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2017 ACTS Spring Banquet Countdown:

Q&A with the Banquet Committee

When: Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 6:00-9:00 p.m.

Where: Drumlins Country Club

Address: 800 Nottingham Road, Syracuse, NY

Price for Single Ticket: $65


Have you ever loved something so much that you want it to realize its full potential? The 2017 ACTS Spring Banquet, on April 25th from 6-9:00 p.m. at the Drumlins Country Club, is an event where we will come together to display this special sort of love for the Syracuse Community.


            We have a dream where people of all colors and faiths enjoy equity, justice, and solidarity. Our banquet is an homage to that dream. We invite you to unite with us on April 25th and reinvigorate the fight for transformation through social justice.

            With the recent launch of our Newsletter, we decided to chronicle the significance of the Banquet, and the visionaries it honors, through a series of articles leading up to April 25th. In last week’s issue, we gave an overview of the Banquet as a reminder for social justice veterans, and an introduction for those new to social justice work. This week, we present to you an in-depth interview with the Spring Banquet Committee to uncover the labors behind a remarkable evening.


            The Banquet Committee reviewed the questions posed by the author of this newsletter and together approved some concise answers. They hope to acquaint ACTS Members to the tireless work of organizing the Spring Banquet. Enjoy!


1. Why is the 2017 Spring Banquet needed to accomplish our social justice mission? 


Our annual banquet is needed so that many people concerned about race, poverty and power can come together and be a community for an evening to we can gain from each others’ presence and energy.  Also important, our banquet is needed to raise money to support our work.


2. “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them,” said Albert Einstein. How will the 2017 Spring Banquet revitalize our creativity so we can address the issues facing Syracuse in new ways?


Our banquet will help us all by coming together as so many people focused on justice, to better understand our local challenges and to focus our energies better going forward.

3. At our Leadership Council Meeting in March, we discussed the paths ACTS will take as we move forward in our social justice work. One of those paths ordained we build strategic alliances in our community, such as with CNY Solidarity. Will the 2017 Spring Banquet help to cement these alliances? 


We will communicate at the Banquet that ACTS is part of a larger local effort and one of over 40 sister programs affiliated with the Gamaliel Foundation based in Chicago working to dismantle local racism and poverty.


4. Another topic of the Leadership Council Meeting was our participation in the local democratic process. In what way will the 2017 Spring Banquet align our attendees toward that direction?


Ms. Kathryn Ruscitto, our Banquet keynote speaker, will give us examples of how collaborating with others to build power will advance our agenda. To dismantle racism and poverty, people need to engage and democracy needs to flourish.


5. Many people will attend the Banquet this year. Some attended the previous years, for others it is their first time. What can all these people expect at the banquet, and what may excite or surprise them?


Everyone attending can expect to be treated with respect, to enjoy the company of others, to benefit from conversation, and to enjoy a good meal.


6. You’ve all attended the Annual ACTS Spring Banquet many times. What is your favorite memory from one of those banquets? 


My favorite memory is looking out onto everyone present and seeing such a wonderful diversity of people from so many different backgrounds and experiences!


7. Nelson Mandela said “Children are our greatest treasure. They are our future.” The ACTS Youth Council plans to attend the 2017 Spring Banquet. What involvement will they have so they may be inspired to change the world around them? 


Youth will be recognized for presenting themselves as a energetic witnesses that the rest of us admire!

8. The Drumlins Country Club is a beautiful venue. What will our guests find in terms of food, atmosphere, and attire? Will there be any awards for honored community members?


Food will be tasty. The atmosphere will be festive including some music.  Attire will be wide-ranging.  Two awards will be given – our Clergy Leadership Award to Father Jim Matthews from one of our member congregations (St. Lucy’s Catholic Parish) and our Social Justice Leadership Award to Rev. Jim Wiggins a former ACTS Board member who worked very hard in many ways for many years to advance social justice in CNY. Rev. Jim Wiggins will receive this award posthumously.

9. $65 is a small sum to offer for transforming Syracuse. But, for some, money is tight and $65 may be tough to give. Others may simply wonder if it’s worth it. What would you say in response?


How much value do you place an dismantling racism and poverty in our community?  If the price of a ticket is too much, consider if you have a family member, friend or a supportive group who would be willing to support you coming.


10. Organizing this banquet is hard work. What’s the process like, and what are you most excited for this year?


Planning for a banquet has many different components from identifying and reaching out to our community members asking for their support to selecting table decorations. I am most excited this year about seeing everyone together on banquet night.


11. Aside from attending, how else can readers help you make this Banquet an evening to remember?


Bring family members, friends and colleagues to share the evening festivities with you and to engage in addressing our ACTS agenda.  And when you arrive for the Banquet, feel very free to talk to anyone there to get to know others, to find out more about how ACTS is working, and to otherwise further engage with dismantling racism and poverty.

            Those who attended the 2016 ACTS Spring Banquet will remember what a memorable night it was. For others who missed it, there are plenty of photos to view above. Our keynote speaker last year, Yusuf Abdul-Qadir, director of the CNY Chapter of New York Civil Liberties Union, shared his experiences with social justice work and its application to the issues facing Syracuse. Youth Solitary Confinement, the expansion of Pre-K opportunities, and the “Voter Engagement Campaign” were just a few of the topic issues from last year. All three will again be addressed in some way this year, along with other matters such as the Consensus Commission, the Public Forums for the Mayoral Election, the Alternatives to Violence Project, and our long-awaited victory with “Raise the Age.”


            Individual tickets are 65 dollars, with group tickets available for the purchase of tables at the banquet. Additionally, one may also purchase sponsorships or ad-spots to promote their local business or organization.

To purchase tickets online: 

To purchase an advertisement: 

To purchase a sponsorship: 

            Everyone is welcome to attend this exciting event, and encouraged to bring their loved ones, friends, and colleagues. The 2017 ACTS Spring Banquet will be both vital and jubilant, with social justice work exhibited through the polychromatic personalities of Syracuse’s people. Next week, we plan to offer you another glimpse into the celebration, when we speak with Kathryne How Ruscitto, the Keynote Speaker of the 2017 ACTS Spring Banquet. See you next week!

Let's Transform Syracuse Together

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