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

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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.

A Long Way to Go, toward the full realization of our Human Rights

On June 26th, 20 community participants attended the Dorothy Cotton Institute’s  Human Rights Workshop to gain a common understanding of the international human rights framework and how it can be applied to local social justice issues efforts they care about.

Workshop participants are working on accessible, affordable and sustainable transportation, access to affordable healthcare, human rights education for parents and caregivers, advocacy for the rights of incarcerated people, diversity and inclusion on the college campuses, the rights of  immigrants, the rights and voices veterans, the rights to healthy affordable food, fair housing, and the right to live free of drones.

Margo Hittleman and Kirby Edmonds led the half-day workshop, asking people to draw on their personal experiences of injustice and the challenges of speaking up or  intervening on your own or others’ behalf.

At one point, participants lined up on a scale of 0-100 to illustrate and discuss how well they think the rights articulated in the Convention on the Elimination of all forms of Racial Discrimination, (CERD). are being upheld and fully expressed in our community.  Their assessment: sharing their perspectives and examples of discrimination and disparate impact based on race and ethnicity, it seems we have a long way to go toward compliance and protection of CERD. In some ways, our society has been moving backwards by allowing the erosion of protections against racial discrimination.

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One important action to consider: examine what our local anti-discrimination ordinance actually covers, and what kind of discrimination is left out!

Another action to consider: get into the practice of re-framing the social issues we are working so hard to transform, by

  • using the language and lens of our universal human rights, to recognize and describe social justice and ecological needs and standards,
  • advocating to meet our national and local obligations to bring our laws and practices into compliance with human rights treaties, and by
  • fulfilling our mutual responsibilities to respect and protect the dignity of all. 

Welcome to the Human Rights Movement!

visit: www.dorothycottoninstitute.org

or follow Dorothy Cotton Institute on Facebook

DCI is a project of the Center for Transformative Action

Vincent Harding

Dear Building Bridges friends,

On Monday our dear friend and mentor, Dr. Vincent Harding, passed away. Many of you were able to hear him speak in December at the DCI Gala when he and his wife, Aljosie Aldrich Knight, visited Ithaca. He had an aneurism and multiple surgeries over the last week. Althou

We will share more about this extraordinary man and great spirit in future postings. He embodied love and encouragement.