If you’re the kind of person who reads our op-eds each week, chances are you’re feeling a little beat up at the end of the year — from the constant rush of political news, the pandemic that just won’t quit, or, as Sam Pizzigati writes in his column about Amazon this week, that ominous intersection of climate disasters, extreme inequality, and workplace injustice.

But for the rest of our package this week, I wanted to take a look at good things that happened this year — and the good we might see in the year to come.

This week in OtherWords, I look both at home and abroad for inspiring stories of progressive change in unlikely places. Karen Dolan offers three reasons to hope that much of the Build Back Better Act, now on life support, can still be passed. Mary C. King explains what a revolution affordable child care would be — and how close we could be to getting it. Jim Hightower reflects on the lovely, community-building power of fruit. And Khalil Bendib imagines the last year’s wave of union actions striking fear in the hearts of heartless CEOs.

This will be our last package of new op-eds this year, but we’ll touch base over the break with some best-ofs to tide you over. We’ll be back with more new pieces sometime in January.

Thanks for reading, publishing, and just sticking it out this year. From all of us at OtherWords and IPS, have a safe, happy holiday and a joyous new year.

New This Week…

A Few Magnificent Things That Happened in 2021 | Peter Certo
Feeling bleak? Well, 2021 wasn’t all bad — here are a few astounding things ordinary people won at home and abroad.

Three Reasons to Be Hopeful as a Hard Year Comes to a Close | Karen Dolan
The year to come could still see big changes for the better. Here’s how.

Tornadoes Can Kill. So Can Amazon’s Business Model. | Sam Pizzigati
How long will we tolerate the corporate “risk taking” that puts only workers at risk?

Affordable Child Care is the Boost Our Economy Needs | Mary C. King
High quality child care helps parents earn more now, kids earn more later, and keeps entire communities afloat.

Building Community, One Fruit Tree at a Time | Jim Hightower
A fast-growing, underground fruit economy is spreading in cities across America.

The Epidemic That Really Has Corporations Worried | Khalil Bendib
Unionization is spreading like wildfire.

In Case You Missed It…

Which Side Is Manchin On? | Kristen Olsen
One multimillionaire senator has the power to decide whether millions of kids — including mine — stay out of poverty.

Don’t Blame Benefits for Inflation — Blame the Global Economy | Sonali Kolhatkar
Ending child care subsidies won’t restock store shelves. A fairer, more sustainable global economy might.

Mental Health Care Is Hard to Come By — Especially If You’re Low-Income | Katie Prout
Record numbers of Americans are seeking mental health care and struggling to get it. Here’s what it’s like.

Stop Normalizing Islamophobia | Farrah Hassen
Hateful attacks on Ilhan Omar and other Muslims should be forcefully condemned, regardless of partisanship.

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