Social Justice

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Museum of Chinese in America’s President Nancy Yao Maasbach On Racism, Recovery, and Reopening

Among all of the arts and culture institutions that were hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic. the Museum of Chinese in America had a particularly devastating 2020. On January 23, shortly before the city grinded to a virtual halt in March, the Mulberry Street building that housed MOCA’s collections and archives caught fire. As the pandemic unfolded, anti-Asian sentiment also rose rapidly. Statistics gathered by advocacy groups show that across the country, over 2,000 Covid-related anti-Asian-American hate incidents were reported between March and June.  More →

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Laws Protecting Women From Violence Are Under Threat, and Not Just in Turkey

“Arrival of Recep Tayyip Erdogan, President of Turkey” by G20 Argentina is licensed under CC BY 2.0

In the last few days of July, black-and-white photos began filling up Instagram feeds around the world. Generally, they were solo, selfie shots of women, with hashtags like #womensupportingwomen and #challengeaccepted. Many celebrities jumped on the trend, including Cindy Crawford, Kerry Washington, Kristen Bell, and Jennifer Aniston, using everything from old glamour shots to close-up selfies in order to, ostensibly, demonstrate their general solidarity with women. In a pandemic rife with internet challenges and online activism, it seemed, at first glance, another trend meant to bind us together with a vaguery, when everyone was looking for some form of connection. More →

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On the Corner With the Anti-Violence Crews Trying to Stem the Rise in Shootings

(Photos: Erin O’Brien)

As the sweltering July heat baked the streets of Bed-Stuy Monday morning, mourners dressed in black and white filed out of Pleasant Grove Baptist behind the three-foot-long, cartoon-covered casket of one-year-old Davell Gardner, Jr, who was shot and killed in Brooklyn on July 12. The procession, led by Rev. Al Sharpton, spilled onto Fulton Street with a visible weariness; the weariness of a community wracked by death, facing another loss so horrific it is difficult to even comprehend. More →

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Rev. Sharpton at Funeral of One-Year-Old Shooting Victim: ‘This Is a Disgrace’

(Photos: Erin O’Brien)

Davell Gardner Jr., the one-year-old boy who was shot and killed at a cookout on July 12, was laid to rest in Brooklyn yesterday, at a service presided over by Rev. Al Sharpton and Bishop Albert L. Jamison. In a somber ceremony, attended by members of the community and prominent New York politicians and public figures, speakers remembered the short life of Gardner, while calling for an end to gun violence in the community. More →

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Covid-19 and Racial Justice Movements Show It’s Time for Black Food Sovereignty in Brooklyn

Sandy Nurse (via @SandyforCouncil/Twitter)

Black and brown communities in Brooklyn face an inordinate concentration of food deserts, where people lack access to healthy, affordable grocery stores and other nutritious options. And the number of Americans who experience food insecurity is only expected to grow in the coming months, with low-income people of color to be hit hardest.  More →

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NYC Protesters Threatened By Federal Police Blitz: ‘We Will Not Be Silenced’

(Photos: Emmy Freedman)

As tensions come to a head in Portland, Oregon, where federal agents in military garb are putting protesters into unmarked vehicles and tear-gassing demonstrators, people on the other side of the country are throwing support behind the protesters. On the heels of President Trump’s announcement that he may send these same federal officers–described by one Oregon senator as an “occupying army”— into other Democrat-run cities such as New York, many are standing in solidarity with those in Portland and reminding elected officials that the movement is showing no signs of stopping. More →

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Meet the Young Activists Leading New York’s Black Lives Matter Protests

(Photo: Erin O’Brien)

Three weeks ago, Carlos had an internship in finance lined up for the summer and was planning to channel years of social activism, beginning in middle school, into a job in impact investing. But as protesters flooded the streets of New York, the 21-year-old Dartmouth student declined his internship offer and headed out to join them. Read more at NY Mag…

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Musicians and DJs Turn Up the Volume For BLM

Paperboy Love Prince at Occupy City Hall NYC in June. (Photo courtesy of @paperboytheprince).

Sabrina Chap had been avoiding protests in the city due to health concerns when she had a vision, mid-shower, of New Yorkers dancing simultaneously in their apartments to the music of Nina Simone. To the musician, it seemed like a workable alternative to traditional in-the-streets protest. 

When New York City set its historic curfew on June 1, she saw an opportunity. “I felt that they were trying to intimidate us inside and quell our voices,” Chap said, “and I was like, well, fuck that, let’s just turn up the volume in our homes.” So Chap created @audioprotest. More →