Nexus »

A Sanctuary For Bees and Humans Eases the Sting Of a Public Housing Failure

By | January 31, 2017

The plight of public housing projects conceived with the best of intentions and then failing horribly is by now well-known in communities across America. Less known—and still unfolding—is the story of what happens next, both to the people who lived there and the physical spaces those projects inhabited.
As an artist and cultural activist in St. Louis, Missouri, I’ve long been interested in the relationship …

What It Means to Be American »

For a UCLA Biologist, Groundhog Day Celebrates Science, Not Superstition

By | January 31, 2017

I am a scientist who loves Groundhog Day, that least scientific of holidays. Every February, as Punxsutawney Phil shakes the dust off his coat, emerges from his burrow, glances at his shadow (or not) and allegedly prognosticates winter’s end, I gather a group of professors, graduate students, and other assorted science geeks at my UCLA lab to nibble, drink, schmooze, and revel in ground-hoggery in …

Nexus »

It’s Human Nature to Shelter the Stranger in Need

By | January 30, 2017

Since Donald Trump’s election, I’ve had to change the focus of the talks I give at churches, community events, universities, schools, and bookshops about sanctuary and asylum.
I used to take audiences on a 125,000-year tour of these two venerable institutions. I’d tell them about bonobos, chimps, and baboons giving sanctuary to members of enemy primate communities; about the ancient custom of seeking sanctuary by …

Nexus »

Giving Refugees a Sanctuary, Without Imprisoning Their Souls

By | January 30, 2017

In late 2012, I got a call from a church member. “Seth, Harry’s picking his daughter up from school? Is Sanctuary over?” he asked me.
It wasn’t, and Harry—an undocumented Indonesian immigrant we were sheltering in our church—wasn’t supposed to be out and about. In conversations with the media and our neighbors we had claimed, over and over, that the men we were protecting …

In the Green Room »

Ann Burroughs, JANM Interim President, Is Inspired by Keith Richards and Her Grandmother

By | January 29, 2017

Ann Burroughs is interim president/CEO of the Japanese American National Museum and Chair of the Board of Directors of Amnesty International USA. Before moderating a Zócalo/UCLA panel, presented in partnership with the Japanese American National Museum, entitled “What Does the Japanese American Experience Tell Us About the Proposed Muslim Registry?” she reflected in the Zócalo green room on the wise words of Keith Richards and …

In the Green Room »

Meet Ali Noorani, author of There Goes the Neighborhood: How Communities Overcome Prejudice and Meet the Challenge of American Immigration

By | January 28, 2017

Ali Noorani is the Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum and author of the forthcoming book There Goes the Neighborhood: How Communities Overcome Prejudice and Meet the Challenge of American Immigration. Before taking part in a Zócalo/UCLA panel, presented in partnership with the Japanese American National Museum, entitled “What Does the Japanese American Experience Tell Us About the Proposed Muslim Registry?” he chatted in …

Nexus »

Go West, Young Entrepreneur–The Left Coast Is Open for Business

By | January 27, 2017

At 7:05 p.m. Pacific on November 8, 2016, the group known as YesCalifornia.org tweeted “California is a nation not a state” and the Calexit movement was in full swing.
With the sixth largest economy in the world, nearly 40 million people and a land area of more than 160,000 square miles, California is larger by far than most countries. It also is a state …

Poetry »

His mother cradles him/ but he fusses and won’t sleep #poem

By | January 27, 2017

Glass brings consequences—
the sea, a black sermon,
the well-lit car rendering
too much promise,
the inside made contrary
and strange. His mother cradles him
but he fusses and won’t sleep,
the train’s sway not enough.
The girl with the baby
asks me a question
I can’t answer,
the sea in conversation
with itself, inside the shell
of the train. She gives
her baby a bottle
of Coke, the red and silver can,
the unmistakable suckle—
I haven’t the …

What It Means to Be American »

A Jewish Photographer’s Nearly Forgotten “Collaboration” With Cheyenne Indians Provides a Crucial Bridge to History

By | January 27, 2017

On a cold day in late November 1853, in a place called Big Timbers, in what is today southeastern Colorado, a Jewish photographer named Solomon Nunes Carvalho hoisted his ten-pound daguerreotype camera onto a tripod and aimed his lens at a pair of Cheyenne Indians. At first glance, the resulting image, scratched and faded from years of neglect, seems unremarkable. But in fact it is …

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