Connecticut is home to the largest proportion of Puerto Ricans in the continental United States, so it is expected that we will see one of the largest influxes of U.S. citizens coming from Puerto Rico to the mainland. Although it’s difficult to estimate the exact number of new arrivals, the state has received over 700 calls from people displaced from the Island and who need help.
The following is a letter to the alumni of the University of Hartford written by President Gregory S. Woodward.
Dear University of Hartford Alumni,
A student at the University of Hartford was recently the victim of some reprehensible acts by another student. This has been deeply upsetting to me and to the entire University of Hartford community. While the University is limited in our ability to legally answer many of the questions raised, we are working diligently to provide details and action steps surrounding this situation. …
As Ahmadiyya Muslim Americans, we pray with broken hearts for the innocent lives lost in Manhattan after yet another terrorist attack on our country’s soil. We condemn such cowardly incursions and wage the greater spiritual jihad of peace and justice to reverse radicalization and prevent pretenders from hijacking our unifying faith.
Four years ago, when I was writing a book on the history of antifascism in the United States, I told a colleague at the University of Connecticut what I was working on. “Antifascism?” he said. “Not many people on the other side of that!”
How quaint that comment now seems. At the time, it reflected an unfamiliarity with the term “antifascism” in the United States. To me, the comment was also a healthy affirmation of antifascism’s commonsense ring. But that was before the election of an openly white nationalist President who has gone out of his way to demonize what he calls “ant-e-fuh.” Now, thanks to the Trumpian turn, there are plenty of people on the other side of that.
A conference this fall at Goodwin College in East Hartford will examine the 1977 TV miniseries “Roots,” its impact at the time of its original broadcast and the ways in which race relations have developed in the decades since.
Last January, the YWCA Greenwich hosted Why Words Still Matter, a program that explored the rise in hate speech and hate crimes, as well as how a community can monitor and respond to this behavior. A standing-room only crowd of concerned citizens, including high school students attended and engaged in this critically important discussion. Given the recent tragic events in Charlottesville, we want to share with you again the lessons learned at the YWCA Greenwich January forum.
It isn’t the theatrical of white supremacy that worries me. It’s the practical. While we are outraged about the blatant racism in Charlottesville, we can and should ask ourselves, where is both racism and sexism subtly embedded in and enacted by our laws? Here are just a few easy-to-find examples if we look:
“Equity is great to talk about until someone has to give up something.” Quesnel’s quote, in particular, struck me because it perfectly encapsulates the situation here in Connecticut. For all the talk of consensus after Superior Court Judge Thomas Moukawsher’s scathing 90-page ruling, neither state Republicans or Democrats included meaningful reform of the Education Cost Sharing Grant, the main grant the state uses to distribute school funding, in their proposed budget plans this year.
Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule and fair housing policy are lifelines to low income families and people of color who have been crowded into low opportunity neighborhoods in cities like Hartford. AFFH is under attack from both the Trump administration and Congress. Dr. Ben Carson, the current Secretary of HUD, has gone on the record against AFFH, stating that it relies on a “tortured reading of the Fair Housing laws” to effect change. AFFH. We need HUD and the federal government to use these rules, not repeal them.
The organizing efforts of black and white abolitionists in the 1800s can provide us with powerful inspiration as we face the dangers of Trump and the Republican majority. That’s one reason on May 18 I will be joining the upcoming celebration of Frederick Douglass’s first visit to the capital city at the Center Church (First Church of Christ in Hartford).
In Connecticut, health disparities are a well-known problem among ethnic minorities such as African-Americans, Asian Americans, Native Americans, and Latinos. House Bill 6012, An Act Concerning Consumer Protection in Eye Care, is currently pending before the legislature and raises major concerns in terms of health disparities… I’m afraid it will only serve to exacerbate this divide…
A thriving new commercial gaming facility in southwestern Connecticut, with full access to the powerful New York market. Thousands of new well-paying jobs. Hundreds of millions of dollars in new revenues for the state. This is a genuine possibility now for Connecticut, thanks to newly proposed legislation that, at last, gets it right. And which finally would give the state a chance to do right by my tribe, Schaghticoke Tribal Nation.