603 Diversity, Issue 4 (Fall 2022)

Page 1

Q3 2022










epresentation in media matters. It’s one of the reasons we launched this magazine: to amplify that representation of members of our state’s diverse communities, both as subjects of our stories and tellers of those tales. Two stories in this issue represent both sides of that coin simultaneously. Because the subjects of those pieces, WMUR’s Monica Hernandez and NHPR’s Daniela Vidal Allee, are relatively new members of New Hampshire’s media world, and both represent firsts in their roles. Monica is the first Mexican-American woman to anchor a News 9 broadcast. (See page 26.) Daniela is spearheading NHPR’s innovative new Spanish language programming, delivered on the website and the WhatsApp messaging platform. (See page 30.) Monica told our writer, “It is meaningful to me to be able to help represent, in kind of a microcosm, what is going on in greater New Hampshire, to represent diversity here. It’s something that makes me feel very proud now. If there are little girls that look like me and have a similar background, I want them to see that anything is possible, you can be anything that you want to be.” Daniela, reflecting on the impact the original Spanish-language reporting her team was doing had, said it “creates representation for communities that aren’t as visible.”

I’ve spent the majority of my career in local media. When I think about representation in media, one of the first things that comes to mind is how important it is to find diverse storytellers when it comes to getting a full picture of the reality of a place. We can only see what we can see, hindered by both our advantages and limitations, our biases and preconceptions. The more stories we can draw from the lived experience of our communities, the truer the picture becomes. Not long ago, I was emailing with local writer and podcaster Anthony Payton. He was working on a piece on diversity in media and asked me for some comments. I hope it’s not bad form to quote myself from a quote I gave another writer, but I think I got it right the first time, and it sums up what we’ve been talking about here pretty well: “Diversity of all kinds in media on the storyteller side is critical to providing comprehensive, insightful and empathetic coverage of communities. At the same time, diversity represented in those stories is also crucial to feelings of inclusion, to the understanding of shared identity, to a sense of belonging in a place. There’s a current cynical perspective that suggests somehow that representing as many members of a diverse community as possible in each of their uniquely splendid truths is divisive, when in fact it is deeply uniting. We better understand our shared universal story when we’ve dived deeply into our individual ones.” — ERNESTO BURDEN

603Diversity.com | August 2022 1


603 DIVERSITY 6 0 3 D I V E R S I T Y. C O M


Contributing Writers Rony Camille Courtney Daniel Nour Habib Andrew Purlang Isadora Rodriguez-Legendre Yasamine Safarzadeh Contributing Photographer Robert Ortiz Contributing Artist Richard Haynes Editor/Publisher Ernesto Burden x5117 eburden@mcleancommunications.com Managing Editor Rick Broussard x5119 editors@603diversity.com




14 A Look at ’My Disability Road Map’ 20 Enliven Your Senses with Caribbean Food 26 Meet WMUR Anchor Monica Hernandez UPFRONT & ESSAYS



From the Publisher

30 Style: DoubleSolid Apparel


Mission and Underwriters

32 U.S. Naturalization Ceremony


Our Contributors


Profile: Daniella Vidal Allee

38 Diversity Notes from the Granite State News Collaborative

10 The Dinah Whipple STEAM Academy 12 Essay: Intersectionality That Forgets People with Disabilities

Creative Services Director Jodie Hall x5122 jhall@nhbr.com Advertising and Events Sales Director Jenna Pelech x5154 sales@603diversity.com Sales Executive John Ryan x5120 jryan@nhbr.com Operations Manager Ren Chase x5114 rchase@mcleancommunications.com Digital Operations and Marketing Manager Morgen Connor x5149 mconnor@mcleancommunications.com Billing Specialist/IT Coordinator Gail Bleakley x113 gailb@yankeepub.com

42 Events: Pride Week and Juneteenth 44 Shout Out: Positive Street Art

Cover photo by Karen Knowles


LIVE FREE AND 2 603Diversity.com | August 2022

Managing Editor, Custom Publishing Robert Cook x5128 editors@603diversity.com


150 Dow Street, Manchester, NH 03101 (603) 624-1442, fax (603) 624-1310 E-mail: editors@603diversity.com Advertising: sales@603diversity.com © 2022 McLean Communications, LLC PRINTED IN NEW HAMPSHIRE

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To illustrate the mission of 603 Diversity, Seacoast artist Richard Haynes has provided one of his recent designs to accompany our motto “Live Free and Rise.” We are selliing T-shirts with Haynes’ design to benefit the Manchester Chapter of the NAACP. Visit 603Diversity.com to buy one today.


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The 603 Diversity underwriters provide a significant financial foundation for our mission, enabling us to provide representation to diverse communities and for diverse writers and photographers, ensuring the quality of journalistic storytelling and underwriting BIPOC-owned and other diverse business advertising in the publication at a fraction of the typical cost. We’re grateful for our underwriters’ commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion in this magazine, their businesses, and their communities.








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OUR CONTRIBUTORS Courtney Daniel Our cultural calendar for this issue was compiled by Courtney Daniel, a creative strategist, designer, life coach and radio show host. Daniel has worked with national celebrities and even designed a stamp for the U.S. Postal Service. She lives on the Seacoast where, in her spare time, you can find her interviewing community members through her online

Andrew Purlang

group No To Patterns.

The author of our cover story is a freelance writer with lifelong disabilities and 22 years experience as a service provider and executive in nonprofit disability services and advocacy. Andrew Purlang writes about disability practices, policy, politics and culture and co-coordinates #CripTheVote, a Twitterbased discussion of disability issues and electoral politics. He has a BA iin history from Dartmouth College, and an MA in rhetoric and communication studies from the University of Virginia.

Nour Habib Our story on the mental-health focus of DoubleSolid Apparel is by Nour Habib, a journalist covering issues surrounding race and equity in New Hampshire. Previously, she spent years as a newspaper reporter in Oklahoma where she did everything from education to city government reporting to writing movie reviews and lifestyle features.

Rony Camille Our feature story on local places written by Rony Camille, a freelance journalist (and son of Haitian immigrants) based in Nashua. A media manager with a focus in digital editorial content and operations, Camille is currently the media program director for the Town of Tyngsborough, Massachusetts. 6 603Diversity.com | August 2022

Robert Cook Our feature story on WMUR-TV Anchor Monica Hernandez was written by Robert Cook, who works as managing editor of custom publications for McLean Communications, which produces both 603 Diversity and NH Magazine among other titles. Cook is an award-winning journalist who has worked for several newspapers, magazines and digital media companies in Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine for 30 years. He lives in Maine.

Courtesy photos

to taste Caribbean cuisine was

Yasamin Safarzadeh Yasamin Safarzadeh is a native Angelino and current resident of Manchester. She is an artist, advocate, coordinator and educator. She hopes to secure a future for a more diverse young adult population in the state to secure a more prosperous and effective future. DM her at phat_riot on Instagram.

Isadora Rodriguez-Legendre

Photo by Jeremy Gasowski/University of New Hampshire

As executive director of the New Hampshire Council on Developmental Disabilities, our essayist Isadora RodriguezLegendre works to support dignity, full rights of citizenship, equal opportunities and full participation for all New Hampshire citizens with developmental disabilities.

Richard Haynes 603 Diversity stories emphasize not only how things are, but how they might or even “ought” to be as we seek out and reveal our state’s diverse communities. When we needed a single image to summarize the mission of this magazine, we went to a man who has long been telling complex stories with bold strokes of color and universal symbols. Artist Richard Haynes provided a selection from his recent work for this purpose. See page 4 for how you can fashionably spread the good words.

Robert Ortiz Primary photographer for 603 Diversity is Robert Ortiz of Robert Ortiz Photography. Ortiz began his photographic career at 15 and has chronicled everything from local weddings and events to the lives of the ES

native peoples of the Peruvian

Courtesy photos

with his wife and son and 15-year-old daughter, Isabella, who is currently in training as his photo assistant.


Amazon. He lives in Rochester TB AR





Live Free and Rise Artwork by Richard Haynes: artistrichardhaynes.com

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Daniela Vidal Allee


n March of 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic hit New Hampshire, leadership at New Hampshire Public Radio floated a question to Daniela Vidal Allee: What New Hampshire health news resources were available for Spanish-language speakers in the state? Daniela and colleague Jimmy Gutierrez began researching, reaching out to Spanish-speaking communities. “We found there wasn’t much,” she said. But they believed there could be. That’s how NHPR’s ¿Qué Hay de Nuevo, New Hampshire? began. Initially, the NHPR team floated the idea of translating NHPR’s COVID blog into Spanish. But, Daniela notes, “the community said it wouldn’t work. NHPR didn’t have much of a relationship or presence in this community. So it would be difficult to get people to the website.” Instead, they decided to push the news out on a platform Daniela says many people in the Latino community were familiar with and using: WhatsApp. The idea got positive feedback from the community and the program launched, expanding its initial COVID-health-news focus to original features covering Latino communities in New Hampshire. (Noticias en español | New Hampshire Public Radio, nhpr.org) The team also now produces a series called Visibles, “non-narrated, first-per-

n BY ERNESTO BURDEN 8 603Diversity.com | August 2022

Photo by Robert Ortiz


Daniela Vidal Allee broadcasting on NHPR son videos centered on individuals in New Hampshire’s Latino community.” (Visibles: Stories From Our Community | New Hampshire Public Radio, nhpr.org) This coverage, Daniela says, “creates representation for communities that aren’t as visible.” That representation is resonating with audiences: “One of the things that’s most striking,” Daniela says, “is that the originally reported stories and series like Visibles, are the top stories each month within the Spanish-language section of the site. Those resonate a lot more with people than just the hard news.” It may at this point go without saying that Daniela is bilingual, fluent in Spanish and English. Her parents are Colombian immigrants and spoke Spanish in the home, and she has extended family in Colombia. “Most of my thinking, creativity, writing, come most clearly through English. But Spanish is still a part of who I am and a way to connect with other people, talk to my grandma and cousins,” she says. Her multiple languages, and her cross-cultural perspective, inspired a sense of obligation for Daniela. “I have this skill set,” she asked herself, “how can I put it to use?” Conceptualizing, launching and leading ¿Qué Hay de Nuevo, New Hampshire? was a natural outgrowth of that sense of mission,

and a drive toward journalism that began when she was a teenager. She’d known she wanted to be a journalist since she was 15. She went to journalism school in Missouri and during that time volunteered at a local public radio station, where she fell in love with the format and decided it would be the focus of her studies. Internships affirmed that love of radio. “I liked hearing people’s voices, really,” she says of her decision to focus on audio storytelling. “I found writing for the ear to be more fun than writing a magazine piece. I enjoyed including people’s voices — it feels a little more 3D than 2D.” Providing a platform for the state’s Spanish-speaking voices has led to “good feedback from people; that they appreciate what we do.” Having a news source in Spanish, they say, helps them understand what’s happening in New Hampshire, especially for those still learning English. And Daniela is continuing to look for ways to improve the program. “We’ve been doing this for two years and trying to find ways to have deeper and broader relationships with individuals in the community,” she says. “We need to figure out what can we do, and invest our time and resources in, that follows the public radio model. There’s room for us to experiment and try different things, and be more present.” 603

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Dzijeme Ntumi (front) and students and teachers from last summer’s group gather for a field trip in Portsmouth that included a boat tour of a new dry dock being built at the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard to learn from the lead engineer overseeing the project.




inah Whipple founded New Hampshire’s first school for Black children in Portsmouth circa 1806. While the formerly enslaved Granite State native became a leader in the community and advocate for education, she was also an inspiration for future generations, including the

n BY EMILY HEIDT 10 603Diversity.com | August 2022

Dinah Whipple STEAM Academy (DWSA). The immersive educational program explores science, technology, engineering, the arts and mathematics (STEAM), as well as the Black experience. “The goal of this program is to help funnel underrepresented demographics into the STEAM orbit so they can see firsthand what they can be,” says DWSA program lead instructor and curriculum

designer, Dzijeme Ntumi. “By partnering with the University of New Hampshire (UNH), we are able to start kids at 12 or 13 years old and take them through high school. Students learn about basic engineering principles and disciplines by completing a variety of hands-on activities like building their own windmill or creating a scale model of the Three Gorges Dam, which grades 7-10 will be able to

do this year. It’s a wonderful opportunity for all students to be able to delve deeper into engineering while also discussing the Black experience in this country.” The program was a perfect fit to be offered through UNH Tech Camp, which provides dynamic and experiential summer programs for middle and high schoolers. “Tech Camp was founded in 2007 by Civil Engineering Department professor Robert Henry as a way to explore the disciplines in science and engineering, and to make a career in these fields accessible to all students, especially those who are underrepresented,” says UNH Tech Camp faculty director, Carmela Amato-Wierda. “DWSA was designed as an intensive, residential, one-week program on the UNH campus, and during the academic year, students go on field-related field trips to engage in problem-solving as well as social activities. Our hope is to recruit students who will remain with the program until they matriculate into higher education, especially the engineering disciplines.” Ntumi believes that not only is it important that students stay with the pro-

Above and below, left: The Dinah Whipple STEAM Academy is made possible by Appledore Marine Engineering’s funding and desire to increase the diversity in the field of engineering and choice to dedicate resources to create more of a balance within a system filled with inequities. gram so they can “stay and play” in New Hampshire’s future workforce, but also develop a lasting community that grows with them. “We want students to create a sense of belonging in STEAM through their peer learning community in the DWSA,” says Amato-Wierda. “Developing a ‘home’ or STEAM identity by participating in activities and talking with mentors who are UNH engineering alumni and represent their backgrounds is crucial to their experience both in and out of the classroom.” Ntumi experienced the impact of growing up in such a community, and through the DWSA, she’s able to give the same experience back to its students. “The cultural differences growing up in New Hampshire were big,” she says. “I didn’t find a sense of family until after college, so I want to be able to give them that opportunity now. Many students come from all over the state and are able to talk to friends from camp that have that same cultural connection. They are able to find their family and resources, and I am able to reflect back to them how smart and capable they are.” While the program itself is small with

only nine students last year due to the pandemic and 20 students this year (with nine of them returning from last year), Ntumi never underestimates the power that a few can have on many to make a difference. “After reading ‘101 Things Everyone Should Know About African-American History’ last year, one student came away from learning about Emmett Till with profound questions like, ‘You look to adults for safety, why would someone do that to a kid our age?,’” she recalls. “I got to watch everything start to click for them. It’s inspiring and encouraging to me to know that the nine students in our first class, along with all those attending this summer, will make a change, and from there my hope is that it will trickle out into our surrounding communities. I am grateful for the opportunity to have a positive impact on the future of these students and all those around them.” Learn more about the Dinah Whipple STEAM Academy at ceps.unh.edu/outreach/tech-camp/programs/dinah-whipple-steam-academy. The program is full for 2022, but applications are open for 2023. 603

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was born in Puerto Rico and grew up in the Bronx, NY. In New York City, I was exposed to diverse cultures and languages on a daily basis. However, I saw very few people with disabilities in my community, at cultural events or riding the buses and subways when I was growing up, because these weren’t generally accessible. Thankfully, in the past few decades, there have been significant changes such as adding curb cuts, entrance ramps to buildings, lifts in buses and elevators at subway stations. This has increased the accessibility for people with disabilities to engage in their communities and participate in cultural events and activities in NYC. When I moved to New Hampshire, it was harder to find “my” people. There is far less cultural and linguistic diversity visible in our state, so I had to intentionally seek out spaces where there were people celebrating their cultures and identities. The Concord multicultural festival is one of my favorite events for this reason. Concord is also very accessible thanks to advocacy and action that made Main Street more inclusive for people with walking disabilities. Concord is also where I work. At the NH Council on Developmental Disabilities, we are dedicated to dignity, full rights of citizen-

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ship, cultural diversity, equal opportunities and full participation for all New Hampshire citizens with developmental disabilities. Working at a disability justice organization has contributed to a more broad and deliberate vision of diversity, equity and inclusion for me. Through my work, I know that individuals who experience an intersection of racial and cultural diversity and a difference in ability are more marginalized than either group on its own. It adds layers of exclusion when culturally and linguistically diverse spaces are not accessible, or when accessible spaces do not intentionally include people of diverse cultural and linguistic backgrounds. In the disability community we talk about these same ideals (diversity, equity

I recognize that it’s hard for people to understand the needs of those with invisible disabilities. However, my multiple identities are all important to me, and I should not have to disclose any of them to feel a sense of welcoming and belonging in any space in NH. We all have multiple identities. People talk about “intersectionality,”or the way our multiple identities create layers of disadvantage, but seldom do I see true and intentional equity-based inclusion of people with disabilities in spaces where racial, ethnic and linguistic diversities are being championed. Disability touches every demographic and is a natural part of the human experience. At some point each of us has been, or will be, impacted by disability

As we advocate for inclusion, we need to bridge the divides that exist between the disability community and other groups of diverse people. and inclusion) for authentic community, educational and workplace integration of people who may need some type of support or services due to a disability. New Hampshire must increase efforts to genuinely incorporate people with disabilities in all aspects of community life. As we advocate for inclusion, we need to bridge the divides that exist between the disability community and all other groups of diverse people. We cannot forget that people with disabilities are also experiencing discrimination and exclusion. We all want to belong. We need to remember that disability rights are human rights; that the fight for social justice and equality means that everyone is included. We have to be more intentional in our inclusion of people with disabilities because “all means all.” As a Latino person in long-term recovery who also lives with depression and anxiety,

in some way. However, removing obstacles and barriers to inclusion for people who experience disabilities seems to have fallen behind in the broader discussions about diversity, equity and inclusion. It was difficult to adjust to a place where differences are not celebrated in the same way as where I grew up. Because of this difficulty, however, I have found strength and purpose in advocating for the elimination of silos in conversations about diversity. Those with disabilities should not be excluded from these discussions. People with disabilities are represented in every community and identity, so let’s be more deliberate about making sure they know they belong and are welcome. 603 Isadora Rodriguez-Legendre is the executive director at the NH Council on Developmental Disabilities.

Courtesy photo

Un-inclusive inclusion: intersectionality that forgets people with disabilities

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Samuel Habib (right) rolls to the Concord High School Prom with his date Anita DiBuono in June 2018. Photo by Karen Knowles/ LikeRightNow Films




“My Disability Road Map,” a documentary film by 22year-old disabled filmmaker Samuel Habib and his father Dan Habib, premiered at the New York Times Op Doc section website on May 17, 2022. It was made in collaboration with a diverse team including Samuel’s father Dan, as well as Jim LeBrecht, Sara Bolder and Andraéa LaVant, who were all involved in the Oscar-nominated and Sundance Award-winning Netflix disability rights documentary “Crip Camp.”

The film is a personal documentary about Samuel, who has multiple physical disabilities, and uses an electric wheelchair for mobility, as well as a speech device to communicate. It is told from his point of view. The camera follows Samuel as he travels the U.S. meeting leaders in disability culture, who he hopes will provide some guidance on how to navigate adolescence and young adulthood with disabilities. These interview segments are set up and discussed in voiceover narration from Samuel, along with scenes of his present life as

a college student, his travels in making the film and flashbacks to his earlier childhood growing up and going to school in New Hampshire. The documentary tells a compelling and optimistic story, while asking some of the most basic and at times emotionally intense questions young people with disabilities have as they grow into adulthood. At the same time, the film draws clear connections between how it was made and what it says. How does a disabled person who needs other people for everyday care

THROUGHOUT THE FILM, SAMUEL INTERVIEWS: n Judy Heumann, a pioneering disability rights activist, author and one of the subjects of “Crip Camp.” n Bob Williams, another long-time disability activist who also uses a speech device like Samuel does. n Keith Jones, disabled musician and activist. n Maysoon Zayid, disabled comedian and actor. n Andrew Peterson, disability mentor and activist. n Ali Stroker, Broadway and television actor.

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n Lydia X. Z. Brown, autistic educator and activist.

and mobility stake out true independence? “Everyday care” can mean many things to people with different disabilities. For Samuel it means help with nearly every physical movement and task and with every aspect of his creative work. And while he is fortunate to have powerful technology to liberate him and amplify his voice, like many disabled people, he also needs direct one-on-one help from human beings in order to function. How does someone with clearly visible and audible disabilities cope with the many forms of frustrating interpersonal ableism that can crop up at any time, in any place? The physical barriers are obvious, and the solutions to them are well established, if not always easy to achieve. But the type of ableism Samuel focuses on most in the film isn’t lack of ramps and accessible restrooms, but how people treat him. “I want to curse at people who talk down to me,” Samuel says. But he holds himself back from expressing his true feelings in the moment. “I’m afraid that people would get mad at me,” he admits. It’s a dilemma and emotional strain disabled people struggle with every day. What can be done to dismantle the many barriers that get in the way of a young disabled person who wants to work, socialize, date and build a family of their own? SamuSamuel plays in a Unified Sports soccer game for Concord High School alongside a teammate in 2018.

Samuel films with his two GoPro cameras during an encounter with then Vice-President Joe Biden during the lead up to the NH Presidential Primary in January 2020. Samuel was asking Biden about his stand on inclusive education for students with disabilities, and during his answer Biden stroked Samuel’s face, creating a viral moment. el wants what most other people want. But his path to achieving them isn’t at all clear, and relatively few people, organizations or even advocacy groups seem to offer credible “road maps” for Samuel and young people like him. How does a young disabled person use and show gratitude for supportive non-disabled family and friends, while still asserting independence and individuality? This is one of the subtler but most important

aspects of the film. Samuel in many ways has an ideally supportive and empowering family and circle of allies, something not all disabled people have. But as he points out, “My life is very intertwined with my parents.” And it’s not just a matter of practical dependence. There is a deeper divide. “Nobody in my family has a disability,” Samuel notes. “None of my close friends have a disability. They don’t understand what it’s like to have a disability.” Again, most disabled people can relate. It’s part of what leads them, if they are lucky, to connect with a broader disability community. So what do other disabled people have to offer to young disabled people moving into adulthood? In search of answers to these questions, Samuel interviews a diverse group of leaders in disability culture and advocacy. It seems to be an energizing experience for Samuel. “I am learning a lot from my mentors with disabilities,” he says. And their message is to look not just inward, to personal goals and aspirations, but outward, to broader purposes. “I’m learning from them how to be a better disability rights advocate,” says Samuel. And by documenting these interviews and his experience meeting new disabled mentors, >> Samuel is doing just that — sharing 603Diversity.com | August 2022 17

Samuel poses for a photo with one of his mentors, the disability rights legend Judy Heumann, during a break from their interview for ‘My Disability Road Map’. (Photo courtesy Trevor Holden)

the encouragement and guidance he gains with other disabled people. “People paved the way for me,” he asserts. “I want to pave the way for others.” By documenting the documentary process as it happens, the end product shows a significantly disabled young man navigating and exploring adult life, and how the world responds to him. It also highlights a common but widely misunderstood contradiction. To be independent and develop his voice, Samuel needs other people’s help in ways most people his age don’t. This is true in his everyday life and in the process of making the documentary. It takes a lot of time and meticulous work with others just for Samuel to compose his questions and complex conversations with his speech device. It is an apparent contradiction the documentary shows Samuel in the process of exploring and resolving, while the mentors 18 603Diversity.com | August 2022

Activism and mentorship with other disabled people is a crucial and much too often missing piece in helping youth with disabilities make a successful and satisfying transition into adulthood. he speaks to suggest various approaches to doing this. And as the end product proves, it’s more of a perceived problem than a real, substantive limitation. Nothing in this documentary is wasted. Samuel’s trips to meet his interview subjects show the barriers he contends with in travel, as well as those unexpected,

annoying and exhausting encounters with ableism. And shots of Samuel’s everyday activities underscore the importance of the support services disabled people like him need and don’t always have. His subjects also represent a varied sample of the disability community. The only drawback is that they are all among the most prominent and visible leaders, who have in various ways obtained comparatively more material security than many disabled people. Samuel meets famous disabled people, and there are good reasons for that approach. But he admits that he is less engaged with ordinary disabled people than he might be, even in his everyday life. Samuel needed a lot of help to make this documentary — probably more than most personal documentarians do. However, this does not make the film any less Samuel’s. It’s not his father Dan’s story of having a

son with disabilities. That is notable in a culture where “special needs parents” often have an outsized voice in disability discourse. Although it’s Dan behind the camera pointed at Samuel, it’s clearly Samuel who shapes the content and is telling his own story. “My Disability Road Map” offers a number of important messages: • Young people with multiple “significant” disabilities have to confront unique barriers to independence and adult recognition. • Disabled young people thirst to be taken seriously as adult human beings and not as objects of either pity or sentimentality. • Activism and mentorship with other disabled people is a crucial and much too often missing piece in helping youth with disabilities make a successful and satisfying transition into adulthood. Finally, who leads the documentary, whose voice is centered, who is profiled and how it was done reinforces these messages. The content was developed by a disabled person, who crafted and posed the interview questions and his own responses using some of the adaptive tools and techniques disabled people use every day. It was produced behind the scenes by a team that includes other disabled filmmakers and artists. And it profiles disabled people who discuss these issues in their own words from a variety of angles. “My advice to children, teens and young adults with disabilities,” says Samuel, “is to ‘find your community.’ One of my mentors, Maysoon Zayid, told me this.“ “My Disability Road Map” efficiently and beautifully argues that the only thing disabled young people may need more than material support is fellowship and guidance from others with disabilities. A free and fully accessible version, with captions and audio description, is available


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at www.mydisabilityroadmap.com. 603 Note: A version of this story previously ran in Forbes. A number of the author’s articles on disabilities and inclusion can be found at forbes.com.

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l v n i E en


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Above: Owner Alex Aviles, seen outside WHYM’s new home on Lafayette Road in Hampton, is surrounded by images of some of his specialties like house-made pretzels paired with beer-inspired sauces: gouda stout cheese, hopped honey whole grain and sriracha aioli; their popular OG burger; a cold glass of their on-sitebrewed heifenweizen; and a surfboard advertising a few of the other beers they pour.

your senses

CARRIBEAN FOOD AT ITS BEST With summer in full swing, some folks are craving social interaction outdoors after being cooped up inside over the winter. We take a look at three restaurants that are making their mark by bringing in new flavors. n BY RONY CAMILLE | PHOTOS BY ROBERT ORTIZ



o say that Alex Aviles is in love with craft beer is an understatement. That love affair with the quality and taste of water, hops, yeast and malt all blended together drove him and his wife, Gretchin, to leave their corporate jobs in 2013 and open WHYM (pronounced whim) in Portsmouth, named after the ingredients that make this social beverage. Now in its ninth year, the cafe-style bar moved to 853 Lafayette Rd. in Hampton and showcases a lineup of the most delicious brews available in the state. They also have an extensive collection of bottles (and cans) from around the world. Their food menu is aimed to accompany the craft beer experience according to Aviles with items ranging from meat and cheese plates to mouth-watering entrees. One of those offerings on the food menu is the Caribean Hot Chicken Sandwich ($17.50). The sandwich is a buttermilk, fried, antibiotic and nitrate-free, free-range chicken breast lightly dipped with Portsmouth’s own Spicy Shark’s buffalo sauce, apple-

wood bacon, grilled onions, sourdough and fries. It’s paired with Against My Better Judgement, a blue raspberry sour-ale brewed onsite, brainchild of employee Zach Mitrook. “It wasn’t the first idea we would have. We literally named the beer ‘Against My Better Judgment,’” Aviles said. “We did half a batch. It came out incredible; it’s unique and the name expresses that it wasn’t a business executive that suggested this idea.” Aviles, his wife, Gretchin, and co-owners Matt Barrett, a brewmaster, and Bob Levine, a retired attorney, created a diverse haven for craft beer. ”We have people on staff from various backgrounds, and we all work together on our basic philosophy: Would you be proud to serve it to your grandmother? How do we feel about it? That is the basis of where our foods come from.” According to Aviles, who has Puerto Rican roots, focusing on authenticity and ethnicity is extremely important in WHYM’s food and brew culture. Occasionally you’ll see some of that

diverse influence on their menu. “I’ll take some influence from my life and the foods I grew up around and suggest it in a special, or I’ll show our people how to prepare rice,” he said. In cultures outside the United States, it’s customary to rinse the rice in water several times prior to cooking to remove the extra starches. “When growing up, my grandmother would show me how to make bacalaitos (a salted cold fish fritter) with peppers, onions and seasonings mixed in batter then deep-fried.” He’s introduced this little snack to his staff as well as sofrito, an aromatic base for most Puerto Rican dishes. Another Puerto Rican item that’s made the rotation over the years has been tostones, a plantain appetizer. “It’s a great introductory food,” he said. And Aviles says he’s not the only member of the diverse team to bring cultural ideas to the menu. WHYM is open Monday through Wednesday from 3 p.m. to midnight and Thursday through Sunday from 1 p.m. to midnight. 603Diversity.com | August 2022 21



SETTLE IN Above: Caribbean Breeze chef and owner Gerald Oriol is half Haitian, half Cubano and all American: The exterior of the restaurant on the Corner of Main and West Hollis Streets where they now feature outdoor seating. Above, right: Griot with pikliz, marinated pork shoulder with fried plantains; Cuban comfort food ropa vieja (means “old clothes”) consisting of shredded beef, black beans and rice, and a good view of the restaurant’s playful cafe atmosphere.

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or Gerald Oriol, food and hospitality go hand in hand. “I love to cook. It is my passion. I have a deep respect for food and make it from the heart. I understand the importance of food safety and the impact of food on human life.” For the last 30 years, the Port-Au-Prince, Haiti, native who opened Caribbean Breeze, Nashua’s first authentic Caribbean restaurant, in May, has been doing just that. Oriol got his culinary chops in Lexington, Mass., working utility and becoming a chef at the Versailles Restaurant, specializing in French continental cuisine and earning his credentials in culinary arts from Bunker Hill Community College in Boston and from the American Culinary Federation. Prior to settling in New Hampshire, Oriol oversaw regional dining operations for Sodexo in hospitals, universities and even the military along the East Coast. But it was when he was asked to oversee dining operations at the State University of New York at Albany, that he started to truly test Caribbean cooking for the students. “A lot of the students who attend that school are from New York City,” he said. “They have that Caribbean background, so I wanted to offer them something that would not make them homesick as much.” The concept worked. “One student called their parents one day from the dining hall: ‘Mom, you’re not going to believe this, they have my favorite dish here,’” he said. Oriol moved on from SUNY Albany to Bentley College in Waltham, and in December of 2019 made the decision to work for himself. “I could have retired but I wanted to create something that is from my heart from my home and share with my community,” he said. Seeing that there weren’t that many Caribbean options in Southern New Hampshire

Oriol and his wife his wife, Kettly, began building the concept. “There are not many authentic Caribbean restaurants around here, let alone the country,” he said. His restaurant offers dishes from four cultures: Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Cuba. If you were to walk into Caribbean Breeze on the corner of Main and West Hollis Streets in Downtown Nashua, you’d get a vibe between the old and the new. It’s as if you are either in Havana, Cuba, or in Old San Juan, Puerto Rico. When Oriol took over the space where Classic Norton’s Diner once was, the sock hop booths and speakers were still in place. Americana art from that era has been replaced by palm trees, but there are still some die-cast American Classics cars from the mid-century lined up on a few shelves. The breakfast menu hasn’t changed either.

“We kept the breakfast diner menu for some of the long-time patrons of the past owners,” Oriol said. “We don’t plan on changing that.” And past clients still come. Don Fournier of Hudson is a regular for breakfast and lunch. “It’s convenient for me,” he said. “We keep this place going.” Fournier, who is retired, has been coming in with a group of friends for the past decade. He orders the original breakfast fare and returns for lunch to have chicken noodle soup. “I’ll be trying the new menu soon,” he said. “I think it’s great that he (Oriol) is here.” A new breakfast item being offered is plantains with avocado. Although, on the day I was there, I opted to have it with a watercress salad topped with ti-malice sauce, a light tomato paste-based gravy. Oriol claims to be the only authentic Caribbean restaurant in America offering dishes from Haiti, Dominican Republic, Jamaica and Cuba with all associated authentic condiments that come with them.

For instance, Grace habanero hot sauce, a popular Jamaican brand, is available. And they even carry popular beers from each island: Prestige (Haiti), Red Stripe (Jamaica), Medalia (Puerto Rico) and Presidente (Dominican Republic). One of their specialty drinks features granadilla passion fruit. For dinner, one can find Haitian Legume (vegetable stew) with beef and a side of rice and beans (Haiti, $16); Jamaican Chicken Curry ($14); Bacalao, salted cod fish ($16); and Monfongo, mashed plantains ($18). Oriol hopes that the southern New Hampshire community will come to experience the flavor of the islands. “They don’t need to travel far,” he said. “Our cooking comes from the heart ... it’s our pleasure to offer a taste of our home.” Caribbean Breeze is open Sunday through Saturday, 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. to 9 p.m. 603Diversity.com | August 2022 23



uis and Carmen Garcia never imagined that they would be living in Rochester, NH, let alone starting not one but three restaurants in the region. The 36-year-old pair were having a bit of cabin fever during the COVID-19 pandemic in the spring of 2020 and decided to go for a drive. They had reached the corner of NH-125 (Columbus Road) and Wilson Street in East Rochester and were making a U-turn to head back home to Haverhill, Mass., when Luis spotted a for-lease sign on a vacant building. “Something inside me said, ‘This is your place,’” Luis said. “I saw something here.” The Garcias had been delayed in starting their first restaurant in Massachusetts during the pandemic and, seeing that most New Hampshire businesses were open, reached out to the building owner. “I was actually surprised how we were able to move forward and open up shop here,” Carmen said. Located in the former Liu’s Garden, My Cielo Taqueria offers casual indoor-outdoor dining with all items made from scratch, according to Fernando Veracruz, My Cielo general manager.

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Leadership NH

Announces THE CLASS OF ’23!

TRY EVERYTHING Above, right: chefs for My Cielo (means “my heaven”) Taqueria, Humberto EsParza and Daniela Lemus. Bottom left: their classic three-taco plate Above: chimichanga with rice and beans Right: grilled street corn

“We let the food do the talking,” Veracruz said. Among My Cielo’s popular items are the chicken and carnitas street tacos ($10.99 for three) and the fresh fruit margarita flights. The Blood Orange Margarita ($10.99) is another favorite among patrons in the bar, according to Veracruz. While finding help has been hard, Carmen Garcia says that the Rochester community has been open over the last couple of years. Luis, who is originally from Chihuahua,

Mexico, grew up in the kitchen and service industry. He recalls helping his mother make family meals in the kitchen at age 10. By age 16, he was working alongside his mother, who worked in a cafeteria at their local manufacturing plant feeding approximately 1,500 people a day on multiple shifts. “I am living the dream,” he said. They plan on opening a second location in Epping this September. My Cielo is open Sundays through Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. 603

Something inside me said, ‘This is “ your place.’ I saw something here.” – Luis Garcia, owner

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www.leadershipnh.org 603Diversity.com | August 2022 25

Monica says... A conversation with WMUR anchor Monica Hernandez about life as a journalist and New Hampshire’s growing diversity. n BY ROBERT COOK

26 603Diversity.com | August 2022


onica Hernandez was beaming with a glow that rivaled her red dress at the WMUR-TV studios in Manchester this summer. She and her husband, Chris Byers, were expecting their first child, a baby girl, in just eight weeks. Her due date was Aug. 24, the same day as her husband’s birthday. While they know they are having a girl, Monica said they were not ready to announce the baby’s name until after she was born. “We’re keeping it close to the chest until she is born. We have just told some family members,” she said. As one of the primary anchors on News 9 every evening, Monica is viewed by millions of Granite Staters. She is also the first, first-generation Mexican-American woman to anchor a News 9 broadcast. During a time when New Hampshire’s diversity is growing, Monica believes she is serving the people of New Hampshire in the right place at the right time.

HAVING AN IMPACT With diversity on the rise in New Hampshire, the first-ever first-generation Mexican-American to be an anchor on the state’s primary television station is becoming an increasingly familiar face. Monica Hernandez seems right at home on WMUR’s Ch. 9 News broadcasts. (Photos courtesy of WMUR)

WMUR “ I think is really embracing the idea that if you have a diverse workforce and people from all walks of life and all different backgrounds working for you, then you get a richer product. You get a better range of ideas.” “To be honest, I didn’t know what to expect when I came here. I expected it would be cold, a lot colder than Dallas where I came from. But other than that, I didn’t know a whole lot about New Hampshire,” Monica said. “It had the First in the Nation Presidential Primary, which I was excited to cover.” But if the 36-year-old Manchester resident had any pre-conceptions about what her life and work in New Hampshire might be like, they quickly gave way to a refreshingly positive vibe with plenty of diversity and inclusion. “I think you see growing diversity across the state, especially in the southern part of the state, and not just ethnic or racial diversity, but diverse types of people, LGBTQ, and June is pride month,” Monica believes. “I think that New Hampshire still does have a way to go, and you know it can’t happen all at once. It comes in baby steps. But I do think that you are seeing a more diverse group of people, especially in Nashua and Manchester. It is reflected in

the type of food that is sold in supermarkets and the different types of restaurants that keep popping up.” At WMUR, the station reflects the changing nature of the state with a team that promotes diversity. “I think WMUR is really embracing the idea that if you have a diverse workforce and people from all walks of life and all different backgrounds working for you, then you get a richer product. You get a better range of ideas,” Monica said. For the past year, WMUR also highlights a different group of people each month. For example, “Project Community” highlighted the LGBTQ community in June for gay pride month. She said the station has received great feedback, especially from the people they have interviewed who are glad to have their stories told. Monica anchors the 5 p.m. news hour, the 7 p.m. news, 10 a.m. news and the 11 p.m. newscast. A typical day at WMUR for Monica begins at 2:30 p.m. A news meeting follows

at 2:45 p.m. concerning the stories and story ideas of the day. Monica often writes for the 4 p.m. broadcast and teases what’s coming on at 5 p.m. “Then I touch up my makeup and hair” before the 5 p.m. newscast. Another meeting follows to go over stories for the 7 p.m. newscast followed by more touch-up for Monica’s hair and makeup and yet another meeting before the 10 p.m. newscast. She has dinner at 8 p.m., another meeting before the 10 p.m. newscast, more makeup and hair touch-up before she anchors the 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. newscasts. The 11 p.m. newscast ends at 11:33 p.m. “It’s a pretty busy day, non-stop,” Monica said. But journalism has always been Monica’s first love since she was a little girl growing up near San Diego. She was eight years old when she knew she wanted to be a journalist. “My mom and I used to watch the news every night,” Monica recalled. She also read the Mini San Diego >> 603Diversity.com | August 2022 27

Union Tribune, the kids’ newspaper published by the San Diego Union Tribune. “I always loved reading and writing and, as you know, that is the foundation for being a good journalist.” She later worked on her school newspapers in high school and at Syracuse University in New York. It was then that she decided to change her major to broadcast journalism after she worked at her college TV news station and did an internship at the NBC affiliate in San Diego. Monica also credits her parents for helping her and her sister maintain their focus on getting an education and pursuing their careers. She recalled that her family lived in a neighborhood where there were frequent drive-by shootings. She said her parents made sure their children did not end up mixing with the wrong crowd and becoming “gangbangers.” As a young television reporter, Monica spent 10 years covering the Deep South in cities like Jackson, Miss., New Orleans and Dallas. “It was very different than anything I had experienced before. As a journalist, it was a fantastic experience,” she recalled. In New Orleans, Monica spent a great deal of her time covering murders. “There was a lot of crime and a lot of city infrastructure that was not working, but there were also these big festivals where people would come out and celebrate no matter what was happening.” She said Dallas also had a diverse range of people and stories. “There was always some news that would break and potentially become national news,” Monica added. Monica also enjoys being a journalist, because a reporter is often a witness to history. She remembers covering the first gay marriage ceremony in Dallas County or witnessing how Jackson, Miss.’s African-American community reacted when former President Barack Obama won the

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LOOKING AHEAD Monica Hernandez was still expecting her first child, a girl, when this story was going to press.

White House in 2008. “I remember when it was announced on TV that he won. I remember seeing people dropping to their knees and sobbing,” Monica recalled. That moment was so powerful for them because so many of them were in the thick of the Civil Rights Movement and were descendants of slaves who probably thought they would never see this happen, she said. In 2018, she was feeling a little burned out covering murder and crime in the South. Monica wanted to find a Monday-to-Friday anchor job, and she found her opportunity at WMUR. “It just fit everything I was looking for in my career,” she said. Her first broadcast was with Tom Griffith for the 10 p.m. and 11 p.m. news. Griffith recently retired from WMUR after 35 years, and Monica appreciated working with him. “He is such a legend. Everybody feels in New Hampshire like they know him. He

was such a mentor to everybody, and he was very humble. It was great working with Tom,” Monica said. She said it was clearly a “passing of the torch” experience when Griffith left in May. “He also felt he was leaving the news station in good hands with the people that were here,” Monica added. As a first-generation Mexican-American woman, it is not lost on Monica that she reflects the sea of change that is happening in New Hampshire in 2022 and beyond. “It is meaningful to me to be able to help represent, in kind of a microcosm, what is going in greater New Hampshire; to represent diversity here,” she said. “It is something that makes me feel very proud now. If there are little girls that look like me and have a similar background, I want them to see that anything is possible, you can be anything that you want to be,” Monica said. “There was actually a girl in high school, she was Hispanic, and her dad reached out to me. She is in college now, and she is doing great. She wanted to be a journalist, so we gave them a tour. I keep in touch with her sometimes. I think it was meaningful for her to see someone with a Hispanic background on TV.” She is also pleased that her daughter will grow up in a New Hampshire that exemplifies diversity and inclusion for all people. “As a parent for me it is very important for my daughter to be exposed to many different people,” Monica said. “I think New Hampshire is one of the most family-oriented places I have lived. There is kind of a wholesomeness to the state. The things that make New Hampshire so special are still special.” 603

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ichelle “Mo” Wheeler calls herself a mental health veteran. “I’ve been dealing with my mental illness for so long now,” the Merrimack resident said. Shortly after the pandemic began, Wheeler decided it was time to use her journey to start conversations about mental illness, and she founded a clothing company called DoubleSolid Apparel. On her website, she’s open about who she is and what she’s dealt with. “I live with Bipolar Disorder, ADHD, anxiety, PTSD and Conversion Disorder,” Wheeler writes. “I am a rape survivor and a suicide attempt survivor. I have had multiple inpatient psychiatric stays and many dark days feeling alone, useless and unworthy.” But she doesn’t allow these things to define her. “I’m also a wife, a mother, a grandmother, a college graduate, a volunteer, a friend, a sister, an aunt, a marathoner, an Ironman and, now, a business owner,” she writes in her bio. Wheeler, 50, told 603 Diversity she launched her company after realizing her mental health struggles were not allowing her to thrive in an environment where she was working for others. “I just knew that the environments that I was putting myself in were not conducive to my health,” she said. Wheeler, who is passionate about art, took some time to explore her options. Her struggles qualified her for assistance from the Bureau of Vocational Rehabilitation, and she worked with a mentor for a year to come up with a business plan. The Bureau also provided her with startup funding. DoubleSolid is an online store, and everything is made to order. Wheeler said the process starts with her creating a piece of artwork, whether a painting, a digital illustration or a photograph. Then she determines which of her creations might make a

good design for her clothing. “What would look cool? What would people like to wear? What’s comfortable? What would start a conversation? Because that’s really what it’s all about, talking about it,” said Wheeler. Her husband, who is a tattoo artist, also contributes designs. Wheeler said she’s grateful to see how people have embraced the brand and how her clothing is leading to conversations around mental health. Each year, she donates a portion of her profits to a nonprofit. This year, she chose NAMI NH, an organization that works to improve the lives of those affected by mental illness. Wheeler is also hosting a variety show called Live Life Loud on Oct. 16, and all proceeds will go to NAMI NH. The event, which will be held at Angel City Music Hall in Manchester, will feature music, comedy and a DoubleSolid Apparel fashion show. For information on tickets, visit doublesolidapparel.com. Wheeler said she thinks DoubleSolid is resonating with her customers because many are looking for ways to communicate about “the heavy stuff that we’ve all had to deal with.” She said her biggest message to those who are struggling with mental health issues is: “Don’t quit asking for help.” “What I’ve learned is, if you don’t say it, nobody can get in your head. And if you’re not comfortable with it, you’re not going to get better.” Though the stigma around mental health issues is getting better, it still exists, Wheeler said. She also said everyone has to learn to advocate for themselves, whether in a health care setting, in the workplace or in the political arena. “It’s not gonna change if we all don’t talk

Her biggest message to those who are struggling with mental health issues is:




“Don’t quit asking for help.”

about it,” she said. 603

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hereby declare, on oath, that I absolutely and entirely renounce and abjure all allegiance and fidelity to any foreign prince, potentate, state, or sovereignty, of whom or which I have heretofore been a subject or citizen; that I will support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I will bear arms on behalf of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform noncombatant service in the Armed Forces of the United States when required by the law; that I will perform work of national importance under civilian direction when required by the law; and that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; so help me God.” With these words that make up the Naturalization Oath of Allegiance to the United States of America, 72 people from 32 countries became U.S. citizens at Strawbery Banke Museum on

32 603Diversity.com | August 2022

July 4. The ceremony returned after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Photographer Robert Ortiz captured these images that show the collective desire shared by these new citizens to achieve their American Dream fueled by their love of freedom and hope that everyone in America, especially their children and grandchildren, has the right to achieve life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness regardless of their color, creed or religious beliefs. — Robert Cook

Romik Papakian, 37 Raymond, NH | Iran

“As a kid, I always watched movies and wondered, ‘What if I was part of this great nation?’ It was a long journey, but I am proud and happy to be a U.S. citizen.”

Edvaldo Bezerra, 65 Hudson, NH | Brazil

“Everyone wants to be an American citizen. I want to help the country when they need me since America always helped me when I needed them.”

Gordy Louisdor, 27 Manchester, NH | Haiti

“To bring my family here and live a better life.” 603Diversity.com | August 2022 33

Darvin Ojha, 21 Manchester, NH | Nepal

“I was in the U.S. Army for three years which qualified me to be a U.S. citizen, which would provide me with all the possible opportunities in different fields of my life, such as education, health care and ultimately a quality life.”

Yarelis Mateo Rodriguez, 31 Nashua, NH | Cuba

“I came to this country working for more opportunities and freedom. I am very proud to become a U.S. citizen today. God bless this country!”

Maria Amorim Ragwarsson, 57 Rye, NH | Brazil Marleny Quimbaya, 71 Nashua, NH | Colombia

“I like to live here because it is quiet and because of the opportunities.” 34 603Diversity.com | August 2022

“My life is here now. I’m married and an American citizen. I would like to vote — I want to make a difference.”

Florian Gavinaitis, 35 Hudson, NH | France

“To be able to call my home, my home.”

Sevgi Komuta, 47 Keene, NH | Turkey

“Better life and freedom.”

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At our core, we are caregivers who aspire to make our community a healthy and safe place for all who seek care from us, as well as our staff. Despite our distinctive backgrounds, diverse races, ages, different sexual orientations, gender identities, or individual religious beliefs, we are dedicated to work together as one to care for everyone in our community. It is this mission that unites us as one. Looking for something new regarding your career? To learn about current open positions, who we are, and our employee benefits visit:

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603 NEWS 603 Diversity: NH News Briefs

Divisive concepts lawsuit headed for hearing

A journalistic look at our state of diversity from the reporters at the Granite State News Collaborative.

A lawsuit filed by The National Education Association — New Hampshire (NEA-NH), the American Civil Liberties Union, and a group of advocacy groups and public school employees against the state over the so-called “divisive concepts” law is expected to be heard in U.S. District Court in August or early September. The parties are suing the state over a newly introduced provision through the state budget last year that restricts certain kinds of teachings on racism, sexism and other forms of oppression. The law prohibits New Hampshire teachers and public employers from teaching that any one group is inher-

ently racist or oppressive (whether unconsciously or consciously), or that people of different groups should not be treated equally. The lawsuit alleges that the statute is having a “chilling effect” on staff trainings and classroom discussions. And it says its language is too vague for teachers and staff to understand and comply with. “The text of this law is not a fair rule, because the people who are subject to its harsh penalties cannot be reasonably expected to understand what it means,” said Emerson Sykes, a staff attorney with the ACLU, at a virtual press conference in December.

With many LEACT policies in place, Merrimack Sheriff and Concord Police look ahead to body cams, accreditation Having implemented most of a state commission’s 2020 recommendations for law enforcement reforms, the Concord Police Department and the Merrimack County Sheriff’s Office are still working towards national accreditation and obtaining body cameras for their departments. In 2020, Gov. Chris Sununu convened the Commission on Law Enforcement Accountability, Community and Transparency, known as LEACT, in response to the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis. The commission’s recommendations ranged from increased training requirements to a focus on community policing. Sununu announced in June that the New Hampshire State Police had outfitted all of its 260 patrol cruisers with front-facing

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and backseat cameras. All but one state police trooper had been trained and outfitted with body-worn cameras, and the remaining field troopers will be trained this month, according to State Police public information officer Amber Lagace. On June 1, the Executive Council approved $720,000 in matching funds for 29 local police departments to buy body-worn and dashboard cameras, including the Bow and Allenstown police departments. Neither the Concord Police Department or the Merrimack County Sheriff are among those grant recipients. Chief Brad Osgood said Concord did not apply because the state matching grant is capped at $50,000. Merrimack County Sheriff David Croft also said that

a one-time payment of $50,000 from the state would be insufficient to fund a camera program, which would require ongoing data storage and staff to sift through video footage. He cited cost as the main obstacle to adding body cameras, but also said some of the legal requirements and processes were still fuzzy, including how long departments would need to maintain video under New Hampshire’s Right to Know Law. The issues of cost, legal requirements, related policies and data storage have been worked out by other New Hampshire police departments years ago, including in nearby Weare, which began using body cameras in 2014. Another LEACT recommendation called for law enforcement agencies to collect

Alice Peck Day Memorial Hospital In addition to the NEA-NH, two diversity and equity coordinators are named as plaintiffs: Andres Mejia, director of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice at the Exeter School District, and Christina Kim Philibotte, chief equity officer for the Manchester School District. The lawsuit alleges that because of the law’s vagueness, Philibotte and Mejia are unable to answer questions about what books and lessons related to racism are allowed. And it says they limited aspects of their staff training on racism, diversity and inclusion because of the law. — SARAH GIBSON, NH PUBLIC RADIO, MELANIE PLENDA, GRANITE STATE NEWS COLLABORATIVE, CONTRIBUTED TO THIS REPORT.

demographic data for arrests as well as citations and stops. Last year, a section of a bill that would have included race on New Hampshire driver’s licenses was removed in the state Senate. Osgood said the Concord Police Department doesn’t consistently collect racial demographic data and was looking to the state to make that information more uniform. “The only way around it is to guess or ask,” Osgood said. “We haven’t explored that opportunity or avenue yet. It’s easier if it’s built into the license.” Merrimack County Sheriff David Croft said his office collects that kind of data when deputies write tickets, but that he does not break down stops by race. “It’s certainly in our computer system — it’s there,” Croft said. “We’ve always collected it. It’s available, but I don’t break it down.” — CASSIDY JENSEN, THE CONCORD MONITOR



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Learn more at casanh.org/infosessions 603Diversity.com | August 2022 39

603 NEWS BRIEFS For NH’s Brazilian immigrants, health care can be a challenge. Some are trying to fix that. New Hampshire is home to a growing Brazilian population, but some local advocates and medical providers say miscommunication and cultural misunderstandings can make it difficult for people in this community to access health care. A recent training hosted by Ascentria Care Alliance, an organization supporting local immigrants and refugees, sought to help New Hampshire medical providers better meet the needs of their Brazilian patients. According to the New Hampshire Brazilian Council, most of the state’s Brazilian community is concentrated in Nashua. All three of the presenters for this training were also based in that city. “Many Brazilians fear the doctors won’t

understand them,” said Silvia Petuck, a community health worker with Nashua Public Health & Community Services. “We need interpreters from Brazil who understand the language and cultural background.” But language is only one of the factors creating discomfort for local Brazilian patients, said Watila Burpee, a Brazilian therapist at the Greater Nashua Mental Health Center. Immigration can be traumatic, she explained, leading to loneliness and depression. And it can be hard to get medical providers to understand this experience. The professionals at the training said Brazilians might look for someone to talk to

about their feelings, but doctors usually rush and don’t take the time to chat with them about daily life — something that can make a big difference when earning their trust. The stigma around mental health can also be challenging, Burpee said, “especially the male population.” She noted that many Brazilians might not want to let anybody know they have a mental health problem, because they are afraid they will not be invited to social events anymore. As the providers explained during this training, socializing and being surrounded by family and friends is a high priority for many Brazilians. So is showing affection: Some Brazilians might hug and kiss oth-

An attempt to make amends As part of their Junteenth celebration, the town of Windsor, Vt., has placed a roadside marker in honor of Dinah. The marker acknowledges the life of an enslaved woman whose history outside of Windsor is uncertain. However, her life in Windsor, as the marker reads, was quite bleak. The placement of the marker was a project done in conjunction with Historic Windsor Inc., Vermont State Historic Preservation Office, and the Justice Equity Diversity and Inclusion Committee. “This is an event for someone who would have been dumbfounded by it. The role of women in the 18th century was heavily circumscribed, and the influence women had was generally behind the scenes. For women of the lowest social class, it would have been more so, for a woman of color, it would be even more so. I don’t think she, or anyone else in her milieu, would have ever imagined that such an honor would have been given to

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her, and that’s all the more reason we should do it,” said Henry Duffy, president of Historic Windsor Inc. Dinah was reportedly born around 1753. In 1783, she was sold to Stephen Jacobs by Joatham White of Charlestown, NH. Jacobs, a well-known lawyer, judge, and politician in Windsor, purchased Dinah after the Vermont Constitution prohibited slavery in 1777. Dinah would remain in Jacobs’ servitude until 1800, when her failing eyesight and health caused Jacobs to have her removed from his home. Afterward, Dinah would fall under the care of the town Overseer of the Poor. The overseer title was held by the town selectboard at the time, who felt as though they shouldn’t be required to pay for Dinah, since she was a slave and therefore held no status as a citizen. The issue was brought to Windsor District Court and was found in Jacobs’ favor. The

town would then bring the case to the Vermont Supreme Court where, according to the Vermont Historical Society, Jacobs was a Supreme Court Judge at the time, and recused himself. The court ultimately ruled in Jacobs’ favor, due to the fact that slavery was illegal in Vermont at the time, and as a result Jacobs technically did not own Dinah the moment she crossed the Vermont border. After the town of Windsor tried to expel her multiple times, they eventually paid someone to care for her in her dying days and paid for her burial. The location of Dinah’s grave is unknown, as the marker reads. Jacobs is buried at the Old South Church in Windsor. Although slavery was outlawed in 1777, there are other examples of slaves being owned by prominent white settlers. A similar marker was erected in Burlington commemorating Lavinia and Francis Parker, who were slaves owned by the daughter of Ethan Allen from 1835 to

ers, including their doctors, as a greeting. But for many local Brazilians, the biggest challenge is getting medical care in the first place. According to the local advocates, many struggle to pay for health insurance, and high medical costs prevent them from returning to appointments. “We need affordable care, more services for low-income people,” said Bruno D’Britto, founder of the New Hampshire Brazilian Council.

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1841. Allen, too, was a well-regarded politician, war hero and businessman. “I was shocked to learn about Dinah. I grew up here. I graduated from Windsor High School. I never once heard about this injustice, perhaps because it would challenge the idea of Vermont exceptionalism. Here, where the constitution Looking to change jobs? Want to start a new career? to outlaw adult slavery was signed. The town turned a blind eye to its perWant to make a difference in the lives of others? sistence,” said Amanda Jordan Smith, We offer excellent hourly wages, member of the Justice Equity Diversity • Business Excellence Award a •full Senior Gems®package, Program benefit training, and and Inclusion Committee.


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THAT MAKE A DIFFERENCE To submit multicultural or changemaker events for the next issue, send them to editors@603diversity.com.


NASHUA MULTICULTURAL FEST This free event, which is organized by the Nashua Mayor’s Office and the Nashua Multicultural Festival Planning Committee, will feature multicultural food, art, dance and more! Free samples of foods from a variety of countries will be provided (first come, first served). More at nashuanh.gov Greeley Park, Nashua

Courtesy photos



PEOPLE OF THE DAWNLAND Strawbery Banke Museum made a commitment to help New Hampshire residents and visitors better understand and appreciate Native American culture via an interactive exhibit exploring Abenaki culture, arts, foodways and storytelling traditions. “People of the Dawnland” offers insight into the Abenaki and Wabanaki peoples of Northern New England, Southern Quebec and the Canadian Maritime Provinces. Visitors can touch traditional basket weaves, play with a cornhusk doll, step inside a reproduction wigwam, or see what plants are growing in the Abenaki teaching garden. Archaeologists at Strawbery Banke have uncovered pottery, stone tools and tent holes that demonstrate the presence of the Abenaki. For over 12,000 years, the Abenaki visited the Seacoast seasonally for hunting, fishing and food preparation. This exhibit describes the locations of Tribal groups from present day Newfoundland to the mid-Atlantic, their shared traditions, beliefs and trade networks, and the family relationships of the indigenous people who are still here in New Hampshire. For more information about the “People of the Dawnland” exhibit, please contact Alix Martin, museum archaeologist, via amartin@sbmuseum.org. Strawbery Banke Museum, Portsmouth

42 603Diversity.com | August 2022

Each year, the Concord Multicultural Festival features a full lineup of performances, food and craft vendors, artists, activities, and a parade of flags that represent more than 70 cultures from around the world, presented by folks who live and work locally. This year’s event will be held from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Keach Park/Heights Playground. For more information, visit concordnhmulticulturalfestival.org/home Keach Park/Heights Playground, Concord


NEW HAMPSHIRE’S LARGEST POW WOW Long before the first European settlers came to New Hampshire, the Granite State was home to indigenous Native Americans. One of the best ways to learn about our Native American heritage is to attend the Laconia Historical Indian Association’s pow wow in Sanbornton. Over Labor Day weekend, Sanbornton becomes the center of the New Hampshire Native American universe. Drummers, dancers, flutists, storytellers, artisans, craftsmen, sweet treats and more will be featured at this three-day event. Reservations are required to book available sites.

For more information, find the LHIA on Facebook. lihaofnh.org


BLM SEACOAST’S THIRD ANNUAL NIGHT OF BLACK EXCELLENCE On October 1, 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., at the Rivermill at Dover Landing in Dover, Black Lives Matter Seacoast will hold its Third Annual Black Excellence Gala — celebrating Black excellence with Black performances, Black food, Black music, Black art; a space to love and appreciate Blackness in the most purest and unapologetic form. The proceeds of the event go to their Mutual Aid Fund that has served the local Black community by giving back over $50,000 for needs such as rent, utilities and basic family support. Officials note that, “The Mutual Aid Fund is our radical act of caring for each other, while simultaneously working to change our communities.” The event will feature a DJ, performances, dance floor, full service bar and complete sit-down dinner and desserts. More at blmseacoast.com/gala Rivermill at Dover Landing


GET A CLUE, A HARLEM RENAISSANCE MURDER MYSTERY The historic Kimball Jenkins Estate in Concord will be hosting a thrilling murder mystery night set during the jazzy era of the Harlem Renaissance. It all unfolds on October 8 from 7 to 10 p.m. to raise funds for Black Lives Matter Nashua. The evening of clues and suspicion will be overseen by Journee Lafond and tickets are $65 (with some subsidized tickets available by request). Email yasamin@kimballjenkins.com for more information. Kimball Jenkins Estate, Concord 603Diversity.com | August 2022 43


Positive Street Art


ositive Street Art, a cultural fixture in the City of Nashua for more than a decade, opened its new headquarters earlier this spring. The 2,000-square-foot location located at 48 Bridge St. is on the third floor. For 10 years, Positive Street Art has been a community leader in creative placemaking through public art, programs and events. With the new larger headquarters, Positive Street Art will be expanding all of its programming and intentionally establishing safe spaces for creative individu-

44 603Diversity.com | August 2022

als of all kinds. The new headquarters will allow Positive Street Art’s founders, Cecilia Ulibarri, president and co-founder, and Manny Ramirez, artist in residence and co-founder, to continue their journey that began in 2011. Back then they discovered that Nashua wanted a community arts organization, and they saw the opportunity to make it happen. They and other artists created their first mural that depicted the face of an organization that stood for positivity and artistic expression comprised of words juxtaposed carefully to

Photo by Constance Cherise

illustrate a beautiful face. Through continued education and community outreach, Positive Street Art inspired a newfound love for urban art in Nashua. Their

outdoor murals that are displayed on so many buildings in the Gate City are simply breathtaking. For more information, visit positivestreetart.org 603

Since 1920, the “W” has made the difference. YWCA NH is is dedicated to eliminating racism, empowering women, and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. Support and services are provided to survivors of domestic and sexual violence, new Americans, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and the community of Greater A respect for the earth Manchester. and all living things is central to the Native American way of life.

CONNECT This is reflected throughout Mt.

Kearsarge Indian Museum. Situated on 72 Concord St. 12.5-acres, MKIMNH is just 1 mile up Kearsarge Manchester Mountain Road in Warner, NH. Here you will 603.625.5785 find the Medicine Woods Trail, the Betsy info@ywcanh.org Janeway Arboretum and activity area and ywcanh.org spectacular views of the Mink Hills. Inside the Museum, visitors travel through time and space — with exhibits displaying artifacts and information on prehistoric to contemporary Native Americans from every corner of the North American continent.

One circle, 1000 stories.

EXPERIENCE IT 18 Highlawn Road Warner, NH 603.456.2600 info@indianmuseum.org indianmuseum.org

The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation is proud to underwrite Diversity 603 and to devote this advertising space to promote nonprofit organizations working to advance diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in New Hampshire.

Diversity Brings a Unique Perspective It’s different here

At Shaheen & Gordon, we recognize that diversity and inclusivity are essential as we seek to: Enrich the lives of all our employees. Serve our clients in the best possible manner. Make change in the broader communities in which we work and live.

We are proud to support diversity in New Hampshire, Maine, and beyond.

Welcome: Ronelle Tshiela!

As she joins our 2022 DEI summer internship class. Ronelle is co-founder of Black Lives Matter Manchester and a NH 200 honoree. shaheengordon.com

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