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Author: The Conversation

Dying While Black: The perpetual gulf that separates African Americans from health care

By Yolonda Wilson, Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Howard University It is well documented that African-Americans experience excess mortality, or deaths beyond the expected mortality rate. However, even if disparities in the mortality rate for African-Americans were rectified tomorrow, the fact remains that we will all eventually die. And how we die matters. Gaps while living, gaps while dying According to a 2013 Pew Research survey, 72 percent of American adults have given at least some thought to their end of life wishes, with 37 percent of American adults having given their end of life wishes a “great deal of...

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Research finds that loss of local newspapers leads to more political polarization

By Joshua P. Darr, Assistant Professor of Political Communication, Louisiana State University It seems impossible to ignore national politics today. The stream of stories about the president and Congress is endless. Whether online, in print or on television, it has never been easier to follow the action. National news outlets are adapting well to this environment: The New York Times and Wall Street Journal made big gains in digital subscribers in 2016 and 2017, CNN had their most-watched year ever in 2018 and The New York Times added 120 new newsroom staffers this year. Local newspapers are not doing...

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Cycling infrastructure and inequality: Ensuring Milwaukee is bike-friendly for all urban residents

By Anne Lusk, Research Scientist, Harvard University Designing for bikes has become a hallmark of forward-looking modern cities worldwide. Bike-friendly city ratings abound, and advocates promote cycling as a way to reduce problems ranging from air pollution to traffic deaths. But urban cycling investments tend to focus on the needs of wealthy riders and neglect lower-income residents and people of color. This happens even though the majority of Americans who bike to work live in households that earn less than US$10,000 yearly, and studies in lower-income neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Boston have found that the majority of bicyclists were...

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Black families still not fully recovered from the Great Recession’s impact a decade later

By Vincent Adejumo, Lecturer of African American Studies, University of Florida The financial crisis of 2009, the worst since the Great Depression, was hard on all Americans. But arguably no group felt its sting more than African-Americans, who were already the most economically and financially vulnerable segment of the population going into it. Even today, a decade since the Great Recession hit, blacks still haven’t fully recovered and remain in a precarious financial condition. What’s worse, Wall Street and policymakers are beginning to worry another downturn may be on the horizon. I teach a class at the University of...

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Howard Thurman: How meeting Gandhi introduced nonviolence to the civil rights movement

By Walter E. Fluker, Professor of Ethical Leadership, Boston University “When I despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants and for a time they can seem invincible. But in the end they always fall.” – Mahatma Gandhi Director Martin Doblmeier’s new documentary, “Backs Against the Wall: The Howard Thurman Story,” is scheduled for release on public television in February. Thurman played an important role in the civil rights struggle as a key mentor to many leaders of the movement, including Martin Luther King Jr., among others....

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The unfortunate human nature of our appetite for self-destructive habits

By Mark Canada, Executive Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Indiana University and Christina Downey, Professor of Psychology, Indiana University Each new year, people vow to put an end to self-destructive habits like smoking, overeating or overspending. And how many times have we learned of someone – a celebrity, a friend or a loved one – who committed some self-destructive act that seemed to defy explanation? Think of the criminal who leaves a trail of evidence, perhaps with the hope of getting caught, or the politician who wins an election, only to start sexting someone likely to expose him. Why...

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