Archive | September, 2019

CONNPIRG to Host Voter Registration Day

HARTFORD — Trinity College students will join a massive push nationwide to register voters.

The event, scheduled for Sept. 24 from 5 p.m. to 7:30 p.m., will be at Mather Hall at Trinity College, 300 Summit St.

Student volunteers will be encouraging others to write down the reasons why they’re voting on a banner, which will be displayed at future New Voter Registration focused events.

The voter registration drive is to encourage young people, who make up the largest and most diverse group of potential voters in the country. But youth voice is often unheard because young people don’t vote in enough numbers, organizers said.

 In 2018, 31 percent of eligible young voters cast a ballot, compared to an average of 50 percent for the entire population of voters.

The goal of this year’s National Voter Registration Day is to increase participation in democracy by registering, educating, and activating students in the campus community. CONNPIRG students are partnering with campus officials, faculty and other student groups to ensure that Trinity students have the ability to exercise their most basic right—the right to vote.

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God, The Church and Race in America

 By Ann-Marie Adams, Ph.D. | @annmarieadams

Life is full of turning points, moments when certain aspects of the human dimension hinges on a single crucial choice. April 4, 2014 was a turning point for me as a Christian.

That’s because the Hartford Police Department interrupted my relationship with God, while I was attending a Catholic church and exploring other faith-based organizations in the Greater Hartford area. Those officers and others disrupted my learning about the ritual of making the sign of the cross, praying, saying penance, reading the Bible and singing to God. This disruption was disturbing and can be seen as an act of religious persecution. Out of that kind of interruption by the police and others, several providential acts occurred. And this, too, can also be considered a continuation of my spiritual journey that began in the year 2000 as a reporter in Connecticut.

Since 2000, I have visited several denominations in the Greater Hartford area to find a church home that inspires me. I visited ones that seemingly met the criteria: Pentecostal, Protestant, Anglican and Catholic churches after I left my first home church: The African Methodist Episcopal Church, where I learned about liberation theology. It emphasizes social concern for the poor and political liberation for the oppressed. This notion is akin to Portuguese educator Paulo Freire’s pedagogy of the oppressed. When teaching, I strive to adopt this approach to reach my students.

Dr. Ann-Marie Adams at 45 years old experienced God’s powerful and everlasting love.

Of course, that pedagogy and liberation theology in America hinges on the Civil Rights Movement that sees the Bible, particularly the exodus from Egyptian slavery, as a parable depicting the struggle for black freedom. To me, black liberation is also a spiritual journey and is fit for almost every African American who desire true freedom.

So as a history professor and a journalist, I was interested in tracing and parsing the power of agape love, the kind of love for God, country, and family that propelled me to a comfortable place in life. So I was not restless—just looking for a church to not only worship God but to learn more about God’s second coming and his principles.

Since visiting different churches, I found many pastors didn’t preach about the Holy Spirit. After much thought, I had questions: how will we know when God comes? The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5 verse 2 that God will come “like a thief in the night.” But those who are evil and want to persecute Christians can come just like a thief in the night, right?

This was the case in 2014. Several thieves attacked me in my home and office. I reported the incident to the Avon and Hartford police departments. And there was no resolution. Instead, there was a series of denials and covert retributions, including media suppression. And those sequence of events led me on a spiritual journey toward being fully aware of the dangers of sharing publicly the joys of being a Christian.

The painful fact is that we live in a time when religious persecution, the systematic mistreatment of an individual or a group is rampant. These persecutions will not be televised. So how do we arm ourselves against such treachery that invades our lives while at home and at work?

On my journey toward edification, I arrived in Hartford.  That’s because I wasn’t able to find a church elsewhere that dealt directly with the daily battle for souls. I didn’t find a church that comforted me in a time of spiritual warfare instigated by outside forces, wrestling with high principalities during presidential election seasons. I believe some pastors lack sufficient knowledge about the Holy Spirit and therefore fail to impart fully the essence of the Trinity: God, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

As a historian, I was forced to trace this disconnect between these pastors and the biblical events happening in these times: spiritual warfare, diseases, heathens persecuting Christians at night by disrupting prayer time, interfering with reading the Bible, interrupting church attendance, theft and destruction of property, beatings, torture, incitement of hate and other forms of harassment, and appropriating the likeness of Christians and human trafficing to whore out women who seek fame and fortune.

God is love. And Dr. Adams encountered God’s magnificent light in March 2015.
Photo courtesy of

I don’t know much about theology, meaning the study of God, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. But I know this much is true: I experienced the joy of being in the moment with God on earth—a magnificent light force that ferociously tethered the heart, soul and body. Pastor John McHugh authenticated that experience for me, and the uncertainty of the existence of God disappeared, especially after McHugh confirmed the encounter. And of course, I thank God for showing me his Mighty presence. My faith was strong. But I needed proof that there is a God. And one night in October 2015, God came to awaken me to his wonderment and saved me from an attempted murder. Yes, indeed. In March 2015, God interrupted a plot to kill me for my beliefs in faith, principles and justice for all.

I went to Good Friday service at Saint Ann’s Church and kissed the cross. During that veneration of the cross, I discovered that God’s love is indeed fierce. The cross shook in its wooden cradle. It was extraordinary. A powerful moment like a tidal wave, rushing into me, I knew God’s love was real. There in my townhouse, I was caught up in his magnificent light and overwhelming love. And for the first time, I felt deeply what it meant to be dating Jesus. He confirmed his existence for me. Me. And by his spirit, I was set to rise from the ashes of defeat.

I’m at a new church now. Let’s see what God has in store for me.

Related Articles:

What does God look like? Depends on your politics and race, study finds

Religious Persecution

All About Following Jesus

Dr. Ann-Marie Adams is an award-winning journalist and historian. She has worked for the Hartford Courant, the Washington Post, People magazine, Fox News and NBC 4 New York. She has taught journalism at Quinnipiac University and Howard University and English Composition at Capital Community College and Tunxis. After she received a Ph.D. from Howard University, she has been teaching U.S. History in the Connecticut State College and University system. @guardianeditor

Photo Courtesy of Fairmount

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