When indoor dining shut down during the pandemic, food delivery apps thrived. But the people delivering the food – workers celebrated as essential – faced risks to their safety and unfair working conditions.

Producer Oscar Durand tells the story of Cesar, a delivery worker from Mexico who found a cause and a community while organizing his fellow delivery workers in New York. We also speak with Hildalyn Colón Hernández from Los Deliveristas Unidos, a group that advocates for delivery workers in New York City.

Jasmine Jiwani is part of Atlanta’s large Ismaili Muslim community. Covid restrictions prevented the community from gathering for the funeral of her husband, who died of Covid. Producer Zulekha Nathoo reports on how the pandemic has created unique challenges for Jiwani and other Ismaili Muslims.

In March 2020, at the start of the pandemic, the U.S. sealed its border with Mexico. The purpose, U.S. officials said, was to protect Americans from the spread of Covid-19. But in the neighboring cities of Nogales, Arizona and Nogales, Sonora, Mexico, the unintended consequences of the border closure have come into sharp focus. In addition to Covid-related deaths, the economy on the U.S. side has been devastated. Meanwhile, business on the Mexican side is booming. What does this shift in the economic center of gravity mean for a region where travel and migration across the border has been a part of life for generations? Producers Maritza Felix and Julio Cisneros visit both cities to learn.

“A Better Life?” is back for a second season as we continue to explore how COVID-19 has changed immigrants’ lives and their relationship to America. This fall, we’ll be sharing new voices, new stories, and new perspectives as we ask the question, “As we navigate out of this pandemic, who gets to return to normal?”

 

Season 2 will premiere on September 30, 2021. 

At the start of the Biden administration and just two weeks after the siege at the U.S. Capitol, how are immigrants responding to this moment? Three senior journalists in the Feet in 2 Worlds network discuss the opportunities and risks, and the trauma they continue to grapple with from the past four years. Carolina González moderates this conversation with Zahir Janmohamed, Maritza L. Félix and Macollvie Neel.

Finding Joy

11Jan21

When Joy, who immigrated to the U.S. from China, finds herself trapped in an abusive relationship, she makes the choice to walk away from the family she thought she always wanted — and rebuild the family she always thought was broken.

This episode was made in partnership with Self Evident: a podcast that challenges the narratives about where we’re from, where we belong, and where we’re going — by telling Asian America’s stories.

We decided to check up on the immigrant elders in our lives to see how they’re surviving the pandemic. What we found was joy, wisdom, life experience and plenty of laughter — from two Italian immigrants in San Francisco, to a Haitian couple in Florida, to a 93-year-old aunt in Bangalore.

On a panel moderated by veteran editor and reporter Carolina González, the creators of “A Better Life?” discuss the inception of our podcast series at the peak of the pandemic. We talk about what kinds of stories we pursued in this season, what informed our decision-making choices as storytellers, and how our reporters dealt with the challenges of being vulnerable during the production process. This panel was recorded on a Zoom Webinar on Dec. 3rd, 2020.

Our friends at the podcast Self Evident have been reporting on the rise in xenophobic harassment, discrimination, and violence against Asian Americans during the pandemic.

Listen to “Here Comes the Neighborhood,” which dives into the pros and cons of neighborhood watch groups in historic Chinatowns and other Asian immigrant communities across the country.

For more stories of Asian Americans taking action during the pandemic, subscribe to Self Evident wherever you get your podcasts. Visit https://selfevidentshow.com/ to learn more.

The vice presidential nomination of Sen. Kamala Harris has made South Asian political power mainstream in the United States. In New Jersey — a state with a large and growing Desi population — differences over religion, culture and national origin make unity difficult to achieve.

As an immigrant in New York City, Rosalind Tordesillas has looked to her Tita Margaret Gomez — who came to New York from the Philippines in the ‘70s — as a role model for building a life there. The two New Yorkers remember their own resilience after 9/11, and Margaret offers inspiration for getting through this current moment.

Black residents in Maine make up 2% of the state’s population, but they’re twenty times more likely to get COVID than white Mainers. We hear from two members of the state’s African diaspora — Lewiston councilwoman Safiya Khalid and civil liberties attorney Michael Kebede — about the history of African migration to Maine and how they were transformed by the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor.

After the U.S., India has the highest number of coronavirus cases in the world. New York City-based Ramaa Reddy calls her 93-year-old aunt Indira in Bangalore to see how she’s doing.

When Covid-19 hit Italy in April, Italian immigrants Sara and Maria were stuck in San Francisco. So the neighbors began reminiscing about all the things — music, bread, Neapolitan scenery — that home meant to them.

Rosa — an undocumented Mexican immigrant who cleans hotel rooms in Phoenix — lost her income just a few weeks into the coronavirus pandemic. But she quickly fought back. Reporter Maritza L. Félix tells us her story.


Feet In 2 Worlds: A Better Life?

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