Ethnicity and Gender

Veronica Volk / WXXI

Activists are calling on the new Monroe County Executive to remove racist images from the Ontario Beach Carousel. Late last year, county officials declined to remove the images depicting offensive caricatures of black children, instead opting to install interpretive plaques. The plaques are currently being commissioned and are expected to be installed in the Spring.

Lindsey Lazarski / WHYY

At Kutztown University, a lot of students live near campus. But not Shannon Peitzer. She's a senior. And every morning she spends at least half an hour driving to school from her apartment.  "If I were to live in Kutztown," Peitzer said, "I would be concerned that a landlord would look at me and say 'I don't want to deal with you anymore, you're trans, I don't want that in my house — get out.'"

Lindsey Lazarski / WHYY

Things have changed for the people who resettle refugees in the United States, and their clients. Even in states like Pennsylvania, where the governor supports resettlement. 

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According to the National Center for Transgender Equality, 1 in 5 transgender individuals will face homelessness at some point in their lives. For some, shelters do not offer safety.

401(k)2013 / Flickr

This fall, Boston began offering free two-hour salary negotiation classes for women who work in the city. The $1.5 million program, which will continue for five years, is funded through corporate and foundation dollars. The classes are supposed to teach women strategies that can give them the confidence — and know-how — to negotiate their salaries.

Lindsey Lazarski / WHYY


In the wake of the terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 129 people, many Republican lawmakers - on the state and federal levels -- have called on Governor Tom Wolf to reject Syrian refugees. But he doesn't really have a choice. First of all, the program is run by the federal government. A 1980 federal law gives most of the authority to the U.S. Coordinator for Refugee Affairs.

Lehigh Valley Ponders Welcoming More Syrian Refugees

Nov 20, 2015
Laura Benshoff / WHYY

Farouk leans forward at the interview table, hands clasped. The question, what do you miss in Syria, gets a one word answer. "Everything," he said. Farouk -- not his real name -- doesn't want to be identified for fear of retribution back in Syria. He's one of 138 Syrian refugees to arrive in Allentown since civil war began splintering his country.

EXPLAINER: How Do Syrian Refugees Come To Pennsylvania?

Nov 18, 2015
Lindsey Lazarski / WHYY

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said he would bar all of them, even orphans younger than 5. Gov. Tom Wolf's administration said in a statement that Pennsylvania would remain open to people fleeing "unimaginable terror."  With terrorism in the headlines, Syrian refugees escaping a multi-sided civil war have become the political football du jour in the Delaware Valley and beyond.

Zach Hirsch / NCPR

Colleges across the country are grappling with protest rallies and marches. They've been sparked by concerns about race relations and accusations of systemic bias against black and Hispanic students.

Syrian Refugees Find Suspicion, Hope In Allentown

Nov 14, 2015
Lindsey Lazarski / WHYY

The Lehigh Valley has one of the oldest and largest Syrian communities in the United States, making it an attractive place for refugees fleeing that country's civil war to resettle. The first few families began trickling in this summer. Not only do they have to adjust to a whole new culture, but distrust among Syrians — stoked by violence back home — has followed them to Allentown.