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In his own words
nation that continues to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” - “Beyond Vietnam” 4 April 1967 “The curse of poverty has no justification in our age. It is socially as cruel and blind as the practice of cannibalism at the dawn of civilization, when men ate each other because they had not yet learned to take food from the soil or to consume the abundant animal life around them. The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total, direct and immediate abolition of poverty.” Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, 1967. Discrimination is a hellhound that gnaws at Negroes in every waking moment of their lives to remind them that the lie of their inferiority is accepted as truth in the society dominating them. Martin Luther King, Jr., speech, Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Atlanta, Georgia, August 16, 1967. “Many of the ugly pages of American history have been obscured and forgotten....America owes a debt of justice which it has only begun to pay. If it loses the will to finish or slackens in its determination, history will recall its crimes and the country See Words, page 10
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Peace, non-violence and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
The Hall Monitor
Embracing principals p. 3 of non-violence Editorial
Festival explores film, culture of Caribbean Diaspora p. 7 EOC:
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2 January 2013
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In search of a non-violent movement They called it Freedom Summer. It was 1964. The previous spring I had recruited several of them, touring weekends on Upstate campuses for the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee—young, mostly Caucasian, idealistic, or romantic, or looking for adventure. They were told they would be teachers in Freedom Schools, mentoring students of color whose learning had been By Walt limited by the state’s separate and unequal Shepperd public schools. They were told their efforts would contribute to breaking the system of segregation in Mississippi, the most entrenched of the states of the former Confederacy. They were told of domestic servants who lost their jobs, sharecroppers who lost their land, community activists who had lost their lives trying to register to vote, and the need to break the media silence on such incidents. They were not told of the strategic assumption of those who planned the Summer Program, that if one of the neophytes was killed, especially a scion of a recognized political or corporate family, that silence could be broken. When one did die, in the company of a native Mississippi black teen and a Congress on Racial Equality staff member, a national media focus was assured. Having taught English for a year and a half in the junior high school serving the then contiguous neighborhood for Syracuse’s community of color, the 15th Ward—in the context of a Ford Foundation Project preparing the black students to be bussed to schools in Caucasian neighborhoods—I was considered knowledgeable enough in the techniques then current in a strategy dubbed Compensatory
Education to provide training for the summer volunteers. I conducted workshops at the Oxford, Ohio orientation session, where the volunteers also role played the beatings they could anticipate from Mississippi law enforcement and Ku Klux Klan members, who were often the same people. When it became known that my teaching experience had been preceded by six months writing for a New York City daily newspaper, some of those planning the summer program assumed that I would be spending the summer not only helping to administer the ersatz school system, but also feeding the flow of information to whatever media outlets might be receptive. Writing assignments were offered by publications ranging from Columbia Journalism Review to Scholastic Teacher. While I had no intentions of accompanying the volunteers South, the idyllic isolation of the Western College campus, waking to the purity of Fannie Lou Hamer singing barefoot on the lawn, how she got up that morning with her mind stayed on freedom, the sense of immediacy shared at hearing of the disappearance of the three who would later be found dead at a construction site, all merged to craft a unique spirituality. Evening sessions by a fireplace with walls hung with portraits of the college presidents drew defining inspiration from quiet narratives on the history of civil rights from Bayard Rustin and A. Philip Randolph. Without conscious decision I returned to Syracuse to tell my then wife I was going to Mississippi. She responded calmly that she would go too. We closed down our apartment and packed a trailer as if for a permanent move, although traveling to the Summer Program’s main office in Jackson separately, since our status as an inter-racial couple
See City scuffle, page 11
Embracing principles of non-violence As we segue from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day to Black History Month some have simply reduced the Civil Rights Movement to several acts and then poof! Like a truncated version of Roots, “We Shall Overcome” and then suddenly “Oprah”. Now with the election and re-election of Barack Obama a common phrase is repeated, “You have a black President, what else do you want?” African-Americans and other minorities have been targeted by as many as 18 states with the advent of new voter identification laws, cancellation of Sunday voting, decreasing voter access leading to lines that in 2012 lasted as long as 6 hours. The result was a large non-violent protest that was shown on cable and network news as African-Americans and others stood in long lines despite being targeted by new legislation. There were no signs, no real identifiable leader but a reminder of what African-Americans have learned from our collective experience in “overcoming” obstacles historically placed in our way. This is what King envisioned when he proclaimed “African-Americans will be a deciding factor in future elections”. The approach to use non-violence was often criticized and difficult given conditions at the time, imagine being non-violent when someone’s beating you in the head with a baton or being bitten by a dog at the command of Jim Crow era law enforcement. It took courage and required intense training to keep people focused on the goal of freedom, overturning decades of laws and state sponsored terror against African-American people. The church was the center of the movement training participants on what to do and not do. Presentation of the arguments, educating the public as to why non-violence was an important method to achieve basic human rights not extended to include AfricanAmericans. We embraced non-violence as people flocked to the polls energized by the republican/conservative efforts to deny hundreds of thousands the right to vote. SIX PRINCIPLES OF NONVIOLENCE PRINCIPLE ONE: Kingian Nonviolence is Not for Cowards. Nonviolence has a complete disrespect for violence. It will not adopt violent tactics to reach its goal and will avoid violence in resolving conflicts and problems. Dr. King stressed the importance of resisting violence in any form. He preferred and recommended nonviolence because it represented a more humane, noble and honorable method in the path to justice. Nonviolence is affirmatively standing not only against what is wrong but also for what is right and just. PRINCIPLE TWO: The Beloved Community is a World of Peace with Justice. The Beloved Community is a framework for developing a future in which one can deal effectively with unjust conditions. The “Ends and Means” is dealt with by this principle. You
cannot achieve just ends by unjust means; you cannot use violent means to achieve peaceful ends. PRINCIPLE THREE: Attack Injustice, Not Persons Doing Unjust Deeds. Humor, anger and indignation about conditions were the focus of Dr. King’s energy and attention. People are not the problem; what must be changed are the conditions under which some people operate. Focusing anger and indignation on personalities is not only violent, but often produces more violence or apathy about the real problems and conditions. PRINCIPLE FOUR: Accept Suffering Without Retaliation for the Sake of the Cause to Achieve a Goal. Suffering is not to be confused with further harm to one’s self or “self-victimization.” Acceptance of harsh and unmerited punishment for a just cause helps the individual and the community grow in spiritual and humanitarian dimensions. Willingness to endure hardship for a clearly defined just cause can have an impact on those committing acts of violence as well as on the larger community. PRINCIPLE FIVE: Avoid Internal Violence of the Spirit as Well as External Physical Violence. Our attitudes and commitment to practicing nonviolence, when faced with violence or issues are communicated through our actions, which in turn are determined by our attitudes. Body language as well as verbal expression communicates our real feelings and thoughts about a particular situation. Internal conflicts and violent feelings color these expressions. PRINCIPLE SIX: The Universe is on the Side of Justice. Society is oriented to a just sense of order in the universe. Nonviolence is in tune with this concept, and the movement must strike this chord in society. Every person is opposed to wrong and unjust behavior in a particular situation. Given our understanding of the problem, we must never lose hope that human beings, even our opponents, are able to respond. THE SIX STEPS OF NONVIOLENCE STEP ONE: Information Gathering Information gathering is not simply a factfinding process, but must relate to a specific context, people and place. Dr. King believed in listening and respecting the opinions of other people, whether they were poor people, uneducated or of a different color. STEP TWO: Education Nonviolence uses all available communications and media to educate the public about the issue or injustice at hand. Education can mean helping people to realize their ability to effect change and to act on solving major social problems. Like holding a mirror up to the community, nonviolent approaches to education reveal the unique situation and reflect the need for a better and just image.
STEP THREE: Personal Commitment Self-examination of all the ways that one may have helped to perpetuate a problem or unjust situation or where one has failed to use the nonviolent approach. Developing spiritual and intellectual habits fosters nonviolence by dealing with one’s own emotions or lack of understanding the truth. STEP FOUR: Negotiation Nonviolent negotiation does not humiliate or defeat your opponent. To prepare for negotiation, Dr. King always stressed the importance of learning about your opponents: their religious traditions, personal traditions, personal or business histories, and educational background. Nonviolence always allows your opponents to save face and “winning your opponent over” allows for joint responsibility in correcting the problem. STEP FIVE: Direct Action This step has two meanings. The first is to take responsibility for doing something
Ken Jackson The Hall Monitor about the situation and not waiting for someone else to do it. The second is to take direct action when all attempts at education, personal commitment, and negotiation have failed to resolve the problem, and more dramatic measures are necessary. STEP SIX: Reconciliation The goal of nonviolence is a reconciled world so that we can move forward together to tackle the larger issues we confront as a community. This step grows naturally out of Dr. King’s belief that we focus not on persons but on conditions and if the issues remain clear throughout the process, reconciliation will facilitate the feeling of joint accomplishment and enhance acceptance of the change. Principles are from the MLK Institute
When school children were killed in a horrific shooting spree by a lone gunman the nation was stunned, a visceral shudder went through our collective consciousness. How could someone target school children? The debate began instantly about gun control, reducing the availability of high capacity ammunition clips and re-instating the Federal Assault Weapons Ban. Those on the other side are advocating arming teachers as a way of providing some on-site protection for our nation’s schools. For residents of inner cities the proliferation of guns in neighborhoods has created an environment where we’ve grown accustomed to gun violence. Memorials in urban neighborhoods are reminders of the extent of the problem. Some urban homeowners are surrounded by memorials which scare away potential buyers. The fact is weapons are in our urban neighborhoods causing people to cower in fear of children with guns. Mother’s Against Gun Violence and others have held vigils to bring attention to the gun issue and after the Newtown, Connecticut shootings there seems to be a rush to do something, just something. There has to be a comprehensive approach to guns not just legislating high capacity weaponry in a response to Newtown. Hand guns have been responsible for thousands of deaths if it’s not a large number of fatalities it’s not media attention, headline grabbing news. African-Americans and Hispanics living in an American city have been gunned down one by one if you look at Chicago there were 500 deaths caused by guns in 2012. Most of the inner-city gun deaths are black-on-black crime a little discussed fact. All the talk aimed against guns is not going to stop this health crisis in the black community. Yes, health because these gun death numbers increase the death rate of the African-American male, therefore not healthy! A comprehensive approach should include studying why people in urban areas are killing each other with hand guns and other weaponry? How can we stop the proliferation of guns in our community? Have we created a generation that’s so hopeless that it’s become socially acceptable to get angry and shoot someone to death? We have a lot of work to do and it doesn’t involve a single piece of Gun Legislation.
4 January 2013
National News Historic bibles selected for swearing-in ceremonies The Presidential Inaugural Committee (PIC) announced the Bibles that President Obama and Vice President Biden will use at their swearing-in ceremonies. On Sunday, January 20, President Obama took the oath of office using the Robinson Family Bible. On Monday, January 21, the President again took the oath of office using two Bibles: the Bible used by President Lincoln at his first Inauguration, which the President used in 2009, and a Bible used by the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. “President Obama is honored to use these Bibles at the swearing-in ceremonies,” said Steve Kerrigan, President and CEO of the PIC. “On the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington and 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, this historic moment is a reflection of the extraordinary progress we’ve made as a nation.” Though there is no constitutional requirement for the use of a Bible during the swearing-in, Presidents have traditionally used Bibles for the ceremony, choosing a volume with personal or historical significance. In 2009, President Obama became the first President sworn in using the Lincoln Bible since its initial use in 1861. The Robinson Family Bible was selected specifically for the occasion. The bible was a gift from the First Lady’s father, Fraser Robinson III, to his mother, LaVaughn Delores Robinson on Mother’s Day in 1958. Mrs. Robinson was the first African-American woman manager of a Moody Bible
Statement from the NRA on White House Task Force meeting
The National Rifle Association of America is made up of over 4 million moms and dads, daughters and sons, who are involved in the national conversation about how to prevent a tragedy like Newtown from ever happening again. We attended today’s White House meeting to discuss how to keep our children safe and were prepared to have a meaningful conversation about school safety, mental health issues, the marketing of violence to our kids and the collapse of federal prosecutions of violent criminals. We were disappointed with how little this meeting had to do with keeping our children safe and how much it had to do with an agenda to attack the Second Amendment. While claiming that no policy proposals would be “prejudged,” this Task Force spent most of its time on proposed restrictions on lawful firearms owners - honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans. It is unfortunate that this Administration continues to insist on pushing failed solutions to our nation’s most pressing problems. We will not allow law-abiding gun owners to be blamed for the acts of criminals and madmen. Instead, we will now take our commitment and meaningful contributions to members of congress of both parties who are interested in having an honest conversation about what works - and what does not. Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen’s group. Four million members strong, NRA continues to uphold the Second Amendment and advocates enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation’s leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the armed services. Be sure to follow the NRA on Facebook at www.facebook.com/NationalRifleAssociation and on Twitter @NRA.
Institute’s bookstore and she used the Bible regularly. The Lincoln Bible is part of the collections of the Library of Congress and was originally purchased by William Thomas Carroll, Clerk of the Supreme Court, for use during Lincoln’s swearing-in ceremony on March 4, 1861. The Bible itself is bound in burgundy velvet with a gold-washed white metal rim around the three outside edges of both covers, and all of its edges are heavily gilded. The King Bible was Dr. King’s “traveling bible.” An avid reader who was constantly on the road, Dr. King typically traveled with a selection of books that included this Bible. It was used for inspiration and preparing sermons and speeches, including during Dr. King’s time as pastor of Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. “We know our father would be deeply moved to see President Obama take the Oath of Office using his bible,” Dr. King’s children said today. “His ‘traveling bible’ inspired him as he fought for freedom, justice and equality, and we hope it can be a source of strength for the President as he begins his second term. With the Inauguration less than two weeks away, we join Americans across the country in embracing this opportunity to celebrate how far we have come, honor the legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. through service, and rededicate ourselves to the work ahead.” Members of the King family will also join Americans across the country to honor the life and legacy of Dr. King by
participating in National Day of Service events on Saturday, January 19. Additionally, a float in the Inaugural parade will commemorate Dr. King’s enduring legacy. On Sunday and Monday, Vice President Biden will be sworn in using the Biden Family Bible, which is five inches thick, has a Celtic cross on the cover and has been in the Biden family since 1893. He used it every time he was sworn in as a US Senator and when he was sworn in as Vice President in 2009. His son Beau used it when he was sworn in as Delaware’s attorney general. “For decades, the Vice President’s bible has been part of our country’s history,” Kerrigan said. “It will continue to serve not just the Biden family, but the American people as well.”
Syracuse City School January is Cervical Cancer Month we enter District responds to 2013,Asmany people will begin the New Violence in Newtown Year by making December 14, 2012: On behalf of the Syracuse City School District, I offer my heartfelt sympathy to all of those affected by the shootings in Newtown, Connecticut today and I pray for strength and comfort for the families and the members of the community. I want to assure all of the parents in the Syracuse City School District that the safety and security of our students is the district’s top priority. Our schools utilize a single point of entry and we have standardized photo identification cards for all staff ensuring electronic access control in all of our buildings. We work closely with the City of Syracuse police department and the New York State police. In the event of a crisis we have lockdown procedures in place and the capability for district-wide radio communication at our schools. Given the magnitude of this tragedy, I ask that families please talk to your children over the weekend. We will make staff available if our students should need counseling on Monday. - Office of the Superintendent Sharon L. Contreras.
a resolution. As friends and family make resolutions to lose weight, exercise more or quit smoking—why not try something a little bit different? This year, schedule a Pap smear, also known as a Pap test as one of your New Year’s resolutions. There is no better time, as January is Cervical Health Awareness Month. Although cervical cancer is a preventable disease, this year more than 12,000 American women will be diagnosed and nearly 4,000 will die from an advanced form of the disease. Regular cervical cancer screening is a crucial part of women’s health, but too often it’s overlooked. The Pap smear is one of the most reliable and effective cancer screening tests available. It looks for precancerous cell changes on the cervix that might become cervical cancer if they are not treated appropriately. Women must remember to continue to have regular exams throughout their lives. Cervical cancer develops very slowly; half of the women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer are between 35 and 55 years of age. Almost 20 percent of women are diagnosed when they are over 65. After your exam, it can take several weeks to receive your Pap smear results. It is important to follow up with your doctor to learn more about your test results, particularly if they are abnormal, and receive any treatment that may be needed. Most women who are diagnosed with cervical cancer have not had regular Pap smears or they have not followed up on abnormal Pap smear results. Start the New Year right talk to your doctor today to discuss cervical cancer screening. For more information, visit Syracuse Community Health Center, Inc. at one of our 15 convenient locations or call us at 315-476-7921.
National Action Network ‘Save Our Supermarket’ On Saturday, December 29th, 2012, the Syracuse Chapter of the National Action Network held its weekly meeting at Fountain of Life C.O.G.I.C. located at 700 South Ave, Syracuse, NY discussing how to “Save Our Supermarket”. It has been recently announced that the Governor’s Task Force Committee for the New York State Regional Council awarded Price Rite Supermarket $600,000.00 for the South Ave Supermarket Project. This was a $900,000.00 decrease from what the NYS Regional Council Committee for our region authorized which was $1.5 million dollars for this project. National Action Network asks that you contact the regional reps for our area and encourage them to have the Governor’s Office reconsider giving us the full allotted amount that was initially approved for this project. The South Ave supermarket would create 100+ jobs for full time & part time employees to be paid a living wage with benefits as well as increase viability in the Southwest Community of Syracuse. Price Rite has already committed to the Syracuse area by building a supermarket from its own funding source on the corner of Erie Blvd and Teal Ave and will need the funds plus additional money to make this project economically feasible due the impact of them building the 1st supermarket without state & federal funds and being that the market holds a 11% impact due to the proximity of both stores. Regional Council Contacts: S.U. Chancellor Nancy Cantor– 315-443-2235 Email: ncantor@ syr.edu
Mayor Stephanie Miner– 315-448-8005 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org County Executive Joanne Mahoney– 315-435-3516 Email: email@example.com Robert Simpson, President & CEO Center State CEO– 315-4701800 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Juanita Williams, Commissioner’s Central Region Rep-315-4793250 Email: Juanita.email@example.com For more information on this issue please contact Walt Dixie at 315-832-0026.
CCA at U.S. Senate Hearing on the School-to-Prison Pipeline On December 12, 2012, Rukia Lumumba, Director of the Center for Community Alternatives’ (CCA) Youth Advocacy Program attended a historic hearing on the School-to-Prison Pipeline. The hearing was called by the U.S. Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution, Civil Rights, and Human Rights. CCA, a member of the Dignity in Schools Campaign (DSC), joined with other Campaign members from across the
country. The testimony that we provided to the Committee comes directly from our interviews with young people with whom we work. Their statements underscore the urgent need to end harsh school discipline that pushes young people out of school and into the criminal justice system. The hearing was an important contribution to the growing movement to end school pushout. We know that school safety is enhanced not by zero tolerance
policies but instead by interventions such as restorative justice, Positive Behavioral Supports, peer leadership and wraparound services including those that help students cope with mental health and emotional problems. More information about the Dignity in Schools Campaign including tools such as the Model Code on Education and Dignity,” is available at dignityinschools.org/ourwork/model-school-code.
Mayor: Nearly $400k coming for ‘Safe Routes to School’ program NYS DOT grant gives $388,001 for Neighborhood Greenways connecting Bellevue, Roberts and Danforth Magnet schools SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Mayor Stephanie A. Miner is pleased to announce the City of Syracuse has been awarded a $388,001 grant from the New York State Department of Transportation to develop greenways connecting neighborhoods and schools. “This grant is a terrific opportunity to help develop this program and implement it across the City of Syracuse,” said Syracuse Mayor Stephanie Miner. “I am excited to witness the development of the innovative greenways and watch our neighborhoods become more connected and our children kept safer on their walk to school.” This funding will be used to establish 1.25 miles of neighborhood greenways—a first in the Northeast. The greenways will connect the Strathmore, Elmwood, and Southside neighborhoods, specifically connecting three schools: Bellevue, Roberts, and Danforth. Neighborhood greenways are low volume residential roads that provide a safe walking and biking route that connect to
parks and schools. Traffic calming interventions are put in place to discourage cars from cutting through on these streets, keeping the streets for local car use, as well as walking and biking. “It’s great to see kids be able to walk and bike safely to school,” said Third District Common Councilor Bob Dougherty. “This encourages kids to get outside and exercise. I look forward to the completion of this project.” Safe Routes to Schools is a federal transportation program to help keep access roads safer for children walking to schools. This is the second time SRTS funding has been offered. Syracuse was also awarded a grant through the previous round of funding. That money was used for pedestrian improvements, Americans with Disabilities Act upgrades, and signal upgrades around Ed Smith, Hughes, and McKinley-Brighton Schools.
January 2013 Student of the Month College Preparation Program – Evening named The Syracuse EOC is proud to have Kiry Bell as our Student of the Month for January 2013. Kiry is Kiry Bell from Syracuse, NY. He decided to go back to school and heard about EOC from friends. What Kiry likes most about Syracuse EOC’s College Preparation program: the teachers, the flexibility of the class schedule and the school hours. His favorite subject is Biology because he wants to become a biochemist. His long term goals include attending Onondaga Community College, then graduate school to study and research cancer. Faculty Comments: “Kiry has excelled in all his classes and has been a pleasure to work with.”– Chip Moulton, College Preparation Instructor.
January 2013 Student of the Month College Preparation Program named Michel le is from Syracuse, NY. She has 4 grown sons and a grandson and grandniece. She loves to Michelle Lewis read, make soft dolls and watch movies. She came to EOC many years ago and has returned to improve her skills and change her career field. Michelle appreciates the instructors at EOC. She stated, “They are very motivated and excited about what they are teaching.” What Michelle enjoys the most at EOC is the great atmosphere for learning. Michelle’s favorite subject is Algebra because it is a challenge for her. Michelle stated about her Algebra class, “The instructor Amy was the best. She was so willing to help when it got hard.” Michelle has goals to earn a Registered Nursing degree, and a long-term goal to teach nursing. Faculty Comments: “Michelle is always serious about her work but also is a very friendly, upbeat person. She enjoyed the challenges of Algebra and Chemistry (and Biology last year) and having her in class made teaching even more fun! I expect her to achieve any goal she sets for herself.” – Amy Kozachuk, College Preparation Instructor.
6 January 2013
Community News Applications for Emergency Home Heating Assistance Now Being Accepted The State Office of Temporary and gency HEAP benefits is based on inA complete list of where to apply New York residents can check if they Disability Assistance (OTDA) an- come, available resources, and the type locally can be found at otda.ny.gov/pro- may be eligible for HEAP, and numernounced that beginning January 2, eli- of emergency. For example, a family of grams/heap/HEAP-contacts.pdf. More ous other benefits, by answering a few gible low-income New Yorkers who are four can have a household income of information can also be found by calling questions online at myBenefits.ny.gov. in danger of having their heat shut off or $49,333 a year and may still qualify for the New York State HEAP Hotline at Emergency HEAP benefit amounts are running out of fuel, can apply for emer- a HEAP benefit. 1-800-342-3009. listed below: gency Home Energy Assistance Program Emergency HEAP Benefit Amounts for 2012-2013 (HEAP) benefits. HEAP, overseen by Type of Emergency Amount OTDA, is a federallyfunded program to $160 help eligible house- Heat Related Domestic (electric service required to operate heating equipment) holds in meeting their home energy needs. $400 Eligible households Natural Gas Heat Only can receive one regu lar HEAP b enef it Natural Gas Combined with Heat Related Domestic $560 per season, but may also be eligible for a one-time emergency Electric Heat Combined with Heat Related Domestic $560 HEAP benefit if they are in danger of running out of fuel or hav- Non-utility heating fuel (oil, kerosene, and propane) $600 ing their heat or heatrelated utility service shut off. Non-utility heating fuel (wood, pellets, coal, corn, etc.) $500 Eligibility for emer-
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SU hosts 28th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, ‘Yesterday’s Dream, Tomorrow’s Promise’ Syracuse University’s 28th annual Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration, “Yesterday’s Dream, Tomorrow’s Promise,” was held on Saturday, Jan. 19, in the Carrier Dome. The evening included a keynote presentation by Roslyn M. Brock, board chairman of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the presentation of the 2013 Unsung Hero Awards and a program of performance and song. The 2013 Martin Luther King Jr. Unsung Heroes Awards will be presented to Adena Rochelson, an eighth-grader at Wellwood Middle School in Fayetteville (youth/teen); JoVan Collins of Syracuse (community adult); Brenda Muhammad, a graduate student at Syracuse University (SU/ESF student); and Engineers Roslyn M. Brock Without Borders at Syracuse University (student group). A community festival celebrating arts, culture and education in the Syracuse community will be held on Saturday, Jan. 26, from noon-4 p.m. at Frazer Elementary School, 741 Park St. The annual celebration is among the largest university-sponsored events in the United States to commemorate King.
Keeping the Rhythm of August Wilson’s ‘Two Trains Running’ by Kelundra Smith Hope has turned to cynicism in 1969 when August Wilson’s play “Two Trains Running” takes place. Here, at Memphis Lee’s soul food diner, is where we find an eccentric cast of characters—an undertaker, a gambler, a waitress and a man nicknamed Hambone because he constantly rambles on about a ham owed to him. They are skeptical and disillusioned about how much the Civil Rights Movement will actually improve the quality of their lives. Then, in comes Sterling, a young man who has just been released from jail, and is full of hope that life can only get better. He is the opposite of Memphis and Hambone who are both psychologically and physically stuck, in their own ways, in the injustices done to them. “Two Trains Running” is a part of Wilson’s, 10-play, “20th Century Cycle.” One of the most outstanding achievements of American playwriting, the cycle chronicles a century, not only of African American life, but of American life. Wilson uses Pittsburgh’s Hill district, a predominantly African American community, as his microcosm. Syracuse Stage producing artistic director Timothy Bond had a personal relationship with Wilson, and is committed to bringing the entire10-play cycle to the Syracuse community. “I watched August in the back of an empty theatre during rehearsal with his head down, eyes closed, foot tapping, feeling the rhythm of the dialogue,” Bond said. “He would look up from time-to-time and take a note when the rhythm wasn’t right.” All of the plays in the cycle situate the black experience as America’s journey of hope through the twentieth century. Wilson incorporates pivotal moments of America’s black history in his scripts, and often examines the effects of these events on romantic relationships between black men and women. Wilson traces her legacy back to1904
when his play “Gem of the Ocean” is set. The play takes place in her home on Wylie Avenue in Pittsburgh’s Hill community. She welcomes lost souls to stay with her and be cleaned. Fast forward 80 years, and a character announces her death in “King Hedley II,” Wilson’s 80s play. By this time Wilson believes African Americans have forgotten their connection to their ancestors, and as a result she dies. Posthumously her legacy continues in “Radio Golf,” which is set among the black middle class in the early 90s. There is a lot of controversy over selling her house for new development. By the 90s there are some people who believe African Americans have arrived and have no need for her. They see their history as a reminder of ills done to them, rather than as a testament to their unbreakable spirits. On the opposite end of the spectrum, there are those who believe she is still necessary, because all has not been healed. Chronologically as written, “Two Trains Running” is the first play Aunt Ester is mentioned in. From the turn of the century to present, which is 1969 in “Two Trains Running,” Aunt Ester endured. Her wisdom affects everyone she encounters, which is why she is often referred to throughout the cycle as the “washer of souls.” Aunt Ester’s healing powers ultimately uplift the characters through Sterling’s interactions with her in “Two Trains Running.”. Part of the reason Bond was drawn to staging “Two Trains Running” now, is because the character Sterling also appears in “Radio Golf,” which Syracuse Stage audiences saw produced in 2011. In Syracuse Stage’s 40 seasons, six of Wilson’s 10 plays have been
produced—“Gem of the Ocean,” “Jitney,” “The Piano Lesson,” “Fencs”s and under Bond’s direction “Radio Golf,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “Fence”s again. During the 1992 Broadway theatre season “Two Trains Running” received the American Theatre Critics’ Association Award, the New York Drama Critics Circle Citation for Best American Play and received a Tony Award nomination for Best Play. “Watching a genius playwright in process was one of the great privileges of my life,” Bond said. “Hearing him act out his characters, I heard their rhythms, inflections and passions directly from the playwright.” Thematically “Two Trains Running” is among the most politically potent of Wilson’s
plays. By 1969 Malcolm X, Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy—champions of the Civil Rights Movement— have all been assassinated, and people feel as if life as they knew it is over. That feeling resounds today, as America is in the midst of a great recession, people have lost their jobs and homes and the cost of living is ever increasing. There are also striking parallels between what happened in Pittsburgh’s Hill district and Syracuse. Violent riots and looting in the Hill district after King’s assassination held grave consequences for the neighborhood, making it largely ignored by city government. This meant there was no funding allocated to rebuild black businesses as integration See syracuse stage, page 9
8 January 2013
Caribbean Cinematic Festival Explores Film and Culture of Caribbean Diaspora Community Folk Art Centerâ€™s annual Caribbean Cinematic Festival (Feb. 6 â€“ Feb. 10) will showcase films and performances that capture the spirit and cultural richness of the Caribbean islands. The five-day festival will highlight cultural contributions as well as address polarizing issues in the Caribbean and the Caribbean Diaspora. These will be explored through film, dance, spoken word, photography, discussion and food. The festival is an expansion of last yearâ€™s programming. â€œWe received an overwhelming response from the community to expand the festival last year. This year, we wanted to give our audience an allencompassing and multidimensional look at the Caribbean,â€? Community Folk Art Centerâ€™s Education Director Tanya JohnsonRuffin said. The festival will include performances and artist talks by the following guests: veteran spokenword artist and twotime National Poetry Slam Champion Roger BonairAgard, acclaimed filmmaker FrancesAnne Solomon, Bronxbased dance theater company Areytos Performance Works, Fulbright Scholar Kishi Animashaun Ducre, celebrated Jamaican filmmaker Selena Blake, feminist educator and filmmaker Celiany RiveraVelazquez, and multimedia artist Sandra Stephens.
Community Folk Art Centerâ€™s Executive Director Kheli Willetts expressed her enthusiasm for the oneofakind festival. â€œWe are very excited for this opportunity to celebrate the diversity, complexity and creativity of the Caribbean Diaspora,â€? Willetts said. This event is free and open to the public; however, donations are welcome. This event is sponsored by: Central New York Community Foundation, YMCA Downtown Writers Center, Spanish Action League of Onondaga County, the Gifford Foundation and various Syracuse University departments and organizations: Office of Multicultural Affairs, La Casita Cultural Center, Student African American Society, University College, Maxwell School, LGBT Resource Center, and the Composition and Cultural
AT T E N T I O N ! ! ! After Christmas, think twice before throwing away that no longer needed item! Please donate your used or no longer needed Books, Lap Tops, Computers, Cell Phones, Medical Equipment, Back Packs, Summer Clothes, Shoes, Sneakers, Sandals, etc. These items will be taken to Ghana and distributed to people in need.
Rhetoric Program. Film The films focus on the infusion of Caribbean culture into the United States, touching on topics such as migration, LGBT issues, human rights and feminism.
This yearâ€™s lineup includes: â€œWhat My Mother Told Meâ€? (UK, 1995); â€œQueen of Myself: Las Krudas de Cubaâ€? (Cuba, 2011); â€œTaboo .........Yardiesâ€? (Jamaica, 2012); â€œArt, See festival, page 10
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From page 7
spread. During the 1960s the federal government allotted money to several cities for urban renewal. For Syracuse this included the expansion of the interstate system. When I-81 was built through the middle of the Syracuse, the 15th ward was cut in half, and this meant the end of many black businesses. The project also displaced many residents in the 15th ward, causing many people to relocate to the south side. Showing reverence to the spirit of black entrepreneurship is something Bond and set designer William Bloodgood want reflected in the scenic design for â€œTwo Trains Running.â€? They are paying close attention to details in the creation of the diner, while also representing the city outside the diner walls. Much of the playâ€™s humor comes from charactersâ€™ observations about the community, namely the line of people wrapped around the corner for a local businessmanâ€™s funeral. The man is rumored to have had the Midas touch, and many people are hoping to attain wealth by being in his presence. â€œThere are unexpected treasures in his plays,â€? Bond said. â€œI hope people leave the show feeling like thereâ€™s a voice that speaks to their experiences.â€?
JANUARY 12 - FEBRUARY 23 Opening Reception: Saturday, February 2 3 p.m. - 5 p.m. Community Folk Art Center is proud to host the Stone Canoe Annual Art Exhibi-
tion. The exhibition will open in tandem with the launch of the 2013 issue of the Stone Canoe journal and features the work of 29 artists with connections to the Upstate New York region. Stone Canoe is an award-winning
journal of arts, literature and social commentary and is published each January by University College of Syracuse University. GALLERY HOURS: Tues. - Fri. (10 a.m. - 5 p.m.) Sat. (11 a.m. - 5 p.m.)
Teen entertainment with a social conscience The Media Unit â€“ Central New Yorkâ€™s national award winning teen performance and production troupe has openings on cast and crew for the
Copies of the bid document may be obtained at the Village Clerkâ€™s Office. Bids shall be submitted in sealed envelopes at the above address and shall bear on the face thereof the name and one complete copy of the sealed bid must be delivered to: Village of Baldwinsville 16 West Genesee Street Baldwinsville, New York Attention: Village Clerk The outside of the envelope must contain the vendorâ€™s name, address, Bid Date, Bid Time and the following language: â€œBid # 2013-01Mercer park Pavilion Rehabilitation Projectâ€?. The Village of Baldwinsville Board of Trustees reserves the right to reject any or all bids.
Stone Canoe Annual Art Exhibition
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN, that pursuant to the provisions of the General Municipal law, sealed bids for Bid # 2013-01 Mercer Park Pavilion Rehabilitation Project, Baldwinsville, NY will be received at the Office of the Village Clerk, 16 West Genesee Street, Baldwinsville, New York 13027, Onondaga County, New York, until 2:00 pm, local time, on Wednesday, February 13, 2013, at which time they will be publicly opened and read aloud. This project involves the renovation of the roof and floor in the pavilion at Mercer Park located at 1 North Street, Village of Baldwinsville, Onondaga County, New York.
Maureen Butler Village Clerk Village of Baldwinsville
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5 Myths About Creativity in Churches By Jonathan Malm In my day job, I write and edit for a free online magazine called Sunday| Magazine. It’s all about the creative process of Sunday mornings. This month our cover story is from creative directors at those mega creative churches about what it takes to have effective creativity at your church. Most of us aren’t at mega creative churches. So it’s easy to see comments from folks like Blaine Hogan (Willow Creek) and Whitney George (Church on the Move) and think there’s nothing we can learn for our context. But that sort of thinking comes from some commonly believed myths about creativity – especially as it applies to churches. Let’s explore and explode these myths together: 1. Creativity is about music, acting, and art. Creativity and artistic expression are related, but they aren’t the same thing. Creativity is the ability to see things from a different perspective and show that to others. Artistic expression is a form of creativity, but it doesn’t encapsulate the whole concept. Jesus, in His parables, showed true creativity. He saw the Kingdom of Heaven from a different perspective and helped show that to us. A good story is the perfect manifestation of creativity. It doesn’t have to be “art”. 2. Creativity costs too much money. While creative churches like Willow Creek and Church on the Move have pretty big budgets for technology, there are so many churches that do amazing things with little to no money. Creativity isn’t about technology. It isn’t even about
From page 1
that would be great will lack the most indispensable element of greatness--justice.” Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, 1967 “The church must be reminded that it is not the master or the servant of the state, but rather the conscience of the state. It must be the guide and the critic of the state, and never its tool. If the church does not recapture its prophetic zeal, it will become an irrelevant social club without moral or spiritual authority.” Martin Luther King, Jr., Strength to Love, 1963. “A good many observers have remarked that if equality could come at once the Negro would not be ready for it. I submit that the white American is even more unprepared.” Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?, 1967. “Being a Negro in America means trying to smile when you want to cry. It means trying to hold on to physical life amid psychological death. It means the pain of watching your children grow up with clouds of inferiority in their mental skies. It means having your legs cut off, and then being condemned for being a cripple. It means seeing your mother and father spiritually murdered by the slings and arrows of daily exploitation, and then being hated for being an orphan.” Martin Luther King, Jr., Where Do We Go from Here: Chaos or Community?, 1967.
physical resources. It’s about making do with what you have. It’s about pushing through resistance and limitations like budget. 3. Creativity takes too much time. Creativity does take extra thought. It does take a little bit of time. But so does anything worth doing. When you invite a guest over to your house for dinner, you don’t just warm up some Hamburger Helper and serve it from the pan. You prepare a good recipe. You put the meal in a nice serving dish. You set the table. You clean up. You
Festival Craft or Soul” (Jamaica, 2011); “Cuban Roots/Bronx Stories” (Trinidad & Tobago/France/US, 2011); “Calypso Rose: Lioness of the Jungle”; “Haiti: One Day, One Destiny” Haiti, 2011, and “Cuban Roots/Bronx Stories” (US/Cuba, 2000). Dance On Saturday, February 9 at 6:00 p.m. Dance Theater Company Areytos Performance Works will perform an original piece. Spoken Word Veteran spoken word artist Roger BonairAgard will perform at Community Folk Art Center and lead a workshop at the YMCA Downtown Writer’s Center. BonairAgard is a twotime National Poetry Slam Champion and is the author of Tarnish and Masquerade (Rattapallax, 2007). His most recent book of poems is GULLY (Cypher Books, 2010). Photography Syracuse University Professor Kishi Animashaun Ducre will host a discussion and book signing about the photovoice exhibition, “Our Community, Our Vision, Our Voices.” The presentation will be followed by a talk and book signing of “A Place We Call Home: Gender, Race and Justice in Syracuse” (Syracuse University Press, Fall 2012). Discussion Each of the films will be followed by discussions with a featured guest, including: Frances Anne Solomon, Selena Blake, Celiany Rivera and Sandra Stephens. Food The festival will close with a Caribbean Brunch provided by a local Caribbean restaurant and will be followed by a discussion, “Food and Sensibilities of the Caribbean with Asomgyee Pamoja.” Screening Schedule: Wednesday, February 6: 6:00 p.m. Table talk with Director and Producer FrancesAnne Solomon led by Prof.Cecilia Green
do something special because you want to make your guest feel welcomed and honored. Why wouldn’t we do the same thing for our guests on Sunday mornings? 4. We don’t have “creative” people in our church. You might be surprised how many “creatives” you have sitting in your chairs each Sunday. Many times they keep quiet in church because they don’t want to rock the boat. But as soon as you start introducing creativity in your church, they come out of the wood works. They get excited. They volunteers early mornings and late nights to help make it all happen. I guarantee there are creative folks hiding in plain site. You just need to give them a chance to shine. 5. Creativity is only for young people. A few years ago I got a compliment I’ll never forget. I had just finished leading worship. That morning we did a song that featured a trash can as the percussion element. I was worried people wouldn’t like it. But a small, elderly woman approached me. She gave me a huge hug and said how much she loved the creativity that morning. I was so surprised. But she wasn’t the only one. Throughout my time at the church we had so many older folks getting excited as we introduced creative elements. Creativity doesn’t have to alienate people. If you put care and love into your planning, you can bring people along and bring them on board with the vision for creativity. You church can be creative. It’s not that hard. It just takes trying.
From page 8 7:00 p.m. Screening: “What My Mother Told Me” Reception Thursday, February 7: 6:30 p.m. Photovoice exhibition, “Our Community, Our Vision, Our Voices” followed by talk and book signing of “A Place We Call Home”: Gender, Race and Justice in Syracuse” (Syracuse University Press, Fall 2012) by Prof. Kishi Animashaun Ducre. Refreshments will be served. Friday, February 8: 6:30 p.m. 7:30 p.m. Spoken word performance by Roger BonairAgard, veteran spokenword artist and twotime National Poetry Slam Champion. Saturday, February 9: Noon 1:30 p.m.: Spoken word workshop with Roger BonairAgard (Downtown Writers CenterYMCA of Central NY) Discussion Noon Screening: “Queen of Myself: Las Krudas de Cuba.” Discussion immediately following with Director and Producer Celiany Rivera. 2:00 p.m. Screening: “Taboo ...Yardies.” Discussion with filmmaker Selena Blake, facilitated by Professor Kevin Browne. 5:30 p.m. Reception 6:00 p.m. Performance by Bronxbased dance theater company, Areytos Performance Works followed by a workshop Sunday, February 10: Noon Sunday Caribbean Brunch followed by a discussion led by Asomgyee Pamoja, “Food and Sensibilities of the Caribbean.” 2:00 p.m. Screening: “Art, Craft or Soul.” Discussion with Director and Producer Sandra Stephens followed by a kids craft project. 3:00 p.m. - Screening: “Cuban Roots/Bronx Stories.” Discussion with Professor Danielle Brown.
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Summer to the nationalism of the Black Power Movement, Stokely Carmichaelâ€™s admonition for Caucasians to go fight for freedom in their own back yards rang especially true for me. I returned to Syracuse to join the efforts of the Community Action Training Center, the largest organizing project of Americanâ€™s War on Poverty.
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Although I have long considered the Mississippi Freedom Summer (actually we stayed through Thanksgiving to see what Dr. King had called â€œthe Beloved Communityâ€? deteriorate from ideological bickering) to be seminal to my life experience, I never had a total understanding of what I had gotten myself into until I read Taylor Branchâ€™s trilogy on America in the King
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