May Day Events

New Haven – A coalition of groups are sponsoring a general strike, and a rally and march starting at the New Haven Green on May Day, Monday, May 1. The strike, including school and business as usual, is intended “to demonstrate the economic power of immigrants, women, Muslims, LGBTQ folks, Native Americans, the African American community, workers, and every other marginalized group that is currently under attack by the Trump administration.” The rally is from 12:00 – 5:00, followed by a march through New Haven at 5 pm. Individuals and businesses that want to participate may contact the coalition’s planning committee at maydaynewhaven2017@gmail.com. The coalition members are Immigrant Bail Fund, SURJ New Haven, CIRA, JUNTA for Progressive Action, Answer CT, MEChA de Yale, Unidad Latina en Acción, Planned Parenthood of Southern New England, Middle East Crisis Committee (MECC), and the IWW.

Bridgeport – A coalition of groups are sponsoring a Sanctuary City March. Meeting at 4:00 pm at the McLevy Green, participants will march to City Hall (45 Lyon Terrace), where there will be a City Council meeting. The Council is expected to consider the Sanctuary City Resolution. If they do not, participants will be there to hold them accountable. The coalition members are CTCORE-Organize Now!, CT Students for a Dream, Make the Road CT, CT Working Families Party, Latino Advocacy Foundation of Fairfield County, Better Bridgeport, CIRA, and SEIU 32BJ.

Danbury – A coalition of groups are sponsoring a No Hate in the Hat City rally and march for immigrant rights and worker rights to close ‘A Day Without Immigrants in Solidarity with All Workers.’ Participants will gather at 4:00 pm at the Hispanic Center of Greater Danbury, 4 Harmony Street. The march will begin at 4:30, down West St, then down Main Street. The coalition members are CIRA, CT Students for a Dream, Women’s March CT-We March On, UAW Region 9A, Danbury Area Justice Network, The Hispanic Center of Greater Danbury, and AFT CT.

City Seed Meets IRIS and Spawns Sanctuary Kitchen

The latest nonprofit venture in Greater New Haven is Sanctuary Kitchen, a program of City Seed that works with Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Service (IRIS). It was formed “to promote and celebrate the culinary traditions, cultures, and stories of refugees resettled in Connecticut.” Concretely, this means cooking demonstrations, hands-on cooking classes, supper club meals, and other culinary events led by resettled refugees from Afghanistan, Sudan, Syria, Iraq, Eritrea, Colombia, Cuba, Iran, Rwanda and the Democratic Republic of Congo. Cooks are compensated for their efforts with revenue generated from event ticket sales.

The team behind this new venture includes City Seed’s Executive Director and Kitchen Program Manager, as well as women who have volunteered with IRIS and have been active in CT’s (and the world’s) nonprofit scene. Partner organizations include Gateway Community College, New Haven Free Public Libraries, Students of Salaam at Yale, and the Ludwig Center for Community & Economic Development at Yale Law School.

Three events are already scheduled for April and May, including a Syrian Cooking Demo at City Seed’s Kitchen this Sunday afternoon.

One of the great things about Sanctuary Kitchen is that it has a great page of ways people can get involved and help. This sort of page is too often omitted from nonprofits’ web sites. The principal ways to help are as a cook, as a translator, or as a partner/collaborator offering space, equipment and other resources, opportunities for the chefs, “opportunities for Sanctuary Kitchen to learn more deeply about the issues affecting communities and how we can work together with people at the grass-roots to create transformative change” or, of course, financial contributions.

Resisting Inequality Teach-in/Vigil in Hartford Next Tuesday

On the anniversary of his assassination, the Fight for $15 movement and the CT Working Families Party are holding a teach-in, vigil, and march to honor the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., who risked his life to resist oppression and inequality.

At 6:00 pm, at the Shiloh Baptist Church Hartford, 350 Albany Ave, Hartford, hear from community speakers and participate in breakout sessions to discuss:

>Economic justice
>The right to healthcare
>Racial justice
>Immigrant rights

Food and child care will be provided.

Candlelight Vigil and March at 8:00 pm., calling for a living wage and job protections for healthcare workers, who are struggling to get a fair contract and being threatened with losing their jobs for not rushing through patient visits. The march will culminate in a rally outside Community Health Services (two blocks away) to support our brothers and sisters in the healthcare worker community.

For more information, contact bridget.daley1@gmail.com. Here is the Facebook page announcing the event.

Immigrant Accompaniment Training in Hamden This Sunday

An immigrant accompaniment training session will be held in Hamden this Sunday afternoon, from 3 to 5, at the Spring Glen Church, 1825 Whitney Avenue, across the street from Best Video.

Here is a description of the program from the website of the New Sanctuary Coalition, which is holding a train-the-trainer program this evening at St. Thomas’ Episcopal Church in New Haven. After a lecture, newly trained trainers will lead groups of those attending.

“The Immigration Accompaniment Program helps support families who are going through the immigration process in 3 ways:

  • Provides a support structure to strengthen those caught in immigration proceedings
  • Keeps family members informed at every step of the process as their loved ones move forward
  • Holds legal officials accountable for providing accurate information and serving due process

The program pairs immigrants in final removal proceedings with volunteers who accompany them to their required, periodic check-ins with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Intensive Supervision Appearance Program (ISAP).”

This training should also be helpful if other arrangements are made for volunteers to help immigrants remain and feel safer in our community. I will be attending the Sunday training session. If you would like to attend, please let Pastor Paul Fleck know at paul.fleck@nyac-umc.com.