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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.

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.

Returns on Resilience: The Business Case

October 8, 2015

Real estate projects designed to withstand the effects of climate change can provide substantial returns on investment and an array of other benefits, according to this new report. Case studies from 10 leading resilience projects are highlighted, ranging from a Boston hospital built to withstand coastal storms to a residential community in San Antonio built to withstand the effects of intense heat and drought. Other communities with highlighted case studies include Queens, N.Y.; Miami, FL; Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands; Nashville, TN; Tucson, AZ and Lancaster, CA.The study found an array of benefits from the climate-smart designs in addition to their strength against climate unpredictability. They include:Better energy efficiency. For example, multilayered impact-resistant windows save energy and reduce utility bills.Greater marketing, sales and leasing success driven by buyers' desires for well-built structures that will withstand harsh conditions and keep their value longer.Better financing options and lower insurance rates based on the reduced risk from resilient and hardened structures.

Bridging the Gap: Overcoming Barriers to Immigrant Financial Empowerment in Northwest Queens

February 1, 2015

Every day, immigrants in Northwest Queens struggle to find work, obtain legal status, and manage their finances. While immigrant consumers are an integral part of the New York City economy -- spending and saving money and paying taxes -- many face multiple barriers to financial empowerment. This means that many immigrants struggle to build the kind of wealth that could enable them to buy a home, pay for higher education, save for retirement, and lead to overall long-term economic stability and security. While many immigrant consumers do save money, many do not trust mainstream financial institutions because they do not provide linguistically or culturally competent services. Others are concerned about hidden or excessive fees. As a result many immigrant consumers utilize fringe financial services that tend to be predatory and exploitative.

Queens Performing Artists & Workspace

June 30, 2014

The Queens Workspace Initiative (QWI) is a project conceived and led by Exploring the Metropolis (EtM) to help ensure that the performing arts offerings in the borough of Queens are the best they can be.The major activities comprise surveying performing artists, cultural facilities and other stakeholders; making recommendations to stakeholders and policymakers; and conducting pilot programs.In 2013-14, Exploring the Metropolis has been assessing workspace needs for performing artists in Queens. We've interviewed key players, sent out surveys, held focus groups and studied ways to help the Queens performing arts community grow and thrive.

2014: How is Affordable Housing Threatened in Your Neighborhood?

May 21, 2014

This infographic measures threats to affordable housing from various factors in NYC neighborhoods.