Pledge Peace http://pledgepeace.org/ Fri, 14 Jan 2022 20:24:04 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.8.2 https://pledgepeace.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/11/cropped-icon-32x32.png Pledge Peace http://pledgepeace.org/ 32 32 Sidney Poitier and me – in Milwaukee and New York https://pledgepeace.org/sidney-poitier-and-me-in-milwaukee-and-new-york/ Fri, 14 Jan 2022 20:12:29 +0000 https://pledgepeace.org/sidney-poitier-and-me-in-milwaukee-and-new-york/

By Richard G. Carter
As a Milwaukee-born black journalist and vintage film enthusiast who kept the notes of all my important interviews, my first exposure to black film actors was, as an inexperienced youth, the sassy 1943 “Stormy Weather.” It featured wonderful singers and dancers in non-threatening roles. I didn’t see 1939’s “Gone with the Wind” — starring Oscar-winning actress Hattie McDaniel — until one of its reissues years later.

So among the highlights of my long career was my welcome discovery of the great and serious Sidney Poitier – who has just passed away at 94. It happened in his sensitive but strong role as a young South African minister in 1952’s ‘Cry the Beloved Country. And I remember it like it was yesterday.

I told Sidney – years ago – that I had been even more impressed by his work as an idealistic doctor in 1950s “No Way Out”. -black girls sneering white racist mobster, Richard Widmark, who taunted him and called him a “nigger”.

“How did you feel about that? I asked Sidney, during our close and personal interview with the 1963 Milwaukee Star, after he appeared at the Strand Theater on W. Wisconsin Ave., in the local premiere of his Oscar-winning role in “Lillies of the Field”.

“Widmark was a great actor and a really nice guy, and he wasn’t racist,” he told me. “In fact, Widmark apologized to me during a break in filming. I told him to forget, we were just playing. I then said that while I loved his work in ‘Lilies’, I much preferred him in more challenging roles – eliciting a smile.

As for my mother, Juanita Carter, I added, she loved you as Walter Lee Younger and, in particular, Claudia McNeil as your mother, in 1961’s “A Raisin in the Sun.” Mrs. Carter has always said she saw herself in Claudia, whose work she really admired.

“Oh, yeah, I can relate to that,” Sidney said. “Claudia was remarkable. She embodied the strong matriarch of the Black family and helped me and the rest of the cast – Ruby Dee, Diana Sands and Lou Gossett – be so much better.

In 1988 – during our New York Daily News hotel interview – I said my favorite role for him was in the tense 1965 Cold War drama, “The Bedford Incident.” In it, he played a noted magazine writer, co-starring again with Widmark.

His answer: “Why do you like it so much? Most people who interview me say they prefer “The Defiant Ones”.

“Of course you were great in that one,” I said, “and so was Tony Curtis. “You’re right,” Sidney said, commenting on the 1958 breakthrough Black-White buddy film. “Tony was a very underrated actor.”

“But as a black reporter who struggled to make it,” I said, “I think I identified with your role as a reporter in ‘The Bedford Incident’ and, in particular, the way which you pressed Widmark – the pro-war captain of a nuclear navy ship. You really took him for him.

“Thanks, man,” he said. “And by the way, I remember you in Milwaukee in 1963. I have a long memory.”

Before closing, I mentioned that I recently ran into her boyfriend and frequent co-star, Harry Belafonte, walking along Madison Ave. “He looked great, and so do you.”

In conclusion, I said, “By the way, I still wonder why, at 28, you played a teenage high school student in ‘Blackboard Jungle’ in 1955.”

“Me too,” he laughed.

Rest in peace Sydney. You were the best.

Richard G. Carter, native of Milwaukee, is a freelance columnist

]]>
Coalition buys former KKK headquarters in Fort Worth to create community arts and healing center https://pledgepeace.org/coalition-buys-former-kkk-headquarters-in-fort-worth-to-create-community-arts-and-healing-center/ Thu, 13 Jan 2022 20:14:49 +0000 https://pledgepeace.org/coalition-buys-former-kkk-headquarters-in-fort-worth-to-create-community-arts-and-healing-center/

The towering, dilapidated brick building on the north side of Fort Worth was once the Texas headquarters of the Ku Klux Klan, a legacy that Turn 1012 N. Main St. wants to reverse. The coalition of associations bought the former Cave No. 101 auditorium with plans transform it into Fred Redhead Center for Arts and Community Healing, named after a black butcher who was lynched by a white mob in Fort Worth in 1921.

Fort Worth has a history of racism that he never considered, then this building becomes an opportunity,” says Daniel Banks, chairman of the board of directors of Transform 1012 and co-founder of the arts and services group DNAWORKS, which is based in the city. “It was built to remind Hispanic, Black and immigrant residents on the North Side that they were under constant surveillance, that they had no agency.”

He says interest in the project is already helping to achieve his goal “around conversations about privilege and white supremacy and resources and opportunities and access. These are all conversations just by the fact that the project is the low.

A conceptual rendering of the Fred Rouse Arts and Community Healing Center, which a coalition of nonprofits called Transform 1012 N. Main St. plans to build in the former Ku Klux Klan’s Texas headquarters in Fort Worth.(Concept rendering by MASS Design Group / Courtesy of Transform 1012 N. Main St.)

The previous owner donated some of the cost, according to Banks, but he won’t say how much Transform 1012, held in 2019, ended up paying. An offer at the time to stabilize the building, bring it up to code, was $1.62 million, he says. The essential costs to make it the coalition’s vision are approximately $35 million. This does not include soft costs like design.

The vision is wide, to include representation space; artistic training; social services; exhibition, meeting and living/working space for artists and entrepreneurs in residence; and an agricultural and craft market.

“I envision a hub where all of Fort Worth can come together, where every cultural group feels a sense of belonging, of being seen, represented and heard,” Banks says. “This is a large-scale healing opportunity.”

In addition to DNAWORKS, the coalition includes groups such as LGBTQ SAFEGUARD, the Opal Lee Foundation, SOL Folk Ballet and Tarrant County Coalition for Peace and Justice. The money to buy the building came from Charitable Rainwater Foundation, Atmos Energy, the National Endowment for the Arts and other funders.

The Ku Klux Klan's former Texas headquarters, located on the north side of Fort Worth, has been purchased by a coalition of nonprofits who plan to turn into a community arts and healing center.
The Ku Klux Klan’s former Texas headquarters, located on the north side of Fort Worth, has been purchased by a coalition of nonprofits who plan to turn into a community arts and healing center.(Timothy Brestowski / Courtesy of Transform 1012 N. Main St.)
Kamryn Patterson and others with Jack and Jill of America Northeast Dallas Chapter participate in the 27th Annual MLK Parade and March sponsored by the NAACP Garland Unit on January 16, 2016.
Matthew Roberts, member of the Bruce Wood Dance Company, in choreographer Adam W. McKinney "Promise me you'll sing my song."
1840 painting by JMW Turner "Slave ship (Slavers throw the dead and dying overboard, the typhoon is coming)" depicts the ruthless cruelty of the slave trade.  (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Henry Lillie Pierce Fund. Photograph: Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)
]]>
Katerina D’Agnese from Carmel, NY completes SUNY Potsdam Law Enforcement Training Institute https://pledgepeace.org/katerina-dagnese-from-carmel-ny-completes-suny-potsdam-law-enforcement-training-institute/ Wed, 12 Jan 2022 19:11:00 +0000 https://pledgepeace.org/katerina-dagnese-from-carmel-ny-completes-suny-potsdam-law-enforcement-training-institute/

Katerina D’Agnese of Carmel, NY, recently graduated from SUNY Potsdam Law Enforcement Training Institute.

SUNY Potsdam’s Law Enforcement Training Institute offers students the unique opportunity to undergo rigorous pre-employment, state-approved police training as part of their undergraduate program. Cadets celebrated the completion of the program with a ceremony on December 18, 2021.

D’Agnese was among a cohort of nine cadets who graduated from the 15-week program after successfully completing Phase 1 of New York State Municipal Police Basic Training, which includes 56 of the full 60 components, in fall 2021. Phase 2, which includes the final four components, can only be completed by newly hired agents.

“These nine college students are considered pre-employment trained, which means city agencies can hire these interns on their civil service rosters and save thousands of dollars. In some cases, up to $20,000 at $30,000. They are simply already police trained. In other cases, where cadets choose to go into other branches of law enforcement, they have made themselves much more marketable because they now have a police academy on their resume. It has a plethora of value. This year alone we have had positions offered to cadets with the Suffolk County Police, Syracuse Police, NYPD, Ithaca Police, St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office, City Police of Oswego, federal and state corrections, New York State Police, Washington D.C. Capitol Police and a police department in Pennsylvania,” said police chief Sonny Duquette. Academy, retired Detective Sergeant of the St. Lawrence County Sheriff’s Office.

Alongside the cadets, Enlisted Peace Officers John Barney and Robert Van Deusen (Franklin County District Attorney’s Office) and Deborah Fitzpatrick (School Resource Officer, St. Regis Falls Central School) received their special NYS DCJS/OPS patrol certifications during the fall 2021 police academy. at SUNY Potsdam.

As a New York State-accredited police academy, SUNY Potsdam’s Law Enforcement Training Institute offers courses in defensive tactics, emergency medical services, emergency vehicle operation, the enforcement of field sobriety testing, crime scene processing and a plethora of other training topics. To learn more, visit http://www.potsdam.edu/academics/appliedlearning/lawenforcement.

SUNY Potsdam offers one of the very few police academies in New York State that chooses to prioritize student seats and then fill the remaining seats with hired officers.

“It was something I wanted to do here, and the College’s Lougheed Applied Learning Center fully supports it. With my 31 years of training and policing, I firmly believe that policing needs better trained officers. When cadets graduate here, they have four year degrees and a police academy under their belt. They are better trained, better educated and more mature. It simply improves decision-making skills, which in turn improves community policing. We need more of that, and we all know that,” Duquette said.

To be eligible for the SUNY Potsdam Law Enforcement Training Institute, applicants must be juniors or seniors in their undergraduate studies, have a minimum grade point average of 2.5, and be licensed to to drive. Community members or students from other institutions may contact the Office of Transfer Admissions to discuss their eligibility for the program by visiting http://www.potsdam.edu/admissions/transfer.

The SUNY Potsdam Law Enforcement Training Institute is co-sponsored by the Department of Sociology and Criminal Justice and the Lougheed Center for Applied Learning.

]]>
State GOP bills seek to restore law enforcement capabilities https://pledgepeace.org/state-gop-bills-seek-to-restore-law-enforcement-capabilities/ Wed, 12 Jan 2022 19:00:34 +0000 https://pledgepeace.org/state-gop-bills-seek-to-restore-law-enforcement-capabilities/

Republican lawmakers have already introduced several bills seeking to undo law enforcement restrictions that were removed by Democratic legislation in 2021.

TWO BILLS WILL ‘RESTORE’ POLICE PROSECUTION, USE OF FORCE IF NECESSARY

Republican House Representative Jim Walsh (Aberdeen) introduced two bills this session, House Bill (HB) 1588 and HB 1589.

HB 1588 would restore the right of a “peace officer” to engage in a vehicular pursuit of a suspect when there is reasonable suspicion that he has committed a crime. This bill has 21 GOP sponsors, including 8th District (tri-cities) Reps. Matt Boehnke and Brad Klippert.

HB 1589 would restore an officer’s right to use force to take a suspect into custody, it removes the troublesome “probable cause” put in place by the Democrats. This gives officers much closer leeway than they had in the past. This bill also has at least 16 GOP sponsors, including Boehnke and Klippert.

2021 CRIME BILLS CAUSED SPIKES IN VIRTUALLY EVERY CATEGORIES

We’ve reported stories where officers had to practically “let a suspect go” because they would be breaking one of the new laws restricting when and how they can pursue suspects. We also saw where the town of Kennewick had to “park” its 37MM beanbag gun in favor of borrowing Pasco’s 20MM gun because the legislature deemed the 37MM “too lethal” .

These bills will face an uphill battle, but with WA’s crime rate skyrocketing over the past year, a surprising number of Democratic lawmakers are straying from their previous “soft on crime” stance because that THEIR districts are experiencing spikes in crime.

25 real crime scenes: what do they look like today?

Below, find out where 25 of history’s most infamous crimes took place – and what these places are used for today. (If they remained standing.)

]]>
Bastrop celebrates 33rd annual March for Peace, Justice and Equality on Monday with reduced event https://pledgepeace.org/bastrop-celebrates-33rd-annual-march-for-peace-justice-and-equality-on-monday-with-reduced-event/ Wed, 12 Jan 2022 08:31:41 +0000 https://pledgepeace.org/bastrop-celebrates-33rd-annual-march-for-peace-justice-and-equality-on-monday-with-reduced-event/

Bastrop will host the 33rd annual March for Peace, Justice and Equality on Monday with stops at places of historical significance to the African American community. Next, the city will host a ceremony celebrating Martin Luther King Jr., his life and work that will be broadcast live for residents to watch.

Bastrop is hosting its Martin Luther King Jr. celebration on Monday with the 33rd annual March for Peace, Justice and Equality, and a scaled-down ceremony that will feature music and speeches by city officials and county and high school students.

Initially, residents interested in celebrating the life and work of the civil rights leader were going to be accommodated at the Bastrop Convention Center after the annual Peace March for a ceremony commemorating Martin Luther King Jr. However, due to an increase in cases of COVID-19 powered by the omicron variant, only the march will be held in person as it will take place outside, and the ceremony will be broadcast live for residents to watch.

The celebration will begin at 10 a.m. Monday at Paul Quinn AME Church, 1108 Walnut St., where guests will be greeted by Cladie Johnson Haywood before beginning the Peace March through Bastrop with stops at the Kerr Community Center, Mt. Rose Missionary Baptist Church, Emile Primary school and Baptist Church of Macedonia. At each stop, speakers will discuss the history of the buildings and organizations housed there that have historical significance to the African American community.

Once the peace march is over, the ceremony in honor of King will begin at the Bastrop Convention Center, although it is only open to program participants. The ceremony will be broadcast live on the Facebook page of the town of Bastrop and via Zoom. Anyone interested in pre-registering for Zoom’s live stream can do so at https://bit.ly/3r2dlug.

Bastrop City Council member Dock Jackson will serve as the emcee for the program. Nelia Kerr Greene will have a musical prelude before the Bastrop County MLK Singers serenade with the anthem “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing”.

Speakers for the event include the Mayor of Bastrop, Connie Schroeder, the Mayor of Smithville, Joanna Morgan, the Mayor of Smithville, Pro Tem Bill Gordon, the Mayor of Elgin, Ron Ramirez, County Judge Paul Pape, l ‘Bastrop high school student Dwayne Jackson, Cedar Creek high school student Ja’Faar Johnson, LaDarian Sullivan, Smithville high school student, Mayra Marcelino, Colorado River Collegiate Academy student, Christian Johnson, high school student McDade, and Sebastian Jackson, a student at Elgin High School.

The theme of the annual walk is “A Day Off… Not a Day Off! Each year a different town in Bastrop County hosts the Peace March and Ceremony celebrating King’s life and work.

“The American people are called to engage in public service and to promote nonviolent social change so that Dr. King’s unfinished movement toward equality can be achieved through our united and enduring efforts,” said the city of Bastrop in a proclamation recognizing January 17 as Martin. Luther King Jr. Day

The 33rd Annual March for Peace, Justice and Equality will begin Monday at 10 a.m. at Paul Quinn AME Church, 1108 Walnut St., Bastrop.

The 33rd Annual March for Peace, Justice and Equality will begin Monday at 10 a.m. at Paul Quinn AME Church, 1108 Walnut St., Bastrop.

This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: MLK: Bastrop to Celebrate Civil Rights Leader with Discounted Event

]]>
Planting Seeds Int’l Anniversary Event Raises $ 10,000 to Support Community and Educational Efforts in Guatemala https://pledgepeace.org/planting-seeds-intl-anniversary-event-raises-10000-to-support-community-and-educational-efforts-in-guatemala/ Wed, 12 Jan 2022 06:36:29 +0000 https://pledgepeace.org/planting-seeds-intl-anniversary-event-raises-10000-to-support-community-and-educational-efforts-in-guatemala/

Content of the article

Two decades of community development and educational work in Guatemala started by Pembroke residents Susan and Richard Schmaltz, and which now continues through Planting Seeds International, were celebrated at an event last month.

Advertising

Content of the article

The social distancing 20th anniversary event took place at the Pembroke Best Western Inn and Conference Center on the afternoon of December 12 and saw supporters from across the Ottawa Valley come together to celebrate past successes and hear about future plans while raising $ 10,000 for the cause.

This cause was started in 1999 by the Schmaltz who, after retiring from their educational careers in Pembroke, moved to Guatemala to help educate children in the poorest region of Guatemala City. During the first two years, Richard led teams to build houses for poor families, while Susan established preschools and trained teachers. In the evenings, they would cook up to 75 lunches a night and roam the dangerous streets to feed the homeless. They partnered with Safe Passage, an organization working with the poorest of the poor at the Guatemala City landfill, and set up a child care program on land adjacent to the landfill. The non-governmental organization (NGO) developed by the Schmaltz was called Oneness Through Service – Guatemala and revolutionized the educational process for impoverished Guatemalan children by replacing the traditional practices of copying, rote learning and memorization with practices self-initiated, practical, activity-based learning centers. In 2017, Oneness was renamed Planting Seeds International when the Schmaltz resigned and returned to live in Pembroke. Shannon Moyle from Ottawa and Mac Philips from Chicago stepped in as co-executive directors of Planting Seeds.

Advertising

Content of the article

Richard said that since 2004 a steady stream of 100 people from the Ottawa Valley and others from Edmonton, Calgary and Halifax, have all traveled to help in various capacities with their initiatives in Guatemala, including by building enough furniture for 23 classrooms including not only tables and chairs. but more elaborate projects such as reading centers and water tables.

“The Ottawa Valley has been such an amazing part of Susan and my trip. I can’t tell you how important it was for us to have the support of the Ottawa Valley, ”said Richard. “And different people from all walks of life, all professions, different interests but they shared a common interest, they wanted to make a difference and they did. They brought down friends, parents, their kids, their spouses… so it was contagious on a level that involved many people.

Susan said the support of people here over the past 20 years has been truly inspiring and that Planting Seeds International only exists because of supporters who care about a largely forgotten group of people who are suffering in another part of the world. .

“What has been accomplished over the past 20 years is so beyond our imagination, so beyond our skills, beyond our education, it’s totally beyond belief,” a- she said, adding that every time they said “yes” to the mission, everything fell into place.

She called the transformations she witnessed in Guatemalan children grandiose.

Advertising

Content of the article

“My fundamental belief is that we must teach children from an early age to love themselves and care for others. They must be able to think, problem solve, and create, so that they can lead their generation into a whole new way of being in this world – a way of freedom, a way of peace, a way of love. Susan said. .

Moyle, from Ottawa, who has known Richard and Susan all her life, began working with them as a professor at Planting Seeds in Guatemala in 2006, where she witnessed Susan’s methodology and philosophy every day. .

“I saw children learn, I saw them play and I think the most beautiful thing I saw was the children’s love for learning. They were so excited to come to the school, which I thought was about Susan’s methodology a lot, ”Moyle said. “The philosophy of Planting Seeds is based on love. It’s about developing the whole child – physically, mentally, emotionally, psychologically, spiritually and that’s the goal of all of these programs.

Moyle told supporters at the event that the next big project for Planting Seeds International is building a community center.

“I would say there is a 99% chance that we will innovate in 2022; we have the architects, we have the help, we have the construction workers, we have the design, we have everything; we’re just waiting for that last permit, ”Moyle said.

Other new initiatives for 2022 include an expansion of snack programs at two early childhood program centers, monthly nutrition workshops for parents, and a pilot for a Go Boys program, similar to Planting Seeds’ existing Go Girls program. , which emphasizes values, communication and goals.

Advertising

Content of the article

Moyle called the funders of Planting Seeds’ work a huge support system for her and with their incredible support the organization was able to enrich the budget for 2022 to reach more children and more people.

“Every time I see the Ottawa Valley team, I get my energy back,” said Moyle. “I think something we have to be really, really thankful for is the fact that we’re all here, together, 20 years later. It really warms my heart. We can’t all change the world, but if we can be that person for someone else, where they know they can count on you, they know they can come to you, they know they can trust you … to be that person, what else can we ask for.

adixon@postmedia.com

Advertising

comments

Postmedia is committed to maintaining a vibrant but civil discussion forum and encourages all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour of moderation before appearing on the site. We ask that you keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications. You will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, if there is an update to a comment thread that you follow, or if a user that you follow comments. Visit our Community rules for more information and details on how to adjust your E-mail settings.

]]>
$ 187 million in needed improvements to the law enforcement complex https://pledgepeace.org/187-million-in-needed-improvements-to-the-law-enforcement-complex/ Tue, 11 Jan 2022 05:11:44 +0000 https://pledgepeace.org/187-million-in-needed-improvements-to-the-law-enforcement-complex/ A consultant working with Midland County on a complex law enforcement master plan, including correctional facilities, recommends a range of improvements that could reach up to $ 187 million.

Burns Architecture told the Commissioners Tribunal that its recommendations and suggested priorities include that the county build:

  • A new prison in a new place. “Although it is more expensive to begin with, it offers the best, most cost-effective and long-term solution. This should be the county’s highest priority, ”according to the summary of the report presented to county leaders on Monday. Estimated probable cost: $ 124 million
  • New offices and courtrooms for justices of the peace, officers’ offices and a warrant office building on county-owned land adjacent to the existing law enforcement complex on South Main Street. Estimated probable cost: $ 16 million.
  • A new sheriff’s office. “Although slightly more expensive initially, it offers the best long-term solution,” the summary said. Estimated probable cost: $ 31 million.
  • A transition institution in mental health. “As of this writing, there are indications that the State of Texas is considering building a mental health facility in Midland. Further discussion regarding this facility should take place until more details on the state’s proposed facility are available, ”the summary said. Estimated likely cost: $ 16 million.

A representative for Burns Architecture told the court that the very preliminary figure of $ 187 million would not include land costs.

He recommended that the commissioners begin to put in place the process of a concept plan. With a concept plan, schematic designs and construction documents in place, the county would be ready to move forward. All three could take 12 to 15 months.


The main element of the facility is the prison. The summary presented indicated that the current prison “has many flaws and requires extensive renovation and expansion to accommodate the planned future capacity”. He also said the renovation and expansion of the current prison requires an estimated budget of $ 73 million (up from $ 124 million) and would take five to six years (up from three to four). It was also said the county would incur costs related to transporting inmates to and from other jails during the process of renovating the current Midland County Jail. Other potential problems would be obtaining the necessary land in this area south of downtown.

The recommended plan would allow the county to build a new prison that is more operationally efficient, capable of future expansion, and with a longer life expectancy. Potentially, 892 beds would be possible.

The study found that the sheriff’s office was “cramped,” “aging,” and needed about twice as much space as the current office. There are also parking issues, according to Burns Architecture.

“The renovation of the existing sheriff’s office and the construction of the additional building needed is estimated at 20 (millions of dollars) and would take four to five years,” the summary said. “Building a new sheriff’s office at a remote site has an estimated budget of $ 31 million and would take from two and a half to three years. “

The third priority for justices of the peace offices and courtrooms, police officers’ offices and warrant offices would consolidate all three into one building, creating efficiencies according to the report.

“The construction of this new building… would take two and a half to three years,” the report said.

Likewise, a proposed mental health transition facility would take from two and a half to three years. “This is an entirely new concept intended to help the mentally ill and ease the burden on the county jail by placing mentally ill people who commit low-intensity crimes in an alternative setting and preventing them to be housed in prison, ”the report said.

There was not a lot of discussion on this point as it was just a presentation.

Ward 1 Commissioner Scott Ramsey made the following statement to the telegram reporter after the meeting.

“Several months ago, the Midland County Commissioners’ Court began the process of evaluating the law enforcement complex. With the growth of Midland County and the surrounding area, our prison population has grown. We have been pushing the limits of capacity for some time. In order to face this problem, we have mandated a firm of architects expert in law enforcement installations to design plans and programs for 20-50 years. This study includes the jail, sheriff’s office, justice of the peace / constables, and mental health transition facility. I want to stress that this is only a first study. More work is needed before we come to the citizens of Midland County with a proposed plan. Until then, we invite everyone to give their thoughts and contributions. Such projects are expensive and must be carefully considered so that we can meet the needs of today while looking to the future.

]]>
This Detroit coalition hopes to boost efforts with community inquiry https://pledgepeace.org/this-detroit-coalition-hopes-to-boost-efforts-with-community-inquiry/ Tue, 11 Jan 2022 05:02:05 +0000 https://pledgepeace.org/this-detroit-coalition-hopes-to-boost-efforts-with-community-inquiry/

As pastor of City Covenant Church, a small church in the Brightmoor neighborhood of Detroit, Pastor Semmeal Thomas has previously had difficulty mobilizing resources to help his congregation and the community at large. Then, about ten years ago, Thomas started working with an organization called the Brightmoor Alliance. The collaboration would help her church community center, Mission: City, are taking their efforts to serve local residents to the next level.

“We are constantly working with the Brightmoor Alliance,” says Thomas. “If anyone needs a meal, they’ll refer them to City Covenant Church. They sent us funding sources. They sent us volunteers. They used their platform to market the things we did. have done. ”

The Brightmoor Alliance intends to ask how it can best serve the neighborhood and organizations like its own, according to Thomas. And the impact they have had is amplified by the thoughtful deliberations the alliance takes in doing its work. In 2012, the alliance carried out a needs assessment called Restore the ‘Moor which has helped City Covenant Church and other partners better target their support efforts.

“Often we don’t have data [about the neighborhood], and the Brightmoor Alliance brings these resources to our community, ”says Thomas.

This assessment helped Thomas broaden his knowledge of the neighborhood and develop new programs in areas such as financial literacy and career development.

Today, the Brightmoor Alliance and Mission: City are stronger than ever thanks to this work. And the coalition continues to work in partnership with local groups and residents to improve the local neighborhood, while undertaking a new community survey.

Gather Brightmoor

Founded in 2000 to address issues such as high crime and vacant land, the Brightmoor Alliance is now a coalition of over 50 local organizations dedicated to serving their local community. Rev. Larry Simmons, pastor of Baber Memorial AME Church is the organization’s executive director.

Now a predominantly black neighborhood, Brightmoor is a place foreigners sometimes associate with rusting, high crime and abandoned homes. With a average household income slightly above the poverty line at $ 36,135 (according to 2010 census estimates) residents faced both negative associations and income challenges. To help address these concerns, the Brightmoor Alliance acts as a facilitator and gap filler that connects the neighborhood to resources.

“Our driving ethic is that people have power. Not that they are given power, but they are power, ”says Simmons. “We facilitate and recognize the use of this power.”

One of the ways the alliance helped facilitate this neighborhood power was to form a gardening network. In collaboration with 31 neighborhood club partners, he identified people interested in being part of the network and distributed materials for the construction of raised beds as well as flower and vegetable seeds. Today, the gardening group is responsible for 135 flower gardens and nearly 40 community gardens.

Trena Ross is one of the block club leaders who have been involved in the gardening effort. A resident of the neighborhood since 2012, she began attending Brightmoor Alliance community meetings soon after moving to the area. After finding out that the alliance was helping to create block clubs, she decided to start one in her own block.

“The Brightmoor area where I live had a lot of vacant lots and a lot of run down houses, so I thought it would be good to come together to get things done,” says Ross.

Her positive experiences in this community work with the Brightmoor Alliance eventually led her to join the staff of the organization as a Community Organizing Specialist. She is now heavily involved in the alliance’s monthly food distribution program, which takes place at Gompers elementary-middle school and helps organizations like Mission: City feed hundreds of people each week.

Walk the wisdom of Brightmoor

However, the Brightmoor Alliance does not rest on its achievements alone. He also looks to the residents to see how he can improve his job. In an effort to capitalize on the impact that Restore the ‘Moor had about the community in 2011, the Brightmoor Alliance is currently conducting a new community survey called the Brightmoor Wisdom Project.

“This is part of our work at the Brightmoor Alliance and others who want to help the community concentrate its power,” said Simmons.

The new investigative effort focuses on four main areas: food, which deals with both quality and availability; shelter, which will cover both access to land and peace in the community; Clothes; And hope. Since April 2021, the alliance has been recruiting volunteers, consulting with the community, and researching Restore the ‘Moor, which they call “revisiting the vision”. The main objectives of the Wisdom Project are to identify the activities that the community identifies as essential and to help the community to “concentrate its power”. This is something that the organization certainly has previous experience with.

For example, a few years ago the community recognized that a lot of school-aged children were in the neighborhood during the day when they should be in school. Brightmoor Alliance took this information and worked with 482 Forward, a Detroit-based educational justice network, to organize and advocate at the city and state levels for the issue of chronic absence in Brightmoor.

And at a community meeting at Leland Baptist Church, residents discussed their concerns about early childhood development, saying they wanted to be more active in their children’s developmental growth outside of school. . Brightmoor Alliance has launched the ‘six a day’ project, which targets six things parents should do with their children every day: cheer and hug, read and talk, sing and play.

“Someone informed me the other day that he was now being promoted overseas. In Germany, they took over the six-a-day project and they are reproducing our six-a-day in German, ”explains Simmons. “It started in Brightmoor… that’s why Project Wisdom is so important; it stems from our consultation and interaction with the community.

Volunteers working on the Brightmoor Wisdom Project were divided into teams based on one of the four areas of the survey. They collect information, or “wisdom,” in a variety of ways, including social media posts, resident interviews, and public meetings. Other tasks include: writing grant applications, arranging meetings, and inviting others to participate. Volunteers do not need to be residents, as the alliance is also open to help from community allies.

At present, the progress of the Brightmoor Wisdom Project has been delayed since early November, in part due to the sudden death of local community leader Jonathon Clark. But surveying efforts are expected to resume this month.

Based on the alliance’s tentative timeline, a project-based report is expected to be completed in April this year. Simmons is looking forward to this moment, so he and other local leaders can learn more about what concerns residents.

“The community has wisdom,” he says. “And if leaders and decision-makers just consulted the wisdom of the community, it could go a long way.”

Resilient Neighborhoods is a feature story and engagement series that examines how Detroit residents and community development organizations work together to strengthen local neighborhoods. This is made possible by funding from the Kresge Foundation.

]]>
Funding for the young people of Newham to carry out community projects https://pledgepeace.org/funding-for-the-young-people-of-newham-to-carry-out-community-projects/ Mon, 10 Jan 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://pledgepeace.org/funding-for-the-young-people-of-newham-to-carry-out-community-projects/

Posted:
8:00 a.m. January 10, 2022



The Newham Council partners with the Recorder to celebrate the Year of the Adolescent until February 2022 – celebrating the achievements of young people and highlighting the services and support available to them.

Newham Council’s Year of the Youth helps nine young people carry out community projects to improve the lives of other young residents.

At the end of 2021, the Youngest in Charge (YIC) project, an initiative funded by the Newham Council, Newham Training Hub and HeadStart Newham, awarded funding to a group of young people to carry out their own community health and wellness projects.

James Kaguima, who will lead Skate Cabal – Roll in peace, said: “Stratford was once the central base for all roller skating in London.

“My project will bring back that legacy, reviving the vibrant culture and community.

“It will also improve the mental health of young people through increased social interaction, physical activity and social networking with new friends who share an interest.” “


James Kaguima wants to bring “the legacy of roller skating” back to Stratford
– Credit: Newham Council

Project 22 is Iman Sheriff’s podcast project, which focuses on topics affecting young Somali adults.

Iman said: “The idea is to normalize discussions on taboo topics, to discuss them in today’s light as a young person and to value our experiences as young Somali adults growing up in the West with struggling parents. with language barriers.

Amari Webb-Martin will lead a dance project called Perspectives, which he said explores “different perspectives of personal injustices due to identity and how it affects the well-being of those affected.”

He added: “Using dance and spoken art forms to impart this enables young people to develop healthy methods of mental resilience, confidence and self-esteem and transferable skills such as discipline, creativity and problem solving. “

Jesse Idike developed a project called Space 4 Me.

Jesse said, “It’s a space for my age group to learn together, make friends, go out to be safe. Since I have autism, there are so many things I would love to do but cannot do on my own.

Other YIC-funded projects include Football and a Healthy Newham by Tahmid Hussain; Composing Instrumentals, a musical project by Malachi Lee Brown and Aspire to Inspire by Gerrard Onyia, which will support young budding entrepreneurs.


Jesse idike

Jesse Idike’s project is called Space 4 Me
– Credit: Newham Council

Effecting Change Through Art by Dominique Francis and “ATW” by Loreen Allick, based on the art of cooking and food education, were also funded.

In addition to the money, the young people will benefit from supervision and training to implement their projects.

]]>
Hinojosa: Police Appreciation Day https://pledgepeace.org/hinojosa-police-appreciation-day/ Sun, 09 Jan 2022 20:32:05 +0000 https://pledgepeace.org/hinojosa-police-appreciation-day/

Today across Texas and the United States of America, we celebrate Law Enforcement Appreciation Day. It’s a day to honor the courageous law enforcement officers who serve and protect our communities.

For many of us, these are our partners or spouses, sons or daughters, brothers or sisters, or friends. They are on the front lines every day to protect our communities, sacrificing their lives to keep our families safe.

Our police, men and women, risk their lives on a daily basis. There is no routine stopping of traffic or a routine response to a call for help. We thank our officers for keeping us safe and for patrolling our neighborhoods, streets and highways day and night. We thank their families for the sacrifice they must make and for their suffering, pain and sorrow when their loved one does not come home. Actions speak louder than words and in the last session, the Texas Legislature delivered on its promise to ensure law enforcement has the resources they need to do their jobs.

Funding to keep our communities safe and to provide law enforcement with the necessary tools and resources was one of our priorities during the last session. The state budget included $ 22 million for the DPS to equip its vehicles with bulletproof windshields and $ 10 million for bulletproof vests. We have allocated $ 15 million in grants to local law enforcement agencies to establish a body camera program. The budget also included $ 200,000 for the peace officer mental health program; $ 15 million for border prosecution grants; $ 10.2 million in grants for local border security; and $ 7.9 million for anti-gang activity, among others.

In the last session, the Legislature established COVID-19 as a suspected illness for first responders who die or are disabled by complications from the virus. This will simplify the process of obtaining benefits, compensation and assistance. The state is also now requiring some first responders to receive full employee benefits and compensation if ordered to quarantine or isolate due to possible or known on-duty exposure to a communicable disease.

To prepare Texas peace officers for the incredible amount of responsibility and complexity that comes with their careers, the state must provide solid and effective training and the resources to properly train new officers. HB 3712 requires the basic training course to include training on prohibiting the use of certain cervical attachments such as chokes, an officer’s duty to intervene and stop or prevent another officer from using excessive force against a suspect; and an officer’s duty to call for emergency medical personnel and provide first aid or treatment in certain circumstances.

To protect both citizens and the law enforcement community, we passed SB 24 in response to the growing number of unfit officers moving from one law enforcement agency to another after dismissal. . This bill requires law enforcement agencies to review a candidate’s criminal history, personal records and past conduct before hiring them. The recruiting agency must then certify to the Texas Law Enforcement Commission that it has reviewed the required documents. If a recruiting agency does not comply with these basic requirements, TCOLE will suspend the peace officer license of the head of the law enforcement agency.

Equally important, we have focused on meeting the mental health needs of law enforcement officers. According to reports, 228 law enforcement officers committed suicide in 2019, nearly double the number killed in the line of duty (132). That same year, there were 19 suicides of police officers in Texas alone. During the last session, I had the pleasure of co-writing SB 64 which will create a voluntary peer support network focused on training our agents to support each other. I also supported SB 1359 which requires every law enforcement agency to develop and adopt a policy allowing the use of mental illness leave for peace officers experiencing a traumatic event on the job.

Finally, in the last session, I drafted SB 1071 to provide totally disabled state peace officers with a monthly retirement payment based on today’s salary scale. It is crucial that we take care of the peace officers who put their lives at risk for our families every day.

Join me on this Law Enforcement Appreciation Day, to thank our law enforcement personnel, men and women, for their service, dedication and commitment to ensuring the safety of our communities and our communities. families.

Editor’s Note: The guest column above was written by State Senator Juan Hinojosa de McAllen. The column appears in The Rio Grande Guardian International News Service with permission of the author. Hinojosa can be contacted by email via: [email protected]


Quality journalism takes time, effort and…. Money!

Producing quality journalism doesn’t come cheap. The coronavirus has caused a drop in income in newsrooms in the United States. However, The international information service of the Rio Grande Guardian is committed to producing quality news reporting on issues of concern to border residents. The support of our members is essential to ensure the achievement of our mission.

Can we count on your support? If yes, click HERE. Thank you!


Stay on top of the big stories affecting Texas-Mexico. Join our mailing list to receive regular email alerts.

]]>