On the Eve of Midterm Elections, Our Partners Call for Change

October 23, 2018

Our Communications Institute Fellows and Creative Change Alumni have captured the attention of the press this past month with radio placements, op-eds, and letters to the editor in national outlets such as USA Today and local media such as L.A. Public Radio. Their stories demand action on issues of opportunity, justice, and the need for immediate change as we head in to the Nov. 6 elections.

Crystal Echo Hawk (CI ’17) published an article in Indian Country Today, discussing the media coverage of Elizabeth Warren’s DNA test and Native American erasure. She writes about her work with Reclaiming Native Truth and the research they conducted showing that most Americans know little to nothing about Native Americans and are heavily influenced by stereotypes of Natives as welfare-dependent and alcoholic. She situates Elizabeth Warren in the 36% of Americans who claim to have Native ancestry, a group of potential allies. She concludes that we should hold Warren accountable, but also recognize her work as an ally. “We need to show up for our allies as well. The research shows that we will continue to struggle to protect our rights unless we make a concerted and intentional effort to change the story, to stop being invisible.”

Jorge Luis Vasquez (CI ‘18) wrote a powerful op-ed in USA Today, where he related his own personal experiences as a man with Puerto Rican heritage to illustrate the larger problems behind the government’s failure to properly assist Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.

L.A. Public Radio ran an interview and story with Isaac Bryan (CI ‘18), on UCLA’s recent study showing the disproportionate number of arrests made by the L.A. School Police Department against black school children between 2014 to 2017. Isaac’s interview includes solutions to these unfair arrests and treatment.

In “A different path for confronting sexual assault,” sujatha baliga (CI ‘14) describes restorative justice as an alternative to the criminal justice system that actually addresses the harm done to survivors. She points to restorative justice as a way to address and actually change harmful behavior and wishes Dr. Blasey Ford and other survivors had had the opportunity to participate in a restorative justice process.


Jonathan Jayes-Green (CI ‘18) had a long letter to the editor published in USA Today, calling for the United States to uphold the values of liberty and safety and not deport black Mauritanians to Mauritania due to human rights violations in that country. “Mauritanians are seeking something very simple: The right to live a dignified life,” he writes.

Director of the Brennan Center's Justice Program, Inimai Chettiar (CI ‘14) was a guest on PRI’s “The Takeaway,”  advocating for criminal justice reform through electing new District Attorneys this November.

Negin Farsad (CC ‘11 and ‘12) invites you to her election night comedy show “Average Women with Average Rage.”  It’s part of the New York Comedy Festival and it’s with NPR’s Ophira Eisenberg and IFC Comedy Crib’s Leah Bonnema. Tickets are available here.