Lois Lowry ’58 has written more than forty books, including the classic The Giver, which becomes a major movie this summer. In all of them she has been creating young characters who, despite sometimes excruciating obstacles and painful loneliness, learn that the deepest life comes from loving others.
As a teenager, Greg Diatchenko was convicted of murder and given the mandatory sentence: life without parole. Now science, and the courts, could give him another chance.
To get parole, people sentenced to life as juveniles must reckon with their pasts.
Why can’t we embrace the idea that prisoners have labor rights?
Nationwide, at least 1,200 people serve life without parole for crimes they committed as children.
Read a more in-depth version of Keith Maxey’s story, from a section that was cut for space from “Sentenced Young.”
A debut novel by Alex Myers brings to life a real-life woman who fought as a man in the Revolutionary War.
Mark Blyth is a professor of political science who got his educational start thanks to the UK’s welfare state. Which is only one reason he thinks the recently popular fiscal approach known as austerity is a disaster for everyone but the rich.
Rodney Stanberry Tries for Parole
Prosecutors as innocence projects
Why one man’s innocence is so hard to prove.
Transgender activists believe that when children insist their birth sex is the wrong sex, their wishes should be honored. Dr. Kenneth Zucker disagrees.
Nearly 1 in 100 Americans is incarcerated. But how well can journalists cover prisons if they can’t get past the gates?
But will the new diagnosis from the American Psychiatric Association cause them other trouble?
Over the past two decades, Food & Wine editor-in-chief Dana Cowin ’82 has taken a slumping magazine and turned it into a leading brand. Her real goal, she says, has been to expand your happy world.
AIDS activists are experts at bird-dogging, following political candidates and peppering them with questions about HIV/AIDS. In the upcoming presidential election, activists wonder: Should we release the hounds?
How one unlikely pioneer transformed the way we treat transgender children.
National Book Award nominee Deborah Heiligman ’80 takes young readers from the bright innocence of childhood to the grey complexities of adulthood.
The pace of Joshua Henkin’s novel, ‘The World Without You,’ is slow and deliberate. Each conversation, each passing hour, takes on the weight of something much larger.
What to Do With Elderly Prisoners?
This young bone cancer survivor has turned Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong into one of the most visible and effective cancer foundations in the world.
Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, which launches at Harvard today, manages to be queer without being gay.
How a rapist’s confession forced Rick Perry, champion of Texas justice, to pardon a dead man.
The exact number is unknown—but is likely in the tens of thousands. A multimedia sidebar to accompany “No Country for Innocent Men.”
At three Massachusetts high schools, all the students are recovering substance abusers. The idea is to give the kids a safe and stable learning environment where they can overcome their addictions. So what’s with all the weed smoking and failed drug tests?
A literary/musical collaboration about a Jewish girl who arrives in North Dakota as a mail-order bride.
After a long career as a groundbreaking physician and an activist quietly battling discrimination, Gus White ’57 argues that unconscious bias is keeping many of us sick.
Massachusetts compiles the history of the Norfolk Prison Debate Team, which beat the likes of Oxford’s best.
Photo gallery to accompany “Forensics under the microscope”
When it comes to criminal cases, scientific evidence can seem like cold hard facts. But recently, advocates worry that both bad science and internal corruption is making forensics faulty—and innocent people are going to jail.
Meet the man behind Human Rights Watch: Kenneth Roth ’77, who has been leading the group for nearly two decades.
Professor and forest ecologist Nalini Nadkarni brings her love of trees to the bimah.
Two brothers. Two personalities. Two definitions of success. The lives of Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan ’81 and Catholic missionary Patrick Moynihan ’87 show there’s more than one way to change the world.
Reporting “Earning College Degrees Behind Bars”
The Bard Prison Initiative sends professors into New York State prisons to teach a full slate of Bard College classes. Professor John Fout asks, “How in the hell did these guys end up there?”
Who’s got time to tend delicate prairie wildflowers? Prisoners, that’s who.
President Obama has lifted the twenty-year ban on federal funding of needle exchanges. But if he wants to promote public health–over politics–on substance abuse, there are plenty of other bold steps his administration should take.
Rabbinical student Steven Goldstein is the founder, chair and CEO of Garden State Equality, the primary advocacy group now pushing for marriage for gay men and lesbians in New Jersey.
When the first openly gay rabbinic students came through the doors of Conservative Judaism’s Jewish Theological Seminary in 2007, there remained in the back of everyone’s mind one sensitive, still-unresolved issue: What would happen when they went to Israel?
As a U.K. court moves to protect its MTF inmates from rape and assault, America’s transgender prisoners continue to suffer.
In “Charles and Emma: The Darwins’ Leap of Faith,” readers are introduced to Charles Darwin not as a man whose very name has become a stand-in for replacing religion with science, but as the husband of Emma Darwin, a woman of deep faith who spent her adult life worrying that her husband was going to burn in hell for eternity.
Judges treat pregnant women like children.
NYC’s latest foodie obsession is frigid and flamboyant.
Hip-hop music began as an expression of the hopes and fears of the inner-city poor. Then greed and violence corrupted it. It’s a story that Tricia Rose, one of the first scholars to study hip-hop, believes has much to teach us about our culture and how we treat one another.
Federal detention is shockingly punitive to women immigrants.
Director Sam Mendes assembled a reunion’s worth of alums for Away We Go.
“As a Friend” by Forrest Gander is creepy and haunting, lovely and strange.
For millions of women, getting birth control is a laborious process. Would making the pill an over-the-counter drug be the best policy fix?
For decades Catherine Wolf ’72 AM, ’74 PhD worked as an IBM scientist getting computers to understand better how humans think. Then she was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease. Now she must rely on computers to tell other people what’s inside her own head and heart.
The Low Anthem updates a rich strain of Americana.
Several states are busy rethinking the old concrete-box approach to the nation’s prisons — home to more than two million Americans — and high on the agenda are energy efficiency and other “green” upgrades.
In a few innovative prisons, babies find a safe haven with their moms.
This Valentine’s Day you might want to steer clear of Victoria’s Secret, unless you like your lingerie made by prisoners.
Callmeishmael.org is a blog that Brooklyn singer-songwriter Patrick Shea began in October. His goal was to write one song for each of the 136 chapters in “Moby-Dick.”
AS Mo Menzel sees it, those who attend the monthly concert and jam session at her violin shop here can be divided into two groups: pickers and grinners.
This year, JFREJ launched the Grace Paley Organizing Fellowship to train a new generation of organizers and activists.
The scion of the Rothschild family has written a memoir about big hair, big money, and big problems.
When Brown announced plans last year for a new mind, brain, and behavior building, a group of faculty, students, and alumni objected that the Urban Environmental Lab would have to be torn down. What followed was a debate about how to capture the future without forgetting the past.
State child advocate Jametta Alston is willing to protect children in DCYF custody at all costs. Even if her bold decision to sue the state for neglect forces her to commit career suicide, she’s determined to make her case for the kids.
Economics professor Glenn Loury is speaking out about what he believes is one of the nation’s gravest injustices: despite falling crime rates, the number of black men sent to prison continues to rise. It’s the latest cause for a man whose work has taken him from liberal to conservative and back again.
Doing time at the Rhode Island Training School is punishment for young women who break the law. What’s surprising is how many would rather be in the big house than out.
Review of “Now You See Him,” by Eli Gottlieb
Review of “Gang Leader for a Day” by Sudhir Venkatesh
Review of “Freedom for the Thought That We Hate,” by Anthony Lewis
The proprietor of the coffee shop on the ground floor of the New York Supreme Court looks at his customers askance.
Review of “How to Spell Chanukah… and Other Holiday Dilemmas,” edited by Emily Franklin
As cofounder and president of Mad River Canoe, Kay Henry ’67 manufactured some of the most innovative canoes of the past generation. Now retired, she’s dedicated herself to saving the rivers that inspired them.
Alibag and the surrounding villages and towns about 22 miles southwest of Mumbai were home to what was once a thriving and vibrant Jewish community known as the Bene Israel. Four families now remain, totaling about 20 people. Of those, it’s not a question of whether they will leave, but when.
With a mom or dad deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan, sons and daughters step up to fill their boots on the ground.
Review of “Body of Work” by Christine Montross
Does the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom for the press trump the right of lawyers and judges to use secrecy for tracking down lawbreakers and potential terrorists? A flurry of recent court cases—some involving alumni journalists—has put reporters on notice that relying on leaked secrets could send them to jail.
Politicians and correctional officials are recognizing that, in conversations about prison reform, they must reserve a seat at the table for those who have lived it.
Review of “The Folded World” by Amity Gaige
You may get to schmooze the glitterati at Newport’s International Film Festival. But you’re more likely to meet people who just love movies, as one fan discovered last year.
Radio Superstar Ira Glass Brings ‘Movies for Radio’ to … Television
It’s a freezing Friday night at the Guggenheim, 8:00, and technically the museum closed 15 minutes ago.
With a tip of the hat to “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” which set the bar for audience-participatory midnight screenings, the Buffy the Vampire Slayer sing-along is based on “Once More With Feeling,” a musical episode from the show’s sixth season.
Although Warhol is best known for his portraits of such pop icons as Elvis Presley and Jackie Kennedy, in 1980 he also completed a set of 10 “Jewish geniuses.”
Could a redesigned diaphragm not only become popular among American women, but also save lives in HIV-ravaged nations?
The Conservative movement’s Committee on Jewish Laws and Standards queers the synagogue by giving nod to gay rabbis and commitment ceremonies.
In a surprise move, certain pro-choice women’s organizations are joining Christian conservatives in criticizing the governor of Texas for requiring sixth-grade girls to be vaccinated against HPV.
Aimed at the unattached, the single mother and the sexlessly wed, respectively, “Secrets of a Fix-Up Fanatic,” “Single Mom Seeking” and “Mating in Captivity” echo a certain politician’s inspirational (if ultimately unfulfilled) promise: “Help is on the way.”
A panel of experts convened in New York City last week to determine the country’s best kosher cook, and the results may come as a surprise: The winner was not Jewish.
THE KNITTING CIRCLE, by Ann Hood. Norton. 346 pages. $24.95. January 28, 2007 Stella had brown hair and a “killer smile,” and was partial to unlikely clothing, such as stripes with polka dots and orange earmuffs indoors. She chose winged creatures — dragonflies and fairies — as her Halloween costumes each year. She was 5 [read more]
Jonathan Karp ’86 left his job as editor-in-chief of Random House to launch his own imprint and stage his first play, about a timid bookstore clerk faced with saving the world.
As documentary filmmakers, Rory Kennedy ’91 and Liz Garbus ’92 tell stories of ordinary people facing extraordinary political and social controversies. Their empathy provides an emotional depth you won’t find in news stories or the arguments of talking heads.
“To be a part of a real and authentic progressive religious voice in this world right now is incredibly important,” says Ayelet Cohen, the straight junior rabbi at the world’s largest LGBT synagogue.
The little post office stands as a bridge between the old Prospect Heights and the new. And from his perch behind the worn wooden counter, an affable, 60-year-old conga drummer named Hailejaa Euma is extending a hand in both directions.
With the endless violence in the Middle East, it would be easy to say that my girlfriend and I — she is Muslim; I am Jewish — represent the potential for world peace. But of course, like the world, our story is a little more complicated than that.
A day in the life of Mohammad Miah, a New York City street vendor.
Thanks to a proposition appearing on this week’s ballot, Rhode Island may join a growing number of states slowly reversing voter disenfranchisement for former felons.
You’ve heard of a fiction anthology. Now here comes a fiction encyclopedia. What’s the difference?
The secret treasures of our smallest state’s biggest city
A Pawtucket arts high school keeps its students on pointe, while cutbacks in funding keep administrators on their toes.
Women Play It Loud at Ladies’ Rock Camp
Singer-songwriter Doria Roberts—lesbian force of nature—rocks this summer with performance, a new CD, and her own pride festival, Queerstock
Review of “A Death in Belmont” by Sebastian Junger
Management gaffes and rising costs imperil support services for Rhode Island’s federally funded program
Young or old, expert or beginner, any woman with music in her heart is welcome to make big noise at Rock ‘n’ Roll Camp for Girls
Review of “Torch” by Charyl Strayed
Ken Dornstein works through his feelings about his older brother, killed in the Pan Am flight 103 crash
Review of “Pike’s Folly,” by Mike Heppner
Maryland physician Husna Baksh is awarded GayHealth.com and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association’s Provider of the Year Award for 2005.
Drake Patten, the new Executive Director of industrial arts space the Steelyard, talks about the project and her plans for it.
Two of them are from warring ethnic groups, but these three South Asians have been united by friendship for fourteen years. Now they are putting their bond to a higher purpose: building a model of pediatric health care for the entire developing world.
Review of LOVE AND OTHER IMPOSSIBLE PURSUITS, by Ayelet Waldman.
Although Rhode Island offers a hospitable home to gays and lesbians, equality remains elusive.
Woonsocket’s own Sistine Chapel ducked the wrecking ball six years ago. Its second resurrection requires $3.5 million. Can it survive without divine intervention?
On Striking Back, its author Aaron Klein, and Questioning Israeli Counterterrorism Policy
In 1936 two Brown students strung copper wire around campus and invented college radio. Seventy years later, two stations—WBRU and Brown Student Radio—are still fighting over what it meant.
Does the obsession with losing weight do more harm than good? Beth Schwartzapfel goes to fat camp to find out.
They wear flip flops to an office where the water cooler is a keg. You’d like to hate them, but the founders of Coastal Extreme Brewing Company are such nice guys.
In 1968, Doris Duke started a foundation that would rescue dozens of historic Newport houses from destruction. Today, these quaint old structures are lovingly tended by tenants devoted to their quirks.
Young Afghan women are studying at Roger Williams University, gaining political and financial skills that will help rebuild their ravaged country. What no one anticipated was that these students would change our lives as much as we’ve changed theirs.
Cambodian American youth are often caught between their parents’ respect for authority and a growing number of lawmakers who want to see them sent — often for the first time — to Cambodia.
A new strain of HIV in New York City appears to be drug resistant and rapidly progressing. What does this mean for Rhode Island?
Southeast Asians in Rhode Island seek a better life while struggling with gang activity, poverty, and a legacy of violence.