to help you get unstuck like the suez canal
one thing about 2021 is that there has been plenty of opportunities for schadenfreude and for that i am grateful. i'm a little sad to see the boat stuck memes go, but lord knows capitalism will fail spectacularly again soon.
what we could become is shifting to a monday good news letter, wednesday topical post, and friday love note with playlists and podcasts.
today & every monday we bring you reminders that a better world is possible.
why should you care about French architecture firm Lacaton & Vassal Architectes winning another award? well, because they're a firm committed to refurbishing existing architecture who have found ways to make public housing more livable.
Finally, a major architecture award has been given to a studio best known for refurbishments. French architects Anne Lacaton and Jean-Philippe Vassal who have clinched the 2021 Pritzker Prize, are invigorating winners because so much of their finest work is in retrofitting, an environmentally critical practice that is rarely celebrated by mainstream design awards.
the american rescue plan recently passed by a horrifyingly small margin returns over $31 billion to tribal governments. this money will fund language preservation programs, clean energy, and climate adaptation projects.
Nicolette Cooley tries to go outside every morning to pray. She speaks to whatever animals may be listening nearby. Some mornings, it’s a skunk scurrying along. Other mornings, a coyote lurking in the bush. Cooley, a Diné woman and co-manager of the Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals’ Tribal Climate Change Program, is a fluent speaker of her Native Diné tongue. Her people’s language has helped her connect to her environment “in a way that’s more intimate,” she says. “I feel more connected to everything around me.”
Cooley’s is a similar story many Indigenous peoples are experiencing. Wayne Ducheneaux, the executive director of the Native Governance Center, has seen a similar unfolding on the Cheyenne River Indian Reservation in South Dakota. This new recovery package offers some support to build out programs to help retain Native languages and grow the number of speakers. It also allocates $600 million for critical economic and infrastructure investments, allowing much-needed resources to flow to ongoing clean energy and climate adaptation projects. Cooley called the passage of this act “huge.” Ducheneaux called it “historic.”
it is hard to believe this headline, but we will take it. virginia is the first southern state to abolish the wildly inhumane and morally indefensible death penalty.
Virginia, the state that has executed more people than any other in the nation, has abolished the death penalty. The legislation abolishing the death penalty, which passed the House and Senate in February, was signed this afternoon by Governor Ralph Northam. “It is the moral thing to do,” he said during the signing ceremony. “The death penalty is fundamentally flawed.” Virginia becomes the first formerly Confederate state to abolish capital punishment.
while i wouldn't call this program reparations because it has stipulations on how the money can be spent, the approval of these housing grants in evanston, IL outside of chicago are a step in the right direction.
Officials in the suburb say the initiative, which has been in the planning stages since 2019, is designed to address the discriminatory housing policies and practices faced by Black residents. The $10 million program — the first of its kind in the nation when approved in 2019 — will be funded through marijuana sales tax revenue along with some donations. The specific measure approved Monday in an 8-1 vote establishes a $400,000 housing grant program, the first expenditure of that larger fund.
i hope your week involves as little labor and as much joy as possible. feel free to pass along any good news you come across or any topics you want to learn more about. we want this space to be as useful as possible for you.
katie wills evans