The Pain of Surviving the San Fernando Valley Can Make You Powerful

In Two Memoirs, Activist Patrisse Khan-Cullors and Comedian-Actress Tiffany Haddish Reveal How ’90s L.A. Shaped Them

How can Californians rise from horrific local circumstances to national influence?

Two recent books offer one answer: It may help to have grown up amid the racism and institutional failures of Los Angeles in the 1990s.

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The two books are both popular and compelling memoirs from African-American women and Southern Californians now in their 30s. But the authors are very different people. One is the Black Lives Matter co-founder Patrisse Khan-Cullors, a deeply serious activist whose memoir, When They Call You a Terrorist, …

Is Our Culture of Empathy Perpetuating Inequality?

Feeling Others’ Pain Lets Us Ignore the Power Structures That Really Divide Us

We desperately need more empathy. At least, that’s what we are told—in political rhetoric, in bestselling popular science books, in international development discourse, in feminist and anti-racist activism. Among current …

Californians Want Much More From Our Neighborhoods

We Love Our Communities but Think They Should Make Us Healthier, and Even Find Us Jobs

California is a state of large things: A 1,100-mile coastline and giant mountain ranges and big roads, bigger cities, and the biggest vistas. In such a sprawling place, with so …

How Will Public Libraries Serve an Increasingly Unequal Society?

Let’s Focus on the People Affected by Libraries Rather Than the Collections Contained Within Them

Trying to predict the future of anything—let alone public libraries—is a tricky task. But unequivocally we can say this: Libraries are not about to become purely digital endeavors. The notion …

The Word of the Summer Is “Victoriotic”

Donald Trump Is the Epitome of Constant Bragging About Inflated Success, But We’re All Guilty, Especially in California

It’s the word of the summer: Victoriotic.

You won’t find it in the Oxford English Dictionary or Merriam-Webster, at least not yet.

It began its life as an epithet, hurled by …

How Opening a Savings Account Can Close the Racial Wealth Gap

With Modest Public Investment, Low-Income Families Can Build a Financial Cushion Against a Recession or Medical Emergency

Like many economists who care about American families struggling to make ends meet, I spend a good amount of time thinking about how parents can earn more income to give …