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Beloved Syracuse Beacon

“It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer."


Albert Einstein

ARCHIVE ENTRY: August 4, 2017

Action Alerts

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

Urgent I-81 Press Conference: A Historic Mistake Repeated?

August 04, 2017

When: Friday, August 4th, 11:00 am Where: Crown Plaza Hotel, 20th Floor, Horizons Ballroom Address: 701 E. Genesee Street, Syracuse, New York, 13210

When New York State approved funds for the I-81 overpass in 1956, they were likelywarned of the suffering it could cause. Political rhetoric and slick promises, however, helped Syracuse City officials and development firms latch on. They demolished the 15th Ward, a close-knit and vibrant black community, and built the highway that would divide Syracuse for over 60 years. I-81 has been the monolithic cause of concentrated poverty in Syracuse, which is now the worst in the nation among Blacks and Latinos. As I-81 reaches the end of its functional life-span, we have a chance to rectify a historic blunder. Instead, some are more excited to repeat mistakes.


Senator John DeFrancisco will hold a press conference today at 11:00 am about thefuture of I-81. At his back are suburban special interests, who believe their commutes hold priority over the livelihoods of those struggling in the city. DeFrancisco, along with Assembly Member William B. Magnarelli and others, have long solicited for a "tunnel" solution to the I-81 problem. Tunnel projects are notoriously expensive: Boston's flew 21.4 billion dollars over budget. More importantly, a tunnel would divide the city once again, and offer no just solution to Syracuse. 


Attend the Press Conference and demand the "Community Grid" option, supported byACTS, the Moving People Transportation Coalition, and experts across Syracuse. Explain to DeFrancisco and his colleagues that this option would stimulate local business and preserve traffic mobility. Remind our representatives that I-81 was a mistake that can never be repeated again. 

Final 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

The Syracuse Peace Council will be hosting the annual Hiroshima Day Family Picnic in remembrance of the nuclear attack at Hiroshima as well as working towards a nuclear free world. We will be hosting peace games, crafting, lantern floating and Nia and Salsa classes for kids and adults! Food will be provided by With Love Restaurant, Wegmans and others. Bring a dish to share if you please. Hope to see you there! 

Nagasaki Remembrance Day Procession through Syracuse

August 09, 2017

When: Wednesday, August 9, 11:30 am, Where: Hannover Square (start point), Address: Hannover Sq., Syracuse, NY 13202

On Nagasaki Day, members of the Syracuse community will be remembering and dedicating themselves to preventing nuclear terror in a solemn procession downtown. The procession will feature puppets and props symbolic of both the atrocities of nuclear war and our pledge to a nuclear free world. Gather in Hanover Square at 11:30am, the procession will begin at 12pm.  If your organization has a banner, you may display it in the procession to show your commitment, or carry the artistic and symbolic props we supply for the event.

Present Tense: Selections from "The A-Bomb and Humanity"

August 09, 2017

Various Times and Locations: Click below to view schedule and learn more

"The A-Bomb and Humanity" is a set of 40 panels which depict in photographs and drawings the reality of human suffering created when the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were destroyed by atomic bombs at the end of World War II. In an effort to promote peace and move public opinion towards the elimination of nuclear weapons, a survivors’ (Hibakusha) organization produced the panels and Japanese consumer co-op unions have shared them throughout Japan and the world. We must work for a nuclear free future if we are to have a future at all.

Teach-In: Trump, the Environment, and Climate Change

August 08, 2017

When: Tuesday at 6:30pm Where: University United Methodist Church Address: 1085 E. Genesee St.Syracuse, NY 13210

SU Professors David Driesen and Sarah Pralle will talk about the Trump administration, environmental policy, the Paris Climate Agreement, and more. The event is free to the public.

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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:

Upstate County Jails Are Challenged for Sending Juveniles to Solitary

Written by the New York Times

The New York Times has picked up a story championed by the ACTS Community for two years.


As early as October 2015, youth at the downtown Justice Center were thrown in solitary confinement for weeks at a time. Many of the youth were unconvicted. Some had symptoms of mental illnesses, such as psychosis or depression.


That all changed when the New York Civil Liberties Union and Legal Services of Central New York secured a settlement with the Onondaga County Sheriff's Office. Read more by clicking the button below:

ACTS Youth Council Brings Multiculturalism to School Lunches

The ACTS Youth Council presented their new project proposal to the Syracuse City School Board earlier this week. In response to their peer's concerns about school-food variety and nutrition, the Youth Council's project aims to reform the status-quo of midday meals. After surveying 200 students from four district high schools, the Youth Council found that 93.9% of students believed the menu needed change. Apparently, the Syracuse School Board could not agree more. The Board has decided to approve the project for this fall. wrote an article about the presentation and its successful reception. To read the article, click below: 

First "Alternatives to Violence Project" Training Covered by NCC News

The ACTS Community Violence and Youth (CV&Y) Task Force successfully held its first “Alternatives to Violence Project” training session from July 14-16. Several ACTS Youth Council members were in attendance, along with many others from around the Syracuse community. New House Communication News covered the training with an article and short audio- interview.

The Alternatives to Violence Project (AVP) was founded by prisoners in 1971. Today, AVP is active in 35 states and 40 nations around the world. ACTS has worked hard to bring this wonderful opportunity to Syracuse. With this training complete, the CV&Y Task Force now looks toward future AVP opportunities. 

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