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Friday, May 26, 2023
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Today is Friday, and we’re highlighting stories from across the URL Media network about a family in New York who moved to Mexico City in search of a better life for their children, the ongoing fight to end involuntary servitude in California, and a new art museum in New York City.

Be sure to keep an eye on your inbox tomorrow for an exclusive interview with The Haitian Times founder and publisher Garry Pierre-Pierre about the ongoing political crisis in Haiti.

— Alicia Ramirez

Uplift. 🙌🏼 Respect. 💯 Love. 💛

Uplifting our Communities

US senators revive Indian boarding school legislation with bipartisan support: A bipartisan group of 27 U.S. Senators, led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), has reintroduced legislation to investigate the federal government’s centuries-long Indian boarding school policies, which led to the assimilation and attempted termination of Native Americans from 1819 through the 1960s. Native News Online has the story here.

Laborers in Haiti continue to strike for $18 daily wage: Workers in the textile sector went on strike for the fourth time this month to demand a minimum wage increase to 2,500 gourdes, or about $18, across the capital. Read more here from The Haitian Times.

Lessons from Mexico City: During a business trip to Mexico City, Julie Schwietert Collazo asked her husband why they and their three children voluntarily remained in the United States. Since then, the family relocated to Mexico City in search of a better life and education for their U.S.-born children. palabra. has their story here.

Asbestos in Philadelphia schools: Philadelphia Inquirer education reporter Kristen Graham joined Wake Up With WURD’s Solomon Jones recently to talk about her reporting on the presence of asbestos in Philadelphia’s school buildings. According to Graham, only four of more than 200 buildings in the City are free from asbestos. 🎧 Listen to the full interview here.

Minneapolis health commissioner fights fentanyl and moves unhoused people: Damon Chaplin arrived in Minneapolis amid a public health crisis involving opioid addiction and homeless encampments. He recently talked with Sahan Journal about what gives him hope. Read more here.

New report complicates decarceration wins: A new report by Detention Watch Network and the Immigrant Legal Resource Center sheds light on the highly adaptive nature of the prison-industrial complex, complicating the idea of a decarceration win by urging advocates to delve deeper and follow the story of jail, prison and detention center “closures.” Prism has the story here.

The fight to end involuntary servitude in Calif.: Two years ago, Rep. Syndey Kamlager-Dove (D-CA), then a state senator, introduced Assembly Constitution Amendment 3, which sought to include involuntary servitude as a form of slavery and set out to abolish forced labor throughout California. That bill died in late 2022. Read more here from Black Voice News.

These approaches to community violence intervention seek to decrease gun violence: From violence interruption to group violence intervention and hospital-based violence intervention programs, there are many ways to approach community violence to reduce crime. PushBlack has more here.

Okla. publisher rejects view of McCurtain County as racially biased: Bruce Willingham, publisher of the McCurtain Gazette-News, has pushed back on perceptions of McCurtain County as a part of Oklahoma that is hostile to Black people and other groups of color after a recording caught public officials threatening to kill reporters and lynch Black people. Read more here from The Oklahoma Eagle.

Latino workers vital to US and local economies during pandemic: The U.S. Latino population was one of the groups hardest hit by COVID-19 in 2020. But the group's economic power also increased that year, according to researchers from California Lutheran University and UCLA Health. La Noticia has the story here.

A guest-host celebration: The latest episode of Our Body Politic showcases a trio of interviews by guest hosts Natasha Alford, Karen Attiah and Tanya Selvaratnam that uplifts the voices of Black women and other women of color. 🎧 Listen to the full episode here.


Respecting & Honoring Arts & Culture

The new generation makes sense of Chinatown’s future: In the wake of a grueling three-year battle against the pandemic, including the closure of many long-standing stores and restaurants, New York’s Chinatown is in a period of transition. Documented spoke with leaders of three dynamic young organizations witnessing the transformation. Read more here.

Welcome to WHAM!, NYC’s newest art museum: The Woodside Heights Art Museum (WHAM!) in Queens, New York is a free public space designed to instill community pride through the celebration of local art, history and culture. Epicenter-NYC has the story here.

Researcher shines light on the untold stories of Afro-Peruvian women: In this week’s episode of Immigrantly, host Saadia Khan talks with researcher Eshe Lewis about her work highlighting the stories of Afro-descendant women in Peru. 🎧 Listen to the full episode here.

Centering Love

My heart is wrapped in concertina wire: Love is a fraught thing in prison. As K.C. Johnson writes in this piece for Scalawag, in partnership with the Prison Journalism Project, “You can spend months or even years with someone, and the next day their bed is empty. Love is at the mercy of the prison.” Read more here.

What We're Loving This Week From Our Partners

Healing Hub opens in Detroit to help youth deal with trauma together: After three years of raising funds, Detroit Heals Detroit opened its youth-led center Healing Hub last weekend to provide young Detroiters with collective healing from everyday traumas. Outlier Media has the story here.

The URLs on URL

One phone call, one question

URL Media co-founders S. Mitra Kalita and Sara M. Lomax were featured this week as part of the Women Who Start Things series for Oprah Daily. In the interview, they discuss how they launched the innovative network to amplify the work and sustainability of Black and Brown media outlets. Read more here.

The Oklahoma Eagle wins award at local journalism contest

URL Media partner The Oklahoma Eagle was recently honored at the Great Plains Journalism competition, taking home the award for Best Page Design. The outlet was also named a finalist in three other categories: Best Newspaper of the Year, Best Writer of the Year and Best Review Columnist of the Year. Read more here.

Epicenter-NYC launches online artist marketplace

Supporting local artists has been central to URL Media partner Epicenter-NYC’s mission; each week the outlet selects the work of a local artist to feature on its platforms. In turn, the artist receives a stipend and becomes part of the outlet’s growing network. To further that work, Epicenter-NYC this week launched an online artist marketplace. Read more here.

ICYMI: Epicenter-NYC is seeking a highly motivated and passionate full-time community reporter to join its team. Learn more here.

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.

Our Partners

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