Sinead O’Conner writes about Trayvon Martin

Irish born singer, Sinead O’Conner has posted open letter about the Trayvon Martin case. Here is a snippet from her lengthy and poignant letter:

“I would like to extend my very deepest sympathies to the family and other loved ones of murdered teenager, Treyvon Martin. I am very sad today (and am certain the whole of Ireland is) to learn of poor Treyvon’s terrifying ordeal and horrified by the fact his known and named and admitted killer has not been arrested, despite the crime having taken place a month ago. This is a disgrace to the entire human race.

For those out there who believe black people to be less than pure royalty, let me inform you of a little known, but scientifically proven, many times over, FACT. Which after reading, you will hopefully feel both very stupid and very sorry. For you dishonor your own mothers and grandmothers.

EVERY human being on earth, no matter what their culture, creed, skin colour, or nationality, shares one gene traceable back to one African woman. Scientists have named it ‘The Eve Gene’. This means ALL of us, even ridiculously stupid, ignorant, perverted, blaspheming racists are the descendants of one African woman.

One African woman is the mother of all of us. Africa was the first world. You come from there! Your skin may be ‘white’.. because you didn’t need it to be black any more where you lived. But as Curtis Mayfield said.. ‘You’re just the surface of our dark, deep well’. So you’re being morons. And God is having the last laugh at your ignorant expense.

If you hate black people, its yourself you hate. And the mother who bore you. If you kill or wish ill on black people, its yourself you kill and wish ill on. As well as the mother who bore you.”

Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation Training in Hartford

Greetings All,

As April 4 approaches marking 44 years since Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s body was taken from us, we at the Connecticut Center for Nonviolence are here to tell you that although he was shot, they missed!

His work, our work and the legacy lives on. Nonviolence is the sword that heals.

Attend our next Two-Day Core Introduction to Kingian Nonviolence Training on April 20 & 21, 2012.

Let your voice be heard in person or by your generous tax deductible donation at our SONG POWER – SING FOR YOUR LIVES! FUNDRAISER Workshop, we are raising funds for Nonviolence Training for Hartford Youth. Sunday April 29, 2-4pm.

Every penny you donate will go toward bringing this powerful body of knowledge to those who do not have the resources to attend a training. A training in Kingian Nonviolence can save the life of a teen stricken by hopelessness and oppressed by lack of information.

Today in Hartford hundreds of people are gathered for the funeral of two young men who were killed in a car accident. Instantly, youth enraged by the conditions turned to retaliation as their perceived only recourse. One of our strongest peace warriors stood before an impassioned youth armed with a gun.  He peacefully talked the grief stricken boy down.

It’s that serious, it’s happening right now. We may not see this, making it easier to dismiss it all, but I assure you, every day we are loosing lives in our Capital City and across the state. If not physically,  then mentally and emotionally. Hopelessness is a condition that robs your life before it even begins. It’s unconscionable, it must and can be changed.

You are the solution.

  • Volunteer for the CT Center for Nonviolence
  • Invite the Center for bring a training to your work place, school, Temple, Church, Group or Community Center
  • Become a Kingian Nonviolence Trainer
  • Sing with our Chorus and breath light into the darkness
  • Make a tax deductible donation to the Center

” I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly”  ~ MLK

Join our Movement, Your Movement,
Save a Life!

Just Peace,

Victoria Christgau
Founder/Executive Director

CT Center for Nonviolence
50 Founders Plaza Suite 304
East Hartford, CT 06108
860-567-3441
CTCenterforNonviolence@gmail.com
www.ctnonviolence.org

Neighborhood Office:
687 Albany Ave
Hartford, CT 06112

State NAACP Holds Town Hall Meeting on Education Reform

NAACP State Conference President Scot X. Esdaile will join Gov. Dannel P. Malloy  for a town hall meeting on SB24, Malloy’s Education Reform Bill. The meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 20, 2012 at 7:00 p.m. at the Walsh Elementary School, 55 Dikeman Street.
“There have been a number of conversations about the Governor’s bill, which aims to address the State’s shameful achievement gap,” State Conference President Scot X. Esdaile said. “Whiel the NAACP has concerns about certain aspects of the bill, I am dismayed that  the conversation seems to have shifted from what’s in the best interests of children to how to best protect adults and who or what is to blame. This issue is far too important to let divisiveness and politics prevent meaningful change for Connecticut students.”
The Governor’s education reform bill is based on six principles: enhancing families’ access to early childhood education; supporting low-performing schools; expanding the availability of high-performing school models; removing barriers to success; developing teachers and principals; and delivering additional resources to districts that embrace reform. The full text of the bill can be found via the following link: http://www.cga.ct.gov/2012/TOB/S/2012SB-00024-R00-SB.htm
For more information on the town hall meeting and to secure media access, call (860) 523-9962.

Family Child Care Providers in CT Struggle

Connecticut’s Care 4 Kids Program Leaves Family Child Care Providers Struggling Providers Make Their Case for Collective Bargaining Rights At State Capitol

This Tuesday, family child care providers, who care for children in home based daycare settings, converged on the state capitol in Hartford to ask the Labor & Public Employees committee to support a bill granting them collective bargaining rights.  Family child care providers accepting Care 4 Kids, Connecticut’s low income child care assistance program, voted overwhelmingly, 1603 to 88, in an election conducted by the American Arbitration Association to join together in CSEA/SEIU Local 2001 back in December, but under current labor laws they lack the right to negotiate for a contract.  Senate Bill 352 will allow family child care providers to negotiate for a contract with the state over wages and working conditions, while not make them state employees.

After testifying in support of the Bill 352, New Haven based provider Queen Freelove spoke of the challenges facing providers.  “I’ve been doing this for 20 years and it’s getting harder every year to provide quality childcare.  The work I do allows other families to go to work, but because the families who qualify for the Care 4 Kids program are struggling, many can’t afford to pay their child care providers on top of the Care 4 Kids reimbursements, which have not seen a rate increase since 2002.  This creates a very difficult situation for us.”

“To give you an idea of how low the Care 4 Kids rates are; a provider caring full time for an infant would make about $4.54 an hour in Fairfield and only about $3.42 an hour in Eastern Connecticut.  Collective Bargaining rights would give these providers a voice in the process that affects their businesses and an avenue to address the problems they struggle with daily.” said Cathy Sarri, an expert on state child care programs.

Outdated reimbursement rates are not the only issues facing Family child care providers; Late payments, lost paper work and long waits for a child’s approval are frequently cited problems.  And because they are considered independent businesses, family child care providers are on their own to find affordable health insurance, and many end up on the state HUSKY or Charter Oak health plans.  Thousands of providers have left the field in the past decade as a result.

Granting family child care providers the right to collectively bargain has created win/win situations in other states for both providers and local governments.  In Washington and Illinois, child care providers were able to improve their wages through their contract, while streamlining the system and saving the state money.  And as the field became more desirable, more providers started accepting state subsidized children, creating greater access for parents.

The service delivered by home based family child care providers is essential for working families around the state who work irregular hours when most childcare centers are closed.  The providers often open their doors at 6am and don’t close until the last child leaves at night, sometimes after midnight on both weekdays and weekends.

Diabetes Risk Test for Type 2

Take it. Share it.
Americans are urged to take the all-new Diabetes Risk Test on American Diabetes Association Alert Day® and to share it with everyone they care about to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012, is the 24th Annual American Diabetes Association Alert Day, a one-day, “wake-up call” asking the American public to take the Diabetes Risk Test to find out if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes.
In 2011, the American Diabetes Association encouraged Americans to “Join the Million Challenge” and more than 600,000 people took the Diabetes Risk Test. On March 27, 2012, the Association will aim to top that number, inspiring people to take the all-new Diabetes Risk Test and to join the Association in the fight to Stop Diabetes®.

Diabetes is a serious disease that strikes nearly 26 million Americans including 294,900 people living in Connecticut.  A quarter of those affected by diabetes, are not aware that they have the disease. Recent estimates project that as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes in 2050 unless we take the steps to Stop Diabetes.

An additional 79 million, or one in three American adults, have pre-diabetes, (9 11,200 in Connecticut), which means that their blood glucose (sugar) is higher than normal, but not high enough to be classified as diabetes. Early intervention via lifestyle changes such as weight loss and increased physical activity can help delay or prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. The American Diabetes Association is fighting to Stop Diabetes® and takes the opportunity of Alert Day to help identify those who are undiagnosed and those at risk for type 2 diabetes, by educating people about diabetes risk factors and warning signs.

Unfortunately, diagnosis often comes 7 to 10 years after the onset of the disease, after disabling and even deadly complications have had time to develop. Therefore, early diagnosis is critical to successful treatment and delaying or preventing some of its complications such as heart disease, blindness, kidney disease, stroke, amputation and death.

“Studies have shown that type 2 diabetes can be prevented or delayed by losing just 7 percent of body weight (such as 15 pounds if you weigh 200) through regular physical activity (30 minutes a day, five days a week) and healthy eating,” said Christopher Boynton, Executive Director.  “The American Diabetes Association hopes that this Alert Day will encourage people to take the Diabetes Risk Test and share it with their loved ones. By understanding your risk, you can take the necessary steps to help prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes.”

To help people better recognize their own risk for type 2 diabetes, the American Diabetes Association provides the new Diabetes Risk Test, asking users to answer simple questions about weight, age, family history and other potential risks for pre-diabetes or type 2 diabetes. Preventative tips are provided for everyone who takes the test, including encouraging those at high risk to talk with their health care provider. You can be part of the movement to Stop Diabetes® and get your free Diabetes Risk Test (English or Spanish) by visiting them on Facebook, stopdiabetes.com or by calling 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Although Alert Day is a one-day event, the Diabetes Risk Test is available year-round.

The primary risk factors for type 2 diabetes are being overweight, sedentary, over the age of 45 and having a family history of diabetes.  African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are at an increased risk for developing the disease.  Call your local American Diabetes Association office or log onto www.diabetes.org, community calendar for listings of activities and programs in your area.

The American Diabetes Association is leading the fight to Stop Diabetes and its deadly consequences and fighting for those affected by diabetes. The Association funds research to prevent, cure and manage diabetes; delivers services to hundreds of communities; provides objective and credible information; and gives voice to those denied their rights because of diabetes. Founded in 1940, our mission is to prevent and cure diabetes and to improve the lives of all people affected by diabetes. For more information please call the American Diabetes Association at 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383) or visit www.diabetes.org. Information from both these sources is available in English and Spanish.

Inner-City Dental Clinic May 19

May 19 Inner-City Dental Clinic in Hartford

Grants totaling $49,000 have been awarded by the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving to support the fourth annual free Inner-City Dental Clinic to be held Saturday, May 19, at Community Health Services, 500 Albany Ave. in Hartford.
The clinic, held in partnership with the West Indian Foundation, Inc., will be held from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., on a first come, walk-in basis. In addition to dental treatment, the clinic will also supply free screenings for HIV, blood pressure, diabetes, vision and oral cancer.
Last year, also with support from the Hartford Foundation, a staff of 70 volunteer dental professionals treated approximately 300 patients – children and adults. Services included exams, screenings, x-rays, cleanings, fillings, extractions and interim dentures. More than 400 procedures valued at almost $92,000 were performed.
The volunteers included students and faculty from the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Connecticut, private practice dentists, assistants, hygienists and Lions Club members and community volunteers, as well as Community Health Services staff.
Although Connecticut has a relatively low rate of people without health insurance, an estimated 600,000 to 1 million people lack access to dental care.
The grants for the clinic are from seven funds at the Hartford Foundation: the Aaron Marks Foundation Fund, Elwyn V. and Elsie H. Harp Family Foundation Fund, Samuel Roskin Trust, S.A. Johnson Family Fund, Charles B. Cook Fund, Anonymous  No. 38 Fund, and the Beatrice Fox Auerbach Foundation Fund.
Community Health Services is a private, nonprofit, federally qualified, full-service health center, the second oldest health center in the state. While its almost 19,000 clients live mainly in its primary coverage area of North Hartford – designated a Dental Health Professional Shortage Area by the federal government – it serves clients throughout Greater Hartford.
The Hartford Foundation for Public Giving is the community foundation for the 29-town Greater Hartford region, dedicated to improving the quality of life for area residents.  The Hartford Foundation receives gifts from thousands of generous individuals and families and in 2011 awarded grants of more than $28 million to a broad range of area nonprofit organizations. For more information about the Hartford Foundation, and its strategic plan, Accelerate Success, visit www.hfpg.org or call 860-548-1888.

Connecticut’s Palliative Marijuana Program Info

Learn about Connecticut’s Palliative Marijuana Program. It will:

  •      Protect patients, their caregivers and physicians from prosecution.
  •      Help patients suffering with pain
  •      Provide physicians with another option for cases they deem appropriate
  •      Eliminate the incarceration of Connecticut’s most vulnerable patients
  •      Enable local law enforcement to distinguish recreational users from patients
  •      Create a board of 8 physicians to expand the list of conditions for medical marijuana patients
  •      Create a state approved dispensary system to ensure legal and responsible distribution

Currently damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, cancer, glaucoma, positive status for HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Epilepsy, cachexia, crohn’s disease, Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), and Wasting syndrome are qualifying conditions.

Scope of the program

  • Patients, Physicians, and Caregivers
  • Must be 18 years old and register with the Department of Consumer Protection
  • Caregivers cannot have a drug dealing or manufacturing conviction.
  • Are protected from prosecution
  • Marijuana and paraphernalia must be returned to them upon case dismissal if arrested
  • Are protected from prosecution or punishment by the CT Examining Board
  • Enrollment & conditions are confidential, not subject to Freedom Of Information Act

Dept of Consumer Protection will monitor regulations

  • Department of Consumer protection determines what a month supply will be
  • Health insurance providers are not required to pay for participation in the program
  • Class C misdemeanor if you claim to be in the program but aren’t to avoid arrest
  • Class A misdemeanor if you falsify medical marijuana certificates or recommendations
  • Dispensaries must be licensed by the Commissioner of Consumer Protection
  • No landlord, school, and/or employer may disqualify a person because they are a qualifying patient or caregiver unless it jeopardizes federal funding or subject to federal law

For more information please contact: Lorenzo Jones, A Better Way Foundation, 860-712-1246 or abwf1991@gmail.com or LaResse Harvey, Civic Trust, 860-777-7814 or civictrustlobbying@gmail.com

Drug Overdose Prevention

Drug Overdose Prevention
Fact Sheet

This year we are trying to make overdose prevention available to people who can assist if they believe some is experiencing an overdose.

According to a 2004, Connecticut Department of Public Health report on fatal and non-fatal drug overdoses between:
2000 – 2002

  • About 73% of unintentional opiate overdose decedents were white and 8% were black. Almost 18% of decedents were Hispanic (of any race).
  • About 41% of unintentional opiate and related narcotics poisoning deaths took place in the decedent’s home.

A more recent study by the Yale School of Public Health released in 2009 found between:
1998 – 2009

  • 61% of the overdoses involved heroin; the remaining cases involved prescription opioid analgesics such as hydrocodone, oxycodone and methadone, or a lethal combination of the opioids.
  • Most of the deaths were among people 35-44 years old.
  • There was an increasing trend of overdoses in older individuals, including some in their 50s and 60s.
  • Only 22 of Connecticut’s 169 towns did not report an overdose death during from 1998 – 2009
  • There was a surprisingly high prevalence of overdose deaths in parts of Litchfield, Middlesex, and Windham counties, as well as in the state’s major urban centers and their surrounding communities.

The 2004 report suggested, “naloxone appears to be the most promising current intervention strategy to reduce overdose mortality”.

In 2011 the Connecticut General Assembly enacted Good Samaritan legislation to protect people who report an overdose and may be in possession of drugs at the time of reporting.  This year Connecticut wants to take the responsible next step and allow health care professionals to prescribe opioid antagonists (naloxone) to a broader group of persons for the prevention of drug overdoses.

In short this will allow a licensed healthcare professional to prescribe naloxone to people who may be present when a person is experiencing an overdose.

For more information please contact: Lorenzo Jones, A Better Way Foundation, 860-712-1246 or abwf1991@gmail.com or LaResse Harvey, Civic Trust, 860-777-7814 or civictrustlobbying@gmail.com

Tax Guide for Parents of Disabled Children

Free 2011 Tax Guide for Parents Now Available — Parents of children with disabilities are entitled to many money saving deductions

Just in time for tax season, the Connecticut Association for Children and Adults with Learning Disabilities (CACLD) is pleased to make its 2011 Tax Guide for Parents available for free. Parents raising children with a learning disability or attention deficit are entitled to many money saving tax deductions, provided the expenses are made to alleviate their child’s mental or physical condition. Detailed information on allowable deductions is available for free in the 2011 edition of Tax Guide for Parents.

“Now more than ever, everyone is looking to find new ways to save,” explains M. Jeffry Spahr, president of the CACLD Board. “This Guide helps parents to understand exactly which expenses may be deducted and, best of all, you don’t have to be an accountant to understand it. CACLD is proud to offer it for free and we urge parents to take advantage of this invaluable resource.”

The CACLD Tax Guide for Parents is essential for parents of children with special needs and for tax professionals. It outlines in easy to understand language the numerous deductions that may be taken in categories ranging from medical treatments, tests, and medications to educational, professional, and child care services to transportation and volunteer expenses. Likewise, the Guide clarifies what may not be deducted, which is equally important.

“This Guide is not a ‘once a year’ must – it should be used all year long so that parents can keep track of all the expenses that can be legally deducted,” concluded Spahr.

The 2011 Tax Guide for Parents may be downloaded at www.cacld.org or obtained by sending stamped, self-addressed #10 envelope to: Tax Guide/CACLD, 25 Van Zant Street, Suite 15-5, E. Norwalk, CT, 06855.

About the Connecticut Association for Children and Adults with Learning Disabilities
Founded in 1963, the Connecticut Association for Children and Adults with Learning Disabilities (CACLD) is a non-profit organization whose goal is to ensure access to the resources needed to help children and adults with learning disabilities and attention deficit disorders achieve their full potential.  CACLD is a regional organization that supports individuals, families, caregivers, and professionals by providing information, education and consultation while promoting public awareness and understanding.  CACLD offers information on more than 100 relevant topics including: schools, therapists, counselors, tutors, and camps, to name a few.  CACLD is located at 25 Van Zant Street, Suite 15-5, in East Norwalk, CT.  For the Help Line, current information and to become a member, please call (203) 838-5010 or visit www.cacld.org.

Learn about the Costen Cultural exhibit

The Costen Cultural Exhibit  is a unique collection of rare photographs, documents, ephemera, memorabilia, fine art and collectibles which serves as a vehicle to educate, encourage, enlighten and inspire people of the African American imprint on this country.  It documents the history, literature, politics and culture and represents the diverse experience from across the country focusing on regional, ethnic and generational differences.  It attempts to explain the history that has been hidden from the world and it honors the contributions of African Americans to society.   It is a vibrant showcase of culture, history and education.  It invokes emotions ranging from pride and passion to enthusiasm and excitement.  It inspires and motivates while leaving a lasting and enlightening impact on adults and children alike.  It wants young people to know about their ancestors’ strengths, perseverance, dedication and struggles to open the gates a little wider for those who would come after them.

The Costen Cultural Exhibit was created by commercial hot air balloon pilot, photojournalist, collector and historian, Bill Costen.  He began collecting items many years ago for his personal inspiration but as the collection grew, he realized its potential to help educate society, especially children about the people that helped shape America.  Costen now shares his collection with the public by way of on-going exhibitions in which viewers are able to get a comprehensive glimpse of their heritage.  Having a passion for telling stories through his photography, Costen is very committed to sharing the history of America through thought-provoking exhibitions showing the African American’s role in that story.

The Costen Cultural Exhibit has been custom designed to travel to any location. Topics address the interests of all age groups and include: slavery, civil rights, politics, government, invention, science, athletics, sports, aviation, military, music, dance, theater, literary arts, religion, radio, film, television and other forms of popular entertainment. The exhibition has been displayed at fundraising events, schools, colleges, universities, museums, historical societies, churches, community organizations and corporations.

For further information, visit http://www.skyendeavors.net/