All posts in "Taking action"
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Transgender widow wins victory for civil rights

By Cathryn Wellner / May 18, 2015

During World War II Robert Asti flew combat missions for the U.S. Navy. After the war he married and raised three children. He flew commercial aircraft, was a flight instructor, and became vice president of a mutual fund. Inside the male pilot and businessman was a woman increasingly uncomfortable as a man. She knew her […]

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Holocaust survivor forgives Nazi guard

By Cathryn Wellner / May 15, 2015

Eva Mozes Kor has good reason to despise Oskar Gröning. When she and her twin sister, Miriam, arrived in the Auschwitz death camp, they were met by Josef Mengele and became part of the ruthless scientist’s genetic experiments. Gröning was a junior squad leader at the camp. While he could argue he was not directly […]

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Straight high school student and his gay prom date

By Cathryn Wellner / May 13, 2015

How can anyone believe the world is getting inexorably worse all the time when something like this happens? Jacob Lescenski, a student in a Las Vegas high school, stumbled over some youthful glitch for the upcoming prom. With no date, he was planning to go alone until he saw a Tweet. That Tweet was from […]

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Eccentricity is good for us

By Cathryn Wellner / May 8, 2015

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away. ~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden One of my favorite Seattle characters during my years there was a woman who called herself Dee […]

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The first investigative journalist

By Cathryn Wellner / May 6, 2015

  Before the gutsy journalist Nellie Bly (born Elizabeth Jane Cochran) came onto the scene, no one had done the kind of investigative journalism we have become accustomed to today. She might never have become a journalist had Erasmus Wilson not rankled her so badly she had to respond. She began life in 1864, as […]

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Love bombing the world

By Cathryn Wellner / May 4, 2015

As Director of the National Perinatal HIV Hotline, based in San Francisco, Shannon Weber devotes her professional life to women’s health issues and community health disparities. But it was not for this good work she came to my attention. It was for her determination to spread love around the world, one note at a time. […]

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Bad kids gone good

By Cathryn Wellner / April 29, 2015

  They are kids without a future. They are from San Francisco’s hardest neighbourhoods. Some know the foster system all too well. Others have spent time in juvenile detention. “Domestic violence” is more than a phrase to many of them. When Teresa Goines was a juvenile corrections officer, she saw them cycle through a revolving […]

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New York’s original good-news man

By Cathryn Wellner / April 24, 2015

Steve Kraus began delivering the good news to New York’s East Village in 1962. The Polish Jew had escaped Europe during World War II. He had written for the U.S. Information Agency and knew his way around both writing and bad news. When DNAinfo interviewed then 82-year-old Kraus in 2011, he told them: “Quite a […]

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She did on one leg what most people can’t on two

By Cathryn Wellner / April 17, 2015

When thieves attacked Arunima Sinha, one of India’s volleyball champions, in April 2011 she fought back. No one on the crowded train stepped forward to help her so they threw her out of the train. An oncoming train ran over her leg, crushing it below the knee. As she described it in her INK Talk, […]

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These neighbours are not just bystanders

By Cathryn Wellner / April 13, 2015

The Strathcona neighbourhood in Vancouver, B.C. is the city’s oldest residential community. A mix of ages, cultures and incomes, it normally feels like a safe place to live, according to residents who spoke to CBC after a horrific rape occurred. On March 26, 2015 that sense of safety was shattered. Shortly after noon that day […]

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