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Author: The Conversation

The history of Columbus Day and why municipalities are adopting Indigenous Peoples’ Day instead

By Malinda Maynor Lowery, Professor of History and Director, Center for the Study of the American South, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Increasingly, Columbus Day is giving people pause. More and more towns and cities across the country are electing to celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ Day as an alternative to, or in addition to, the day intended to honor Columbus’ voyages. Critics of the change see it as just another example of political correctness run amok – another flash point of the culture wars. As a scholar of Native American history – and a member of the Lumbee...

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The issue of climate change is more about health and prosperity than saving the environment

By Ezra Markowitz and Adam Corner Associate Professor of Environmental Decision-Making, University of Massachusetts Amherst; and Research Director at Climate Outreach & Honorary Research Fellow in Psychology, Cardiff University The story of climate change is one that people have struggled to tell convincingly for more than two decades. But it’s not for lack of trying. The problem is emphatically not a lack of facts and figures. The world’s best scientific minds have produced blockbuster report after blockbuster report, setting out in ever more terrifying detail just how much of an impact we humans have had on the Earth since...

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Hundreds of Native American heritage sites under threat from rising water levels

By Jayur Mehta and Tara Skipton; Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Florida State University; and Graduate Student in Archaeology, Florida State University Native North Americans first arrived in Florida approximately 14,550 years ago. Evidence for these stone-tool-wielding, megafauna-hunting peoples can be found at the bottom of numerous limestone freshwater sinkholes in Florida’s Panhandle and along the ancient shoreline of the Gulf of Mexico. Specialized archaeologists using scuba gear, remote sensing equipment or submersibles can study underwater sites if they are not deeply buried or destroyed by erosion. This is important because Florida’s archaeological resources face significant threats due to sea...

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School curriculums for today’s economy consider technical education with vocational training

By Anthony P. Carnevale, Research professor and director of the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce; Andrew R. Hanson, Senior Research Analyst at the Center on Education and the Workforce; and Megan Fasules, Research Economist – Georgetown University Unlike old-fashioned vocational education, high school-level Career and technical education (CTE) does not really prepare people for jobs directly after high school. While the stated end goal of K-12 education in America is for students to be “college and career ready,” the reality is the existence of career-ready high school graduates is a myth. The expectation that high school...

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On Liberty and Tyranny: A racist political system designed to keep black candidates from winning

By Andreas Hoffrichter, Executive Director of the Center for Railway Research and Education, Michigan State University “When society is itself the tyrant, society collectively over the separate individuals who compose it – its means of terrorizing are not restricted to the acts which it may do by the hands of its political functionaries. Society can and does execute its own mandate; and if it issues wrong mandates instead of right, or any mandates at all in things with which it ought not to meddle, it practices a social tyranny more formidable than many kinds of political oppression, since, though...

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Reparations remain the best cure to eliminate massive wealth gap between black and white Americans

By Christian Weller, Professor of Public Policy and Public Affairs, University of Massachusetts Boston Four hundred years ago, America’s first enslaved Africans arrived in Virginia. Centuries later, black Americans have managed to accumulate some wealth, but it still pales in comparison to that of whites. This racial wealth gap is a result not only of the horrors of slavery but also policies – such as Jim Crow laws, redlining and modern-day mass incarceration – that followed. The average white family with at least one working adult over 25 years old owned more than nine times as much total wealth...

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