GLOBAL VOICES COLUMN ARCHIVE

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

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

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

What Happens When Day Zero Comes Here?

A winter of bitter winds but little snow gives way to a dry spring. April showers are just a nursery rhyme. City officials ask citizens to take shorter showers. The drought drags through summer. By September, the town pumps are dredging up mud. One morning, you turn on your tap and nothing comes out. What do you do? Cape Town is struggling to...

April 4th, 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

Empathy in the Face of Addiction

Ruston Baldwin took his first drink when he was two years old. His father was an angry man and a drinker himself. He raised Baldwin on beer. When Baldwin was seven, his mother was diagnosed with a severe case of scleroderma, an autoimmune disorder. Every year, doctors would amputate parts of her hands and feet as her blood stopped circulating. W...

February 12th, 2018 read more

Lego for Social Entrepreneurs: An Ode to the Shipping Container

Visiting Ghana a few years ago, some unusual kiosks caught the eye of Kevin Lee. Local vendors had cut windows and doors into abandoned shipping containers, and turned them into storefronts. “Clothiers, butchers, hairdressers—each day families went into the container they rented to ply their trade,” recalls Lee, executive director of Scadd...

December 4th, 2017 read more

Young carers face family burden with few resources

Kendra* grew up too fast. At 12, she’d do her homework while caring for her twin with non-verbal autism as he watched the same Disney film over and over. She’d cook dinner while helping her older brother, living with a severe learning disability, make sense of his school work. At fourteen, her father died from cancer suddenly, and she assume...

May 27th, 2017 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

Ready for anything: Preparing children for the future

What will your child be when they grow up? Maybe a quantum automotive programmer, or a multi-phasic data sculptor. Ok, we made those jobs up. But consider this: just ten years ago, ‘social media manager’ or ‘mobile app developer’ would have seemed like imaginary job titles to most. With the accelerating pace of social and technological c...

May 13th, 2017 read more