Understanding “Ban the Box”: Creating a Fair Chance

Friday, 3/10/17BAN-THE-BOX-employee-application-monitor 9:30 am – 11:30 am

Free & Open to All

Register online at www.hsctc.org/workshops
Borg Warner Conference Room, Tompkins County Public Library,
101 E. Green St. at S. Cayuga St., Ithaca, NY
Presented by the Diversity Consortium of Tompkins County in cooperation with the Human Services Coalition 
Co-sponsored by the Tompkins County Public Library
 
A NEW PANEL DISCUSSION FOR ORGANIZATIONS AND INDIVIDUALS INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE ABOUT REMOVING THE “CHECK BOX” REGARDING CRIMINAL RECORDS AND DELAYING THE BACKGROUND CHECK INQUIRY UNTIL LATER IN THE HIRING PROCESS.
 

The forum will bring together panelists from a cross-section of professions, including government, academia, law, and small business to discuss the ramifications of prematurely or illegally considering conviction information, and the role it may play in preventing people with past convictions from receiving a fair chance.

Questions will be addressed by panel members who have had experience with implementing ban the box in their work places; who have had experience with the criminal justice system; or who are working to support those who are re-entering the community and seeking to be productive citizens.
As a number of local employers are implementing “ban the box,” others are looking for more direction. Additionally, many community members are seeking guidance on how they can be part of a movement to welcome back those who have been formerly involved in the criminal justice system and to ensure that they have a fair chance to work. The Diversity Consortium of Tompkins County is sponsoring this forum to support this effort.
George Ferrari, Director, Community Foundation of Tompkins County will moderate this session.
Panelists include:
Khalil Bey, Ultimate Re-entry Opportunity Mentor Coordinator, Multicultural Resource Center
Laura Branca, Managing Partner, TFC Associates and Co-Owner of Moosewood, Inc.
Phoebe Brown, Ultimate Re-entry Opportunity Community Outreach Coordinator, Multicultural Resource Center
Amy Guererri, Commissioner of Personnel, Tompkins County Government
Jason M. Leifer, Attorney and Dryden Town Supervisor
Schelley Michell- Nunn, Director Human Services, City of Ithaca
Allan Bishop,  Associate Vice President Human Resources, Cornell University

African Drumming and Welcoming Southside Community Center’s New Exec. Director at Congo Square Market

Spread the word…

African Drumming & Welcoming Southside Community Center’s New Executive Director at Congo Square Market
This week’s CONGO SQUARE MARKET will feature a special announcement  and performances by Rainbow Healing Center Drummers and Dancers, One Heart Community Drummers along with Afro Cuban Percussion by Jhakeem Haltom and Maurice Haltom.

Friday, June 19th from 4 to 8pm
At the park next to Southside Community Center: 305 S. Plain St, Ithaca

Southside Community Center will welcome their new Executive Director, Davi Mozie, at 5pm at the Market. Refreshments will be served!

Facebook event: www.facebook.com/events/776225662498130

Bring the whole family and support local vendors: El Taino, Gorges Barbeque, Fresh Baked Breads, Unique’s Bow_tique, and Chris D’s Icee!
Next week’s Market will have Harvest Box Deliveries (from Youth Farm Project & Rocky Acres Community Farm)!

To perform, vend or volunteer: Email CongoSquareEntertainment@gmail.com

Donate to the Market to support youth apprentices, start-up vendors and performers: Drop off cash or mail a check payable to “Congo Square” and send to Rob Brown at 521 W. Seneca St, Ithaca, NY 14850.

For weekly updates and performance schedule, visit ‘Congo Square Market, Ithaca’ on Facebook.

Congo Square Market is open every Friday 4-8pm through September 4th. The Market’s mission is to build a stronger self-reliant local community, develop Southside’s economic base, and encourage community & personal health.

ABOUT CONGO SQUARE MARKET

Congo Square is an actual place in New Orleans. This sacred ground was first used by the Houma People and by slaves in the region as a place to enjoy a day of freedom. Africans used it as a place to maintain their true status as free people of Africa. Indigenous peoples and Europeans often joined in the celebration. Music, abolitionist organization, food, and dance were intertwined to enjoy this one-day-a-week festival.

In Ithaca, Congo Square Market (or CSM) is a multicultural community that provides affordable Jamaican, Cuban, Ethiopian, soul food, farm produce, local goods, as well as free healthcare services and entertainment: music, visual art and speakers, and more! Collaborators include Southside Community Center, Rainbow Healing Center, Youth Farm Project, TC Cornell Cooperative Extension’s Whole Community Project- Food Dignity, Rocky Acres Community Farm, Cayuga Medical Center, Groundswell Center for Local Food & Farming, Ithaca Health Alliance/ Free Clinic and individual volunteers who all help put the market together

Return of the Tamarack 8

CI Team cropped

bottom row: Randi Quakenbush, Leslie Ackerman; middle row: Schelley Nunn, Kirby Edmonds; top row: Karim Beers, Brigid Hubberman, Natasha Thompson and Phoebe Brown

Eight representatives from Tompkins County spent 5 inspiring days in October at the recent Tamarack Institute Collective Impact Summit in Toronto, Canada. Among the 300 participants were people from Canada and the Northwest Territories, USA, Kenya, New Zealand, Australia, and Denmark. The purpose of the summit was to help participants learn how to use Collective Impact to solve complex problems in their communities.

The team returned excited to share their insights about how to use Collective Impact. Each of the “Toronto 8” spoke to a big gathering at last week’s Building Bridges Brown Bag Lunch at the Tompkins County Library. They made the case for working together to create a “community-wide aspiration”–a big, hairy, audacious goal that can encompass all of the collective working groups that are underway:

  • Food Security & Justice
  • Renewable Energy
  • Kindergarten Readiness
  • College&  Career Readiness
  • Jobs Pipeline
  • Re-Entry
  • Entrepreneurship

They emphasized that Collective Impact requires a new mindset and way of operating, and widening our focus beyond the success of individual programs to the effectiveness of the systems that impact us all. No, we don’t have to quit our jobs or shut down our organizations. But the process of weaving all of our efforts together will require a shift in our thinking. One big lesson emerged from the success or failure of Collective Impact initiatives in other places: it is crucial to include a really significant percentage of people who are most directly affected in the work of planning and decision making.

Jan Norman receives Award for Social Responsibility in Business

Announcement from the latest “Business Cents” Newsletter:

This year’s Jeff Furman Award for Social Responsibility in Business is long overdue:

Jan(72dpi)Jan Norman of Silk Oak and Ithacamade, whose businesses exemplify a commitment to socially-minded business practices, including being certified Living Wage Employers. Jan engages with the community in ways that promote sustainability and education, and she has worked tirelessly to make Ithaca a vibrant, living local economy.

Congratulations, Jan! You are a role model for the Building Bridges Network and you live the vision of a socially just, ecologically sound local economy.

Huge Success–the Building Bridges Community Forum

On May 13, 202 people attended a Community Forum to learn about Collective Impact processes creating big successes in various communities, and possible “big results” we might want to work on in Tompkins County.

Here is a link to the presentation slides:

Building Bridges Forum CI presentation

Highlights from the feedback include:

Of the 119 evaluations we received:
41 organizations asked to be added to the Building Bridges Coalition list *
100+ new people have joined the Building Bridges Network listserve
96% of you said you learned more about Collective Impact
96% of you said that CI is a direction that we should pursue as a community
97% of you said the time was worthwhile
89% of you said you would do your work differently as a result of the time we spent together.

Once again, a big THANK-YOU to
  • GreenStar staff support, use of The Space and coffee, tea, fruit salad, yogurt and  pastries
  • MRC for the mini-bagels
  • GIAC for the cheese, crackers and cookies
  • Ithaca Bakery for the pastries
  • Moosewood Restaurant for the Brownies and Vegan Chocolate Cake
  • CCE staff for stuffing packets
  • Park Foundation for supporting this intro to Collective Impact

*If you would like your organization added, please contact Kirby Edmonds at 607/277-3401

Building Bridges Community Forum

save_the_date_flyer-1
Save the Date!!
May 13, 2014 9am-1pm
Location To Be Announced

You are invited to a half-day Community Forum
sponsored by the Building Bridges Initiative to:

  • get an update on the activities that have been going on in the community that are moving towards the vision we developed together
  • explore “Collective Impact” as a process for achieving big results toward the vision

Much has happened in the community since the first Building Bridges gathering back in November, 2011, but we still have a ways to go.

The lists of activities and possible big results in the attached flyer are only examples of the things we can explore together as we move forward and are not meant to be exhaustive.

Please respond by April 30th to let us know whether or not you can come to the forum (email- tfckirby@aol.com, phone: 277-3401).

You are receiving this invitation because you are an important community leader.

Please note: If you forward this message to someone else you’d like to invite, please emphasize that we do need to get RSVPs so we can plan for food and materials.

On behalf of the Building Bridges Planning Group, we hope you can come.

The “Building Bridges” initiative is a collaborative effort of The Dorothy Cotton Institute, the Whole Community Project, Sustainable Tompkins, CCE Environment Program, CCE Green Jobs Program, Ithaca College Commit to Change Initiative, Groundswell, Natural Leaders Initiative, the Multicultural Resource Center,  Alternatives Federal Credit Union, Center for Transformative Action, Dryden Solutions, GreenStar Community Projects, the Sustainability Center, Get Your Green Back Tompkins, Cayuga Medical Center, Local First Ithaca, and others, to build, support and maintain a local movement in the Tompkins County region to create a “socially just and ecologically sound local economy”

Thanks for the work that you do!

Reimagining a Fair & Local Economy

Freeing Ourselves From Systems that Weaken & Divide Us

Through our scientific and technological genius, we have made of this world a neighborhood and yet we have not had the ethical commitment to make of it a brotherhood. But somehow, and in some way, we have got to do this…We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality …whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.

Delivered by Martin Luther King Jr. over 45 years ago as an impassioned call for “Remaining Awake through a Great Revolution”, these words seem more relevant than ever to the linked economic, environmental and social calamities we face today. Our global economy and its effects on nearly every facet of our lives is increasingly seen as a root of these problems. With a warming climate and epic failures like the BP oil disaster and financial crisis, this system and its structures are looking catastrophically flawed and outdated. The “economic genius” of Frankensteinian creations like derivatives has turned our world economy into a shell game, with perhaps the worse yet to come.

Communities have become ground zero for a resource extraction model seeking to maximize short-term profits for distant stock holders while externalizing as many costs as possible. Those “externalities” include many of our own who are left behind as the divide between the haves and multiplying have-nots grows. Making matters worse, the reach and influence of the too-big-to-fail juggernauts responsible for these crises extends deep into our systems of governance, playing no small part in the recent government shut-down.

At the same time, a growing number of communities like our own are grappling with how to sustain basic civic infrastructure, including water, transportation, health, social services and educational systems. Put into place decades or centuries ago, many are now crumbling and we find ourselves without adequate means to maintain or replace them. Extreme events like Hurricanes Irene and Sandy, expected to increase in frequency, are also revealing a lack of resilience in our support systems and compromised landscapes.

We seem to be caught in a destructive feedback loop, unable to break free from a system that is continually reinforcing itself (with the help of bailouts and subsidies) while weakening our communities and endangering the planet. Some are wondering what alternatives might exist – how can we reinvent a new economy that serves, not consumes us?

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.  -Buckminster Fuller

Unseen by some, another great revolution, or “reimagining” is already occurring. It is rising from communities like our own, leveraging the power of We to solve intractable problems collectively.  Here are some signs of and guideposts for this emergent and hopeful movement. Continue reading