This Week in Links 2.27.15

First lady: Education is most important civil rights issue

The Danger of Being Neighborly Without a Permit
All over America, people have put small “give one, take one” book exchanges in front of their homes. Then they were told to tear them down.

We Lock Up Tons of Innocent People—and Charge Them for the Privilege

The Past Perfect
It’s absurd to question Obama’s patriotism. But Rudy Giuliani is right that Obama isn’t like his predecessors.

At New York Private Schools, Challenging White Privilege from the Inside

Rich people sleep better than poor people, study finds

Straight Talk for White Men

Shelter Resists Order to Stop Helping All It Can

Why Schools are Failing Our Boys

Education & age divide American religion — 44 religious groups in one graph

America’s Most Economically Segregated Cities

The Changing Nature of Middle-Class Jobs

In the Shadow of Gentrification

When Whites Get a Free Pass: Research Shows White Privilege Is Real

Affirmative Action and the Quality-Fit Tradeoff

What Cities Are Doing—or Not—to Promote Equal Pay

Blowing Up What ‘Success’ Means in Inner-City Education Reform
The new documentary Southeast 67 tracks 67 kids from Southeast D.C. who were granted college scholarships in the 1990s.

Millennials don’t want to run for office

Fiction, Charter Fiction, and Damned Lies

The Gentrification Effect

Sheep, Simplicity and Losing the Point

What Patricia Arquette got wrong at the Oscars

Locked Up for Being Poor
How private debt collectors contribute to a cycle of jail, unemployment, and poverty

Can Bipartisanship End Mass Incarceration?

African Emoji CEO: Apple ‘Missed The Whole Point’ With Its Diverse Emojis

How to Make College Cheaper

When Your Religion Makes You Too Uncool to Work at Abercrombie

Why Central Brooklyn?

So, why central Brooklyn you ask? To make sure we would be situated productively and compassionately in NYC, we started our site development adventures with some serious research. We focused on building two maps: one that showed us where millennial Jews were moving and the other that illustrated where there was great need for volunteer work. This is important because Repair the World tackles pressing local needs by mobilizing Jewish millennials to volunteer. We enable people to transform their neighborhoods, cities, and lives through meaningful service experiences. To do this properly, we have to understand the needs of the community as well as the demographics of the neighborhood. While there is clear need across many areas of NYC, we’ve found these two maps to intersect directly over Crown Heights and Bed Stuy.
According to UJA Federation of NY’s 2011 Jewish Community Study, 25% of single non-Orthodox young Jews already live in Brooklyn by 2011. As young Jews are getting priced out of places like Prospect Heights and Park Slope, many are moving east towards Crown Heights and Bed Stuy where neighborhoods are rapidly gentrifying and places are still relatively affordable. Yet, very little Jewish infrastructure exists to engage them on a regular basis. I know, because I live here. Creating some form of infrastructure in this area could establish a sense of community to serve as a catalyst for social change work in Crown Heights. It could also become an avenue for community members to explore other ways to be involved that resonate with them outside of volunteer work. We’re here to support their needs and inspire folks to get involved.
Not only can our volunteers make a huge impact here, it’s also really freakin’ cool. With tons of great community institutions like Prospect Park and the Brooklyn Museum nearby, the strong accessibility to public transportation, bars and restaurants galore, and a diversely rich community of both new and veteran existing residents, the ground is ripe for an organization like Repair the World to offer a real way for people folks to build community around meaningful and necessary volunteer work that can bridge the gap between new and long-time residents right in their own backyard.
Since beginning our work this year, we’ve engaged over 400 individuals in meaningful service projects like working at local soup kitchens and beautifying community spaces. We’ve also hosted a few social events like a bagel brunch before the People’s Climate March and an MLK Shabbat Supper in Crown Heights. As Fellows arrive in August, we expect our programming will grow immensely to offer even more opportunities for Jewish millennials to find community through social change work that will increase social capital needed to support community needs in central Brooklyn.

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You might be asking yourself what kinds of community needs I’m talking about. To provide some perspective, the NYC 2006 Community Health Profile illustrates that central Brooklyn’s average poverty level (31%) is overall higher than in Brooklyn (25%) and all of NYC (21%). Many city-wide service organizations have designated central Brooklyn as an area of focus. New York Cares, one of our community partners, explains that, “While rich in history and culture, Central Brooklyn struggles with poverty, low educational achievement, and high crime rates. These issues are exacerbated by rapid gentrification as the city grows and evolves.” As neighborhood demographics rapidly shift, long-time residents are becoming displaced as rent prices begin to rise and commercial properties enter without regard for what may have already existed.

Just a few weeks ago, I had an incredible conversation with a delightful older woman at my local laundromat who chatted me up as we waited for our spinning cycles to finish twirling. She expressed her worry about leaving the neighborhood she’s called home for more than thirty years as her landlord was planning to significantly raise her rent without discussion. At the same time, she was thrilled to see the neighborhood becoming safer and more inviting as just ten years before many New Yorkers would have never stepped foot in the area. The mixture of high poverty rates and rapidly changing demographics brings a lot of complications to the area and is very much affecting the needs of its residents.
We’ve had so many interesting conversations about neighborhood change like the one above and now want to open it up to a wider audience. To get a taste of what we do, join us this Thursday, February 26 at 7:30pm at Berg’n (899 Bergen Street in Crown Heights) for Cocktails with a Conscience: What’s Your Brooklyn? to explore what community means as demographics in the area rapidly change. Hear from local community leaders and meet other like-minded New Yorkers who are passionate about social justice and ready to do something about it!

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This post first appeared on the Repair the World NYC Tumblr. Sign up to follow the RTW NYC Tumblr here so you never miss a post!

February Social Good Roundup!

In addition to our monthly Newsletter, we are also bringing you a monthly round-up of our favorite programs from our partners and from across the web. The opportunities below are separated by long term (6+ months), short term (6 months or less) and ongoing service, social good, and travel opportunities.

Be sure to check back monthly for updates and new finds!


Commit…To Service!     (Long-Term Programs)

You Want To Go To There.      (Short-Term and Travel Opportunities)

Be Social. Do Good.    (Social Good Jobs, Events and Campaigns)

This Week in Links 2.23.15

What the FBI Chief Got Right—and Wrong—About Race and Police

Study: Black Girls Are Being Pushed Out of School

What If There Was a Middle Option Between Renting and Owning?

A Black Mississippi Judge’s Breathtaking Speech To Three White Murderers

A Cheat Sheet For Comey’s Speech On Race And Policing

States Consider Increasing Taxes on the Poor, Cutting Them on the Affluent

District: 5 students wrongly given ‘Fifty Shades’ puzzles

How Black Lives Have Always Mattered: A Reading List

Aid to Needy Often Excludes the Poorest in America

The Plot Against Public Education

A KaffeeKlatsch on Race

A ‘Disheartening Portrait’ of the U.S. Labor Force

How Public Transit Agencies Deal with All Your Angry, Mean, and Terrible Tweets

One reason to worry about US inequality…it is really bad for our babies.

Inequality Has Actually Not Risen Since the Financial Crisis

Inequality Has Actually Not Risen Since the Financial Crisis???

Student Loan Delinquency Rate Defies Overall Downward Trend in Household Debt and Credit Report for Fourth Quarter 2014

Lynching as Racial Terrorism

The Richest Cities for Young People: 1980 vs. Today

Mediocre Millennials

New evidence shows election officials are biased against Latino voters

How Much Do Waiters Really Earn in Tips?

The Cost of a Decline in Unions

Super Secret Top Test Security

Instead of the Income Gap We Should Be Talking About the Wealth Gap
And these 8 charts explain why.

What Wal-Mart’s Pay Increase Means For The Economy

Instead Of Stop-And-Frisk, How About Stop-And-Shake?

Nation’s top nutrition panel: the American diet is killing us

Turning a moment into a movement after the deaths of unarmed black men

Unplug with Reboot on March 6-7

It’s that time of year again, y’all – unplug time! On March 6th and 7th, thousands of people across the world from New York and Tel Aviv, to Warsaw and Australia, turn off their cellphones, log out of Instagram, cool it on Snapchat, and take a 24-hour break from technology. If it sounds familiar, there’s a reason. It’s because the ancient Jewish tradition of observing Shabbat (the Sabbath) is the inspiration behind Reboot’s fifth annual National Day of Unplugging.

Based around 10 universal principles called the Sabbath Manifesto – things like “get outside,” “find silence,” and “give back” – The National Day of Unplugging encourages people to temporarily disconnect from their hectic, fast-paced lives and reconnect to the world and people around them. Some folks will join in because they are traditionally observant Jews who “unplug” every week. Some will join because they think it’s eco-friendly to give their electronics a little break. And some will join in simply because they want the opportunity to relax and spend time with family and friends. So why do YOU unplug?

This year, whether you are observant or not – and whether you’re Jewish or not! – sign the pledge to be a part of the National Day of Unplugging. Head to the beach, the forest, your friend’s house, or join in at one of the many unplugging events going on around the country.

Do you have plans to celebrate the National Day of Unplugging? If so, we want to hear about it! Let us know in the comments below or by tweeting @repairtheworld. You can also follow the National Day of Unplugging at @SabbathManifest, #unplug.

Spotlight On: Black Women’s Health Imperative

All February long during Black History Month, Repair the World is checking in with people and organizations working on the forefront of Black issues in America. Today we’ve got our spotlight on: Black Women’s Health Imperative – an incredible organization that educates and advocates for health equality for Black women.

Founded in 1981, BWHI has been a champion of health for more than three decades. Their campaigns focus on diseases that disproportionately impact Black women – things like cervical and breast cancer, heart disease, and diabetes. They educate women about their healthcare options and provide the information and tools needed to get covered by medical insurance.

My Sister's Keeper

Meanwhile their campaigns – like Black Women Matter (an initiative focused on increasing the numbers of healthy black women in America) and My Sister’s Keeper (an advocacy initiative on Historically Black College campuses) – help raise awareness and foster a community of empowered, strong women.

Similar to the Black community, the Jewish community faces its own unique health risks – from genetic diseases like Tay-Sachs to a higher risk of breast cancer in Ashkenazi Jewish women. (Check out the amazing education and advocacy work Sharsheret is doing on that front.) That’s just one reason of many why we support and salute the amazing work of BWHI!

To find out more about Black Women’s Health Imperative’s work, check out their website and Facebook page.