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Essay

Why Today’s Social Revolutions Include Kale, Medical Care, and Help With Rent

In the Pandemic, Community Organizations Have Returned to Their Roots in Mutual Aid and Self-Determination

by Rinku Sen

When I needed to donate a box of vegetables recently, I called a nonprofit in my neighborhood in Queens, New York, that organizes low-wage immigrant workers. As we arranged the pickup, the organizer, Will Rodriguez, said, “You know, Rinku, we don’t usually do this stuff, but we just had to jump in because the need is so great. People are suffering so much.”
 By “this stuff,” he meant mutual aid, in which members of a community work together to meet each other’s urgent needs. Normally, the day laborers and domestic workers who are members of his organization, New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE), work together on direct ...

Essay

When San Francisco Tried to Be the World’s 'Queer Sanctuary' for Refugees and Asylum Seekers

In the 2010s, the Bay Area Worked to Resettle LGBTQ People Fleeing Persecution—but Then Policies Changed

by Tom Shepard

Early one morning in 2012, Subhi Nahas woke up in a hospital bed near Idlib, Syria. The bright, boyishly handsome 22-year-old couldn’t remember how he’d gotten there. The day before, his father had slammed Nahas’s head into the kitchen counter so hard that he had to be carried to the emergency room.
 Around this time, a militia group called the Nusra Front, with ties to al-Qaida, had formed near Nahas’s town. He had heard rumors that they’d kidnapped and killed several gay men.
 Nahas, who had near perfect grades in his third year of college, stopped going to school, fearful ...

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