February Roundup

February 28, 2014

Each month, we give you a roundup of the highlights in national and local news relevant to social justice topics. Our goal is to let the stories spark productive conversations that can help create change and a more welcoming and inclusive community for all. Due to the snowstorm, we missed January, so we’re catching you up with stories from January and February this month.

The YW’s main advocacy priority is ending predatory lending. We have posted several times about the issue and the 456 percent APR (see our End Usury video and our financial security post). So when The New York Times ran this article about high-end pawn shops and their 36 percent annual rates, it caught our attention.
There is broad and bipartisan support for ending predatory lending, so it is often confusing to why such unfair laws still exist. So, we also found this article from The Birmingham News informative that lists the contributions from payday lending agencies to members of the committees assigned to the bills.

The American Dream and upward mobility have long been aspirations in the United States. But researchers have found that where you live can impact whether or not that upward movement is a real possibility. And looking at the map, it’s especially grim in the American South.

In January we ran a post from Stacy Oliver about the importance of collecting homeless data. She said that the data give a voice and a story to those who are homeless.  Anderson Cooper says that when he interviewed the homeless for his story, it changed him.

And finally gay athletes have been a big topic in the news this year. From the anti-gay propaganda laws in Russia which were highlighted because of the Sochi Winter Olympics to the potential for the first open gay NFL player this upcoming season, the conversation about gay rights has entered the sports arena.

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