URL Media Weekly
Friday, January 27, 2022
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What We're Talking About

Residents walk across a Lunar New Year festival site after it was canceled due to a mass shooting nearby in Monterey Park, Calif., Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023. A gunman killed multiple people at a ballroom dance studio late Saturday amid Lunar New Years celebrations in the predominantly Asian American community of Monterey Park. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

When celebration turns to mourning

Lunar New Year is a time for celebration, hope and joy. In Monterey Park, California, the holiday was expected to draw hundreds of thousands to the majority Asian suburb of Los Angeles throughout the weekend.

But about an hour after the first day of festivities ended, gunfire rang out at a nearby ballroom dance studio. Black Voice News spoke with a resident of Monterey Park about the shooting.

“I’m shocked because this kind of thing doesn’t happen in this neighborhood,” the woman said.

In total, 11 people ranging in age 57 to 76 were killed: Ming Wei Ma, My my Nhan, Diana Man Ling Tom, Xiujuan Yu, Valentino Marcos Alvero, Yu (Andy) Kao, Hongying Jian, Wen Tau Yu, Chia Ling Yau, Muoi Dai Ung, and Lilan Li.

ICYMI: This week, the Asian American Journalists Association released a pronunciation guide for the Monterey Park victims’ names, which also reiterates the group’s guidance on how to cover Asian American communities. 

The suspected shooter, 72-year-old Huu Can Tran, died by suicide Sunday afternoon as law enforcement closed in on his vehicle.

The next day’s scheduled events in Monterey Park were canceled and at celebrations that continued across the U.S., like the Firecracker Ceremony and Cultural Festival on Sunday in Manhattan’s Chinatown, the shooting was top of mind.

“All of our hearts go out to the terrible, terrible display that took place earlier. We are in prayer for those who lost their lives and those who are injured,” New York Mayor Eric Adams said at the event.

But, despite the tragedy that unfolded in California, attendees told Documented that the festive atmosphere felt like “pre-pandemic times.”

On Monday, just as the world was learning more about those killed and the brave 26-year-old man who disarmed the suspected shooter at a second dance studio, another mass shooting was unfolding in Half Moon Bay, California.

“At the hospital meeting with victims of a mass shooting when I get pulled away to be briefed about another shooting. This time in Half Moon Bay. Tragedy upon tragedy,” California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom tweeted.

Less than 48 hours after the shooting in Monterey Park, seven more adults were shot to death at two farms. On Wednesday afternoon the victims were identified as: Zhishen Liu, 73; Marciano Martinez Jimenez, 50; Qizhong Cheng, 66; Aixiang Zhang, 74; Jingzhi Lu, 64; and Yetao Bing, 43; and Jose Romero.

The suspected shooter, 66-year-old farmworker Chunli Zhao, was arrested and has been charged with several felony counts, including seven counts of murder.

And while the investigations into these shootings continue, Asian communities across the nation continue to hold Lunar New Year celebrations — though with much more attention paid to public safety, as Sahan Journal reports.

My hope is by continuing to write about these tragedies we’re able to continue the myriad conversations that arise for more than the one-week news cycle mass shootings in this country tend to get. And for those looking for ways to help, funds have been established to support those affected in both Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay. —Alicia Ramirez

Uplift. Respect. Love.

Keeping up with Black consumers
Sponsored by McKinsey & Company

Keeping up with Black consumers: In a new article, McKinsey experts say Black Americans “have long set and influenced broader tastes and trends in fashion.” Learn how companies can effectively serve Black consumers here.

Uplifting our Communities

A group of protesters shouting and holding signs made of cardboard.

Florida public colleges say DeSantis is censoring their curriculums: A preliminary court order by a federal judge in November blocked portions of Florida’s Individual Freedom Act — also known as the “Stop WOKE Act” — from being enforced in higher education. However, in December, the governor’s office released a memo requesting data from public colleges and universities on courses and programs related to diversity, equity, inclusion and “critical race theory,” raising concerns about censorship. Prism has the full story

‘Road to Healing’ visits Arizona to hear from boarding school survivors, descendants: Tribal communities and boarding school survivors filled a community school near Phoenix last week, as senior officials from the Department of Interior held its fourth listening session on the yearlong “Road to Healing Tour.” Read more from Native News Online.

ICYDK: In the Road to Healing Tour, survivors of the Federal Indian boarding school system and their descendants share their experiences. Tribal communities across the country have been invited to participate in the listening sessions. Testimonies will then be used to determine future initiatives for Indian Boarding Schools.

How did the Union League of Philadelphia go from Abraham Lincoln to Ron DeSantis?: Linn Washington Jr., a journalism professor at Temple University and co-founder of the school’s award-winning Multimedia Urban Reporting Lab, recently joined Wake Up With WURD's Solomon Jones to talk about the Union League protests and what Abraham Lincoln might think about the organization’s decision to honor Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis. 🎧 Listen to the full interview from WURD Radio.

One artist’s journey from the streets to a nursing home: Sinthia Vee used to live on “Anarchy Row,” the homeless encampment located outside Tompkins Square Park in New York’s Lower Manhattan. Now, a year later, Vee is in a nursing home recovering from a stroke she suffered shortly after her tent was raided. Read more from Epicenter-NYC.

TPD prevents citizen complaint information: The Tulsa Police Department (TPD) has quietly reduced the information they provide to the public about citizens’ complaints and use of force incidents by the department. Read more from The Oklahoma Eagle.

More than $407K is still missing from the Detroit Public Library: Approximately $685,000 was stolen from the Detroit Public Library in 2020 and 2021, $407,000 of which is still missing, a spokesperson for the library told Outlier Media on Monday. According to a former library commission member, the fraud was carried out by a City of Detroit employee. Outlier Media has the full story.

The tech industry’s influence online and in communities: Our Body Politic joined KPCC’s Public Radio Palooza for a special live taping featuring Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble, Professor of Gender Studies and African American Studies at UCLA, and author of “Algorithms of Oppression: How Search Engines Reinforce Racism,” about how to address inequities caused by the tech industry. 🎧 Listen to the full episode.

Five harmful ways anti-Black culture shows up daily: There are five ways in which anti-Blackness shows up in everyday life, as outlined by PushBlack. Several of them are ingrained in dominant culture, such as perfectionism, while others are not so obvious, such as quantity over quality. "We survive anti-Blackness every day, so we must be able to identify it to move around it and build our liberated world," writes Briona Lamback. Read more from PushBlack.


Respecting & Honoring Arts & Culture

A group of jazz players dressed in African cultural garb performing on the piano, saxophone and drums.

PAP Jazz festival held in Cap-Haitien for the first time: Last weekend, Haiti’s historic port city of Cap-Haitien hosted the Port-au-Prince International Jazz Festival, PAP Jazz for short, for the first time bringing local, national and international artists together. The Haitian Times has more.

Centering Love

A mixed-media photograph of a man and woman standing on grass in front of a one-story home.

Adulting after death: “Since I was 8 years old, I knew I would inherit Nanny’s red brick home, built upon land my ancestors bought when the only way to own something was to find a piece white hands hadn’t touched yet. I was the only one interested in this home [Nanny] shared with her son and the lives of those who touched it. Moving in felt like an undertaking, considering Nanny didn’t believe in cable TV or the internet, and in her passing, I discovered quickly that I didn’t know what it took to run a home, or even more, run my life.” Read writer Maya Miller’s full essay in Scalawag.

What We're Loving This Week From Our Partners

Black women founders are paving the way: Between 2014 and 2019, the percentage of Black women-founded companies increased by 50 percent, compared to nine percent for overall businesses. In spite of funding challenges, Black women founders are creating innovative products and systems to advance the economy. Read more from The Plug.

Written in the stars: In this week’s episode of Immigrantly, co-founder of podcast production company Kaleidoscope Mangesh Hattikudur explores why everyone from BTS fans to Ronald Reagan has found comfort in astrology. 🎧 Listen to the full episode.

ICYDK: BTS is the seven-member K-POP boy band. The acronym stands for Bangtan Sonyeondan in Korean and Beyond the Scene in English.

The URLs on URL

Immigrantly joins URL Media 🎉

Our newest partner is the narrative podcast Immigrantly. Since its launch in late 2018, Immigrantly has built an audience dedicated to exploring topics that are often overlooked by mainstream media and Western educational curricula. It is independently-owned and led by seven BIPOC women. Learn more about this exciting partnership.

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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