Michelle Chen

Columnist, Global Justice
New York, NY

Michelle Chen is Colorlines' Global Justice columnist. She is a regular contributor on labor issues at In These Times, as well as a member of the magazine's Board of Editors. Michelle's reporting has appeared in Ms. Magazine, AirAmerica, Alternet, Newsday, the Progressive Media Project, and her old zine, cain. Prior to joining Colorlines, she wrote for the independent news collective The NewStandard. A native New Yorker, she has also conducted ethnographic research as a Fulbright fellow in Shanghai and checked coats at a West Village jazz club. She is currently pursuing doctoral studies at the City University of New York and co-producing the community radio program Asia Pacific Forum on P

Follow Michelle at @meeshellchen.

Colombia Moves Past Reconciliation and Revives the Idea of Reparation

The war-torn nation will allow victims of violence to petition for compensation. If the project works, it just may rewrite the rules of justice for human rights atrocities.

Rape in Haiti: The Aftershocks Continue

A year and a half later, squalid camps remain the only homes for hundreds of thousands of people, and reports of sexual violence inside them are rising.

North African Refugees Stuck at Intersection of Europe's Hope and Fear

Europeans cheered the prospect of democracy in the Maghreb. But the revolutions have challenged Europe’s once promising border politics.

After Osama Bin Laden, the Spectacle of War Plays On

Bin Laden’s death merely punctuates a narrative of self-justifying violence that keeps us not only terrorized, but mesmerized.

U.S. Multinationals Revive NAFTA-Style Trade Deals on Capitol Hill

From the food industry to tea party benefactor David Koch, corporatists are hammering lawmakers to move pacts that have been stalled since the Bush era.

The Growing Food Crisis, and What World Leaders Aren't Doing About It

Rising food prices have plunged more than 44 million people in to poverty in the past year. That’s just the beginning.

Consensus Builds on Free Trade Deals, Alongside Proof of Their Toll

On the same day this month, the president backed a Colombia pact he campaigned against, and new memos revealed how complicit Chiquita has been in anti-union violence.

Once West Africa's Rising Star, Ivory Coast Faces Dangerous Horizon

The 2010 election was supposed to herald a new era in the region. Now, the future holds more questions than answers.

Do Western Strikes in Libya Betray Peaceful Revolt Everywhere?

Western nations enter the fray with ulterior motives that may make a just end impossible.

The Radioactive Racism Behind Nuclear Energy

At every point in the nuclear production chain, the industry has sloughed a disproportionate share of the risk on marginalized communities.

Wars on the U.S.-Mexico Border Divide and Conquer

U.S. drug and trade policies still do more to create instability than fight it.

The Republican Attack on Women's Health Goes Global

Sixteen years after the Beijing Declaration on women’s rights, Congress seeks to reverse what progress we’ve eked out.

The Wave of Popular Uprisings Has Washed Beyond the Middle East

From Zimbabwe to Madison, popular movements are looking for their own “trigger elements.”

The Budget Line Neither Party's Willing To Defend: Foreign Aid

We’re still putting our money into war, rather than peace and prosperity.

Europe's Fear of a Muslim Planet

A surging right takes aim at liberal ideals and directs security anxiety at “multiculturalism.”

Egypt's Uprising Forces a New American View of the "Arab Street"

We now see people who demand freedom, rather than a scary “other” challenging our own.

Global AIDS Watchdogs Worry U.S. Neglecting Its Leadership Role

Obama’s strategy is to fight HIV comprehensively, but some say that’s camouflage for neglect.

Halfway Through Term, Obama Still Hasn't Earned His Nobel Prize

As Obama greets Chinese President Hu Jintao this week, he does so with a record of more words than deeds on human rights.

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s Call for Peace as Racial Justice Still Rings

Global Justice columnist Michelle Chen explores the legacy of King’s antiwar activism.

Learning From Shattered Haiti's Year of Struggle

Global Justice columnist Michelle Chen says the earthquake revealed deep problems with global aid systems, but also may create new models of locally led development.