Mimi Kirk

Mimi Kirk

Mimi Kirk is a contributing writer to CityLab covering education, youth, and aging. Her writing has also appeared in The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, and Smithsonian.

A boy sits in front of Stone Mountain—the Atlanta-area monument to the Confederacy.

What Should I Do With My Family's Confederate Hero?

My great-great-great-grandfather, a Civil War general and reputed Klan leader, sits atop an equestrian statue in front of the Georgia State Capitol. Some local lawmakers think it’s time for him to come down.

A child draws as part of a therapy program designed to help kids deal with trauma.

The Spaces That Can Ease Childhood Trauma

Children’s Advocacy Centers make sure kids only have to tell their story of abuse once.

The Seductive Power of a Suburban Utopia

Serenbe, an intentional community outside Atlanta, promises urban pleasures without the messiness of city life.

Highland, Utah, fourth-grade teacher Cori Sorensen receives firearms training from a personal defense instructor in 2012.

What Research Says About Arming Teachers

Bottom line: It creates risk and the potential for further violence.  

Students who walked out of their Montgomery County, Maryland, schools protest the NRA in front of the White House.

When Teens Protest, Race Matters

The media and the public have tended to offer support for the teen protesters from Parkland, Florida, and other predominantly white communities. It’s been a different story for youth of color.

A shuttered elementary school in Toa Baja, Puerto Rico, west of San Juan. The government recently announced more than 300 public schools will be closed.

Why Puerto Rico Is Pushing to Privatize Its Schools

Pro-statehood leaders are re-envisioning the territory’s schools in the wake of Hurricane Maria. But the privatization process started before the storm hit.

A family embraces as they say goodbye after a visit at San Quentin state prison in California.

Where American Kids Are In Crisis

Kids repeatedly exposed to violence, homelessness, and addiction are more likely to carry the long-term effects into adulthood. A new report breaks down the geographic and racial distribution of this trauma.

Samuel Cole, 85, of Los Angeles, poses in his motorhome. Cole moved into the vehicle when he wasn't able to afford a $100 rise in his rent.

The Age-Friendly City Can't Just Be for the Wealthy

University of Manchester researchers argue that the movement to make cities more livable for older residents must expand its work on inequality.

Characters from the small area plan-turned-graphic novel of Frogtown, St. Paul, Minnesota, are pictured.

How to Fight Gentrification With a Comic Book

To catch the eyes of city officials, St. Paul’s Frogtown neighborhood is launching a small area plan in cartoon form.

A child plays in Santiago, Chile.

How to Design Cities for Children

A billion kids are now growing up in urban areas. But not all cities are planned with their needs in mind.  

A black elementary student raises his hand in a majority black classroom.

When White Parents Won't Integrate Public Schools

Can a grassroots movement succeed where policy has failed?  

A small accessory dwelling unit—known as an ADU—is attached to an older single-family home in a Portland, Oregon, neighborhood.

The Granny Flats Are Coming

A new book argues that the U.S. is about to see more accessory dwelling units and guides homeowners on how to design and build them.

An aerial view shows buildings clustered around a wadi, or dry stream bed that fills with water after it rains.

Can Oman Build a Better Planned City?

In a region of crazily ambitious megacities, this Persian Gulf urban project may be more viable.

Boards cover windows of a shuttered elementary school in Chester, Pennsylvania.

When It's Too Cold For School

This week’s cold snap revealed the sorry state of infrastructure in many urban schools on the East Coast. But there’s no quick fix.

Tokyo businessmen and women raise beer mugs in a toast at an after-work party.

A Bus Rescues Drunk Subway Riders on New Year's

A Tokyo bus company helps out riders who accidentally find themselves stranded at the end of the line in the middle of the night.

The Israeli settlement of Ma'ale Adumim, about four miles east of Jerusalem, features well-kept villas with solar panels on their roofs.

What Happens Next in Jerusalem? Watch this Space.

One critical corridor might be incorporated into Greater Jerusalem, which could have a major impact on the region's stability.

Artist Soozin Hirschmugl paints with two visitors on the lawn of the People's Center Health Services in Minneapolis.

Can Artist Pop-Ups Redefine Health?

A Minneapolis clinic brought artists to its front lawn to give patients a different first impression of going to the doctor.

A man and woman cling to subway straps while standing on a moving subway train in Tokyo.

An App to End Pregnant Women's Quest for Subway Seats

In Tokyo, new technology matches expectant mothers looking for a seat with passengers willing to give theirs up.  

A male teacher speaks in front of a group of high school students.

Teaching Civility in the Age of Trump

As bias incidents at American schools surge, one Maryland high school requires all freshmen to take a new course designed to encourage open minds and civil dialogue.  

A young black female student sits in a classroom.

When Teachers Punish Black Kids More Severely Than White Kids

A new NAACP Legal Defense Fund report outlines three strategies to offset the effects of implicit bias.

A woman comforts a distraught child after a school shooting in Atlanta.

The Long Shadow of Childhood Trauma

A new study suggests that stress experienced early in life damages the ability to assess risk, creating young adults with poor decision-making skills.