Archive | April, 2018

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When Bill Cosby Being Found Guilty is Too Much


By Kirsten West Savali, The Root

Bill Cosby has finally been found guilty on three counts of aggravated indecent assault for drugging and sexually assaulting Andrea Constand inside of his Philadelphia home in 2004.

Many people have voiced their anger and disappointment at the “unfairness” of it all. Why—Cosby apologists have wondered aloud—is Cosby facing consequences that powerful white men like Harvey Weinstein have not had to? The argument seems to be that Cosby’s inability to get away with sexual assault in a court of law proves just how much the judicial system is structured to discriminate against black men. These people really need us—and, by “us,” I mean, those of us who don’t support serial sex predators—to understand that black rapists matter.

They also claim that the guilty verdict against Cosby is all about the dismantling of his “legacy” and white society’s obsession with bringing down powerful black men.

 

Certainly, we must have nuanced conversations about the intersections of sexual violence and white supremacy. In fact, it’s critical that we do. But if the people introducing the “But-but-but Weinstein, Woody Allen, Bill O’Reilly, the guy from Party of Five!” comments to the conversation have never given any indication that they care about rape or rape culture—nor divesting from men who have harmed women, then it’s clear to me that they just don’t give a damn about women.

They do not care any more about Weinstein’s victims than they do about Cosby’s victims—and many of them are still stepping in the name of pedophilia with the Pied Piper of R&B. The conversations have not been, “Weinstein’s victims need justice, too!” They have been, “Why should Weinstein get away with assaulting women and not Cosby?”

What has also become more and more clear is that when state and sexual violence intersects and lands on black women, the nuance seems to disappear for some of these same people. It then becomes, “Let’s focus on black men, period. Why are y’all being divisive bringing up black women?!”

Until these Cosby apologists hold all of that nuance in conversations about black women who are victims of sexual and state violence—not conversations centered on the perpetrators/predators and the so-called unfairness of it all—then I will never believe they really care out justice. It’s impossible.

For the men defending Cosby, it’s about being free to be rapists without consequence like the rich white men they clearly want to be. As for the women defending Cosby? Get Out.

No, Cosby can’t get away (anymore) with rape like police officers get away with raping and murdering black people. No, he can’t get away with rape and sexual assault like white men get away with raping and murdering black people. He should have remembered that—or, better yet, just not sexually assaulted anyone at all. While this may seem like a novel idea to some, it’s not without precedence.

As I’ve repeated several times over the past few years since Bill Cosby has dominated headlines.

Defending a rapist does not make one revolutionary. It’s time to find another way.

Photo: Getty Image

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Malloy Signs Dreamer Bill, Antidote to ‘Toxic Environment’


HARTFORD —  With a jab at the president’s views on immigration, Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signed legislation Friday that opens limited financial aid at public colleges in Connecticut to the undocumented “dreamers,” saying the new law was good policy and its bipartisan passage was positive politics.

“I think that this is an important day,” said Malloy, surrounded by students and advocates. “It is perhaps even more important in a society that has taken a turn for the worse, I think, when it comes to individuals who are in our country and our president’s comments have sought to demonize.”

The bill passed the House, 91-59, and the Senate, 30-5. The House vote Wednesday came a day after a federal judge dealt a setback to efforts by the administration of President Donald Trump to roll back limited protections for undocumented immigrants under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program.

 

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy signs the Dreamers bill into law.

DACA was created by the Obama administration on the premise that children illegally brought to the U.S., many of whom have known no other home, should be treated as low priorities for deportation while they seek legal status. About 700,000 persons have signed up for the program.

Malloy cast the bill-signing, which will help some DACA recipients attend college, in the larger context of the Trump administration’s continued opposition to the program.

“It’s a toxic environment in which to exist, and I hope the message is to the rest of the world that there is another way, that we can treat people fairly and honestly,” Malloy said. “We can do [it] in their best interest and, quite frankly, our own best interests.”

To qualify for tuition aid under the new law, a student must have moved to the U.S. before age 17, attended a Connecticut high school for at least two years, have no significant criminal record and be under age 36. State residents who are undocumented and have been honorably discharged from the military also will be eligible for aid.

The new law enables eligible undocumented residents to apply for the aid starting January 1, 2020, while honorably discharged veterans will be allowed to apply immediately. Federal Pell grants and state-taxpayer aid provided through the Roberta Willis Scholarship still will be unavailable. The law opens access to money the state’s public colleges set aside for financial aid from tuition dollars.

Malloy said the young adults have been educated in public schools in the U.S., and they are needed in the workforce. White House opposition to them remaining in the country makes no sense, he said.

“But the time I expect our president to make sense has long passed.”

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Congressman John Larson to Hold Public Forum


WEST HARTFORD — U.S. Rep John Larson will be holding a public forum to discuss the cost of higher education, national service and other matters.

The event is scheduled for May 1 from 4:00 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. in the Lourdes Hall Room 115 at the University of Saint Joseph in West Hartford.

For more information visit, https://larson.house.gov/issues/national-service.

 

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March of Dimes Walk Set for Sunday



EAST HARTFORD — It’s that time again.

Community residents, corporate teams, and families of premature babies on April 29 will march together to help raise funds to ensure that every baby gets the best possible start.

The march will be at the Pratt & Whitney Stadium at Rentschler. Registration will begin at 9 a.m. and the march will step off at 10 a.m.

March of Dimes’ largest annual fundraiser is a day for everyone to hope, remember, celebrate and champion moms and babies.

The March for Babies community bands together to fight for the health of all moms and babies.
March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. The organization supports research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, March of Dimes also empower every mom and every family.

For more information, visit marchforbabies.org/event/greaterhartford

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Whoopi Goldberg to Keynote Ceremony


EAST HARTFORD —  Actress Whoopi Goldberg will give the commencement address at Goodwin College in June.

Goldberg has garnered a Grammy, an Oscar, a Tony and two Golden Globe awards during a career that has spanned more than 40 years, according to the press release by Goodwin College. She has also been a moderator on the TV talk show “The View.” 

Goodwin’s commencement will be held June 2 at 10 a.m. at its River Campus on Riverside Drive in East Hartford.

The school will award degrees and certificates in health care, nursing, human services, education, business and manufacturing. About 450 of those graduates and their families will attend the commencement.

The ceremony will be live streamed at www.goodwin.edu.

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Hartford Police Arrest Three for Kidnapping


HARTFORD — Three Hartford women were arrested Tuesday for kidnapping and other charges after police obtained a video of a woman severely beaten on Rowe Street.

Ada Marrero, 30, of Hamilton Street, Hartford; Waleska Bones, 33, of Hartford and Jacqueline Davila, 38, of Carpenter Street, Hartford were arrested and charged with second degree kidnapping, second degree assault and  cruelty to persons.

Police said the video they obtained shows a woman who was severely beaten and stripped by three females during the day on Rowe Avenue.

Several onlookers who observed the incident encouraged the suspends while they use cell phones to record the incident that occurred in August 2017.

Police said the victim was taken to Rowe Avenue against her will and the incident was related to narcotics.

Bond was set for $250,000.

Jacqueline Davila

Ada Marrero

Waleska Bones

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CONCORA’s Summer Festival Seeks Choral Singers


HARTFORD — Experienced choral singers are invited to apply to participate in CONCORA’s Summer Festival, “Wonderful Town! A Bernstein Centenary.”

The festival runs from July 29 through Aug. 4; all events take place at Bethany Covenant Church, 785 Mill St. in Berlin. The deadline to apply is May 20.

Up to 150 singers will be accepted for the 2018 Festival Choir. The 2018 Summer Festival will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Festival and the 100th anniversary of the birth of composer Leonard Bernstein.

Now in its 20th season, CONCORA’s Summer Festival offers amateur singers an opportunity to rehearse, learn, and perform with CONCORA (Connecticut Choral Artists), the region’s oldest and best-known professional choir, and Artistic Director Chris Shepard.

The Festival offers a week of exceptional music-making, uplifting repertoire, and high artistic standards in a relaxed atmosphere with plenty of opportunities for socializing, renewing friendships, and making new friends. In evening and weekend sessions, participants rehearse with Artistic Director Chris Shepard and an ensemble of CONCORA’s professional singers, enjoying informal social events along the way. The Festival culminates in a public concert on Aug. 4 at 4:00 p.m.

As 2018 marks the 20th edition of the Summer Festival and the 100th anniversary of the birth of Leonard Bernstein, Shepard has chosen a celebratory all-Bernstein program.

“Choral organizations all over the world are marking the Bernstein centenary with performances of the composer’s popular Chichester Psalms,” said Shepard. “Because the Summer Festival Choir performed that music fairly recently, we are taking advantage of the centenary to explore and perform some of Bernstein’s other wonderful choral music, with choral selections from West Side Story, Mass, Peter Pan, Candide, and Wonderful Town. It’s going to be great fun for the singers and a treat for our audience.”

Qualified high school and college-age students may apply to attend the Festival on full scholarship as choral scholars.

Information about the Festival, including details on schedule, registration, application and scholarship forms, and more, may be found at the “Summer Festival” page at CONCORA’s website: http://www.concora.org/summer-festival.html.

Tickets for the Aug. 4 summer festival concert will go on sale in June at www.concora.org.

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A Celebration of Women to Feature Judy Woodruff


HARTFORD — Connecticut Public will celebrate female leaders who have made outstanding contributions in media, journalism, or communications at Informed Voices: A Celebration of Women in Media.

The event will take place May 24, beginning with registration at 7:30 a.m., at the Aqua Turf Club in Plantsville, Connecticut and will include a breakfast reception at 8 a.m.

The celebration will feature keynote speaker Judy Woodruff, anchor and Managing Editor of PBS NewsHour. Woodruff is a veteran journalist who has covered politics and other news for more than four decades at CNN, NBC, and PBS. She is also the founding co-chair of the International Women’s Media Foundation, an organization dedicated to promoting and encouraging women in communications worldwide.

Connecticut Public will honor Teresa Younger, President and CEO of Ms. Foundation for Women, with the Informed Voices Leadership Award. Under Younger’s leadership, the Foundation launched #MyFeminismIs, a multimedia campaign sparking a national conversation on feminism. The organization also funded a groundbreaking report on the sexual abuse to prison pipeline and joined leading women’s foundations at the White House to announce a $100 million funding commitment to create pathways to economic opportunity for low-income women and girls.

Also during the celebration, Connecticut Public will announce the recipient of the Carla Squatrito Scholarship. This scholarship will be awarded to a young woman who will be attending a four-year college or university in the fall of 2018.

Guests will also receive a sneak-peek of When Women Gather: Voices from the Sisterhood, a 30-minute local documentary airing on Connecticut Public Television in the fall of 2018.

To purchase tickets to Informed Voices: A Celebration of Women in Media, visit ctpublic.org/informedvoices.

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Gold Star Parent Khizar Khan to Speak at Student Conference


NEW BRITAIN — Khizr Kahn, Gold Star parent and author of An American Family: A Memoir of Hope and Justice, will be keynote the Fourth Annual CSCU Conference on Student Success and Shared Governance on April 13  at Southern Connecticut State University,

The event will be held in SCSU’s  Adanti Student Center at 501 Crescent St., New Haven. Khan will speak from 1-2 p.m.

The daylong conference titled “Preserving Access, Building Futures, Creating Justice,” will focus on educational initiatives and innovative support services that promote student success and feature more than 30 presentations by educators and administrators within the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (CSCU) system.

At 9 a.m. Mark Huelsman, a higher education policy analyst at Demos, will speak on the rising levels of student debt and college affordability. From 2-3 p.m., there will be a student panel of current and recently graduated CSCU students who overcame challenges and found opportunities as CSCU students.

At 3 p.m., the Board of Regents Teaching and Research Awards will be presented to CSCU faculty in the areas of teaching, scholarship, research, and shared governance.

Keynote speaker Khizr Kahn and his wife Ghazala made national headlines for a powerful speech at the Democratic National Convention in July 2016. The speech evoked the memory of their son, Humayun, who was lost to a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2004, and called for dignity and respect to those who give their lives for the nation.

Kahn is an American citizen and graduate of Harvard Law School who was born in Pakistan. His 2017 memoir, An American Family, has earned praise and was named one of the five best memoirs of the year by The Washington Post.

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Manufacturing Consortium to Host Trade Specialist


WETHERSFIELD — New trade strategies to increase international sales will be explored at the April 18 meeting of the Southwest CT Manufacturing Consortium.

The event will be held at the Housatonic Community College’s Beacon Hall Event Center, Room 214, and will run from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Housatonic Community College is at 900 Lafayette Boulevard in Bridgeport.

Guest speaker will be Melissa Grosso, a senior international trade specialist with U.S. Department of Commerce’s Connecticut office.

“Melissa will share information on export-related services offered by the US Department of Commerce which are designed to help Connecticut companies increase their international sales,” said Lori-Lynn Chatlos, Business Services Coordinator in the Bridgeport American Job Center, and project coordinator.

Admission to the meeting is free, but pre-registration is required.  Please contact Chatlos at lorilynn.chatlos@ct.gov to register for additional information.

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