Archive for the ‘New York City’ Category

Free Dominican Festival & Independence Day Celebration

Thursday, February 26th, 2015

Rey del Carnaval del BoulevardIvan Dominguez is “maestro” in every way, a distinguished musician and a respected teacher.

And tonight, Thursday, February 26 at 7 p.m., this Maestro and Director of Catholic Charities Alianza La Plaza Beacon will be honored at the Dominican festival of dance and song, the Camerata Washington Heights & Conjunto Folklorico Dominicano, at City College’s Aaron Davis Hall.

Eight of the evening’s performers began studying Dominican dance with Mr. Dominguez as young children at Alianza La Plaza Beacon, a division of Catholic Charities that provides cultural activities, recreation and homework help for neighborhood youth.  Now, after more than a decade training with this “maestro” they have performed up and down the East coast, from Washington DC to Providence, from Boston and tonight to Aaron Davis Hall at the City College of New York.

“It’s important for children in this multicultural country to know about our cultures, to know where we came from so we can understand ourselves and show respect to others,” Mr. Rodriguez says.

Catholic Charities along with key elected officials and organizations is sponsoring the evening’s free event in commemoration of Dominican Independence Day.

Spider-Man Reaches Out to Boy with Autism

Monday, February 23rd, 2015

By Alice Kenny

Spider-Man swung in for his first fantasy appearance in the Forest Hill, Queens home of this fictional boy-turned-insect’s  aunt in 1962.

Now, more than 50 years later, the superhero made his latest appearance last week in the dilapidated East Harlem apartment of Jamel Hunter, a Spider-Man-obsessed boy trapped inside his thoughts by autism.

Spider-Man’s author, Stan Lee, learned about Jamel and his obsession with the comic strip hero from a New York Times Neediest Cases profile written about this eight-year old who receives help from Catholic Charities affiliate Kennedy Child Study Center.

In an effort to reach through the autism, Mr. Lee sketched a personalized comic with a special bubble, “Hi, Jamel,” and had it hand delivered to the young boy in the housing project where he lives.

Read the full New York Times “Crime Scene” story now.

Help a Woman. Volunteer.

Friday, February 20th, 2015

Another Volunteer Opportunity that needs Volunteers!

Students at our affiliate that trains women for careers,  Grace Institute, need your support, advice, guidance and inspiration. Make a difference in their lives by participating in our Brag Party!

Brag Party!
Thursday, March 19, 2015
9:00 AM-1:00 PM
New York, NY 10037

If you know someone who would be interested in this event please feel free to forward it on to them!

 

Catholic Charities Joins Protest Against Judge’s Last-Minute Kibosh on Immigration Reform

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

By Alice Kenny

Immigrants and their supporters are rallying across New York to protest a judge’s Monday night order that stymies President Obama’s executive action to reform immigration policies.

“The ruling by a lower Federal Court in Texas, while disappointing, was neither surprising nor definitive,” said Msgr. Kevin Sullivan before a conference held in Manhattan at noon today.   “Catholic Charities will continue to outreach to the individuals and families who need to prepare for the important opportunities afforded by the President’s executive action and hopefully also for comprehensive immigration reform which remains a pressing need.”

He added his voice to that of elected officials, service providers and the newly arrived and personally affected who are speaking out against U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen’s ruling.

This ruling was particularly painful because it temporarily blocks the President’s  planned expansion of the Defered Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program  just a day before the program was set to go into effect.

It also blocks the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) set to begin in May 2015.

In New York more than 300,000 people qualify for these new programs.

“Catholic Charities focus ,” Msgr. Sullivan added, “is our legal and social services for new Americans, made in God’s image, who merit dignity and respect and the opportunity to provide basic human necessities for themselves and their families.”

David Carr: Inspired by Catholic Charities; Mourned by the World

Tuesday, February 17th, 2015

By Alice Kenny

At Catholic Charities, we mourn David Carr, the brilliant, irascible New York Times columnist who dropped dead at his desk at The New York Times last week from lung cancer.

From his memoir, Night of the Gun, many of us know the story of this powerful writer and his metamorphosis from cokehead to media guru.

But few know that he scored his initial inspiration and first story after learning from his dad about a Catholic Charities staff member beaten for standing up for men being bullied.

 I was at my parents’ house one day in 1982 when my dad told me about his pal Peter, a guy who ran Catholic Charities. He watched as a couple of beefy cops pounded two black suspects already in custody. Peter stepped toward them to ask why they were beating up those guys and got a piece of same. It sounded outrageous.

“Somebody should do a story about this,” I said to my dad. Maybe, my dad said, it should be you.

I called the editor of the Twin Cities Reader. He sounded interested, in a bored, yeah-sure kind of way, committing only to read what I came up with. I pretended I knew what I was doing — isn’t that what most of life rests on? — and fumbled my way through police reports, disciplinary records, and relevant witnesses. With my pal David over my shoulder, I wrote it up. When it came time to deliver, I found myself chattering away in front of Brian, the editor, unable to hand it over.

That’s what we do at Catholic Charities.

We stand up for those who others forget.

And we serve as  inspiration for some  we will always remember.

RIP David Carr.

Pick Up a Basketball, Not a Gun

Monday, February 16th, 2015

basketkenn2011mothers 019By Alice Kenny

Put the guns down.
Pick up the ball.
And let’s recreate.

That’s the plea for the third year straight of Harlem Mothers S.A.V.E., an empowered group begun by five broken-hearted Harlem mothers who lost their sons to gun violence.

Their goal is to provide positive alternatives, specifically basketball, to keep teenage boys away from the street’s vices.

To support them, Catholic Charities will once again host a basketball tournament at our Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Memorial Center during the mid-winter school recess, starting today, February 16, and ending Friday, February, 20, 2015.  The tournament this year will be offered exclusively to teens detained in local juvenile facilities.

“Together,” they say, “we can silence the violence.”

Four Bold Ideas to Mend Police-Community Relations

Wednesday, February 11th, 2015

alianza-police-communityBraving frigid temperatures, over 150 youth, community leaders, members of the public and NYPD law enforcement officers, banded together last week to discuss the dicey subject of community-police relations.

Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer and Msgr. Kevin Sullivan, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of New York held the event at the Catholic Charities Alianza Dominicana Cultural Center in Upper Manhattan.  There to speak, listen and learn were:

  • NYPD brass:  Chief James O’Neil and Deputy Chief Kathleen O’Reilly
  • Councilmen Ydanis Rodriguez and Mark Levine
  • Plus more than 20 students from Catholic Charities various programs including:

      o     Alianza Dominicana Division’s Dyckman Cornerstone

      o     Highbridge Cornerstone

      o     La Plaza Beacon School, MOSAIC Beacon School

      o     Brandeis HS Complex: Innovation Diploma Plus LTW (Learning to Work) programs George Washington HS for Media & Communications

      o     George Washington HS for Science & Technology

      o     ISY TTA Harlem (Kennedy Center)

Their goal was to develop input and policy suggestions from participants of all backgrounds and walks of life.  To do so, they participated in moderated small-group discussions on policing, civil rights, and community safety.

Moderators guided groups at twelve tables to identify specific problems and opportunities, generate practical policy recommendations and formulating at least one bold, transformative idea per group.

Here is the Top-Four Sampling of  Bold Ideas:

  1. Monthly police and youth events at the local Beacon Schools, Cornerstone programs, SONYC and COMPASS after-school programs
  2. Police precincts hosting some of their monthly meetings at community center, partnering CBO’s space or locations
  3. Making NYC residency a requirement for NYPD officers
  4. Assign more beat cops instead of patrol cars

The Borough President Gale A. Brewer in conjunction with Civil Rights Attorney Norman Siegel will compile and report the recommendations later this year after convening several more forums throughout the borough of Manhattan.

Check out our photos of the event on FaceBook.

Migrant Children: A Four Part Series

Monday, February 9th, 2015

By Alice Kenny

Fifteen years old, hungry and alone, Elvis Garcia hitched rides, scrambled atop freight trains and dragged himself through 1,200 miles of deserts to reach his promised land, the United States.

Now this former unaccompanied minor works for Catholic Charities, helping fellow young immigrants survive  and thrive.

Catch this powerful 4-part News 12 series when it airs its first program today, Monday, February 9, 2015.

A Special Thank You from Msgr. Kevin Sullivan

Monday, February 9th, 2015

thankyouI am amazed and humbled by what we can do when we come together to help our neighbors.

Because of you, so far this year’s Feeding Our Neighbors campaign has already collected over 400,000 meals for families in need.

We are making the final tally, including donations from our corporate and inter-faith partners, and our own parishes and schools. In the coming days, we will let you know the total contributions for this year’s campaign and the overall impact your generosity will have on hungry New Yorkers.

With gratitude,

Monsignor Kevin Sullivan

P.S. If you’d like to make a contribution you still can.
Donate here.