URL Media Weekly
Friday, December 23, 2022
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What We're Talking About

A brown-skinned woman with textured hair fiercely poses.
In response to a survey on the current state of mental health for Black and Latina women in California, 94% of participants place a high priority on “increasing awareness among Black and Latina women about the benefits of seeking help or support. Credit: CAMH

A time of cheer — except when it’s not

For some, the holidays are a time of rest, reconnecting with friends and family, celebration and remembrance. But for many, especially BIPOC folks who are less likely to seek treatment or care for their mental health, the holiday season can be a difficult time. 

A survey conducted by EVITARUS polled 800 women in California who identify as Black, African American and/or Hispanic/Latina and found that 62% of respondents said they had mental health concerns for which they did not seek care. You can read more about the report from Black Voice News.

Reasons for not seeking care can include finances, the amount of time it takes to be seen by a mental health professional, and fears about being prescribed medication that they won’t need.

I always find my energy begins to dip as soon as the weather turns cold —  a sign to give my mind and body more time to rest. 

It’s also a sign for me to be extra kind to those who I encounter while traveling. You can read more about the conditions airport workers face in this piece from Documented.

And this season is a time when many people like to take stock of the good, the bad, and the ugly in their lives — me included. For instance, I'm ready to re-evaluate my relationship with social media as I hope to be much more present in the new year.

Lastly, I’m incredibly grateful for the people I have met this year, the work I have gotten to be part of, and the wonderful communities I belong to. That includes URL Media and the community of publishers in our network whose teams work their hearts out to report on their communities. This is the last newsletter for the year, but we’ll be back in January with new stories from URL Media and our network partners. —Alicia Ramirez

Uplift. Respect. Love.

Human progress over the past 20 years

Sponsored by McKinsey & Company
 


Human progress over the past 20 years: Our world is big and complex, but human progress is still about life on the ground, up close and in detail. Take a granular look at human development around the world here.

Uplifting our Communities

A row of half empty shelves with hardly any baby formula.
Baby formula shortages continue to frustrate Minn. parents: Baby formula on local store shelves remains in short supply ten months after a Michigan plant closed for safety reasons. For many new parents, however, the formula shortage never stopped. Sahan Journal has the full story.

Immigrants see no clear path outside 26 Federal Plaza: In recent months, more than 26,000 migrants have arrived in New York City. However, a number of advocates and attorneys are concerned about ICE check-ins outside 26 Federal Plaza, which houses the City's ICE Office for check-ins, and has created additional confusion for immigrants facing court hearings. Read more from Documented.

The importance of Latino voters: A red wave did not occur this year — except in New York, writes Epicenter-NYC's civics reporter Felipe De La Hoz. He adds, Republicans took advantage by picking up three House seats and winning a series of state legislative elections, including an impressive turnout on Long Island, where a growing number of “newish,” conservative Latino voters live. Read more about this new voting bloc from Epicenter-NYC.

Two ex-government officials in Haiti sanctioned again over gang ties: In an international effort to stifle Haitian gangs, Canada continues to impose sanctions on financial and political elites suspected of being behind criminal acts. Currently, the sanctions are against Listz Quitel and Berto Dorcé, who are both accused of laundering money. The Haitian Times has the full story.

Black women on the future of Twitter and building generational wealth: Our Body Politic host Farai Chideya is joined by Karen Attiah, columnist for The Washington Post, and Dr. Sarah J. Jackson, Presidential Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania, to discuss what Elon Musk’s Twitter takeover could mean for users who are women of color. 🎧 Listen to the full episode.

More shocking revelations at this Calif. high school district: Victor Valley Union High School District violated federal law by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights by discriminating against BIPOC students and disciplining them more frequently and harshly than their white peers. Read more from Black Voice News.

After leaked anti-Black comments, this sheriff still won re-election: Earlier this year, North Carolina Sheriff Jody Greene resigned from his post after audio of him saying, “Every Black [person] that I know, you need to fire him to start with, he’s a snake,” was leaked. Two weeks later, he was re-elected as sheriff. PushBlack has the story.

Talking with loved ones about abortion is a challenge worth taking on: While it may feel easier to skip conversations with people who aren’t completely against abortion — but still shame people who have had abortions — these may actually be some of the most important conversations to have. Read more from Prism.

The women of Brooklyn’s La Parada: For many undocumented immigrant women from Latin America, La Parada — or “The Stop” located at the intersection of Division Street and Marcy Avenue in Brooklyn, NY — is the gateway to a first job in a new country. For others, it’s a last resort: When you've lost your job and your immigration status prevents you from collecting unemployment benefits, La Parada is where you go until you find steady work. If you missed this piece earlier this year in Epicenter-NYC, read it in palabra.

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Respecting & Honoring Arts & Culture

The winter solstice begins a season of storytelling and ceremony: In the Northern Hemisphere, Dec. 21 was the shortest day of the year. Native News Online asked its Native friends to share traditions they’ve heard about the winter solstice. Read what they had to say.

Meet the incoming Chief of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribe: Urie Ridgeway recently joined WURD Radio’s The Source, along with Peter Brooks and “Grandma Connie,” to talk about his role as the incoming Chief of the Nanticoke Lenni-Lenape Tribe. 🎧 Listen to the full episode.

Centering Love

A woman stares pensively into the camera.

Meet Fiyah Angel, Detroit organizer with Rent for Moms and healing activist: During this time of year, Fiyah Angel knows how difficult it can be to pay the bills. It’s why they became involved in Rent for Moms, an organization that seeks to pay one month of rent for dozens of single Black moms. Read more from Outlier Media.

What We're Loving This Week From Our Partners

When grief doesn’t take a holiday: The holidays can be hard, especially for those grieving. If you or a loved one is going through depression or mental health challenges this season, Scalawag’s editors and community have put together a guide with ideas for what to say. Read more.

The URLs on URL

A group of happy people smile at the camera on a chilly winter day.

(Back row left to right) Levi Rickert, Daniel Laplaza, Da’Shaun Harrison. (Second row left to right) Emily Daly, Maria Hernandez, Melanie Figueiredo, Sonali Kohli, Rae’Mah Henderson, Valeria Fernandez. (Third row left to right) Leonor Ayala Polley, Ashton Lattimore, Ariam Alula, Janelle Zagala, Andaiye Taylor, Mitra Kalita, Ellah Nze. (Front row left to right) Ashanti Martin, Arya Royal, Mukhtar M. Ibrahim, Tareq Alani, Candice Fortman, Mazin Sidahmed, Sara Lomax. Photo by: Hari Adivarekar

Measuring the unique impact of BIPOC media

URL Media is partnering with the Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI) to research and develop new metrics to quantify the depth of engagement BIPOC media outlets have with their communities that is not solely based on stale media buying metrics rooted in scale. Read more about this new partnership.

Lastly, a special note from our co-founders

“Without community, there is no liberation…but community must not mean a shedding of our differences, nor the pathetic pretense that these differences do not exist.” - audre lorde

As 2022 draws to a close, we would like to thank you for supporting URL Media. We’ve grown tremendously thanks to people like you. In 2022, we…
  • Grew our team to 11 full-time employees across the country. 
  • Landed five advertising and sponsorship deals worth nearly a million dollars. 
  • Doubled revenues from our inclusive talent development arm to complete nearly 70 searches and placements. 
  • Doubled our network partners to 16 with more expected to join before year-end. 
  • Distributed revenue to two-thirds of network partners. 
  • Co-hosted The Laura Flanders Show 11 times for our monthly “Meet the BIPOC Press.”
  • Shared midterm elections coverage across a half-dozen partners rooted in listening to and reflecting communities’ concerns. 
  • Increased newsletter offerings and frequency with special jobs and civics. 
  • Received media pickup of our URL original and partner content in outlets such as Harper’s, People, Vanity Fair, NPR, PBS, MSNBC, CBS and many more. 
  • Hosted several webinars affirming diverse talent on issues from public speaking to the first 90 days on the job to layoffs and career transitions. 
  • Gathered our partners, all high-performing Black and Brown media outlets, for a summit and discussion in New York City. 
  • Modeled inclusive business practices and philosophies, from the vendors and contractors hired to the programming we center. 
We send you warmth and gratitude this holiday season. Stay tuned for much more in 2023: We hope to take this newsletter daily, curate more offerings from across our growing network of URL partners, produce more original content and video, and keep pushing a BIPOC lens on the stories that matter to our communities. 

We hope our 2023 continues to include you as a partner. We’d love to hear from you about how you think it’s going and what you want to see more of at hello@url-media.com

Best, 
Sara Lomax
S. Mitra Kalita
Co-founders, URL Media

Our Founders

Sara Lomax-Reese, CEO of WURD Radio, media entrepreneur for almost 30 years, served as Program Lead for the inaugural Facebook BIPOC Sustainability Accelerator and is currently a JSK Fellow.
S. Mitra Kalita, former SVP at CNN Digital, current CEO & Publisher at Kalita Mukul Creative Inc., which publishes Epicenter-NYC, The Unmuted and The Escape Home, has worked at The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The LA Times, and has launched brands like Mint and Quartz.

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