We always clearly label Opinion Columns to ensure they won’t be mistaken for news. Our Op-Ed writers apply their professional expertise to our community’s unique challenges to promote innovative thought and encourage healthy discourse.

Opinion: My Students Came Alive As They Learned The Powerful Histories Of Our Local Tribes

Longtime Shasta County 8th grade teacher Cindy Hogue (Dawnom Wintu) writes about her experience crafting and teaching a pilot middle school curriculum focused on the history of Indian Boarding Schools. She says the curriculum inspired her students to learn from Native people’s courageous survival and emboldened them to investigate for themselves how this history relates to their lives and futures.

Latest in Opinion

I’m A Legal Aid Attorney: My Clients Aren’t Refusing Housing, There’s No Housing For Them To Refuse

Sarah Fielding is an attorney who provides low-income people in Shasta County with free legal aid to prevent homelessness, including responses to threatened eviction. Despite her best efforts many of her clients still end up homeless, Fielding says, because current programs and services in Shasta County, including Redding, are both uncoordinated and not nearly enough to address housing needs.

We, the Autistic People, and We, the Homeless People, Have Dreams Just Like Everyone Else

Hailed by local musicians as a “genius,” Alissa Johnson is an accomplished cellist and an activist for the human rights of autistic people. She is also homeless. In this piece she argues that her dual experiences as an autistic, and being without shelter, have repeatedly exposed her to interwoven stigma. Supportive systems are needed, she says, not to “fix” people but to partner with them as unique human beings with vibrant dreams.

Opinion: Why do I call myself a Dragtivist? It’s My Rebellion.

Troy Hawkins is a fixture in Redding’s vibrant Drag Queen scene. He uses this Opinion piece to explain that drag is more than flamboyant performances and ornate wardrobes, it’s a form of activism that he uses to build community and create spaces where people can be their true authentic selves, free of oppression, judgment and the pressure to conform.

Opinion: If Prayer Really Works, Bethel Should Prove It. 

A research group working with Bethel Church to prove that prayer heals people, cites studies that lack evidence-based reasoning. If prayer really works, it’s worth taking the time and money to provide scientific evidence. If we can’t, we shouldn’t be offering false hope.

Opinion: Local Tribe’s Prayer Journey Creates Community that Cares for Rivers, Salmon, and Each Other 

“When we stop in this place we pray ‘Come this way.’ We pray and we sing, remembering that first time at the confluence, when the runners arrived in the dark, stars sparkling on the river. We could only hear the lapping of the water against the shore. And then in the hushed darkness, up and down the river where we stood lining up on the shore, all the songs started being sung.”

Opinion: Extreme Heat Presents Real Threat To Those Living Without Shelter. Shasta County, and Redding, Should Help, Not Harm

Local community group, Shasta County Mutual Aid, describes how excessive heat and lack of accessible shelter and cooling are impacting community members. They fear that the city’s newly planned “sweeps” of the unhoused living within the Nur Pon Open Space will exacerbate the current crisis and worsen the danger to life and health.

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