Colorlines

Michelle Chen

Michelle Chen
Columnist, Global Justice
New York, NY

Michelle Chen is Colorlines' Global Justice columnist. She is a regular contributor on labor issues at In These Times, as well as a member of the magazine's Board of Editors. Michelle's reporting has appeared in Ms. Magazine, AirAmerica, Alternet, Newsday, the Progressive Media Project, and her old zine, cain. Prior to joining Colorlines, she wrote for the independent news collective The NewStandard. A native New Yorker, she has also conducted ethnographic research as a Fulbright fellow in Shanghai and checked coats at a West Village jazz club. She is currently pursuing doctoral studies at the City University of New York and co-producing the community radio program Asia Pacific Forum on Pacifica's WBAI.

Follow Michelle at @meeshellchen.

Is Environmental Injustice Morphing Little Girls' Bodies?

Is Environmental Injustice Morphing Little Girls’ Bodies?

by Michelle Chen on August 10 2010, 1:27PM

The latest research suggests an array of social and environmental factors may be causing girls bodies to develop prematurely, especially girls of color.

Topics: Environment, Health, On Gender

Study:

Study: “Marriage Promotion” in Welfare Doesn’t Work

by Michelle Chen on August 10 2010, 9:00AM

Yet, even as we shred the social safety net, there’s always new money for magical thinking about “family values” as a way to combat poverty.

Topics: On Gender

New York Ends Prison Gerrymandering

New York Ends Prison Gerrymandering

by Michelle Chen on August 9 2010, 9:01AM

A New York bill would bar counties from using census data to inflate their population numbers with prison headcounts.

Topics: Criminal Justice

Hate-Crime Sentence and Ruling on Marriage Cross a Spectrum of Justice

Hate-Crime Sentence and Ruling on Marriage Cross a Spectrum of Justice

by Michelle Chen on August 7 2010, 9:32AM

A hate-crime killing and Judge Walker’s ruling speak to a spectrum of inequality from the county courthouse to a Brooklyn street.

Topics: Immigration, On Gender

For ICE Prisons, a Blank One-Year Progress Report

For ICE Prisons, a Blank One-Year Progress Report

by Michelle Chen on August 6 2010, 10:45AM

Today marks one year since ICE promised to fix the detention system. So far, there’s little to celebrate.

Topics: Immigration, On Gender

Cold Cases: Murder in L.A. and the Value of Black Life

Cold Cases: Murder in L.A. and the Value of Black Life

by Michelle Chen on August 5 2010, 10:28AM

Serial killings in L.A. reveal a sense that violence against black women is more tolerable, more expected, less deserving of punishment.

Topics: Gender & Sexuality, On Gender

Marriage Equality Without Borders: Prop 8 and Immigration

Marriage Equality Without Borders: Prop 8 and Immigration

by Michelle Chen on August 5 2010, 6:30AM

The Prop 8 ruling could change the meaning of the right to marry for couples facing other social barriers, including immigrants and people of color.

Topics: On Gender, Prop 8

Social Security Threats Creep Up on Communities of Color

Social Security Threats Creep Up on Communities of Color

by Michelle Chen on August 4 2010, 9:58AM

Privatization whispers are circulating again. That’s particularly bad news for people of color heading into their sunset years.

Topics: Economy, On Gender

NYC Muslim Center Clears Ground Zero Hurdle, Finally

NYC Muslim Center Clears Ground Zero Hurdle, Finally

by Michelle Chen on August 3 2010, 7:24PM

It’s been a long, ugly debate.

Topics: Mosque Mania

Time Pictures Afghan Women, Obscures Realities of Endless War

Time Pictures Afghan Women, Obscures Realities of Endless War

by Michelle Chen on August 3 2010, 10:22AM

Just plaster a disfigured female victim on the cover, and presto—instant war morale!

Topics: Global Affairs, Media, On Gender

BP's Dumping Oil-Spill Waste in Communities of Color, Study Finds

BP’s Dumping Oil-Spill Waste in Communities of Color, Study Finds

by Michelle Chen on August 3 2010, 8:39AM

More than half of BP’s sites for disposing of cleaned-up oil and waste are in places where the majority of residents are of color.

Topics: Environment, On Gender

Indian Country Wins Power to Fight Sexual Assault

Indian Country Wins Power to Fight Sexual Assault

by Michelle Chen on August 2 2010, 9:30AM

Native women are more than twice as likely to get assaulted, and 9 out of 10 attackers are non-native.

Topics: Criminal Justice, On Gender

Break

by Michelle Chen on July 23 2010, 8:32AM

I’ll be away next week, traveling in Shanghai, among other places, so this blog will be dormant until early August. In the meantime, enjoy the rest of the new Colorlines and send us your feedback….

Topics: On Gender

Sick Neighborhoods Create Barriers to Health for Men of Color

Sick Neighborhoods Create Barriers to Health for Men of Color

by Michelle Chen on July 22 2010, 2:25PM

Exploring community wellness as a collective whole, we see a grim prognosis emerging from the social systems surrounding Black and Latino men and boys.

Topics: Health, On Gender

Black Women Don't Swim?

Black Women Don’t Swim?

by Michelle Chen on July 21 2010, 7:20PM

On public radio, we’ve been hearing a lot about how Black people and water don’t mix. Or more precisely, why so many Black people don’t swim.

Topics: Media, On Gender

Asylum System May Open Door for Femicide Survivors

Asylum System May Open Door for Femicide Survivors

by Michelle Chen on July 21 2010, 9:02AM

A narrow window to humanitarian relief could be opening in the for survivors of femicide in the U.S. asylum system.

Topics: Global Affairs, On Gender

House Bill Would Serve Kids Healthier Food at Schools

House Bill Would Serve Kids Healthier Food at Schools

by Michelle Chen on July 20 2010, 11:28AM

The bill isn’t the comprehensive answer, but it does reflect a broader perspective on the link between children’s health and what we put on their plates.

Topics: Health, On Gender, Schools & Youth

Prison System Chains Women in Childbirth

Prison System Chains Women in Childbirth

by Michelle Chen on July 20 2010, 10:30AM

In many places around the country, it’s still legal to keep incarcerated women shackled while they go through labor.

Topics: Criminal Justice, Gender & Sexuality, On Gender

White House Bans Abortion Coverage in New High-Risk Pools

White House Bans Abortion Coverage in New High-Risk Pools

by Michelle Chen on July 20 2010, 8:00AM

And women of color are most likely to pay the price. Reproductive justice advocates are asking people to write the administration and demand better.

Topics: Obama Abortion Ban, On Gender

Obama's Immigration Enforcement a Carbon Copy of Bush's

Obama’s Immigration Enforcement a Carbon Copy of Bush’s

by Michelle Chen on July 19 2010, 1:45PM

A year and a half into his presidency, Obama has reached a new low on immigration enforcement. Or rather, a new high.

Topics: Immigration