Earth Day: 5 ways we’re working to repair the damage to our planet and combat climate change

International Mother Earth Day is a chance to reflect on how humanity has been treating our planet, and let’s face it: we’ve been poor custodians. And while a steady stream of IPCC reports has painted a legitimately worrying picture of the current state of the planet, don’t lose hope – here’s why: there are more innovative ideas for serious climate action than ever and around the world, people are working together on solutions to help repair the damage that’s been done to our fragile home.

Kenya puts in place tougher labelling for baby foods, bottles, teats and pacifiers

The Kenyan government has provided more stringent measures for the labelling of feeding bottle, teat and pacifier packages. It wants the labels of these products to include a warning that their use can have negative effects on breastfeeding.

Floods in South Africa: protecting people must include a focus on women and girls

The Durban (eThekwini) area of South Africa has experienced many floods over the recent years. They have wreaked havoc. For instance, in April 2019, a deadly flood and landslides hit the area. The region is currently reeling from what is seen as the worst flood in the history of South Africa. More than 300 people have lost their lives. There is also excessive damage to infrastructure and homes.

I no longer grade my students’ work – and I wish I had stopped sooner

Elisabeth Gruner, University of Richmond I’ve been teaching college English for more than 30 years. Four years ago, I stopped putting grades on written work, and it has transformed my teaching and my students’ learning. My only regret is that I didn’t do it sooner. Starting in elementary school, teachers rate student work – sometimesContinue reading “I no longer grade my students’ work – and I wish I had stopped sooner”

Barbie doll that honors Ida B. Wells faces an uphill battle against anti-Blackness

Toni Sturdivant, Texas A&M University-Commerce When Mattel announced in January 2022 that it was releasing a new Barbie doll to honor Ida B. Wells – the famed 19th-century Black journalist and anti-lynching crusader – the company said the idea was to “inspire us to dream big.” However, while the doll may prove helpful to youngContinue reading “Barbie doll that honors Ida B. Wells faces an uphill battle against anti-Blackness”

How a Black writer in 19th-century America used humor to combat white supremacy

Rodney Taylor, University of South Carolina Any writer has to struggle with the dilemma of staying true to their vision or giving editors and readers what they want. A number of factors might influence the latter: the market, trends and sensibilities. But in the decades after the Civil War, Black writers looking to faithfully depictContinue reading “How a Black writer in 19th-century America used humor to combat white supremacy”

How fast can we stop Earth from warming?

Richard B. (Ricky) Rood, University of Michigan Global warming doesn’t stop on a dime. If people everywhere stopped burning fossil fuels tomorrow, stored heat would still continue to warm the atmosphere. Picture how a radiator heats a home. Water is heated by a boiler, and the hot water circulates through pipes and radiators in theContinue reading “How fast can we stop Earth from warming?”