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Change Convos monthly top picks: 5 links we loved in August

AUGUST_Top5_MPI-Red.jpgEven in Vermont it can get sizzling hot as summer ends, but thankfully cooler evening temperatures return just as the annual back-to-school/work/reality rituals begin. To help you re-enter after summer vacation, here are our monthly top picks from around the web in August, and stick around to check out the top five stories from here on the Change Conversations blog.

Monthly top picks: 5 links we loved in AUGUST


1. Health Care: Government Data Initiative, Nonprofit News Organization and Social Media Network Team Up for Good (NiemanLab)

“Journalism in the public interest” is on display as part of a consumer protection initiative that integrates government health data into new Yelp review pages for hospitals, nursing homes and dialysis centers. The award-winning nonprofit news organization ProPublica is Yelp’s partner in showing you which health care facilities are safe, fast and well-run. ProPublica teams up with Yelp to make it easier to find good local health care services #DataAsSocialGood #InformedChoice


2. The Coddling of the American Mind (The Atlantic)

This is a fascinating and disturbing piece on efforts to cleanse college campuses of words, ideas and subjects with the potential to offend. Find out why that’s disastrous for education—and mental health. The Coddling of the American Mind #Language #TriggersAhead


3. In America, only the rich can afford to write about poverty (The Guardian)

Barbara Ehrenreich writes about changes in journalists’ earning capacity and growing income disparities. “There’s something wrong with the fact that a relatively affluent person can afford to write about minimum wage jobs while people experiencing them can’t… Burying an aching social problem does not solve it. The rich and their philanthropies need to step up and support struggling journalists and the slender projects that try to keep them going. “ #Poverty #SocialExclusion


4. Sesame Street Goes Premium (Slate)

Much has been written about the news that Sesame Street has signed a contract to ensure its financial viability by making its programming available first on premium cable channel network HBO for the next five years. But Slate’s Jessica Winter sums it up best: “In practical terms, this is good news all around. In symbolic and historical terms, however, it’s terribly sad.” Why Sesame Street’s Move to HBO Is Both Great and Extremely Depressing. #CookieMonsterSad #SocioeconomicPrivilege


5. Summer of Science series (The New York Times)

I will miss this series, billed as “A seasonally inspired stream for the curious, but distracted.” Loved the mix of snackable features on everything from our big toes to exploding stars and tiny sharks to solar-powered flight ... #ScienceIsCool


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Did we miss anything? Share your favorite changemaker links from last month in the comments below. Tip us off to other great posts for future link roundups by shooting us an email at


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