“You hate some people because we do not know them, we do not know them because we hate them. Try to know people irrespective of the origin before you make any judgement.”—Roland (youthactionafrica.org)
We've been invited to spend Stand Against Racism Day with Global Potential in Boston.
Global Potential joins more than 500 other organizations across the country in national Stand Against Racism day
April, 28, 2011, Boston, MA – Global Potential (www.global-potential.org) announced today its participation in the national YWCA’s Stand Against Racism day on April 30, 2011. The national civic engagement project will raise awareness of racism’s continued existence in our communities and fight against tolerance and ignorance of this problem that in many ways still plagues the country. City Councillor Tito Jackson will join us to inspire the youth of District 7 and the greater Boston area to empower each other and find innovative ways to eliminate racism and oppression. Many other youth organizations and initiatives from Boston, Cambridge and Lawrence will also join us at this event, such as Ashoka Youth Venture, Youth Action Africa, BSAC, Student Immigrant Movement, El Movimiento, Red Line Teens, Digital Independence and What’s Good in the Hood. Global Potential’s own youth social ventures have also helped organize this event: Les Manos United and Real Talk!
“It is intolerable that oppression and racism still exist in today’s globalized world. Nobody should ever be subjected to discrimination and inequality. On April 30, 2011, I invite city youth and socially conscious community members to come to our event from 5 to 9pm at Encuentro 5 in Chinatown, and celebrate diversity and equality in our communities, and in our City. We will mobilize engaged innovative youth of Boston, Cambridge and Lawrence to participate in the National YWCA’s Stand Against Racism day and showcase their initiatives that create a more equal and prosperous city. ” – Sarah Gogel, Director & Co-Founder, Global Potential.
Hispanic and Asian populations have grown substantially creating a more diverse city. However, according to the 2010 Census, Boston is in 11th place among larger cities for the most extreme residential segregation between the black population and white population. In addition, Boston ranks 4th in Hispanic/white segregation and 5th in Asian/white segregation.
Global Potential has joined with the national day’s local sponsor, YWCA Boston, and 62 other organizations in Greater Boston to promote the April 29th and 30th Stand Against Racism to combat the spread of hate and intolerance, and to honor and celebrate the richness of diversity.
Global Potential is committed to working for a more tolerant, just and equal society through quality education, youth empowerment, social entrepreneurship, international cultural exchange and leadership training. We believe that youth should be the leading voice and solution to battle society’s racism and celebrate its diversity. We promote these human rights values in Boston and New York where we are based out of currently throughout the year as well as in the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Nicaragua where we work during the summers. In the near future we will expand to other cities in the US and open up in France, Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
"I created my social venture as an equalizing space for youth of all races, cultures, ethnicities, religions, sexual orientation, gender and political views. I am inspired by other engaged youth t significant positive change in the Boston community and worldwide. Will you join me in making a difference?" - Daniel Alfaro, 19 years old, Global Potential Youth Leader and Founder of Real Talk! Boston social venture.
Lawrence, as you well know is not the cleanest of cities on the planet, but you know what, there are people out there doing something about it. It starts first with the individual taking responsibility and not creating litter. The next step is picking up after the mistakes of others. That’s where this story begins. It’s Saturday April 16th, 2011; the first mission was centered at Costello Park in South Lawrence. The clean up was organized by three local teachers, Eric Allshouse, Rebecca Veilleux and Trish McGonagle, and was supported by over 98 local middle school and high school students, NECCO students, two guys on a canoe and many faithful community members! This ambitious crew made quick work of the liter, tires, dumped wood, barrels, a pig head and balls that were scattered throughout the park. Bags and bags of trash were collected, over 40 full bags in all. That’s A LOT of litter. No one complained, and everyone left feeling that much better about themselves and our world. After all that hard work, the best was saved for last, free pizzas from the Pizza King!
The second clean up took place at the O’Neill Park where I met up with Pavel Payano (School Committee Member), Aguedo De Los Santos, Tony Pen of What’s Good in the Hood and many other community members all bundled up ready for action! This event was sparked by Anthony Nunez and supported by GLYPN (Greater Lawrence Young Professionals Network), Groundwork Lawrence and United Hands. After a brief pow wow, we gathered our wits, pulled on our gloves, counted to three and off we went. Like bats out of hell, we scattered, picking up everything and anything we could find. One group veered left and cleaned up along the Spicket River and in front of the Leahy Elementary School, while Tony, Aguedo and myself stayed to finish the fences, soccer field and the edges of the park. We met back up after an hour and finished all together in front of the Leahy. The pile of trash was huge, but the smiles were even bigger! Much power was discovered that day. With motivation and courage, anything can happen. If I ever seen anything happening that was good in ‘hood, that I witnessed it a thousand times over. The world’s not going to make itself better, it begins with each and everyone taking responsibility, and doing what’s good.
Balbony is a teacher at the Arlington Middle School.
Last Thursday night was “Taking Back the Night”, an event was that created to “shatter the silence” felt by victims of sexual violence and abuse. This event was planned by Melissa Ayala and Maryka Lier and everyone in Lawrence was invited, but a handful of about 30 people showed up. Among them were our friends Quin Gonell and Pavel Payano from the Greater Lawrence Young Professionals Network and Balbony, a teacher who usually supports community events like this. The goal was to make the world become a violence-free world and it will be one day. We, the WGITH team and a group of other people met up at the Scarito Park, on Brook St. We listened to the short speech given by Melissa and then we start our march. The walk began around 7:30pm, and two people were in the front, holding a banner written “Lawrence Take Back the Night”, one was our own Jonathan Chay. We walked about 0.8 mile, shouting out different words that would encourage people to stop the violence and support those victim. We walked through the neighborhood and then around the park. While walking we saw people with confused faces and people passing by us in their cars cheered us on. It felt great during our walk; we had fun and we were all proud of each other, even the dogs that also participating in our march. Roberta, as photographer, was constantly running to the front and back of the mob getting the pictures of us all. We ended our march right in front of the city hall where we took a group picture. Maryka and Melissa passed out candles and we tried to light them despite the bitter wind. Each of us made a verbal commitment to do something when we say abuse occurring and to refuse to take part. The last thing we did was having a moment of silence and then people start to go back home. We were honored to be invited to such a community event.
Only the strong survive in extra innings, a lesson that Darwin Brito and Lawrence High proved yesterday, knocking off Malden High in eight innings, 4-2.
Brito stroked a clutch two-run double in the top of the eighth to break the 2-2 tie. Victor Mendez then came on to pitch the perfect bottom half of the frame, saving the hard-earned win by Anthony Rodriguez, who struck out four in seven innings of six-hit ball. Sophomore Jose Cedano had a big day at the plate, going 4 for 4, including a two-run single to put the 6-1 Lancers on the board in the second.
Lawrence (4): Ventura cf 5-0-1, Perez 1b 2-0-0, E. Brito 3b 3-0-1, Quezada lf 4-1-1, Mendez ss/p 3-1-0, Cedano c 4-1-4, Rodriguez p/ss 4-0-1, Urena 2b 3-1-1, D. Brito rf 4-0-1, Totals 32-4-10
Malden (2): Wilcox rf 3-1-1, Valle ss 4-0-0, Woodman c 3-0-2, Teal 3b 4-0-1, Gibson lf 2-0-1, Mendez p 4-0-0, Lucey 2b 4-0-0, Steene dh 3-1-0, Howe 1b 3-0-1, Morton cf 0-0-0, Totals 30-2-6
The most planned out days are the often least productive, but nonetheless, the most fun. This morning, the WGITH team was determined that while the rest of the kids in Lawrence slept in, we were going to be making progress towards our next issue. We met up at my house at 11am, ready to work, with coffee, eggs, and half a dozen laptops. We had Twitter, Publisher, Photoshop, Excel, Google Docs, and Facebook open, working on emails, drawings, blogs, agendas and budgets the only way we knew how; online. It was going well, too, for a while. Around 1pm, we took a lunch break and celebrated Leanna’s birthday with a gigantic poptart we meant to be brownies and Tropic Thunder. Unfortunately, food and movies aren’t very effective when you’re trying to get a bunch of teens to be productive (note to self). The only other work that got done that day was at the meeting we had with our buddies Ricky, Lucy and Balbony who we met with at North Common in the evening. Even that was mostly just tossing ideas around, and playing ninja outside city hall. We couldn’t find a place to eat because I forgot it was Patriot’s Day and everything was closed. Despite our efforts, at the end of the day, it seemed like we ended up taking the day off like the rest of the city. But even though we spent the day baking brownies, watching movies, and taking pictures in secret alleyways, we forced ourselves together on the Monday of vacation, so in our own distracted way, we got a lot done.
WGITH Team recognized by Lawrence School Committee
The team of WGITH gathered at 255 Essex st on April 14th for an award that we received for recognition for what the newspaper is for. The ride to the suite was eventful itself and the team couldn’t not keep their cool as they waited for our award which we deemed “Students Working Actively for the Greater Good” by the staff of WGITH. This award is to honor those kids who try to make a difference in their community. The group waited patiently as the City council including our friend Pavel duked it out over city matters that have to be dealt with as soon as possible. It was obvious that Mayor Lantigua was not pleased with some of the arguments that were being brought was his reputation was slowly but inevitably being tarnished. After two long hours Pavel finally stood up and introduced the team to the audience that gathered there. The team provided a sort of relaxent for the crowd, is it allowed the city residents a window into a group of kids that were actually trying to make a difference. Joined by Michael Mena, Genesis Peralta, And Leana Pham, Gladys Gitau took to the podium and swiftfully described what the paper was for, and what it was about. The awards received from Pavel and the city council were greatly appreciated by the team and we are glad that the leaders of our city have recognized our efforts.
Doors and sardines leave Lawrence audience laughing
written by Gladys Gitau, edited by Aguedo Delossantos, photos by Roberta Delilo
Slamming doors and flying sardines have the audience rolling on the opening night of “Noises Off” in the Performing Arts Center. Lawrence High’s interpretation of Michael Frayn’s play about a play uses comedy to illustrate the drama that occurs backstage in a production.
“Noises Off” begins with a diva of a director, Lloyd, yelling at his actors for their lackluster performance in his production of “Nothing On.” Played by Maulique Rentas, Lloyd claims he does not let his personal life interfere with his work, while he himself plays a part in an off-set love triangle with actor, Brooke (played by Marlene Checo) and assistant stage manager, Poppy (played Carmen Darrach). In fact, most of the cast of “Nothing On” is involved in scandalous relationships.
The second act is backstage of the opening night of “Nothing On,” when rising tensions begin to affect actors’ performance. They begin missing ques, and forgetting lines, while trying to hold their lives together backstage.
“It’s not that bad but like the show, our opening night was our dress rehearsal,” says junior Michael Ross about the drama that go on behind the scenes of “Noises Off.” Like in real life, lack of hearing in his role as the drunken, and senile Selsdon (who plays a drunken and senile burglar) brings distress on set, but laughter to the audience.
The set itself plays a significant role. A towering facade of a two-story house complete with operating stairs and doors, it is perfect for flying up and slamming. It then rotates for the second act so the audience can see what is happening backstage during the same scene. Director Matthew Evangelista and the set crew put it together in two weeks.
“The set really brought the play together, including the great flow we had with the opening and closing of doors,” says Jesse Fermin, a freshman who played Garry in “Noises Off” and Roger in “Nothing On.” This is his first production at Lawrence High.
For others, like junior Caitlin Kennedy who has been with Lawrence theater since freshman year, it is still a new experience.
“I was terrible at improv, but I’ve learned how to think fast and pick up the ball if someone drops it,” says Kennedy who plays Belinda and Flavia in “Noises Off” and “Nothing On,” respectively. “It’s truly been an incredible experience and I thank Mr. Evangelista, Miss Barret and my fellow cast mates for making it so.”
By the end of the play, the drama in “Nothing On” and the drama in “Noises Off” cannot be separated. The curtain closes as the audience roars, the exact reaction “Noises Off” actors want to see.
“I want them to have a good time, that’s all I want out of them. But if they want to sign me, I’m fine for that as well,” says Ross with a chuckle. “Doors, sardines, and a bottle of Whiskey to all!” he exclaims, blurring his roles once again.
Real Talk is a project I was introduced to about a month ago. Founded by Daniel Alfaro, Real Talk is a newspaper that acts as a platform for Boston kids to express themselves. It’s cool to see that other kids are doing what we’re doing. Follow them!