Newsletter #158: Estranged in America

I want to begin today’s issue with my deep appreciation. Thank you for subscribing to The Highlighter. Thank you for opening this email every Thursday morning, and for reading the blurbs, and for clicking on the articles, and for talking about the newsletter with your friends, and for encouraging them to subscribe.

More than three years ago, I sent out the very first issue of what would later become The Highlighter. My goal then was the same as it is now: to share my favorite articles on race, education, and culture. I remember feeling nervous as I clicked send and sent the first issue off to Subscribers 1 and 2. (Hi Ben and Peter!)

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Thank you again. Now let’s get to this week’s articles!

Estranged in America

As a child, Lucia Gaspar escaped war-torn Guatemala and immigrated with her family to Alamosa, Colorado. Years later, despite thriving in school, Lucia found she could not realize her dream of going to college because she was undocumented. For Lucia, now 27, living in the United States is about feeling stuck in between. She’s a recipient of DACA, which is now in jeopardy. Her three children are citizens, but her husband is not. She lives in a city that embraces her but in a country trying to deport her. (21 min)

Be Yourself. Be Good, and Try to Be Great — But Always Be Yourself.

In this moving essay, Stephen Curry — who is pretty good at basketball — shares his dreams for his daughters, Riley and Ryan. As they grow up, his daughters should not live in a world with unnecessary obstacles limiting their potential. For Mr. Curry, the idea that “women deserve equality” should not even be a question. (7 min)   

HHH #7 is just one week away! Loyal subscribers Wenner, Clem, Peter, Angelina, Abby, Michele, Ainate, Calvin, Samantha, Ray’Von, Kyle, Shannon, and Amy want you to attend. Get more details and your free ticket at

The Surge of Restorative Justice in California Schools

While restorative justice has become more popular in schools, particularly in the Bay Area, the practice remains challenging for some educators to adopt. This profile of Fremont High School in Oakland outlines how RJ focuses on understanding conflict and encouraging reconciliation, rather than emphasizing punishment (which doesn’t work, plus is racist). (9 min)

The Water Crisis Is Here. Now What?

Say “climate change” and people freeze from the term’s weight of inexorable doom. Maybe it’s better to start with smaller problems, like our global water crisis, which humans can still reverse. This article will build your background knowledge about the state of water in our world. You’ll stress out that Beijing and Mexico City are sinking and that Cape Town will soon run out of water. But you’ll also start taking shorter showers. Maybe. (25 min)

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