Why Divestment Defeated Apartheid and How It Might Help Beat Climate Change

The Money Didn’t Matter. The Movement Did

The environmental activist and writer Bill McKibben estimates that climate divestment—the movement to pressure universities, churches, and other institutions to stop investing in, and thus profiting from, carbon-emitting companies—has removed close to $15 trillion from investments in polluting companies, marking a significant victory for Planet Earth.

That’s an incredible achievement over the short span of a decade. However, climate divestment’s increasing visibility has also cultivated an audience of detractors who argue that it is ineffective. Bill Gates is famously skeptical of the benefits of divestment because it doesn’t directly stop carbon …

Did We Fail the Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes Experiment—Or Did It Fail Us? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Did We Fail the Blue Eyes, Brown Eyes Experiment—Or Did It Fail Us?

A Half-Century Old Classroom Exercise Shows Americans’ Hunger for a Silver Bullet to ‘Cure Racism’

Today’s heated arguments about critical race theory shouldn’t surprise us because they aren’t new. Indeed, one of the best-known classroom experiments to combat racism remains a divisive subject more than …

Is a Merit-Based System Worth Aspiring For? | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Is a Merit-Based System Worth Aspiring To?

It Can Be a Safeguard Against Nepotism and Corruption. It Might Not Make Society More Equal

Should society judge people based on merit? How do 21st-century institutions measure merit, and how should they measure merit? And what is merit, anyway? These were three of the thorny …

The Mississippi Sharecropper Who Helped Black Americans Win Voting Rights | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

The Mississippi Sharecropper Who Helped Black Americans Win Voting Rights

Fannie Lou Hamer's Legacy Reminds Us That Everyday People Can Effect Change—Even When the Nation Is Impossibly Divided

Though Black people represented 50 percent of Mississippi’s voting age population in 1964, Jim Crow literacy tests, poll taxes, violence, and intimidation had managed to all but silence their political …

Caught in White Supremacy’s Web, Seeking a Future My Mother Showed Me | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Navigating the Constellation of Restraints on Black Life

Scholar Dexter Voisin on Whiteness, Colorism, and the Societal Narratives We Inherit

“The true focus of change is never merely the oppressive systems we seek to change but the oppressor that is planted deep within each of us.” —Audre Lorde

In the 1960s, …

America’s Anti-Chinese Bigotry Has a Very Old Stench | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

America’s Anti-Chinese Bigotry Has a Very Old Stench

Olfactory Racism Has Long Stigmatized Chinese Airs and Smells as a Threat to U.S. Public Health and Safety

Since the early months of COVID-19, people assumed to be Chinese have been stared at, yelled at, coughed on, spit on, sprayed with Febreze, beaten, splashed with acid, pushed, stabbed, …