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Mark Canavera
Mark Canavera is a humanitarian aid and development worker who focuses on child protection in West Africa. He has worked on former child soldier reintegration in northern Uganda, small arms control in Senegal, girls education promotion in Burkina Faso, and child welfare system reform in Côte d'Ivoire, Niger, and Benin. He holds Master's degrees in Peace Studies from Notre Dame and Public Policy from Harvard.

Entries by Mark Canavera

'Tempest' Review: Classical Theatre of Harlem Knocks Production out of the Park

(5) Comments | Posted July 8, 2015 | 1:35 PM

Fedna Jacquet as Ariel and Ron Cephas Jones as Prospero in the Classical Theatre of Harlem's free summer production. (Photo credit: Jill Jones)

The third time's a magical charm. In its strongest outing since it launched public productions of Shakespeare two summers...

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'Romeo and Juliet' Review: Classical Theater of Harlem Earns Its Stripes

(0) Comments | Posted July 16, 2014 | 11:41 AM

Sheldon Best and Natalie Paul as Romeo and Juliet in the Classical Theatre of Harlem's free summer production.(Photo credit: Jill Jones)

I recently had the pleasure of waiting a mere six hours to get free tickets to the Public Theater's production of "Much...

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Nuns, LGBT Youth and the Power of a Single Song

(15) Comments | Posted January 31, 2013 | 5:17 PM

A simple message: "You're a perfect child of God." Simple, yes, but it is also a profound message that everybody can and should hear -- hopefully repeatedly -- and one that seems especially urgent for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth in an era of entrenched bullying, depression, and...

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Brutal Aftershocks: The Persecution of LGBT Haitians After the Earthquake

(1) Comments | Posted April 2, 2012 | 6:15 PM

Imagine -- if you will, for a moment, hard as it may be -- that you are under a collapsed building, fighting for your life. Think of the chaos, the pain and suffering, the confusion, the yearning to get out from under the heaps, the visceral need to break free....

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Not in our name: African human rights activists reject UK aid conditionality

(2) Comments | Posted November 29, 2011 | 3:45 PM

An oft-told African proverb (whose precise culture of origin often changes with the teller) asserts that "When elephants fight, the grass suffers." Put another way, the powerless are trampled in the clashes of mammoth decision-makers. An elephant match is currently underway between the government of the United Kingdom, which has...

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Dusty Broom Closets in Congo: Rethinking Programming to Combat Sexual Violence

(2) Comments | Posted July 28, 2011 | 12:17 PM

It was a stuffy, windowless broom closet like any other -- replete with empty cardboard boxes, threadbare rags, mops, and of course brooms. The thick layer of dust on two straight-backed wooden chairs facing each other amidst the debris indicated that they had not been sat upon for weeks, maybe...

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Moving Beyond "AIDS Orphans"

(1) Comments | Posted June 7, 2011 | 11:46 AM

What comes to your mind when you hear the words "AIDS orphans"? Do you imagine a skinny, destitute African child with matchstick legs? Is he or she young -- maybe 7- or 8-years-old? Are there flies in the child's eyes? What do you think would be the best way to...

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Leading Cameroonian Gay Rights Activist Fears Arrest

(5) Comments | Posted January 9, 2011 | 9:33 PM

Recent television reports suggest that Alice Nkom, the well-known lawyer who founded the Cameroonian non-profit Association to Defend Homosexuals (ADEFHO), may be arrested in the next few days. A representative of Cameroon's Ministry of Communication suggested on the television show Canal Plus Sunday afternoon that Ms. Nkom was...

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A Decade Later, West African Echoes of Our Own Hanging Chads

(1) Comments | Posted December 4, 2010 | 3:42 PM

In case you haven't been following closely, the recent elections in the West African nation of Côte d'Ivoire, the region's richest country by far, haven't been going so well. While a number of analysts are comparing the current debacle to electoral shenanigans in other African countries, some parallels...

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The Kuchu Beehive

(10) Comments | Posted August 2, 2010 | 3:44 PM

How activists are using coalitions to promote LGBTI rights in Uganda.

The kuchu movement is abuzz in Uganda. Kuchu is a word (plural: kuchus), apparently of Swahili origin, that lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and intersex (LGBTI) Ugandans have minted to describe their identities. "We do not...

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Picking Up the Pieces in Malawi

(1) Comments | Posted June 3, 2010 | 10:52 AM

Human rights activists plot the path forward in the wake of the recent same-sex court case.

Before the outsized international human rights outcry. Before the world had even heard of Steven Monjeza and Tiwonge Chimbalanga. Before their chinkhoswe...

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The Coup of Their Dreams: Why Many Guineans Are Delighted With the Country's Military Takeover

(0) Comments | Posted February 5, 2009 | 10:42 AM

MAN, Côte d'Ivoire. On December 23, an event that would have seemed frightening and dangerous in most parts of the world transpired in Guinea. Just hours after the president of this nation of 10 million people passed away, a military faction took power in a coup d'état. The National Council...

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