Remembering Anne Frank: Film Showing of Redemption Blues June 12 @ NH Free Public Library

In commemoration of Anne Frank’s 90th birthday, please join us for a screening of “Redemption Blues,” directed by Peter Stastny  (2017; 84 min., English & German/English subtitles) Wednesday, June 12, 5:30 to 8 p.m., New Haven Free Public Library, 133 Elm Street.

A lifetime after the Shoah: Forgetting is not an option and memory only goes so far. When prayers are not enough, music can keep us going. It is not too late to mourn and not too soon to replenish.

“Redemption Blues” is a film about the thorny legacy of the Holocaust generation and the insights of some of its last survivors. The film begins where conventional Shoah narratives leave off and traces a path forward, through personal and emotional engagement towards hope.

Director and producer Peter Stastny was born in Vienna as the son of Orthodox Jewish refugees. After a career in psychiatry, he began working with film in the mid-1990s, looking for ways to move forward after the immense trauma endured by the Jewish population of Europe during the Second World War.

Discussion with Peter Stastny will follow the screening. Co-sponsors are: The International Association of New Haven and The City of New Haven Peace Commission. For more information, contact Seth, sgodfrey@nhfpl.org, or (203) 946-7450. New Haven Free Public Library, 133 Elm St.

New Book Documents How Ordinary American Communities Challenge the ‘One Percent’ and Win

Good Trouble: A Shoeleather History of Nonviolent Direct Action is a riveting chronicle of stories that prove time and again the actions of thoughtful, committed people can change their country and the world. It is a brisk, inspiring primer for veteran activists and newcomers alike.

Civil Rights struggles. Labor strikes. Immigrant organizing. Tenant occupations. LGBT campaigns. Each of the 40-plus examples in Good Trouble focuses on the power of organizing and mobilizing, relevant in any context, and serves as an “emergency tool kit” for nonviolent direct action.

“Good Trouble comes to us at a time when faith in our democracy is fading,” writes Rev. Damaris Whittaker, senior minister of Fort Washington Collegiate Church, New York.

“Change is the result of action, but those without hope do not act. Good Trouble is a tale of overcoming despair to beat the system,” says Jackie Allen-Doucot, lifelong member of the Catholic Worker Movement.

The book takes its title from a quote by John Lewis, member of Congress and legendary civil rights hero, who led a 2016 sit-in on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives: “Dr. King and Rosa Parks inspired me to get into trouble, good trouble,” Lewis said at the time.

Good Trouble author Steve Thornton is a retired union organizer who has spent forty-five years in Hartford CT on the front lines of student, labor, community, environmental, and anti-racist struggles. This is his third book, the first with Hard Ball Press, publisher of a wide range of working-class writings (hardballpress.org).

The Shoeleather History Project: Stories from Hartford’s grassroots: www.ShoeleatherHistoryProject.com.

Make Music Day Connecticut Returns on June 21

Connecticut Office of the Arts

For the second year, cities and towns across Connecticut will join forces to present over 500 free outdoor musical events on Friday, June 21 for Make Music Day, a global music celebration on the summer solstice each year that brings people of all ages and skill levels together to make music. For information, see www.makemusicnewhaven.org.

Last year, Make Music Day made its Connecticut debut, with an impressive 528 free musical performances at 224 locations across the state, coordinated by twelve regional chapters brought together by the Connecticut Office of the Arts. This year, eighteen chapters have formed to organize Make Music Connecticut, the most of any state, joining more than 80 other U.S. cities hosting thousands of Make Music performances across the country as part of the world’s largest annual music event.

Bad People Believing Bad Things: The Threat of White Nationalism — Talk June 11

John Stoehr invites Jason Stanley, the Jacob Urowsky Professor of Philosophy at Yale University and author of How Fascism Works: The Politics of Us and Them (published September 2018), to discuss the rising tide of white nationalist ideology and its influence on the American political landscape. Book will be available for sale. Please RSVP by Tuesday, June 11, 7:30 p.m. at the Young Men’s Institute Library, 847 Chapel St, New Haven. Light refreshments available. Suggested admission $10. Sponsored by New Haven Review with the Institute Library and The Editorial Board.

New Haven Documentary Film Festival May 30-June 9

The 6th annual New Haven Documentary Film Festival runs from May 30-June 9. The 11-day fest will feature over 100 films and other special events in various venues. All film screenings and workshops are free. For the full schedule, see nhdocs.com.

Michael Moore Retrospective will be at the New Haven Documentary Film Festival Friday, June 7 – Sunday, June 9 at the Whitney Humanities Center Auditorium at Yale, 53 Wall St., New Haven. The Festival will feature free showings of seven of Michael Moore’s films. The audience can discuss the films with Michael Moore and filmmakers D.A. Pennebaker, Chris Hegedus and Peter Davis.

Free and open to the public.

New Haven Free Public Library Wins National Award

NHFPL Press Release

The New Haven Free Public Library is one of ten recipients of the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service. This prestigious award is the highest honor given to museums and libraries across the nation. The medal recognizes libraries and museums that provide unique programming and service to make a difference in the lives of individuals, families and communities.

Nilda Aponte will travel with Martha Brogan, City Librarian and Shana Schneider, NHFPL Board President, to the nation’s capital to accept the award in Washington, D.C. on June 12. Ms. Aponte serves as a community ambassador in the Fair Haven neighborhood for NHFPL’s signature partnership program with the Long Wharf Theatre.

“It is a pleasure to recognize the 10 distinctive recipients of the National Medal of Museum and Library Service,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “Through their programs, services, and partnerships, these institutions exemplify the many ways that libraries and museums are positively transforming communities across the nation.”

“We are thrilled to receive this award, which honors our 132-year legacy and early attributes that still ring true today: a welcoming front door for all, a fighting spirit to serve as the people’s university, a catalyst for civic improvement, a drive to innovate tempered by fiscal restraint, and a love of humanity,” said Martha Brogan, City Librarian.

We were nominated to receive this award by U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy who wrote that “NHFPL goes above and beyond in terms of community involvement, in both the quantity and quality of its programming. In the 21st century, patrons require more and different things from their libraries than they once did. NHFPL has fully embraced this reality and established itself as an indispensable hub of culture and innovation.”

This award belongs to you, our community. We look forward to sharing this honor with you when we return from Washington. As a winning institution, we will receive $5,000 to enhance our programming. Additionally, this summer StoryCorps will visit NHFPL and capture stories from our community and preserve at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress.

Happy May Day! Continue the Struggle for Justice!

by the PAR Planning Committee

Since the nationwide strike for the 8-hour workday in 1886, the first of May has become a historic day for the struggles of working people, and for over a hundred years May 1 has been celebrated as International Workers’ Day. Locally, in 1970, the May Day protests on the New Haven Green demanded freedom for Bobby Seale, justice for the Black Panthers, and the end of the Vietnam War. Starting in 1987 and continuing for thirty years on the Green, the annual May Day celebration each year brought together dozens of organizations to promote their work for labor rights, peace, human rights, and economic rights to the broader New Haven community. And since 2006, city-wide marches for immigrants’ rights are held on May 1. Peace, racism, police brutality, union struggles, fair wages, anti-war, immigration, a safe environment, criminal justice issues, labor history, welfare rights organizing, the right to healthcare — these are some of the struggles and issues in the celebration of international solidarity.

April was a month full of upsurge. From April 11-21, Stop & Shop workers from Connecticut, Rhode Island and

Massachusetts (31,000 workers) were on strike. The union considers the new contract a victory, preserving healthcare and retirement benefits and providing wage increases. The next strike in Connecticut will be unionized workers in nursing homes. They are scheduled to strike on May 1.

For days there have been massive protests and marches in New Haven and Hamden condemning the thoroughly unjustified Hamden and Yale police shooting in New Haven of two African-Americans in their early twenties on April 16. Thankfully, Stephanie Washington is recovering from her bullet wounds, and Paul Witherspoon was not hit. Video from the police body cameras has not yet been released. As of this writing, people will gather at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 6 at the Hamden Town Hall for the Legislative Council Meeting. We urge our readers to join in the many rallies for justice around these and other issues and be inspired by the many people at the forefront of these struggles for their lives and their livelihoods.

May Day 2019 — 100 Years of Struggle for Workers’ Rights

by Joelle Fishman, CT People’s World

The annual Connecticut People’s World rally for International Workers’ Day will highlight union organizing today and in history. Themed “May Day 2019: 100 Years of Struggle for Workers’ Rights,” the rally will be held on Sunday, May 5, at 3 p.m. at the New Haven Peoples Center, 37 Howe St. The event, held during the 100th anniversary year of the Communist Party USA, will include a brief history of labor organizing by the Communist Party since its founding in 1919 and continuing today.

The experience of organizing food service workers who won a union last year at United Airlines will be shared by Jaime Myers-McPhail who lived in Colorado for several months working on the campaign, and his colleague Charlie Delgado who participated for a shorter time. Myers-McPhail is an organizer in New Haven with New Haven Rising and Unite Here.

“May Day Around the World” slide show will show workers’ protests and actions from every continent including many demands for equality for immigrant workers. The afternoon will be capped off with labor songs led by some of those who participated in the newly formed labor chorus at the Women’s March in Hartford this year.

On May 1, 1886, thousands of workers marched in Chicago to demand relief from brutal 12- and 14-hour workdays. A few days later, a suspicious bomb killed several Chicago police and protesters in Haymarket Square. Four of the march leaders were framed and executed. In their memory, May Day was proclaimed a day of international workers’ struggle and solidarity. In the United States, May Day took on new life when immigrant workers from Latin America held mega-marches for their rights in 2006. May Day 2019 is part of the resistance against the anti-people Trump/ Republican white supremacy agenda, and the rising movements to put peace, planet and people before profits

Donation is $5 or what you can afford. A fund appeal for the People’s World will be made. For information e-mail ct-pww@pobox.com or call (203) 624-4254.

Sing Seeger Songs to Benefit IRIS May 17

by Kim Stoner, NH Society of Friends

A singalong concert celebrating the 100th anniversary of folk singer and activist Pete Seeger will be held at Unitarian Society of New Haven, 700 Hartford Turnpike in Hamden on Friday, May 17th. We will sing to celebrate Seeger’s music and his life-long efforts on behalf of peace, justice, and the earth. The concert is a benefit for Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services (IRIS).

Seeger passionately believed that singing together not only built community but could help heal our planet. Towards the end of his life, he said that if there’s still a world a hundred years from now it would be in large part because of people singing with each other.

Audiences in this singalong tribute concert will sing together using our new songbook containing fifty classic songs Pete Seeger led throughout his life, specially designed for Seeger centennial event. This event will feature Emma’s Revolution, Charlie King, Annie Patterson and Peter Blood-all of whom worked closely with Pete Seeger during his life.

Emma’s Revolution is the award-winning activist duo of Pat Humphries & Sandy O, whose songs have been praised by Pete Seeger and covered by Holly Near. They convey the energy and strength of their convictions, in an uprising of truth and hope for these tumultuous times.

Charlie King is a musical storyteller and political satirist. Pete Seeger hailed him as “one of the finest singers and songwriters of our time.” They worked together to help build the People’s Music Network.

Annie Patterson & Peter Blood are the co-creators of the best-selling songbook Rise Up Singing. They have led sing-along concerts across North America and abroad building “hope & change through song.” www.groupsinging.org.

Concert details: Pete’s 100th Singalong Concert Friday, May 17, at 7 p.m. at the Unitarian Society of New Haven, 700 Hartford Turnpike in Hamden. Info: Paul Hammer (475) 201-3810, pauldhammer@yahoo.com.

Tickets & information: www.riseupandsing.org/events. Adults: $20, students and low income $10. For more information: www.riseupandsing.org/seeger-100th.

Is Your PAR Subscription About to Run Out?

by PAR Planning Committee

The Progressive Action Roundtable newsletter publishes from September through June. Subscriptions from many of our readers will expire with the June issue.

We hope you enjoy your subscription and value the PAR newsletter as a community resource. To see if your subscription is due for renewal, please look at your address label. If “201906” is printed on the label to the right of your name, your subscription ends next month. Please send in $13 for 10 issues (Sept. 2019-June 2020) so that you can continue to read about what local organizations are doing and you can submit articles about your own organization.

The Progressive Action Roundtable was started in January 1993. After several months, this community Newsletter became the main activity of PAR, giving New Haven area organizations an opportunity for networking and for advertising their activities.

We hope to hear from you.

New Haven Free Public Library Tapped as Finalist for National Award

by Ashley Sklar, NHFPL Public Services Administrator

The Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) announced that the New Haven Free Public Library (NHFPL) is among the 30 finalists for the 2019 National Medal for Museum and Library Service.
The National Medal is the nation’s highest honor given to museums and libraries for service to their communities. For 25 years, the award has celebrated institutions that demonstrate extraordinary and innovative approaches to public service and are making a difference for individuals, families, and communities.

“The 30 National Medal finalists showcase the tremendous ability of libraries and museums to serve as vital community resources,” said IMLS Director Dr. Kathryn K. Matthew. “The Institute of Museum and Library Services is honored to recognize these leading institutions.”

Open to all, the NHFPL is a community pillar of learning, exploration and inspiration. Through community engagement, inclusive growth, and equity of access to resources and opportunities, the NHFPL builds connections as one city with one future.

“We are honored that the New Haven Free Public Library is a finalist for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service, and appreciate the inaugural nomination by U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut,” said City Librarian Martha Brogan. “We proudly share this nomination as recognition of our home, the community and the City of New Haven.”

“Share Your Story” about NHFPL on social media. IMLS is encouraging community members who have visited the NHFPL to share their story on social media. Please visit www.facebook.com/USIMLS or www.twitter.com/us_imls and use #IMLSmedals and #myNHFPLstory.

National Medal winners will be announced later this spring. Representatives from winning institutions will be honored for their extraordinary contributions at the National Medal Ceremony on June 12 in Washington, D.C.

To see the full list of finalists and learn more about the National Medal, visit the IMLS website www.imls.gov.

Ashley Sklar, nhfpl.org, asklar@nhfpl.org, (203) 946-8835.

Gasping Whiteness: A Play & Community Workshop

Bregamos Community Theater (BCT), 491 Blatchley Ave., presents Gasping Whiteness at 2 p.m. Saturday, March 2, which explores the impact of white supremacy on parenting in progressive, middle class communities. The play tells the stories of two families (one white and one African-American) as they encounter divides of race and struggle to respond, as well as the story of a masked figure who is buried at the play’s end — a funeral which also serves as a call to action.

Presented as a staged reading, the play runs one hour and is followed by a one hour facilitated dialogue, exploring how the themes of the play speak to our lives and our stories.

Gasping Whiteness’ cross-racial, cross-generational ensemble includes playwright Will MacAdams and social justice educator/theatre maker Trenda Loftin (who co-direct and also perform in the piece); two Western Massachusetts child actors, ages ten and 11; and Atlanta-based visual artist Angela Davis Johnson, who developed its visual landscape.

Sliding scale ticket prices. 100% of the proceeds benefit local organizers for racial justice: CTCORE-Organize Now! (www.ctcore-organizenow.org) and Students for Educational Justice (www.students4edjustice.org).

For tickets and more information, go to: gaspingwhitenessnewhaven.brownpapertickets.com. Seating is LIMITED. Get your tickets early!

New Haven Free Public Library Augments Outreach to Residents in Need of Basic Services

by Ashley Sklar, NHFPL

A Community Engagement Award from the National Network of Library of Medicine (NNLM) will allow the New Haven Free Public Library (NHFPL) to expand its successful partnership with Liberty Community Services (LCS) beyond Ives Library to the Fair Haven and Wilson Branch Libraries starting this winter. The All of Us grant effectively doubles the hours of LCS counselors on-site at NHFPL locations and also provides funds to augment the library’s print collections on health and wellness in English and Spanish.

The goal of the NNLM grant is to strengthen health literacy and increase access to high-quality free health resources in partnership with public libraries. Integral to the NNLM grant, LCS staff members inform their library clients about MedlinePlus.gov, a freely available federal government website that aims to provide “information on health conditions, wellness issues and more in easy-to-read language.” The NNLM promotes public libraries’ vital role as trusted sources of health and wellness information in the community. Building towards that trust, NHFPL continues to foster its successful partnership with LCS, now in its sixth year. LCS offers one-on-one consultations at Ives Main Library for those with basic needs (jobs, food, shelter, and health and wellness issues), conducting 976 appointments and serving 563 individuals in 2018.

City Librarian Martha Brogan praised the collaboration, asserting that “NHFPL and LCS will continue to seek stable funding sources to sustain their productive partnership and to extend services to all five locations.”

Liberty Community Services Hours at NHFPL:

Ives Main Library, 133 Elm St.
* Mondays to Fridays, 11 a.m.-3 p.m. (last appointment at 2:30 p.m.)
* Saturdays, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. (last appointment at 12:30 p.m.)

Fair Haven Branch Library, 182 Grand Ave.
* Thursdays, 5-7 p.m.
* Alternating Saturdays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (March: 9, 23; April: 6)

Wilson Branch Library, 303 Washington Ave.
* Tuesdays, 5-7 p.m., Alternating Saturdays, 10 a.m.-1 p.m. (March: 2, 16, 30; April: 13, 27)

Ashley Sklar, Public Services Administrator, NHFPL, www.nhfpl.org, asklar@nhfpl.org, office: (203) 946-8835.

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