Mercy & Justice Round-Up: July Edition

july m&j

Who is New York City for these days? Does our public school screening system contribute to segregation? Is there anywhere you can you afford a modest one-bedroom home when you are paid minimum wage? You’ll find articles that speak to these questions and more in this month’s Mercy & Justice Round-Up.

As always, this is a collection of content that got us thinking lately and includes a range of perspectives— some we agree with, others we might not. We hope you’ll read, listen, learn and love better with us.

  • NYC residents working at minimum wage ($13/hour) have to work 92 hours each week to afford a modest 1 bedroom rental home at Fair Market Rent, according to the NLIHC. Read a summary of the recent report that found there isn’t a single state or city in the country where someone earning minimum wage can afford a two-bedroom home.
  • “White and Asian students are more likely to go to screened high schools...Black and Latino children, on the other hand, most often attended high schools without academic admissions requirements. Poor students were also overrepresented at those schools.” This New York Times article links NYC’s unique (and growing) school screening system to segregation in city schools.
  • New York City “is approaching a state where it is no longer a significant cultural entity but the world’s largest gated community,“ writes the author of “The Death of a Once Great City,” published this month in Harper’s. It’s a long—but worthwhile—read for anyone who has loved NYC and desires to see it bursting with character, culture, and diversity. The essay asks: Who is this city for? and wrestles with the implications of the answer.
  • Yeni Gonzalez-Garcia spent a month and a half separated from her three young children—who were sent to NYC—after crossing the U.S. border. WNYC published the story of her experience of detention and attempt to reunite with her children, and they also have a number of stories about the 300 migrant children who have been sent to New York City.
  • More than 500 food pantries and soup kitchens rely on the city’s emergency food program, which is getting a boost this year—now at $24.7 million, still a fraction of the city’s $89 billion budget. This article asks whether the increased budget is enough to adequately cover these programs’ needs, given the steadily growing meal gap.