Shows: May 12, 2014

Photo for 'Documented: Jose Antonio Vargas and Immigrant Storytelling'
Apo Anak Productions
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Documented: Jose Antonio Vargas and Immigrant Storytelling

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Jose Antonio Vargas is a Pulitzer-prize winning journalist whose byline has appeared in the Washington Post and New York Times. After reporting on US elections and profiling notables like Mark Zuckerberg, in 2011, Jose came forward with his own surprising story: he was an undocumented immigrant. Born in the Philippines, he was sent as a 12 year-old to live with his grandparents who had legally immigrated to the California. It wasn’t until he tried to get a driver’s license as a 16 year-old that he discovered that he was undocumented. He has since joined with other young undocumented activists to campaign for immigration reform, and has directed and released a film called Documented. He speaks with Asia Pacific Forum about his hopes as the struggle for comprehensive immigration reform continues.

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Taxi Workers Fight for Health and Disability Care

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The life of a New York cabbie may seem like a freewheeling profession, but in many cases, they’re struggling to get by on poverty wages, working 10-hour shifts, burdened by heavy fees and tight regulations, not to mention the threat of cops, vicious traffic and chronic health problems associated with the job. And now, the owners of taxi fleets are waging a war on a group of taxi workers who are trying to set up their own healthcare and disability fund. I recently spoke with Bhairavi Desai, head of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, a grassroots worker organization that represents about 17,000 cabbies across the city. She explained how the new healthcare fund is ready to go into effect, with a full green light from the city government, but has been ensnared by litigation and resistance from the city’s powerful taxi industry.

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Workers' Voices in Verse at PEN Festival

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This year’s PEN World Voices festival features a dazzling pastiche of creative words and sounds from all corners of the literary and artistic globe. But it also featured some lesser known, but no less gorgeous, voices from the city's urban working class--from right around the corner and from down the hall. For years, workers from the city’s service sectors have been conducting poetry workshops and sharing their work publicly through the efforts of poet and educator Mark Nowak and a team of intrepid activists. They’ve unearthed masses of undiscovered talent, and helped bring the often hidden stories of New York’s working class to public light. Now we hear original poems from two taxi drivers, Seth Goldman and Davidson Garrett, and Christine Lewis, a domestic worker.

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Global Cities, Global Resistance

In recent years, amid rapid economic globalization and industrialization, urban centers like Mumbai, Rio De Janiero, and Shanghai, have put Global South Cities at the center of the world stage. The focus of policymakers on cities and urbanization have also made these fast-growing metropolises emblems of both political vitality and growing inequality. Miloon Kothari, Former UN Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing, spoke on these issues at a recent forum on urbanization, economic justice and social movements, looking at the social consequences of industrialization, migration, and mega-events like Brazil’s upcoming World Cup, for the poor populations of these new centers of power in the so-called emerging economies. He asks what the rise of cities means for the migrants and workers who are often left behind.

Special thanks to Rosa-Luxemburg Stiftung for this audio recording.

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The Color of Citizenship: Tracing the Legacies of Japanese Internment from WWII to Stop & Frisk

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Roosevelt House at Hunter College recently hosted a conference on the legacy of Japanese internment and what it means for Americans today, facing new threats to civil liberties and human rights in the post-9/11 era. Featuring a range of perspectives in law, public policy, media and the arts, the speakers helped chart a new course for defending rights in a more global, yet in some ways more divided, world. We bring you excerpts from some of key discussions in this ongoing national and global dialogue.

Special thanks to Roosevelt House at Hunter College for this audio recording.

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This program is brought to you by Zhaleh Afshar and Michelle Chen of the APF collective.

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