Our Search for Human Connection Continues in 2020

The 11th Annual Zócalo Book Prize Honors the Best Writing on Community and Social Cohesion

Since 2011, Zócalo Public Square’s annual book prize has recognized the nonfiction book, published in the U.S., that best enhances our understanding of community and the forces that strengthen or undermine human connectedness and social cohesion.

The 10 past Zócalo Public Square Book Prize recipients come from a wide range of backgrounds, experiences, and scholarship. They range from historians and journalists to political scientists and philosophers. Previous winners have studied a single location (whether that’s Hattiesburg, Mississippi, during the Jim Crow era or an Eastern European border town in the centuries …

Californians, Let’s Talk About Ditching School This Fall | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Californians, Let’s Talk About Ditching School This Fall

Instead of Weighing Bad Options, Put Educational Resources and Personnel Toward Fighting the Pandemic

Perhaps we should stop pretending that California is going to educate its children this fall—and instead transfer our educational resources into COVID-19 control.

As the pandemic worsens, California parents, teachers, and …

I Got an Education Cleaning Airplanes in the Middle of the Night  | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

I Got an Education Cleaning Airplanes in the Middle of the Night 

Working at LAX Taught Me Lessons School Could Not—Including How Much I Wanted the Degree I Missed Out On

The airlines provide barf bags, but the dirty secret is that people often don’t use them. They throw up on the floor and the seats. This is not a society …

When COVID Came to Coalinga High, ‘School Just Ended in the Middle of the Sentence’ | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

When COVID Came to Coalinga High, ‘School Just Ended in the Middle of the Sentence’

Amid AP Classes and College Prep, the Senior Class President Added Caretaker and Teacher for Her Four Younger Siblings to Her Load

Before March 18, I was class president and a student in multiple Advanced Placement classes at my high school in a small town in California’s San Joaquin Valley. Since then, …