Director of Christian Community Action Praises work-ready program STRIVE

Excerpts from Rev. Grubb’s speech at recent STRIVE (a work-ready program) Graduation, of which three CCA residents took part.

I’m here because I believe in the opportunity that all of us have to grow, to develop, to find purpose, to try new things, to be excited about life and to think about that better future. Each and every day, all of us make choices—large ones and small ones. Small ones like “What am I going to have for breakfast?” Large ones, “Ok. I’m going someplace special today so I need to dress up.” Significant choices and even insignificant choices. Life-changing and life-sustain-ing. Sometimes, those choices are temporary—like a living situation—and sometimes they are permanent. Sometimes, the choices are “the best under the circumstances.” Sometimes positive. And sometimes, not so positive. We even make choices that are based on selfishness. And sometimes, particularly parents, make choices that are selfless, for the betterment of their children, their growth and development, opportunities and their best future.

left to right: Sandra Plessinger, Dir. of Workforce Development CRI; Dawn Staton, STRIVE Trainer CRI; Tirra Jones, Graduate; Wanda Lary, Sr. VP of Workforce Development CRI; Rev. Bonita Grubbs

Aspirations—all of us have them. But unless they move to action, they are simply things in the cloud. Our choices are [not only] to live…but to be alive. You know what it means to feel alive—you’ve got purpose and meaning…To work and to prepare for work—in many ways that is what the STRIVE Program has attempted to do and will continue to do.

To be a person of hope even in the midst of challenges. Because all of us have our ups and downs in life. But, to hold on to that hope is critical to taking any future step, whatever that step may be, especially one that is in a positive direction. To play for fun…but also, to play to win—that takes determination. To work to win. That requires aspiration—you gotta want it. If there’s something right in front of you that you really want and it’s yours to possess, the only required [thing] is the action to receive that which is in front of you.

And all of the graduates today and graduates of STRIVE in the past—who have been able to make it through to the end—had a plan, had a purpose, had a desire, and yes, were encouraged to take the step, knowing full well that you are not walking this road alone. The evidence for me is here today.

Highlights from CT Green Energy News, May, 2023

Newsletter about clean energy, energy efficiency, and climate action, focusing on Connecticut. To subscribe, send an email to [email protected]. To find out more about People’s Action for Clean Energy (PACE), go to

Mix of progress and lags in CT environmental goals, report shows, Connecticut Public.
​A new report assessing the state of Connecticut’s environment says solar installations rose in 2022, which is helping to lower carbon emissions. But the report found those same solar installations are also complicating some efforts to conserve agricultural land.

Southern Connecticut State University completes $52.4M first CT-owned, net zero building, New Haven Register.
​Southern Connecticut State University is in the final construction stage of its $52.4 million new building, ready for the faculty to move in [soon]. The four-story, 64,000-square-foot School of Business will use a 500-foot-deep geothermal system for air conditioning and green power.

Coventry farm begins producing electricity from biogas, Hartford Business Journal.
​A ​new biogas facility in Coventry has been commissioned to begin producing renewable electricity. The facility at Hytone Farm converts dairy manure and food waste into power using an anaerobic digester. The project is expected to produce up to 4.4 million kWh per year. Ag-Grid, based in Kennett Square, PA, develops and operates small-scale renewable electricity projects and has five projects in Connecticut and Massachusetts.

Enko Chem begins clean-energy project projected to save $10M over 20 years, Hartford Business Journal.
​​​An agricultural company in Mystic that develops products for farmers to protect their crops from pests and diseases has begun a clean-energy project that is expected to save more than $10 million over 20 years. Enko Chem Inc. is installing energy-efficient lighting on two floors of the interior office, lab and greenhouse of its facility on Maritime Drive. The projected energy savings includes utility incentives, tax credits and operational energy savings. The energy efficiency project is financed with a long-term, fixed-rate C-PACE loan totaling $3.6 million. C-PACE is administered by the Connecticut Green Bank.

Connecticut, other northeastern states will seek over $1 billion in federal funding for hydrogen fuel projects. CT Insider.
​Connecticut will join six other northeastern states in competing for over $1 billion in federal funding to create a regional “hub” for clean hydrogen fuel, Gov. Ned Lamont announced last week…Many environmental advocates have expressed skepticism about turning toward hydrogen as a way of combating climate change and lowering traditional emissions.​..The Northeast Regional Clean Hydrogen Hub will focus its efforts on other, cleaner methods of producing hydrogen fuel, such as water electrolysis that can be powered by solar and wind turbines.

Kali Akuno Given the 2023 Gandhi Peace Award

by Laura Schleifer, Program Director, PEP

Over the years, Promoting Enduring Peace has realized that creating enduring peace requires social justice. Decades ago, the Board voted to give the peace award to Martin Luther King Jr., Rev. Lucius Walker, Jr., Cesar Chavez, Daniel Ellsberg, and recent recipients, including the Palestinian Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement founder Omar Barghouti and peace activist Kathy Kelly.

Today, we have realized that not only does peace require justice, but the time for waiting for those in power to provide that justice has passed. It is time for people to create and implement ways of addressing the current social, economic and ecological crises ourselves. We need strategies that put the power directly into people’s hands–especially those most severely impacted, disenfranchised and disempowered.

In recognition of that paradigm shift, this year’s Gandhi Peace Award recipient has been chosen for creating an innovative way of addressing these issues through collective action on the local level combined with a broader long-term strategy for regional, national, and global change. This year, Promoting Enduring Peace gave its Gandhi Peace Award to Kali Akuno and Cooperation Jackson.

In Kali Akuno and Cooperation Jackson, we have found a community of activists who exemplify our organization’s mission of creating, “peace on earth, peace with earth.” Kali and his fellow members of Cooperation Jackson are creating a model for how the rest of us might be able to achieve that goal by transforming our communities on the local level and then linking them together to create a new system that provides for human and ecological needs, and also recognizes the interdependence between the two.

Based in Jackson, Mississippi, one of the nation’s poorest cities, Cooperation Jackson is a Black-led semi-autonomous community with a visionary “Jackson-Kush Plan” to build Black autonomy throughout the U.S. South and eventually challenge and replace the current political and economic systems with a new system rooted in mutual aid, food sovereignty, community care, ecological regeneration, collective self-governance, land reclamation, community-controlled production, and cooperative and solidarity economics through its People’s Network for Land and Liberation.

Read the article in its entirety at

The First Boat to Protest Nuclear Weapons Is Back

Ernie Alpert, Waging Nonviolence

65 years ago, the Golden Rule ignited protests that led to a partial ban on nuclear weapons testing. Now it’s back to fight for nothing short of abolition.

Writing in the February 1958 issue of the radical pacifist journal Liberation, former U.S. Navy Commander Albert Bigelow recalled that he was “absolutely awestruck,” even though he “had no way of understanding what an atom bomb was.” In that moment, he said he intuitively “realized for the first time that, morally, war is impossible.”

With his wife, Sylvia, he joined the Religious Society of Friends — becoming Quakers and turning toward the kind of activism that would eventually lead him to the Golden Rule. One of his first actions, however, was to host two “Hiroshima Maidens,” young women disfigured by radiation who came to the United States for plastic surgery in the mid-1950s.

Nonviolent direct action against the nuclear threat was only just beginning to take shape. In 1955, activists in New York and other cities began to engage in non-cooperation with civil defense drills. Outcries grew even louder when the Soviet Union and Britain joined the nuclear club — and the introduction of the hydrogen bomb greatly expanded the destructive potential of nuclear weapons. Military leaders such as Gen. Omar Bradley and public intellectual Lewis Mumford were trying to alert the public by November 1957.

The health impact of atmospheric testing had drawn special concern, including that of prominent physicists and public health experts who warned that radioactive fallout would spread cancer far from the testing sites. As Bigelow put it, “The overwhelming weight of scientific opinion said any nuclear explosion was dangerous.” The point was evident from an anti-testing petition circulated by Nobel Prize winner Linus Pauling, which attracted more than 2,000 signatures in just a couple of weeks. Even scientists from the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission, or AEC, recognized that fallout would cause hundreds of thousands of deaths worldwide.

To see a photo of the boat and to read the entire article, go to

For more on the history, see

Golden Rule in New Haven June 2-5

With tensions so high between nuclear-armed nations, it is more important than ever to bring a message of peace. Come see the boat and learn about what you can do to support the UN Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, the Intermediate Nuclear Forces Treaty, and the total elimination of nuclear weapons.

All events are free and open to the public.

June 3, 1 p.m.  The city of New Haven Peace Commission will welcome the crew of the Golden Rule at the West River Peace Garden (at the intersection of Ella T. Grasso Blvd. and Legion Ave, 16 Miller St.). Contact Aaron Goode for Peace Garden 203-507-8985.

June 4, 10 a.m.  The crew of the  Golden Rule will be welcomed at the Sound School music festival at 10 a.m. at 60 South River Street New Haven.

June 4, 2-4  p.m.  Concert for peace with Fred Brown, MC

City of New Haven proclamation to the Golden Rule crew
Crew members will share their adventures on the great loop tour for peace, and the story of the original boat that sailed to stop atmospheric bomb tests in the 1950s.
Adrian Huq – New Haven Climate Movement
Nuclear Soldier – Hank Bolden, atomic test veteran and musician
City of New Haven Peace Commission message from Al Marder
Connecticut Peace Singers – Millie Grenough & singers
Inity Reggae Band – Fred Brown

For more information: Henry Lowendorf: 203-676-4138, [email protected].

CANCELLED ::: Teach Truth Day of Action, June 10 ::: CANCELLED

This event has been cancelled

by Steve Thornton, Hartford activist and historian

Hi, Friends at PAR,

I want to invite you to help me with an event taking place Saturday, June 10, called Teach Truth.

It’s a nationwide day of education and protest over the banning of books by the right wing. As of this moment it will take place on June 10 at noon in front of Hartford City Hall, 550 Main St.

Please join with me to help organize this event.

  • Give a one minute speech representing your organization.
  • Bring a sign and or a banned book, or a photogenic prop.
  • Help us bring other like-minded folks who can be there.
  • Join me for one Zoom call so we can iron out the details.
  • Any or all of the above.

860–525–6510, [email protected].

Free Meditation Course for Children Ages 8-12

by Aruna Pawashe, lecturer, Yale University

There will be a free one-day children’s meditation course for ages 8-12, on Saturday, June 24 from 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. It will take place at the Harkness Ballroom/Lounge, 367 Cedar Street, Yale University,

A female teacher is coming from VMC Boston and a male teacher is coming from Florida.  There is no course fee to students.  If any parents wish to donate (service, food or monetary help) they do it willingly in their capacity. Registration is required.

This course, as taught by S.N. Goenka, offers children an introduction to Anapana meditation, observation of the natural breath to concentrate the mind. Young people who have started practicing this technique have realized many benefits. Their ability to concentrate is enhanced, their memory gets sharper, their ability to comprehend a subject improves, and they become calmer. In general, they feel they have a practical tool to use in the face of any kind of adversity or challenge. The course includes meditation instruction, art, games and storytelling. This course is given on a donation basis. Prior Registration is Required.

For more information about the course and to register, visit,

To see an introduction video on children’s courses, visit:,

For contact: Email: [email protected], Phone: 413-625-2160 X313

Hamden Celebrates PRIDE Month June 2, 10

by Town of Hamden and the Hamden PRIDE Committee

The Town of Hamden and the Hamden PRIDE Committee are excited to announce free events in celebration of PRIDE Month throughout the month of June.

The Town of Hamden in partnership with the Hamden PRIDE Committee is celebrating PRIDE in June with the Flag Raising Ceremony and Community Conversations: Forum and Dinner at Memorial Town Hall on Friday, June 2 at 5 p.m., and the Pride in the Park Festival at Town Center Park on Saturday, June 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

On Friday, June 2 at 5 p.m., all are invited to attend a PRIDE Month Flag Raising Ceremony in front of Memorial Town Hall, 2372 Whitney Ave., with parking onsite at 2900 Dixwell Ave. Following the flag-raising ceremony, the Town of Hamden and the Hamden PRIDE Committee invites you to stay for Community Conversations: Forum and Dinner also held at Memorial Town Hall. This event is free and will feature educational presentations and a diverse panel discussion over food. Stop and Shop of Hamden will be sponsoring this event by providing the dinner.

On Saturday, June 10 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Town of Hamden and the Hamden PRIDE Committee invite you to celebrate the LGBTQIA+ community at the main event, Hamden’s Pride in the Park Festival at Hamden’s Town Center Park, 2761 Dixwell Ave. To park at Town Center Park, please enter through the Hamden Middle School, 2623 Dixwell Ave. Parking can also be found at the Miller Cultural Complex, 2901 Dixwell Ave. The Pride in the Park Festival will be hosted by the talented Drag Performers, Summer Orlando and Barbra Joan Streetsand. Festivities at this free, family-friendly celebration will include kid-friendly performances, various food trucks, a DJ, live musicians, over 35 vendors, and fun kids’ activities.

The Town of Hamden and the Hamden PRIDE Committee invite all to gather to celebrate and embrace the LGBTQIA+ members of our diverse community.

For more information, contact Deputy Chief of Staff, Alexa M. Panayotakis, at (203) 287-7100 or email [email protected].

Housing Tops May Day Rally Cry

by Nora Grace-Flood, New Haven Independent, May 2, 2023

Hundreds of activists took to the streets to commemorate International Workers’ Day — and to celebrate local strides taken to solidify people power not just across jobs, but within New Haven apartments, homeless encampments, and shelters.

New Haveners have formed a tradition of marking that worldwide May 1 labor day each year by embarking on a march for justice throughout downtown after gathering on the Green for hours of music, maypole dancing, and speeches spanning issues from worker protections to healthcare access to immigrant and indigenous rights to environmental action.

On Monday, that standard scene saw activists newly emboldened by a string of recent gains and losses in another foundational fight which New Haveners have largely been leading throughout the state, around affordable housing.

In addition to passing out fliers championing progressive causes and running ribbons around a post, organizers of Monday’s event added some flair to this year’s rendition by pedaling a quadricycle with an effigy of Mayor Justin Elicker strapped into the passenger’s seat over to City Hall where they blasted the administration for bulldozing a West River homeless encampment and sought to stir up more support for tenants’ rights.

Read the entire here in the New Haven Indepdendent:

NOFA Summer Conference July 24-27, Worcester, MA

The NOFA summer conference returns this July with workshops, events, children’s programming, and more. Join us online and in person in Worcester, MA this summer!

This year’s conference begins online, Monday, July 24 – Thursday, July 27 with evening speakers and workshops, and continues in-person and online on Friday, July 28 and Saturday, July 29 at Worcester State University for knowledge, sharing, and celebration through:

  • Workshops and discussions (including in Spanish)
  • Racial equity caucus groups
  • Children’s programming
  • Local food & drinks, plus music and a fair!

    Spend the week engaging with farming technologies, practices and thoughts around good, vital and just living for all, at the community scale! Register at

PAR Newsletter Job Opening

Paula Panzarella, PAR Planning Committee

There are many tasks involved in creating the PAR newsletter, and PAR wants to hire one or two people to help keep the print version of PAR in production. This is a chance to involve yourself with activism and be paid for it.

We are offering this opportunity first to our print subscribers because you are the most familiar with the quality of our newsletter and aware of the various activist organizations in the greater New Haven area. Without additional people taking part in the work, the printed PAR newsletter may not continue after December 2023.

The new member(s) of the production team must have writing and computer skills and have time flexibility to work on the newsletter intensely in the four days after each issue’s due date for articles. Working as part of the team is vital! If you would like this job, call Paula at 203-562-2798.

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