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Beloved Syracuse Beacon

"The essence of the beautiful is unity in variety."

Felix Mendelssohn, German Romance Composer whose music was outlawed by the Nazi Regime. 

ARCHIVE ENTRY: April 18th, 2017

Action Alerts

This week in our work to transform Syracuse, eliminate poverty, and create equality:

2017 ACTS Spring Banquet Countdown: Interview with Kathryn Howe Ruscitto

Drumlins Country Club, 800 Nottingham Road, Syracuse, NY, from 6:00-9:00 p.m.

April 25, 2017

We invite you to join us at the 2017 ACTS Spring Banquet. Together we will reinvigorate the fight for social justice. In last week’s issue of the newsletter, we provided an informative Q&A with the Banquet Committee. This week, we feature an insightful interview with the 2017 Spring Banquet Keynote speaker, Kathryn Howe Ruscitto. Discover how her civic-minded and mission-driven philosophy has inspired successful projects at St. Joseph's Health, on the Syracuse North Side, and even across the world. 

Reminder: ACTS Youth Council Accepting Applications

Temple Concord at 6:00 p.m. Address: 910 Madison Street, Syracuse, NY

April 20, 2017

The ACTS Youth Council has opened its doors for new members. All students from the ages of 14-18 are encouraged to apply, with members being accepted before the Youth Council’s upcoming meetings. On April 20th at 6 p.m., the Youth Council will hold a meeting to further organize their next major projects. These projects include their campaign to improve school nutrition and student health, and their commitment to assist the Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) arriving to Syracuse through ACTS. We urge ACTS members to inform motivated youth of this opportunity. The ACTS Youth Council will also be attending the Syracuse International Film Festival's opening night for free, with tickets provided by generous community grants. 

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Weekly Member Organization Events

If you are an ACTS Member Organization and have an upcoming social justice event please email Ryan Ivers at

Weekly Victories

Together we came closer to our goals. Let's reflect on the vital work we did last week:

"Raise the Age" Finally Signed into New York State Law

April 10, 2017

The legislation passed on April 10th

“This country is criminalizing our youth for being youthful,” said New York State Senator Jesse Hamilton a month ago as he endorsed “Raise the Age,” the campaign organized by the advocacy group of the same name. At the time, New York was one of only two states in the country to prosecute 16 and 17-year-olds as adults. The practice paradoxically adds crime to communities, and feeds into the “pipeline” prison system. ACTS is dedicated to halting Mass Criminalization, an issue which disproportionately affects minorities and permeates Syracuse and the US.


For years, “Raise the Age” has fought to increase the age of criminal responsibility in New York State to 18-years-of-age, a crucial step in reversing Mass Criminalization and creating an equitable community. After a tireless battle, “Raise the Age” legislation was signed into law by Governor Cuomo on April 10th, 2017. The new law is expected to prevent up to 2,400 crimes every five years, as estimated by the New York State government.

Syracuse’s Greater HOPE to end Concentrated Poverty

April 06, 2017

The HOPE Summit was on April 6th. The next meeting will be in late Spring.

Thursday, April 6th, marked the second summit for the anti-poverty coalition known as “Greater Syracuse HOPE.” The coalition was identified at the ACTS Leadership Council Meeting in March as an “integral ally” in the fight against concentrated poverty. This strain of suffering is particularly cancerous in Syracuse. One of every two children live under the poverty line in our Metropolitan area, which was subsequently ranked as the 29th poorest in the nation by the U.S. Census Bureau.


HOPE plans to utilize approximately $3 million of funding from Governor Cuomo’s “Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative,” introduced in his 2016 agenda. A chief objective of the Summit on April 6th was to construct an “action plan” to qualify for these vital funds. ACTS Interim Executive Director Rev. Craig French praised the Summit’s “high level of engagement,” and hinted at another HOPE meeting slated for later this Spring.

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