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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Getting Ready for School

Families getting ready for school

Teachers and school officials met on the South Side this week to talk about the upcoming year, including the upcoming back-to-school event at Dr. King Elementary School on Tuesday

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Renown Opera Singer Brings Music Series to Syracuse in July

Photo of Gregory Sheppard, opera singer

Gregory Sheppard will stage three free shows in Syracuse July 7, 14, and 21, each starting at 7 p.m. By Reggie SeiglerA Friendly Five Columnist Gregory Sheppard left Syracuse quite a few years ago to pursue his career as an opera singer, but he never forgot his roots. Sheppard was raised and educated in Syracuse, lived in its public housing, …

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Syracuse Unifies to Celebrate Freedom at Juneteenth Parade

Juneteenth revelers on the Victory Parade route on Saturday.

Photos and Story By Timia Cobb Syracuse residents don’t wait until July 4th to celebrate freedom. For many, the more meaningful holiday is Juneteenth. In honor of the historic day of freedom for African Americans, residents of all backgrounds filled the city’s streets on Saturday waving colorful Pan-African flags, dancing to music and enjoying food. At 11 a.m. sharp, dance …

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Who Will Live In the New 15th Ward?

McKinney Manor reflected in the rain drops.

Community activists worry that the plans to replace McKinney Manor and Pioneer Homes with affordable housing will put many of the new units out of reach of current residents.  By Timia Cobb The Syracuse housing study released in March found that more than a quarter of all households in the city have incomes of less than $35,000 a year. Those …

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Residents Protest Gun Show

Anti-gun protesters at city hall

An anti-gun rally on the steps of Syracuse city hall called out the hypocrisy of the state fairgrounds hosting a gun show at a time when gun violence is plaguing our streets By Greg Munno The city of Syracuse announced plans last month to spend a million dollars to fight rising gun violence. Saturday, the state fairgrounds just beyond the …

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Eliminating Racism, Empowering Community

Born in Peru, Fanny Villarreal has become a well-known name in the Syracuse community with her work to eliminate racism and empower young women and girls through the YWCA. Aquí está la entrevista de Ortiz con Villarreal en español. By Tania Ortiz Before Fanny Villarreal decided to settle in Syracuse, she served as a judge in the Peruvian jungle and …

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Prioritizing Early Childhood

Affordable childcare, YMCA center and playspace all included in potential Syracuse Children Rising Center

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