GLOBAL VOICES COLUMN ARCHIVE

Giving a voice to the world's most fascinating untold global and social issues.

Can Mobile Mental Health Apps Turn Your Life Around?

The world can look grim through the window of a smartphone screen. At its worst, the Internet is a stream of depressing headlines, cyberbullies, trolls and political rants—and our data plans keep us constantly connected. One mental health author recently referred to smartphones as “nightmare rectangles.” But what if the LCD screen keep...

January 31st, 2019 read more

Making the Invisible Visible: Tackling Air Pollution

Stepping off a plane in Delhi a while back, Craig noticed a billboard in the distance. Your whitest whites, it promised, advertising a new brand of laundry detergent. The once white button-down in the photo had yellowed—so had the teeth of the Bollywood actor wearing it. Both were stained with soot. We thought of this when, for a few days this...

December 3rd, 2018 read more

Think Global, Act Local: What Canadians Can Do About Their Fury at Social Injustice in the News

Immigrant children peer out of barred windows in a building surrounded by razor wire. This isn’t Texas—it’s Laval, Quebec. Canadians are appalled at stories of migrant children torn from their parents in the United States, asking ourselves what to do from up North. With no vote to leverage, we don’t have much influence over American poli...

November 5th, 2018 read more

Meeting Our Heroes: The Fight for Diversity in Comic Books

When we were kids, we used to buy comics in bulk at a corner store near the local gas station. It was $3 for a random grab bag. Batman, Spider-Man, Fantastic Four—we never knew what we’d get. Except in some ways, we knew exactly what we’d get. With few exceptions, we’d get a white male hero. It’s strange that these stories about out...

September 7th, 2018 read more

A Visit to the Dark Parts of Canada’s Past: Taking Steps Towards a Brighter Future

Not far from the sleepy suburb where we grew up, there is a site of unspeakable trauma. About 120 kilometers west of Toronto, you’ll find the grounds of the former Mohawk Institute, one of Canada’s longest-running residential schools. From 1828 until it finally shuttered in 1970, thousands of Indigenous children were sent to the boarding sch...

June 10th, 2018 read more

Holding Ourselves Accountable: Our Gender Bias Report Card

Earlier this year, science writer Ed Yong announced in The Atlantic that he'd spent two years consciously trying to level the gender balance in his stories, ensuring the sources he spoke with represented the whole talent pool. We write frequently about diversity and wondered about our own grade on this scale. So we checked the numbers going back...

May 6th, 2018 read more

Accessibility Isn’t Enough—For Some it’s a Four Letter Word

Chris Pratt knew he’d made a mistake. The Guardians of the Galaxy star shared a video on social media, asking his followers to ignore the subtitles and turn up the volume. He didn’t realize how insulting that was for the nearly 400 million people around the world who have hearing loss and rely on those subtitles—until some of them lamba...

March 5th, 2018 read more

13 Reasons: How TV can be smart about mental health

Thrashing and screaming, a girl is hauled away by orderlies in white coats. Nurses follow, sedative needles ready. Watching this scene in the film Girl, Interrupted, Emily Nicholas Angl wondered, “Will that be me?” As a young woman, Nicholas Angl grappled with severe depression and anxiety. In TV shows and films she saw only stereotypes and ...

May 20th, 2017 read more

Cradles in prison cells: Mothers behind bars

Amid the constant crackle of radios and chatter of inmates, surprising sounds linger in the prison halls. A baby’s coo. A mother’s gentle soothing. The creak of a rocking chair, rhymes recited from a children’s book, scratches of a crayon. Behind the barbed wire fence at Alouette Correctional Centre for Women, 50 kilometers east of Vanc...

May 6th, 2017 read more

Speaking the language of reconciliation

“I was angry at my grandparents for a long time.” Onowa McIvor grew up in northern Saskatchewan, where her grandparents feared prejudice against Indigenous peoples and did everything they could to bury their Cree roots. They refused to teach the language to their children and grandchildren. McIvor felt robbed of her heritage. As McIvor le...

April 8th, 2017 read more