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“Wow, Syracuse. I want to go there:” Welcoming Economies Convening + Northside Tours

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • October 16, 2017

WE-Convening

 

Next week, organizations, business owners, and individuals across the United States will convene in Syracuse to learn more about “cutting edge policies, successful programs, innovative ideas, and a network of trailblazers in our emerging field of immigrant economic development.” The Welcoming Economies event begins on Monday, October 23rd and ends on the 25th.

The Convening features a number of workshops and community tours. We’re most excited about:

1. Northside Tours

On Monday afternoon, participants can choose from several tours, three of which focus on the Northside: Building Community Amidst Constant Change: The Realities of Northside Micro-Neighborhoods; Food on the Northside: The Language that Needs No Translation; Creating safe and inclusive spaces for Faith: The Journey of Converting a Historic Church into a Welcoming Mosque.

 

2. Ignite Talks and Welcoming Reception

The first day of the conference ends with a fast-paced session where organizations give a five minute presentation about innovative ideas they’re adopted. The Talks are emceed by Nicole Watts of Hopeprint and Joe Cimperman of Global Cleveland.

A My Lucky Tummy pop-up follows the Ignite Talks, with food from Burma, Pakistan, Somalia, South Sudan, and Syria.

 

3. Community Organizing Case Study: Perspectives form Organizers and Community Members in the Near Westside Peacemaking Project

This panel is made up of leaders and participants of the Peacemaking Project, an innovative community organization model, that will share best practices with attendees.

 

We’re also excited to see the debut of a video about New Americans in Syracuse and their impact on the small business and workforce industries. Here’s two teasers to get you just as excited as we are:

 

To register for the conference, visit the We Global Network’s website. For those in Syracuse, you can use the local discount to save money on your registration. Go to the registration page and click on “Enter Promotion Code” in blue at the top of the registration form. Enter code LocalDiscount and press “Apply Code.”

This conference is hosted by CenterState CEO and  WE Global Network, a program of Welcoming America in partnership with Global Detroit. For more information about the Welcoming Economies Convening, visit CenterSatte CEO’s website.

Happy Anniversary Coop Fed: Dine and Dance with us on October 20!

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • October 12, 2017

Coop Fed Gala

Cooperative Federal is celebrating their 35th Anniversary this year with a Gala & Fundraiser at the Rosamond Gifford Zoo on October 20th at 5:30 p.m. Our staff will be there feasting on pecan crusted salmon, dancing to the beats of DJ Rondell with Ear Catcher Sound, and bidding on all the silent auction items. Proceeds from the event go to support Coop Fed’s youth programs, including their In-School Branches at Nottingham, Henninger, and Fowler High Schools.

For many years, Cooperative Federal has been a trusted partner in all of our Economic Inclusion initiatives at CenterState CEO and we’re excited to revisit the accomplishments of this community development credit union and look to the future for more ways to “foster economic justice, inclusion, and opportunity” in all of Syracuse’s neighborhoods.

Tickets are available on a sliding scale from $30-75 and includes dinner, dessert, entertainment, and access to the zoo. Purchase them HERE. Thanks to event sponsors, there are also a limited amount of free tickets for anyone who is unable to pay. Send inquiries to event@coopfed.org.

For more information about the event – including the music line up and full dinner menu – visit CoopFed.org or join their Facebook InviteCooperative Federal works to “rebuild our local economy in ways that foster justice, serve people and communities that are under-served by conventional financial institutions, and responsibly manage our members’ assets.”

From Syracuse.com: “Like a well-made jacket . . . “

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • August 24, 2017

Earlier this week, Andrea Henderson published an article and series of photos on Syracuse.com about Middle Earth Leather, a staple of the Northside business district. The shop, lined with leather bags and jackets, counters ready with patterns, vintage sewing machines, and rolls of leather show the love and attention each product receives from this family-owned business on North Salina Street.

 

Photo Credit: Syracuse.com / Andrea Henderson

Photo Credit: Syracuse.com / Andrea Henderson

Like a well-made jacket, Middle Earth Leather weathers the changing retail climate

 

“While at the factory, Frank unexpectedly found his passion for custom leather making. He inherited the ability of pattern making from his mother, but had never used his talent until the day he purchased a poorly designed hat.

After recognizing his skill set, he began making his own belts and sandals. Occasionally, he would sell some of his custom items to co-workers who were looking for a new belt or a pair of shoes.

‘I never wanted to work in a factory all of my life,’ Frank said. ‘I would dream of becoming more independent.’

Frank gained an entrepreneurial spirit from his mother, Dorothy Westfall. She owned and operated her own dressmaking business in Syracuse, was a college graduate before World War II ended and was handicapped all her life, with one foot longer than the other. Her principles to continue life with every ounce of energy resonated with Frank during his early days of running his company – and certainly now, during a bleak time within the retail industry.

‘I am just trying to survive my second phase: Internet shopping,’ Frank said.

To help maintain Middle Earth Leather Works presence during the age of online shopping, his daughter, Kalley, 30, who is formally trained in graphic design, runs the company’s website and social media platforms. Not only does Kalley bring younger experience to the company, but she also assists her father with sewing, designing and selling products.

‘The Internet has the ability to have the accessibility of anywhere,’ Kalley said. ‘That is something that my dad is very shy about, only because of the amount of products we are making and being able to supply the demand.’

As generations evolve, so do the buying habits. Internet wholesalers like Amazon have the buying power to sell products at a lower rate, but often extract sales from smaller businesses that rely on the local purchasing power. In an era of accessibility and affordability, Frank cannot lower his prices to compete with larger companies who sell at lower price points.

Even though Kalley is a millennial, her mindset is like her father’s when it comes to business. While continuing to learn patternmaking and entrepreneurship, she plans to grow the company by learning how to function in every aspect of the business, whether it be how to use new equipment or how to broaden the company’s selling scope via the web.”

Visit Syracuse.com to read the article and view all the photos. To learn more about Middle Earth Leather, check out their website and follow them on Facebook.

Summer Fun: Union Park in the ’80s

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • August 10, 2017

Syracuse.com’s photo essay, Beating the heat: Vintage summer fun in the water, features several photos taken at Union Park in the 1980s.

Left: "George Stuben, 4, Alby Stuben, 6, and John Conners, 8, cool off at a fountain at Union Park on North Salina Street. Photo taken on Aug. 17, 1986 by Nicholas Lisi." Right: "Melissa Stevens, center, who lives on North Salina Street cools off in Union Park. Photo by Dick Blume, taken July 7, 1988." Photo credit: Syracuse.com.

Left: “George Stuben, 4, Alby Stuben, 6, and John Conners, 8, cool off at a fountain at Union Park on North Salina Street. Photo taken on Aug. 17, 1986 by Nicholas Lisi.” Right: “Melissa Stevens, center, who lives on North Salina Street cools off in Union Park. Photo by Dick Blume, taken July 7, 1988.” Photo credit: Syracuse.com.

For the entire series of photos, check out the full story here.

Building Bridges for Economic Inclusion: Welcoming Economies Convening Comes to Syracuse

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • May 17, 2017

WE Convening

 

This October, CenterState CEO and the Welcoming Economies (WE) Global Network will host the 5th Annual Welcoming Economies Convening: Building Bridges for Economic Inclusion in Syracuse. This three-day conference “weaves together cutting edge policies, successful programs, innovative ideas, and a network of trailblazers in our emerging field of immigrant economic development.” While the schedule of events are still being developed, the Convening will feature a community tour, workshops, presentations and more. Individuals and organizations can register here under the Early-bird Special to receive a discount on the conference.

The WE Global Network is a program of Welcoming America in partnership with Global Detroit. Their mission is to “strengthen the work, maximize the impact, and sustain the efforts of local economic and community development initiatives across the region that welcome, retain, and empower immigrant communities as valued contributors to the region’s shared prosperity.” To learn more, visit the program’s website.

To get an idea about past Convenings hosted in different Rust Belt cities, check out these recaps from 2016 Philadelphia, 2015 Dayton, and 2014 Pittsburgh.

 

 

More AmeriCorps VISTA Positions on the Northside

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • May 15, 2017

VISTA

 

Last week we outlined several AmeriCorps VISTA positions under the Community Prosperity Initiative (CPI) at CenterState CEO. But, there are a few other Northside organizations seeking VISTAs to serve in other capacities. Both the Syracuse Northeast Community Center and NEHDA are looking to for VISTAs.

 

The Syracuse Northeast Community Center (SNCC) is seeking a passionate, flexible person who is comfortable working with a diverse populations to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA. The position is created in partnership with Syracuse University to help strengthen SNCC’s capacity as a community school partner. The VISTA’s projects may include: creating a series of events, and communication pieces between SNCC and Dr. Weeks Elementary School; researching, designing, and administering surveys to parents; working with Syracuse University professors, courses, and community engagement initiatives to design programming that will engage neighborhood families and teach healthy eating practices.

For more information, view SNCC’s recruitment flier and check out the job listing on the VISTA website. If you have any questions, please send them to Lexie at  (315) 472-6343 ext. 215 or lkwiek@snccsyr.org.

 

NEHDA currently has two VISTA positions open: one as part of CPI and another in partnership with the the Neighborhood Preservation Coalition of New York State (NPCNYS). This VISTA would serve with NEHDA and help develop and implement outreach campaigns, write grant proposals, and organize community meetings and events. NPCNYS encourages any person who is interested in community development, public health, and/or affordable housing to apply and gain skills that will “create positive change in historically underserved communities by empowering community-based organizations and residents.”

For more information, view NEHDA’s website or the full job listing on the VISTA website.

 

The AmeriCorps VISTA program includes a living allowance, an End of Service Education Award or Stipend, personal and medical leave, health benefits, child care assistance (if eligible) and a relocation travel allowance. To learn more about the AmeriCorps VISTA program, visit the VISTA Campus website.

Gain Experience in Community Development: VISTA Opportunities with CenterState CEO

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • May 10, 2017

VISTA positions

CenterSatte CEO‘s Economic Inclusion team is searching for individuals to fill five different AmeriCorps VISTA positions as part of the Community Prosperity Initiative,  a long-term vision to develop a diverse set of community revitalization strategies guided by organizations who share resources to collaboratively address collective challenges. Each VISTA will serve a unique partner organization while receiving further support from CenterState CEO. The sites that make up the initiative are Cooperative Federal Credit Union, Home HeadQuarters, Jubilee Homes of Syracuse, Inc., NEHDA, Inc., and CenterState CEO.

Cooperative Federal

Since 1983, Cooperative Federal Credit Union (Coop Fed) has been building a strong, fair, and inclusive local economy by investing over $120 million in homeownership, small business, and affordable consumer credit primarily in the urban, multicultural neighborhoods of Syracuse. The Coop Fed VISTA will assist in building program capacity and enhancing alignment with community-based development initiatives in workforce and small business development. The VISTA will also assist with strengthening and improving programs and systems in the credit union and lead key strategic planning initiatives. For more details about the position and how to apply, click here.

Home HeadQuarters

Home HeadQuarters (HHQ) meets the needs of underserved Central New York homeowners and potential homeowners by providing low-interest loans, homeownership education and counseling, and real estate services designed to make home ownership a reality. The HHQ VISTA will assist in measuring and documenting the organization’s impact, which includes providing support to the local Green and Healthy Homes Initiative, updating neighborhood plans and maps, and utilizing different tools to analyze neighborhood revitalization efforts. For more details about the position and how to apply, click here.

Jubilee Homes

Jubilee Homes of Syracuse, Inc. (JH) is a key organization in Syracuse’s Southwest community. JH is a catalyst for achieving the revitalization of the Southwest community, with efforts in neighborhood rehabilitation, community building and business development. The Jubilee Homes VISTA will support joint JH workforce and economic development programs by developing outreach materials, implementing recruitment channels, planning special events, and more. For more details about the position and how to apply, click here.

NEHDA

NEHDA facilitates community development that promotes strong and safe neighborhoods, thriving businesses and active civic engagement on the Northside, Syracuse’s historic melting pot. Since 2008, unprecedented public-private partnerships have led to over $250 million in neighborhood investment. New collaborations are moving forward today, catalyzing private development. The NEHDA VISTA will assist in fostering a stronger and more connected business and entrepreneurial environment by planning neighborhood beautification efforts, assisting the Northside Business Partnership, identifying opportunities where NEHDA can assist businesses and potential entrepreneurs, and more. For more details about the position and how to apply, click here.

CenterState CEO

CenterState CEO’s Economic Inclusion team is dedicated to creating thriving communities through increased prosperity for all Central New York residents. The CenterState CEO Economic Inclusion VISTA will assist in fostering a stronger and more connected environment by researching national trends in economic inclusion, helping with program development in ways that incorporate stakeholder feedback and processes that allow the work to be scaled and replicated, and more. For more details about the position and how to apply, click here.

 

The AmeriCorps VISTA program benefits include $973/month living allowance, an End of Service Education Award or Stipend, personal and medical leave, health benefits, and a relocation travel allowance. Those in the Community Prosperity Initiative will also gain access to community immersion experiences. To learn more about the AmeriCorps VISTA program, visit the VISTA Campus website.

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

Written by Mary Beth Schwartzwalder  • April 10, 2017

Mural

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.”

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.

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.

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