URL Media Weekly
Friday, March 11, 2022
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“I was so excited, but as an actor I knew it was a job. Maybe it would last a year, maybe two years. Maybe not even that long. But it was great. I had a job on television, on a major television show.”  — Emilio Delgado on landing the role of Luis, the handyman, on "Sesame Street" 
Emilio Delgado, the actor who for more than four decades played Luis the handyman on the beloved children’s television show “Sesame Street,” died on Thursday in New York City. We honor and remember Delgado's contributions to reshaping the narrative around Hispanic characters in media, and inspiring generations of children. 
May 1940 - March 2022 

 What We're Talking About

U.S. Gas Prices Reach a New High: If you have been to the gas pump this week the sticker shock is real. Gas prices have soared, beating the previous high in 2008, and averaging over $4.20 nationally. According to AAA, Californians have it the worst as fuel costs are now averaging a record-breaking $5.57. New York's statewide average is $4.41, a $1.50 more than this time last year. 

Americans have been experiencing consistent increases in gas prices after a brief slump in demand during the Covid-19 lockdowns. Russia's invasion of Ukraine has only made matters worse; prompting President Biden to place an embargo on Russian oil — the country's biggest revenue source. Some experts predict gas prices will continue to climb in the foreseeable future until the sanctions are lifted.

For the communities in our network, energy is a critical issue. A 2020 study by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy found low-income, Black, Hispanic, and Native American households spend more of their income on  energy bills than the average household. High energy costs are correlated with greater risk for respiratory diseases, increased stress and economic hardship, and difficulty in moving out of poverty. So, the growing cost of living including higher gas and food prices disproportionately impact the livelihood of Black and Brown communities. 

Below we've compiled a list of relevant news reports from our partners that give deeper-context to what we are seeing today as well as how our communities are tackling these issues:
Uplift. Respect. Love.

 Uplifting our Communities 

A Partnership to Empower Young Women In Haiti Through Education: The Haitian Times reports the Obama Foundation’s Girls Opportunity Alliance, an organization that aims to provide education to adolescent girls in underserved areas, has partnered with the Haitian Women's Collective to launch a two-year program to help girls in Haiti attend secondary school. 

Combating Cancer in Indian Country: Making her fourth trip since becoming the First Lady, Native News Online reports Dr. Jill Biden recently met with Tohono O’Odham Nation's Chairman, Nate Norris, Jr., in southern Arizona to spread awareness about cancer. While at the reservation, Dr. Biden met with the leaders of the Cancer Moonshot Initiative, a program that began in 2016 during the Obama-Biden administration with the objective of reducing the incidence rate of cancer in Indian Country.

Can the U.S. Military Draft Non-Permanent Residents? Documented analyzed  the online search patterns of DACA recipients and found that an overwhelming amount are curious to learn if they are eligible to be drafted by the U.S. military. It turns out that DACA recipients, and other immigrants, can be drafted. Documented breaks down how the drafting system works, who is in charge of registering individuals for the draft, and who is required by law to register.

What NYC Mayor's Budget Proposal Fails to Address: Epicenter-NYC breaks down the NYC Mayor and the NYC City Council's proposed $98.5 billion city budget for the 2023 fiscal year; the new budget trims about $200 million from the previous year. The budget cuts may seem productive but the mayor is facing heavy criticism from affordable housing advocates who slam the proposal for not including any funding increases for low-income housing in the city.
Immigrant Guest Workers Are Being Deprived of Fair Pay: From 2005 to 2020, U.S. employers around the country were ordered to pay more than $42.5 million in back wages to 69,000 guest workers. Demand for guest workers has increased, but so have concerns about employers skimming pay checks. palabra. reports that most recently 100 Mexican guest workers at a Louisiana crawfish processor were deprived of pay totaling $138,629.35. The report also found that this same group of workers are owed $12,922 in sick pay required under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act. 

 Respecting & Honoring Arts & Culture 

From NYC to Toronto Fashion WeekIndigenous Fashion hits the catwalk:  Following a successful stint at New York Fashion Week, Native News Online reports, Indigenous fashion designer Bobby Brower prepares to showcase her traditional Iñupiaq Parkas (pictured above) at Indigenous Fashion Week Toronto this Summer. Brower describes the parkas as an integral part of her culture which she reflects in the design and function. Unlike New York Fashion Week where she was unable to bring her own models, Indigenous Fashion Week will showcase her work exclusively on Indigenous models. 

 Centering Love 

From Mumbai to West Virginia: 'Another Appalachia: Coming Up Queer and Indian in a Mountain Place’ is a 'queer and in-color geography' that gracefully explores identity, community, and contradictions through the lens of someone on the margins. Read the full essay on Scalawag.

 What We're Loving This Week From Our Partners 

ICYMI This Week on Evening WURDs: WURD Radio's Nick Taliaferro interviewed Dr. Kumea Shorter-Gooden, a clinical and community psychologist, about a book she co-authored with Charisse Jones, "Shifting: The Double Lives of Black Women in America" which explores how Black women feel pressure to compromise their true selves as they navigate America's racial and gender bigotry. 

 The URLs on URL 

Operation Get NYC Vaxxed: The Shorty Awards, founded in 2008, is the first award show to honor the best creators on social media. Epicenter-NYC is hoping to be recognized for its campaign to vaccinate New Yorkers against Covid-19. The campaign has grown exponentially initially starting with 64 people in February of 2021 and has grown to 15,000 vaccinated. Vote for Epicenter-NYC in the Shorty Awards for their work on getting NYC vaccinated!
The Knight-Lenfest Local News Transformation Fund to Support WURD Radio and The Plug: The two-year, $300,000 fund aims to expand reporting and documentation efforts covering Philadelphia’s BIPOC technology and innovation sector will include URL Media Partner WURD Radio. The fund aims to produce thoughtful and explanatory journalism, topical radio segments, and virtual events connecting local leaders and innovators using both organizations’ platforms.

URL Media Events 

The Laura Flanders Show: Once a month, you can catch URL Media on The Laura Flanders Show on select PBS stations for a conversation that centers the stories, issues and concerns that our BIPOC media partners are following. Click here to check your local TV listing.  Here’s how you can watch our latest.

 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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