Under the reign of neoliberalism, higher education appears to be increasingly decoupling itself from its historical legacy as a crucial public sphere, responsible for both educating students for the workplace and providing them with the modes of critical discourse, interpretation and experiences that deepen and expand democracy.
In her book, The Age of Dignity, Ai-jen Poo advances the idea that we can create good jobs for caregivers and allow elders and the disabled to remain in their homes rather than be placed in more costly institutions for custodial care. The current elder boom will give US society an opportunity to create a more caring economy.
Amid reports of human rights abuses of prisoners at Rikers Island and plans for a new solitary confinement wing, grassroots organizing groups demand a real say by the community in changes made at the jail. Can raw activist energy change a jail as large and entrenched as Rikers, or will activists have to settle for some tinkering at the edges?