Nice profile of South Asian Youth Action (SAYA):
The nonprofit organization has a presence in seven schools, which are all in Queens except for one in Brooklyn, and a gurdwara, a Sikh temple, but its main base is a community center in Elmhurst, a Queens neighborhood, where kids can come after school or on weekends to play basketball, get tutoring, do their homework, meet with counselors or simply hang out.
The majority of SAYA youth are of Guyanese, Bangladeshi, Indian and Pakistani descent, said Udai Tambar, SAYA’s executive director, and each of the organization’s sites reflects the ethnic subgroup that is largest in that neighborhood. SAYA offers ethnicity-specific counseling, and it bills itself as the nation’s only secular youth organization for South Asians.
“If you think of identity as a Venn diagram where the different circles represent the different parts of their identity, SAYA creates a safe space for youth to explore how these circles overlap,” Mr. Tambar said. “By being a secular space, we allow youth to explore what their religion and its overlap with other parts of their identity means for them.”
So far, about 7,700 youths have participated in SAYA’s programs. According to Mr. Tambar, 100 percent of those who have participated in its Chalo College have gone on to enroll in a university, including top schools like Barnard and New York University.
Article: Black folk increasingly priced out of Brooklyn due to gentrification, many moving to East New York →
New York Daily News: “Black population surges in East New York as it falls across the borough and city” (via Mark):
A surge in the number of black residents has made East New York one of the fastest growing neighborhoods in Brooklyn, even as the black population across the borough and citywide fell dramatically.
The black population increased by 13% in East New York from 2000 to 2010, according to a new analysis of census data by the Department of City Planning - absorbing many residents who were priced out of other neighborhoods as the borough’s black population fell by 6%.
Moving out of neighborhoods like Bedford Stuyvesant, some black residents left the city altogether, decamping for the suburbs or the South - but many of those who stayed in the borough ended up in East New York.
Many described the move as a last resort.
“In Bed Stuy it used to be a lot of black and Latinos and the rent wasn’t bad…It used to be easy to find an apartment in Bed Stuy, but now the landlords don’t want to accommodate people in government programs because they have a demand from white people,” said Jasmine Bennett, 32, who moved from Bed Stuy to East New York two years ago.
Mr. Gunasegaram, 52, known to his friends as Sagar, was once a prominent cinema owner among South Asian immigrants in New York City. After immigrating to New York from Sri Lanka in 1979, he gained a following by renting neglected theaters all over the New York area and showing Indian films to give immigrants a cinematic taste of home.
“People used to wait for two hours to get into my movies,” he said.
But things have changed, thanks to the proliferation of bootleg movies on DVD and the Web, as well as the increase in the number of art-film theaters and multiplexes that show Bollywood films.
“When I started showing movies in New York, you might have five copies of a popular Bollywood film in all of America,” said Mr. Gunasegaram, who lives in South Ozone Park, Queens. “Now, you have 300 copies in this country. There’s much more competition, but this is the only business I know.”
Neighborhood profile of Elmhurst Chinatown, discussing its population growth, its immigrant diversity (including some mentions of some favorite eats there like Lao Bei Fang), planned development of a retail shopping mall and new housing construction, and a proposed LIRR station.
"The congestion in the neighborhood was evident in the [old] library—it used to be packed," said Nicholas Dovas, first vice president at the local Newtown Civic Association, who has lived in the area since 1990 and was a volunteer at the library.
The population of Elmhurst and nearby South Corona increased roughly 45% between 1980 and 2010 to 172,598, according to census data.
AAF study shows Asian population increases in NYC with most rapid growth among Taiwanese, Bangladeshis, and Sri Lankans →
While Chinatown’s Asian population declined over the past decade, the Asian footprint widened in far-flung neighborhoods from Sunset Park in Brooklyn to Murray Hill in Queens.
In a report released Friday the Asian American Federation, an advocacy and civic group, zeroed in on the city’s booming Asian population, breaking it down by country of origin, neighborhood and age.
The report found an increasing diversity within the Asian population. While Chinese and Indians continue to be the largest groups, the fastest-growing ethnic groups were Hmong, Taiwanese, Bangladeshi and Laotians, all of which more than doubled in size over the past decade, though some had tiny base populations. (The Hmong were the smallest, with 83 people.) Other emerging groups, though still small in number, include Nepalese, Burmese and Bhutanese, many of whom came to the U.S. as refugees in recent years.
By Lara Pellegrinelli for Capital:
A lovely idea, but how well these compositions and the experiences created as a result of their performance ally themselves with Jackson Heights, a real flesh-and-blood community, is another matter. Like the Tenement House Museum, with its staged rooms that make the absence of their original inhabitants palpable, “transhistoria” feels disconnected from the neighborhood’s own natives, even as they physically surround the project. The Guggenheim has made a vaguely colonial exercise out of translating them for outsiders.
More photos of The People’s Walking Tour of Jackson Heights today organized by Jackson Heights resident, Adhikaar member, and brunch-group member Amy Paul!
The People’s Walking Tour of Jackson Heights offered a view into the experiences of local immigrant communities through the work of three community groups: Chhaya CDC, New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE), and Adhikaar. 20 participants learned about these groups’ housing rights, worker organizing, language access, immigrant rights and other work to meet the needs of Latino, South Asian, and Nepali/Himalayan communities. The tour was organized by Amy Paul, a Jackson Heights resident and former Adhikaar board member.
Matt Taibbi’s column in Rolling Stone on Mayor Bloomberg and the NYPD’s “Operation Clean Halls” and a recent lawsuit challenging the program:
According to the NYCLU, which filed the suit, “virtually every private apartment building [in the Bronx] is enrolled in the program,” and “in Manhattan alone, there are at least 3,895 Clean Halls Buildings.” Referring to the NYPD’s own data, the complaint says police conducted 240,000 “vertical patrols” in the year 2003 alone.
If you live in a Clean Halls building, you can’t even go out to take out the trash without carrying an ID – and even that might not be enough. If you go out for any reason, there may be police in the hallways, demanding that you explain yourself, and insisting, in brazenly illegal and unconstitutional fashion, on searches of your person.