Isolated in a Harlem Youth Shelter: One Youth’s Tale of COVID-19

Boy on skateboard on basketball court

Chris Jones

Watching others play on the basketball court behind the Sheltering Arms crisis shelter in Harlem became the youth’s favorite pastime as he suffered through COVID-19.

NEW YORK — First, it was just a headache. A migraine burrowing into his forehead, one that heated and cooled his body, made the room spin a little. But he didn’t usually have migraines. The dizziness and the onset of nausea felt wrong. Like they could be something more. On the outer edges of New York City, as the sound of sirens had started to become more frequent, a troubling thought came to his mind. 

And he couldn’t risk it. He didn’t live alone. He didn’t even have a room of his own. 

ny bureauHe lives in a Sheltering Arms crisis center in Harlem, where there are usually about five to six boys, aged anywhere from 16 to 20, in a bedroom. It was early March and so far no one had gotten sick with COVID-19. Despite losing his job at the Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. in Times Square, life had largely been business as usual. He and his friends played basketball outside and took walks. The urgency of a global pandemic hadn’t sunk in. 

He (he asked to remain anonymous because of safety concerns) moved to New York just three months ago, leaving his family behind in California. The twinkling lights of Time Square called to him on television as he watched the ball drop on New Year’s Eve. He wanted to see it for himself. New York looked like a place of endless opportunity. He could make some money and bring it back to his family, who immigrated from Mexico 12 years ago. 

That plan seemed a little silly in the middle of March, as the bustling Time Square that drew him into the city emptied like a nightclub in the early dawn. 

It was in the late evening of March 21 when he knew something wasn’t right. He told shelter staff he wasn’t feeling good, about the dizziness and nausea. Perhaps if there weren’t a global pandemic going on, they’d have given him Tylenol and instructed him to lie down. 

They called an ambulance for him to Harlem Hospital, where he asked to be tested for the coronavirus. But he didn’t have a fever when he got there, so doctors told him to take some Tylenol and go home. He was discharged at 1:31 a.m. 

The next day, his headache and chills continued. And his fever spiked. Staff at the shelter called emergency medical services to pick him up again, but Harlem Hospital had since filled up with cases, so they headed south to Mount Sinai. Sheltering Arms staff called the hospital this time and explained that he lived in a congregate setting, and it was important for them to confirm he had the virus so they could isolate him. 

So doctors stuck a long cotton swab up his nose — it felt like they’d stuck a finger up into his brain — and he waited in the emergency room for his results to come back. In less than five hours he had tested positive. 

“I was thinking, ‘I can’t believe I have the virus.’ I was so mad at myself,” he said. “That’s what I get for going outside. That’s what I get for not listening. God said, ‘I’m going to give you a taste of it and see how you like it.’” 

Alone and lonely and scared

By the time he made it back to the shelter, staff had secured him his own room and his own bathroom, a luxury he hadn’t known for quite some time. But the blessing of solitude soon felt more like loneliness. When three or four days had passed and his medicine wasn’t working and his fever kept spiking to 103 or 104, he welcomed another trip to the hospital. 

“I got in the shower and was just so excited to be outside for a second,” he said.

But soon fear crept in. There wasn’t much to fill his days with except the news. He knew the virus could take a turn for the worse. 

“What happens if I can’t breathe? What if my heart starts hurting?” he remembers thinking. “I was scared to be intubated. I was scared to die.” 

At the hospital, they wheeled him through an X-ray machine. They found that he had developed secondary pneumonia. His symptoms weren’t severe enough to keep him there or give him oxygen. Instead, doctors prescribed two medications and sent him back to the shelter. 

After a day or so, his fever began to drop. And the immediate fear went away. But as the fear left, an incapacitating headache swept in to take its place. 

Staff came in the room three times a day to bring him meals. But they were geared in personal protective equipment, masks hiding their smiles and muffling their voices. Although in reality they were only a few yards apart, his friends and roommates could have been on a different continent. It was through apps like Whatsapp that he was able to get real human interaction, and he was grateful they could talk through tech. 

He couldn’t chat for very long though. He couldn’t do much of anything for long. Staff had brought in a TV and console for him to play video games, but they ended up taking it out because the monitor made him dizzy.

When he felt sad or scared or lonely, he had nowhere to look but outside — which he did often. His window overlooked the basketball court on the backside of the shelter where, before he became ill, he would play ball with his friends. He watched from afar now. 

It became his favorite pastime, watching that orange ball bounce against the pavement and sneakers push off into the air to intercept a pass or a shot. Sometimes he’d imagine he was playing. Sometimes he’d imagine lecturing the boys for touching each other and breathing in the open air. 

A return to religion

He imagined a TV reporter knocking on his door, interviewing him about his experience. He relished the idea of sharing a cautionary tale, encouraging everyone to stay inside. The videos he’d watched of those who had recovered from the virus calmed him down and gave him hope. He imagined all this being over. With his healthy and recovered body, he could step outside and tell the reporter what to do if you have the virus. Maybe he could make someone else feel hopeful. 

He felt foolish for getting the virus, but was also in awe of his own body. For fighting it off. For surviving. The whole thing felt surreal. It was mostly luck; bad luck that he contracted the virus, good luck that he staved it off. But it felt meaningful. He took his time in solitude to reconnect with God — he was raised Catholic. 

“God knows why he did this to me,” he thought. “God knows why he gave me the virus.” 

Fifteen days in quarantine had passed. He had gone five days without a fever. 

“When I got out, the first thing I did was say hi to the staff,” he said. “I owe them everything for taking care of me, and I see them as my brothers.”

The worst had passed. He decided his misfortune was ultimately a blessing. He had the antibodies. He could fly back to California without the fear of contracting or giving someone else the virus. It was a feeling of remarkable freedom and privilege. His time in New York wasn’t what he’d thought it would be. But COVID-19 had given him perspective on what to value in life. 

“I recovered. But there’s other people who don’t recover,” he said. “Knowing that, somehow, it made me think, ‘I’m going to go back to California and be reunited with my family. I wanna go back.’” 

The post Isolated in a Harlem Youth Shelter: One Youth’s Tale of COVID-19 appeared first on Youth Today.

Baltimore Region COVID-19 Short-Term Response Grants

OUR GRANT OPPORTUNITIES: Youth Today’s grant listings are carefully curated for our subscribers working in youth-related industries. Subscribers will find local, state, regional and national grant opportunities.

THIS GRANT’S FOCUS: COVID-19, Food/Essentials Access, Mental Health, Healthcare, Housing/Shelter
May 29, 2020

“Funders in the Greater Baltimore area are working together to streamline the application process for non-profit organizations seeking resources to support changes in operations and sustainability due to COVID-19. Baltimore’s Promise, a non-profit collective impact organization, is supporting the effort as the administrative backbone and primary point of contact for applicants. Understanding that the needs in our communities will continue to emerge and change and be influenced by public funding responses, as well as additional philanthropic investments, we are approaching our COVID-19 response through a lens of short-term, mid-term and long-term support. The priorities listed below are focused primarily on short-term immediate needs facing our communities.

Funding priorities are as follows:

  1. Access to Food – This funding can support efforts that address gaps in existing efforts to ensure vulnerable populations have access to healthy food.
  2. Access to Other Home Essentials (such as toiletries, diapers, cleaning supplies, non-prescription medications – This funding is especially for individuals who are unable to get to and/or pay for these necessities.
  3. Nonprofit Sustainability – In the short-term, we will only consider requests from non-profit organizations that are providing direct relief services who may also be experiencing difficulties paying staff, overhead, etc., due to loss of fee for service revenue or fundraising events.  In other words, if your organization needs funding to maintain operations in order to provide COVID-19-related relief services, then your organization may make that request of this fund.
  4. Technology/Capacity of Non-Profits Who Support Those Affected by COVID-19 – This funding can support non-profit organizations to expand their technology capacity or other operational capacity to effectively serve those affected by COVID-19 while maintaining employee, volunteer and client safety.
  5. Mental Health and Community Coping – This funding can support efforts that address the emerging or increasing mental health or wellness needs resulting from increased stress over health concerns, job loss, managing increased household needs, prolonged isolation (especially for older adults), etc.
  6. Support for First Responders and Healthcare Workers – This funding can resource efforts that support individuals serving in these critical roles. This includes but is not limited to acquiring medical and personal protective equipment, temporary housing, childcare, and family support.
  7. Information Sharing and Credible Information Sources –  This funding can support the packaging, marketing, and distribution of accurate information (from verified sources such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, state government, and local governments) to provide credible information to vulnerable populations to (1) stem the spread of the virus and avoid overwhelming emergency departments and health care providers; and (2) help communities understand and cope with social distancing and stay-at-home policies.
  8. Access to Temporary Shelter – This funding can support efforts to ensure isolation, quarantine, and social distancing for individuals who would otherwise live in a congregate setting such as Single Room Occupancy Housing, Shelters, or Group Homes. Funds could support the cost of hotel rooms and associated supportive services; modifications necessary to enhance distancing; and additional staffing required to manage these programs.”

Funder: COVID-19 Response Funding Collaborative of Greater Baltimore
“Non-profit organizations. Funding is available through this application for organizations/activities serving one or more of the following jurisdictions: Baltimore City, Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, and Harford County.”
Up to $75,000

>>> CLICK HERE to see all of Youth Today’s GRANT LISTINGS

>>> CLICK HERE to see all of Youth Today’s COVID-19 GRANT LISTINGS

The post Baltimore Region COVID-19 Short-Term Response Grants appeared first on Youth Today.

How Will People Remember COVID-19 Years From Now?

autism: A boy in a festive cap blows into a festive pipe and stands in the rain of blue and silver confetti on a red background.

Mihail Guta/Shutterstock


As states slowly start to lift the stay-at-home restrictions and businesses reopen, some people feel the end is in sight. As we begin to transition back into a sense of normalcy in our daily lives, I am left wondering how we’ll remember this pandemic years from now.

disabilities: Deandra Mouzon (headshot), Georgia-based journalist, smiling woman with black hair, earrings, orange top

Deandra Mouzon

As a native New Yorker, I remember the tragedy of the 9/11 attacks and how our city dealt with the aftermath. Just like now, first responders and law enforcement were on the scene every day making sure we were safe. After this experience I hope we will remember how essential workers risked their own lives to care for everyday people.

This week I attended a webinar whose topic was “COVID-19 in Georgia: Supporting People with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.” Host Mark Crenshaw and several guest speakers spoke about the importance of understanding your health care and employment rights in the age of COVID-19. This was a great complement to the work I have been doing focused on young people with disabilities, and made me realize that people everywhere are sharing some of the same experiences.

autism: Child in jacket sitting on plastic dinosaur outside

Riley Jay Craig Hoadley

I contacted one family in London who said they had experiences similar to Americans’. Vikki Hoadley and her son Riley Jay Craig Hoadley, who is 8, have pivoted to a life where everything is done at home. Vikki said that Riley, who is autistic and has separation anxiety, prefers to be indoors anyway, so this was not a major challenge for him.

One thing Riley does not enjoy is not being able to see his brother and sister and their children. Being separated from loved ones is one challenge for a family who said they will remember the pandemic as the year that Riley couldn’t have a birthday party. For an 8-year-old I imagine that was a huge disappointment. 

This week I also contacted Dwight, who runs He did not want to include the family’s last name for privacy concerns. Dwight lives in Detroit and has an 8-year-old son named Brunello who was diagnosed with moderate-severe autism at age 3. “Through the research and help of many in traditional and nontraditional medical practices, we learned Bruno is heavy metal poisoned and has a form of neuroinflammation/encephalopathy,” Dwight said.

Little boy next to man in ball cap, green T-shirt


Until the beginning of the pandemic he received Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services five days a week for three hours. Now his family participates in his ongoing therapy, replacing those services. He does attend school with his peers, but, like all school-aged children, has had daily online schooling since the pandemic started. This transition, his father said, has been a challenge for him as he normally has processes and structure that he enjoys.

Although these circumstances have been demanding, Dwight said they are looking to the future.

“As far as remembering this in the future, I am hopeful we can get back to a ‘normal’ that he will once again enjoy and build his development skills from.” Anyone who works with youth who have disabilities can appreciate this statement, because we know firsthand how important it is for them to be challenged and to progress from challenges.

During times of crisis, I have seen people rise to the occasion and overcome obstacles they could never have anticipated would be there. COVID-19 is no different. As I continue to contact families of young people who have disabilities, I am realizing many of them experience unique issues while caring for children who require special attention. 

I hope that after this pandemic we can learn to appreciate not only the essential workers, but the moms and dads who go the extra mile to make sure their children are still on track to becoming healthy, independent adults.

If you would like to contribute to this column and share your story about life during quarantine with a disabled youth, email me at [email protected].

Deandra Mouzon is a Georgia-based journalist who received a B.A. in journalism from CUNY’s York College. Currently she is working on a publication about youth with disabilities.

The post How Will People Remember COVID-19 Years From Now? appeared first on Youth Today.

Carbon dioxide emissions from dry inland waters globally underestimated

Inland waters such as rivers, lakes and reservoirs play an important role in the global carbon cycle. Calculations that scale up the carbon dioxide emissions from land and water surface areas do not take account of inland waters that dry out intermittently. This means that the actual emissions from inland waters have been significantly underestimated—as shown by the results of a recent international research project led by scientists at the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) in Magdeburg and the Catalan Institute for Water Research (ICRA). The study was published in Nature Communications.

Ocean acidification prediction now possible years in advance

CU Boulder researchers have developed a method that could enable scientists to accurately forecast ocean acidity up to five years in advance. This would enable fisheries and communities that depend on seafood negatively affected by ocean acidification to adapt to changing conditions in real time, improving economic and food security in the next few decades.

Join Grist for a live conversation

What are the connections between the environment, low-income neighborhoods, and communities of color hit hardest by the coronavirus? How are frontline communities responding? What does the future of climate justice now look like? Join us for a free live conversation moderated by Grist senior staff writer, Yvette Cabrera. We’ll dive into these questions and more!

What: COVID-19, Climate Justice, and Communities of Color. What’s next?

When: Tuesday, May 5 @ 12:00 pm PDT (3:00 pm EDT)

Where: Zoom webinar. Register here

Moderator: Yvette Cabrera, Grist Senior Staff Writer


Yessenia Funes, Earther Senior Staff Writer
Talia Buford, ProPublica Environmental Justice Reporter
Brentin Mock, CityLab Staff Writer

In Partnership With: Ensia — a solutions-focused media outlet reporting on our changing planet.

Do you have a question you want the panel to discuss? Submit your questions below, and we will add it to the list.

This story was originally published by Grist with the headline Join Grist for a live conversation on Apr 28, 2020.

Coronavirus has states hitting pause — except when it comes to oil and gas drilling

California Governor Gavin Newsom was elected after promising to tackle global warming and transition the state to clean energy, but last year journalists revealed that his administration was approving fracking permits at double the rate of the previous administration. Newsom soon announced a moratorium on the approval of fracking permits across the state.

That pause remained in place into 2020 — until earlier this month, when the state was preoccupied with thousands of documented cases of the novel coronavirus and a statewide shutdown that Newsom ordered in response.

Amid a global pandemic, the scientific panel tasked by Newsom with reviewing all pending fracking applications approved 24 new fracking permits in Kern County, the heart of California’s oil country and a major agricultural hub. The decision left environmental advocates baffled.

Article continues below

In a region plagued by the kind of air pollution that public health experts are beginning to link to COVID-19 deaths, they questioned why California regulators would greenlight new fracking permits — especially since the state agency in charge of overseeing this process, California’s Geologic Energy Management division (CalGEM), is operating under a new mission to protect public health and safety.

Ironically, just as fracking picks back up the state is also pausing efforts to develop tougher regulations to protect those who live or work near oil and natural gas wells — a part of Newsom’s broader initiative to pull back on drilling as the state works toward achieving carbon neutrality by 2045. While the coronavirus has seemingly put those loftier goals on hold, business as usual is resuming for the state’s fossil fuel interests.

“I don’t think that there’s anyone — outside the industry — that thinks the prescription for COVID is expanding air pollution and public health threats,” said Mad Stano, program director for the California Environmental Justice Alliance (CEJA), a statewide coalition. “Just like you wouldn’t throw away your umbrella in a rainstorm, you wouldn’t toss out environmental health protections in the middle of a public health crisis.”

California Governor Gavin Newsom speaks during a news conference at the California Department of Public Health in February 2020. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

But California’s decision to greenlight additional fracking during the pandemic is not unique. As the nation hunkers down in the fight against COVID-19, many oil and gas operators are continuing their work — despite not only nationwide social distancing measures, but also a global price crash that has the industry reeling.

Shutting down fracking, drilling, and any number of ancillary activities that support the industry could have unforeseen effects on electricity production, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and the supply chains critical for getting food to kitchen tables during the pandemic. As a result, the Department of Homeland Security and state governors have labelled the oil and gas industry an “essential” and “life-sustaining” business, exempting it from many of the restrictions placed on other businesses.

State regulatory agencies are likewise continuing to process applications to ensure that these businesses receive permits, licenses, and other authorizations they require to operate. Grist surveyed six agencies representing Texas, Pennsylvania, Colorado, New Mexico, Washington state, and New York to assess whether they’ve made changes to accommodate the fossil fuel industry’s permitting needs during the pandemic.

All six state agencies reported that applications for permits, renewals, and other authorizations are being processed at a relatively normal pace. (In some cases, they reported having to ease normal requirements for wet signatures and physical documents in order to accommodate businesses trying to implement social distancing protocols at their workplaces.)

But these measures to aid the industry are being implemented while the enforcement and compliance divisions within these agencies have scaled back routine inspections in an attempt to protect their employees from COVID-19. Additionally, in states like Pennsylvania and Montana pipeline and refinery construction are ongoing. Some agencies have canceled public hearings where stakeholders might oppose these kinds of projects or participate in environmental rule-making. Many state agencies have also suspended the processing of public information requests, further limiting the public’s ability to gather information about projects being considered in a time of crisis.

Allowing permitting and construction to continue while curtailing substantive public participation is “especially frustrating,” said Eric Schaeffer, executive director of the Environmental Integrity Project, a nonprofit founded by former EPA employees. “[They’re saying,] ‘You can’t have public meetings, but we’ll keep rolling permits out.’”

Can coronavirus bring boomers and zoomers together on climate?

When 82-year-old actor and activist Jane Fonda appeared on Seth Meyer’s late-night show via Zoom earlier this month, she didn’t want to dwell on the novel coronavirus. The conversation was all about climate activism.

“The climate crisis affects young people differently,” she told Meyers. “It’s their future. They had nothing to do with causing this to happen.” The founder of Fire Drill Fridays, a series of rallies for climate action that has led to multiple arrests for Fonda, says that young climate activists’ resolve and the fate of younger generations are what motivate her to speak out about climate.

Despite the longstanding acrimony between millennials and baby boomers over avocado toast and trigger warnings, I have hope for intergenerational relations on climate after the coronavirus. And it’s not just because of Fonda’s climate activism — although I applaud her resolve and solidarity with younger generations.

Article continues below

Although the climate crisis affects young folks more, and the coronavirus crisis puts older generations at higher risk, none of us is immune to either — and the pandemic may give us a greater sense of our need for one another. While the hashtag #BoomerRemover — a snide nickname for the virus highlighting its high mortality rate for the elderly — and videos of callous spring-breakers in Florida have proliferated, so have countless stories of people going out of their way to help others and support their communities across generational lines. Young people across the country are mobilizing their peers into groups with names like Zoomers to Boomers and Shopping Angels to help bring groceries and supplies to older neighbors, and the Canadian practice of “caremongering” is spreading. Disasters can bring people together, deepen our sense of responsibility to our neighbors, and broaden the definitions of who we include in our communities.

It’s certainly easy to find examples of intergenerational head-butting over climate change, like when Greta Thunberg and other young climate activists were scolded for blaming “older generations and those in power” for climate change in a Guardian opinion piece. Or when 25-year-old New Zealand lawmaker Chlöe Swarbrick was heckled by an older politician during a climate speech and countered with, “OK, boomer.”

But I’m optimistic that the pandemic could remind the old and young alike that making the world better and safer can be a common cause. When Thunberg announced on Instagram last month that she very likely had COVID-19, she emphasized the importance of tackling the COVID-19 crisis collectively. “We who don’t belong to a risk group have an enormous responsibility, our actions can be the difference between life and death for many others,” she wrote.

And in the same interview with Meyers, Fonda laid out how this responsibility could translate to climate change. “The COVID crisis has a lot in common with the climate crisis,” she said. “It requires listening to the scientists, listening to experts, being prepared … and being kind and generous with each other.” That’s a tall order — but we may yet come out the other side of this pandemic with some practice.

This story was originally published by Grist with the headline Can coronavirus bring boomers and zoomers together on climate? on Apr 28, 2020.

COVID Crisis Educator Support Rapid Response Grants

OUR GRANT OPPORTUNITIES: Youth Today’s grant listings are carefully curated for our subscribers working in youth-related industries. Subscribers will find local, state, regional and national grant opportunities.

THIS GRANT’S FOCUS: COVID-19, Education, Educator Support, Education Innovation
May 14, 2020; May 28, 2020; June 11, 2020

“The purpose of the NEA Foundation’s Rapid Response Funding is to support educator-led initiatives to adapt to the unique circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic during the summer months of 2020, for instance:

  • Addressing the social and emotional needs of educators, students, and students’ families;
  • Learning new pedagogy and/or adapting curricula to support distance/virtual learning and instruction;
  • Addressing students’ summer learning loss;
  • Preparing for the transition back to traditional schooling or adapting to continued virtual schooling;
  • Supporting students’ parents’/caregivers’ efforts to support their children’s learning (via virtual class instruction or summer enrichment activities); and
  • Meeting the nutritional needs of students who rely on school meals and school-based summer feeding programs.

Proposed projects must also identify and note how the proposed project addresses contributors to educational inequity and educational opportunity gaps.”

Funder: The NEA Foundation
“Applicants must be teachers, education support professionals, or specialized instructional support personnel and must be current NEA members.”
$1,500 – $5,000

>>> CLICK HERE to see all of Youth Today’s GRANT LISTINGS

>>> CLICK HERE to see all of Youth Today’s COVID-19 GRANT LISTINGS

The post COVID Crisis Educator Support Rapid Response Grants appeared first on Youth Today.

Minor Victims of Sex Trafficking Services Program Grants

OUR GRANT OPPORTUNITIES: Youth Today’s grant listings are carefully curated for our subscribers working in youth-related industries. Subscribers will find local, state, regional and national grant opportunities.

THIS GRANT’S FOCUS: Child/Youth Welfare, Child/Youth Victims, Sex Trafficking, Safety, Child Abuse
May 28, 2020

“This program is designed to develop, expand, and strengthen assistance programs for minor victims of sex trafficking. Under this program, the funded states, tribes, and units of local government will provide (directly and through partnerships) an array of services that minor victims of human trafficking often require to address their needs for safety, security, and healing, such as—

  1. providing residential care to minor victims of sex trafficking, including temporary or longterm placement as appropriate;
  2. providing 24-hour emergency social services response for minor victims of sex trafficking;
  3. providing minor victims of sex trafficking with clothing and other daily necessities needed to keep such victims from returning to living on the street;
  4. case management services for minor victims of sex trafficking;
  5. mental health counseling for minor victims of sex trafficking, including specialized counseling and substance abuse treatment;
  6. legal services for minor victims of sex trafficking;
  7. specialized training for social service providers, public sector personnel, and private sector personnel likely to encounter sex trafficking victims on issues related to the sex trafficking of minors and severe forms of trafficking in persons;
  8. outreach and education programs to provide information about deterrence and prevention of sex trafficking of minors;
  9. programs to provide treatment to individuals charged or cited with purchasing or attempting to purchase sex acts in cases where—
    1. a treatment program can be mandated as a condition of a sentence, fine, suspended sentence, or probation, or is an appropriate alternative to criminal prosecution; and
    2. the individual was not charged with purchasing or attempting to purchase sex acts with a minor; and
  10. screening and referral of minor victims of severe forms of trafficking in persons.”

Funder: Office for Victims of Crime
States, tribes, units of local government.
Up to $2,000,000

>>> CLICK HERE to see all of Youth Today’s GRANT LISTINGS

The post Minor Victims of Sex Trafficking Services Program Grants appeared first on Youth Today.

Grants for Youth Development Music Programs During COVID Crisis

OUR GRANT OPPORTUNITIES: Youth Today’s grant listings are carefully curated for our subscribers working in youth-related industries. Subscribers will find local, state, regional and national grant opportunities.

THIS GRANT’S FOCUS: COVID-19, Youth Music Education, Youth Development, Social Development, Arts/Culture
May 8, 2020

“In light of the impact COVID-19 is having on people across the United States, especially young people, The Lewis Prize for Music is establishing a $1 million COVID-19 Community Response Fund. The fund will distribute over 20 grants of $25,000 to $50,000 to responsive and adaptive Creative Youth Development (CYD) music programs. CYD organizations uniquely act as a critical part of the social fabric devoted to supporting young people’s creative and material well being. By combining artistic training with access to mentorship, meals, transportation, mental health services and even housing, CYD providers are practiced at meeting the immediate and unique needs of young people. During these difficult times, we continue to see organizations within the CYD field foster community and collective resilience, despite having access to limited resources. They need and deserve our support more than ever before.”

Funder: The Lewis Prize for Music
“These funds are for music-based Creative Youth Development organizations that are addressing opportunity gaps and/or circumstances of marginalization for young people in their community. Organizations must be:

  • an independent 501(c)(3) or have a partnership with a 501(c)(3) as a fiscal sponsor
  • in operation since at least May 08, 2017.
  • for youth (ages 12-20) outside of school hours.
  • in the United States or US territories, and serve young people who reside in the United States or US territories.”

Amount: $25,000 – $50,000

>>> CLICK HERE to see all of Youth Today’s GRANT LISTINGS

>>> CLICK HERE to see all of Youth Today’s COVID-19 GRANT LISTINGS

The post Grants for Youth Development Music Programs During COVID Crisis appeared first on Youth Today.

Irrigation expansion could feed 800 million more people

Water scarcity, a socio-environmental threat to anthropogenic activities and ecosystems alike, affects large regions of the globe. However, it is often the most vulnerable and disadvantaged populations that suffer the severest consequences, highlighting the role of economic and institutional factors in water scarcity. In this way, researchers generally consider not only the physical constraints but socio-economic determinants as well.

For Earth Day, Michael Moore releases fundamentally misleading film

For Earth Day, Michael Moore has released “Planet of the Humans”.


Sadly, with this, Moore demonstrates how not to do a quality film about important issues.  

Environmental scientist Dana Nuccitelli (publications) clearly makes the case of Moore’s failure in the following twitter thread:





Basically the film presented any imperfect energy source (which is every energy source) as inherently bad. No consideration of pros vs. cons, just the cons.It’s fine to look at downsides; we’re already working to improve most of them. But ignoring the upside is not constructive

Moore’s work, btw, has many moments of borderline slander/libel.


Not surprisingly, Moore’s failure has been embraced by those who have long attacked renewables. And, sadly, been promoted across the media as Moore as this ‘left-wing’, man-of-the-people contrarian makes good press such as occurred with The Late Show.


Some other reactions.

The excellent Leah Stokes lays out Moore’s delivery of a “lump of coal” for Earth Day.


Economist Mark Paul identifies Moore’s philosophical grounding.


And, Jeff Nesbit has some people Moore could have spoken with.


Yeh, perhaps this would have turned out better if Moore had focused on those who know what they’re talking about.

Guinea: Dam Displacement Destroys Livelihoods

(Nairobi, April 16, 2020) – The Guinean government’s failure to provide adequate land, compensation, and other forms of support to those displaced for the Souapiti hydroelectric dam has devastated the livelihoods and food security of thousands of people, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today. The dam is part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), the Chinese government’s trillion-dollar investment in infrastructure across some 70 countries, which has supported large-scale hydropower projects in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

The 63-page report, “‘We’re Leaving Everything Behind’: The Impact of Guinea’s Souapiti Dam on Displaced Communities[MH1] ,” documents how resettled communities, forced off their ancestral homes and farmlands, are struggling to feed their families, restore their livelihoods, and live with dignity.

The world is on lockdown. So where are all the carbon emissions coming from?

Pedestrians have taken over city streets, people have almost entirely stopped flying, skies are blue (even in Los Angeles!) for the first time in decades, and global CO2 emissions are on-track to drop by … about 5.5 percent.

Wait, what? Even with the global economy at a near-standstill, the best analysis suggests that the world is still on track to release 95 percent of the carbon dioxide emitted in a typical year, continuing to heat up the planet and driving climate change even as we’re stuck at home.

A 5.5-percent drop in carbon dioxide emissions would still be the largest yearly change on record, beating out the financial crisis of 2008 and World War II. But it’s worth wondering: Where do all of those emissions come from? And if stopping most travel and transport isn’t enough to slow down climate change, what will be?

Article continues below

“I think the main issue is that people focus way, way too much on people’s personal footprints, and whether they fly or not, without really dealing with the structural things that really cause carbon dioxide levels to go up,” said Gavin Schmidt, a climatologist and the director of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York City.

Transportation makes up a little over 20 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions, according to the International Energy Agency. (In the United States, it makes up around 28 percent.) That’s a significant chunk, but it also means that even if all travel were completely carbon-free (imagine a renewable-powered, electrified train system, combined with personal EVs and battery-powered airplanes), there’d still be another 80 percent of fossil fuel emissions billowing into the skies.

So where are all those emissions coming from? For one thing, utilities are still generating roughly the same amount of electricity — even if more of it’s going to houses instead of workplaces. Electricity and heating combined account for over 40 percent of global emissions. Many people around the world rely on wood, coal, and natural gas to keep their homes warm and cook their food — and in most places, electricity isn’t so green either.

Even with a bigger proportion of the world working from home, people still need the grid to keep the lights on and connect to the internet. “There’s a shift from offices to homes, but the power hasn’t been turned off, and that power is still being generated largely by fossil fuels,” Schmidt said. In the United States, 60 percent of electricity generation still comes from coal, oil, and natural gas. (There is evidence, however, that the lockdown is shifting when people use electricity, which has some consequences for renewables.)

Manufacturing, construction, and other types of industry account for approximately 20 percent of CO2 emissions. Certain industrial processes like steel production and aluminum smelting use huge amounts of fossil fuels — and so far, Schmidt says, that type of production has mostly continued despite the pandemic.

The reality is that emissions need to be cut by 7.6 percent every year to keep global warming from surpassing 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels — the threshold associated with the most dangerous climate threats — according to an analysis by the United Nations Environment Program. Even if the global lockdown and economic slump reduce emissions by 7.6 percent this year, emissions would have to fall even more the year after that. And the year after that. And so on.

In the middle of the pandemic, it’s become common to point to clear skies in Los Angeles and the cleaner waters of Venice as evidence that people can make a difference on climate change. “The newly iconic photos of a crystal-clear Los Angeles skyline without its usual shroud of smog are unwanted but compelling evidence of what can happen when individuals stop driving vehicles that pollute the air,” wrote Michael Grunwald in POLITICO magazine.

But these arguments conflate air and water pollution — crucial environmental issues in their own right! — with CO2 emissions. Carbon dioxide is invisible, and power plants and oil refineries are still pumping it into the atmosphere. Meanwhile, natural gas companies and livestock farming (think cow burps) keep releasing methane.

“I think people should bike instead of driving, and they should take the train instead of flying,” said Schmidt. “But those are small, compared to the really big structural things that haven’t changed.”

It’s worth remembering that a dip in carbon emissions won’t lead to any changes in the Earth’s warming trend. Some scientists compare carbon dioxide in the atmosphere to water flowing into a leaky bathtub. The lockdown has turned the tap down, not off. Until we cut emissions to net-zero — so that emissions flowing into the atmosphere are equivalent to those flowing out — the Earth will continue warming.

That helps explain why 2020 is already on track to be the warmest ever recorded, beating out 2016. In a sad irony, the decrease in air pollution may make it even hotter. Veerabhadran Ramanathan, a professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at University of California, San Diego, explained that many polluting particles have a “masking” effect on global warming, reflecting the sun’s rays, canceling out some of the warming from greenhouse gas emissions. With that shield of pollution gone, Ramanathan said, “We could see an increase in warming.”

Appreciate the bluer skies and fresher air, while you can. But the emissions drop from the pandemic should be a warning, not a cause for celebration: a sign of how much further there is to go.

This story was originally published by Grist with the headline The world is on lockdown. So where are all the carbon emissions coming from? on Apr 27, 2020.