A Hungry Child Cannot Learn

Buying Shoes, Growing Lettuce, and Treating Tooth Decay at a San Bernardino Elementary School

Eric had multiple cavities and several abscesses. His younger sister Madeline was not in much better shape.

“He has something wrong with each tooth,” the dental student said in amazement. “He has to be in constant pain.” I nodded my agreement, not really surprised by the news.

I’m the principal of Victoria Elementary School in San Bernardino, where the dental student was assessing Eric’s oral wellness as part of the annual fall screening we bring to all 500 children in our student body. In partnership with Loma Linda University’s dental school, which …

Obsessing About Terrorism Is Bad for Your Mental Health

Constant Media-Induced Anxiety Can Inflict Psychological Harm

My patient, Anna, is an African-American woman in her 60s living alone in Los Angeles. She has a progressive arthritis and she walks slowly with the aid of a …

Can Books Build Community?

Putting California’s Inland Empire on the Literary Map

Ahtziri and I are sitting on a stone garden bench outside the church in Riverside, California, where my children take piano lessons. In her hand is a stack of papers—typed …

My Hometown Was in Crisis Before the Terror

I Worry That Everything in San Bernardino Will Soon Go Back to Normal

There was no hashtag or meme or Facebook artwork on August 1, 2012, when San Bernardino, California, filed for bankruptcy after a long fiscal breakdown. Massive budget cuts followed. The …

San Bernardino Is Beautiful

Overwhelmed by My City's Dark Sides, I Decided to Go for a Walk

On a stroll through San Bernardino’s business district last weekend, I came across a woman on a street corner gripping a teetering stack of fliers and an empty Big Gulp. …

How a City Hopes to Fulfill New Dreams

San Bernardino Is Creating Space and Community for the Arts

In Southern California, most people know about San Bernardino and its ongoing municipal bankruptcy. Last summer, the L.A. Times called the city a “symbol of the nation’s urban woes.”

But most …