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Author Archives: Mary Beth Schwartzwalder

YWCA’s 19th Annual Day of Commitment

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • April 13, 2017


WHEN: Thursday, April 27  |  Workshops run from 8:30 – 11:30 AM | Lunch begins at 12:00 PM

WHERE: Drumlins Country Club, 800 Nottingham Road

WHAT: The 19th Annual Day of Commitment to Eliminate Racism and Promote Diversity is organized by the YWCA and features workshops that “equip participants with the tools to eradicate racism and form a more inclusive and equitable society.” The keynote speakers is Dr. Daria Willis, Provost and Senior Vice President of Academic Affairs at Onondaga Community College.

This year’s theme is “A Real Conversation: Addressing the Barriers to Progress in CNY” and includes trainings running on two different tracks: “Delving Deeper: Understanding Inequality in Our Region” and “Making Progress: Creating Solutions That Drive Change.”

Workshops will be led by a variety of community leaders, including our Vice President of Economic Inclusion at CenterState CEO, Dominic Robinson, and Deputy Director, Dan Cowen; Ocesa Keaton, director of Greater Syracuse H.O.P.E.; Barrie Gewanter, executive director of the Onondaga County/Syracuse Human Rights Commission; Bridget Owens, human rights specialist at the Onondaga County/Syracuse Human Rights Commission; Mattie Barone, LGBT program supervisor at ACR Health; and Emad Rahim, Kotouc Endowed Chair, Fulbright Scholar, Belleview University.

At noon the luncheon portion of the event will begin and Dr. Willis will address participants. The event will close with an Induction Ceremony of YWCA’s Academy of Diversity Achievers.

Tickets to the event can be purchased here. For more information about the Annual Day of Commitment, check out YWCA’s website or join the Facebook event page.


Call for Art: Mural Proposals for SNCC’s Community Garden

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • April 10, 2017


The Northeast Hawley Development Association (NEHDA) and the Syracuse Northeast Community Center are teaming up to organize the creation of a mural for SNCC’s community garden. The proposed design should incorporate a theme of “connectivity” and be submitted to NEHDA either in person (101 Gertrude Street) or via email to Rachel (rachel@nehda.org) by April 28th.

For all the details, check out the “Call for Art” and the “Artist Agreement.”

Photo Friday: Thanks Theresa

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • April 7, 2017

Theresa’s (elraz) Instagram takeover this week featured photos from her time spent exploring the Northside. Check out all of her photos:www.instagram.com/northsideup.

Instagram Take Over Collage End

Help the Land Bank Design a Pocket Park on the Northside

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • April 3, 2017

Pocket Park Meeting

WHAT: Northside Pocket Park Planning Meeting #1

WHEN: Thursday, April 6 from 6:00 – 7:00 PM

WHERE: White Branch Library

The Syracuse Land Bank is seeking community input to create a pocket park on the Northside. At this meeting, participants will review possible sites for the park and brainstorm potential design concepts. Landscape Architecture students from SUNY ESF will be present to record ideas during the brainstorm and develop a design for the pocket park. At a second community meeting (to be determined), participants will see the designs and give further input.

For more information, view the event flier here.

Photo Friday: Meet Theresa Barry

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • March 31, 2017

Over the next seven days Theresa, known as “elraz.” will be taking over Northside UP’s Instagram account, sharing with you some of her many experiences on the Northside. Follow us on Instagram to stay tuned!

Instagram Take Over Collage

Theresa Barry (elraz) has a long-time interest in the Northside neighborhood.  It began years ago as she walked around photographing the buildings and street life that she witnessed on North Salina Street. Theresa is a an artist, event organizer, visual merchandiser, community volunteer, photographer and mentor/big sister to 2 Congolese girls. Theresa has volunteered with Hopeprint since 2012 and has more recently volunteered at the newly set up food pantry at the Masjid Isa mosque.  She lives in downtown Syracuse.

“What initially interested me in the northside was the incredible architecture and the history. My husband’s family lived on the northside beginning in the late 1800s and we have  photos of them in places that are still there today―which I love. I started taking regular walks down North Salina Street to photograph the amazing architectural detail on the brick buildings. I became intrigued by the diversity of the neighborhood and vibrant street life I was witnessing and began going into all the little food markets and shops that I would come across. I loved chatting up the owners and getting to know their stories and ideas for their businesses. I started volunteering with Hopeprint in winter of 2012 and through that organization got to know many of the families in the neighborhood.  I then started being  invited into people’s homes, which I considered an honor and a great way to learn about other cultures. And to eat delicious food from around the globe! I’ve never visited the home of a refugee family without being fed.   I love everything about the northside―I think it is the most unique and interesting neighborhood in Syracuse”

Re-imagining Syracuse’s Churches

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • March 28, 2017

CNY Central--Churches

Earlier this month, CNY Central reported on the many different churches in our city that have found new uses in a changing community. Many of the examples are from the Northside, including the Samaritan Center, the Myanmar Baptist Church, and Assumption Church.

“It would be easy to be discouraged at the number of church buildings closing in the Syracuse area. But people who watch religious trends say changes for church buildings, are not the same as changes to Faith.

Professor Margaret Thompson, who studies religious trends at Syracuse University’s Maxwell School, says that yes, we are changing. But, we’re not abandoning our houses of worship.

She says some congregations may leave their buildings, but other groups often replace them, often representing groups that are new or growing in the community. A perfect example, the former Friedens Church on Syracuse’s Lodi Street, which was established by German immigrants. The congregation closed after 111 years as numbers dwindled, but the building is now occupied by the Myanmar Baptist and the Syracuse Nepali Churches. . . 

Big changes are also coming to Assumption, the landmark twin steepled church complex on Syracuse’s North Salina Street. Shockwaves went through its community, and actually the whole North Side community, when for sale signs went up on some of its buildings. Friar Rick Riccioli, the pastor at the Franciscan church says it’s part of a continuum: ‘This was orignally a German parish, and the Assumption Campus was the hub for them, both spiritually and culturally. The North Side has changed.’

Assumption is not closing, but it is reinventing itself. The buildings that have housed services to the community, including the soup kitchen, medical clinic and legal aid, are being sold. Those services will be relocated to the building that now houses the friars’ residence. It, and the church itself are the only two properties that will remain in Franciscan hands.

Assumption is also selling its old high school, which will once again become apartments, only this time they’ll be rented at ‘moderate prices, with the hopes of attracting more young adults to the area.”

To read the entire article and watch the video, visit CNYCentral.com.

Photo Friday: Take to the Street

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • March 24, 2017

Our Co-directors led the Northside walking tour during the Visioning Voices Speaker Series Event this week. Stay tuned for a recap and more photos from the event!


Photo Friday: Winter Fog at Rush Hour

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • March 17, 2017


The Syracuse Northeast Community Center is Hiring!

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • March 16, 2017

SNCC Collage

SNCC is looking to hire a full-time Comprehensive Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (CAPP) Educator. This person “will support a citywide initiative that aims to engage youth, 10-21 years old, in dynamic and meaningful programming to increase self-confidence and self-worth while decreasing the likelihood for teen or unwanted pregnancies.”

Duties will include outreach to schools, organizations, health centers, and parents; educational interventions using curriculum and program requirements dictated by the grant; documentation and record-keeping of program data.

Minimum requirements for the position include a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Education and one to three years of experience.

To read the full job description, click here. Interested candidates are asked to send a cover letter and resume to Sarah Walton (swalton@snccsyr.org) by Thursday, March 23.

To learn more about the SNCC, visit their website and follow them on Facebook.

New Developments at 437 North Salina Street

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • March 13, 2017


Last week our  Vice President of Economic Inclusion at CenterState CEO, Dominic Robinson, met with the Onondaga County Industrial Development Agency (OCIDA) to propose a plan that would bring life into the long-vacant building at 437 North Salina Street. OCIDA currently owns the building as part of a purchase from the Syracuse Land Bank that included the building next door—what is now the With Love teaching restaurant and entrepreneur incubator from Onondaga Community College. The proposal asks OCIDA to help with a portion of the renovation costs for the building and, in turn, a design team that includes  Home HeadQuarters and Northside UP would purchase the building, finish the renovations, and put the building back into use with commercial space on the bottom floor and apartments on the upper floors. Because of the buildings obstacles, including its small square footage and need for extensive renovation, past efforts to get the building back on the market were unsuccessful.

OCIDA won’t vote on the proposal until April, but the Agency’s chairman, Pat Hogan, told Syrcause.com that he views the project as an “outstanding idea:” “I think this is exactly what we should be doing.”

To learn more about the proposal, read the full article, “Partnership proposes redevelopment of long-vacant Syracuse commercial building” from Syracuse.com and stay tuned to our blog for updates about the property.