Helping LGBTQIA+ immigrants endure adversity in the U.S.

Helping LGBTQIA+ immigrants endure adversity in the U.S.

Transgender and queer immigrants can face hardship in detention and when settling in the U.S. Here’s a group that helps LGBTQIA+ migrants. Protesters at a rally jointly organized by the Queer Detainee Empowerment Project in New York on 4 July 2021. (Photo...

Relocating and integrating to a new country is difficult on its own, but individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex or asexual are even more vulnerable, particularly in immigrant detention centers. Hanna Rahman, a student at The Hewitt School in New York City, reports on one organization’s work to aid, empower and advocate for LGBTQIA+ detainees and undocumented individuals.

The Queer Detainee Empowerment Project (QDEP) provides health, educational, legal and emotional assistance to the LGBTQIA+ migrant community, making sure to involve the community in planning and activities. QDEP’s grassroots model and inclusive strategy inspired Rahman to consider her own perception of how community service is organized.

Exercise: Ask students to compare large aid organizations such as UNICEF or the UN High Commission for Refugees with smaller grassroots organizations like QDEP. How are they similar and how are they different? What do they think is a more effective and equitable approach to humanitarian assistance?

To resist in China: Touch a fish, be in your Buddha nature

To resist in China: Touch a fish, be in your Buddha nature

Social media memes are at the forefront of the latest form of passive resistance against China’s grinding work culture. “Lying flat” meme. I’m supposed to write a piece for News Decoder, but if I were a hip young Chinese, maybe I’d just “lie flat”...

So much reporting about China by Western journalists focuses on the Communist Party, human rights and economic growth, that it is refreshing to read an account by an “old China hand” that explores a quiet rebellion by Chinese youth expressed in purposefully ambiguous social media memes. Lying flat, touching a fish, being Buddha-like and saying “Whatever” sound innocuous enough, but they belie deep disenchantment among many young Chinese over “the relentlessness that has driven the economy to growth rates far faster than any developed country in the West,” as David Schlesinger puts it. Schlesinger’s account is all the more relevant as many young people outside China, fed up with COVID-19, are deserting the workaday world for a time out.

Exercise: Ask students to list their main grievances and what they can do about them.

Tag: activism