Social Justice

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New York Workers and Scholars in Limbo Abroad as Trump Suspends Visas

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement office at JFK. (Photo: noway on Flickr)

Soon after Yukti visited India in February to get her H-1B visa stamp, American consulates around the world shut down due to the coronavirus pandemic. Since then, the 28-year-old New Yorker hasn’t had a good night’s sleep and she has lost seven pounds. Over the past four months, she has delayed her return flight to the US four times, called the consulate in Mumbai daily until almost every phone receptionist knows her full name, and pleaded her case to no avail. Now, thanks to President Trump’s latest visa suspension order, which bans foreign workers with no H1-B visa stamps from entering the US, she is looking at another six months of unpaid leave from the Manhattan bank where she worked, while stranded in India. More →

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Arcade Project Pushes For ‘Real Change’ During the Art World’s Moment of Reckoning

M. Charlene Stevens (Photo: Ruben Natal-San Miguel)

As protests for racial justice continue, the art world has responded by featuring the work of black artists and exalting the influence of the Black Lives Matter movement on the art industry. Almost overnight, Twitter and Instagram has become flooded with lists of black galleries, black artists, and black musicians whose projects you can support. However, one black art dealer and critic, M. Charlene Stevens, remains suspicious. More →

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Remember the Democratic Debates? This Theater Group Thinks You Should

Katie Palmer and Paul Bedard, Feb. 2020 (Photo: Luana Harumi)

Between the pandemic, economic uncertainty, and civil unrest, it might be easy to forget that this is an election year, and the New York Democratic primary takes place Tuesday. If you need to refresh your memory with some of the events that lead to Joe Biden being the party’s last remaining presidential candidate, you can count on Theater In Asylum. Well, kind of. More →

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Juneteenth in NYC: Where to March, Mourn, Picnic and Dance

Juneteenth Emancipation Day Celebration, June 19, 1900, Texas. (Austin History Center, Austin Public Library.)

Dating back to 1865, Juneteenth commemorates the end of slavery in the United States. Though the Emancipation Proclamation, signed by President Lincoln in 1863, technically ended slavery, the minimal number of Union soldiers stationed in Texas and the slow pace of news meant that slaves in Texas were unaware that the executive order had been issued and little could be done to implement the order. However, with General Robert E. Lee’s surrender at the Battle of Appomattox Courthouse, substantial numbers of Union troops finally arrived in Texas. On June 19, 1865, Major General Gordon Granger announced to the public that all slaves had been freed.  More →

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City Council Committee Passes POST Act, Bringing Oversight to NYPD Surveillance

On Thursday morning, the New York City Council’s Committee on Public Safety passed the POST Act, a bill that creates civilian review of the NYPD’s wide-ranging digital surveillance.

The POST Act, which passed 12-1, requires the NYPD to publicly report and describe which surveillance techniques it uses, guidelines and policies surrounding the use of that technology, and what will happen with the data collected from digital surveillance.  More →

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Protesters, Politicians Testify About NYPD Brutality

Letitia James.

Witnesses are speaking out against violence committed by  the New York Police Department during over the course of three weeks of protests against police brutality. 

New York Attorney General Letitia James is conducting an independent investigation into the NYPD’s actions and has asked any member of the public with pertinent information to submit testimony, including video or photo evidence. The testimony started Wednesday and, due to a large number of people eager to speak out, continues today, June 18. More →

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Is the NYPD Capable of Reform?

(Photo: Erin O’Brien)

Since protests of police brutality and racial injustice broke out across the city in recent weeks, public calls to drastically reform and even defund the NYPD have resurfaced and intensified as police beat and tear-gassed protesters. Meanwhile, police unions have gone on the offensive, conceding almost no culpability for the escalation of tensions. Earlier this week, MTA Police Benevolent Association president Mike O’Meara angrily complained that police officers have been “left out of the conversation” about defunding.  But so far, they haven’t appeared willing to participate. More →

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Another Weekend of Protests Shows Black Lives Matter Movement Broadening

Service workers protested Thursday. (Photos: Erin O’Brien)

A third weekend of protests against police brutality in New York City saw some of the largest crowds to date,  with calls for action only intensifying in the wake of  the killing of Rayshard Brooks in Atlanta on Friday, and the killing of two black trans women, Riah Milton in Ohio and Dominique “Rem’Mie” Fells in Pennsylvania. More →