From Bihar to Brooklyn, to Berlin: A Quest for Sustainability and Soul

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Black like coal. From the air and into my being. One could not wipe it away. Beads of sweat drew streaks of coal dust that stubbornly stuck to damp skin. Did I wash my hands? asked my grandmother before allowing me to eat. Yes. But I could not scrub away the grit embedded under my nails. Did I wash my feet? Yes, but now the towels were gray. Did I wash my mouth? Yes, and with a gargle that could not shake the ooze stuck in my nose. I associated that coal with visits to my grandfather’s home during Dhunbad summers in Bihar, India. His cement home was made ugly by the industry that supported his comfortable life from the 1950s to 1970s.

Journey to the West: Poems and Stories of Chinese Detainees on Ellis Island

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Following is an excerpt:
In 1985, during the renovation of the immigration station at Ellis Island in New York City, preservationists uncovered more than 400 square feet of inscriptions in eleven languages on the walls, columns, partitions, and doors left by detained aliens sometime between 1901 and 1954. There were messages of hope and despair. One Italian immigrant wrote, “Damned is the day that I left my homeland.” There were also drawings of boats, birds, flags, and people. Others simply put their hand on the wall and drew its outline as evidence that they had been there.

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See No Evil: A Tailored Reality? A Review

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Following is an excerpt:
Global sex trade and trafficking is not a well-researched topic in a social scientific sense despite the hyperbole and sensationalism found in news coverage and public debate. Criminologists Ko-lin Chin and James O. Finckenauer launched a cross-national empirical research project on Chinese women in the global sex trade to gather hard data directly from sex workers and their facilitators. The goal of the research was two-fold: First, to depict a more nuanced picture of global sex trafficking with ideological and emotional detachment; and second, to counter the “prevailing trafficking paradigm” that focuses on smuggling, coercion, fraud, violence, enslavement, and organized crime in the trade.

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The Hidden Story of What Drives Success: Institutions and Power

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Following is an excerpt:
For all the comparisons between groups, both historical and in the present day — who’s up, who’s down, who’s got the winning formula, who doesn’t — the real point goes missing. The hidden story of what drives success has to do with the power of institutions to shape what opportunities groups have or don’t have, and what they can do. That said, we do not often bring into the dialogue that institutions and policies do matter. And that’s why this loop — the fascination with why some groups are motivated to do well and others are not — keeps replaying.

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A Guide to Responding to Microaggressions

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Following is an excerpt:
In recent years, academic literature has focused increasingly on the subject of microaggressions. Microaggressions are brief and commonplace daily verbal, behavioral, or environmental actions (whether intentional or unintentional) that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial slights and insults toward members of oppressed or targeted groups1 including: people of color, women, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) persons, persons with disabilities, and religious minorities. Some scholars today argue that racism, sexism, homophobia, and other forms of discrimination are no longer as blatant as they may have been in the past. Instead, people may demonstrate their biases and prejudices in more subtle ways, otherwise known as microaggressions. The purpose of this article is twofold: (1) to discuss how different types of microaggressions affect people’s lives, and (2) to provide a hands-on guide to strategies, approaches, and interventions to address microaggressions.

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Culture and Historic Preservation: Recommendations for New York City Chinatown’s Future

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Following is an excerpt:
In Fall 2008, the Chinatown Working Group was formed to create a community-based plan to ensure appropriate development for New York City’s Chinatown and its surrounding areas — parts of Lower Manhattan that are not currently protected by zoning. The CWG is comprised of 46 stakeholders, including community organizations, property owners, tenant groups, and Manhattan Community Boards 1, 2 and 3. In Spring 2013, with funding from LMDC, the CWG selected the Pratt Center/Collective team as their planning consultant to create recommendations and implementation strategies in the areas of Affordability; Culture & Historic Preservation; Economic Development; and Zoning & Land Use. Pratt Center/Collective concluded their research and report in December 2013.

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Lonesome Journey: The Korean American Century

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Following is an excerpt:
Our Collective History

The story of organized Korean immigration is over one hundred years old now, but much of it remains to be told to the outside world. A singular irony is that its beginning chapter, spanning the first seventy-five years, is still missing, although its current pages brim with shining tales of one of the fastest-growing ethnic groups in the United States.

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“From Dump to Glory”: The Transformation of Flushing’s Downtown and Waterfront

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Recent weather patterns have underscored the prospect of a “new normal” defined by more frequent superstorms and subsequent devastation. For New York City — an urban metropolis of 8.3 million residents whose 520 miles of waterfront wraps around all five boroughs — the upheaval and destruction wrought by Hurricane Sandy in October 2012 raised concerns around the sustainability of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s waterfront redevelopment legacy particularly in Zone A areas.2 Although not as well-known as New York City’s numerous gentrified waterfront neighborhoods, the Queens waterfront in Flushing, dotted by numerous brownfields (former industrial sites), is also slated for development. Flushing’s waterfront is a key element in the 2004 New York City Economic Development Corporation’s (NYC EDC) Downtown Flushing Framework, that envisions the waterfront as a linkage between a revitalized downtown Flushing and new developments in Willets Point and Flushing Meadows Corona Park.3 Although Flushing’s waterfront is integral to the city’s development vision, few residents, and community stakeholders are even aware of a waterfront or of its potentially transformative role in Northern Queens.

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Pacific Sovereignty Movements and Asian Americans: Communities, Coalitions, and Conflicts

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Following is an excerpt:
Bonds Under Bondage

In the late Nineteenth Century, David Kalākaua, the King of Hawai‘i, watched as the monarchal power over his kingdom slowly fell to foreign invaders from the West. American businessmen entered the Kingdom of Hawai‘i and began forming a coup d’état. In 1881, Kalākaua embarked on an extended excursion to Asia, visiting Malaysia, China, Japan, and Thailand. On his trip, he argued for an alliance among Asian and Pacific Islander communities as a means of resisting the rising tide of American and European imperialism.1 In China, King Kalākaua met with the chief of foreign affairs Li Hongzhang regarding imperial threats from the West that would affect both the Pacific and Asia.

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Caring for Spirits and for Bodies: Working with Chinese Immigrant Religious Institutions to Increase HIV Knowledge and Reduce HIV Stigma

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Following is an excerpt:
Because of their respected role in communities, religious institutions have the potential to be important partners in improving the health of the communities they serve. Religious institutions may be especially important in immigrant groups, where language and cultural barriers make accessing more mainstream sources of information and support more difficult. A wide range of research suggests that religious institutions play an instrumental role in helping immigrants cope with the practical challenges of daily life. But the work of these religious institutions has been limited in public health initiatives and even more limited in work related to HIV/AIDS education and support. We were particularly interested in immigrant religious institutions’ potential role in HIV/AIDS work because of the high level of stigma that surrounds the condition. We thought that perhaps religious institutions, because of their role in defining community values, could help not only to provide HIV/AIDS education and support, but also to reduce stigma, which often gets in the way of HIV/AIDS work. We also wanted to evaluate the extent to which religious institutions might contribute to HIV/AIDS stigma by promoting negative messages about groups that are stereotyped as having HIV/AIDS, such as gay men. Our previous and current research suggests that negative views of homosexuality constitute much of the basis for HIV/AIDS stigma in Chinese immigrant religious institutions, but stigma and taboos related to disease and sex in general and unfounded fears of HIV infection through casual contact also contribute.