Thursday, January 29, 2015

External Advisory Group of the Dutchess County Justice & Transition Center

A Poughkeepsie Journal story today announced that the External Advisory Group of the Dutchess County Justice & Transition Center (jail) will hold a public meeting at the Bardavon on Thursday, January 29 at 6:00 PM. Quoting from the meeting announcement:
The agenda for the January 29th meeting will include updates and presentations on:
  • Installation of temporary housing units, also known as PODS;
  • RicciGreeneAssociates' needs assessments reporting;
  • Special populations programming;
  • Creation of a new Criminal Justice Council committee focused specifically on diverting individuals with mental illness from entering the criminal justice system.
Members of the public are asked to submit questions prior to the meeting so they can be addressed during the meeting.  Those wishing to submit questions should email their inquiries to by Friday, January 23rd.  There will be an additional designated time allotted for the public to offer comments.  The public will be allowed to ask questions at the meeting, but those questions will be addressed after via email,  at future meetings of the External Advisory Group, and/or on the Dutchess County Justice & Transition Center project webpages.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

20th annual Mid-Hudson Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. March for Social and Economic Justice.

20th annual Mid-Hudson
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
March for Social and Economic Justice.

Monday, Jan 19 (MLK Day) at 11 am

Join Mae Parker-Harris, Poughkeepsie Fifth Ward Councilwoman Ann Perry, Hudson Valley Area Labor Federation Executive Director Beth Soto (and HVALF's Matt Martini), 1199 Organizer Joseph Stratford, folksingers Chris Ruhe and Fred Nagel, R & B singer Marlene Squire-Merritt, Co. Leg. Micki Strawinski, Rev. Tama Kaya Bell, Joel Tyner, and many more for our Real Majority Project's 20th annual Mid-Hudson Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. March for Social and Economic Justice.

At Smith Metropolitan A.M.E. Zion Church, 124 Smith Street in Poughkeepsie-- marching to the Dutchess County Office Building at 22 Market Street and ending with refreshments and discussion/strategizing at Holy Light Pentecostal Church at 33 South Clover Street in Poughkeepsie!...(co-sponsored by Community Voices Heard-- yay).

Monday, January 12, 2015

Two Area Clergy Organizations to Lead Solidarity March in Kingston

candle light Rev. Dr. G. Modele Clarke, president
Rev. Arthur L. Coston, Sr., treasurer
Super. Jim Childs, chair, Advisory Board
Ministers’ Alliance of Ulster County

8 Hone Street * Kingston, NY 12401       845-339-0773
Saturday, Jan 17, Starting at 4 PM

For Immediate Release:

Two Area Clergy Organizations to Lead Solidarity March in Kingston

KINGSTON: Two area clergy organizations will lead a “solidarity” march through Kingston at 4:00 pm, Saturday, January 17, 2015. The march is being staged to show solidarity with communities across the country, distressed by the recent refusal of grand juries in Ferguson, MO and New York City to indict police officers in the deaths of two black men. 

The candlelight march is organized by the Ministers’ Alliance of Ulster County and the Kingston Council of Churches. It will begin at the Old Dutch Church, 272 Wall St., stop in front of the County Court House then proceed to the Midtown Neighborhood Center. Once inside, clergy representatives will address the marchers.

Rev. Dr. G. Modele Clarke, president of the Ministers’ Alliance of Ulster County, said the march is an important vehicle for public expression. He said it serves at least two major functions. First, it will give area residents an opportunity to publicly express their concerns about the increasing number of black men killed by police officers across the country, Clarke said.

“Secondly,” he said. “It allows Kingston to say, ‘We care!’ about the deaths of Michael Brown, Eric Garner and so many other black men, and to do so peacefully and publicly.” 

The clergy organizations will also co-host a Rev. Dr. Martin L. King, Jr. commemorative service the following day at the Pointe of Praise Family Life Center, 243 Hurley Ave., Kingston. It will feature the Ulster County Community Choir, and will begin at 4:00 pm. Featured speaker will be Elder James B. Childs, pastor, Pointe of Praise Family Life Center. For further information, contact G. Modele Clarke, 845-339-3016 or 914- 388-0671                                                                                                      

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Woodstock’s 25th Annual Birthday Tribute to
Jose (Kiko) Garcia, Ernest Sayon, Nicholas Heyward Jr, Anthony Baez, Amadou Diallo, Patrick Dorismond, Ousmane Zongo, Timonth Stansbury Jr, Sean Bell, Ramarley Graham, Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Akai Gurley
Date: Sunday, January 18, 2015
Time: 2:00 pm
Place: Woodstock Justice Court, 76 Tinker Street
Featuring: Rev. G. Modele Clarke, New Progressive Baptist Church; Pam Africa, International Friends of Mumia Abu Jamal; Kortnee Simmons, Youth Activist, Kingston; Josh Otero, with Spoken Word Poets Poet GoldUrban Lyrics from SUNY New Paltz and Hip Hop Performers; and Debra Burger, Freedom Songs
 Sponsors: Martin Luther King Jr. Planning Committee, Haitian People's Support Project and Town of Woodstock
 For Info: Call 845 679-7320
The Struggle for Social Justice Continues
          Through reflection, celebration, education and song let us remember the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr.  “The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the nation until the bright day of justice emerges.”(MLK, Jr.)
         Across the country in communities of color, the role of the police has been not to protect and serve but to suppress and occupy.  Sparked by the almost daily police murders of young men of color and no indictments by the grand juries in the deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, people have taken to the streets to say we need to change the system. “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle.” (MLK,Jr.)
       Before his untimely assassination, King was perceived as a major threat when he linked the civil rights movement to the anti-war protests, to the struggle of workers to unionize, to the struggle of poor people.  A lasting message from Martin Luther King, Jr. is to include all who can be included in the struggle to transform America. 
Using Poetry and Hip Hop to Help Change Consciousness with friends including Poet Gold a published writer, spoken word performer, poet, artist, songwriter and community "activist."

Grand Central Station

We Will Not Be Silent in Grand Central
photo by Eli Kassirer

Sunday, December 21, 2014

#BlackLives Matter Issues Response to Murder of Two NYPD Officers

New York, NY -  #BlackLivesMatter, a national grassroots and social media driven movement at the heart of much of the recent mobilizations against police violence has issued the following statement in response to today’s murders of two NYPD officers:

“Our hearts grieve with New York, a community already reeling from the losses of Eric Garner, Ramarley Graham, Kimani Gray, Akai Gurley, Islan Nettles and many more. An eye for an eye is not our vision of justice, and we who have taken to the streets seeking justice and liberation know that we need deep transformation to correct the larger institutional problems of racial profiling, abuse, and violence.
“We know all too well the pain and the trauma that follows the senseless loss of our family members and loved ones. We extend our hearts and prayers to the families of those who lost their loved ones this week. No one should suffer the loss of those whom they love.
“At the heart of our movement work is a deep and profound love for our people, and we are rooted in the belief that Black people in the U.S. must reassert our right to live be well in a country where our lives have been deemed valueless. Together, we champion a complete transformation of the ways we see and relate to one another.
“Now is our moment to advance a dramatic overhaul of policing practices. Now is the time to direct more resources into community mental health services and practices. Now is a moment for empathy and deep listening. Now is the time to end violence against women and trans people. Now is our moment to come together to end state violence.
“Our movement, grown from the love for our people and for all people, will continue to advance our vision of justice for all of us.  Let’s hold each other close as we work together to end violence in our communities—once and for all.”
#BlackLivesMatter is an ideological and political intervention in a world where Black lives are systematically and intentionally targeted for demise. It is an affirmation of Black folks’ contributions to this society, our humanity, and our resilience in the face of deadly oppression.