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Beloved Syracuse Beacon

“Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."


William Butler Yeats

ARCHIVE ENTRY: July 19, 2017

Action Alerts

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

Youth Council Promotes Diversity Through Multicultural Menu

July 24, 2017

Monday, July 24th at 4:30 pm, at SCSD Central Office, 725 Harrison St, Syracuse, NY 13210

The ACTS Youth Council surveyed over 200 students from the Syracuse City School District (SCSD), and found that most respondents were despondent about school-prepared meals. A staggering 93.9% of surveyed students insisted on positive changes to their food’s nutrition and variety. The results propelled the ACTS Youth Council into their new project. Together, they aim to reform the drab status-quo of midday meals. On Monday, July 24th, the Youth Council will present their project proposal to the Syracuse School Board, and they’ve invited all to attend.


“Our goal is to promote understanding and acceptance among students of different cultures and/or religions through meal options and conversation in our school cafeteria,” stated the Youth Council.


Through their research, the Youth Council discovered that more colorful cuisine can contribute to livelier and broader conversation in the lunch room. When students discover, and discuss, foods belonging to the cultures of their classmates, they are likelier to develop a generous curiosity for people and places outside their typical horizons. The Youth Council has conceptualized a strategy to achieve this goal, with one tactic being the democratization of the dining-hall.


“Students should have a say in what is put on the menu…it is important for students to be a part of change,” stated the Youth Council.


Good nutrition is a fundamental aspect of health, and has been shown to significantly improve student performance. With positive transformation already underway at SCSD, everything should be done to continue that momentum. Therefore, attendance at the ACTS Youth Council presentation is highly recommended. Together we can support our youth!

Unity Day: Community Engagement

August 04, 2017

When: Friday, August 4th, from 3-7 pm Where: Wilson Park Address: 1117 S McBride, Syracuse, NY

The “Unity Day: Community Engagement” is an event for everyone to learn about Trauma, Gun Violence, and Health and Education. This day is far more than just informative sessions, however. Sponsored by the Snug and Soy Program, the Unity Day event is meant to build friendships between people who value social justice and the well-being of Syracuse.


There will be free food and a DJ Showcase at the event, along with a kickball tournament for some friendly competition. With all the demanding work done by the ACTS Community, a day filled with fun and relaxation is more than deserved. Let’s get out and enjoy the Summer heat while it lasts! For more information call 315-415-0995.

HELP NEEDED:  For those who want to undertake an active role in the event, we have an opportunity for you! ACTS has had a table for each of the previous “Unity Day” events this summer, and will reserve a table once again for Friday, August 4th. Volunteers are needed to man this table, and will engage with the grassroots community about the importance of voter registration. Among other things, table volunteers will survey residents from the South Side of Syracuse to discover which issues affect them most. Voter registration forms will be provided, and the goal will be to get more of our neighbors involved in the political discussions of this city. For inquiries or information, email ACTS President Dave Babcock at:

Hiroshima Day at the Lily Pond

August 06, 2017

When: Sunday, August 6th, 5pm to Dusk Where: Thornden Park Lily Pond Address: Thornden Park Dr, Syracuse, NY

On the early morning of August 6th, 1945, the United States dropped its first atomic bomb on the city of Hiroshima, Japan. The nuclear blast killed 70,000 people and destroyed 70% of Hiroshima’s buildings. By the end of 1945, the death toll rose to 166,000 following the devastating effects of radiation. Another bomb would be dropped on Nagasaki, prompting Japan to accept full and unconditional surrender to the Allies.


Though these bombs accelerated the conclusion of World War II, they also demonstrated the horrors of nuclear war and its catastrophic loss of life. So that we may never forget this tragedy, August 6th has been forever designated a time of remembrance. In the spirit of peace and love, the Syracuse Peace Council will host Hiroshima Day festivities at the Thornden Park Lily Pond in Syracuse. All are invited to this free event, which includes a Potluck Picnic, arts and crafts, dance lessons, and lantern floating. Attendees are encouraged to bring a dish to share.

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Weekly Community Events

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

Weekly Stories

Together we came closer to our goals. Let's reflect on the vital work we have done:

Congratulations for a Successful “AVP" Training!

The ACTS Community Violence and Youth (CV&Y) Task Force successfully held its first “Alternatives to Violence Project” training session this past weekend. Several ACTS Youth Council members were in attendance, along with many others from around the Syracuse community. Participants learned methods of conflict resolution, and the power that non-violence wields to transform ourselves and our community.


The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) was founded by prisoners who witnessed the deadly Attica Prison Riot of 1971. Today, AVP is active in 35 states and 40 nations around the world. ACTS CV&Y Co-Chair Timothy Kirkland was himself an inmate at Attica Prison, where he found AVP and changed his life forever. Together with the CV&Y Task Force, he aims to empower people to address violence and systemic poverty in Syracuse. With this training complete, the CV&Y Task Force now looks toward future AVP opportunities.

Thank You: Community, Candidates, and Partners

ACTS extends its gratitude to the people who made the Candidate Forums such a success. On four separate occasions, ACTS and its community partners hosted forums where the public could listen to the viewpoints of candidates running for several local offices. Whether a forum focused on Mayoral candidates, or those running for the local school board, each fulfilled a vital function: dialogue. Thanks to the conversation between politicians and constituents, we at ACTS believe this year’s diverse elections will include more informed votes than ever before.


Were it not for such an engaged community, there would have been no possibility for these informational events. Therefore, the Syracuse Community at large can be thanked for attending, supporting, and demanding these Candidate Forums. ACTS also thanks its partners at the National Action Network-Syracuse Chapter, Parents for Public Schools-Syracuse Chapter, CNY Solidarity, and Syracuse Community Connections. Last but certainly not least, ACTS is gracious for the interest and cooperation shown by candidates who participated in each forum. Thank you to those participants running for Mayor, the Syracuse Common Council, the Syracuse School Board, the Onondaga County Legislature, and for local judgeships. Good luck in your campaigns!

Temple Concord Assists ACTS with Communication Needs

            Since our former office manager moved down to North Carolina, ACTS has decided to consolidate its administrative communication duties. We are now sharing staff with Temple Concord, a long time ACTS member organization. For many years, the ACTS office has been located at Temple Concord, a building with remarkable history and beautiful architecture. Temple Concord is located on 910 Madison Street, up by Syracuse University, and is the home to the ninth oldest Jewish congregation in the United States. 


            The shared staff at Temple Concord is responsible for answering the ACTS office phone, handling general ACTS emails, sorting through post-mail, greeting visitors looking for ACTS, and providing clerical services as needed and requested. The primary ACTS staff member at the Temple is Erica Webber, who receives assistance from Jessica Pitcher. Together, they are ready to assist us in our social justice mission. Contact information for ACTS remains the same as before, which is listed below:


Phone: 315 - 416 - 6363


Address: 910 Madison Street, Syracuse, NY 13210

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