As 2016 draws to a close, uncertainty and, at times, anxiety, grip New York City’s immigrant and ethnic communities, whose daily lives and concerns Voices of NY reflects in the stories it publishes.
A tumultuous election campaign sparked varied responses – from the August protests at Trump Tower by the labor group Movimiento Cosecha (Harvest Movement), to the energetic voter registration efforts, in New York and across the country, of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), America’s largest Muslim civil rights organization. And Voices of NY reported on get-out-the-vote efforts targeting groups from the Dominicans to the Koreans in the weeks before Election Day.
While many immigrants expressed concerns about President-elect Donald Trump, there were, as Voices of NY reported, notable and strong pockets of support for the real estate mogul in the NYC metropolitan area. Some members of the Indian community, the Christian Pakistani community and even a few Muslim Pakistanis, as well as members of the Chinese and the Russian communities, favored Trump.
Articles on serious topics ranged far beyond coverage of the election. An article about the stories of migration and separation told by “barrel children” from the Caribbean received an award from the International Labour Organization, and a multi-part series of translation and interpretation in NYC probed what is a growing business – and challenge – in a polyglot city in which more than 180 languages are spoken. Voices of NY looked at how one Syrian refugee family was trying to adapt to a new life in Bay Ridge, what the city planned for improving its record on contracting with women- and minority-owned businesses, and profiled a Korean-American activist’s work in a video.
New York’s cultural scene is endlessly diverse, and last summer you could hear from visitors to the summer’s fourth annual Afro-Latino Festival, and read about comic book producers from Puerto Rico. Finally, as always, stories about food, and ethnic cuisines from around the globe, drew a large readership. Kalustyan’s, the “Disney World of food,” weekly Garifuna dinners in Harlem, the perfect Portuguese jamon prepared in New Jersey, and the efforts of one Nepalese woman to bring her cooking to a new Manhattan location all were described in mouth-watering detail.