Thursday, December 22, 2016

Advocates Take Stand Against Laws Criminalizing Homelessness

Policy experts discuss the far-reaching - and counterproductive - implications of ordinances targeting homeless individuals and take a look at upcoming legislation that could help cities and states combat homelessness without resorting to criminal or civil penalties.

ILLEGAL TO EXIST? Over the last 10 years, the National Law Center on Homelessness and Poverty (NLCHP) has noted a drastic uptick in the number of cities across America enacting ordinances barring homeless individuals from camping, sleeping and sometimes even sitting in public spaces. "It does not work, it's ineffective, it's expensive and it's often unconstitutional," said NLCHP Senior Attorney Tristia Bauman, "and it will not produce the results that communities need, which is to end visible homelessness."

Friday, December 9, 2016

Affordable Housing Activists Brace For Funding Crunch Under Trump Administration

The National Low Income Housing Coalition anticipates major reductions in federal housing spending during Trump's presidency - but they also see potential funding opportunities arising from his infrastructure investment proposals.

A LOOMING LOW-INCOME HOUSING CRISIS? Representatives of the National Low Income Housing Coalition fear major cuts to HUD and USDA housing and rental assistance programs under Trump's presidency, but they remain optimistic that programs can stay afloat through nontraditional funding streams - including mortgage interest deduction reform. (Photograph courtesy the United States Department of Agriculture.)

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Online Child Sextortion Is On The Rise, Law Enforcement Experts Warn

Since 2012, F.B.I. sextortion cases have increased almost 500 percent. Experts say children are at a heightened risk of becoming victims - and offenders' targets are getting even younger. 

THE NEW 'STRANGER DANGER' The rise of social media has given child predators an entirely different kind of hunting ground - one that gives offenders virtual, 24/7 access to victims. (Photograph courtesy the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.)

Saturday, November 12, 2016

The Revolution Was Televised

Scenes from a sports bar viewing party as Trump supporters in suburban Atlanta gathered for the last hurrah of the 2016 presidential election.

ALL ABOARD THE TRUMP TRAIN: Members of the Cherokee County Republican Party gathered for an election night viewing party Nov. 8 to watch G.O.P. presidential nominee Donald Trump defeat Democratic challenger Hillary Clinton in a historic electoral upset. (Photo credit: James Swift)

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Lessons Learned From Trump 101

Savannah State University Professor Robert Smith instructed a course earlier this year examining the political ascension of Donald Trump. He speaks with Uncommon Journalism about the insights he and his students gleamed from the class - and how those takeaways may factor into Tuesday's election.

THE BEGINNING OF THE END OR THE END OF THE BEGINNING? Win or lose, Savannah State University political science professor Robert Smith says the impact of Donald Trump's 2016 presidential campaign will resonate throughout America's political landscape for the foreseeable future. (Photo credit James Swift)

Saturday, October 29, 2016

It's Not Your Great Grandpa's Prohibition Party Anymore

Uncommon Journalism speaks with Prohibition Party presidential candidate Jim Hedges about the unexpectedly progressive platform shifts of America's longest running third party.

MAKE AMERICA DRY AGAIN? Pennsylvanian presidential candidate Jim Hedges seeks to instill some newfound progressive politics into the 2016 Prohibition Party platform. (Photograph courtesy Hedges for President 2016)

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Jailed Journalists Make Their Case for Federal Shield Law

Work is underway on national legislation that would safeguard journalists from having to reveal their sources. But exactly who would the proposed shield law cover - and to what extent would it protect them from incarceration and other legal repercussions?

SILENCED Reporter Brian Karem spent a month behind bars for refusing to reveal anonymous sources to a judge in 1990. Legal supports for journalists, he said at a recent Atlanta event, are hardly any better today. "We all know the protection of the First Amendment has evaporated," he said. "It is a myth, it does not exist."

Saturday, September 3, 2016

East Coast Fans Await Raider Nation's Rebirth

Despite being thousands of miles away from California, dozens upon dozens of Oakland Raiders fan clubs dot the East Coast. Uncommon Journalism speaks with the leaders of three booster clubs in Atlanta, New York and Southern Pennsylvania to find out what makes the 'Raider Nation' a fan base unlike any other in professional football.

WELCOME TO THE BLACK HOLE: Long-considered among the most passionate - and yes, most raucous - fans in professional football, the Oakland Raiders have inspired a deeply devoted fanbase, sprawling from the sandy shores of the East Bay in Northern California all the way to the concrete coastline of the Hudson River in New York. 

Saturday, August 27, 2016

An Interview with An Incest Advocate

Uncommon Journalism speaks with one of the world's foremost pro-consanguinamory activists about the efforts underway to destigmatize what is often considered the ultimate sexual taboo - inter-family sexual attraction. 

A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME? The Friends of Lily symbol, designed by founder Cristina Shy, has been adopted as the official emblem of the pro-consanguinamory movement - a fledgling effort to normalize inter-family sexual relationships.

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Where the Gridiron and Gentrification Intersect

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank says the projected $1.6 billion Mercedes-Benz Stadium is going to rejuvenate and drive the economy of downtown Atlanta for decades to come. But in the redevelopment process, what will become of the blighted communities surrounding the new NFL digs?

A NEW STADIUM AND AN OLD PROBLEM: Set to open next year, the lavish Mercedes-Benz Stadium will anchor a freshly renovated and redeveloped downtown Atlanta. With the new economic developments, however, comes renewed concerns about displacement of residents living in the impoverished, high-crime communities adjacent to where the new home of the Falcons will stand. (Photo Credit: James Swift.)

Saturday, June 25, 2016

The Pinball Giver

Since 2013, Daniel Spolar’s nonprofit Project Pinball has donated almost two dozen machines to children’s hospitals across the United States. He speaks with Uncommon Journalism about his organization's efforts to bring comfort to severely ill children, their families and their care providers one ramp shot at a time.

A GENEROUS JACKPOT: Since 2013, Daniel Spolar's nonprofit Project Pinball has donated more than 18 units to children's hospitals in 17 states, with at least five more to be installed by year's end. “We’re trying to help these kids and give them these tools they need to help with their stay and their recovery," he said. "It's a physical thing, and that's why it works in a hospital setting." (Photo Credit: James Swift)

Saturday, June 18, 2016

CDC Director Addresses the 'Unprecedented' Risks of Zika

According to the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Zika virus poses a "most urgent situation" – but is the United States adequately prepared to respond to the public health crisis?

DIRE CIRCUMSTANCES: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden said much more funding is necessary to safeguard U.S. citizens against Zika. "It really is impeding our ability to protect American women from this virus," he said at a June 9 presentation in Atlanta. (Photo Credit: James Swift)

Saturday, June 4, 2016

A Bun-less Revolution

For five years, Californian Richard Axton tirelessly campaigned for Taco Bell to bring back the Fritos-loaded Beefy Crunch Burrito. Now that the cult favorite item is once again on the fast food chain’s national menu, Axton reflects on his half-decade long crusade – and how his journey demonstrates the impact of social media in changing the nature of consumer/brand relations.

A FREEDOM FIGHTER FOR FRITOS: 28-year-old Richard Axton has waged a five-year struggle against the Taco Bell upper brass to bring his beloved Beefy Crunch Burrito back to the fast food monolith's menu. After mobilizing more than 41,000 online troops, the nation's sixth-largest quick service restaurant surrendered to the 'Beefy Crunch Movement' earlier this year. (Photograph courtesy of Richard Axton)

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Blood on the Mountain

With counter-protester violence emerging at a ‘pro-white' rally in the foothills of Atlanta, questions abound regarding the state of race relations – and in many ways, civility itself – in 21st century America.  
SURROUNDED: Brad Bradley, left, and Kenneth Bradley find themselves flanked by demonstrators at Stone Mountain Park, just outside of Atlanta, on April 23. The two men had just been attacked by a mob of protesters - seconds later, the unidentified man on the right threatened Kenneth Bradley into giving him his Confederate flag-emblazoned cap, all while local television cameras rolled. (Photograph Credit: James Swift)

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Going Full ‘Ham’ in Avondale Estates

The inaugural Avondale May Ham Fest – chock-full of rock and roll acts, 35mm films and yes, plenty of pork - looks to bring Drive-Invasion-inspired delights to the suburbs of DeKalb County.

TALK ABOUT 'SQUEALING TIRES': Spokes-hog Van Hamlen invites attendees to the first ever Avondale May Ham Fest, a celebration of classic cars, cult cinema and all things rockabilly, on May 7, 2016. 

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Rated ‘G’ for ‘Gentrified?’

A new study suggests youths are being spoon-fed a slanted take on social inequality through popular kids’ movies. Uncommon Journalism speaks with Duke University sociology professor Dr. Jessi Streib about the classist content of children’s cinema, and its potential influence on the youngest of filmgoers.

Saturday, February 27, 2016

The Southerners Who Support Trump

Following a dominant showing in South Carolina, the leading Republican presidential candidate made a pit stop in Atlanta before a crowd of 10,000 fans. Uncommon Journalism spoke with some of the undeniably polarizing - and undeniably popular - candidate's staunchest supporters to find out why the billionaire businessman has struck such a resounding chord with America's oft-ignored working class. 

DOWN WITH 'THE DONALD': Emmanuel Martey, Jr., left, and Peggy Martey show their support for Republican presidential candidate front-runner Donald Trump at a rally in Atlanta Feb. 21. (Photo Credit James Swift)

Saturday, February 6, 2016

In 'America's Game,' Gambling Casts a Long Shadow

In his latest book A Season in the Abyss, author Brian Tuohy chronicles the NFL’s battle against sports betting legalization – and how the impact of illegal wagering on football resounds far beyond the gridiron.

HIGH STAKES: There is a lot more riding on Super Bowl 50 than the Lombardi Trophy; according to the American Gaming Association, an estimated $4.2 billion will be wagered on the Big Game - and about 97 percent of the bets will be placed illegally. 

Sunday, January 24, 2016

On Long Island, A New Nation of Immigrants Emerges

Uncommon Journalism speaks with CUNY professor emerita Diana R. Gordon, whose latest book Village of Immigrants examines the socioeconomic impact of Latino workers and students on a small, coastal community in northern Suffolk County. 

A NEW WORLD: The coastal East End of Long Island isn't exactly known for its rich immigrant tradition. However, author Diana R. Gordon makes the argument that the ongoing influx of Hispanic immigrants in northern Suffolk County is emblematic of a national, minority-driven trend that's revitalizing - and in some cases, resurrecting - small towns throughout the United States. (Photograph courtesy Rutgers University Press)