The Great Migration: Then and Now — 45th People’s World African American History Events Feb. 24

Joelle Fishman, CT People’s World

“The Great Migration: Then and Now — Fleeing Terror, Searching for Jobs and Equality,” is the theme of the 45th People’s World African American History Month celebration on Sunday, Feb. 24 at 4 p.m. at the Troup School, 259 Edgewood Ave., New Haven. The day includes a march at 2:30 p.m., arts and writing competition, guest speaker, drumming and dance.

Some stories will be told of the many African American families in New Haven who trace their roots in the city to the great migration from the South in the 1930s and 40s when companies like Winchester recruited workers to come up from North Carolina, South Carolina, Alabama and Georgia. They were fleeing Ku Klux Klan terror and looking for a better life.

Stories will also be told of the migrants from Central American countries coming to New Haven and the United States today, fleeing terror and economic devastation in their countries and hoping to find new opportunities for their families.

The “Jobs for Youth — Jobs for All” march will call on Yale to meet its signed commitment to hire from neighborhoods with high unemployment such as Dwight, Dixwell, Newhall, Fair Haven and the Hill. The march leaves the New Haven Peoples Center, 37 Howe St., at 2:30 p.m. and will wind through the Dwight neighborhood to Troup School, 259 Edgewood Ave., for the 4 p.m. program.

Guest speaker Chauncey K. Robinson, journalist and social media editor of peoplesworld.org from Los Angeles, California, believes that writing and media, in any capacity, should help to reflect the world around us, and be tools to help bring about progressive change. She says she seeks to make sure topics that affect working-class people, peoples of color, and women are constantly in the spotlight.

The program will include drumming by Brian Jarawa Gray and African dance with Ice the Beef. Ice the Beef Youth supports each other through education, dreams, goals, and talent by meeting, sharing stories, laughing, joking, and expressing feelings. They are on Facebook.

Prizes and acknowledgments of entries to the Arts and Writing Competition grades 8 to 12 will be presented. Students are asked to reflect in artwork, essay, poetry, rap or song about grandparents or great-grandparents who came up from the South in the past, or about someone who came up from Latin America or elsewhere recently. “What did they find? How can we continue the struggle for good jobs and equal rights to fulfill the dreams of those who came and made New Haven home?  What are your dreams for a better life?” Entry deadline is Feb. 14. For information e-mail ct-pww@pobox.com.

During the Great Migration (1916 to 1970), six million African Americans left the South. They moved to cities like New Haven in the North and the West. They were fleeing discrimination, lynchings, denied rights and a lack of jobs. They were searching for a better life for themselves and their children.

As they settled they found that segregation and racism were not just in the South. The migration gave rise to the Civil Rights Movement and before that to the art, literature and music of the Harlem Renaissance that stirred the country and the world.

Artist Jacob Lawrence created a series of paintings about the Great Migration in 1940. He said, “And the migrants kept coming…their struggles and triumphs ring true today. People all over the world are still on the move, trying to build better lives for themselves and for their families.”

In 2018 famed activist and scholar Angela Davis said, “I believe that the major civil rights issue of the 21st Century is the issue of immigrant rights.”

Learn about New Haven Scholarship Fund Feb. 2: FREE Money for College!

New Haven Scholarship Fund has awarded over $8.5 million in scholarships to more than 8,500 New Haven public high school graduates. The funds can be used at any college or trade school, in or out of state. You do not need a specific GPA.

Awards are based on financial need. Please call to register (203) 946-8117. Breakfast will be served. Parents are highly encouraged to attend with their students.

Saturday, February 2, 10:30 a.m. at the Mitchell Library, 37 Harrison St.

Think Global–Run Local: Annual Run For Refugees Feb. 3

Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services (IRIS) is accepting registrations now for its annual Run For Refugees. This 5 kilometer run/walk will take place on Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 3 at 10 a.m. It begins and ends at Wilbur Cross High School, 181 Mitchell Drive.

Last year a record crowd of 3,000 were in the run. Be part of history as we attempt to break last year’s record!

Registration and sponsorship information is at www.RunForRefugees.org and Irisct.org.

Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children

Shelly Altman, Jewish Voice for Peace New Haven

Jewish Voice for Peace New Haven (JVPNH) and Tree of Life Educational Fund (TOLEF) are reaching out to organizations to endorse our resolution in support of the Promoting Human Rights by Ending Israeli Military Detention of Palestinian Children Act. If you are affiliated with an organization, please see the resolution at www.tolef.org/pal-children, and get your organization to sign on. This can be done online.

JVPNH and TOLEF have been leading an effort to get our five CT congresspeople to co-sponsor the bill, which was introduced in the previous congressional session as bill HR.4391 by Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN). It has 30 co-sponsors, including six from New England. We had in-person meetings with each of our congresspeople. Each expressed interest, but none signed on as co-sponsors.
Rep. McCollum is very likely to re-introduce the bill in the new Congress, and we are renewing our effort to get our CT delegation to sign on. At this point, we are reaching out to organizations to show support by endorsing the resolution, which calls on our CT delegation to sign on to the bill.

Please see the resolution at http://www.tolef.org/pal-children, and get your organization to join with the many others which have already signed on.

Institute Library Administration Restructures

The Board of Directors of the Institute Library has decided to restructure the administration of the library to operate with greater fiscal prudence and ensure the organization’s long-term sustainability. The executive director position has been eliminated, effective Jan. 11, 2019, and a new position of operations manager has been created.

The decision to restructure came after many months of analyzing the library’s financial and fundraising challenges. Finally, it became clear that repairing the physical structure of the building, including a leaking roof, needed urgent and costly attention. The library will continue to remain open and serve its membership while it works through these challenges.

The Board is pleased to announce that Eva Geertz, a New Haven resident, former board member, and longtime local bookseller, has accepted the operations manager position, effective Jan. 14, 2019. Eva has spent most of her career working with books, primarily as a bookseller specializing in out-of-print and rare books. A loyal library member since 2002, who has volunteered countless hours on the library’s behalf since 2008, she is pleased to be able to assist the library in this transitional phase.
“We look forward to a smooth transition as Eva takes on this newly created position next week,” stated Maryann Ott, chair-elect of the Board of Directors. “Members, volunteers, donors, and the Greater New Haven community are the life-blood of the library, and we will continue to depend on the support of all who value our beloved institution.”

The Institute Library, founded in 1826, is New Haven’s oldest independent lending library, one of 20 historic circulating libraries in the U.S. The library, located in its own 140-year old building on Chapel Street in downtown New Haven, has an extensive book collection, including many rare and first editions. The library hosts a number of programs, including Listen Here, a literary theater program co-presented with the New Haven Review; the Poetry Institute, a collective who present monthly open mic poetry sessions; Story Sharing, a program co-facilitated with the CT Storytelling Center; and more. The library also has a contemporary art gallery with rotating exhibits focused on words, language, collections and archives.

For more information about the Institute Library, please visit www.institutelibrary.org. Its address is 847 Chapel Street. The phone is (203) 562-4045.

Moving Towards a Healthier Future: Cut Your Transportation Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 20%

Chris Schweitzer, goNewHavengo

While the climate action movement is gaining momentum, carbon dioxide emissions in the U.S. still rose a startling 3.4 percent in 2018. This increase exemplifies the need for immediate mitigation of climate change. As part of our mission to create a healthier future via sustainable transportation, goNewHavengo is starting off 2019 with the launch of our 2020 Campaign.

2020 is a two-year effort to reduce transportation green-house gas emissions in the New Haven area 20 percent by the end of 2020. The campaign emphasizes the use of alternative transportation, such as walking, biking, public transit, and carpooling. The benefits of these options are numerous; more exercise, cleaner air, and saving money are just a few. Participants can even earn rewards by tracking their greener trips in the NuRide app. Join goNewHavengo in our 2020 Campaign as we move towards a healthier future for ourselves and our planet; for more information, see www.gonhgo.org/2020.

Why Run for Mayor? by Wendy Hamilton

Wendy Hamilton, NH homeless advocate and mayoral candidate

PAR readers may remember the article Wendy wrote in the Feb. 2018 issue of PAR about homelessness and Mark Cochran. Mark died shortly after Yale New Haven Hospital discharged him in winter with no place to go. Wendy has filed the paperwork to run for mayor and has asked if we would share her concerns with our readers.

One day I just felt fed up with the chaos, the lies, the crazy spending, the near bankruptcy, the greed, the lack of compassion, the apathy…

Justin [Elicker] and Liam [Brennan] were sitting on the fence. I decided to commit to the research and the signature-collecting because I want to be heard at the Democratic primary debates coming this fall.

After making a list of city problems, I saw they fit into four categories–Housing, Budget, Safety, and Transportation.

Housing is no longer affordable for the masses without job security and bank loans for the working poor. The cost of living increases during years of flatline wages and a widening wealth gap. Developers and slumlords are getting all the breaks. Homelessness exists in every town and city and is growing despite what mass media says. Foreclosures and evictions are everyday occurrences.

The Budget is a runaway train growing by $100 million plus with our current mayor in office. We are in debt and near bankruptcy. The biggest contribution comes from our property taxes. Biggest expenditures are police, fire, and school systems, all of which need revamping with fair and intelligent contracts and pensions. We also have a huge yearly debt payoff. Yale, on 50% of the town land, only pays about 1/33 of the yearly take. The state offers a little better money but not enough.

Safety, which includes physical elements like crime, fire, pollution of air and water and climate change, is also a desirable feeling for the public to have and many don’t feel safe here for many reasons. Our police and firefighters require contracts to make them feel safe and appreciated. City residents require a civilian review board that can address their problems by affecting real change. We need to stop treating the homeless, the addicted, and sex workers (mostly homeless women) like criminals. We need year-round hazardous waste collection and cleaner parks that operate for the public benefit, not just the lucky few. We need to get housing quickly for those living on the street.  We all need affordable medical care.

Transportation is a city theme. We have trains, buses, major highways, bike and pedestrian trails, and a harbor. We are part of East Coast Metro which includes several huge cities.  The age of automobiles is over, but city hall hasn’t figured it out yet. 25% of us have asthma. Our air is just plain dirty. Bike travel is on the rise fortunately (I am 70 and own 2). Bus routes and schedules need to be examined and improved here. Many here can’t afford a bike or a car or a cab. Cab service is pricey and undependable here. A $40 million boathouse that took years to build on its own pier lies empty and unavailable to us even though our taxes paid for it — a colossal waste.

I have a lot of work ahead of me.

NHS Seeks Fundraising and Development Specialist

Neighborhood Housing Services of New Haven promotes home ownership for people of all income levels. We provide education and financial coaching. We rehabilitate homes and help residents take charge of their neighborhoods. Our holistic approach to social justice merges community building with direct service. NHS New Haven is a member of the national NeighborWorks America Network.

The Fundraising & Development Specialist is a part-time 20 hour/week position which will be part of communications & development team to reach funding goals and develop strategies for donor engagement.

For more information, please contact Rebekah Fraser, Communications & Development Manager, at rfraser@nhsofnewhaven.org, (203) 562-0598 ext. 224.

Report Offers 44 Routes to Affordable Housing

The Affordable Housing Task Force has released its final 21-page report in preparation for a vote on Thursday, Jan. 24.

The report proposes 44 different recommendations for how the city and the Board of Alders can best address New Haven’s affordable housing crisis.

Click here to download a copy of the report.

The housing panel, which the Board of Alders created in March 2018 after a public debate about the conversion of the Hotel Duncan and the loss of Single Room Occupancy (SRO) dwellings downtown, convened six public meetings between June 2018 and January 2019.

At the most recent meeting, the group previewed some of the recommendations detailed in the final report, which the body will vote on on Thursday, Jan. 24 at 6 p.m. in the Aldermanic Chambers on the second floor of City Hall before delivering the report to the Board of Alders to review and draft legislation around.

Read the whole story here in the New Haven Independent: Report Offers 44 Routes To Affordable Housing | New Haven Independent

Job Openings with the U.S. Census Bureau

Register for an information session at any library branch. Flexible hours, office jobs or work from home, earn $17-23 per hour. Experience with technology, computers, smart phones needed. Bilingual candidates in all languages needed. Paid training, no previous experience required.

  • Thursday, Feb. 7 & 14 from 6-8 p.m. Fair Haven Library, 182 Grand Ave. (203) 946-8115
  • Monday, Feb. 4 & 11 from 2-4 p.m. Mitchell Library, 37 Harrison St. (203) 946-8117
  • Tuesday, Feb. 5 & 26 from 10 a.m.-noon. Stetson Library, 200 Dixwell Ave. (203)  946-8119
  • Wednesday, Feb. 6 & 13 from 10 a.m.-noon. Wilson Library 303 Washington Ave. (203) 946-2228
  • Monday, Feb. 11 & 25 from 10 a.m.-noon. Ives Main Library, 133 Elm St. (203) 946-7431

Info: NHFP Library, 133 Elm St. (203) 946-8130.

Google Brings Economic Opportunity Initiative To Connecticut

Google announced that it is coming to cities and towns throughout Connecticut as part of the tech company’s Grow with Google initiative to help create economic opportunity in communities across the United States. Google will kick-start this work locally by hosting free, one-day events to help job seekers, small business owners, students, educators, and entrepreneurs improve their digital skills.

“Connecticut is one of our country’s most historic centers of innovation, entrepreneurship, and manufacturing. By bringing the ‘Grow with Google’ tour to the state, we are committing to help develop a skilled workforce that can meet the needs of the state’s growing economy,” said Erica Swanson, Google’s Head of Community Engagement. Google staff will be at the New Haven Free Public Library, 133 Elm St., on Wed., Feb. 13 from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

In recognition that libraries are increasingly centers for digital skills learning, Grow with Google plans to visit libraries in every state, partnering with them to deliver digital skills training directly to job seekers and small businesses in their community. Google staff will lead hands-on workshops about online marketing for small businesses, search engine optimization, email basics and coding. Attendees can also sign up for one-on-one training with Google staff, and tour demo booths to learn more about Google’s free products for learners and small businesses. Attendees are welcome to drop in for a few sessions or stay all day.

To learn more about the free event and to register, visit g.co/growconnecticut. Space will be limited; so please register in advance. For more information, contact: Peter Schottenfels, schottenfels@google.com, (646) 832-6785.

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