Holidays & Celebrations

Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.

Today is always a good day to re-read not just the I Have a Dream speech, but King’s Letter from a Birmingham Jail. Today is also a day when lots of great writing on race and equality tends to get published, so link what you’re reading in the comments.

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Happy New Year!

Hope you all celebrated and had a grand ol’ time. Sorry I’ve been MIA from the blog — December was a big month of travel for me, often without great internet. One of those trips was to Malawi, which is a fantastic country in East Africa, small and extremely poor but the locus of some really innovative development efforts. I met a lot of bright, interesting girls doing fantastic advocacy and activism work in their communities. Unfortunately, they’re looking at being defunded: Endemic corruption in Malawi is a national scandal, with millions in donor aid plundered by politicians. Now, many Western governments are suspending funds. I wrote about it for the Guardian, so click over and read the whole thing. I’m happy to start 2014 with a reminder that there are some pretty amazing young women advocating for their own futures all over the world.

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Bartolome de las Casas Day, October 14

Christopher Columbus was a greedy, violent, colonizing monster and celebrating him with a national holiday in the same way we honor Martin Luther King, Jr., is ridiculously messed up. In anticipation of Monday’s U.S. Columbus Day observance, The Oatmeal lays out the true history of Columbus’s “explorations,” particularly his decimation of the Lucayan natives of the Bahamas, and suggests a better candidate for a national holiday.

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Happy birthday, TigTog!

You are the best and we love you. Hope your day is especially joyous!

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Memorial Day

Hope those of you in the U.S. are having a pleasant one. I am currently in Malaysia for the Women Deliver conference, and will be blogging some updates from here. So prepare for a few days of maternal health news! Also please prepare for slightly slower moderation over the next month, as Malaysia time is 12 hours ahead of the east coast of the United States, so I’ll be asleep while many of you are commenting. On the Memorial Day tip: As long as we’re honoring fallen American soldiers, we should maybe also honor those who are currently serving by having a real zero-tolerance policy when it comes to sexual assault. When 26,000 soldiers were sexually assaulted last year — up from 19,000 in 2010 — there’s clearly a cultural problem in the military.

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