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

minimum wage and unemployment

Employers: If You Want Workers, Pay a Living Wage

It’s not that people don’t want to work — it’s that they don’t want to work for so little.
protest sign showing the faces of people police kill

Humanizing the People Police Kill

The standard, often unreliable reporting on police killings dehumanizes victims — a fact my own family knows too well.
chinatown with shops with chinese letters and pegasus in Chinatown, New York

What Chinatowns Can Teach Us About Community

As our country looks to “build back better,” Chinatowns show how to foster vibrant, welcoming communities of all kinds.
rebuilding Black and African American businesses after COVID-19

Rebuilding Black-Owned Businesses after COVID-19

The pandemic hit Black entrepreneurs especially hard. To recover, we need to treat the pre-existing conditions.
care worker doing senior home care

Biden’s Jobs Plan Will Help Seniors Get Care At Home

By supporting quality home care, the plan will help seniors avoid dangerous, for-profit nursing facilities.
Scenes from the Collard Green Caucus food giveaway, sponsored by Black Voters Matter and A Better Glynn, held at Ballard Park

Voter Suppression Is An Attack On Democracy — And My Faith

My faith teaches me to stand with the marginalized, whose voting rights are now under sustained assault.
trans rights - transgender flag

I Want Civil Rights. They Want to Talk About Sports.

Republicans are leveraging public ignorance about trans people to deny Queer Americans basic civil rights.
anti war movement - mosul - iraq

The Day I Became Anti-War

A personal recollection on the day that launched the Iraq War — and its lessons for us 18 years later.
founding fathers debating the constitution, democracy, and voting

If We Don’t Expand Our Democracy Now, We’ll Lose It

If we don’t expand our democracy now, we might lose it for generations to come.
public transit rail train in santa fe new mexico

We All Need Transit — Whether We Ride It or Not

Without public transit, I couldn’t have gotten my degree. And all of us need it to keep our planet livable.
woman talking to a doctor before receiving health care treatment for covid-19

COVID Relief: The Biggest Health Care Expansion in a Decade

The American Rescue Plan will help over 1 million uninsured Americans get covered — and cut premiums by half for millions more.
The Lempa River is a river with a slope to the Pacific Ocean. Its water basin covers three countries- Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador

Water Is Life. Can We Protect It?

Americans will have to fight hard to protect their water from corporate greed. They can learn a lot from El Salvador.
children in immigration detention facilities - biden is falling short on immigration promises - ICE - private detention

Biden Needs to Keep His Promises on Immigration

The new administration has made some welcome changes, but Biden isn’t living up to all his promises — especially on detention.
woman wearing a mask to protect against covid-19 looks out window thinking about paid sick leave and paid family leave

Paid Sick and Family Leave Can't Wait

For workers like my mom, the financial strain caused by a lack of paid leave can be just as stressful as catching COVID-19.
link between fossil fuel money, white supremacy, and far right extremism

Fossil-Fueled Fascism

How the oil, gas, and coal industries support and fund white supremacy and far-right politics.
Joe Biden speaks as Barack Obama listens during a campaign in Bloomfield Hills

Obama Didn't Close the Racial Wealth Divide. Can Biden?

Dr. King called moderation the "great stumbling block in the stride toward freedom.” Biden should heed that warning today.
mass incarceration - woman in handcuffs while in prison

Mass Incarceration Is Declining — But Not For Women

The next administration needs to address this crisis and the war on drugs driving it.
affordable care act

Don't Trash the Affordable Care Act—Expand It

Not even a raging pandemic stopped Republicans from dragging yet another effort to throw millions off their health care to the Supreme Court.
Wisconsin family farmer Hans Breitenmoser

Farmers and Meatpackers Are Teaming Up

During the pandemic and recession, farmers are realizing they have more in common with immigrant meatpackers than agribusiness CEOs
Latina mother and daughter hug each other and wearing medical masks for fear of COVID-19

A Bittersweet Hispanic Heritage Month

This year, we’re facing high COVID-19 infection rates, job losses, and voter suppression. But we are resilient.

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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