Community Leader and Business Owner is Mother Figure to All

Gwendolyn Fagan was going to church one day when she passed a little boy, about 4 or so, sitting out front and munching on a snack. Fagan knew his grandmother from church, though the youngster didn’t know her. She watched as he tossed the scraps of his snack on the ground. “I said, ‘Get that watermelon up.’ First thing he ... Read More »

South Side Achiever

Xi Chapter of Lambda Kappa Mu strives to serve the community “It is well-organized and supports the community. It lets people get involved with the community and stay involved,” said Ruby Beal about Lambda Kappa Mu Sorority, a 68-year-old “sister”, who has been involved for 30 years. Lambda Kappa Mu Sorority is a national organization for business and professional women, ... Read More »

Living After Loss

With more than 10,000 helped last year, the center hopes to help even more in the future April 9, 2011, is a day that Michael Bratton will never forget. He lost his youngest child, a 27-year-old son. It was a normal, quiet Sunday morning for Bratton, until he got a call from his ex-wife who told him their son, Michael ... Read More »

I-81 Challenge Public Meeting

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon, attributed to king Nebuchadnezzar II, were one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. If the Rev. Craig French gets his way, Syracuse’s South Side could be seeing a modern version of the gardens, which were purportedly built in the 6th century BC. French, the lead pastor of the University United Methodist Church, said ... Read More »

Ready to Soar

Calmesha Givens keeps her acting dreams alive while also working at On Point For College Actress Calmesha Givens sits in a room with three other people — waiting — anxious to hear who made the cut. The room is silent as the tension builds. Everyone in the room seems on edge, except Calmesha, better known as “Caly.” She looks confident, ... Read More »

Theater Revival

New artistic director brings back Paul Robeson Performing Arts Company The new artistic director of the Paul Robeson Performing Arts Company says it’s all about community. His first project proves it. The PRPAC’s comeback production is a cabaret for the African-American students that were not cast in Cicero-North Syracuse High School’s musical production of “The Wiz.” Not a single African-American ... Read More »

Second Chances

Syracuse advocacy groups want to ‘Ban the Box’ on job applications Anyone who’s applied for a job is familiar with it: the section of the application inquiring about criminal history. Many pass over this check box quickly, checking “no” and moving on. Yet others dread this box, considering it a death sentence for their chances at a position. “I started ... Read More »

South Side Achiever

Returning president of 100 Black Men of Syracuse continues to offer hope Sitting at his desk in the South Side Innovation Center, Vincent B. Love, 59, describes how he isn’t perfect. The Syracuse native — who grew up just down the street in Pioneer Homes — points out that he made some wrong decisions in his earlier years. However, one ... Read More »

Unfolding a Community's Prison Stories

In the quiet upper auditorium of Beauchamp Branch Library, a little more than a dozen neighbors and a criminal justice class from Onondaga Community College gathered Tuesday, March 26, for an intimate and sensitive dialogue sharing their ties to what has become a common American experience: prison stories. Calmesha Givens, Syracuse native, and Shannon Fernandez, a Syracuse University student from ... Read More »

City Offers Stop the Violence Forum

A call to action with a little help from Hollywood Mayor Stephanie Miner’s office, along with a number of various organizations including Mother’s Against Gun Violence, held a panel discussion featuring notable Syracuse figures and Hollywood actor Khalil Kain at the historic Landmark Theatre Thursday, March 21. The issue at hand? How to help prevent the rise in gun violence ... Read More »