+ writings

She survived an acid attack. Now Gloria helps victims and lobbies to end the violence.

Although rarely talked about, acid attacks are still a common practice in Uganda. More than 90 percent of victims are women who, in addition to living with the physical scars and terror from the attack itself, have to live the rest of their lives facing massive stigma.

Thirty-three year old Gloria Kankunda, a victim herself, has made it her life’s mission to tackle this issue head on.

Read further and see more photos at One.org


Prop. S Supporters Hope SF Tourism Will Help End Family Homelessness

Lena Johnson was curious to know how much it would cost to rent a “simple studio” in the Mission. So she called a real estate agent who was advertising an apartment on Valencia Street and learned that for that “simple place” a tenant was expected to pay $2500 per month. The utilities were extra. The rent was far above her budget, but what surprised her was his casual mention of a more affordable unit – a studio in Oakland for just $1900.

The exchange was a reminder that San Francisco has become a place of the haves and have nots.

Read further at Mission Local


Healed from the drugs epidemic, Dogtown now fears the gentrification virus

Hannah Street in West Oakland’s Dogtown neighborhood is nearly deserted on a Sunday morning. Apart from the constant white noise coming from the MacArthur Maze that marks the border with Emeryville, the only sign of life emanates from the community church on the corner of 34th Street.

Inside, the topic of the morning is about the desire of people wanting to be made new. “In the light of these elections, we think that political service will make us new,” says Dr. Philip Stevenson, the superintendent of the Wesleyan Church’s Pacific Southwest District and that week’s guest.

Read further at Oakland North


The black man’s alternate living room on the 4-5

Christopher Ware opens up his barbershop, Room to Groom, at 4514 Market Street in Oakland, a little after the official opening hour of 9:30 a.m. As soon as he unlocks the front door, a man comes running from across the street towards the shop. “Ay, yo Chris!” he yells. Undistracted, Ware continues with his daily routine, turning off the alarm, turning on the lights and switching on the televisions to ESPN 2.

A few seconds later, the man stands in the door. “Yo, Chris!” he repeats. This time the barber hears him and turns. “Yo, you got me?” the man asks pointing to his big Afro. Ware nods. The man smiles and takes a seat.

Read further at Oakland North


Dominic Ongwen's former bush wife: "Ongwen will be accepted too" 

Dominic Ongwen, the first LRA indictee, is likely to face a long trial at the ICC. But his former bush wife, Florence Ayot (35), still hopes that one day he’ll come back so they can be together and take care of their two children.

“I was only nine years old when I was abducted by the Lord’s Resistance Army in 1989.

“In 1996, after my first husband died, I was given to Dominic Ongwen, who was abducted at the age of 10.

Read further at Justice Hub


‘Tribal’ Reality Television 2.0 (blog)

There was this sincere hope that we had seen the end of the so-called ‘tribal reality shows;’ that is television programs where groups of westerners spend some time with one of the ‘last remaining’ or ‘authentic tribes’ in the world. Namibia or the South Pacific is a favorite destination. A sort of kitsch version of what National Geographic used to be up to (and what John Marshall used to critique in his films). Every time it’s the same script: first there is shock and disbelieve; how ‘these people’ can still live like ‘this’? But gradually a mutual understanding grows, creating a ‘bond for life.’ In an effort to get the most out of the series, a recap usually follows in the weeks after.

Read further at Africa is a Country