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Monthly Archives: March 2012

Sunday: Film to Benefit World Refugee Day

Written by admin  • March 30, 2012

On June 23rd, World Refugee Day will once more fill the streets of Syracuse with vibrant splashes of color, dance and song. This Sunday you can do your part to help fund the event by attending a screening of the award-winning film “Of Gods and Men”, showing at the Palace Theater at 4 PM. Tickets are $5.00 and all proceeds from the showing will go towards funding the summer event.

Watch the trailer for the film at http://www.sonyclassics.com/ofgodsandmen/.





Today’s the Day!

Written by admin  • 

Today our 9th Green Train class is graduating, 11 a.m. at St. Lucy’s Auditorium.


Art Opening at Craft Chemistry

Written by admin  • March 29, 2012

Tomorrow, C2 will host another fantastic opening at 745 N. Salina St. This time, artist Amanda Zackem will debut her photographs and film from “The Black Series”.


If you have yet to visit Craft Chemistry, this is the perfect opportunity to do so as the store will be overflowing with food, people and art. The opening runs from 6-9 p.m., but you’ll be able to see the show through May 5th during store hours.

Curious about the artist? Check out the interview C2 conducted with Amanda for their “Under the Microscope” series at: http://issuu.com/craftchemistry/docs/amanda-zackem-interview/1


42 Million Have a Name

Written by Hopeprint1 Comment • March 28, 2012

Editor’s Note:  We’ve asked Nicole Watts, Executive Director of Hopeprint, to write guest articles for us on a monthly basis. All of her posts are organized under the “Hopeprint” Category. You can learn about her organization and read more of her writing at blog.hopeprint.org.

Give me a rainy day, a soy latte and a few hours to wander Barnes and Noble and you will have yourself a contended woman. There is something about running my eyes over the titles and pages of books that brilliant people have written and read that just makes one feel slightly more intelligent.

The sections on immigration, refugees and citizenship tend to have a way of catching my eye (big surprise, I know). Thumbing through the pages of one such title Refugee Roulette, it states, “Nationals from well over one hundred countries applied for asylum in recent years” (Ramji-Nogales, p. 17). Another claims, “It’s harder than ever to get into the United States. It’s even harder to stay. This book helps you do both” (U.S. Immigration and Citizenship, Wernick).

In the midst of a bookstore, it’s easy for those topics and facts to stay purely academic. However, in these times, such conversations are becoming common and sometimes pressing. Why do we as America open our gates wide to the immigrant and the refugee? Why are we tightening those gates and should we? Should U.S. citizenship be extended to the world?

My friend (and Hopeprint volunteer) Bob recently reminded me, “This is our heritage. Almost every single one of us that claim American citizenship are the children of immigrants and refugees. It is the heritage of the founding of this nation, as well as its growth.” In the historical documentary series America – the Story of Us, General Colin Powell states, “The great strength of America is our people… our immigrant tradition, our bringing in cultures from all around the world.” At a main intersection entering our neighborhood there is a sign that reads, “Welcome to the Northside – Home to Generations of Many Nations.” This is the heritage of Syracuse’s Northside, yet the questions still remain.

Why do we as America open our gates wide to the immigrant and the refugee?

Why are we tightening those gates and should we?

Should U.S. citizenship be extended to the world?

I do indeed understand the heart of the questioning, and am a firm believer that if we are going to welcome people into our land we ought to be prepared to be hospitable and empowering. Yet, I know my own sheltered perspective was not able to see the answer quite so clearly until I found myself on the Thai border of Burma, dipping my toe into the river that separates the two lands. I had met hundreds of refugees on this side of the ocean, but I had yet to sleep in a refugee camp, taste their food and hear their stories, like Ah’s…

Her hair was cut short and she ran about with the maximum energy of a seven year old little girl. She grabbed my hand and motioned to come and sit, using the only language one has when we don’t share a tongue – our hands. Her little hands started to motion into the air and I soon realized she was teaching me a clapping game, complete with the Karen version of “Miss Mary Mac” from my playground days. Brushing off my kindergarten skills, I soon became her favorite clapping game partner. Each time she saw me she would come running, grab my hand and pull me to the floor practically singing the song as we went.

The monsoon rains poured literally non-stop for days, and with flooding the electricity went out in the room packed with small orphaned refugee children at the camp where we were staying. As the candles were lit to finish out the evening, a young Burmese man picked up his guitar and began to sing; the children’s voices soon overcame his own. The tears threatened to overflow from my eyes as I listened to their songs and watched their faces sing to their God with such genuine faith that only a child can seem to have. To the right sat the young boy who had lost a leg to a mine bomb on the border during his escape; he had lost a father to a similar bomb. Or the little angel cuddling up next to me with one eye blind due to physical war trauma. Or my little clapping friend who had lost both of her parents and now called this refugee camp her home.

Why do we as America open our gates wide to the immigrant and the refugee?

Why are we tightening those gates and should we?

Should U.S. citizenship be extended to the world?

I cannot ask those questions the same way anymore. It is not possible to objectify the refugee. They are no longer simply 42 million; they are one and another one. They are orphaned children and homeless families. They are uprooted business men and blossoming adults. They are teenage girls and old men. They are Ah Shim, Jerome, Rana and Bhim. They are friends and they are strangers. They are people. And some of them are our neighbors.

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses, yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore,
Send these, the homeless, tempest tossed,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door.

(Inscription on the Statue of Liberty by Emma Lazarus)


March 30th: Green Train Graduation

Written by admin  • March 27, 2012

On Friday, three months worth of training will culminate in a fantastic celebration… the graduation of our 9th Green Train class! The event will take place at St. Lucy’s Auditorium (432 Gifford St, Syracuse NY 13204) and starts at 11 a.m. More information can be found on the event listing on our calendar.

Fifteen students will receive certificates and make their way out of the classroom and into the workforce.

Muther Abdal Kareem, an Iraqi refugee, will be one of two graduates speaking during the ceremony. In addition to working in construction, he is an aspiring poet. He recently wrote a poem about Green Train and gave us permission to share it with you:

Green Train
by Muther Abdal Kareem

green train
make you ready
get your chance
don’t be lazy
green train
make you ready
with the pupil
become friendly
morning wake up
make you healthy
green train
make you ready
ask danielle
when you ready
fill your form
time to study
green train
make you ready
hold your tools
andy ready
for job site
make you ready
green train
make you ready
and with matt
you love to study
English and math
make you ready
green train
make you ready
and stasya
get your picture
show your courage
in the Adventure center
don’t be afraid
show us culture
and they all
make you crazy
give you a ladder
make you higher
make at once
climbing higher
give you a chance
for job hire
green train
make you ready
get your chance
don’t be lazy


Common Cents

Written by admin  • March 26, 2012

We just received a letter in the mail informing us that we’ve been nominated to receive a donation as part of Cooperative Federal’s Common Cents program!

Voting takes place over the course of three months. Ballots are available at any Coop Fed office (Westcott, South Ave and N. Salina) or online and any credit union member can vote for us to win the final award! Voting began on March 11 and runs through May 31.


Craft Chemistry Fundraiser this Sunday

Written by admin  • March 23, 2012

Ever the creative thinker, Briana Kohlbrenner, owner of Craft Chemistry, is organizing a Bingo Brunch this Sunday, March 25th.

The event is taking place not at C2, but at the SPAR storefront (220 E. Genesee St in the State Tower Building), 11a.m.-2 p.m. $10 entry fee entitles you to brunch, 9 bingo games and a bingo marker. Bingo winners will get to choose from a crazy assortment of vintage items and handmade wares.

All proceeds from the events will fund future happenings at C2.

For more information, visit the event page on facebook.

Thursday Morning Roundtable

Written by admin  • March 22, 2012

Our director, Dominic Robinson, had the pleasure of speaking at the Thursday Morning Roundtable this morning!

Here’s a photo post event.


Thanks very much to Sarah McIlvain, Sandra Barrett, the University College of Syracuse University and all TMR participants for having us!

Salt City DISHES wins a mini-grant from Gifford!

Written by admin  • March 20, 2012

The Salt City DISHES effort was launched in January of 2011. Since then, the event has granted $1,000 each to three different projects, SUBPAR, Bikes for Peace, and Salt City Slam.

This time around, the effort has been awarded its very own mini-grant thanks to the Gifford Foundation‘s “What If…” initiative!

What’s the big deal? Well, DISHES is powered by volunteers on all levels (the co-organizers, the chefs, the photographers, videographers, the door people, donations from local businesses and farms, you name it) and in order for the effort to grow it needed some money to put back into the event itself. The “What If…” mini-grant is going to let DISHES do just that and potentially allow dinners to accommodate more people and even grant a second-place award to the runner-up project!

So, with that, enormous congratulations to DISHES and thank-you-ever-so-much to Gifford. Now let’s put this money to good use, Syracuse!































Salt City Dishes is cosponsored by Northside UP, the 40Below Public Arts Task Force and Craft Chemistry. More photos can be found on the event’s facebook page.

Daylight Blue on a Rainy Day

Written by Stasya Erickson  • March 16, 2012

Daylight Blue Media, a full service production company out of Syracuse, is visiting our Green Train classroom today! Though the weather is less than perfect for filming, we’re very excited to have this very talented duo working to document our program. In a few months, we’ll be able to post the end result here on the website. Stay tuned!