Tackling Structural Racism: What we can see early 2016

The Building Bridges initiative exists to support the growth and connectedness of a network of people and organizations working to eliminate structural racism and poverty in our county.

With that in mind, the Steering Committee has identified many local efforts that move us toward the elimination of structural racism and poverty. We also see that these efforts, although significant, are only a beginning. There is a huge amount of work still to be done.

If you know of steps towards eliminating structural racism and poverty that are not mentioned here, please share them (in informational and/or story form)

through the Building Bridges Network.

In the plus column:
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Need some inspiration?

Join Us for this very special event, the opening of CAN YOU DIG THIS next week. Get your tickets online 

Co-sponsored byGreenStar Community Projects, Moosewood, Groundswell, Youth Farm Project,Building Bridges, Natural Leaders Initiative, Coalition for Healthy School Food and Rainbow Healing Center.  

A bunch of Moosewood folks are cooking for the pre-show reception.

Don’t miss CAN YOU DIG THIS–Dec. 3, a special screening of the new documentary about the guerilla gardeners of South LA, with a new song by producer John Legend.

At Cinemapolis–120 E. Green St., Ithaca’s mecca for indie films and community sponsored special events

6:30 in-theater Reception with food by Moosewood,  7:00 show, and a talk-back with a panel of local growers and food justice activists, Damon Brangman, Ira McKinley, and Ruth Williams among others!
Can You Dig This follows an urban gardening movement taking root in South LA, where people are planting to transform their neighborhoods and are changing their own lives in the process. 

Watch the trailer hereTickets available online only.

Inspired by the work of  Ron Finley: A guerilla gardener in South Central LA – TED.com
CYDT.screeningflyer.Ithaca
  Click here to buy tickets. 
Dec. 3rd, At Cinemapolis, 120 E. Green St., Ithaca

Reception 6:30 pm
Show at 7:00 pm.
Talk-back  8:30 pm

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A Special Screening of Can You Dig This

Moosewood Restaurant is pleased to invite you to a special screening of

Can You Dig This

a documentary about the guerilla gardeners of South LA

at Cinemapolis, Dec. 3rd at 7 pm

Can You Dig This follows an urban gardening movement taking root in South LA, where people are planting to transform their neighborhoods and are changing their own lives in the process. Watch the trailer here.

Co-sponsored by GreenStar Community Projects, Groundswell, Building Bridges and Natural Leaders Initiative, we will host a pre-screening reception at 6:30 (with food by Moosewood) plus a talk-back on farming, gardening and food sovereignty with leaders in our community after the show.CYDT.screeningflyer.Ithaca

 

Click  here to reserve tickets to help book the showing
The screening will be held only when a minimum of 46 seats are reserved.
Can You Dig This
at Cinemapolis 
120 E. Green St., Ithaca
Dec. 3rd
Reception 6:30 pm
Show at 7 pm.
Talk-back  8:30

The Human Rights Arts Competition 2015

UDHR for webThe Office of Human Rights and the Dorothy Cotton Institute present

The Human Rights Arts Competition

The Dorothy Cotton Institute is partnering with the Office of Human Rights to co-sponsor the Human Rights Arts Competition, open to all K-12 students in Tompkins County, whether in public school, private school, charter school, Montessori, or home-schooled.

Teachers and students are encouraged to explore the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and to submit students’ artwork (visual, poetry or short film) expressing their understanding of one or more of the 30 articles of the UDHR . Click the link to find out details.  The Dorothy Cotton Award will be presented by Ms. Cotton to the winning poet.

Moosewood Bans the Box

BAN-THE-BOX-employee-application-monitorAcross the nation and here in Tompkins County, there is a Ban-the-Box movement to reduce barriers to employment for applicants who have a felony conviction on their record. Given the enormous number of people who have been convicted, the vast majority for non-violent crimes, employers play an important role in helping people find decent, stable employment. Other states such as Hawaii, Ohio, Oregon, Massachusetts, California and N.J., and municipalities such as Orlando, NYC,  and the City of Rochester have passed Ban the Box Ordinances. In June of 2015, NYC went beyond banning the felony box on applications for jobs in city government, and now prohibits both public and private employers from asking questions about felony convictions during the initial employment application process.

As a business that has employed a lot of people over 42 years and values fairness in employment, this seemed like something important for us at Moosewood Restaurant. In our case, we were actually using the same old boiler-plate application for years; I looked at it and there was the question: “Have you ever been convicted of a felony? If yes, please indicate which charges may be relevant to the position you are seeking.”  All we needed was to agree that this was an unnecessary barrier, and we revised the application and deleted the question. Simple.

banbox_196There are multiple steps in a hiring process, and employers may ask about prior convictions at later stages. In some cases employers must ask about felonies up front if it’s relevant to the position the candidate is seeking, for instance, as a police officer or as a childcare worker.

In N.J…

“Unless one of the limited exceptions applies, an employer cannot make any inquiry—either verbally or in writing, including in an employment application—about an applicant’s criminal record during the “initial employment application process” (IEAP).  Once the IEAP is complete, an employer can make inquiries about an applicant’s criminal history”

Ban the Box laws and policies don’t require the employer to hire a particular applicant, but one of the goals is to reduce recidivism among qualified people who happen to have a record and to help people who could be fine employees make it through the application screening process. The Obama Administration’s My Brother’s Keeper Task Force gave the movement a boost when it endorsed hiring practices “which give applicants a fair chance and allow employers the opportunity to judge individual job candidates on their merits.”

We encourage other businesses and institutions in Tompkins County to adopt Ban the Box policies. Whether one is a small business owner, manager, department head or human resource director, employers understandably have important questions.

These links may be helpful:

Moosewood Restaurant Owners Join Opposition to Crestwood Plans

Letter to the Editor of The Ithaca Journal

August 12, 2015

By Tony Del Plato & Gabriel Shapiro

On behalf of Moosewood, Inc. the 19 owners of Moosewood Restaurant unanimously join over 300 businesses and municipalities in the Finger Lakes in opposition to the Crestwood, Inc. plans to store up to 2.10 million barrels (88.20 million gallons) of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in salt caverns along the west shore of Seneca Lake just north of Watkins Glen. We are opposed to plans to turn this region into the northeast US hub for gas distribution. Increased railroad and truck traffic as well as breaks in pipelines would put us all at risk.

Crestwood’s plans or any plans that expand the fossil fuel infrastructure within our state, not only pose enormous risks for our safety, but will be obsolete within 20-40 years as New York transforms its energy profile to 100% renewable sources.

Food, wine, education, tourism and natural beauty drive the economy in the heart of New York state. The Finger Lakes draws people the world over to its vibrant and creative culture which includes farms, parks, the arts, high tech companies, universities and colleges.

Moosewood has been developing a sustainable business for more than 42 years and we, the shareholders are happy to join our neighbors who say yes to a fossil free future. Clean air and water matter. A lifestyle that brings more health and harmony to our lives matters.

Tony Del Plato, Moosewood Restaurant Owner

607 351 6847

tonydelplato@gmail.com

Gabriel Shapiro, Moosewood Restaurant Employee

gabeshapiro42@gmail.com

 

 

Fifty Years after the Voting Rights Act — the New Era of History’s Greatest Freedom Struggle

www;dorothycottoninstitute.org

A History of a Just & Peaceful Future

 Johnson and King at Signing of 1965 Voting Rights ActToday marks the 50th anniversary of a major victory in history’s greatest freedom struggle. President Lyndon Johnson’s signing of the Voting Rights Act on August 6, 1965, signaled the demise of the American Jim Crow system of racial segregation and discrimination. 

The effort to achieve this landmark legislation and the Civil Rights Act of 1964 coincided with the success of anticolonial movements that brought independence to more than fifty nations during the two decades following World War II. Systems of racial domination would remain in South Africa and Rhodesia, and colonialism would continue in some nations, but by mid-1960s a majority of humanity had achieved at least basic citizenship rights. Although we realize now that these victories were limited, they were nonetheless historic — comparable in importance to the nineteenth-century international campaign that ended chattel slavery. The transformation during the past two centuries of the world’s slaves and impoverished laborers…

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