Black History Month Events at the Wilson Library

by Marian Huggins, New Haven Free Public Library

This year’s Black History Month theme for the library fea-tures two prominent writers: James Baldwin and Langston Hughes. Along with partners from Project Longevity, we will show the film I Am Not Your Negro, a work adapted from an unfinished James Baldwin manuscript. The screening will be held at the Wilson Branch, 303 Washington Ave., New Haven, on Saturday, Feb. 3 at 2 p.m.

James Baldwin, described as an “American Novelist and Social Critic,” unearths the hard truths about racism in America while describing his responses to the deaths of Martin Luther King Jr., Medgar Evers and Malcolm X.

Langston Hughes, whose birthday by the way is Feb. 1, was a prolific poet and social activist as well. His writing could be biting, but was usually cloaked either in humor (as in the Jesse B. Semple Stories) or softened by the hopefulness of a future when all would be accepted, like in the poem “I, Too”:

I, too, sing America.
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.
Tomorrow,
I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”
Then.
Besides,
They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—

The Urban Life Experience Book Discussion Series will feature a biography of Langston Hughes for our February meeting, Feb. 24 at noon. New readers are welcome and readers can choose whatever biography (or autobiography) written for teens and adults they’d like to read for the discussion. The Langston Hughes biography is in conjunction with our Black History Month celebration and it fits in with the cultural and social justice theme of the discussion group. The book discussion will be followed by the film Hughes’ Dream Harlem at 1:30 p.m.  Wilson Branch, New Haven Free Public Library, 303 Washington Ave., (203) 946-2228.

PAR Featured on WPKN Radio. Listen.

On Jan. 8, Scott Harris, host of Counterpoint on WPKN Radio (89.5 FM), interviewed Paula Panzarella, one of PAR’s editors and Planning Committee members.

The Planning Committee felt this interview would be a great way to introduce PAR to the many progressive organiza-tions active in the peace movement, the struggle for immi-grant rights, work with Black Lives Matter, promotion of environmental projects, the struggle for civil rights, criminal justice issues, the push for healthcare for all, etc. Many thanks to Scott Harris and WPKN for agreeing to give PAR this opportunity to reach a new audience.

We hope that groups which were not familiar with PAR will send us articles and their event listings so PAR readers can learn about the work they are doing and get involved. PAR readers can listen to the interview on the following link: http://counterpointradio.org/2018/mp3/180108d-ctpt-panzarella.mp3.

Scores Rally in Bridgeport for Jerusalem

Stanley Heller, MECC

Despite near-freezing weather, 50 to 100 people rallied in McLevy Square in downtown Bridgeport Dec. 17, 2017, to stand with Palestinians who have denounced Trump’s public announcement that he’ll move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

The rally was organized by CAIR (Council on American-Islamic Relations) and the Bridgeport Islamic Community Center. Jerusalem was seized by Israeli forces in 1967, but no country in the world has its embassy there. One reason is that almost 40 percent of the city’s inhabitants do not have Israeli citizenship since they are Palestinians who have only been given residency status. Israeli soldiers have killed a number of people in the protests including a legless man named Ibrahim Abu Thuraya who was in his wheelchair behind the wall between Gaza and the rest of Palestine.

Sign Petition: New York Times: Suspend Thomas Friedman

Yale may have had New York Times columnist impart his “wisdom” to students in December, but the Coalition to End the U.S.-Saudi Alliance wants the NYT to suspend him.  Friedman wrote a long piece of flattery about the Crown Prince (and effective ruler) of Saudi Arabia, claiming he was bringing an “Arab Spring” to the country his family owns.  Abandoning journalistic and moral criteria, Friedman ignored the Saudi war on Yemen that has been so horrific. To sign the petition go online at http://www.SaudiUS.org.

MECC to Hold Fundraising Party

In February, the Middle East Crisis Committee (35 years old in 2017) will hold a fundraising party to keep its projects going in the new year. MECC produces “The Struggle” which is shown weekly on over 30 TV stations in the northeast and in South Bend, IN.

There will be food and music and auctions of items like autographed books by Wendy Pearlman and Timothy Snyder, and the graphic novel Palestine by Joe Sacco.  Date and location of the event has not been determined, probably in the afternoon in New Haven.

Details will be in the next PAR newsletter and posted on the website http://www.thestruggle.org, or call (203) 934-2761.

Reflecting on Tyranny, Wars and Lies

by Stanley Heller, Administrator, Promoting Enduring Peace

Come Tuesday evening Nov. 28 to the United Church Parish House in New Haven to hear one of the most well-known and provocative thinkers of the decade. Yale professor Timothy Snyder will deliver the Mark Shafer lecture for Promoting Enduring Peace. His academic credentials and books would be reason enough for attendance. He speaks five languages, reads ten and is an expert about the rise and horrors of 20th century tyranny. Yet it’s his Facebook post that got our attention.

Less than a week after the presidential election Snyder made a long Facebook post reflecting on what had just happened.  Mincing no words he warned the public about how easy it would be for the United States to fall under dictatorial rule.  He made a list of practical measures for individuals to take.  This post from a distinguished Yale professor shook a lot of people. It was shared 18,000 times. In the months that followed he expanded it into a book: “On Tyranny.”

See more about Timothy Snyder in the insert. Please come to what should be an important lecture. The United Church Parish House is located at 323 Temple St., New Haven.  Doors open at 6:30 p.m. There’s free parking in the lot at 60 Wall St. It’s advised to come early to get a seat.

More information at www.pepeace.org.

Art Supplies – reBoutique – Workshops. Upcoming Classes at EcoWorks

Friday, November 3, 6 – 8 p.m., Wine On9: Trivets On9

Join us for Downtown New Haven’s Wine On9. Our craft activity will be making trivets from wine corks! Can be used as trivets, wall hanging or jewelry racks. This activity is free. Led by artist, singer, songwriter Shula Weinstein. EcoWorks will be open during these hours for shopping too!

We are also hosting the Wine On9 wine tasting. To participate in wine tasting, tickets can be purchased from Down-town New Haven.

Saturday, November 18, 1 – 3 p.m. Embroidery for Beginners with McKenzie Chapman. Create a beautiful, embroidered hoop to hang in your home! This is a beginner’s workshop, so you’ll learn basic embroidery stitches while completing a lovely pattern. The pattern will be pre-traced onto the fabric and already stretched onto a 6 inch hoop. You’ll be learning the satin, back, lazy daisy, and french knot stitches. Leave with new skills and a cute hoop you can be proud of! Facilitated by McKenzie Chapman who embroiders clothing, hoops and makes patches for her Etsy site. All materials provided. Ages 14+ $20.

Register at ecoworksct.org.
EcoWorks, Inc.
262 State St.
New Haven
(203) 498-0710.

Open Thursdays 1-7 p.m. and Saturdays 10 a.m.-4 p.m., plus special events.

Reception and Book Signing with Tim Wheeler Oct. 7, People’s Center

Tim Wheeler is former editor of People’s World and will be hosting a reception and book signing Saturday, October 7, 2017 at 2 p.m. at the New Haven Peoples Center, 37 Howe St.

Tim will read from his newly published autobiography “News From Rain Shadow Country” (part 1) and sign books. This book includes his growing up years on the Olympic Peninsula and some of the great labor battles and other struggles that he covered for People’s World. (see below)

The reception is sponsored by the Connecticut People’s World Committee. Reply to: 203-624-4254 or e-mail: ct-pww@pobox.com

Tim Wheeler estimates he has written 10,000 news reports, exposes, op-eds, and commentaries in his half century as a journalist for the Worker, Daily World and People’s World. “News From Rain Shadow Country” is a selection of that writing covering his childhood and youth growing up on a dairy farm near Sequim, Washington in the 1950s and his retirement on the family farm in recent years.

The Cold War blacklist targeted Wheeler’s father, forcing the family to take up farming. Yet these stories are filled with triumph over hatred and fear, the wide circle of neighbors the Wheeler’s befriended, the surprise visits to the farm of folksinger, Pete Seeger, and Barack Obama and others.

He writes of the trials and tribulations of fellow farmers, fishermen, loggers, millworkers, and retail workers, like the employees of WalMart. He devotes a chapter to the Quileutes, Makahs, and other tribes in their defense of sovereignty and treaty rights. He writes as a Marxist that working people must unite, stand against the corporate right wing to win jobs, equality, a livable environment and world peace. He embraces the motto: “People and Nature Before Profits.”

Creating an Alternative US-Cuba Relationship with Cuban Poet and Producer Marcel Lueiro Reyes

Please join us for this timely community conversation and as we celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month! The presentation and discussion will be held on Monday, Oct. 16, from 6 – 8 p.m. at the New Haven Free Public Library, 133 Elm Street.

Marcel Lueiro Reyes is a popular educator and socially-conscious media producer who has worked at the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Center in Havana for the past twelve years. Marcel is a specialist in the fields of popular communication, culture and the arts in Cuba. Many of his poetry collections have been published and some have even won national literary prizes. Marcel has traveled to many countries, as both a popular educator and a journalist. During this tour Marcel will share the reality of the Cuban people, focusing on community-based experiences in the struggle to create a more inclusive and democratic socialism. Marcel is eager to discuss the perception of US policies on the island as well as the influence of people from the US on beloved aspects of Cuban life, such as baseball, music and film. Marcel’s blog: lueiropoeticas.blogspot.com.

This event is in Spanish with English translation. Cosponsored by Witness for Peace witnessforpeace.org. For more info email sgodfrey@nhfpl.org or call (203) 946-7450.

Storysharing at the Institute Library May 19

The Institute Library, 847 Chapel St., is sponsoring a monthly story sharing group on the third Thursday of each month from 6 – 8 p.m.

The group gives its members an opportunity to share stories in a very informal atmosphere. The stories may be of any kind – traditional folk tales, myths, stories of personal experience, etc. The group is open to all levels of experience, so people with no formal experience of storytelling can try things out in a supportive atmosphere. No one is required to tell; if you simply want to listen for a while, that’s fine. If you feel so moved, come to the first session with a story ready.

We hope to encourage people to discover stories (their own or others), to become more skilled at telling them, and to build community. The group and the individuals in it will determine which is the most important. The group will be coordinated by Arnie Pritchard, local storyteller and Board Chair of the Connecticut Storytelling Center.

Meetings are from 6 to 8 p.m. on the third Thursday of every month.

For more information, visit us at http://www.institutelibrary.org.

Is Your Nonprofit Looking For Funding in 2017? Upcoming Workshops for Grant Writers

Community Foundation for Greater New Haven

If you are planning to apply for a grant through the 2017 Responsive Grants Process, you will want to attend this webinar! Join us for a Grantseeker Information Webinar Thursday, Feb. 9, 1-3 p.m. www.cfgnh.org/StrengtheningNonprofits/WorkshopsEvents.aspx.

Who should attend? Nonprofits serving the 20-town region of The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, including the five towns served by its partner in philanthropy, the Valley Community Foundation. Or Nonprofits applying for a 2017 Responsive Grant from either foundation.

Participation is strongly encouraged, even for experienced Responsive Grant applicants.
Learn: all of the community foundations’ grant processes; how to apply for the Responsive Grant process; the timeline, from start to finish; application types and attachments; upcoming workshops to support your application preparation. Space is limited; please register early. Attend from your office: Register to receive information on accessing the live webinar via your computer. Attend in person: Register to join us at The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven on the day of the webinar.

Applications are online! You don’t have to wait for the Grantseeker Webinar to start your application. The deadline for Responsive Grant applications is 5 p.m., Thursday, March 30. For more grant information and eligibility criteria, visit cfgnh.org/grants or valleyfoundation.org/grants.

The Listen Here Short Stories Reading Series continues 3rd Tuesdays

The Institute Library is proud to host the Listen Here Short Story reading series. Join us for a night of classic short stories selected by the staff of the New Haven Review and read by cast members of the New Haven Theater Company. Reading starts at 7 p.m., with talk back at 8 p.m. Also, freshly baked cookies–a different batch at each reading–and tea are available.

Admission is free!

Join us every third Tuesday of the month at the Institute Library, 847 Chapel St., New Haven. Our next reading will be Jan. 17. Stories TBA.

Please note that the Institute Library is one flight up and not wheel-chair accessible. For more information, visit us at www.institutelibrary.org.

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