Solitary Confinement, Race & Education, Books for Consciousness Raising: 5 Articles I’ve Been Reading This Week

From The Washington Post: Barack Obama: Why We Must Rethink Solitary Confinement

“Research suggests that solitary confinement has the potential to lead to devastating, lasting psychological consequences. It has been linked to depression, alienation, withdrawal, a reduced ability to interact with others and the potential for violent behavior.

Some studies indicate that it can worsen existing mental illnesses and even trigger new ones. Prisoners in solitary are more likely to commit suicide, especially juveniles and people with mental illnesses.”

From The Atlantic: The Cost of Balancing Academia and Racism

“By recognizing that uncomfortable campus climates can take a toll on black students’ mental health, perhaps colleges and universities will better understand the root causes behind the protests—unrest that some falsely interpret as responses to campus-specific controversies.

Throughout these protests and subsequent discussions, a common thread appeared: College campuses haven’t shielded students of color from the effects of societal racism—and at times they have exacerbated it.

I remember being a college student, hearing about the deaths of young black people like Trayvon Martin, Eric Garner, and Mike Brown and feeling pressured to process these instances of racial injustice while also combating the racism that was directed toward me and other students of color on my campus. I had to confront all of this while also trying to achieve in the classroom.”

From Blavity: 15 Derayisms That Will Get You Through Absolutely Anything

“DeRay Mckesson is well-known for his civil rights activism both on and off the internet…DeRay’s 140 character limit doesn’t stop him from reaffirming blackness and love in the most necessary of ways. Here are a few DeRayisms to hold on to for when you need them the most.”

From Detroit Metro Times: This DPS Student’s Open Letter Puts The Sick-Outs Into Perspective

“Legislators, the Emergency Manager and others have said that teachers are hindering our education by doing these sickouts, but the reality is that none of you live in Detroit, and none of you have children who go to a DPS school.

None of you have to come to school every day and share books (if we even have books), or be in the middle of doing work and the lights cut off.

None of you have to worry about your safety everyday of your life, or walk past mushrooms growing in the hallway. None of you have to skip lunch every day because the food is moldy, and the milk is old. None of you experience what we experience, and until you have, you have no right to speak on anything happening in our district.”

From TyreeBP: Free Books On Race, Gender, Sexuality, And Class That Are Bound To Get You Woke

“In need of some new reading to spur your mind? Here is a great list of FREE BOOKS in PDF form to educate oneself on race, gender, sexuality, class, and culture!

Please feel free to share this with anyone who you feel might benefit.”


From Aspiring Humanitarian, Relando Thompkins-Jones, MSW, LLMSW



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I’m a Social Justice Educator and Aspiring Humanitarian who is interested in conflict resolution, improving intergroup relations, and building more equitable and inclusive communities.

“Notes from an Aspiring Humanitarian” is my blog, where I write about issues of diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice. By exploring social identities through written word, film & video, and other forms of media, I hope to continue to expand and enrich conversations about social issues that face our society, and to find ways to take social action while encouraging others to do so as well in their own ways.

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