URL Media Weekly
Friday, January 06, 2022
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What We're Talking About

Scalawag Editor-At-Large Da'Shaun Harrison

Focusing on connection in the new year

Every year for a number of years in the 2010s, my New Year’s resolution was always to eat better or exercise more with the unstated (but very real) goal of losing weight.

So when I saw Scalawag’s latest piece, “Why your new diet is anti-Black,” it surfaced memories of diminishing myself to fit into a standard that was not created with Latinx folks like me in mind. 

In the piece, Scalawag reporter and editor Ko Bragg speaks with the publication’s Editor-At-Large, Da'Shaun Harrison, about their award-winning book, “Belly of the Beast: The Politics of Anti-Fatness as Anti-Blackness.” Harrison breaks down the reason they wrote it, who they’re centering, and why they chooses to celebrate their body in the book.

In Harrison’s own words: “I knew that this was going to be really important to be written, because there has been so much discourse around fatphobia and all of that, and I think that they all fall short, because they don't acknowledge the way that gender and transness is affected by anti-fatness at all.”

The part of the interview that most resonated with me was when Harrison recalls once posting a photo of themself on social media while noting in the caption: “I'm not feeling this body today.”

“And yet,” Harris recalls writing in that same social media post, “it's keeping me alive. It's allowing me the room and the grace, especially in this moment to survive a pandemic."

That last line — “especially in this moment to survive a pandemic” — really resonated with me in terms of the types of intentions I’ve been setting for the past few years, which now have grace and connection at their core. So much has been taken from all of us these last few years, and what we’ve lost has laid bare the importance of connection: with our loved ones, with our communities and, crucially, with ourselves.

The time we’re living in also reveals how important it is to remember the context and constructs that influence our connections at every level. It’s the type of eye-level, community-centered context that the publishers in our nearly 20-partner network are working hard to report and publish every day. 

And it’s why my intention this year is to strengthen my relationships with myself, my loved ones and the many communities I belong to by showing up as my full authentic self without shame.

I hope this year you’re able to do the same.—Alicia Ramirez

Uplift. Respect. Love.


2022: The year in charts

Sponsored by McKinsey & Company

The past year has been anything but ordinary. We’ve curated 22 of the year’s best data visualizations—illuminating some of the key themes and trends covered in McKinsey’s publishing, including inflation, geopolitical upheaval, evolving health priorities, inclusion, net zero, digital trust, and more — here.

Uplifting our Communities

HBCU insights: Three most significant trends to look out for in 2023: Will 2023 be a transformative year for HBCUs as the increased funding, attention and efforts poured into the schools since 2020 continue to bear fruit? Read more from new URL Media partner The Plug here.

"They only have themselves to blame if the country thinks less and less of them as the days pass." A veteran political consultant, Jay McCalla’s work has been published in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Magazine, and the Chestnut Hill Local. He joined Wake Up With WURD's Solomon Jones this week to talk about Republican members of the U.S. House of Representatives' inability to elect a speaker of the House. 🎙️ Listen here.

In the era of Covid-19, Tulsa public schools lost a generation of Black and Brown students: An investigation by new URL Media partner The Oklahoma Eagle lays bare the negative impacts the Covid-19 pandemic have had on public school buildings across Tulsa and the deep fissures it has created among parents, teachers and public officials about mask mandates, school closures and remote learning. Read more here.

Is North Carolina a safe state for Latino workers?: In North Carolina, 2023 began with a tragedy for the Latino community. Three construction workers died in an accident in the heart of the city of Charlotte. The incident is a reminder of how dangerous professions in which Latinos are overrepresented can be. And it inspires the question: is it safe to work in North Carolina? Read more here from new URL Media partner La Noticia.

DOJ says the city of Hesperia, its police department and San Bernardino County discriminated against Black and Latino renters: The U.S. Department of Justice says it has reached a landmark settlement agreement to resolve a race and national origin discrimination lawsuit against the city of Hesperia and the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department that alleged they engaged in a pattern of discrimination against Black and Latino renters in Hesperia through the adoption and enforcement of its “crime-free” rental housing program. Black Voice News has the full story here.

Minnesota’s most diverse legislature convenes for 2023 session: The 2023 Minnesota Legislature was sworn in Tuesday, sweeping in the state’s most diverse set of lawmakers ever. At least 35 out of 201 legislators identify as people of color, according to a Sahan Journal count verified by DFL (Democratic-Farmer-Labor party) and Republican party leaders, and the senate swore in its first Black women senators. Find out more here.

Expert weighs in on Damar Hamlin: During the Monday Night Football live broadcast of the Cincinnati Bengals/Buffalo Bills game, Bills safety Damar Hamlin suffered a cardiac arrest on the field. For nine minutes, medics performed CPR as players stood motionless, tears streaming down their faces. The game was ultimately suspended, and Hamlin remains in critical condition in Cincinnati. Earlier this week, Dr. Sanul Corrielus, principle of Corrielus Cardiology, joined WURD Radio to give his professional analysis. Listen to the interview here.

NY governor vetoes Unmarked Grave Act: As the clock ticked down on 2022, New York State Governor Kathy Hochul vetoed a bill that would have protected unmarked burials of Native American ancestors from unintentional excavation. Native News Online has the full story here.

Advocates demand Berks County Detention Center release all women: Berks County, Pennsylvania, residents and the Shut Down Berks Coalition scored a partial victory late last year when the Biden administration agreed to permanently shut down the county’s detention center by Jan. 31, 2023. The facility, notorious for its abuse, sexual assault, and inhumane conditions, currently holds around 40 women, though ICE has stated that any detainee whose case is not determined by the January deadline will be transferred to a different prison — not released. Read more here from Prism.

Detroit developments to watch in 2023, from a historic car factory to a growing greenway: Development in Detroit picked up in 2022 after a couple tough years, but will that trend continue into 2023? Outlier Media reports that while construction costs remain high, as do vacancy rates in downtown office buildings, the city continues to see big projects announced. Get the full story here.


Respecting & Honoring Arts & Culture

Didier William: Unearthing Black immigrant, queer narratives through art: When artist Didier William was 6 years old, his parents sold most of their belongings and spent the $7,000 in earnings to leave their home in Port-au-Prince for America. As a child growing up in North Miami, he often asked his parents about Haiti, a question they responded to by saying, “nou kite tout sa dèyè” —  Creole for “we’ve left that all behind.” That phrase is now the title of his latest art exhibit staged at the Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami until April 16. The Haitian Times has the full story here

Centering Love

5 ways to get involved in your community: Is your 2023 New Year’s resolution to become more active in your community? Whether you’re looking to be outdoors or indoors, with a large group or with just a few other people, Epicenter-NYC has five immediate actions you can take right now. Find out more here.


What We're Loving This Week From Our Partners

Celebrating 100 Episodes: Past, Present and Future: Our Body Politic celebrates the new year by re-airing its 100th episode. Host Farai Chideya reflects on some of the show’s most impactful moments of news and political coverage over the past two years with OBP regular contributors Karen Attiah and Tiffany Jeffers. The trio examines the current political atmosphere and why cultivating hope and safeguarding democracy is more important than ever. Listen to the full episode here.


The URLs on URL

The Plug  joins the URL Media network

URL Media is excited to welcome The Plug as its sixteenth media partner. Launched in 2016, The Plug is a venture-backed journalism and insights company that provides actionable news, insights and business intelligence about the substantive ways Black people are affected by and engaged with the innovation economy. Read more about our latest partnership here.

URL Media Events

Let's Talk Careers: The What's Next Workshop

Recently laid off or at a career crossroads? Join URL Media experts on Friday, Jan. 20 at 1 pm ET for a free workshop on topics including building a wealth cushion and portfolio career, how to ace your resume and what employers are looking for. Attendees at our December session loved our breakout rooms, so this is one you’ll want to attend live if you can. Register here for the webinar, and don’t forget to subscribe to our career newsletter!

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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