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    Changing the Conversation

    Not One Child. Not One Night.

    To kick-off Homelessness Awareness Month, we are posting this blog by Ellen Bassuk, MD that originally appeared on Huffington Post on October 8, 2015 at http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ellen-l-bassuk/not-one-child-not-one-nig_b_8258580.html.

    How can it be in a country as affluent as the United States that 2.5 million children are homeless each year? Although the numbers are climbing, family homelessness is absent from our nation's agenda.

    Know Their Names

    Know Their Names, by Sarah Green, remembers the victims of the June 17th shooting at the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC.

    We and Not Them

    In her last post, What Will You Do?" featured on Threads on June 19, Rachel Latta asked, “Will you join me in this conversation?” This post is a response to that call.

    What Will You Do?

    In the wake of the terrorist attack on the Emanuel church in Charleston, I find myself feeling overwhelmed with sadness, anger, and mostly, hopelessness about how to move forward. Perhaps my deepest concern is that nothing will change--that we will feel sadness, and then, we will move on with no societal response, and no movement toward change. As we did with Newtown. As we did with Columbine. Of course, we will not all move forward in the same way. For people of color, the reminder that even a religious building is not a safe sanctuary will have lasting and potentially devastating effects.

    Questions Before Breakfast: Explaining Racial Injustice to My White Son


    February 2, 2015

    It’s a snow day in Boston. As I write this, the wind is swirling and there is already a foot of new snow on the ground. Our radiators are hissing. Downstairs, my husband is making the kids their breakfast. I can hear the clinking of bowls, the baby babbling, and our seven-year old bopping around the living room, likely looking for a ball to bounce.

    It Hasn't Happened to Me Yet

    When I think of homelessness, I frequently think of the 7-Eleven on Dartmouth Street in the Back Bay of Boston. As a child and young adult growing up in that neighborhood, I shopped at this 7-Eleven for drinks, batteries, ice, and other convenience store items. I walked by it on the way to Copley Place or Prudential Center. I passed by it on the way to Copley Station where I took the T to school every morning when I was younger and to work every day when I came home from college. It was on the way to the library, to nice restaurants, and to the supermarket. It is safe to say that I passed by this location almost every day for two decades.

    In a Boston Olympics, People Experiencing Homelessness Will Come in Last

    The debate around Boston hosting the Olympics has many asking, “What makes a world-class city?”

    Boston2024, the private entity that bid Boston to host the 2024 Summer Olympics, would like us to think a world-class city emerges from the benefits incurred by Olympic host cities. However, in a public meeting last week, Smith College Professor Andrew Zimbalist, author of Circus Maximus: The Economic Gamble Behind Hosting the Olympics and the World Cup, debunked this notion:

    The Doctrine of Discovery: A Legacy of Disgrace

    I continue to be haunted and inspired by a speech given by Chief Wilton Littlechild at the Canadian Alliance to End Homelessness conference in Vancouver, BC in November 2014. Chief Littlechild, a Cree Canadian with a humble, but powerful presence, is a lawyer, former member of Parliament, and one of three commissioners appointed to oversee the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) currently being conducted in Canada.

    Where Does Racism Start?

    Trayvon Martin. Michael Brown. Eric Garner. These black men’s deaths have sparked national outrage about the differential treatment of men of color by personnel in the criminal justice system.

    Racism is embedded in our institutions. Well-intentioned people carry out racist policies and become part of institutionalized racism, just by being a part of these systems. We need to start with a hard look at our policies and systems to understand how institutionalized racism has been codified. If we want to change the criminal justice systems, our efforts cannot just be targeted there. We need to start earlier in the process. We need to think about how other systems teach our future lawyers, police officers, and judges that discrimination against people of color, and specifically Black people, is acceptable and expected.

    "Homeless for the Holidays"

    At t3, we strongly believe that homelessness is not a November to January issue. It persists throughout our country in frightening and staggering numbers all year round.

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