Indifference Helps the Oppressor, Never the Oppressed

Indifference manifests itself in ignorance, silence and blind acceptance. Turning our backs to the injustices suffered by the marginalized, vulnerable, and victimized in our local communities and around the world is a weak and heartless admission that the status quo is just fine with us when it doesn’t affect our lives directly — at least … More Indifference Helps the Oppressor, Never the Oppressed

A Perfect Match

On Saturday, October 20, 2018, Georges Annan Kingsley awoke to a new life. Georges received his long awaited kidney transplant the night before. A perfect match, his new kidney worked immediately. This perfect match was on top of another successful transplant just twenty-three days earlier. On September 27, 2018, the United States welcomed Georges as a … More A Perfect Match

Jody Made a Difference

“Think about yourself and what you do for your community. You are making a difference by helping one or two even if you cannot help the whole community. Just pick one at a time. Remember you are making a difference.” — Jody Putnam Mary Joellen “Jody” Putnam’s philosophy recalls the last line of The Starfish Story,”It made … More Jody Made a Difference

Making Kafar’s Dream Come True

Ethiopian refugee Kafar Hassan’s dream is coming true. Forced to leave his son Robel behind in Johannesburg, South Africa where they had found safe haven for several years, Kafar arrived in Hartford’s Asylum Hill neighborhood in 2013 when resettled by local Catholic Charities Migration, Refugee and Immigration Services. In Asylum Hill he found welcoming support and … More Making Kafar’s Dream Come True

The Path to a Kidney Transplant: Following Georges’ Lead

For people on the list to receive a kidney transplant the path is long and arduous, marked with anxiety and frustration. As one would expect for anyone with a serious chronic illness personal and family stress is high, often debilitating. In January I wrote about Georges Annan Kingsley‘s desperate need for a kidney transplant, and his … More The Path to a Kidney Transplant: Following Georges’ Lead

Hartford Welcomes Immigrants and Refugees

Scared, scammed, stressed, and searching. That’s how many of my immigrant and refugee friends feel.  Scared because America’s current political climate fosters fear of the stranger, and rejection of minorities. Scammed because too often immigrants and refugees coming from authoritarian and repressive countries don’t know whom to trust. They get ripped off by intimidating imposters … More Hartford Welcomes Immigrants and Refugees

A Welcome Resource

“What a striking contrast between what we’re doing in this city, and this neighborhood versus what’s going on in Washington. Some people build walls. In this state and this community we embrace people,” proclaimed Connecticut State Representative Matt Ritter at the Asylum Hill Multicultural Resource Corner ribbon cutting ceremony on January 26, 2017. Ritter’s comments … More A Welcome Resource

My Friend Needs a Kidney Transplant

Georges Annan-Kingsley is my friend. As a long persecuted political refugee from Côte d’Ivoire, Georges suffered chronic, stress-induced hypertension causing his kidneys to fail. After a long, courageous bureaucratic struggle to escape western Africa via Ghana, aided by the French consulate, Georges received medical refugee status in the United States. He arrived in near fatal condition. He … More My Friend Needs a Kidney Transplant

A Pathway Opens

November 10, 2016. It’s graduation day. Graduation day for the inaugural class of Hartford Public Library‘s Immigrant Career Pathways introductory food service program, a collaboration with Hartford Public Schools‘ Food & Child Nutrition Services. Nine Hartford immigrants celebrated completion of sixty hours of ESL (English as a Second Language) classes and thirty-six hours of a hands-on internship in … More A Pathway Opens

Welcoming Refugees and Immigrants

In recent years I’ve been fortunate to work with many refugees and immigrants in Hartford through my work with the South Marshall Interfaith Coalition and the Asylum Hill Neighborhood Association’s Welcoming Committee. Want to help address refugee and immigrant assimilation and civic engagement? Here’s a great opportunity.  The City of Hartford is looking for eight to nine volunteers to serve on its … More Welcoming Refugees and Immigrants