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Ernest Owens

Editor at Large

Ernest Owens is an award-winning journalist and CEO of Ernest Media Empire, LLC. As an openly gay black journalist, he has made headlines for speaking frankly about intersectional issues in society regarding race, LGBTQ, and pop culture.

City Life

Stop Judging People for Going to Outdoor Events. The COVID Mandates Are Working.

This summer’s big music festivals weren’t the epic super-spreader events many armchair experts predicted, thanks to the enforcement of vaccination and testing mandates. We should acknowledge scientific breakthroughs and not be such Debbie Downers.

City Life

Philly Will Pay $2 Million to Settle a Police Brutality Case. It Will Also Give Cops a Raise. Why?

The new police contract means taxpayers are about to pay even more for bad policing.

City Life

Kenney Administration’s Anti-Gun Violence Spending Won’t Immediately Combat Gun Violence

City Life

Why I’ve Decided to Stop Debating Vaccine-Resistant People

Fear, not misinformation, is why some people around me aren’t getting vaccinated, and no factual counter-argument is going to change that. So I’m going to stop fighting them on it, keep my distance, and leave it to the experts.

City Life

We Told Our Wedding Guests They Had to Be Vaccinated. Here’s What Happened Next

We called every guest and asked about their vaccination status. It led to some painful conversations — and some progress.

protecting unvaccinated
City Life

New COVID Restrictions Prove That Unvaccinated Lives Matter

Those complaining about personal freedom being suppressed by new COVID rules are ignoring one thing: The very restrictions they loathe are here to keep them alive.

anti-vax covid
City Life

If You Won’t Get Vaccinated, You Shouldn’t Be Allowed to Have Fun

The rise in cases caused by the Delta variant could be halted if we stopped coddling the source of the problem. More institutions should follow the lead of the Philly restaurants refusing service to those who won’t get vaxxed.

City Life

Here’s What Happened When I Turned the Tables on a Street Harasser

An uncomfortable encounter in Center City has reminded me that going outside again means a return to some BS as well. But inaction is no longer an option.

City Life

Mayor Jim Kenney Doesn’t Care About Black People

More than 10 people, mostly Black, are being shot in Philly every day this month. The Mayor’s refusal to declare our city’s gun violence crisis a state of emergency shows you exactly where he stands on race.

City Life

ICYMI, Philly Police Made Sure to Defend the Free Speech of White Supremacists

Police allowed hate group Patriot Front to harass Philadelphians without much intervention. Compare that to their treatment of Black Lives Matter protesters, and the double standard is galling.

City Life

Philly’s New Budget Makes It Clear City Hall Will Never Defund the Police

If there was ever a moment to get serious about defunding our police department, this would have been it. Instead, we gave the people responsible for last year’s tear-gassing what amounts to a raise.

City Life

Helen Gym and Kenyatta Johnson, Grandstand Less and Legislate More

Gym’s arrest in Harrisburg made headlines but accomplished nothing. Johnson should be doing more than holding anti-violence rallies. Activism may be what put them on the map, but I expect more than political theater from my elected officials.

City Life

We Have a Chance to Create the Philly Pride Celebration We Truly Deserve

The abrupt departure of Philly Pride Presents leadership gives LGBTQIA community members a golden opportunity to build something that represents all of us — and completely unlike what came before.

City Life

I’m Boycotting the Philly Pride Parade Until It’s Under New Leadership

Philly Pride Presents doesn’t represent the LGBTQIA community. The group’s latest social media posts prove it.

City Life

Why Am I Not More Excited That Philadelphia Is Finally Reopening?

The city’s full-throttle charge into normalcy felt good at first, but now I’m feeling something unexpected: survivor’s guilt.