Here at NJ Spark, more than a dozen Rutgers students will be reporting on social injustices in and around the New Brunswick area.
However, these issues happen everywhere. Here’s some recent news highlights:
- For decades, overseas subsidiaries have acted as a shield for extractive companies even while human rights advocates say they have chronicled a long history of misbehavior, including environmental damage, the violent submission of protesters and the forced evictions of indigenous people. The behavior of multinational companies working in poor countries has come under increasing fire in recent years. Social expectations have changed, experts say, with many citizens of rich countries demanding that corporations be more responsible in the countries where they operate.
- California lawmakers are preparing to announce a deal, according to the state’s newspapers, to raise the minimum wage statewide to $15 an hour by 2022, becoming the first state to meet a target that over the past few years has gone from a pie-in-the-sky activist demand to the new baseline for big cities. In most states in the U.S., however, the story is very different. Instead of raising the floor for wages and working conditions, a growing number of states have been creating ceilings — preventing increasingly active cities and towns from going above the state-level maximum.
- In 2010, the New York City affiliate for Habitat for Humanity received a hefty $21 million federal grant to work on a city neighborhood hit hard by the foreclosure crisis and help stabilize it. There was just one problem. With few vacancies in the gentrifying Bedford Stuyvesant area, longtime tenants were pushed out of their apartments — some into homelessness — clearing the way for developers to sell to Habitat at a hefty profit, a ProPublica investigation has found. Ultimately, Habitat’s project came with a cost: While scores of families gained new homes, other even needier ones were displaced.
- An environmental disaster is destroying black lives in Southwest Detroit. In American, race is the single biggest factor in determining whether you live near a toxic waste site. In mostly white states, it’ll be the black or Latino neighborhoods that get the oil refineries or garbage incinerators.
- Lead paint is making New York City’s children sick — and some landlords see it as the cost of doing business. From November 2013 through January 2016, New York City’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) issued more than 10,000 violations for dangerous lead paint conditions in units with children under 6, the age group most at risk of ingesting toxic paint. Half of the violations were in just 10 percent of the city’s zip codes, low-income neighborhoods in the Bronx, Brooklyn and northern Manhattan, a HuffPost/WNYC analysis found.