Adhikaar’s Quarterly Newsletter (October – December 2021)
Nail Salon Program: #AllHandsIn for a Fair and Equitable Industry
Launch of “All Hands In” campaign
On January 26, 2022, Adhikaar, with NY State Senator Jessica Ramos, Assemblymember Harry Bronson, and the NY Healthy Nail Salon Coalition, introduced the Nail Salon Minimum Standards Council Act, the first bill of its kind in the United States!
This bill has been a labor of love for the last two years, involving our member leaders and also close partnership work with our coalition steering committee NYCOSH and Workers United. If passed, it would create a state-level council of workers, employers, and government officials that would recommend ways to improve the nail salon industry across New York. It also would create a price minimum committee that would propose a new pricing model to raise standards so that both workers and employers can benefit.
Adhikaar’s member leaders have been an integral part of this campaign by brainstorming the bill itself and planning a campaign for this year to bring attention to improvements needed in the industry. Over the last few months we held multiple meetings with 45 of our members for the “All Hands In” campaign.
As Adhikaar’s Nail Salon Workers’ Association Steering Committee member Sweta said: “If anyone knows what needs to be changed, it’s us who are in the industry. This council will give us the chance to be heard and win the ability to come to the table and speak up for what we need.”
As we ramp up the campaign in the next few months, we will be meeting regularly with members and training our leaders to become campaign spokespeople and recruit new workers. We can’t do this alone – we need your support to win, so it’s ALL HANDS IN! If you are interested in learning more about the campaign, contact Adhikaar at 718-937-1117 or email our campaign lead at email@example.com.
In November we welcomed two of our long-time member leaders Goma Yonjan Gurung and Sabita Lama as Nail Salon Fellows at Adhikaar. This is a huge accomplishment for us as we build a pipeline for member leaders to develop their skills professionally as organizers-in-training. In December, we facilitated a focus group discussion with eight members as part of our pending research project with Cornell University on the nail salon industry. We also held our first in-person event post-pandemic with our steering committee members and leaders to share updates on our upcoming All Hands In campaign and to begin recruiting to expand the steering committee.
Training and service
Our staff provided digital and language support to 200+ members with licensing support like applying for new license applications, renewal and also support for state licensing exam registration. We also continued engaging and supporting nail salon employers with their business licensing, business management, and connecting them with state and city resources.
Health care program: Addressing Vaccine Hesitancy and Health Inequity
In the last quarter, due to the rising concerns of COVID variants and the need for vaccine awareness, we produced an educational video in Nepali that gave our members the latest information on COVID-19 booster shots, vaccine search and appointment registration, health insurance, and the NYC Care program.
NYC Care is a health care access program that guarantees low-cost and no-cost services to New Yorkers who do not qualify for or cannot afford health insurance. To raise awareness about the program, we did community outreach to 575+ individuals, shared program information, and registered 60 individuals for the program. We continued our effort to raise awareness on vaccines and address hesitancy in the community by speaking with individuals one-on-one, at virtual meetings, and in-person events. Altogether, we addressed vaccine hesitancy with 875+ individuals.
The open enrollment for health insurance in New York State has started, please call Adhikaar at (718) 937-1117 if you have any questions related to health insurance, vaccines, or the NYC Care program.
Youth Program: Organizing the Next Generation!
In December we had our biggest youth workshop to date with 25+ Nepali-speaking youths of Nepali, Bhutanese, Indian, Burmese, and Tibetan roots. The theme of the workshop was “Know Thyself” which covered intersectionality and gender justice. They also shared their experience on identity, power, and privilege. For this workshop, our youths were the ones who came up with the idea, developed, and facilitated it. The later part of the workshop included creative arts and craft exercises where they used stickers, scrap graphics, and colors to represent their identity.
Throughout the last quarter, our youth members met virtually and also in-person on a weekly basis to share ideas, plan, and meet each other. To celebrate their achievements for the year, we held a virtual appreciation day in December to highlight their personal experiences with Adhikaar.
If you’d like to get involved in the youth program, please reach out to our Youth Organizer Fellow Puja Thapa at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- We held our mid-year staff retreat in December where we shared our plans and updates for the new year.
- Through support from the New York Immigration Coalition, we were able to address food insecurity outreaching to 400+ families and distributing food coupons to 1,140 households.
- To educate and create awareness on the immigration enforcement actions, how that impacts the immigrant New Yorkers and to provide the city resources, we conducted 8 Know-Your-Rights sessions in Nepali with 166 members with the resources provide by MOIA
- Surveyed 150+ members for a research project by New York University – Langone to study impacts of COVID-19 in the Asian American communities.
- Continued our Excluded Worker Fund service work by screening members and assisting with filling out applications with the NYS Department of Labor. In October, we did one-on-one phone calls to 50+ members and we were able to complete 6 applications in the second week of October. Since the fund at DOL ran out and they no longer accept the application we could not provide application support after the second week of October. Of all the members that have applied for the fund, only one member received the fund of $14000.
Due to the high COVID-19 infection rate, we continue to close our physical office and work virtually. If you have any questions or need support then please call Adhikaar at 718-937-1117.
Adhikaar in the News
- PBS, “Democrats wrangle over high-stakes agenda as crunch time approaches”
- The City, “‘We Have to Survive’: Meet NYC Immigrant Women Fighting for Their Communities During the Pandemic”
- PBS, “Tell Me More With Kelly Corrigan”
- The Hub, “CUSP Coalition Cannot Afford to Wait for Another Election Cycle for Green Cards”
- Common Dream, “Immigrants Start ‘Sleep Out’ at Schumer’s Home, Urging Dems to Defy Senate Parliamentarian”
- Progreso Hispano News, “Manifiestan frente al Congreso de EE. UU. para regularizar TPS”
- Daily Kos, “Green card installation represents hundreds of thousands of TPS families in need of permanent relief”
- La Latina Media, “Group places green placards outside US Capitol to demand immigration reform”
- NTN24, “Activistas instalaron 400 pancartas frente al Capitolio”
- The American Bazaar, “Immigrants begin ‘#NoSleepTilCitizenship’ at Schumer’s home”
- Documented, “Meet 4 Immigrant Women Who Make Their NYC Communities More Resilient”
- The Fuller Project, “‘We Have to Survive’: Meet NYC Immigrant Women Fighting for Their Communities During the Pandemic”