Category Archives: Community

Real men cook

The Ithaca Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., is partnering with the Greater Ithaca Activities Center (GIAC) to host a culinary challenge, “Real Men Cook!” on Saturday, March 8, 2014 from 5pm-7pm at the GIAC gymnasium located at 301 West Court Street (entrance), Ithaca, NY.

This event showcases the culinary talents of volunteer chefs, who prepare and serve their signature dishes for attendees to enjoy. All money collected from ticket sales goes to the scholarship fund and community service projects.

Come out and vote for the best chef in each category. Vegetarian and Vegan samples will be available!

To purchase tickets, email Schelley Nunn at snunn at twcny.rr.com or Malinda B. Smith at malindab.smith at gmail.com.

Calling all crew

Why is everybody so quiet? by Ari Evergreen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Creative Commons License
Why is everybody so quiet? by Ari Evergreen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

we think we’re the smartest species on the planet
and yet we’re the only species that has to pay to live

what does an animal need to live?
food, water, shelter
every other species can meet its needs for free.
we have to pay for all of our needs.
to pay for things we have to allow someone to exploit our labor – that is, to make a profit off of it.

the problem here is capitalism
instead of humans joining together to ask ourselves,
what are our needs and how can we best meet them?
we are stuck playing a game, capitalism

the point of capitalism is not to meet people’s needs
it’s to generate profit
so the primary goal of industrialized, capitalist society hasn’t been to meet people’s needs,
but rather, to make money.
the result is that some people (the ones with the most money) make more money,
while others make so little money they can barely afford their needs
and many more just don’t get their needs met at all.

by way of example let’s pretend some folks are shipwrecked on a tiny island
there are two builders who could make shelter
there’s someone who knows how to make sandals and raincoats
there’s someone who knows how to find and prepare food
there’s someone who knows how to make fire
there’s someone who knows how to collect and store rainwater for drinking
there’s someone who knows how to keep people healthy

logically it would make sense for everyone to work together to meet their needs
each would contribute and each would benefit

but imagine that someone on the island says,
i own all the land, and you all have to pay rent to me to live on it

imagine that the doctor says,
you have to pay me for the care i give you

imagine that the person who makes fire says,
i’ll only make fire if you pay me

imagine the two builders each have insufficient tools
but they keep their tools to themselves, rather than pooling them together, because they’re competing
they save up the best materials to try to attract the business of the doctor and the landowner
they can only offer sub-par houses to the rest of the people
but the people will take what they can get

now no one’s needs are met.
or rather, they’re only met if people are making a profit.

there’s no money on an island, so they’d have to come up with some other way to pay
humans are creative, and can be cruel
we make each other pay in all sorts of ways when we don’t have money, don’t we?
maybe they’d make each other pay with their bodies, as so many men have made women and other men pay with their bodies
or maybe they’d make each other “work off” their debt
maybe the landowner would end up with a big, fancy house while others sleep on the beach
maybe the doctor would have all the best food
maybe the person who makes fire would sometimes withhold their power, just to make others realize how needed he is, so he could raise his prices

imagine someone on the island doesn’t have any special skills or tools
do they get to live in a house?
do they get sandals, or healthcare, or food, or water?
what do they have to do to be allowed near the fire?

could it be better to just give and take
for each to give their gifts freely to others
and to expect to receive others’ gifts in return,
regardless of their contribution?

then the people’s needs would be met
they might even have free time
maybe they could join together to build a lookout tower, or keep a signal fire
maybe they’d use their free time teaching each other everything they know
maybe they’d use it dancing and singing
or maybe they’d learn how to climb trees and harvest coconuts
maybe they’d have a good time on the island

we’re not on an island
we’ve got a whole world
we’ve got so many skills
and so many resources
but so many of our needs are not met

it might be hard to imagine changing our ways
but it’s hard to live in this way
so maybe it would be worth it to do the hard work of imagining
and maybe we could learn how to meet all of our needs
instead of just making some people richer and richer.

Buckminster Fuller saw this
he said our planet is our spaceship.
Marshall McLuhan pointed out,
“There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew.”

our ship looks pretty dysfunctional
we’re pretty much destroying it and its ability to sustain us
and how is our crew doing?
is it okay with us that some crew members can have everything they could ever desire, even the lives and bodies of other crew members?
is it okay with us that so many crew members’ needs are not met?
is it okay that so many crew members are treated as expendable?
if this was a ship, what would we do?
would we have a mutiny?
would we call a crew meeting and change up what we’re doing?
would we just say, “this is the way things are”?
would we just continue to allow some folks to destroy the lives of other folks?

i think we need a crew meeting
i think we need to ask big questions
and look for big answers
or our spaceship won’t continue to function
and our crew will be unable to live, let alone work for the common good

if we’re truly such a smart species,
we need to ask ourselves,
what are our needs?
what is the most equitable and efficient and healthy and joyous way for us to meet them?

Occupy activist assaulted by police, being charged with assaulting the police

Oh this is just too much. Really, NYPD?

Today – Thurs. February 13 – Jury Selection
Part 31, Room 1333 @ 100 Centre St., Manhattan

Tentative trial schedule:
Friday, February 14th – Opening Arguments & Prosecution case
Wednesday, February 19th – Defense begins
Continue reading Occupy activist assaulted by police, being charged with assaulting the police

Uplifting and learning from the First Black Republic

IBW-haiti-photoI just read the report from Institute of the Black World’s Haiti Support Project Visit (January 15-19, 2014) and wow is it full of good stories and information. Check it out to learn about the past, present, and future of the world’s First Black Republic. There are lots of great photos and videos.

“Europe’s Left Has Seen How Capitalism Can Bite Back”

Social democrats wrongly thought the reforms they won were won for good. The left used to beat itself up, sometimes quite literally, with debates over reform vs revolution, parliamentarianism vs extra-parliamentarianism, party vs movement – as if one ruled out the other. The question for the 21st century is not reform v revolution, but rather what kinds of reforms, with what kinds of popular movements behind them. In Greece, the lesson has been learned by Syriza.

read the rest

FOR THE LOVE OF FOOD

BlindSpots

GreenStar Community Projects is hosting a benefit concert to raise money to promote healthy food access, education, and food systems in our community. The Blind Spots will be groovin for one of their few nights on the local scene this year in support of these food justice efforts.

Doors open at 6:30pm at the newly renovated The Space @ Greenstar with a suggested $10 donation for admission. We will have beer, wine and snacks at the concession table (tips go to support Loaves and Fishes), and a silent auction full of wonderful gifts from our community.

PLEASE bring a food donation (perishable or non-perishable) for the Friendship Donation Network to be entered into a raffle to win a gorgeous piece of art from Helena Cooper.

The official event poster has been attached. Check out our website for more details on the work we do at GSCP for food justice in our community.

Hope to see you all there!!

Anna Kelles
GSCP volunteer

Note: I don’t know how vegan-friendly this event will be, but I think it’s one many vegans will be interested in!

Help design the MLK Freedom Walkway

Community Design Session for the

MLK Freedom Walkway South Loop Artwork

Where: Southside Community Center
When: Saturday, February 15, 2014, from 3:00 to 5:00
Why: We need your vision!

Local artist, Annemarie Zwack, has been commissioned to design a visually integrated collection of public art pieces that will serve as the backbone of the Southside Loop of the MLK Freedom Walkway: a physical trail celebrating the life and legacy of Dr. King, in the context of Ithaca’s African American history. The walkway traces local events and people whose efforts mirror the national struggle for civil rights and social justice. Two loops of the walkway are ultimately planned, the first, the South Loop, will be located on the block of Cleveland Avenue between South Plain and South Corn Streets.

Come share your vision for this community asset! The concepts contributed by the community in this brainstorming session will inform the final design of the project.

Need more information? E-mail Annemarie at zwack@zwackart.com