Community Voices

We always clearly label Opinion Columns to ensure they won’t be mistaken for news. We accept Guest Opinion submissions that meet our standards for promoting innovative thought and encouraging healthy discourse.Our Guest Opinion writers agree to participate in a process of identity-verification, fact-checking and editorial feedback prior to publishing.

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 Community Voices

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: 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.

My Abortion Story

Stigma around abortion ends when we can talk about it like any other health care choice we make for ourselves – a surgery, a biopsy, physical therapy, a pill. Compassion emerges on both sides when abortion is associated with the faces and names of people you know, love, and care about.

My Journey to Recovery Didn’t Begin Because I was Afraid of Jail

Meth gave me the voice that I needed to be heard, the look I needed to be seen, the strength to be fearless, and the power to be strong. I honored and respected meth for what it gave me! Meth controlled every iota of my life. Meth was my mother, father, brother, sister, adviser, friend, and lover. Meth told me where to go, what to do, and how to do. I did not move unless meth said so.

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