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Community Columns

Attention writers: Do you have something you would like to share about the community that matters most to you? Do you have unique skills to share? Is there a topic that you are particularly passionate about?

Mahoning Matters is looking for community columns to share with our readers. We want your takes on everything from getting the kids to school on time to topics like the racial divide in our community. 

Submit 500-word essays for consideration to Mark Sweetwood at mark@mahoningmatters.com. Submissions must include a brief bio and mug shot of the writer. Publication is at the discretion of the editor.

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS | Why did the jury find Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty?

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS | Why did the jury find Kyle Rittenhouse not guilty?

The Kyle Rittenhouse trial and verdict have been shrouded in political rhetoric. I want to provide a view that is based on my 30-plus years of experience as a criminal defense attorney. 
AN INCLUSIVE TABLE | It’s time to recenter the historical focus on Thanksgiving

AN INCLUSIVE TABLE | It’s time to recenter the historical focus on Thanksgiving

As we continue to push for a more honest accounting of the history of the United States, many have found it increasingly difficult to engage in traditions that boil down to a celebration of the colonization that ultimately had such a profound impact on people of color.
LIZ DREIER | Fun facts about Thanksgiving

LIZ DREIER | Fun facts about Thanksgiving

This Thanksgiving, we get to celebrate in person and not on a Zoom call while trying to balance our plates on our laps. Here are some fun facts about the holiday to get the table conversation started.
KEEPING THE FAITH | Some thoughts on hunger and Thanksgiving

KEEPING THE FAITH | Some thoughts on hunger and Thanksgiving

Don't cheapen this holy day of gratitude by referring to it as “Turkey Day.” The provision of God extends itself beyond the gathering around the table.
YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS | What is human trafficking's impact on the U.S., Ohio?

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS | What is human trafficking's impact on the U.S., Ohio?

A writer reminded me that slavery, in the form of human trafficking, continues to cast a dark shadow across the United States. And Ohio ranks third in per-capita incidents and fifth in arrests.
The Earnheardts | If it makes you happy

The Earnheardts | If it makes you happy

"If it makes you happy, it can't be that bad." That song popped up on one of my Spotify playlists last week. Now it’s stuck in my head. If you know the tune and can hum along, it’s probably stuck in your head, too.
KEEPING THE FAITH | Bless those who protect our freedoms

KEEPING THE FAITH | Bless those who protect our freedoms

Also, as we approach another holiday in the upcoming weeks, for many this is not necessarily a joyful time. Even expressing gratitude can be a challenge to those facing mounting losses and trauma.
YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS | How has racism impacted legal rights?

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS | How has racism impacted legal rights?

As a legal scholar and amateur historian, I am keenly interested in the role policies in general — and laws in particular — have played in shaping our society.
AN INCLUSIVE TABLE | The psychological impact of racism

AN INCLUSIVE TABLE | The psychological impact of racism

I am unable to watch the video of the murder of George Floyd. I cannot stomach seeing it and have asked my family, friends, and acquaintances to not send me videos or images like it.
LIZ DREIER | A day at the races

LIZ DREIER | A day at the races

On a chilly, Friday afternoon, my Sweet Patootie and I found ourselves at Hollywood Gaming at Mahoning Valley Race Course. It was the third time that we had tried our luck, so naturally, we considered ourselves experts.
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