Two Weekend Events Focusing on Compassion and Justice

This weekend, in Hamden and New Haven respectively, there will be two events focusing on compassion and justice.

On Saturday, July 22 is the Third Annual Compassionfest from 10-5 at Whitneyville Commons, 1253 Whitney Avenue in Hamden. The mission of this festival is “to unite like-minded people that believe in the values of being just, kindness, equality and compassion. We’ll gather for delicious vegan food and cruelty-free product providers, local artisans, inspiring performers, musical acts & healing workshops for all ages.” Admission is free. The rain date is Saturday, July 29.

On Sunday, July 23, from 12 to 4:30, is the MLK Sit-In in the grassy area on MLK Boulevard, across from the Sherman/Tyler Parking lot, near Ella T. Grasso Blvd. in New Haven. This is part of a nationwide event observed on streets named after Martin Luther King, Jr. to honor him and continue the fight against local, national, and international violence, hatred, and oppression against vulnerable communities.

There will be a large canvas where attendees can write and/or draw their vision of racial and social justice. Participants will be given the opportunity to make posters and peacefully display them in the area. There will also be racial and social justice organizations tabling, face-painting and artistic activities for children.

The schedule is:
• 12-2pm: Poster-making, art activities, tabling
• 2-4pm: Speakers, performers
• 4pm: Community Reading of excerpt from “I Have a Dream” speech
• 4:15pm: Wrap-up and Call for Action

Food Summit in Hartford on July 22

The Connecticut Food System Alliance (CFSA) is holding a Food Summit and Network Launch at 224 EcoSpace, 224 Farmington Avenue, Hartford, from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm (registration begins at 9:30). This free event features speakers on a variety of food-related topics, including food access, farm viability, school curriculums, and food-related community organizing. The CFSA calls itself “a network of individuals, organizations, and institutions working towards a more just and equitable food system.”

Space is limited, so if you’re interested, register here. Questions may be directed to Meg at 860-296-9325 or

Help Build an “Urban Oasis” in Fair Haven This Friday After Work

The Chatham Square Neighborhood Association and the Urban Resources Initiative are leading a project to beautify a main entrance to Fair Haven, near the Middletown Avenue Bridge underpass and Dover Beach, on Front Street. The project involves planting flowers, shrubs, and trees. Already, an artist put colorful images on the bridge’s columns, and the state put in a new fence.

Volunteers meet and work together from 5:00 to 7:00 pm this Friday, and further Fridays through the summer.

Discussion about “The Problem with Bail” This Thursday in New Haven

Too Many People in Prison

Bail is a serious problem. Those who cannot make bail end up spending time in prison, whether guilty or not. Some even plead guilty to get out of prison, keep their jobs, and be with their families. To help these individuals, Community Bonds has two programs:  the CT Bail Fund and the Immigrant Bail Fund.””

This Thursday, July 13, from 7:00-8:30 pm, Action Together CT’s Minority Rights Subgroup is going to discuss “The Problem with Bail.” The local is mActivity, 285 Nicoll St, New Haven.

Hamden Progressive Action Network Launch Event on Monday, July 10

The Hamden Progressive Action Network, an expanded version of the Spring Glen PAN, will be holding a launch event at 7:00 pm on Monday, July 10 at the Hamden Middle School Auditorium, 2623 Dixwell Avenue. Three state reps will talk about the legislative session and discuss how residents can help. Here’s a link to the Facebook page, where you can say you’re going. See the announcement below:

Ham PAN event 071017

March for Justice for the Formerly Incarcerated in Hartford Tomorrow

Tomorrow afternoon (that is, Wednesday, June 14), the CT State Conference of NAACP Branches is holding a March for Justice in Hartford. The march is in support of the formerly incarcerated for jobs, housing, pardons, youth at risk, foster care and a real 1st & 2nd chance.

Setup begins at 3:00 p.m. The march begins at 5:00 p.m. (Rain or Shine)

The march starts at The Legislative Office Building, 300 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT
The march ends at Capitol Community College, 950 Main Street, Hartford, CT
The distance is about one mile.

Two buses are available: 1 p.m. from the Elks, 87 Webster St., New Haven, and 12:30 p.m. from Mount Aery Church, 73 Frank St., Bridgeport

For More Info, call 860.523.9962. The Facebook page for the march is here.

Paddle with a Purpose, and Help Save the Connecticut River from an Invasive Plant

You can volunteer to help the CT River Conservancy rid the Connecticut River of an invasive plant that has a name beloved by Chinese food lovers: the water chestnut. However, this water chestnut is an invader from Europe that clogs waterways, lakes, and ponds, and alters aquatic habitats. The plants have to be hand pulled, but they come easily.

water chestnuts

The catch is that the event is BYOB – Bring Your Own Boat (rowboat, kayak, canoe, whatever). A few shallow draft motor boats are especially needed to help shuttle plants back to land.

Water chestnut pulling will occur in two locations on five different days:

Mattabesset  Meadows, Middletown
Saturdays 1:00 pm – 3:00 pm | June 10 & 24 | July 8

Keeney Cove, Glastonbury
Wednesdays 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm | June 14 & 21


To sign up, contact River Steward Alicea Charamut at, 860-704-0057. I assume she will provide details about where exactly to bring your boat. Supplies and instruction on how to pull the plants will be provided.