Arun Venugopal is a reporter and the creator of Micropolis, WNYC’s multi-platform series examining race, sexuality, religion, street life and other issues that define New York City. He has been with the station since 2005, and has covered a wide range of stories, including the death of Sean Bell, the controversy over the Park 51 mosque and community center and Occupy Wall Street .
Previously, Venugopal wrote for India Abroad, the largest English-language paper serving the Indian diaspora, and served as an editor at the multi-faith website Beliefnet. He has appeared on PBS Newshour, Countdown with Keith Olbermann, On the Media and Studio 360, and has been published in The Wall Street Journal and Salon. His commentary on Indian-American issues has appeared in the New York Times, the New York Post and the Associated Press. He lives with his family in Queens.
Bill Bratton was just appointed police commissioner of New York -- again. The last time around, the mayor was Rudy Giuliani and there were nearly 2,000 murders a year. Looking back on the first Bratton commissioner-ship and the city he helped tame.
Mayor Bloomberg announced that the city had balanced its budget, in what he claimed was "the first time in modern memory" that an incoming mayor wouldn't have to close a deficit.
Residents of the South Street Seaport area voiced strong opposition Tuesday evening to a proposed redevelopment plan that would result in a high-rise in the neighborhood.
Governor Cuomo expanded a program to de-populate the state's most vulnerable flood zones by offering buyouts to 129 homeowners in Staten Island.
150 of New York's nurses are heading to the Philippines to help victims of Typhoon Haiyan - many of them Filipino-Americans.
Filipino New Yorkers gathered Wednesday in Woodside, Queens in solidarity with the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.
This week, a war crimes tribunal in Bangladesh sentenced two men to death for the killings of 18 people during the country's war of independence from Pakistan, in 1971.
After spending years in the political wilderness, being cast as outsiders -- even un-American -- Muslim New Yorkers are in an unfamiliar position: they're set to have power.
Even in New York, where issues of faith usually reside on the margins of public life, the Pope has people talking. And although much of what he says is viewed through the reductive lens of politics — Is he liberal? Is he conservative? — for many Catholics his words have a deeply personal, emotional impact.
New Yorker Nina Davuluri won the pageant, becoming the first person of Indian descent to claim the title. But it was the racist backlash to her win that made this episode significant — online remarks like "Miss America? You mean, Miss 7-11?" or ones that called her "Miss Al-Qaeda."
In the Democratic primary race for mayor, Bill De Blasio won over more black voters than the black candidate, Bill Thompson, and more gay and lesbian voters than Christine Quinn, who is a lesbian. Are these signs of a post-racial, post-identity New York?
Hardly, says Ali Najmi, who argues that "local politics in New York City is more tribal than Kansas."
In this latest episode of Micropolis, we examine the age-old persecution of Sikhs, from India to post-9/11 America. Why do Sikhs such as actor Waris Ahluwalia (Inside Man, The Darjeeling Limited) identify with the racial history of African Americans?
And why, despite persecution and name-calling, do Sikh men continue to wear turbans?
The NYPD says gang activity may have been the cause of a 1-year-old baby's shooting death in Brownsville, Brooklyn over the weekend. It's the precinct with one of the highest crime rates in the city. For some area residents, it's a constant challenge to prevent their children from being drawn into gang life.
The March on Washington — 50 years ago today — brought a quarter million demonstrators to the nation's capital, but it was planned and coordinated right here, in New York. It was an enormous logistical operation, years before cell phones and email, and it all happened uptown, in an office on 130th Street in Harlem.
Some historians challenge the idea that white conservatives were solely to blame for the laws that sent countless black men to prison.
New York City -- universal beacon for gays and lesbians, right? Maybe, but ask some people how safe they feel on the streets, and they'll say, not very. Especially transgender women of color, who speak of constant harassment, threats and actual violence.
In this episode of Micropolis, we ask whether it's possible for black men to avoid being profiled. For some black men, the answer is yes, but it involves making compromises -- in terms of clothing, language and manner -- that others find detestable.
Thousands turned out for the city's annual Gay Pride parade, and the mood was especially buoyant, in light of the Supreme Court's landmark rulings in favor of gay rights. For more photos, visit the Micropolis Tumblr.