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

one person deciding for many others to illustrate the supreme court deciding on roe v. wade

An Ugly New Era of 'States’ Rights'

The Supreme Court is giving extreme new powers to increasingly autocratic state governments. That’s not democracy.
Abortion rights supporters demonstrate in Washington, D.C., shortly after a draft ruling to overturn Roe v. Wade leaked

Nothing Is More Personal Than the Right to Control Your Own Body

Roe doesn’t just protect abortion rights. It’s the keystone that keeps politicians out of the most intimate aspects of our lives.
a seder meal

Liberation Is Jewish History. Let’s Make It Our Future, Too.

Jewish people should defend our heritage and stand up against violent injustices in our name.
person with their head in the sand

Pushing Back on ‘Soft Climate Denial’

The Biden administration claims to “believe the science” on climate, but its actions need to catch up with its words.
cryptocurrencies and their prices on a screen

Crypto Is a Risky Bet for Black Americans

There are better ways to close the racial wealth gap while giving a leg up to Americans of every color.
a masked woman carrying a crate of food during a volunteer food drive

A Pandemic of the Poor

As we approach 1 million COVID-19 deaths, Americans in poorer counties have died at double the rate of wealthier counties.
money swirling down a drain

About That $900 You Gave Pentagon Contractors

This tax season, I’d rather fund green jobs and disease control than jets that spontaneously combust. Wouldn’t you?
protester holding a voting rights sign

A Five-Alarm Emergency for Democracy

The GOP’s voter suppression laws are working. They need to be stopped before more states adopt them.
Members of the National Guard help distribute food during the pandemic. Many communities have had to rely on the Guard because they lack funding for other priorities.

Our Military Budget Is More Lopsided Than Ever

Spending 12 times as much on our military as Russia didn’t prevent a war in Europe. It just deprived us of resources at home.
graphic-image-overlay-of-the-russian-flag-and-a-mountainside

Can Global Sports Boycotts Help End the War in Ukraine?

The power of sports to legitimize a regime means they have the power to delegitimize one, too.
President Biden delivers his State of the Union address

Biden’s Economic Plans Are Solid, but We Need Action

The president’s SOTU address tasked Congress with an ambitious agenda, but Biden needs to do much more on his own.
Tanks in Kharkiv, Ukraine

The Best Way to Help Ukraine is Diplomacy, Not War

Every war eventually ends with diplomacy. The question is how long the killing goes on before the diplomats stop it.
Pro-choice demonstrators outside the Supreme Court

We’ll Keep Fighting to Protect Our Bodily Autonomy

Americans oppose overturning Roe by 2 to 1. Speaking up isn’t always easy, but it’s more important than ever.
protest sign reading end apartheid and free palestine

Human Rights Groups Agree: Israel Is Practicing Apartheid

The U.S. gives Israel’s military $3.8 billion a year. According to a new Amnesty report, that money funds apartheid.
Members of the National Guard help distribute food during the pandemic

We Shouldn’t Have to Rely on the National Guard for Basic Services

Guard members have stepped up heroically during the pandemic. If we invested in more than just the military, maybe they wouldn’t have to.
January 6, 2021- Pro-Trump protesters and police clash on top of the Capitol building

Media, Take Note: The GOP Is Now Openly Aligned Against Democracy

The media has a responsibility to tell Americans that a major party now openly endorses using violence to overturn elections.
A pumpjack derrick drills for oil right next to a Los Angeles neighborhood

Three Hopeful Stories of Environmental Activism

It’s people vs. fossil fuels, and the people are chalking up some impressive wins.
Forbidden literature locked with a padlock

Banned Books Should Be Required Reading

The people who want to ban Maus or The 1619 Project are the ones who need to read them.
Members of the Poor People's Campaign demonstrate against the filibuster

The Filibuster Is Busted. Time to Scrap It.

Letting small minorities of senators block things most Americans support delivers obstruction, not bipartisanship.
Covid-19 vaccination for homebound people. Doctor giving coronavirus vaccine to disabled male patient in wheelchair

My Disabled Life Is Worthy

The loss of disabled and chronically ill lives due to COVID-19 is no less tragic or preventable.

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Experts

peter-certo

Peter Certo

Editorial Manager, Editor-in-Chief

Foreign Policy in Focus, OtherWords

In the News

The Pen is Funnier than the Sword

The Portland Observer | October 24, 2017

The Art of Inequality

The Providence Journal | April 23, 2013

Inequality Is Hurting Us All

The Muscatine (IA) Journal | March 26, 2013

Inequality Is Hurting Us All

Common Dreams | March 20, 2013

A Pension Deficit Disorder

The Baltimore Sun | December 26, 2012

Ripe for Reduction

The San Antonio Express-News | December 17, 2012

Our National Failure to Commit

The Columbia (MO) Daily Tribune | December 16, 2012

Our Health Care System is Still Sick

The Gilmer (TX) Mirror | December 16, 2012

Ripe for Reduction

The Liberty (TX) Vindicator | December 15, 2012

Ripe for Reduction

Counterpunch | December 14, 2012

Jobs or the Environment?

The (Youngstown OH) Vindicator | December 13, 2012

The Airline Industry's Fee-for-All

Nation of Change | December 13, 2012

The Airline Industry's Fee-for-All

The Illinois Times | December 13, 2012

Our National Failure to Commit

The Huffington Post | December 12, 2012

In Fact, Fairly Taxing the Rich Won't Scare Them Away

The Albany Tribune | December 12, 2012

Our Health Care System is Still Sick

Blue Table Talk | December 12, 2012