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The Review’s Year in Review, 2021

Updated: Dec 30, 2021

2021 built on the tumult of the year prior to remind us that our idea of “normalcy” might be further away than previously thought. The year contained both gloomy moments and glimmering flashes of hope. Over the course of 365 days, the Review’s 82 staff members wrote 162 articles covering the key events and trends in the city and across the globe that defined the last 12 months. In this collection, we are proud to recap the extraordinary work of our dedicated student writers who covered the year with prowess and skill.

Photo Courtesy: Jim Bourg/Reuters


Only a short time after Congress began its constitutionally-mandated obligation of counting the electoral votes to confirm President-elect Joe Biden’s victory, thousands of President Trump’s followers stormed the Capitol.

Photo Courtesy: Annie Mayne/BPR


Through snow and below freezing temperatures on the night of Super Bowl LV, 600 Boston University students attended a protest organized by Campus Survivors on Sunday, February 7th hosted in solidarity with national protests hosted by the University Survivor’s Movement. Annie Mayne’s coverage for the BPR was cited and included in the Boston Globe’s coverage of the event.

Photo Courtesy: Kathleen Fowlds/Curiosity Shots


3/11: Mask Up, Your Ride is Here - Justin Dynia

Mayor Marty Walsh joined President Biden’s cabinet as secretary of labor, a victory for pro-union advocates who welcomed Walsh’s support of organized labor.

Suffolk County is home to over 40,000 small businesses. From Allston and Mission Hill to Roxbury and beyond, Boston is a hub for local startups and entrepreneurial ventures.

Of those 40,000 Boston restaurants, clothing stores, bookshops, and more, nearly half have disappeared since January of last year. In a city defined by its minority populations and communities, Black owners expressed the ways in which the pandemic has changed their businesses — for better or worse.

Mexico struggled with high hospitalization and death rates from COVID-19 partially due to the scarcity of overpriced oxygen tanks. Public distrust caused by high rates of corruption led to many turning to the black market to purchase medical resources like oxygen tanks, albeit the extreme prices.

3/17: The Vaccine Shortfall in Europe - Jessica Adams

3/25: Stop Running, Keep Dribbling - Max Ferrandino

3/30: A New Cabinet, Stocked and Loaded - Moxie Thompson

Photo Courtesy: Getty Images


4/1: An Interview with Allan Lichtman - Ishaan Rahman, Roar News

4/2: SEC vs. WSB: The Case of GME - Maxwell James

Kim M. Janey was sworn in as the Acting Mayor of Boston on March 24, the first woman and Black person to hold the office. The seismic shift comes after two hundred years of white males dominating the position. The road to her ascension spans centuries in a city with both a complicated mayoral and racial history.

Biden announced a pause on two major arms deals with Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates that had been approved prior to his inauguration to make a statement regarding the ongoing Yemeni Civil War and the assassination of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Experts hope the pause or complete cancellation of the arms deal will not endanger the mutual cooperation and security interests between these two long-standing partners.

4/15: 2022 U.S. Midterms Elections: An Early Look - Ishaan Rahman, Roar News

4/15: Has Brexit Broken British Politics? - Aman Patel, Roar News

4/20: Governor Cuomo Awaits His Fate - Annie Mayne

4/21: Opinion: Veiling Politics as Law: Playing it French - Svetlana Sehgal & Dipanvita Sehgal, Delhi University

Prince Philip, the Duke of Edinburgh, was laid to rest on April 17, marking the end of a storied and impactful life of service. Britain’s longest reigning consort died on April 9 at the age of 99. The death of Prince Philip has sent shockwaves through not only the Royal Family, but also around the U.K. and the world.

In response to the problem and the added strain the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on American families, President Biden’s American Rescue Plan includes an expanded tax credit that has been touted as a means of slicing the child poverty rate. The American Rescue Plan increased the maximum credit amount per child from $2,000 to $3,600 for children under 6 and $3,000 for children under 18.

Biden achieved some of his major goals, such as getting 100 million Americans vaccinated and passing a sweeping $1.9 trillion relief bill, while others, like amending the Congressional filibuster and gun control, remain unrealized.

Photo Courtesy: Getty Images


5/4: The Future of Redistricting - Max Fernandino

The Massachusetts minimum wage continues to rise during the pandemic, reaching $13.50 in January, even as a federal increase stalls in Congress.

5/7: The Texas Storm and What Went Wrong - Julianna Hellerman

The billions of dollars in damages caused by the Winter Storm Uri suggest that Texas’s market-oriented energy structure can no longer handle the state’s increasingly unpredictable climate.

Photo Courtesy: Getty Images


Starting in 70 A.D, this in-depth historical contextualization of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict surveys the grievances, negotiations, and experiences from all angles that molded the conflict in its present-day form.

Photo Courtesy: Orlando Barría/EPA


President Jovenel Moïse was assassinated on July 7 by a group of at least two Haitian Americans and twenty-six Colombian nationals. Much about the perpetrators and their plot is still unknown. Amidst all of this uncertainty, one thing seems clear: the assassination of President Moïse represents the culmination of political violence that has been rapidly increasing throughout Haiti.

Photo Courtesy: Shireen Mazari Twitter


Andrew Cuomo resigned as Governor of New York on August 10 following a bombshell report that he had harassed at least a dozen women. The 165-page report and the governor’s months-long refusal to leave office created internal ruptures within the Democratic Party, both at the state and national level.

Although there are parallels in how decades of American government mismanagement led to the quick collapse of the two cities, the long-term implications of the most recent events in Kabul are markedly different than in Saigon.

Photo Courtesy: Daily Free Press


President Robert Brown announced that Boston University would immediately halt commitments to new and direct investments in fossil fuel companies or fossil fuel-focused projects.

- Arlo Hatcher

Photo Courtesy: Sergei Gapon


Belarus’s decision to weaponize refugees and create an aurora of chaos among Eastern European EU member states must be understood in the context of the continual duel between Lukashenko and his Western European counterparts. For the past year, Lukashenko has turned towards more aggressive authoritarian behavior after cracking down on pro-democratic protests that followed his widely criticized election.

Several companies who have become a major part of the global fight against the pandemic call Boston home. Moderna, the Cambridge-based company that counted just 2,200 employees three years ago, became Massachusetts' third largest biotech employer this year and is now a world-renowned leader in biotechnology.

For almost eight years, developers and Massachusetts legislators have tried to agree on a way to add to Boston’s waterfront skyline. The Downtown Waterfront District Municipal Harbor Plan (DTW MHP) appeared to be that compromise, until a Suffolk Superior Court judge threw it out following a lawsuit by environmental activist group Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) and neighboring building Harbor Towers.

Photo Courtesy: Associated Press


Michelle Wu cruised to an easy victory and became the first woman and person of color to win election for the Mayor of Boston in the position’s 200-year history.

Boston is one of the most segregated cities in the country. Massachusetts, a notoriously liberal, blue state still contains stark racial inequities after decades of progress. The key to understanding this paradox lies in the city’s long history of redlining, a discriminatory method of organizing neighborhoods.

On the 200th anniversary of El Salvador’s independence from Spain, thousands gathered in San Salvador, not in cultural celebration, but in staunch opposition to President Nayib Bukele’s radical Bitcoin experiment — one that elevates the popular digital currency to the same legal tender status as the U.S. Dollar.

Seoul, South Korea, witnessed a mass labor protest on October 21. The protesters were dressed like the characters in Squid Game, the most streamed television series on Netflix. The costumes were by no means a tribute to Halloween, but to the growing economic inequality, lack of labor protections, and the persistent governmental corruption in South Korea that Squid Game calls into question.

President Biden sent shockwaves by appearing to announce a shift in U.S.-Taiwan policy during a CNN town hall on October 21. When asked whether or not he would commit to defending Taiwan, President Biden responded with, and then repeated, a rather unequivocal “yes.” This one-word answer signaled a potentially massive shift from the long-standing U.S. policy of "strategic ambiguity" towards the Taiwanese.

Biden’s record on taking experts’ advice has been a mixed-bag. He can learn from how Kennedy avoided nuclear war.

Photo Courtesy: Jackie Ricciardi


In a historic departure from the legal definition of "person," a United States federal court order recognized dozens of hippos in Colombia as "persons of interest" to secure protections for the animals despite having no legal authority in the nation. The hippos, known as "cocaine hippos," descended from one male and three females imported illegally by drug lord Pablo Escobar in the 1980s.

12/9: The Gentrification of Addiction - Allie Baptiste

Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) and Tina Smith (D-MN) contacted four federal loan servicers to request the steps they plan to use to facilitate federal student loan repayment resuming on January 31, 2022. The Biden administration responded shortly after and extended the freeze until May 31.

12/21: Covid-19 Lockdown and Carbon Emissions - Isabelle Fonseca

12/22: Exploring the 2020 Homicide Spike - Erin LeBlanc

While the proximate cause of the murder spike may be multifaceted, it is clear that the intersection of race, violence and the pandemic coincided, resulting in a record-breaking increase in homicide rates in the United States in 2020.

12/23: Maskless Mayors and Governors - Jennefer Remigius

12/29: Sines V. Kessler: Putting Hate on Trial - Sebastian Porreca

That's a wrap on our 162 articles from 2021. Thanks for stopping by. You stay classy, Boston.

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