El miércoles por la tarde, S.E.E. Change, defensores locales del cambio social, económico y educativo en Kalamazoo, se asoció con el Centro Arcus para la Justicia Social para presentar un documental que explora la respuesta actual y la perpetuación del trauma personal, intergeneracional, racista y de pobreza en el sistema de justicia penal. Nuestra sociedad. Producido y dirigido por la Dra. Shakti Butler, Healing Justice se basa en entrevistas con ex delincuentes, víctimas, artistas, expertos en justicia penal y practicantes de justicia restaurativa para proporcionar cuentas personales emocionantes, contexto histórico y cultural, y datos para ilustrar la filosofía y efectividad de utilizando un enfoque de sanación en línea con las Prácticas Restaurativas para reducir las tasas de delincuencia violenta y de reincidencia en las comunidades de todo el país.
Elisheva T. Johnson SEE Change Organizer
Durante la proyección, se invitó a los televidentes a participar en discusiones en grupos pequeños y compartir ideas entre la audiencia más amplia sobre cómo podemos trabajar juntos para abordar el daño causado por un sistema de justicia punitiva: una población en prisión cada vez mayor, estructuras familiares rotas, privación de derechos económicos, niños traumatizados, víctimas olvidadas, crisis de salud mental no tratadas y avance hacia un enfoque más efectivo y proactivo para lidiar con el delito y la delincuencia, uno que aborde las causas de los comportamientos dañinos y se enfoque en las necesidades reales de los delincuentes y las víctimas.
El evento del miércoles contó con la participación de activistas comunitarios, líderes, académicos y jóvenes, así como del Fiscal del Condado de Kalamazoo, Jeff Getting, quien según los informes está explorando la posibilidad de implementar la Programación de Justicia Restaurativa en el sistema judicial juvenil local. VER. Los organizadores del cambio esperan que esto sea solo el comienzo del diálogo continuo y la colaboración de buena fe entre los miembros de la comunidad, los funcionarios de justicia penal y los líderes electos en Kalamazoo.
Se anima a los interesados en unirse a la conversación a conectarse con S.E.E. Cambiar a través de Facebook o correo electrónico firstname.lastname@example.org
Se puede encontrar más información sobre Healing Justice y otras películas de World Trust en: www.world-trust.org/films
Una lista completa de los próximos eventos en el Centro Arcus para la Justicia Social está disponible en: https://reason.kzoo.edu/csjl/
KALAMAZOO – Michigan United community leaders in Kalamazoo took the festive holiday tradition of caroling and added an activist twist. They created carols with lyrics about raising Michigan’s minimum wage and visited the houses of their state representatives, Margaret O’Brien, Tonya Schuitmaker, and Sean McCann.
“Through our Christmas carols, we are raising awareness about the need to raise Michigan’s minimum wage,” says Pat Early, a member of the caroling group. “We want to spread Christmas cheer while addressing this important issue,” added another caroler from Portage, Randy Iuliano.
Since August, the group has been calling on the state legislature to raise the minimum wage to $10 an hour by 2016. They have also been trying to schedule a meeting with Governor Snyder to discuss wages and poverty. They hope that he will be a leader in Lansing and work to rally support for this issue.
Michigan United believes that the political gridlock in Lansing is not allowing for common sense policies to be passed. Raising the minimum wage is something that both Democrat and Republican-led legislatures and Governors have done in the past. The group believes it is important for the minimum wage to be raised so that it can maintain its value and purchasing power. The purchasing power of Michigan’s minimum wage has currently decreased to a point where a full-time job at minimum wage pay will still keep a family in poverty.
Caroler, Brenda Hahn, who lives in Kalamazoo, adds, “We hope that as people are celebrating the goodness of the season, they will understand that there are people out there struggling to bring home the Christmas cheer to their families. We think that raising minimum wage is one step our state government could take toward addressing poverty and fair pay.”
KALAMAZOO–Wednesday evening, Governor Rick Snyder was in Kalamazoo as the keynote speaker for the 10th anniversary of the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center. The center helps develop life science businesses that primarily focus on health. Dozens of protesters stood outside the Radisson Plaza Hotel to send a clear message to Snyder that $7.40 an hour can not support a single person or a family.
Michigan United, community leaders, Good Jobs Now, as well as low wage workers and people of faith held signs and chants that $7.40, the current minimum wage has got to go. They say they can’t live on what they’re making. Dozens stood outside in the rain/snow mix wanted to have a serious discussion with Governor Snyder who was inside the Radisson hotel in downtown Kalamazoo at a celebration for the Southwest Michigan Innovation Center.
Numerous speakers echoed the importance of boosting the local economy as well as creating sustainability is to increase the minimum wage. A study released by the Michigan League for Public Policy reports that since 1968, the value of the minimum wage has dropped by 20%. The report also finds that most low-wage workers in Michigan who would be affected by a raise in the minimum wage are over the age of 20(84%) and work at least 20 hours a week.
The demonstrators sent a letter to the Governor’s Office last week, calling for action. A 2012 population survey by the Economic Policy Institute suggests that one our of every four workers, which is roughly 958,000 would benefit from raising the minimum wage to $10 per hour. Over half of workers making minimum wage have some college education or degrees.
Representative Rashida Tlaib (D-Detroit) has introduced bill (H.B 4554) that would raise Michigan’s minimum wage to $10 per hour and index it to rise automatically with the cost of living each year. This would also include a raise for tipped workers who have not seen a increase from $2.65 an hour in decades.
H.B. 4554 has not been embraced by Republicans who control the Legislature. GOP legislative leaders say hiking the minimum wage would hurt employers’ ability to hire people.
According to National Employment Law Project (NELP) estimates that the boost in hourly wage would create over 9,600 new full-time jobs in Michigan stimulating over 1 billion dollars in economic activity that would be created if the minimum wage were raised to $10 an hour
To honor the musical contributions of legends responsible for making music that has a global impact on culture, the U.S. Postal Service announced the launch of a new Music Icons stamp series with the issuance of a stamp honoring Lydia Mendoza, a star of Tejano music.
Lydia Mendoza an American guitarist and singer of Tejano, conjunto, and traditional Mexican-American music. Mendoza is also fondly known as “La Alondra de la Frontera” (or “The Lark of the Border” in English).
According to a release, the Lydia Mendoza Forever Stamp was dedicated during a special ceremony featuring actor Jesse Borrego best known for the role of Jesse Velasquez in the hit TV series, Fame as master of ceremony at the Guadalupe Cultural Center in San Antonio, TX. Mendoza is to be honored in the Postal Service’s new Music Icons series, which will include legends Ray Charles and Johnny Cash later this year.
Twenty shows and forty artists over three months and the capacity for over fifty thousand audience members, New York City’s SummerStage Festival presents the continental United States’ largest array of free Latin music performance this year.
SummerStage embraces as many contemporary and classic expressions as available. Artists in this year’s SummerStage represent emissaries from Puerto Rico, Brazil, America, Colombia, Venezuela, Panama, Mexico, Peru and The Dominican Republic in the fields of contemporary pop (Pamela Rodriguez, Julieta Venegas, Carla Morrison), salsa (Moncho Rivera, Sammy Garcia, Johnny Ray), MPB (Preta Gil), bachata (Toby Love, Andy Andy), hip-hop and reggaeton (Tego Calderon,Cuarto Poder, Los Rakas, Emcida), classic soul and funk (Joe Bataan, WAR,The Ghetto Brothers, Larry Harlow), freestyle (George Lamond), electropop (RVSB, Natalia Clavier, Raul Campos, Alex Anwandter, Gaby Amarantos) and contemporary folkloric music (Lila Downs).
United for a Better Future will hold a public meeting at the Hispanic American Council to educate community members what the hispanic community would like to see happen with immigration reform. Representatives from the U.S Citizen and Immigration Services will present information as well as a host of community leaders will speak as well.
The collation is comprised of the Hispanic American Council, ISAAC, Association of Kalamazoo For Justice, the YWCA of Kalamazoo, the Kalamazoo Gay and Lesbian Resource Center and the Metropolitan Kalamazoo Branch of the NAACP.
The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the Hispanic American Council, 930 Lake St.
On Tuesday the Michigan Organizing Project held a press conference outside of Congressman Fred Upton’s office on the Kalamazoo Mall to kick-off the nationwide Fair Immigration Reform Movement.
The coalition is forming partnerships with other statewide organizations to urge President Barack Obama and Congress to pass immigration reform in 2013.
More than 50 people including community leaders from across the state came holding signs that read “Family Unity” and “Immigration Reform in 2013” to show their support. The reform prioritizes keeping families together by establishing and implementing policies to support immigrants in achieving their full potential as active contributors to America’s social, economic and civic fabric. Deported family members will have the opportunity to reunite with families they were forced to leave and provide humane treatment and due process for people detained at the U.S.-Mexico border.
Jennifer Amaya said she hasn’t seen her mother since 2009 when she followed the advice of an immigration lawyer and returned to Mexico to file for citizenship. Despite being married to a U.S. citizen and having two children who are U.S. citizens, her mother will never be allowed to return to the U.S. because she had been previously deported.
“That news was the hardest thing I’ve had to live with,” Amaya said. “I haven’t been able to hug my mom in four years. My younger brother and sister have had to grow up without a mom.”
Kalamazoo County Richard Fuller, Kalamazoo County Sherriff sent a statement read by a M.O.P organizer, “It is my job to keep our county safe.” I have been in the public safety field for the past 28 years. Over that time I have seen ways to help make things better for everyone. One of the things we can fix to make all our lives better and safer is to work on immigration reform.”
Father Bob Creagan, pastor of St. Catherine of Siena in Portage, said we are a nation of immigrants our ancestors came here not to cause harm but to pursue their dreams to pursue a better life. This is the same dream that people seek today.
State Rep. Sean McCann, D-Kalamazoo, said at the conference that immigrants are essential for Michigan’s economic recovery. We need the energy and entrepreneurial spirit that the immigrant community members bring more than ever. Asian and Latino entrepreneurs and consumers add billions of dollars and ten of thousands of jobs to Michigan’s economy. Statewide there are more than 10,000 businesses employing over 18,000 people and Asian and Hispanic residents run locally over 500 businesses.
Gerardo Zamora, a student eligible for Obama’s DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program) and a graduate of Western Michigan University with academic honors in graphic design, has been unable to accept any job offers related to his education because of his legal status.
Executive Director of The Kalamazoo Promise, Dr. Janice Brown said the Kalamazoo Promise isn’t just for Kalamazoo. SW Michigan, Kalamazoo County, St. Joe County, Van Buren County we are all striving to make sure education and higher education is a goal for our entire community of SW Michigan. We are merely a symbol of that because we pay for youth-regardless of their immigration status to go to college.
Applause and cheers erupted following the statement.
Creagan and Jose Aguilera, a board member of MOP, delivered more than 300 signatures supporting reform to Upton’s office. Aguilera said he has been unsuccessful with meeting Upton to talk about immigration reform. Staff members assured Aguilera that open dialouge is welcome when he’s available.
Upton recently met with United For A Better Future, a coalition made up of the Hispanic American Council, ISAAC, Association of Kalamazoo For Justice, the YWCA of Kalamazoo, the National Council of La Raza and the Kalamazoo Gay and Lesbian Resource Center.
The coalition will hold a public meeting on immigration reform Jan. 24 at 6 p.m. at the Hispanic American Council, 930 Lake St., in Kalamazoo.
A plethora of community organizations are sponsoring a public meeting at the Hispanic American Council. The purpose of the meeting is to receive information from The United State Citizen And Immigration Service about current programs and how to prevent fraud with notaries. Kalamazoo Public Safety will be available that night as well to discuss their commitment to service for all people in the community.