2016 New Hampshire Primaries

Sparked by the deaths of unarmed civilians at the hands of the NYPD and other police departments across the country, New York City was consumed with protests and demonstrations against police brutality and institutional racism throughout 2014.

The protests called for greater accountability and justice for lives taken by the police. The city already had several high profile cases of police brutality and killings such as Ramarley Graham, Akai Gurley, and Sean Bell—but the failure to indict NYPD officer Daniel Pantaleo in the 2014 choke-hold death of Staten Island resident Eric Garner brought the furor to new levels. 

Groups of individuals ranging from dozens to thousands would congregate using social media, often spontaneously, leaving the police one step behind. Streets and highways were flooded with protestors, backing up traffic for miles on the busiest channels in the city. Department stores, transit centers, and public squares were also targeted. 

On a more basic level, the protests sought acknowledgement that race is still a problem in this country, and the national discourse has shifted heavily leading into the 2016 presidential elections.  

Subway Dancers, New York City 2014

Every year in Whately, Massachusetts, Fairview Farm hosts migrant workers from Jamaica and various South American countries. They stay for as long as 8 months, sending money home for their families to pay for school and other life expenses. Many of them are farmers at home as well, but can make more money in America.

The hours are long, and the days start at sunrise. The living conditions are small and tight, but so is the community that they share. If one person cooks, everyone cooks, and everyone eats. Often they will steal away and make phone calls home to their families, but especially for those who have been coming for decades, this is a family away from family.

The Crossroads Youth Center is a faith-based organization that combines skateboarding and Christianity to provide area youth a safe, supervised place to skateboard. Situated on the Grace Church of the Nazarene property in Spencerport, the Crossroads Youth Center features an outdoor skatepark built and maintained by youth center participants, as well as a barn where worship services are held.

Every Thursday night area youth are welcome to a free skateboard session followed by bible study. Sundays have a worship service that one could gather has far greater attendance levels than a traditional mass--perhaps because it is always followed by a skateboarding excursion to a skatepark or other destination of the kids' choice.

The kids produce an annual skateboarding film from the past year's adventures. Some have used their experience producing the film to pursue an education and jobs in media and video production. The kids may not be perfect, and indeed display some struggles with school and priorities, but they are getting into less trouble than they would without a safe, supervised place to go.