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Social Determinants of Immigrants’ Health in New York City: A Study of Six Neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens

June 15, 2022

More than 3.1 million immigrants reside in New York City, comprising more than a third of the city's total population. The boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens are home to nearly 940,000 and more than 1 million immigrants, respectively. According to the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene's (DOHMH) Community Health Survey (CHS), foreign-born New Yorkers have poorer health and less access to healthcare than their US-born counterparts.For this study, the Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) focused on six neighborhoods in these two boroughs whose immigrant residents were identified by a previous CMS study, Virgin and Warren (2021), as most at risk of poor health outcomes. The CMS research team conducted a survey of 492 immigrants across these six neighborhoods and convened one focus group to collect data on immigrants' health and well-being. CMS also surveyed 24 service providers including community health clinics, health-focused community-based organizations, and hospitals that work with immigrants in the studied neighborhoods. Analysis of these data, together with the US Census Bureau's American Community Survey and the DOHMH's CHS, provides insight into the factors that affect immigrants' health and wellbeing across these neighborhoods.

Banking for the Public Good: Public Bank NYC

May 26, 2022

This case study is part of Demos' new Economic Democracy project, which asks how poor and working-class people, especially in Black and brown communities, can exercise greater control over the economic institutions that shape their lives. This framework has 3 goals:Break up and regulate new corporate power, including Amazon, Google, and Facebook.Expand the meaning of public goods and ensure that services are equitably and publicly administered.Strengthen "co-governance" strategies so that people and public agencies can collectively make decisions about the economy.With the accelerating frequency of climate disasters, it is especially important to build the power of those most impacted by disasters— often Black, brown, and Indigenous communities—to ensure they have equitable access to the resources needed to recover and move forward.This case study spotlights how the New Economy Project (NEP) launched the Public Bank NYC (PBNYC) campaign to build a public bank in New York City that is specifically configured to serve Black and brown communities. By shifting the focus of finance from private profits to the public welfare, public banks can begin to repair harms caused by longstanding discriminatory practices that have extracted wealth from Black and brown people and neighborhoods, like predatory lending, overdraft fees, and redlining.

Climbing the Ladder: Roadblocks Faced by Immigrants in the New York City Construction Industry

May 23, 2022

As of 2021, immigrants comprised a larger share of the construction workforce than of any other sector in New York City (Office of the New York State Comptroller 2021). Between 2015 and 2019, immigrants comprised just 37 percent of the total New York City population, but 44 percent of the city's labor force and 63 percent of all its construction workers (Ruggles et al. 2021). The Center for Migration Studies of New York (CMS) estimates that in this time period, 41 percent of the immigrant construction workforce was undocumented.Economic exploitation and safety hazards are prevalent across the entire construction industry. However, despite the essential role immigrants play in the construction industry in New York City and the United States, immigrant construction workers are especially vulnerable to exploitation and dangerous conditions. Lack of employment authorization, social safety nets, English proficiency, credentials recognition, and training opportunities, as well as discrimination place immigrants at a stark disadvantage as they try to enter, negotiate, and advance in this industry. For this report, the CMS research team interviewed 16 immigrant construction workers from 10 countries and 10 other experts in this industry, including business representatives, union organizers, and representatives of community-based organizations (CBOs). Five of these representatives were immigrants and former construction workers. With research assistance from the New York-based consulting firm Locker Associates, Inc., CMS used these interviews, together with several other data sources, to examine how construction workers in New York City find employment, their work arrangements, and barriers and conditions that endanger their health, safety, and economic well-being.

NYC Hispanic/Latinx Health Action Agenda 2021-2025, Our Health-Our Future

March 9, 2022

The New York City Hispanic/Latinx Health Action Agenda is a result of a community driven health policy process that brought together over 60 Community-Based Organizations/Agencies and 72 community leaders, faith-based leaders, experienced clinical and non-clinical service providers. Facilitated by the Hispanic Health Network, Hispanic Federation, and the Latino Commission on AIDS, the process started in October 2020 with a series of consultations with key public health leaders, community providers, and members of health networks with expertise in the health field and Hispanic/Latinx communities. Soon after, steering and planning committees were developed to ensure a broader reach of Hispanic/Latinx community leaders and Hispanic/Latinx serving organizations throughout all NYC boroughs.In the Spring of 2021, the steering and planning groups engaged in facilitated conversations aimed to reach consensus on key subpopulations and health issues to focus on for this health policy agenda. Additionally, this newly formed network of organizations and leaders sought to fortify Hispanic/Latinx health leadership with a health policy-focused perspective to guide decision-makers and impact legislation, particularly at a moment in which NYC is preparing for a critical municipal election scheduled for November.The overarching goal of this NYC Hispanic/Latinx Health Action Agenda is to improve health outcomes among Hispanic/ Latinx New Yorkers living throughout all the boroughs while ensuring Hispanic/Latinx participation and inclusion and impacting health policy decision making in order to address health disparities and inequities in New York City. To do so, participants in this process established a conceptual framework to guide the assessment of the health needs of Hispanic/Latinx New Yorkers and develop a set of health policy recommendations.

Community Needs Assessment on Immigrant Bangladeshi Women’s Mental Health

February 23, 2022

This case summary conducted by the Urban Institute and Sapna NYC, a community-based organization serving low-income Bangladeshi women through health and empowerment programs, explores the findings of a community needs assessment focused on the mental health challenges and needs of Bangladeshi immigrant women living in the Bronx, Queens, Manhattan, and Brooklyn and can help inform practice and policy in New York City. Data from our interviews indicated that the three major contributing factors to the mental health of women in our study were economic and financial insecurity, home life and social networks, and traumatic events. Based on these insights, we propose recommendations for policymakers and funders to better support the mental health of vulnerable and immigrant communities.

HueArts NYC: Brown Paper

February 16, 2022

The HueArts NYC project was initiated by Museum Hue, The Laundromat Project, and Hester Street. They collectively conceptualized and designed it in response to the needs they experienced and observed in the arts sector; and then sought joint funding. The partners recognize the vast diversity of arts entities that focus on vast artistic mediums (visual arts, theater, literary arts, dance, art, music, film, and more). The result of this project is a digital map that begins to capture the arts entities and provides resources to support further conversation with philanthropy and other funders. We will continue to gather resources to include additional POC arts entities in the future.HueArts NYC is also a call to action. This community-informed brown paper offers findings from our research and clear recommendations for more indepth studies and funding to ensure the long-term stability and sustainability of arts entities founded and led by Black, Latinx, Indigenous, Asian, Pacific Islander, Middle Eastern, and all People of Color.

HueArts NYC Map & Directory

February 16, 2022

This project was initiated by Museum Hue, The Laundromat Project, and Hester Street. They collectively conceptualized and designed it in response to the needs they experienced and observed in the arts sector; and then sought joint funding. The partners recognize the vast diversity of arts entities that focus on vast artistic mediums (visual arts, theater, literary arts, dance, art, music, film, and more). The result of this project is this digital map that begins to capture the arts entities and provides resources to support further conversation with philanthropy and other funders. We will continue to gather resources to include additional POC arts entities in the future.

Building the Relationships for Collaborative Governance: Case Studies from Across America

November 17, 2021

In recent years, a more collaborative form of democratic engagement has emerged, primarily at the local and state level, as well as internationally. Collaborative governance, or co-governance, refers to a broad range of models of civic engagement that allow people outside and inside government to work together in designing policy. This new form of engagement seeks to break down the boundaries between advocates and officials and is not only more democratic, but also more inclusive and open to those served by the government. How are co-governance relationships best developed, sustained, and supported? The clearest way to answer this question is not in theory, but from the learned experiences of co-governance, at the neighborhood, city, and state level. In this report, we highlight five of these cases in communities across the country where progress has been made to improve the quality of life and strengthen the bonds of community for all through the collaborative work of democracy.

La Gran Manzana: The Road Ahead For New York City’s Latino Community

October 26, 2021

This report from Hispanic Federation is a policy blueprint with recommendations on how the next Mayor and City Council can improve the lives of nearly 2.5 million Latinos who call New York City home. Recommendations include, increasing New York City's Nonprofit Stabilization Fund to $50 million over a five-year period to support people of color-led nonprofit organizations and ensure that nonprofits can engage in long-term planning to meet operational infrastructure needs and technical assistance, establishing free full-day pre-kindergarten for all three- and four year olds, electing a Latino/a as the next Speaker of the City Council, and more.

Young Adults’ Experiences of Violence and Dreams of Community-Led Solutions in Red Hook, Brooklyn

January 1, 2019

In the summer of 2017, the Real Rites Researchers - a group of Red Hook young adults - came together after being tired of witnessing violence, feeling ignored and harassed, and being ready to make a change. The Researchers grew up in Red Hook witnessing violence, disinvestment, and over-policing. After taking matters into their own hands, the Researchers launched a participatory study about violence and community-building for young adults in Red Hook. The research was conducted by, with, and for their community. This report details their findings and reveals young peoples' desire to be at the forefront of change in their own community. 

Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation’s Farm to Early Care Program: A Foundation for Healthier, Stronger Central Brooklyn Families and Communities

August 7, 2018

Across New York City and the nation, low-income and working families with young children endeavor to raise strong, healthy children; maintain their family's health; find and keep decent jobs and affordable housing; create safe communities; and claim a voice in shaping their neighborhoods. At the same time, within these communities, resilient families and children, skilled and experienced leaders, and many established civic organizations with a history of organizing to improve their neighborhoods have shown the power of local action to promote health, equity and community development.In this policy brief, we describe one effort to mobilize community assets to develop a comprehensive and integrated approach to supporting well-being, prosperity, increased community power and pathways out of poverty. For the past five years, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation (Restoration) has used its farm to early care program as one foundation for an integrated approach to community development. In telling that story, this policy brief seeks to inform efforts to develop the next stage of farm to early care in Brooklyn, inspire others to adapt this approach to their own communities and cities, and share the lessons Restoration has learned from this work. These experiences can also inform initiatives to use improvements in institutional food programs as a starting point for transforming other systems such as senior centers, afterschool programs, and health care centers.

Creating Integrated Strategies for Increasing Access to Healthy Affordable Food in Urban Communities: A Case Study of Intersecting Food Initiatives

June 29, 2017

In New York and other cities, substantial evidence documents that community food environments interact with inequitable allocation of power, wealth, and services to shape the distribution of diet-related diseases and food insecurity. This case study shows how one Central Brooklyn community organization, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation, has launched multiple coordinated food initiatives in order to reduce the burden of food-related health problems and boost community development. The report used standard case study methods to document the implementation of the New York City Food and Fitness Partnership in Central Brooklyn. The case study shows how two distinct strands of activities, a Farm to Early Care Program that ultimately brought fresh food to 30 child care centers, and a food hub that sought to make fresh local food more available in Central Brooklyn, intersected and reinforced each other. It also shows how organizational, community, and municipal resources and policies in some cases supported these initiatives and in others served as obstacles. Finally, the case study shows that multiple coordinated strategies have the potential to empower low-income Black and Latino communities to act to make local food environments healthier and more equitable.