Happy Birthday, Social Security

Social Security, created by FDR in the midst of the Great Depression, recently turned 75. If she were a person, this 75-year-old would probably appreciate the monthly check, which keeps 13 million elderly Americans out of poverty. Myself, I’m several decades...

Fatherless Children

You know things aren’t going well when your life story turns into romantic comedies. I guess it beats tragedies, but still… Two of this summer’s hottest films, “The Kids Are Alright” and “The Switch,” involve women who use...
Shut Up and Eat Your Sugar

Shut Up and Eat Your Sugar

OK, children, homework time. Let’s see if we can handle this little lesson in logic. One, America has a rather huge child obesity problem. Two, major food corporations constantly pitch ads to children for such stuff as sugar-saturated breakfast cereals and...

Fighting Obesity in the Classroom

As a co-founder and the current creative director of the Rancho La Puerta fitness resort and Golden Door spas, Deborah Szekely has long been known as a pioneer in health and wellness. She’s now focusing on a new target audience: our nation’s children....
School Diversity under Siege

School Diversity under Siege

The South has made more progress in providing children the opportunity to attend desegregated schools. Now, sadly, it’s also the region where re-segregation is growing fastest. When the Supreme Court issued its pivotal Brown v. Board of Education ruling in 1954,...

Show Some Guts: Stop the Cuts

From now well into the fall, a big story will unfold across the United States. Big as in bad. It will be terrible for our children, our communities, even the future of our country. I’m talking about massive cuts in public services, particularly in the area of...

This is Your Brain on Pesticides

Researchers found links between organophosphate pesticides and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children in a study the medical journal Pediatrics published. The study identified correlation “at levels common among U.S. children,”...

Tough Budget Choices

With the health-care legislation completed and the climate-change debate derailed by the BP oil disaster, Congress should get to work on the federal budget. Yet Capitol Hill has been slow to tackle this perennial challenge. Even though entitlement...

Moving our Nation Beyond Petroleum

A golden opportunity is bubbling up beneath that undersea volcano of oil spewing thousands of gallons per day into the Gulf of Mexico. We have a chance to truly move our country, as BP says in its ad campaigns, “beyond petroleum.” Despite the spill’s...

Child Hunger and Obesity: A Double-Edged Sword

When it comes to our children’s nutrition, we’re currently confronted with a double-edged sword. On one hand, we face a growing epidemic of child obesity that’s harming both our kids’ health and their quality of life. Even as adult obesity has...

The State of Motherhood

The one day a year when we honor our mothers has come and gone again. If you’re a mom, you probably got some burnt toast and better-than-usual attention from your family. Kudos. But after the flowers fade and land in the garbage, and the dishes are re-washed (by...

Family-Unfriendly

Arizona’s controversial immigration law may damage a lot more than the state’s image, as Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva argued in his OtherWords op-ed. It could also break up families. As Michelle Chen reports on the Colorlines blog, a new study by child...

Remembering Dorothy Height

Dr. Dorothy Height was a lantern and role model for millions of women and a long-haul social change agent, blessed with uncommon commitment and talent. Her fingerprints are quietly embedded in many of the transforming events of the last seven decades as African...