yet as trained village health workers, they are delivering babies, curing disease, and saving lives—including their own. Photo Gallery. Video.
posted by amyms on Dec 11, 2008 - 14 comments

Poverty & Brain Development

"We know kids growing up in resource-poor environments have more trouble with the kinds of behavioral control that the prefrontal cortex is involved in regulating," Boyce said. "But the fact that we see functional differences in prefrontal cortex response in lower socioeconomic status kids is definitive."
posted by theroadahead on Dec 7, 2008 - 76 comments

Yours is also mine

"Rich governments and corporations are triggering alarm for the poor as they buy up the rights to millions of hectares of agricultural land in developing countries in an effort to secure their own long-term food supplies as shown by this map.
The resentment rises as villagers are stripped of holdings and livelihood in Laos; and land prices are soaring in Brazil.
Here are some of the biggest deals. [more inside]
posted by adamvasco on Nov 26, 2008 - 14 comments

Are you making a living wage?

Are you making a living wage? An online calculator from the Poverty in America project's set of tools. [more inside]
posted by geos on Nov 12, 2008 - 83 comments

Tent Cities, USA

As forclosures rise, so do tent cities filled with Americans. Across the country, tent cities are rising everywhere. From California, where foreclosures are taking over 60,000 homes per month, to Vegas, where hungry children sleep in the glittered dust of the wealthy, to St. Petersburg, Florida where the cops are destroying the tents of the homeless to make them leave the city, to the suburbs, homelessness, hunger, and poverty are on the rise. The government's response? Change how "homeless" is defined, so that the numbers appear to be decreasing at the same time that tents are springing up all over the country. [more inside]
posted by dejah420 on Nov 7, 2008 - 135 comments

Fixing the world on $2/day

Amy Smith and MIT's D-lab apply engineering principles to real-world problems that affect the world's poorest residents. She organizes an annual conference. Hear her talk at TED. Previously
posted by lalochezia on Nov 2, 2008 - 4 comments

Blog Action Day 2008 Poverty

AIDS Orphans in Kenya: a disturbing video report about the lives of Kenyan children forced to live on the street after their parents die of AIDS. The Kibera Slum where the disease spreads like fire and the incredible follow-up story, all submitted to raise awareness about poverty.
posted by Surfin' Bird on Oct 15, 2008 - 5 comments

Haitians are reduced to eating dirt.

Many poor Haitians, driven over the edge by world rising food prices, are now eating cakes of mud, salt and shortening in order to survive. This article in the September issue of National Geographic describes how, thanks to history and other factors such as hurricanes, Haiti has lost its ability to feed itself; more than 90% of the country is deforested. The picture caption in the print version, not seen online, uses the word "clay" instead of "dirt". Bill Quigley wrote about the U.S. role in Haiti's food riots, which claimed six lives last spring.
posted by Melismata on Oct 10, 2008 - 33 comments

If information is power, then access is empowering

In a recent Roundtable on Creative Capitalism hosted by TIME, CK Prahalad, author of "The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid" brings to our attention the insight that "the essence of poverty is the assymetry of information" and that this asymmetry was now changing due to the availability and affordability of mobile phones in developing nations. Jeffery Sachs supports him by pointing out that the digital divide was being closed by market forces not civic efforts. Global leader Nokia has already leapt into the breach by opening a Research Center in Nairobi, Kenya in order to develop concepts and products that are of value and relevance for those at the Base of the Pyarmid. The ubiquitious little cellphone has now been spotlighted as a key tool for poverty alleviation, although the debate continues. [previously]
posted by infini on Aug 27, 2008 - 57 comments

People Power

It was a mass protest held outside the halls of Washington. Led, or at least it was supposed to be, by Martin Luther King Jr. (before he was assassinated) it was going to show the world the glaring divide that existed between the Rich and the Poor of America. Black, White, Red, Yellow--they all gathered from all over the US, to stay together for six weeks, outside the Capitol, and inform the public about what life in America could sometimes mean, if you were not considered economically, socially or racially acceptable. Unfortunately, the problem still persists, even today.
posted by hadjiboy on Aug 10, 2008 - 8 comments

Collateral Damage?

"Nobody in the antipoverty community and nobody in city leadership was going to welcome the news that the noble experiment that they’d been engaged in for the past decade had been bringing the city down, in ways they’d never expected. But the connection was too obvious to ignore, and Betts and Janikowski figured that the same thing must be happening all around the country." American Murder Mystery. Page 2. Page 3. Page 4.
posted by wittgenstein on Jul 7, 2008 - 57 comments

The revolution will be led by a 12-year-old girl

The Girl Effect.
posted by sveskemus on Jun 17, 2008 - 61 comments

Sitting Out Earth Day

The new face of hunger -- “World agriculture has entered a new, unsustainable and politically risky period” says the International Food Policy Research Institute. Food riots have erupted in countries all along the equator because of soaring food commodity prices. So, where does the world get more food? If the extra supplies are to come mainly from large farmers in America and Europe, then they may be trapped in a farm subsidy Catch-22. Increase production per acre? We just learned about the myth of GM crops (previously of MeFi). All of this is why some are just sitting out Earth Day.
posted by netbros on Apr 22, 2008 - 114 comments

Poor whites in South Africa

Given the history of the country and the fact that a huge number of South Africa's black citizens still live in conditions of desperate hardship, a film seeking to draw attention to white poverty in that nation might understandably raise some eyebrows or some suspicions. But Poor Whites - South Africa is worth a view. Perhaps things aren't always quite as, er, black and white as this South African TV spot would indicate. Meanwhile, ANC president Jacob Zuma, visiting poor whites at a shantytown yesterday expressed surprise at the level of poverty among white people. "You have shown me that it exists", he said to Solidarity officials who had invited him. [more inside]
posted by flapjax at midnite on Apr 20, 2008 - 16 comments

Bridging the Green Divide

"It used to be that the more radical you were on environmental issues, the farther you were from working-class people, poor people, and people of color, because you were making individual lifestyle changes that alienated you from the majority. You looked different; you ate different foods; you wore different clothes. Working-class people were shopping at Wal-Mart and eating at McDonald’s, and you were mad at them for it. With this new environmentalism, the more radical you are on environmental solutions, the closer you are to the working class." [more inside]
posted by lunit on Apr 14, 2008 - 18 comments

World Governments & Accountability

Social Watch monitors the progress of efforts, articulated in numerous international agreements (1 2 3), to end poverty and increase equality worldwide. By coordinating the reports of a network of citizens' organizations, Social Watch aims to keep tabs on progress toward specific initiatives in each country, lobbying national governments as appropriate. Search by country for a snapshot of social and economic progress. Browse various measures of stability and meaningful development. Lots more, including meaty, well-documented reports and statistics, and holy crapola, nice graphics.
posted by Rykey on Apr 5, 2008 - 6 comments

Homeland Insecurity

The Every Child Matters Education Fund, a non-profit organization that lobbies for better education and services for children, released a report (audio accompanies link text) this week that reveals that geography is as important as race and class in determining which children succeed, and which fail. The five highest ranking states, based on such factors as child poverty, infant mortality rates, juvenile incarceration rates and the like, were all in New England, with Vermont on top. The bottom five were all in the central South, with Louisiana coming in last... States with a high tax burden did a far better job of minimizing childhood poverty than low-taxing states. Via John Ibbitson in the Globe and Mail [more inside]
posted by KokuRyu on Apr 4, 2008 - 26 comments

Coming Home

Homeless people are just too lazy to work, aren't they? Besides, they panhandle to get by, so what's the big deal? What does it mean to be homeless [previously] anyway? How do people find themselves in these sorts of situations, and why can't they get out of them? How do they feel about it? And are there any alternatives that we can supply them with?
posted by hadjiboy on Mar 23, 2008 - 69 comments

On Skid Row

On Skid Row is a five part video series about Skid Row in Los Angeles from GOOD Magazine. Introduction, Kids, Drugs, God, Afterword via y2karl's earlier via
posted by sleepy pete on Mar 16, 2008 - 9 comments

Cities of God

Slum (youtube: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) Dwellers (mp3): how the other billion lives.
posted by hadjiboy on Feb 28, 2008 - 60 comments

Sciuscià

The Shoe Shine Boys (1,2,3,4,5), and Girls (1,2,3) [more inside]
posted by hadjiboy on Feb 21, 2008 - 3 comments

Double Nickelled & Dimed

"In a test of the American Dream, Adam Shepard started life from scratch with the clothes on his back and twenty-five dollars. Ten months later, he had an apartment, a car, and a small savings." Introduction to the book which arose from his "journey", which was inspired by Barbara Ehrenreich. [more inside]
posted by Rumple on Feb 15, 2008 - 243 comments

Is it time to unwrap Oxfam Unwrapped?

Do goats make great gifts? Not everyone thinks so.
posted by teleskiving on Dec 18, 2007 - 52 comments

Christmas Presents for New Orleans

Bulldozers for the Poor: despite being the brainchild of the chief of police, tent city, home to approximately 500 of the city's roughly 12,000 homeless, is slated to be disbanded to make room for state office buildings and a national jazz park. this comes at the same time hud is readying to demolish four housing projects, where many of the tent city residents hoped to return. meanwhile, residents of one of the swankiest neighborhoods in town are successfully protesting and receiving tax breaks.
posted by msconduct on Dec 5, 2007 - 30 comments

Economic Consequences

The Economic Consequences of Mr. Bush. "The next president will have to deal with yet another crippling legacy of George W. Bush: the economy. A Nobel laureate, Joseph E. Stiglitz, sees a generation-long struggle to recoup." [Via Firedoglake.]
posted by homunculus on Nov 18, 2007 - 70 comments

Profit from the Working Poor with the Predatory Lending Association

The Predatory Lending Association takes a comic look at the dark practice of payday lending. Just when you thought charging 391% interest wasn't legal. This is from the same folks that created WalkScore.
posted by commonmedia on Nov 13, 2007 - 40 comments

Global Theme Issue: Poverty

The Public Library of Science has collected articles about global poverty as part of the Council of Science Editors Global Theme Issue on the subject. While many of the articles listed at the CSE site are not online, some journals, like the American Journal of Nursing have their articles available.
posted by OmieWise on Oct 24, 2007 - 2 comments

Learn New Words, Give Free Rice

Give ten grains of rice for each word you get right. It builds up very quickly.
posted by divabat on Oct 17, 2007 - 131 comments

"Everything is determination. I know with time things will be okay."

Kingsley's crossing: the excruciating journey of a man seeking a better life. [more inside]
posted by rom1 on Oct 15, 2007 - 12 comments

California Inspects Spector and cannot decide. There is more to this than meets the eye.

California Where the Rich do Fine While the Poor are Doing Time "Hell, you got to live with it, there's nothing else to live with except mendacity, is there?" Big Daddy, Cat On A Hot Tin Roof
posted by Rancid Badger on Sep 26, 2007 - 37 comments

Many of World’s Poor Suffer in Pain

Drugs Banned, Many of World’s Poor Suffer in Pain "Millions of people die in pain because they cannot get morphine, which is legal for medical use in most nations." [Via TalkLeft.]
posted by homunculus on Sep 10, 2007 - 47 comments

It takes a village

A State Street Family Album - State Street in Madison, Wisconsin is a half mile link between the Capitol dome and the campus of the University of Wisconsin. Tree lined, traffic restricted, shops of all manner, State Street represents an almost picture postcard ideal. It is also home to the Family. In the 30's they might have ridden the rails, now they are hanging out in the Peace Park. Glenn Austin has documented their community.
posted by caddis on Aug 13, 2007 - 72 comments

Gordon Brown speaks about global poverty at the UN.

"It is time to call it what it is: a development emergency which needs emergency action". Gordon Brown speaks to the UN about global poverty. Link goes to full text of speech, video is available from the same page.
posted by teleskiving on Jul 31, 2007 - 3 comments

Poor kids.

Child Poverty In Chicago -- photographs by Stephen Shames, (c) 1985. Included is Lafeyette (sic) of "There Are No Children Here."
posted by kmennie on Jul 22, 2007 - 6 comments

More Luxury Hotels Required

SimCity 2008, Scenario: Beijing. Prepare your city for the 2008 Olympics. Raze slums, build luxury hotels, and stadiums. Make the nation, and the world, proud!
posted by SansPoint on Jun 11, 2007 - 38 comments

The Happy Planet Index: a Better Way to Measure Well-Being?

The Happy Planet Index presents an alternative to GDP for measuring standard of living. It ranks countries by measuring life expectancy and self-reported life satisfaction against an "ecological footprint" needed to support that country's lifestyle. The press release claims that well-being is not based on high levels of consumption, but many don't agree. Full report in PDF here. Vanuatu tops the charts, while Zimbabwe and Swaziland lie at bottom. Critiques here, here, here, and here. A critique of happiness indices generally here.
posted by shivohum on Jun 3, 2007 - 19 comments

Geldof and Bono discuss progress on G8 pledges

Where's the money? [YouTube] In a short interview with the BBC, Bob Geldof and Bono discuss ongoing efforts to get G8 members to fulfil commitments made at the Gleneagles summit, their own credibility or lack of, and whether or not the current focus on climate change is taking attention away from the situation in Africa. This Guardian article has more details.
posted by teleskiving on May 16, 2007 - 39 comments

Embarrasment of Riches

Poorism or Poverty Tourism is a growing trend among otherwise thrill-jaded first world tourists and is engendering a lively debate as to whether "poorists" are helping the impoverished areas they are guided through, or are merely gawking voyeurs.
posted by telstar on May 11, 2007 - 47 comments

They say what boys do in these fields makes them fast. Is it a coincidence that there are so many of them in the NFL?

"I'm not from here, so when I was told that what these boys do in the fields makes 'em fast, I didn't believe it." Welcome to Muck City.
posted by kyleg on Apr 16, 2007 - 17 comments

Excuse me sir, might I have some poridge?

Children for Hire.
posted by hadjiboy on Feb 9, 2007 - 5 comments

Murder

Murders in Baltimore City/Washington D.C., displayed on Google's map of the area: 2005, 2006, 2007.
posted by stammer on Feb 3, 2007 - 38 comments

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