Greg Munno

Holistic Health for Mental Health 

Rachel Johnson found healing through a holistic approach. Now, she wants her community to have access to the same services. By Sarah Merke Rachel Johnson’s inner circle expected her to go to college. Johnson, though, wanted a choice, and the thought of college or nothing did not sit well with her.  During her senior year of high school, she entered …

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Shaunna Spivey-Spinner’s Realizes Their Dream as a Fitness Professional 

By Greta Stuckey After Shaunna Spivey-Spinner gave birth to a son during the pandemic, the Syracuse native was ready for a change. Spivey-Spinner felt uncomfortable in their body and started looking for ways to get fit. Soon after, Spivey-Spinner decided to make fitness more than a hobby. In 2023, they made their dreams a reality by becoming a personal trainer …

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Bridging the Gap

A local public charity has launched a nonprofit bridge loan program to help organizations as they wait for approved government grants.  By Laura Román López  More than half of the nonprofits in New York state experience delays in getting state funds for programs the state has already contracted for. The Central New York Community Foundation hopes its new nonprofit bridge-loan program, …

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Coffee and Community for the Deaf, Open to All

Deaf Coffee CNY attendees. Photo courtesy of Bentley Bryant.

By Jaden Wilson Bentley Bryant is an ASL-teaching, music-loving, Texas native who brings Syracuse’s deaf community together every Friday evening.   “Deaf Coffee” is a national deaf social event that dedicates itself to providing a safe space for deaf people to socialize. Bryant is the host and creator of Deaf Coffee in Syracuse, which meets at 6 p.m. Fridays at different …

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Empowering Youth, One Book at a Time

Book Buddy volunteers working with students at STEAM at Dr. King Elementary School in October.

A local nonprofit seeks to empower a new generation of readers through the Book Buddies program, which connects community volunteers, college students and young children through literacy activities in Syracuse schools.  By Laura Román López  Young children line up, lunches in hand, as they wait to be let into the classroom.  They crane their necks to get a better view, …

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Never too Early; Never too Late

Breast cancer screening is an important part of a woman’s health, a message experts are pushing in October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Learn about programs in the Syracuse area that provide the resources to support you or a loved one. By Sarah Merke Janet Bacon, on a whim, decided to go for a mammogram after a community health worker from …

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 A Community Confronts Lead

The Sankofa Doula Collective is striving to improve prenatal and postpartum care through lead awareness in Syracuse. By Sarah Merke After eight months of developing proposals and presenting them to the community, the day had come. On a sunny spring day, Syracuse residents gathered to vote and select the proposal that best served the city’s dire need to tackle lead …

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A Community Demanding Answers

Protesters in front of the Southwest Community Center. The protesters want to know why a popular afterschool program was suddenly canceled and are demanding that the program re-start as soon as possible. Photo by Za'Tozia Duffie

Staff at the Southwest Community Center, as well as the families that rely on it, are outraged by the sudden suspension of the center’s OASAS Afterschool program.  By Za’Tozia Duffie Afterschool programs provide a lifeline to working parents who need to bridge the time between when their kids get out of school and when they get out of work.  The …

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Doulas Empower Black Mothers, Fight Maternal Mortality

SeQuoia Kemp at a postpartum home visit. Photo by Martha Swann Photography

By Sarah Merke By the second grade, SeQuoia Kemp knew she wanted to be a nurse. By middle school, she was writing papers on reproductive health issues such as abortions and miscarriages. As a teenager, she witnessed a Black midwife help a childhood friend give birth. Kemp’s calling was clear: She would devote her life to helping pregnant women and …

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Finding Community — And Hope

Rhonda Davis teaches an art class this summer at the Boys & Girls Club of Syracuse. Photo by Za’Tozia Duffie

Rhonda Davis, who grew up in the 15th Ward, helps Syracuse youth express themselves through art. By Za’Tozia Duffie   The students huddle around a petite woman with an Afro, as she bends down to warmly embrace each child.  The pupils range in size and age, but each has the same question: What art form will they get to explore today? …

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