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.

States Cracking Down on Modern Slavery in the U.S.

States Cracking Down on Modern Slavery in the U.S.

by Michelle Chen on July 19 2010, 8:02AM

Human-trafficking legislation is gaining momentum, and targeting modern-day slavery is a critical issue, but it’s in some ways low-hanging fruit.

Topics: Immigration, On Gender

Passport Flap Keeps Iroquois Out of World Lacrosse Championships

Passport Flap Keeps Iroquois Out of World Lacrosse Championships

by Michelle Chen on July 17 2010, 6:31AM

The travel restrictions that barred the Iroquois team from a major tournament in England marked the limitations, and the vitality, of tribal sovereignty.

Topics: Global Affairs

Crab Industry Workers Reveal Injustice of 'Legal' Migrant Labor

Crab Industry Workers Reveal Injustice of ‘Legal’ Migrant Labor

by Michelle Chen on July 16 2010, 10:13AM

Government-sanctioned exploitation in the crab industry shows why rights activists balk at the concept of guestworker programs.

Topics: On Gender

Tempers Explode Over Ground Zero Islamic Center

Tempers Explode Over Ground Zero Islamic Center

by Michelle Chen on July 15 2010, 11:01AM

How did an otherwise mundane hearing of the Landmarks Preservation Commission disintegrate into a Muslim-bashing fest?

Topics: Mosque Mania

No Free Pill Yet Under New Healthcare Regulations

No Free Pill Yet Under New Healthcare Regulations

by Michelle Chen on July 15 2010, 9:40AM

From a reproductive justice standpoint, birth control isn’t just a women’s issue but an issue of racial and socioeconomic equity as well.

Topics: Obama Abortion Ban, On Gender

Will Obama's AIDS Plan Reach Out to Black Women?

Will Obama’s AIDS Plan Reach Out to Black Women?

by Michelle Chen on July 14 2010, 10:10AM

In Obama’s new HIV/AIDS plan, it’s crucial to channel resources into research, prevention, education and treatment for the most vulnerable.

Topics: On Gender

Sexual Assault Left Out of Military's PTSD Reform

Sexual Assault Left Out of Military’s PTSD Reform

by Michelle Chen on July 14 2010, 8:21AM

New regulations for reviewing veterans’ PTSD claims offer little comfort for military women who have survived sexual trauma.

Topics: On Gender

In Haiti, a Miami Transplant Seeks New Horizons

In Haiti, a Miami Transplant Seeks New Horizons

by Michelle Chen on July 13 2010, 1:33PM

Shooby Leroy Jean-Pierre finds despair and opportunity in earthquake-stricken Leogane.

Topics: Global Affairs, Haiti, Immigration

“Culture” Cop-Out Won’t Stop Rape in Eastern Congo

by Michelle Chen on July 13 2010, 9:36AM

The brutal war in eastern Congo has become synonymous with rape as a military tactic. Sensationalism combines with subrosa racism to dull the international response.

Topics: Global Affairs, On Gender

Stereotype: Debunked. Latinos Are MORE Progressive on Gender

Stereotype: Debunked. Latinos Are MORE Progressive on Gender

by Michelle Chen on July 12 2010, 1:00PM

A survey finds Latinos out ahead in opinions about women in the workforce and family structures.

Topics: On Gender

The Women of Haiti Still in Rubble

The Women of Haiti Still in Rubble

by Michelle Chen on July 12 2010, 9:37AM

Today marks one half year since an earthquake flattened Port-au-Prince. The women of Haiti are still lost in the wreckage. The human rights of women in post-quake Haiti have been a barometer of injustice in the international response to the…

Topics: Haiti, On Gender

UK Says Gay Asylum Seekers Can Come Out of the Closet

UK Says Gay Asylum Seekers Can Come Out of the Closet

by Michelle Chen on July 9 2010, 4:45PM

The UK Supreme Court struck down a draconian policy of questioning LGBT asylum seekers on whether they might avoid persecution back home by hiding their sexuality.

Topics: On Gender

The Coming Fight Over Paying for the Pill

The Coming Fight Over Paying for the Pill

by Michelle Chen on July 8 2010, 12:32PM

Advocates for reproductive rights are bracing for a battle with social conservatives as they push to make health insurers offer contraceptives for free.

Topics: Obama Abortion Ban, On Gender

Haitian Moms Still Need Health Care

Haitian Moms Still Need Health Care

by Michelle Chen on July 7 2010, 1:05PM

Families may still be struggling for food and shelter after the earthquake, but their need for everyday preventive health care is no less profound.

Topics: Global Affairs, Haiti, On Gender

N.Y. Domestic Workers First in Nation to Win Labor Rights

N.Y. Domestic Workers First in Nation to Win Labor Rights

by Michelle Chen on July 6 2010, 11:41AM

The nation’s first law protecting the rights of domestic workers brings dignity and peace of mind to an estimated 200,000 nannies, housekeepers and other home-based workers.

Topics: On Gender

Expanding the Dialogue on Race and Gender

Expanding the Dialogue on Race and Gender

by Michelle Chen on June 24 2010, 8:18PM

Welcome to my new blog, On Gender. Thanks for stopping by. As we move into the new incarnation of Colorlines.com, we’ve been thinking about how to balance and broaden our editorial mix. A focus on gender and race has emerged…

Topics: On Gender

Wisc. Law Fouls Out American Indian Team Names

Wisc. Law Fouls Out American Indian Team Names

by Michelle Chen on June 24 2010, 12:35PM

Look around an average college campus today and you might notice that Native Americans are surprisingly well represented. Sure, people of native descent make up just a tiny part of the college and university student population. But there are plenty…

Topics: Schools & Youth

No End in Sight for Foreclosures

No End in Sight for Foreclosures

by Michelle Chen on June 23 2010, 7:47AM

The recession still has more damage to do. And a new Center for Responsible Lending report says Black and Latino homeowners will continue feeling the worst of it.

Topics: Economy

Slave Trade Still Part of U.S. Labor Market

Slave Trade Still Part of U.S. Labor Market

by Michelle Chen on June 22 2010, 10:35AM

Media reports often focus on dramatic narratives of young girls lured into prostitution. Government data suggests it’s more like adults in hotel work and home health care.

Topics: Immigration

Pregnant Women Dying in New York

Pregnant Women Dying in New York

by Michelle Chen on June 21 2010, 11:58AM

This year, maternal health advocates got the heartening news that the death rate of women in childbirth was declining worldwide, while the rate of child survival was improving ahead of earlier projections. But while the epidemic of maternal and child…

Topics: Health