GOOD

Pulitzer Prize Fighter

Samantha Power takes on the worst the world has to offer.


Samantha Power takes on the worst the world has to offer.

Last summer, hundreds of college students descended on a youth politics conference in Washington, D.C. They came to hear from speakers like rapper Fat Joe and the Illinois Senator Barack Obama, but a 36-year-old human rights star named Samantha Power stole the show.Power, who graduated from Yale, covered war in the Balkans, and then attended law school at Harvard, gained renown after writing A Problem From Hell, the Pulitzer Prize-winning book about America's failures to stop genocide. The book launched her into the national spotlight-a good place to be if your mission, like hers, is to change American foreign policy.Power, who moved from Ireland to Pittsburgh at age 9, did not set out to be the guardian of America's moral conscience. Instead, she planned to write about sports. But during a 1989 internship covering the Atlanta Braves, she happened to see live footage of the Tiananmen Square protests. "People were getting crushed on television. It was a ‘what am I doing with my life?' moment." Her plans changed.\n\n\n
Quote:
People were getting crushed on television. It was a ‘what am I doing with my life?' moment.
After college, she left for war-torn Bosnia, spending the next three years writing regularly for publications like The Economist and U.S. News & World Report. "In an elaborate game of smoke and mirrors," says Power, "I managed to convince my mother I was living in relatively peaceful Croatia-and not Bosnia-until I had arrived home safely." Upon returning, she attended law school, but quickly realized that being a lawyer would not provide a platform to stop genocide. Instead, she established Harvard's Carr Center for Human Rights, which aims to make human rights an integral part of public policy.She put that academic training to use as Obama's foreign-policy adviser, though frustration at Washington infighting led her back to her most effective tool-the power of narrative. Her new focus is Sergio Vieira de Mello, the U.N. envoy to Iraq who was killed in the 2003 bombing of the U.N. compound in Baghdad. De Mello has a handsome face and compelling story, so Power is making sure the world knows about it: She's writing a book, producing a documentary, and working with Terry George, the director of Hotel Rwanda, to develop a feature film. Says Power, "I've been thinking about this as Sergio, Inc."Power takes every opportunity to point out the hypocrisy of an American foreign policy that promised "never again" after the Holocaust, only to turn a blind eye to genocide in Cambodia, Rwanda, Kosovo, and now in Darfur. She hopes that her uncanny ability to get people to examine the truth about what is happening around the world will affect individuals and compel change on a global level. As she says, "Anybody who gets close to the issue of genocide gets stuck. Once you know [the truth], then you have lost your alibi."LEARN MORE ksg.harvard.edu/cchrp
Articles
via Barry Schapiro / Twitter

The phrase "stay in your lane" is usually lobbed at celebrities who talk about politics on Twitter by people who disagree with them. People in the sports world will often get a "stick to sports" when they try to have an opinion that lies outside of the field of play.

Keep Reading
Culture

The Free the Nipple movement is trying to remove the stigma on women's breasts by making it culturally acceptable and legal for women to go topless in public. But it turns out, Free the Nipple might be fighting on the wrong front and should be focusing on freeing the nipple in a place you'd never expect. Your own home.

A woman in Utah is facing criminal charges for not wearing a shirt in her house, with prosecutors arguing that women's chests are culturally considered lewd.

Keep Reading

In August, the Recording Academy hired their first female CEO, Deborah Dugan. Ten days before the Grammys, Dugan was placed on administrative leave for misconduct allegations after a female employee said Dugan was "abusive" and created a "toxic and intolerable" work environment. However, Dugan says she was actually removed from her position for complaining to human resources about sexual harassment, pay disparities, and conflicts of interest in the award show's nomination process.

Just five days before the Grammys, Dugan filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and her claims are many. Dugan says she was paid less than former CEO Neil Portnow. In 2018, Portnow received criticism for saying women need to "step up" when only two female acts won Grammys. Portnow decided to not renew his contract shortly after. Dugan says she was also asked to hire Portnow as a consultant for $750,000 a year, which she refused to do.

Keep Reading