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Friday, June 14, 2024

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SCOTUS begins issuing new opinions, with another expected related to the power of federal agencies, the battleground state of Wisconsin gets a ruling on alternative voting sites, and coastal work is being done to help salt marshes withstand hurricanes.

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The Supreme Court for now protects access to abortion drug mifepristone, while Senate Republicans block a bill protecting access to in-vitro fertilization. Wisconsin's Supreme Court bans mobile voting sites, and colleges deal with funding cuts as legislatures target diversity programs.

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As summer nears, America's newest and largest international dark sky sanctuary beckons, rural job growth is up, but full recovery remains elusive, rural Americans living in prison towns support a transition, while birth control is more readily available in rural areas.

NY 'SafeWalks' Program Keeps On Walking

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Monday, August 7, 2023   

A community effort meant to curb incidents of violence against Asian Americans in New York is undergoing some changes - but it will still be around.

The "SafeWalks" program was devised to help Asian Americans remain safe walking in their communities after anti-Asian hate crimes rose during the pandemic.

In 2021, 140 such crimes were reported, the highest rate since reporting began.

Today, the group Nonviolent Peaceforce is stepping away from its role in SafeWalks - but other organizations are taking the baton.

Kalaya'an Mendoza, director of mutual protection for Nonviolent Peaceforce, described the group's new role.

"We're going to be primarily focused on providing safety trainings to community members," said Mendoza, "which are going to encompass a lot of the skills that volunteers would need to do Safe Walks and other forms of protective accompaniment."

Mendoza said it's gratifying that other groups are stepping in to make sure SafeWalks continues.

He said Nonviolent Peaceforce will provide those groups with training, hold debriefs for volunteers, and support leadership development.

Mendoza said as beneficial as the program has been, it hasn't been without challenges. One in particular was finding resources to meet the community needs.

He said the lack of focus on the issue of anti-Asian hate by elected officials has been challenging, too.

"I wish I could say that hate crimes and hate incidents are going down," said Mendoza. "But I think we're going to continue seeing them continue, and rise until there is more support for impacted communities on a federal, state and city level."

New York Gov. Kathy Hochul has allocated $51 million for safety measures at nonprofit organizations that work with populations at risk of hate crimes.

Legislation has also been signed to strengthen hate crime investigation and reporting requirements on college campuses.



Disclosure: Nonviolent Peaceforce contributes to our fund for reporting on Criminal Justice, Human Rights/Racial Justice, Peace, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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