Dedication of White Oak Tree and Plaque For Theresa Carr

by Joan Cavanagh, a friend of Theresa’s

On Saturday, May 20, at 2 p.m. in Jocelyn Square Park (Humphrey, East, Walnut and Wallace streets), the friends of Theresa Carr and the City of New Haven will plant a white oak tree and erect a plaque in memory of the long-time New Haven activist.

While she lived on Walnut Street Theresa was instrumental in restoring the park and received recognition for her work in 2005. Throughout her life, this self-described “Marxist-Leninist lesbian feminist” was an activist for economic and social justice, peace, and the preservation of our planet.
Theresa died of cancer on March 27, 2014 at the age of 59. Her last words were “Keep doing our work.” Especially in these times, when economic injustice, bigotry, misogyny, xenophobia, war-making, the dismantling of social welfare and environmental protections are the clear goals of our highest-ranking government officials, the meaning and importance of her instruction (and if you knew Theresa at all, you know that it wasn’t a mere suggestion) cannot be exaggerated.

Theresa would be 63 on May 23. This event is occurring the weekend before so that out-of-town friends can more easily attend. If you knew Theresa well or slightly, have just heard about her or simply would enjoy learning about and remembering a remarkable life while sharing a picnic in our beautiful park on a (hopefully sunny) spring day, please join us!

There will be a flyer in the May PAR newsletter about the event. Please feel free to email or call me with any questions: joan.cavanagh@gmail.com, (203) 668-9082.

Tree and Plaque Dedication for Theresa Carr in Jocelyn Square Park – Saturday, May 20

by Joan Cavanagh, a friend of Theresa Carr

The dedication of the tree and plaque in memory of Theresa Carr, an activist whose work spanned several communities and countries (including many years in New Haven), will take place in Jocelyn Square Park on Saturday, May 20, in the afternoon. (We’ve decided to hold it on the weekend rather than on Tuesday the 23rd, her actual 63rd birthday, to accommodate out of town visitors.)

Tree waterers Nesta, Jr. and Shiloh Sherwood-Allen will be present with their parents, Nesta Allen, Sr., and Amelia Sherwood, to water the tree for the first of many times. They are taking responsibility for its nourishment during its crucial first two years, while its roots deepen and grow. Hopefully, they and others will enjoy its shade and its beauty for many lifetimes.

The plaque was designed by Alessandra Nichols. (“Tharchin” was Theresa’s Buddhist name.)
More information and details of the event will be available in the April edition of the PAR newsletter. You can also email  joan.cavanagh@gmail.com or call (203) 668-9082.

Thanks again to the donors for making this happen!

Anonymous
Jay and Mildred Doody
Mary Fischer
Marni Gair
Mary Johnson
Midge Jolly
Cornelia Kinnauer
Susan Klein and Henry
Lowendorf
Preston MacAndrews
Pat Mikos and Jae Patton
Paul Mishler and Gerrie
Casey
Steve Rowley

Calling All PAR Readers: Help Fund the Theresa (Carr) Tree and Memorial Plaque in Jocelyn Sq. Park

by Joan Cavanagh, a friend of Theresa Carr

Theresa Carr, May 23, 1954 – March 27, 2014

“Keep doing our work.”

This is a request for PAR readers to contribute what they can to help raise $675 to plant a tree and erect a memorial plaque in Jocelyn Square Park for Theresa. Please make your contributions out to PAR, note in the memo line that it is for “The Theresa Tree,” and send to PAR, P.O. Box 995, New Haven, CT 06504, on or before Jan. 1, 2017.

Many PAR readers knew Theresa Carr, whose activism spanned several communities and countries. A self-identified “Marxist-Leninist Lesbian Feminist,” she gave her fierce intelligence to the interconnected struggles for peace and justice.

In her years in New Haven, Theresa worked with many groups including the New Haven Action Committee Against Repression, New Haven Coalition for Justice in El Salvador, Spinsters Opposed to Nuclear Genocide (SONG), the Women’s Pentagon Action(s) and the Coalition to Stop Trident. The actions often involved arrests for nonviolent civil disobedience. She also served on the board of the New Haven Women’s Liberation Center and worked in her trade as a union carpenter.

Creativity was her hallmark. With other members of SONG, she once painted a blank billboard in full daylight at the State Street exit off I-91 with the iconic image of a woman kicking a neutron bomb; and, during a trial of SONG members for actions against U.S. military intervention and funding of repressive regimes in Central America, the marble (male) justices on the steps of the courthouse on Elm Street one morning mysteriously wore purple headbands.

Theresa traveled extensively and worked in many other communities. In Florida, she completed a master naturalist program, cared for stranded whales, and became an active member of the Key West Tara Mandala Buddhist Sangha community.

In 1981, Theresa bought and rehabilitated a house on Walnut Street across from Jocelyn Square Park with her partner. Later she spearheaded the renovation of the deteriorated city park, now a beautiful oasis in our neighborhood. Friends of Jocelyn Square Park awarded her a Certificate of Appreciation on Sept. 3, 2005.

Following a double mastectomy and a rigorous alternative treatment protocol for metastatic breast cancer in 2011, Theresa cultivated land in northern Florida until her cancer returned. Her last words before she passed here in New Haven at her Walnut Street home were, “Keep doing our work.”

Please help mark this important life as we move into our next, crucial phase of resistance in these fearful times.