Category Archives: Social Justice

Hunger Action Month Testimonial

As published by Foodlink

Standing in a long line outside of St. Peter’s Soup Kitchen’s large edifice is a couple with a hungry 6-year-old daughter at home. For the past four months, Ed O’Brien and Mary Ripley have relied on St. Peter’s, their food stamps are not enough for the whole family. For Ed, Foodlink’s partner agency has proven to be an integral part of getting him through tough economic times.

“It’s real tough out there,” he said. “I have over 18-years of experience with working with machines, but I’ve only had two interviews in two years.”

Both Ed and Mary continue to search for job opportunities with no avail. Recently, they are facing greater hardship than ever before.

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Filed under Hunger, Social Justice

September is Hunger Action Month! Help Us Help Rochester

As published in the Democrat and Chronicle’s Young Professional’s Blog

Hunger Action Month is here! And Foodlink is going full speed ahead with an array of programs and initiatives to mobilize the Rochester-Genesee Valley Region in the fight against domestic hunger.

Every year, a network of over 200 food banks across the nation provide a voice for the 1 in 6 Americans who face hunger on a daily basis through a variety of special events and initiatives. From hosting a potluck to donating your time, money and nonperishable foods, there are a number of ways for every Rochesterian to be active for Hunger Action Month and help Foodlink end hunger in our backyard. Just visit our Foodlink website for a listing of programs and initiatives that Foodlink has lined up in our “30 Ways in 30 Days” calendar or follow us through our Facebook pagePlease help Foodlink reach its goal of raising $5000 for Hunger Action Month through our Facebook account by following the donate link on our page.

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Filed under Democrat and Chronicle, Hunger, Social Justice

Chased from the Classroom, Locked out the Prison

“When you came to Lovdjieff’s classes, you came to learn. If you betrayed other motives, ‘Get out of here this minute!’—without malice but without equivocation. He was a magnet, an institution. His classes were works of art. He made ancient history contemporary by evoking the total environment—intellectual, social, political, economic—of an era. He breathed life into the shattered ruins of the past. Students sat entranced while The Christ performed, his silver-rimmed glasses reflecting the light in eye-twinkling flashes…he was drawn to the student who seemed impossible to teach—old men who had been illiterate all their lives and set in their ways. Lovdjeiff didn’t believe that anyone or anything in the universe was ‘set in its ways.’ Those students who were intelligent and quickest to learn he seemed reluctant to bother with, almost as if to say, pointing at the illiterates and speaking to the bright ones…he returned my essay—ungraded. There were instead spots on it which I realized to be his tears.” Read More

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Filed under Culture, Democrat and Chronicle, Education, Race, Social Justice

Eat Up! Foodlnk Kickoffs Summer Meals with Rochester Rhinos

As Published in the Democrat and Chronicle’s Young Professionals’ Blog

Three-hundred eighty Rochester youth were served summer meals from Freshwise Kitchen, Foodlink’s catering company, at last week’s Summer Meals kickoff at Excellus’ Rhino Stadium. Participant’s enjoyed a wholesome main dish of chicken, baked potatoes, apples, cold slaw, whole wheat rolls and chocolate milk, along with a hearty side order of hopscotch, double-dutch, face painting, inflatable play space and soccer with the Rhinos’ team. If that weren’t enough, Rochester’s youth and their chaperons were even given goody bags and two free tickets apiece to either the Rochester Rhinos’ game from this past Saturday or the Rattlers’ Lacrosse for Friday night.

The kickoff epitomized what a young active and healthy day looks and feels like— even beneath the blistering sun. As an AmeriCorp VISTA, hunger advocate and gym enthusiasts, I had a great time double dutching — or at least “twirling” (turning the rope) — with the kids and sharing a few laughs. It’s both fulfilling and daunting to know that so many of our youth live in households that rely on Foodlink and school meals to provide the most basic living necessity of all: food.

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Filed under Democrat and Chronicle, Health, Philanthropy, Social Justice

Economies Change; Hunger Persists. Take Action Today

As Published in the Democrat and Chronicle’s Young Professionals’ Blog

At a press conference yesterday afternoon, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke was once again a bearer of bad news. A combination of financial woes in Europe, the fiscal cliff (tax increases and government spending cuts that are being negotiated for 2013) and other factors will likely leave our nation’s unemployment rate hovering over 8 percent up until 2014, potentially leading to a double dip recession. The Feds’ sorry forecast for America’s economic growth has prompted the visibly frustrated Bernanke to pick up the pace and extend Operation Twist — yet another stimulus. Even with historically low interest rates, the $267 billion extension will likely drive long-term rates even lower in an attempt to make it easier for businesses and consumers to get credit.

Despite the most jovial and vehement critiques of our leaders’ policy adjustments, there remains a persistent social ill that stubbornly hides in plain sight. Domestic hunger stands out as a puzzling reality in our rich democracy. The fact that over 48.8 million Americans (14.5 percent), 16 million youth, one out of every four toddlers and an all time high number of working families have this vice in common is daunting…Read More

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Filed under Democrat and Chronicle, Philanthropy, Social Justice

End Stop-and-Frisk: It’s Time to Police the Police

As published on Policy Mic

A handful of activists and students congregated in front of Pace University, just over five blocks from Zuccotti Park, to express their grievances. However, they weren’t joining the chorus of Wall Street dissenters; they were addressing a longstanding inner-city issue that has recently received more media attention because of the unnecessary force and searches being practiced by officers at the Occupy protests.

The quintessence of excessive force and illegal searches and seizures is manifested in the NYPD’s practice of stop-and-frisk. The act disproportionately affects people of color and hardly gets guns and drugs off the street as much as it is used to meet quotas and fortify precinct crime stats towards the end of the month.

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Filed under Criminal Justice System, Policymic, Social Justice

Policing the Law

As posted on the Democrat and Chronicle’s Young Professionals

With the advent of the Occupy protests, activism has met its foe in police misconduct. From instances of excessive force to unfair searches and seizures, a new segment of the public has turned its attention to questionable policing practices.

However, well before Occupy Wall Street was merely a vision, there’s been a growing stream line of New York City based grassroots organizations that challenge the NYPD’s use of stop-and-frisk — the manifestation of excessive force and illegal search and seizure. The unethical practice is costly, ineffective and continues to perpetuate a taut relationship between officers and communities of color. With the vast majority of the individuals who are stop-and-frisked being people of color (in 2010, 87% of the stop-and-frisks and 90% of the summons were issued to blacks and Latinos, with force being used in 93% of the cases) the policy reinforces the NYPD’s image as an occupying force in inner-city communities that contributes to a pipeline of black youth going from the playground to the prison yard.


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Filed under Criminal Justice System, Democrat and Chronicle, Race, Social Justice