“Justice for Breonna Taylor” inspires events throughout Iowa, Illinois

120193872 161392078950721 2650868972475430049 n 1

Events are coming together quickly throughout Iowa and Illinois to honor the late Breonna Taylor, the Louisville victim of a police raid shooting earlier this year. Racial justice events are happening tonight in Decatur and Elgin, Ill; tomorrow (Saturday) in Belleville, Ill., and Davenport, Iowa; and next week in West Branch, Davenport and Cedar Rapids in Iowa. The events are organized by many of the social justice groups that have become more familiar since June, Advocates for Social Justice in Cedar Rapids and We FIGHT in Davenport. Online events about racial justice are growing almost daily, and you’ll find several highlighted in the…

Read More

Coralville mom captures the emotion of her teen’s gender transition with “He”

transgender continuum trim scaled

“Basically, I am a gay mom who is also raising a 13-year-old trans guy. Being the parent of a trans kid is a unique experience, but seeing your child bloom into exactly the person they were meant to be is one of the most rewarding things any parent can witness. There are so many highs and lows, and it’s a massive learning curve. But I wouldn’t trade my guy for anyone.  “A lot of people have questions about parenting a trans kid and have a hard time imagining what they…

Read More

Return to COVID-shaped school year swells the “mental load” of parents, caretakers

mental load 2 scaled

Around the dark cloud of this pandemic has been this big silver lining: my “mental load” got a break. To moms, the phrase “mental load” is familiar: it’s the “mental work, the organizing, list-making and planning, that you do to manage your life, and that of those dependent on you,” writes Leah Ruppaner for ABC News. She also describes the mental load as “like a phantom — felt by many, but, without the language to describe it, very difficult to discuss.” For months, I didn’t have to think about my…

Read More

Home-schooling: tips from a parent who started a year ago

home schooling 2 scaled

Interest in home-schooling has blown up during the coronavirus crisis, as an increasing number of families take their children’s education into their own hands instead of waiting for districts to decide whether or not to reopen, and how. Doing so can cost up to $1,800 annually per child, reports Time4learning.com in Kiplinger’s. Nevertheless, a new study shows that home-schooling is at least on the minds of 80 percent of parents out there. Abby Schwartz, who has been home-schooling three of her four children for more than a year, thought she…

Read More

Fairfield store stands proud with LGBTQ Pride, Black Lives Matter message

everybodys pride 4

FAIRFIELD — A few years ago, Paul Praither saw a headline that wrenched his heart: a teenager that worked for him at Everybody’s Whole Foods, who was undergoing a transition from one gender to another, had chosen to end his life. “He was a really nice kid. I wish he would have said something. I wish I would have said something,” Praither said. The tragedy inspired Praither to lead an LGBTQ renaissance at Everybody’s — a visual explosion of acceptance, equality and diversity that has blossomed this summer into a…

Read More

PrideCon, coming Feb. 29, offers fun and learning to Iowa LGBTQ youth

86498923 10158004567839084 1342741432544264192 o

IOWA CITY — The sixth annual PrideCon for LGBTQ youth is coming Feb. 29, with new workshops, expanded art offerings, and another year of educational activities for parents, too. About 80 kids have already registered for this free daylong conference coordinated by United Action for Youth. That tops last year’s record-breaking attendance of 75 youth from throughout Iowa for the day of education, networking, socializing, art, and food. Registration is encouraged right up until the day of the event by clicking www.unitedactionforyouth.org/pridecon. The event is 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.…

Read More

Cedar Rapids Roller Girls aim to support Tanager Place’s LGBTQ Center with Feb. 28 ball

81438146 3111463698887725 5450504701978083328 n

The team will donate a portion of its proceeds from its 2nd Annual Black & Blue Ball Feb. 28 to the center, which serves about 400 teens a year and aims to serve even more. CEDAR RAPIDS — Two years ago, the Cedar Rapids Roller Girls cancelled an entire season because they were so direly in need of rebuilding their team and organization. What a difference it made: today, the Roller Girls are back up to full-squad strength and have 25 regular participants. And, they’re hosting their second annual Black…

Read More

Iowa Safe Schools leads fight against conversion therapy

conversion therapy 1

DES MOINES – A renewed effort is on to ban conversion therapy in Iowa, and Nate Monson is optimistic that the 2020 legislative session will generate some form of significant progress in outlawing a practice widely regarded as abuse. “This is a bipartisan issue,” says Nate Monson, head of Iowa Safe Schools, the nonprofit that is leading a charge against conversion therapy. “A lot of people don’t realize that seven of the bans in other states, done by executive order, were signed by Republican governors. This is something I believe…

Read More

Teens who need coats, clothes should head to UAY Tuesday

WBbA5MguQ8CiC2BQ2cfOw

IOWA CITY — An estimated 400 youth are expected to find needed clothes and coats Tuesday during the annual UAY Clothing Drive for Youth in downtown Iowa City. From 4:30 to 8:30 p.m., youth of all ages and their families are encouraged to visit the UAY Swaim Youth Center, 355 Iowa Ave., to “shop” through racks and piles of coats, sweaters, formal wear, T-shirts and more. “This has been going on for about a decade,” says Kai Kiser, Americorps volunteer with UAY. “We started this when we saw youth were…

Read More