URL Media Weekly
Friday, October 14, 2022
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 Start With This Story 

Monday was Indigenous Peoples Day

An Indigenous Peoples Day and a racial reckoning in L.A.

The week started with Indigenous Peoples Day and ends with a subpoena of former President Trump. In between came an exodus from the Los Angeles City Council over racist rhetoric. We turn to URL Media partners to make sense of these intersections. 

“Indigenous Peoples Day is an awakening to the truths our people have advocated for decades,” said Darren Thompson, a Native News reporter. It is a celebration of “the millions of people who have lived on this land since time immemorial instead of a lone man who never stepped foot on North American soil,” as URL Media partner Native News Online described the federal holiday.

Last year was the first time a sitting U.S. president issued a proclamation declaring the second Monday in October Indigenous Peoples Day — the culmination of a decades-long effort led by Native Americans.

Events marking the day spanned the nation. In Minneapolis, the day started with about 70 community members gathered at Bde Maka Ska for a sunrise ceremony, URL Media partner Sahan Journal reported. In Milwaukee, a day of celebration ended with a bridge on the lakefront lit up with the colors of the Indigenous medicine wheel — black, white, yellow and red — Native News reported.

Leading up to Indigenous Peoples Day, URL Media co-founders S. Mitra Kalita and Sara Lomax-Reese spoke with Dr. Kyle T. Mays, associate professor at UCLA, and Levi Rickert, founder of Native News Online, for the latest “Meet the BIPOC Press” episode on The Laura Flanders Show. They explored the forces that have both facilitated and thwarted movement-making among Black and Indigenous people in the United States.

“It’s imperative to not only center Blackness, but also to center Indigenous peoples because upon whose land were African-Americans exploited? This is Indigenous land,” Mays said.

The power of intersectional solidarity to effect change is worth recognizing in the wake of audio recordings of three Los Angeles City Council members, including the council president, making racist and other crude remarks.

The day after city-wide celebrations of Indigenous Peoples Day, a cross-section of Angelenos converged at City Hall to demand the resignation of City Council president Nury Martinez and council members Gil Cedillo and Kevin De León during the first council meeting following the leak.

Since that meeting, Martinez has resigned from the council. But her statement failed to take responsibility for her racist comments, like saying the young Black son of a councilman is “parece changuito,” or “like a monkey.”

And her remarks belie the intersecting identities the Latinx community encompasses. In her statement announcing her resignation, Martinez said that she hopes she has “inspired [all little Latina girls across this city] to dream beyond that which they can see.” But what about folks like Breanna Reeves, a reporter for Black Voice News, who wrote about her dual identity as an Afrolatina? “While my mother does not expressly identify as Afrolatine, my siblings and I do,” she wrote. “As her children born in the U.S. to a Hispanic mother and an African-American father, we identify with our heritage on both sides.”

This latest controversy shows that even in cities like Los Angeles that publicly celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day, racism is still very much alive. And Nury's resignation, along with the House Jan. 6 select committee's unanimous vote to subpoena former President Trump, show that gestures toward accountability for public officials may not be all the way dead.

All people — including people of color — must examine their anti-Black racism, on which so much intra-racial discrimination hinges. As writer and civil rights activist Audre Lorde wrote, "I am not free while any woman is unfree, even when her shackles are very different from my own. And I am not free as long as one person of Color remains chained. Nor is any one of you."

May we all learn to stand by and with one another.—Alicia Ramirez

Uplift. Respect. Love.

Sponsored by McKinsey & Company

Working in teams and dealing with different types of people require flexibility, sensitivity, open-mindedness, and a collaborative mindset. McKinsey consultants look back on learning from mistakes, being a part of diverse teams, overcoming challenges through teamwork, and appreciating what each team member brings to the table. Watch here.

 Must-Reads From the URL Network 

President Biden Pardons Thousands Convicted Of Marijuana Possession: President Joe Biden has taken a step toward fulfilling a campaign promise he made during the 2020 presidential election to decriminalize marijuana by pardoning thousands of people convicted of drug possession. Biden said he would also encourage governors to take similar action with state offenses and ask both the Department of Health and Human Services and the Justice Department to review how marijuana is classified under federal law. Native News Online has the full story here.

Nail Salon Workers Are Experiencing Miscarriages: When 38-year-old Pabitra Dash recalls the physical pain she felt the first time she miscarried, she says the emotional and mental anguish hurt much more. Then it happened again and again. In total, Dash suffered seven miscarriages in eight years. The miscarriages coincided with her time as a nail technician, a job she quit in 2018. Initially, she was reluctant to talk openly about her miscarriages to other women in the Nepali community, but then she started to hear similar stories from co-workers at the nail salon. Documented has the full story here.

Gen Z In The Midterms: Our Body Politic spotlights a powerful voting bloc: Generation Z. First, host Farai Chideya talks with Maxwell Alejandro Frost, Democratic nominee for Florida’s 10th Congressional District, about how his Afro-Cuban identity and work as an organizer and musician help shape his political platform and views. She is then joined by Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and host of MSNBC’s “Into America” Trymaine Lee who shares what he’s learned about the political interests of young Black voters attending historically Black colleges and universities. Listen to the full episode here.

California’s Health Care System Is Failing Black Californians: Nearly one-third of Black Californians have been treated unfairly by a health care provider because of their race or ethnicity, according to a new study by the California Health Care Foundation. The study found that most Black Californians surveyed will adopt measures to mitigate negative experiences ahead of a healthcare visit, two-thirds will conduct their own research on a health condition or concern before meeting a healthcare provider, and a third will tailor their speech to make their provider feel more at ease. Black Voice News has the full story here.

Uncovering The University Of Pennsylvania’s Ties To Slavery: Zoe Greenberg, a reporter for The Philadelphia Inquirer, joined Wake Up With WURD to discuss her latest article for the publication’s year-long series “A More Perfect Union,” which highlights the University of Pennsylvania’s ties to slavery and the students who helped bring that research to the forefront. The series   examines Philadelphia’s roots of systemic racism in America. Listen to the full interview here.

Detroit Police Department’s Squatters Action Team Making Arrests With Little Scrutiny: Only sheriffs or bailiffs have the power to enforce all court-ordered evictions across the state of Michigan. But in the state’s largest city, the Detroit Police Department’s Squatters Action Team is not waiting for the courts to act and is making arrests, even when residents dispute that they are “squatting.” The team says those arrested are trespassing without permission; attorneys say the arrests unnecessarily criminalize and punish people. Outlier Media has the full story here.

Migrant ‘Hunting’ Now Among Challenges For Haitian Newcomers In US: As Haitians arrive in the U.S., they face challenges old and new. With a surge of migrants seeking asylum, service organizations are often overwhelmed trying to help new arrivals secure work permits, find housing and assist with legal battles in a political environment growing more hostile toward Haitians, as shown by Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ stance on migrant “hunting.” The Haitian Times has the full story here (paywalled).


 Trending in Arts & Culture 

Chef Gustavo Romero Shares The Family Recipe You Won’t Find At His Minneapolis Taqueria: When Chef Gustavo Romero’s mother made huauzontles — a pre-colonial Mexican vegetable with a lot more flowers and stems than the average vegetable — it started with her telling the kids to go out back and gather some. Like the Mexican herbs cilantro, epazote and papalo, huauzontle grows perennially, and there was always some available on Romero’s mother and grandmother’s land. But the key ingredient in huauzontles is time, says the restaurateur who uses the vegetable in his cooking according to his mother’s exacting standards. Sahan Journal has the full story — and Romero’s recipe — here.

Maya’s Snack Bar’s Treats Bring The Flavors Of Mexico: Eating at Maya’s Snack Bar is an experience: balloons on its brightly colored walls, green Mexican toy taxis sitting on the counters, and catchy reggaeton beats from artists like Bad Bunny playing throughout the store. What has since become a household name started out in 2019 as a small corner inside a deli bodega in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, by Alejandro Sanchez and his sister-in-law, Marisol Garcia. Epicenter-NYC has the full story here.

 On Love, Family & Community 

A Place Of Refuge: The Basoa Defenders' House, a community and self-managed space in northern Spain, serves as a meeting space and has 50 beds, four floors and a large kitchen. It has bathrooms and showers, a fireplace, a library, bright windows and a large garden with trees. More than 40 ecofeminist activists from different countries in Latin America, Spain and Senegal gather there to weave transnational alliances “against corporate power.” palabra. has the full story here.

 One More Gem From Our Partners 

How We Organize Around Elections — Lessons From Mississippi Organizers: Two years ago, the world of electoral organizing was shaken by the power and determination of Black- and Brown-led movements across the South and Midwest. Against all odds — in the middle of a global health crisis, racial justice uprisings, and economic struggle — people showed up in the 2020 election. There is a long history of organizing and resilience in the Southern states, and Scalawag delved into how a new generation of organizers in North Carolina, Georgia, Texas, Mississippi, and Louisiana continue building a just future for all. Learn, listen and read more here.

 Inside URL Media & the Network 

URL Media Partner Sahan Journal Receives Rising Star Award

URL Media partner Sahan Journal received the Rising Star Award Tuesday evening from the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, which recognizes leaders in the news media and legal fields whose work embodies the values of the First Amendment. The award  honors an up-and-coming journalist, media lawyer, or organization that has already made great strides in defending freedom of the press or has conquered significant roadblocks in the course of telling an important story. Read more about the honor here.

Native News Publisher Joins URL CEO on Boston Public Radio

S. Mitra Kalita and Levi Rickert appeared together on Boston Public Radio to discuss covering politics, this year’s midterm elections and Indigenous Peoples’ Day. Scroll to listen to their segment on the Oct. 10 edition of the show here.

🗳️ And keep an eye on your inbox. Starting next Monday, Oct. 21, we'll publish a midterms edition of this newsletter featuring a roundup of elections coverage from across the URL Media network.

 URL Media Events 

Happening Today: The First 90 Days For Managers

You just hired someone fantastic. How do you integrate this new person into your team, make sure they understand the expectations of the job and feel supported? 

Join us today, October 14 at 1pm PT/4 pm ET, for a free off-the-record webinar tailored to hiring managers. Moderator Leonor Ayala Polley, chief of business development and partnerships at URL Media, will be joined by panelists Erin Grau, co-founder and COO of Charter, and Priska Neely, managing editor at Gulf States Newsroom, to provide actionable advice to help you set a roadmap for the successful onboarding of your new employee. They’ll also answer your questions.

Register here, and don’t forget to subscribe to URL Media's career newsletter here.

 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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