Tag Archives: New York

U.S. News | Intersex

U.S. issues first birth certificate acknowledging intersex status
  • Sara Kelly Keenan was issued a revised birth certificate by New York City acknowledging her intersex identity, which follows a California ruling earlier in the year that allowed Keenan to change her legal status to non-binary.
  • The reality of 55-year-old Keenan’s biological identity was long hidden from her by her parents and doctors, who made a series of decisions regarding gender assignment and hormonal therapy without her consent.
  • The movement for non-binary gender options on birth certificates has gained momentum in recent years in parallel with the increased visibility of the trans, queer, and nonbinary communities.

Read:
Nation’s First Known Intersex Birth Certificate Issued in NYC” (NBC News | December 2016)
First intersex birth certificate issued in the US” (The Independent | December 2016)
‘The protocol of the day was to lie’: NYC issues first US ‘intersex’ birth certificate” (CNN | December 2016)

Resource:
LGBTQ Community: Glossary of Key Terms (The Trevor Project)

(Image Credit: via The Independent)

U.S. Feature | Homeless Seniors

The Changing Face of American Homelessness

A bulge of homeless baby-boomers has been making its way through the nation’s aging pipeline, with more than 300,000 homeless people in the U.S. now over the age of 50. From the recessions and zero-tolerance drug policies of the ’70s and ’80s to contemporary wage stagnation and affordable housing shortages exacerbated by unchecked urban gentrification, many who came of age during the social tumult of the ’60s and ’70s have struggled to maintain their footing in the nation’s rapidly evolving cities. For many, chronic illness and disability have led to homelessness or struck as a result of it, prematurely introducing aging issues into an already vulnerable population. As a result, homeless seniors have found themselves at the center of an epidemic that is increasingly understood to intersect with other national problems, including weak safety nets for seniors, people with disabilities, and the poor.

As national conversations framed through the lens of personal responsibility, urban threat, and moral failings compound the shame many experience in precarious situations, the aging homeless community has found itself not only marginalized on the streets, but within the discourse of homelessness in general, framed as it too often is in terms of workforce reintegration and social re-engagement. With the elderly homeless population expected to more than double by 2050, The New York Times recently examined the structural problems facing the aging homeless population and challenges affecting the development of effective long-term solutions.

Read:
Old and on the Street: The Graying of America’s Homeless” (The New York Times)

Additional coverage:
Fast-aging homeless population may lead to public health crisis” (The San Francisco Chronicle, March 2016)
Solving The Growing Health Needs Of America’s Elderly Homeless” (ThinkProgress, February 2016)
‘We Shouldn’t Have To Live Like This’” (NPR, March 2013)

Reports:
Aging and Housing Instability: Homelessness among Older and Elderly Adults (National HCH Council, September 2013)
Homelessness Among Elderly Persons (National Coalition for the Homeless, September 2009)

Connect:
National Alliance to End Homelessness
National Coalition for the Homeless
National Health Care for the Homeless Council

(Image Credit: Monica Almeida/The New York Times)

May Day || Global

Global May Day 2016

One of the few truly global holidays, International Workers’ Day (May Day) is both a worldwide celebration of the working classes as well as a day to draw attention to ongoing insecurities workers around the world face. May Day has historically had a twofold purpose: a day for workers to voice their concerns over contentious labor policies and for governments to reaffirm their commitments to workers’ rights and just labor practices. At times little more than public relations campaigns and at others violent clashes between governments and workers, global May Day events have highlighted the diverse relationships between labor, employers, and government around the world. Here are the highlights of May Day 2016 in more than 30 countries:


Asia Pacific

Bike rallies were held in Pune as Indian PM Narendra Modi saluted workers on Antarrashtriya Shramik Diwas, a public holiday. Pakistan‘s major labor unions convened in Lahore to speak out against poor working conditions, violations of international labor conventions, and ongoing privatization in the country. As Bangladeshi officials addressed labor relations and welfare reforms amidst a day of union-organized programming, in Kathmandu, Nepali workers marched while awaiting the ratification of the Labour Act, which guarantees greater social security for workers. Across the Indian Ocean, Australian union leader singled out penalty rate protection and tax reform as major Labour Day issues, with the date of the holiday having been a point of contention as well.

Throughout East Asia, workers rallied to draw attention to labor conditions and call for reforms, from ending contractualization in the Philippines to protecting job security in South KoreaHong Kong saw thousands take to the streets to demand fair and standardized working hours along with a universal pension program. In Malaysia, PM Najib Razak took the day to announce an increase in the national minimum wage and an insurance scheme proposal.

Europe & Eurasia

In cities across France, tens of thousands marched in protest against proposed labor reforms that would loosen the country’s controversial employment and job security policies. Jeremy Corbyn became the first U.K. Labour party  leader to attend a May Day rally in a half-century when he spoke to a crowd of thousands in London, reaffirming solidarity against anti-immigrant sentiment and addressing anti-Semitism accusations that have plagued his party recently. Spain saw thousands across its cities gather, many protesting ongoing austerity measures. An estimated 800,000 gathered in Rome‘s San Giovanni Square, with this year’s event dedicated to slain Italian student Giulio Regeni.

Some 2,000 convened in rain-soaked Zagreb to hear labor leaders protest the increased retirement age and ongoing poverty in Croatia. Moscow hosted a mass demonstration in the city’s Red Square estimated in size from the tens of thousands to 100,000, while thousands gathered in Istanbul’s Bakirköy district under a heavy police presence in the wake of urban suicide attacks and ongoing violence across Turkey.

The Americas

From New York to Los Angeles, demonstrations in the U.S. highlighted widening economic inequality in the country and an election season marred by racist, xenophobic, and Islamophobic sentiment. While most protests took place without incident, a peaceful march turned violent in Seattle, leading to five injured officers and nine arrests. A similar outbreak in Montreal led to one injury and 10 arrests.

In Latin America, Brazil‘s embattled president and Workers’ Party leader Dilma Roussef rallied alongside hundreds of thousands across the country as her impeachment proceedings continue and workers fear the inauguration of her center-right vice president. Cuba‘s May Day parade continued the national tradition of expressing support for the Castro regime rather than directly celebrating labor or expressing concerns over labor conditions. In Argentina, President Mauricio Macro backed employers and touted labor proposals that had spurred mass demonstrations only days before. Elsewhere in the region, minimum wage increases were announced in Venezuela and Bolivia and a march took place in Santiago as Chilean President Michelle Bachelet announced a review of her labor reforms after the Supreme Court rejected a key provision granting exclusive negotiating rights to unions.

Middle East & Africa

Police in Egypt blocked hundreds of workers from assembling in a Cairo office as labor leaders and international organizations called for the government to decriminalize independent union organization. In Israel, more than 5,000 youth marched in Tel Aviv, while a Palestinian trade union renewed its call for the establishment of a minimum wage and the dismantlement of the Gaza blockade. A government-sponsored event in Dubai reportedly drew nearly 200 workers, though labor practices in the UAE continue to draw international scrutiny.

South of the Sahara, events popped up across South Africa as politicians sought to address the country’s high unemployment rate and appeal to workers ahead of August elections. In Nigeria, President Mohammadu Buhari spoke to thousands of workers in Abuja, touting his anti-corruption campaign. A Mozambique labor leader addressed a crowd in Maputo about the debts of state-owned companies and the need for wage and workplace reform. As the decline of oil prices has created economic hardship throughout Angola, the country’s two labor unions marched to draw attention to deteriorating worker conditions and the need for infrastructure maintenance. Workers in Ghana protested the privatization of the management of the state-owned Electric Company of Ghana, while the government insisted the company was still run by the state. Meanwhile, Ethiopia sidestepped Sunday commemorations altogether by moving May Day to May 3, when labor leaders plan to highlight ongoing struggles to organize Ethiopian workers.

U.S. Feature | Syrian Christian Immigrants

Syrian and Christian in New York

Image Credit: Leticia Miranda/BuzzFeed News
Image Credit: Leticia Miranda/BuzzFeed News

Syrian Christians who immigrated to the U.S. before Syria descended into chaos have watched from the sidelines as their families, churches, and hometowns have been demolished in the fight between pro-government and Islamist militant forces, including the Islamic State. BuzzFeed News profiles three in New York who relate the tragedy of watching the world they previously knew as home fall apart.

Read the full feature at BuzzFeed News.

U.S. Feature | Garifuna Immigrants

From Honduras to the Bronx: The Garifuna of New York

Spanish photographer Elena Hermosa has trained her camera lens on the lives and culture of Garifuna immigrants in New York City. A genetic mix of African and indigenous peoples of the Caribbean, the Garifuna community has been pushed from Honduras by ongoing violence, with many having settled in the South Bronx of New York. From the precarity of the undocumented to endangered cultural traditions, the New York Times explores the subject and implication of Hermosa’s work.

View the full feature at the New York Times.

(Image Credit: Elena Hermosa, via the New York Times)

U.S. News | Black Women

American Ballet Theater names the first African-American female principal in its history
  • Misty Copeland, 32, has now become only the third black principal to be named in the renowned New York-based ballet company’s history.
  • Copeland has enjoyed a standing in popular culture rare for ballet dancers, having appeared in commercials and music videos, written books, and established a substantial social media following.
  • Image prejudices, stereotypes, and lack of community and early development resources are believed to have contributed to the lack of black principals, the first of whom, Arthur Mitchell, was named in New York City Ballet in 1962.

“I had moments of doubting myself, and wanting to quit, because I didn’t know that there would be a future for an African-American woman to make it to this level. … At the same time, it made me so hungry to push through, to carry the next generation. So it’s not me up here — and I’m constantly saying that — it’s everyone that came before me that got me to this position.”

Read the full story at The New York Times.

(Image Credit: Julieta Cervantes/The New York Times)

New York mayor adds Lunar New Year as school holiday, to the relief of Asian-American families
  • The addition had been a campaign promise from Mayor Bill de Blasio, and its passage comes just ahead of the State Legislature’s consideration of an identical measure.
  • Mayor de Blasio also added two Muslim holidays–Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha–to the calendar three months ago.
  • Asian-American students comprise almost 15% of the city’s public school population, and other cities with similarly large populations such as San Francisco have added the holiday before.

“Finally, students of Asian descent will not be forced to choose between observing the most important holiday of the year and missing important academic work. … Lunar New Year is a deeply important cultural observance for nearly 15 percent of public school students, and this designation gives Lunar New Year the respect and recognition it has long deserved.”

Read the full story at the New York Times.

(Image Credit: Ángel Franco/The New York Times)