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

Young person with a blue hoodie on, seated on the ground, leaning against the wall, using a laptop.

Helping Students Sort Fact from Fiction

More schools need to teach kids how to recognize BS when they see it.
Shot of person from neck down. They're wearing a black suit, white shirt, and a red tie. They're tearing up the Constitution.

No, 'Independent State Legislatures' Can't Shred Constitutional Rights

Far-right state lawmakers say the Constitution gives them the right to stiff voters. Legal experts say that’s bogus.
Cartoon image of a jet flying in a blue sky with bills of money trailing behind it.

We Need a Smaller Pentagon

Sorry, but we have too many other needs in this country to spend $858 billion on a department that can’t even pass an audit.
Cartoon rendering of Elon Musk riding on a rocket by the moon.

Elon Musk May Not Be So Brilliant After All

As Twitter implodes under Musk’s rule, a lawsuit argues Tesla is vastly overpaying the world’s richest man.
A person in a purple shirt, holding a sign that reads "We can do better" at a pro-choice march.

Young Voters Delivered Big Wins for Abortion Rights

Lawmakers should take note: Young people will resist radical efforts to violate our reproductive freedoms and our futures.
Starbucks union worker holding sign at march with other union members and Poor People's Campaign members in the background.

How Low-Income Voters Shaped the Midterm Elections

Americans across the spectrum voted to raise wages, expand health care, and protect abortion rights. These issues have a common thread.
A woman places an "I voted" sticker on her shirt.

This Year, Voters Made an End Run Around Out of Touch Politicians

Citizen-led initiatives scored big wins in the midterms. But now this form of direct democracy is under attack.
A Cartoon of a pale skinned man with outretched hands in a green suit and green and blue striped tie and a panicked expression, saying "it's all mine" in a speech bubble while his hands hover over piles of cash.

Republican ‘Solutions’ Will Make Inflation Worse

If cutting corporate tax rates and making billionaires wealthier actually fixed inflation, it would have been fixed ages ago.
A hot sun shimmers over a smoggy city skyline.

Can't Beat the Heat? Blame Inequality

Why poor neighborhoods are often hotter than rich neighborhoods — and what to do about it.
A note reading "Read Banned books" sits next to a stack of commonly banned titles.

The Human Cost of LGBTQ Book Bans

Banning kids from learning about themselves and each other isn’t just ineffective — it’s cruel.
Illustration: A woman cuts a chain attached to a ball labeled "debt" away from a graduation cap. (Shutterstock)

Student Debt Relief Is a Big Deal

I borrowed modestly, worked on campus, and still had to skip meals to make loan payments — and I was one of the lucky ones.
An extended Black family after arriving in Chicago from the rural South, circa 1920. (Shutterstock)

The Great Migration Failed to Bridge the Racial Wealth Divide. What’s Next?

Real and lasting economic opportunities for Black families will come only through a serious national reckoning on race.
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.
Supporters of student loan cancellation demonstrate in New York

Cancel Student Loan Debt. Bail Out Regular People.

Even writing off every penny of student debt would cost less than Trump’s tax giveaways for corporations and the rich.
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?

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Experts

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