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Author: TheConversation

Green Space: The complicated relationship between city parks and crime prevention

By Lincoln Larson and S. Scott Ogletree, Assistant Professor, North Carolina State University and PhD Candidate and Researcher in Parks and Conservation, Clemson University The relationship between parks and crime remains the subject of debate. Some scholars say parks and other urban green spaces prevent violence. When vacant lots and deteriorating urban spaces are transformed into more appealing and useful places for residents, violence and crime typically decline in the immediate vicinity. In a study of public housing developments in Chicago, researchers found 52% fewer crimes reported near buildings surrounded by trees and other vegetation. In New York City,...

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Federal poverty statistics ignore local economic struggles not measured by personal income

By Sophie Mitra and Debra Brucker, Professor of Economics, Fordham University and Research Associate Professor at Institute on Disability, University of New Hampshire Who counts as poor in the U.S. today? Measuring the share of the population that experiences poverty is important to understanding and monitoring how the country’s economy is doing. It also informs the administration of safety net programs, such as Medicaid and food stamps. Poverty is measured in the U.S. in two ways – but both focus on a lack of income. Currently, those who may have some income but lack other key necessities, like health...

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Our Constitution gives everyone on U.S. soil equal protection regardless of legal status

By David FitzGerald, Angela Y. McClean, and Gustavo López; Theodore E. Gildred Chair in U.S.-Mexican Relations, Professor of Sociology, and Co-Director of the Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, University of California San Diego; Ph.D. Candidate in Sociology, Fellow and Graduate Researcher at Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, University of California San Diego; and Graduate Researcher at Center for Comparative Immigration Studies, University of California San Diego Officially, the Constitution of the United States gives everyone on U.S. soil equal protection under the law – regardless of nationality or legal status. But, as recent stories of the neglectful treatment of...

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The limits of news images as political catalysts for a sustained humanitarian response

By Nicole Smith Dahmen and Paul Slovic; Associate Professor, School of Journalism and Communication, University of Oregon; and Professor of Psychology, University of Oregon When the Associated Press published Julia Le Duc’s photograph of a drowned Salvadoran man, Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, and his 23-month old daughter Valeria, it sparked outrage on social media. According to Le Duc, Ramírez had attempted to cross the Rio Grande after realizing he couldn’t present himself to U.S. authorities to request asylum. But beyond raising awareness via Twitter and Facebook feeds, does an image like this one have the power to sway public...

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A whitewashed curriculum fails to teach basic historical facts about racial supremacy

By Noelle Hurd, Scully Family Discovery Associate Professor in Psychology, University of Virginia When it comes to how deeply embedded racism is in American society, blacks and whites have sharply different views. For instance, 70 percent of whites believe that individual discrimination is a bigger problem than discrimination built into the nation’s laws and institutions. Only 48 percent of blacks believe that is true. Many blacks and whites also fail to see eye to eye regarding the use of blackface, which dominated the news cycle during the early part of 2019 due to a series of scandals that involve...

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Humble Patriotism: The inclusive and collective pride found in the nature of National Parks

By Jennifer Ladino, Associate Professor of English, University of Idaho For many Americans the physical grandeur of parks like Grand Teton, Yosemite and Yellowstone inspires patriotic pride. Twenty-first-century patriotism is a touchy subject, increasingly claimed by America’s conservative right. But the national park system is designed to be democratic – protecting lands that belong to the public for all to enjoy – and politically neutral. The parks are spaces where love of country can be shared by all. But some sites send more complex messages. In my new book, Memorials Matter: Emotion, Environment, and Public Memory at American Historical...

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