Faith Church and Other Leaders Take Civil Rights History Trip

News Coverage and Reflections of the Alabama trip:

In early January, a delegation of 37 Christians and Jews from Hartford traveled together to Alabama to retrace the steps of civil rights leaders.
The trip, which has grown from members of Faith Congregational Church and its sister congregation, Immanuel Congregational Church, was co-sponsored by and included travelers from the Jewish Federation Association of Connecticut (JFACT) and the Jewish Federation of Greater Hartford’s Jewish Community Relations Council. The Alabama trip included visits to new civil rights museums  (The Legacy Museum:  From Enslavement to Mass Incarceration and the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, which commemorates 4,000 lynching victims, opened to the public on April 26, 2018, in Montgomery, Alabama) as well as the Edmund Pettis Bridge in Selma (the sight of Bloody Sunday), the 16th Street Baptist Church and Kelly Ingram Park  in Birmingham.  United Church of Christ representatives included Connecticut Conference Minister the Rev. Kent Siladi, Immanuel Congregational Church Senior Pastor the Rev. Kari Nicewander, Immanuel Associate Pastor The Rev. Isaac Lawson and Faith Congregational Church Pastor Stephen Camp.  

In Honor of Martin Luther King Day, CT Jewish Ledger, Jan. 15, 2019

Selma Tourism Impacted by Government ShutdownAlabama News Network, Jan. 4, 2019

Local Interfaith Leaders to Retrace Civil Rights History,, Dec. 27, 2018


Seeing Is Believing– Stephen Camp

I Felt Fear. But We Shall Overcome – Isaac Lawson

To Tell the Truth: Reflections on Alabama – Kari Nicewander

You Can’t Change What You Don’t Acknowledge– Kent Siladi

America’s Other Family Separation Crisis

Sending a mother to prison can have a devastating effect on her children. Why, then, do we lock so many women up?

By Sarah Stillman  writing in

Photo by Zoraida Lopez

She writes, “America imprisons women in astonishing numbers. The population of women in state prisons has increased by more than eight hundred percent in the past four decades. The number of women in local jails is fourteen times higher than it was in the nineteen-seventies; most of these women haven’t been convicted of a crime but are too poor to post bail while awaiting trial. The majority have been charged with low-level, nonviolent offenses, such as drug possession, shoplifting, and parole violations. The result is that more than a quarter of a million children in the U.S. have a mother in jail. One in nine black children has a parent who is, or has been, incarcerated.”  Read the entire article HERE.

Sexual Abused Rabbi Speaks Out

By Gillian Friedman   |  February 5, 2019 at 4:08 pm MST

A Utah Orthodox rabbi said his childhood nanny sexually abused him for 10 years. Here’s why he decided to tell his story for the first time

SALT LAKE CITY — From behind the witness stand, Utah Rabbi Avrohom (“Avremi”) Zippel gazes out into the sea of faces and prepares to speak.

It’s a dreary Tuesday morning, and normally, public speaking doesn’t intimidate the 27-year-old. Since he was a child — the precocious and prized eldest son of a prominent rabbi — he has reveled in the attention of a crowd. But today, sitting in a courtroom in downtown Salt Lake City, the confidence that usually comes so easily evades him.  He clears his throat, and in a voice barely above a whisper, begins to share a story that has haunted him for decades. 

Read more HERE.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

Rabbi Avremi Zippel poses for photographs outside the Scott M. Matheson Courthouse in Salt Lake City on Monday, Feb. 4, 2019.


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Opioid Overdoses Kill More Americans Than Car Crashes 

According to the Emergency Email and Wireless Network, U.S life expectancy has been dropping year-on-year since 2015. However, it’s not due to the prevalence of a number of illnesses. It isn’t even because of the amount of car deaths on American roads. Rather, it’s down to the increasing number of opioid deaths across the country.  In some of the most recent reports, around 63,000 Americans died of an overdose in 2016; of that, almost two-thirds were the direct result of an opioid overdose. That adds up to roughly 42,249. Read more HERE.

CDC Reveals Deadliest Drug in the US 

According to the latest numbers from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics, Fentanyl is now the most commonly used drug that is involved in drug overdoses. The new report says that the rate of drug overdoses involving the synthetic opioid increased by about 113% each year from 2013 through 2016. For more information, click HERE.

Obesity-Related Cancers on Rise in Young Adults

Image result for obese african american children

According to the Emergency Email and Wireless Network, United States millennials ages 24 to 49 who are overweight are discovering that they are forming more cancers than in previous years, according to a recent study done by the Center for Disease Control. Obese individuals experience a wide variety of types of cancers which may be related to the amount they weigh. Some of these types of cancer include those such as: 
Multiple myelomas

Read more HERE.

Black Migrations

courtesy of:

The theme for Black History Month in 2019 is “Black Migrations” tracking the continuous movement of blacks from the American South to the industrialized North and beyond.

Beginning in the early 20th century, a growing number of black industrial leaders and black entrepreneurs emerged as families relocated from farms to cities, and from the South to the more industrialized Northeast and Midwest.

Read more here

Blackface Redux

The narrative that we are encouraged to believe, or at least accept, about white people’s youthful flirtations with racism is: that was then, this is now, and I am not that person – if I ever was.   At the beginning of February, we saw a photo from the 1984 medical school yearbook page of Virginia governor Ralph Northam with a man wearing blackface standing next to a man in Ku Klux Klan robes. 

Shortly after that revelation,  Mark R. Herring, Virginia’s attorney general, admitted attending a college party in blackface some 40 years earlier.  These are not news, just individual revelations within the ongoing conversation about blackface in American society.  Comments have flowed across social media as well as print, television and talk radio. Nothing beats the visuals though.

Old yearbooks? Here are two NEW photos posted TODAY. Grace Coddington, current @Vogue contributor, who was creative director for years. She has a lucrative collaboration with @LouisVuitton and @IMG. On her kitchen shelf she has a collection of racist Mammy figurines.   

Fashion, too, has had its moments recently with blackface. 

Read more HERE and opinion pieces HERE and HERE.

Black History Built This

February is Black History Month. It has become the month the nation recognizes as a time to celebrate the strides and achievements black people have accomplished over the centuries. But — contrary to founder Carter G. Woodson’s intention — it has become the relegated timeframe to squeeze in as much information about a select few civil rights leaders while whitewashing their stories.  This year, we challenge that. HuffPost is celebrating Black History Month by highlighting our culture, narratives, and wholeness with the theme Black History Built This.  Let this February be a reminder for some and a lesson for others that there is no American history without black history. We built this. Read more here.

Who Created Black History Month?

Meet the man who created Black History Month

By CNN Staff    Updated 12:34 PM ET, Fri February 1, 2019

February marks Black History Month, a federally recognized, nationwide celebration that calls on all Americans to reflect on the significant roles that African-Americans have played in shaping US history. But how did this celebration come to be — and why does it happen in February? Carter G. Woodson, considered a pioneer in the study of African-American history, is given much of the credit for Black History Month. Get more information HERE

5 Women Who Changed How We Think About Race

Amisha Padnani

By Amisha Padnani   

Devah Pager, a Harvard sociologist who died on Nov. 2, demonstrated the tenacious power of race in hiring decisions. We looked back through our obituary archives and found five other women, some recently deceased, whose thinking had an impact on our understanding of race. Read about these women here.