Saturday, January 28, 2017

African American History Month 2017 Arts and Writing Competition

African American History Month 2017
Arts and Writing Competition for Grades 8 to 12
Sponsored annually by the Connecticut People's World Committee to remember the
lives and work of Dalzenia Henry and Virginia Henry who devoted themselves to the
young people of New Haven and to making a better future.

How Can We Best Unite Against Bigotry and Injustice?

"If there is no struggle there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom and yet deprecate agitation are men who want crops without plowing up the ground; they want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one, or it may be a physical one, and it may be both moral and physical, but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will....The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress."

-- Excerpt of speech in 1857 by Frederick Douglass (Feb 7, 1817-Feb. 20, 1895)

Express in artwork, poetry, essay or song:

On the 200th anniversary of the birth of Frederick Douglass, leading abolitionist, orator and writer who fought against slavery and for women's rights, how can we unite against hate, bigotry and injustice to continue his legacy in today's world?

Requirements + Art work – Two dimensional (Drawings, paintings, collage, prints, photographs) Paper size not larger than 18” x 24”
+ Essay, poem or song – Not longer than 2 pages

Deadline Entries must be received by 5 pm on Thursday, February 16, 2017
Name, address, phone, e-mail, age, school, teacher's name (where applicable) must be included

Submission Electronic:
Mail: CT People's World, 37 Howe Street, New Haven. CT 06511

Prizes Gift certificates ($100 first place, $50 second place, $25 third place) and books

Presentation Prizes and recognition for all entries will be presented on Sunday, February 26,
2017 at 4:00 pm at Troup School, 259 Edgewood Avenue, New Haven
during the 43rd Annual African American History Month Celebration sponsored by
the Connecticut People's World Committee.

Information e-mail to:

Foremost abolitionist Frederick Douglass (1817-1895) came to Connecticut in January, 1864 to speak in Hartford and New Haven. He told more than 1,200 free Black men who had gathered at Grapevine Point (now Criscuolo Park) in New Haven to become soldiers in the 29th Regiment of the Union Army and fight in the Civil War for freedom: "Not for yourselves alone are you marshaled—you are pioneers—on you depends the destiny of four millions of the colored race in this country. If you rise and flourish, we shall rise and flourish. If you win freedom and citizenship, we shall share your freedom and citizenship." The descendants of the 29th Regiment commissioned a statue which has been placed at the site in commemoration.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

MLK Events and Women's March Resist Trump/Republican Agenda

As the Women's March with its powerful message and agenda "Women's Rights are Human Rights" fills Washington DC, Hartford and state capitols across the country, it is clear that many are determined to make their voices heard and defend democracy under a Trump administration.

Events during Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend set the pace, from marches to community gatherings and rallies.

Unions and health care advocates turned out 1,000 strong at the Connecticut State Capitol for one of many national MLK weekend rallies called by Sen Bernie Sanders and Democratic members of Congress for "Our First Stand - Save Health Care." US Senators Chris Murphy & Richard Blumenthal, and US Reps Joe Courtney, Elizabeth Esty, and Rosa DeLauro spoke out to protect affordable healthcare and stop repeal of the Affordable Care Act.

U.S. Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy came to the MLK rally and dinner held by New Haven Rising to update on victories for good jobs and union rights in New Haven including new contracts won by the workers at Yale.

Both Senators emphasized the urgency of engaging thousands of people to uphold their rights and preserve democracy in our country, saying that they need this help and support.

"We are not going to bury the Statue of Liberty and immigrant rights. We are not going to bury the Civil Rights and Voting Rights Acts," Blumenthal told the crowd of over 500 union and community leaders. "Keep organizing. The strength and courage you embody cannot be defeated. New Haven is rising. America is rising."

Calling this a moment of testing for democracy, Murphy asked, "are we willing to put in the work to preserve the journey for justice and equality?" He told those assembled at St. Michael's Church, "Your legacy is in the best traditions of Dr. Martin Luther King."

The day after the Women's March, rallies for environmental justice were held across Connecticut and the nation. Within the first 100 hours of the inauguration vigils for our environment, for good jobs in a clean energy economy, and for protection for vulnerable communities are being held to "stand together, be watchful, for protection for everything and everyone we love. Vigils were called for Salisabury, Fairfield, New Haven and Bloomfield.

Thousands in Connecticut to raise their voices at Women's March

 Liz McCarthy and Tyree Ford are two seniors from Southern Connecticut State University (SCSU) joining thousands from around the nation and Connecticut on January,21 for the Women's March On Washington.

"Trump's rhetoric is insulting, demonizing, and threatening to many women, immigrants, diverse religious faiths, native, Black and brown people, LGBTQ, and people with disabilities, and we must all come together in unity and solidarity to stop it!" said Ford, "The Women's March In Washington is going to be the first of many organized rallies  and marches that's going to change things," she added.

At a Women's March kickoff press conference in New Haven City Hall, Congresswoman Rosa DeLauro (CT-3) said this large scale demonstration will be a "powerful message to Trump and the Republican conference that women's rights are human rights...We are making ourselves heard, and opening the way for all Americans to get heard."

DeLauro, a leader in the Democratic House caucus emphasized that institutions respond to external pressure and declared that "this march symbolizes the first day of organizing and prolonged battles for America's agenda."

She singled out four pieces of legislation key to the health and welfare of women, girls and families that she along with allies in Congress will fight for including saving health care and the Affordable Care Act, paid family and medical leave, pay equity, childcare assistance and the Violence Against Women Act.

In Connecticut, 80 buses are headed to the nation's capital with buses also going to smaller sister marches in New York, Hartford, and Stamford Connecticut on Saturday.

"We're expecting up to 200,000 people, and that's just in D.C. alone, not to mention the sister rallies all throughout the country and all throughout the world. The numbers are going to be tremendous", said McCarthy.

The Women's March idea began when Donald Trump was elected president. Rebecca Shook, a 60 year old retired attorney and grandmother from Hawaii went on Facebook and posted "Let's March!" The post quickly went viral, a voice for many people who felt the election results were rigged.

Soon after,  assisted by her friends, Shook created an event page for the march, which was shared on the popular Facebook group Pantsuit Nation. Within less than 24 hours, 10,000 people had confirmed their attendance.

Now, over 200,000 people will join Shook to march on Washington the day after the inauguration, including McCarthy and Ford. They will travel with several other SCSU students who are taking the drive down.

"A lot of people are scared and nervous about what's to come in the next four years, and they want to get involved and engaged like myself, not just sitting around doing nothing" said Ford.

"It's one way to come together as women and men against the way Muslim women, and all  women were treated unfairly by Trump in this election. We're not backing down or going anywhere, we're going to fight hard to get the rights we deserve and need" McCarthy said.

There will be more than 600 Sister Marches taking place across the U.S. and internationally on Saturday. A Sister March will be taking place in Hartford at 1 pm. on the North steps of the Capitol. Several thousand are expected to turn out, including buses from New Haven organized by the unions at Yale and the Peoples Center.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Women's March January 21, 2017

To sign up for a ride, or if you can offer a ride, from New Haven to the Women's March in Hartford e-mail

Connecticut will be well represented at the Women's March in Washington DC on Saturday, January 21, the day after inauguration. Connecticut residents will also participate in three sister rallies in Connecticut, and rallies in New York and Boston.

The groundswell for the Women's March is an expression of outrage at threats to women's rights and democratic rights from the Republican Congress and incoming Trump Administration. "The rise of the woman = The rise of the nation.... Women's rights are human rights," says the national website.

Immediate concerns are Trump's nominations of billionaires and generals for cabinet appointments, the threats to repeal the Affordable Care Act, end funding for Planned Parenthood and mass deportations of immigrant residents. The Women's March is dedicated to winning a program of equality and justice for all in our country.

Over 60 buses are sold out for the trip to Washington, DC, leaving from 35 towns across the state. Sister rallies will be held in Hartford, Stamford and the Lower Connecticut River Valley. Nationally 269 sister marches are expected to draw 500,000 participants.

The rally in Hartford will be held at 1 pm on the North Steps of the state capitol on January 21. The rally is called in solidarity with the 200,000 plus expected in Washington DC.

"Like many cities and states around the world, we will join in calling for honoring EVERY voice that upholds dignity, justice, unity, and equality for all. Share your views and show support for the ideals and principles behind the Women's March," says the call to the event emphasizing that all are welcome.

The rally in Lower CT River Valley will be held at 374 Town St in East Haddam.

In downtown Stamford at the UCONN Stamford Auditorium 1 University Place, people will gather at noon to hear speakers and then march up Washington Boulevard to Trump Parc at Tresser Boulevard and Washington Boulevard.

"We stand together in solidarity with our partners and children for the protection of our rights, our safety, our health, and our families -- recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country," say the organizers.