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

agriculture-vegetables-subsidies

We Subsidize the Wrong Kind of Agriculture

We should be supporting the small farmers who sell at farmers markets, not the corporate giants that hurt our health and environment.
mass-incarceration

Celebrating The End of Slavery — With One Big Asterisk

Juneteenth marks the end of slavery in America. But with over 2 million of us behind bars, has it really ended — or just transformed?
lgbtq-pride-parade

Why We Still Need Pride Parades

Pride parades are safe spaces in a country where LGBTQ people can be harassed, fired, and denied housing or even medical care.
border-wall-deportation

Nevermind the Wall — They’re Building Warehouses

The newest plank of immigration enforcement? Piling children into overcrowded detention centers.
sos-girl-help

Our Flag Doesn't Have to Stand for Violence

Veterans often wrestle with the things they've done in war. When will ordinary Americans do the same?
stressed-worker

Big Pay Gaps Are Bad for Business

Would you do your best work for a CEO who pulls in 5,000 times your own salary?
poor-peoples-campaign

The Moral Revolution America Needs

Poor people of all races are shifting the national conversation on poverty and race from "right vs. left" to "right vs. wrong"
teacher-wages

Congress Made It Harder to Give Teachers Raises

Under the new GOP tax law, states that pay teachers a living wage subsidize states that pay them poorly.
rich-poor-homeless-man-suit

This is the Wrong Time to Cut Back on Public Housing

More than half a million Americans are homeless — the size of a large city.
Vocational-trade-labor

My Advice for High School Graduates: Learn a Trade

While millions of students rack up college debt and gain no skills, millions of high-paying trade jobs sit empty.
bombs-syria-middle-east

There Was Nothing Humanitarian About Our Strikes on Syria

We fired 105 missiles on April 14. That’s 10 times the number of Syrian refugees we’ve taken all year.
march-for-our-lives

Police Killed More People Last Year Than Mass Shooters

The fight to curb gun violence must address the violence inflicted by law enforcement.
drug-overdose-pills

If You Want to Kill Drug Dealers, Start with Big Pharma

Big corporations, not street dealers, are the true authors and profiteers of the opioid crisis.
mosquito-insect-bug

How Poverty, Climate Change, and Bad Policy Put Poor People at Greater Risk of Pest-Borne Diseases

Public health resources are being cut while mosquito-borne diseases like Zika and the West Nile virus flourish in poor communities.
John-bolton-cspan

Get Ready for Bush 2.0

The president once distanced himself from the Bush legacy. Now he's brought back the architects of its darkest moments.
elon-musk

Billionaires Won’t Save the World — Just Look at Elon Musk

The "playboy genius" is essentially squandering taxpayer money on pet projects like Mars trips and flamethrowers.
education-classroom-teachers-wages

Teachers Deserve a Raise. Here's How to Fund It.

Huge tax cuts for energy corporations have left state school budgets broke.
gun-control-school-safety

Getting Real About School Safety

Armed adults don't make kids safer. They put them at greater risk.
scam-money

The Tax Scam Is Starting to Sink In

While billionaires fund a PR push for the tax law, most ordinary workers report seeing no increase in their take-home pay.
african-american-mother-oscar-grant

Racism is Literally Killing African-American Mothers

The chronic stress of racism endangers black moms of all kinds — from Serena Williams to Erica Garner.

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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 Health Care System is Still Sick

The Gilmer (TX) Mirror | December 16, 2012

Our National Failure to Commit

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

Ripe for Reduction

The Liberty (TX) Vindicator | December 15, 2012

Ripe for Reduction

Counterpunch | December 14, 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

Jobs or the Environment?

The (Youngstown OH) Vindicator | December 13, 2012

Our Health Care System is Still Sick

Blue Table Talk | December 12, 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

Solving the Twinkie Murder Case

Blue Table Talk | December 11, 2012

The Fiscal Hoax

The Everett (WA) Sky Valley Chronicle | December 9, 2012