Archive for the ‘What’s New’ Category
This morning, Sumin and I took a trip out to Media for a “Courageous Conversation” at Providence Friends Meeting. Parker Snowe, Executive Director of the CPGC and a member of Providence Friends Meeting, moderated the panel discussion. Sumin and I gave an overview of Haverford House and of our placements and Haverford House projects. The event was well-attended, and audience members asked a lot of good questions about ways of addressing homelessness and hunger, and about communal living and the “gap year” experience. Overall, it was great to share our thoughts and stories about Haverford House with a group of people who clearly care deeply about these issues and who were ready to learn from our experiences.
An announcement of the event was featured in the local newspaper, Town Talk.
On a beautiful Sunday morning, October 13, Community Legal Services had it’s 4th annual Justice for All 5K fundraiser. Mike and I participated along with a bunch of our coworkers and fellow community members. It was a great show of support for the work that CLS does, and an awesome effort to raise awareness about all of the amazing services that CLS provides to the Philly Community.
Project H.O.P.E. got funding to build a brand new building. It will be a comprehensive medical center with bigger space for more service areas. There will be doctors’ exam rooms, pharmacy, nursing triage center, mental health service and social service sections. The architects are coming on Monday night to go over the construction plans with the community members. The outreach worker and I went around the neighborhood to give out invitations. This is a snap shot of one of the neighborhood we visited.
Haverford House decided to take advantage of one of the last warm weekends of the year by going to the beach! We (Mike, Jemma, Ben, Bridget, and Hannah Michelle) stayed with Mike’s parents at their house at the beach, and had lots of time to get to know each other better and have fun. Mike even taught us how to skim board! As the weather cools off, we’re planning more indoor-based weekends together. Much more to come!
Car ride to the beach:
Ben leads the group in a yoga routine:
Wednesday night at the Philadelphia Friends Center was the 10th anniversary for Witness to Innocence-an organization that advocates for the abolition of the death penalty through the voices of death row exonerees. The night began with a some short films featuring the stories of the exonerees and moved to an awards ceremony honoring people in attendance such as Maddy deLone (Executive director of the Innocence Project), Helen Marino (Capital Habeas Unit Federal Defender Unit of Philadelphia), and Francois Rivasseau (Deputy Head of the Delegation of European Union to the US).
Also receiving a medal was Lethal Weapon’s Danny Glover (“I’m too old for this s***”) who has had a much less defeatist stance on the death penalty.
The night continued with a moving speech from the organization’s co-founder Sister Helen Prejean. Her passion and charisma behind the microphone could have convinced me that up was really down and that the rigid meeting house bench on which I sat was more comfortable than a leather Lay z boy. Public speaking prowess aside, I can only image that her testimony and arguments of the absurdity of the death penalty within the context of a western nation would have made the staunchest of retributionists reconsider their position on the death penalty. She has two books out- Dead Man Walking:An Eyewitness Account of the Death Penalty in the United States and The Death of Innocents: An Eyewitness Account of Wrongful Executions.
David Keaton (in blue on the right), the first person to be exonerated off of Death Row in the US, lead the meeting in song to close out the evening.
More information about Witness to Innocence can be found at www.witnesstoinnocence.org.
I was lucky enough that a friend had an extra ticket to “The Meal: Act xxxiv” an amazing art installation developed by The Mural Arts Foundation with artists Lucy and Jorge Orta. The art was itself a meal staged for 900 people, with the aim of bringing people together to discuss heirloom foods and to eat a delicious meal of heirloom vegetables! The event was supposed to be held on Independence Mall, but due to the government shutdown it had to be moved to the Thomas Paine plaza in center city. At the end, everyone got to take home a plate designed by the artists!
9th street is home to the Italian Market, many Mexican-owned businesses, some famous cheesesteak restaurants, and Southwark School, where I work. Last Sunday, it was also the location of a huge party to celebrate Mexican Independence Day and Latino Heritage Month. There was music, dancing, food and speeches from community members. Puentes won an award for working in the community. Here you can see a video of the award ceremony and also a photo!
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Last weekend, some of the Hav House Crew headed to the Rally for the Rail Park, an outdoor fundraiser for the Rail Park! The Rail Park would transform one of Philly’s old train lines into a park. (You can read more about it at therailpark.org). The event, held on the rail at 12th and Noble, featured live music, food trucks, and information about the park! And a truly amazing blueberry cheesecake cupcake.