By Naomi Nesmith

Aug 2, 2019

Photo: Naomi Nesmith

This past July, 26-year old program coordinator Urantia Ramirez of El Puente, a community-based organization, led a group of young activists through the streets of North Williamsburg, Brooklyn, looking for people to sign their petition. Noticing a large line of millenials outside a Supreme store, Urantia had the group approach them, hoping to create conversation and gain signatures. It was a democratic act that was done multiple times in the past by El Puente youth, only this time, a security guard walked up to the group, ordering them to leave.

This was unprecedented. In…


By Jean Namgung

August 2, 2019

Alissa McPherson. Photo: Jean Namgung

A white boy swipes right. A smirk slowly inching on the corners of his face, he messages a woman that he loves how exotic she is and how he needs his yellow fever cured, that he’s never seen a brown p***y before, that she’s beautiful in bed but too dark to take home. She smiles.

“Thank you,” she says.

Though Wikipedia defines racial fetishism as a strong racial preference in dating, for Lillian Sun, a 21-year-old Chinese-American student, “it doesn’t really get at why it hurts so much to be racially fetishized for a…


By Jade Lozada

Aug 2, 2019

Dior Doward stands in her garden on Hoe Avenue in the South Bronx with her daughter. Photo: Jade Lozada

In early 2013, a few months after Hurricane Sandy struck the East Coast, Miranda Massie, a successful civil rights attorney from Detroit, sat in her apartment in Manhattan’s East Village, incredulous. Under the imminent threat of climate change, she had recently shifted from social justice law to environmental law, but the change was not enough to sate her need for action. Massie scrolled through her laptop’s search results — nothing but a small project out of Hong Kong appeared for the phrase “climate museum.” Not even the domain name was taken. How could this…


Front display of The Lit. Bar shows a variety of books focused on people of color. Photo: Ama Anwar

By Ama Anwar

August 2, 2019

Five years ago, the last remaining bookstore, Barnes & Nobles closed in the Bronx, New York, which left up to 1.4 million residents heartbroken. While Manhattan had 90 bookstores, the Bronx had none, until Noëlle Santos opened The Lit. Bar.

Santos, along with Saraciea Fennell, founder of ‘The Bronx is Reading’, has played a lead role in strengthening the literary community. The movement is also strengthened by authors such as Natasha Díaz, who write about multiracial characters, hoping to uplift the communities around them. …


By Sanurag Barobhuiya

Aug 2, 2019

Asef Chowdhury, 7/29/2019 Credit: Sonurag Barobhuiya

Asef Chowdhury didn’t just wake up one day in his home in Jamaica, feeling a sense of despair. It was a culmination of, “many rainy day feelings” propelled by the start of a daunting new period in his life — — high school.

The 14-year-old was a rising freshman at Bard High School Early College, Queens, halfway through the year when he first realized he might be suffering from severe depression — — a startling realization, one which shook his world and flipped it upside down.

Before entering high school, friends of Chowdhury described…


Piedad cleaning the glass screen at her work with scraps from an old t-shirt she used to wear. Photo: Melani Bonilla

By Melani Bonilla

Aug 2, 2019

Piedad Cabrera is a 41-year-old Ecuadorian immigrant in the United States who has been trying to obtain her legal documents for over five years, and finds herself increasingly circumvented by new policies of the Trump administration.

Nineteen years ago, Cabrera left behind Ecuador, her home country, undertaking an arduous journey to come to the U.S., seeking the opportunities everyone spoke of. She, like thousands of others, had heard stories of how bright life in the U.S. could be, and hers was only one of the millions of hands reaching for the “American Dream.” …


By Tigerlily Theo Hopson

August 2, 2019

Eddie Ellis is still haunted by the sounds of solitary confinement: keys clanking, doors slamming, people yelling. These are the sounds of his childhood; for ten years Mr. Ellis sat alone in cramped cells, many without windows or proper ventilation. Rodents sometimes crawled across the concrete ground, and in the summer, when it was hot and the toilet got clogged up, the putrid smell filled up the air of his solitary cell.

On July 19, 3,100 inmates were released under the implementation of the the First Step Act, which was passed in December…


Photo: Ali Soltan

By Ali Soltan

Aug 2, 2019

After spending every piece of time she had, the seventeen-year-old high school student finally finished hanging all of her Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) posters all over the halls of Leon M. Goldstein High School in order to promote the club. But when she was in the middle of walking up the stairwells to her first period class, she saw that one of the posters was noticeably taken down and nowhere to be found. It was disheartening for her to see, but knowing the students of the school, it wasn’t a surprise.

Over the years…


By Jahin Rahman

Aug 2, 2019

Ikea Williams circles the second floor of a dilapidated building, handing out flyers to every teenager within her sight. The flyer reads, “ Do you know about PeP and PreP? Are you LGBTQ? Let’s talk about it!” Williams is the only official for LGBTQ youth at the AIDS Center of Queens County in charge of services related to their physical, sexual, and mental health. …


Li Li Fang in her apartment. Photo: Cheryl Liu
Li Li Fang in her apartment. Photo: Cheryl Liu
Li Li Feng in her apartment. Photo: Cheryl Liu

By Cheryl Liu

Aug 2, 2019

Li Li Fang, 89, has lived in her apartment on Lafayette Street for 25 years. She consumes a mountain of pills every day to combat her Type II diabetes, high cholesterol, dementia and heart palpitations. Within the past month, she has visited the recovery ward of New York Presbyterian Hospital twice. She needs care round the clock, yet has scared off her last eight nurses, leaving her children with no option but to turn towards retirement homes, where Fang’s woes will only multiply.

Across the country, millions of immigrant families, like Fang’s, are faced…

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