Organizing Better Support for Family Caregivers

I never chose my first job, it chose me. My older sister and I became caregivers at eleven and fourteen years old after our mother was suddenly stricken with Multiple Sclerosis. We instantly became what is now referred to as Personal Care Attendants (PCAs), but what we simply thought of as loving children. Our daily roles and responsibilities expanded, without any training and with very little help, as my mother’s health deteriorated from losing her sight to rendering her wheelchair-bound. Three decades later, I was again conscripted by love to become a caregiver…

Credit: Linda Tanner via Flickr Creative Commons

Article originally published Dec.19th, 2019 by Community Change as part of its Housing Narrative Project’s ‘Welcome Home’ series on

“What are you and your son doing for the holidays?” This question, innocently asked, is an emotional minefield for me and families like mine across the country coping with homelessness. How do the millions of people facing housing insecurity emotionally navigate the holiday season when the very concept of ‘home’ is so quintessential to how we feel about the holidays themselves? …

Michael Jackson and his son Xavier. Credit: Michael Jackson

Article originally published Dec.6th, 2019 by Community Change as part of its Housing Narrative Project's 'Welcome Home' series on

My understanding of housing policy and the challenges facing millions of Americans in finding safe affordable places to live is firmly rooted in my own often traumatic lived experience.

It began, not from think tank researched policy papers or closed-door speeches from economics experts, but from watching my mother stoically fight back tears when, after my parent’s divorce, we lost our house to foreclosure and were forced to sleep on relatives’ couches.

It continued as an adult when, during…

I’m a man who painstakingly attends to my mental health every day. This isn’t because I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder when I was 31 years old. A condition for which I currently take antidepressants, attend weekly therapy and, like several other mental health diagnoses that also run in my family, have likely contributed to some family suicides, substance abuse problems, and untold other challenges.

It’s not because of the death of my mother to Multiple Sclerosis or my wife to breast cancer. It’s not even because of the psychological trauma of having grown up in poverty, of…

Our world has an increasing reliance on new, ever-changing technology that requires workers to have near-constant flexibility to upgrade, retrain, and retool their skills. It’s estimated that millions of ‘middle-skill jobs’ positions requiring education beyond high school, but less than a four-year degree, will be needed in the years to come.

Bills like the College Affordability Act and the numerous reform ideas coming from the Presidential candidates show a growing acknowledgment of this fact. …

With an increasingly reactionary attitude from right-wing media personalities, it’s become clear that American conservatives, and those remaining Republicans who coddle them, have lost the political argument. Just during my admittedly brief politically aware lifetime I’ve seen the Republican Party go from people simply disagreeing on policy issues and the proper role of government to raving ethno-nationalists attempting to resurrect a new American Gilded Age. …

Anyone who’s ever had a hobby, a child, or been in a relationship knows, we value those things we devote time, energy, and money towards. Those things we don’t, we don’t. America’s poor children of color see what we value and it ain’t them. The lip service we pay as a society isn’t borne out by our actions or their reality. What’s worse is they know and internalize this at a very young age often with negative effects on themselves, their communities, and society.

Kids see what you do, more than listen to what you say. Poor children of…

While there has been much debate over why the Democrats lost in the 2016 Presidential election, there was a common thread running throughout that election that has once again reared its ugly head within the Democratic Party. The biggest factors which cost Senator Hillary Clinton the Presidency in 2016 were her devoted loyalists who were:

  • So dedicated to her winning that they saw no issue in subverting the Democratic nomination process from within the DNC
  • Acting condescendingly and dismissively toward voters who, wanting real progressive change, supported Senator Bernie Sanders.

It was commonplace over that election for moderate establishment…

Why Improving Education is a National Security Issue

“Young Americans’ inability to meet education qualifications highlights underlying issues in America’s educational foundations, with national consequences”.

Our current underperforming, racially segregated K-12 public education and “Debt for Diploma” system of funding higher education is not working. This problem is increasingly dominating political discourse and has been well documented by public policy think-tank Demos and many others. It’s old news, unfortunately, that our insultingly low teacher’s pay and property tax funding model of public schools creates huge income and racial disparities in our children’s readiness for the workforce. …

Brother brother, sister sister

If you’re miss or if you’re mister

Listen please to this fact

Black is black is black is black

Lyrics from Black is Black by Jungle Bros (1988)

Let me be very clear. There are no degrees of blackness, no illegitimate black people, and no experiences, ideas, or actions which can strip one of their blackness. Regrettably, some recent criticisms of Senators Kamala Harris and Cory Booker have once again highlighted the ugly, insulting, and damaging idea of there being legitimate, authentic, or ‘real’ black people. While others are designated phony perpetrators and deemed insufficiently…

Black Intellect

Political scientist, policy analyst, freelance writer, former Comms Fellow for Community Change. Aspie Dad, Camden, NJ native in NYC. @blackintellect7

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