Month: February 2017

Pop Culture and Politics Collide at 59th Annual Grammy Awards

Photo: Dale Edwin Murray Music’s biggest night got political as the industry’s stars used their air time to push their platforms. Jennifer Lopez kicked off the night with a call to action for her fellow artists to use their voices now to effect change. She then referenced Toni Morrison saying “this is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, and no room for fear. We do language. That is how civilizations heal.” Early in the night, Paris Jackson gave a shout out to #NoDAPL...

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Sudanese-Americans Struggling for Hope in Trump’s America

Photo: Morguefile Like many people waking up last Saturday morning, I was shocked by President Trump’s executive order restricting immigration and banning refugees from entering the United States.  As a Sudanese-American Muslim holding dual citizenship, I am anxious and confused as to how this may affect my family and thousands of others.  Like many immigrants, asylum seekers, and refugees affected by this ban, uncertainty about our futures and those of our families now keeps us awake at night. This ban is a continuation of the fear-mongering and protectionist attitude of Donald Trump’s campaign.  In President Trump’s executive order, he...

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Investing in Homeless Young Texans

Photo: Bionic Teaching Texas’ 85th legislative session kicked off last month. Lawmakers now have until the end of May to balance a state budget three percent smaller than that of the previous session. Having the power of the purse, the legislature must decide which government programs to prioritize and which to trim—or cut. Policymakers have a responsibility to be thrifty with taxpayer dollars, especially in times of tight budgets. One way to accomplish this is by investing in initiatives that are likely to yield outsized returns. There is a major opportunity to do just that by making modest changes to...

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The Policy Student’s Approach for Defending Progress in the Trump Era

Photo: Paul Kuhne Last fall, I decided to quit my full-time job and apply to policy school. After some consideration, I enrolled at the Lyndon Baines Johnson School of Public Affairs as a candidate in Global Policy Studies. I had two reasons for attending LBJ. First, I believe in the values that LBJ espoused and his roadmap to achieving them. LBJ dedicated his life to public service, delivered programs that matched his promises and cemented the liberal tradition in the United States. The second reason I chose Texas was to understand the nuts and bolts of policy. While my...

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