OtherWords

OtherWords is a free, non-profit editorial service published by the Institute for Policy Studies. Each week, OtherWords distributes a batch of publication-ready op-eds, along with a cartoon, to thousands of readers — including hundreds of editors of small and medium-sized newspapers. Each year, these op-eds appear thousands of times in local newspapers throughout the country, as well as in a growing number of online outlets. We believe that strong social movements need informed citizens, and that people learn best from conversations in their own communities — neighbor-to-neighbor. But between a consolidated, corporate-controlled mass media and a deafening social media echo chamber, it’s gotten harder than ever to have these conversations, especially in smaller communities with few local media options.

Through OtherWords, we’re able to provide millions of readers in America’s heartland with intelligent commentary on a range of progressive causes — on climate, inequality, war and peace, the movements for race and gender justice, and beyond. Through the trusted local papers that use our service, we reach readers in red, blue, and purple states alike with well-written, timely commentaries on the national issues that affect their lives. To read our work or get information about publishing it in your community, check out OtherWords.org.

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Latest Work

The Super Bowl and Politics

Maybe you didn’t notice before Colin Kaepernick took a knee, but the NFL has been deeply politicized for years.

The Government Shutdown Expands the Ranks of ‘Underwater Nation’

Unemployment is low, but federal employees are lining up at food banks. They aren’t alone.

A Dream Deferred: MLK’s Dream of Economic Justice Is Far From Reality

90 years after King was born, the racial wealth divide is actually growing — which drags down the entire economy.

Democratic Leaders Failed Their First Big Test on Climate

Kicking the can down the road appears to be a bipartisan sport in Washington.

Not One Network Should Have Aired Trump’s Immigration Speech

The president is going to demonize the media no matter what they do. So why not do the right thing?

Get the Federal Government out of Washington

Relocating federal agencies to the heartland would create jobs, revitalize cities, and put government more in touch with the people.

Stop Wasting Money on the Pentagon

Military leaders literally don’t know what they’re doing with our money, but they want more. People on the left and right have had enough.

Paul Ryan Was a Villain and No One Will Miss Him

The outgoing House speaker’s entire career was a cash grab for billionaires, capped off by a low trick to literally starve children.

Innovation Used to Benefit Workers. Can It Again?

Machines can make jobs better, but a tiny class of bosses uses them to make jobs disappear. It doesn’t have to be this way.

It’s Good to Argue About Dead Presidents

New debates, especially on overlooked subjects, bring new vibrancy to our civic life. In death, even flawed politicians can do us that final service.

Is Bush’s Legacy So Different From Trump’s?

Some may mourn Bush’s more “respectable” presidency. but looking back, one sees the very race-baiting and cruelty.

What Does Inequality Cost the Average American? About $150K

Americans pay a steep price for not spreading their wealth around as well as other developed countries.

Can the Next Congress Chase Down America’s Runaway Wealth?

The last Congress ensured that America’s wealth will concentrate ever more rapidly at the very top — unless the next one does something about it.

How Aristocracies Are Born

Our country is on track to be run by the children of billionaires. Our ancestors recognized this and took action. We can too.

An Honest Look at Poverty in the Heartland

Hardship is a lot more widespread in the Badger State than the official numbers would have you believe.

The ‘Blue Wave’ Was Also a ‘Muslim Wave’

In the most Islamophobic election in history, Muslim candidates scored big wins by embracing progressive policies.

Midterm Takeaway: We Need a Lot More Democracy

Republicans banked this election on lies, fear-mongering, and rule-rigging. It almost worked.

D.C. Residents Don’t Have a Vote. That Makes a Big Difference Wherever You Live.

Our government would look a lot different if the 4.5 million Americans in non-voting territories like D.C. and Puerto Rico has a voice.

Being Trans in America Was Already Scary. Now It’s Terrifying.

A new federal order wouldn’t just deny civil rights protections to trans people. It would deny we exist altogether.

Journalists Say Trump’s Caravan Claims Are ‘Evidence-Free.’ It’s Worse Than That.

Reporters know the president is telling racist lies to rile up his base. Why won’t they just say that?