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.

Teach-In Feb 24: Explore the Toughest Questions Facing the Climate Movement

by 350CT and Sierra Club

On Saturday, February 24, noon to 6 p.m. at the Ernest O. St. Jacques Auditorium, Elmwood Community Center, 1106 New Britain Ave., West Hartford (entrance via South Quaker Lane and then to Burgoyne Street) come to a Teach-In: For a Livable World! Climate Justice Now! Hear experts and activists exploring some of the toughest questions facing the climate movement. Speakers include:
Jacqueline Patterson, Director of the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Program. Coordinator & co-founder of Women of Color United since 2007. She is also a researcher and program manager, working on women‘s rights, violence against women, HIV&AIDS, racial and economic justice.
Anne L. Hendrixson, Director of Population and Development Programs at Hampshire College. She has examined the gendered and racialized ways that environmental thinkers have framed population in relation to resource scarcity, food insecurity, conflict and violence, environmental degradation and climate change.

Sean Sweeney, Director of the International Program on Labor, Climate & Environment at the Murphy Institute, City University of New York and coordinator of Trade Unions for Energy Democracy, a global network of 42 unions from 16 countries.

Martha Klein, Chapter Chair of the Sierra Club of Connecticut, and a leader in the fight to stop the use and transport by pipeline of climate-wrecking fracked gas in our state.

Alexis Rodriquez, Fairfield representative of the Connecticut Puerto Rican Agenda and an advocate of decolonization. He has been involved with hurricane relief efforts and the campaign against coal ash dumping in Penuelas.

Cynthia Jennings, environmental and civil rights attorney and a councilwoman in Hartford. She has brought the issue of environmental justice in Hartford to national attention.

Workshops include: Become a Citizen Lobbyist for the Spring 2018 Legislative Session; What Would an Independent Mass Action Strategy Look Like?; The Fight for a Green, De-Colonized Puerto Rico; Fight for Green Affordable Mass Transit; Nuclear Power is NOT Renewable!; Get Your Town to Commit to 100% Renewable This Year!

For more information: 350CT at (203) 350-3508 or email organizers@350ct.org.

Sierra Club of CT 860-542-5225 or connecticut.chapter@sierraclub.org.

Commemorate the 200th Anniversary of Frederick Douglass’ Birth

Power Concedes Nothing Without a Demand. It Never Did, and It Never Will.

Quinnipiac University will mark the 200th anniversary of Frederick Douglass’ birth with a series of events to honor his life and his many achievements. One of the high points will be a yearlong exhibition curated by Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute that focuses on the time Douglass spent in Ireland and his enduring relationship with that country.

Frederick Douglass was born a slave in Maryland. At the age of 20, he escaped to the north, where he quickly established himself as a talented speaker and writer.

In 1845, Douglass wrote his life story: “Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave. Written by Himself.” To avoid being captured and returned to slavery, he traveled to Europe. He spent the first four months of his exile in Ireland, returning there three more times in 1846. Douglass described his time in Ireland as “transformative” and as “the happiest days of my life.” In 1847, he returned to America, his freedom having been “purchased” by female abolitionists.

Exhibit: Frederick Douglass Remembered.

Dates: Feb. 2, 2018, to Jan. 28, 2019
Hours: Monday through Saturday: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.;
Sunday: Noon to 5 p.m.
Main Exhibition: The Lender Special Collection Room, Arnold Bernhard Library, Mount Carmel Campus, Quinnipiac University, 275 Mount Carmel Avenue, Hamden, CT 06518

Friday, Feb. 2. Frederick Douglass in Ireland: “The Black O’Connell” (Frederick Douglass in Éirinn: An Conallach Gorm) exhibition opens to the public.

Tuesday, Feb. 6, 7-10 p.m. From Abolition to #BLM: A Conversation with Danny Glover at the Burt Kahn Court, Mount Carmel Campus. Driven by activists like Harriet Beecher Stowe, Frederick Douglass, and Harriet Tubman, early abolitionist efforts became the foundation for contemporary debates over the meaning of freedom. The Black Lives Matter movement, named for the hashtag started on Twitter, is steeped in the American tradition of using free speech and social actions to further the fight for justice and equality. In a fireside-chat style program with Dr. Khalilah Brown-Dean, Glover will explore the similarities of the #BlackLivesMatter movement and its early abolitionist roots (especially Frederick Douglass) to build connections, increase dialogue and end racism.

Wednesday, Feb. 14. Happy Birthday, Frederick! Events throughout the day include special cupcakes and a chance to meet Nathan Richardson (Douglass enactor).

Tuesday, Feb. 20. “Frederick Douglass at 200.”
Memorial service to mark Frederick’s death on February 20, 1895. The service will include a selection of readings in English and Irish, accompanied by traditional Irish music and 19th-century American hymns. Light refreshments will be provided afterward. This event will take place at the Center for Religion on the Mount Carmel Campus.Thursday, February 22. Kenneth Morris and Nettie Douglass, descendants of Frederick Douglass, discuss how they are preserving his legacy. Also, a statue of Frederick Douglass at age 27 (when he visited Ireland) will be on display at the Quinnipiac University School of Law on the North Haven Campus, 370 Bassett Road, North Haven. For more information, please contact: Ann Marie Godbout, Assistant to Ireland’s Great Hunger Institute, (203) 582-6576, ighi@qu.edu, http://www.qu.edu/on-campus/institutes-centers/irelands-great-hunger-institute/frederick-douglass-remembered.html.

A Fund-Raising Party for MECC March 3

by Stanley Heller, chairperson, MECC

The Middle East Crisis Committee (MECC) invites you to “Struggle, Resistance and Resilience in Solidarity with the Palestinian People,” a fund-raising party on Saturday, March 3 at 6 p.m. at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of New Haven,  608 Whitney Ave., New Haven.

Learn about Mazin Qumsiyeh’s efforts in building the Palestinian Natural History Museum in Bethlehem. There will be food, music, and video; auctions and door prizes are planned. $25 suggested donation.

MECC is in its 35th year. For the past dozen years or so our biggest efforts have involved media. We have a weekly TV show on over 30 cable stations stretching from Maine to New York City. One focus of late is Saudi Arabia (KSA) and its war against Yemen, which has been completely supported by the Obama and Trump administrations. This past year saw an attempt to use the War Powers Act to completely cut off U.S. participation in the war via House Concurrent Resolution 81. However, it was sidestepped by leaders in Congress including powerful Democratic Party Whip Steny Hoyer. We did an interview with Malachy Kilbride who with six others were arrested inside Hoyer’s office demanding in vain a meeting with Hoyer or his staff. You can see the interview by going to TheStruggle.org and clicking on the black button for our YouTube channel “struggle-videomedia.” (Incidentally, while CT Sen. Chris Murphy is admirable on the Yemen issue, Sen. Richard Blumenthal has never spoken out against the atrocious war.) “Atrocious” is no exaggeration. Reuters had a video clip of destitute people in a Yemen garbage dump, eating and drinking in the garbage amid swarming insects.

Another video of note on TheStruggle.org is of efforts around the world to remember Syria. It’s called “2nd Day of Rage for Syria.” People mistakenly think the war is over. Hundreds of thousands are under Assad siege in Idlib and Eastern Ghouta. After its brutal obliteration of Raqaa, the U.S. is using a Kurdish force to establish a permanent presence in the northeast and Turkey has a chunk of the country in the north. MECC stands for the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Syria and in support of Syrian civil society demands for a ceasefire and honest elections.

Join us for this fund-raising event on March 3!

MLK Day, take action to finish the work King began

MLK Day, take action to finish the work King began. Call to Unity and Action. Varick Memorial AME Zion Church, 242 Dixwell Ave., New Haven. Light meal and hors d’oeuvres will follow the program. This event is part of New Haven Rising’s 2018 dues and membership drive. If you’d like to co-sponsor this event or have any questions please respond to this email or call: 203-710-1084. For more information visit the Facebook event page here.

 

 

 

Amazing Story of Mary and Eliza Freeman of Bridgeport

Hosted by CT Chapter of the National Organization for Women (CT NOW), Thursday, Jan. 11, 6:30 – 8 p.m. at the New Haven Free Public Library, 133 Elm St.

Come to a fascinating talk about two remarkable Connec-ticut women who’ve been lost from history – Mary and Eliza Freeman – starting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 11, in the Ives Performance Area of the New Haven Public Library, 133 Elm St., New Haven.

Sisters and free women of color, Mary and Eliza bought and leased houses in Bridgeport in the 1800s, leading to the creation of the “Little Liberia” neighborhood. Established 20 years before Connecticut abolished slavery for good in 1848, Little Liberia was designed to give free African-Americans the opportunity to make greater social and economic progress. The two original homes Mary and Eliza purchased are the oldest remaining houses in Connecticut built by free blacks and are part of the Connecticut Freedom Trail. However, help is needed to ensure their survival. Come hear the story of these two amazing women, presented by Maisa Tisdale, president of the Mary and Eliza Freeman Center for History and Community.

People’s Action for Clean Energy Annual Meeting

by Mark Scully, Director

Please join PACE for a celebration among friends of the good work being done to advance local clean energy across the state at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 at the Unitarian Society of Hartford, 50 Bloomfield Rd.

PACE will recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of two inspiring environmental leaders: Jamie Wolf of Wolfworks, Inc. will receive a lifetime achievement award for his career of designing sustainable homes, and Craig Lewis of Clean Coalition will be honored for his bold and creative leadership in promoting local clean energy and a modern electric grid.

The evening will be informative, featuring a keynote address from Craig Lewis on “Renewables-Driven Community Microgrids” and updates on a range of good work being done in the state, including PACE’s own 100PercentCT Project, led by Bernie Pelletier.
To make it a real celebration, State Troubadour Kate Callahan will open and close the evening with her musical gifts.

The Dhamma Brothers: East Meets West in the Deep South: Film Screening, Reception, and Q&A Dec. 5

by Aruna Pawashe, Lecturer, MBB and MCDB Dept.,Yale

I have organized this free public event at Yale towards bringing the benefit of meditation to stressed Yalies and the New Haven community. Please come to the screening and meet Jenny Philips, producer of the film.

The Dhamma Brothers tells a dramatic tale of human potential and transformation as it closely follows and documents the stories of the prison inmates at Donaldson Correctional Facility as they enter into this arduous and intensive program. This film has the power to dismantle stereotypes about men behind prison bars.

An overcrowded, violent maximum-security prison, the end of the line in Alabama’s prison system, is dramatically changed by the influence of an ancient meditation program. Behind high security towers and a double row of barbed wire and electrical fence live over 1,500 prisoners, many of whom will never again know life in the outside world. But for some of these men, a spark is ignited when it becomes the first maximum-security prison in North America to hold an extended Vipassana retreat, an emotionally and physically demanding program of silent meditation lasting ten days and requiring 100 hours of meditation. To see the trailer go to: bit.ly/dhammamovie.

Tuesday, Dec. 5, 3:30-6 p.m., Osborn Memorial Lab (OML), Room 202, 165 Prospect St.

Reception with the Producer Jenny Philips: OML 3rd floor lobby: 3:30-4 p.m.

Film Screening: 4-5:30 p.m.

Q&A with Jenny Philips 5:30-6 p.m.

Parking: Yale parking Lot 26V at 210 Prospect St. will be available for FREE public parking for the event. Gates will open after 3:30 p.m. Also Sachem and Prospect metered street parking is available during the day.

Hell on Earth, a Film about Syria

by Stanley Heller, Promoting Enduring Peace administrator

On Wednesday, Dec. 13, Promoting Enduring Peace will be showing the film Hell on Earth in the Marett Seminar Room of the New Haven Free Public Library (133 Elm St.) at 6 p.m. The room is in the back of the library’s first floor. Admission is free.

David Denby in the New Yorker describes the film in this way, “[…] a Syrian family tries to make sense of the disaster that has overtaken it. Two brothers, Radwan and Marwan Mohammed, along with their wives and small children, are holed up in a cement room somewhere outside of Aleppo, forced by Bashar al-Assad’s government troops and then by ISIS to flee the city. As the film chronicles with relent-less power, Syria, outside the family’s miserable shelter, has fallen into chaos.” It was produced by National Geographic and it’s co-produced by Sebastian Junger who made the classic documentary Restrepo, about an American combat unit in Afghanistan.

Some day before the event people are encouraged to see the exhibit at the Whitney Humanities Center by Mohamad Hafez. A noted architect, this Syrian has been making streetscapes of Syrian ruins, highlighting the situation of refugees. The Center is at 53 Wall St. It has limited viewing times, 3-5 p.m. Monday and Wednesday.

People’s World Amistad Awards: Resisting Together

by Joelle Fishman, CT Peoples World

This year’s People’s World Amistad Awards are dedicated to “Resisting Together So We Can Move Forward.” The event will take place on Saturday, Dec. 9, at 4 p.m. at the First and Summerfield United Methodist Church, 425 College St., New Haven. Marco Reyes took sanctuary there in July to resist deportation and separation from his family. The event will honor the Reyes family and Unidad Latina en Acción. The unions at Yale have their offices at the church. The event will pay tribute to the ongoing struggle of Unite Here Local 33 for union recognition and a contract.

We are excited to announce this year’s awardees Peggy Buchanan, Rep. Robyn Porter, and Camila and Carolina Bortolleto. All are on the front lines of resisting the policies of white supremacy, hate, division and fear that threaten democracy and our future. All are fierce warriors in the forefront of demanding priorities for workers’ rights, peace and equality that put people and planet before profits.

  • Peggy Buchanan is Connecticut AFL-CIO campaign manager and former president of the Greater Hartford Labor Council who has dedicated her life to solidarity and organizing workers on the job, in the community and to run for public office.
  • Rep. Robyn Porter represents the 94th District and co-chairs the Labor Committee in the Connecticut General Assembly where she leads for social justice, equality and workers’ rights as an elected official and at the grass roots level.
  • Camila and Carolina Bortolleto are courageous twins who co-founded CT Students For a Dream which has become a statewide voice and organization of youth “undocumented and unafraid” and which organizes for the rights of all immigrants.

The annual Awards are presented to allies by the Connecticut Peoples World Committee on the occasion of the 98th anniversary of the Communist Party USA. We come together in hope and unity as increased economic and racial inequalities, climate change and war give rise to new organizing by youth, low-wage workers and the 99% toward a society that puts people and planet before corporate profits. Suggested donation: $10. For more information, contact People’s World Amistad Awards, (203) 624-4254.

Holiday Gift Bazaar and Craft Show Dec. 2

by Patty Nuelsen, New Haven/León Sister City Project

Once again this year the Bioregional Group in conjunction with the New Haven/León Sister City Project will hold its annual gift bazaar from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 at the First Unitarian Universalist Society of New Haven, 608 Whitney Ave., New Haven, CT, 06511.

Unique in the New Haven area, all items are handcrafted, locally produced or fair trade.
The local crafters and artists will be selling their products and you can talk with them adding more meaning to your purchases. Beautiful rubber stamped clothing and socks, dish towels, etc.; mounted photos of the New Haven area and cards; pottery; jewelry; hemp products; hats, scarves, etc…..all beautiful and created with skill and love.

The New Haven/León Sister City Project will be selling Nicaraguan coffee, woven goods and chocolate as well as Syracuse Cultural Workers calendars, Swords Into Plow-shares honey and beeswax candles, bowls from India made from recycled wire, Palestinian olive oil, CT produced soap and much more. All proceeds benefit the work of the NH/LSCP in New Haven and two rural communities in León, Nicaragua.

 

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.

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