In Photos: Protests of the Philadelphia School’s 2013-2014 Budget Crisis

In the fall of 2013, the School District of Philadelphia faced the largest deficit in its history, resulting in hundreds of layoffs.  Schools were left underfunded and understaffed for the majority of the 2013-2014 school year. (more…)

Audio Slideshow: Street preacher’s clash with LGBT fesitval goers

Philadelphia’s Outfest is a yearly festival held the second sunday in October to celebrate National Coming Out Day.  The festival attracts thousand of LGBT individuals and supporters.  The popular festival also attracts a group of Christian protesters that preach against homosexuality.  Confrontations between the preachers and the festival goers can be tense often requiring police supervision.  The following audio slideshow documents this confrontation.

Christian Protestors and Philadelphia’s Outfest 2013

Constitution High School students stage sit-in

by Isaac Riddle

Protesting further losses in staff and resources to their school, around 200 students from Constitution High School staged a “sit-in” in front of their school’s entrance early Wednesday morning.

The school’s staff was informed Monday during an emergency meeting that $90,000 would be trimmed from the school’s budget, according to Kathleen Melville, an English and Spanish teacher at Constitution, a citywide admission school in Center City. The reduction is a result of leveling, the District’s process of reassigning teachers about six weeks into the school year, based on actual enrollments at that time. (more…)

In South Africa not all schools are created equal

By Isaac Riddle

The playground at Skeen Primary School is not indicative of a school with a large student body. The lone slide is old and rusted, while the teeter-tot has long fallen off its central hinge and the only swing set on the playground consists of two tied up swings. Over 1,200 students attend Skeen, a primary school in the Johannesburg suburb of Alexandra.

A lack of resources is not just visible on the playground; inside Skeen’s classrooms students attempt to learn in crowded classrooms with multiple languages being spoken at one time. Some students get to sit at desks while other students have to sit on the floor. (more…)

For LGBTI South Africans the fight is not for rights but acceptance

by Isaac Riddle

Asanda Madosi was 21 years old when he told his mother he was gay.  “My mother saw pictures of me in makeup and called me to tell me that we needed to talk,” said Madosi.  “My mom was very distraught when I came out, she feared for my safety.”
Three years have passed since that conversation with his mother. Today Madosi no longer hides his sexuality from family and friends. (more…)

In Soweto’s Kliptown the community comes first

By Isaac Riddle

Like many recent college graduates Collen Tshazi returned home after earning his degree.  Unlike most young twenty-somethings it wasn’t the comforts of home or the need to save money that brought Tshazi back to where he started, it was the desire to give back to the community he came from. (more…)