The Stand’s Director Ashley Kang was commissioned to draft Clifford Ryan’s bio to accompany his depiction in the national portrait series, "Americans Who Tell the Truth."

A Year in Review

Let’s look back at highlights for The Stand from 2022.

Last Winter, the first class of high school students from the Syracuse Journalism Lab graduated. The Stand is proud to be a partner with the Syracuse Press Club and the media program at the Institute of Technology at Syracuse Central to inspire the next generation of budding journalists. I am so grateful to the efforts of Camalot Todd who served as last year’s journalism educator and the opportunity to take the reins myself in the effort’s second year. I can’t wait to see how the endeavor grows in the future.

The Stand

This school year, our first session was held Oct. 17, led by me with assistance from Emily Kenny, a digital journalist with Spectrum News 1 through a Report For America placement. J-Lab students have learned how to write op-eds (to date, two have been published!), structure a profile and feature story, examine social media and fake news and received tips from professionals on interviewing and shooting sports photography. Students say a top highlight was an Oct. 28 visit to Syracuse University to hear Nikole Hannah-Jones speak.

The Stand even became special when we were memorialized in the Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) at Syracuse University, which collects, preserves and provides access to rare books, manuscripts and other primary source materials. Its collection now includes nearly 90 print editions, annual reports and more from The Stand’s last 13 years! The SCRC is located on the sixth floor of Bird Library. Access is provided by appointment only. To visit our “special” content there, contact the SCRC at or (315) 443-2697.

This year also marked the third year we’ve held a Photo Contest. We celebrated 24 winning images and 17 local photographers at our Photo Bash. I am grateful to Michael John Heagerty who stepped in as MC, presenting prizes to finalists at Wildflowers Armory. By dusk, attendees paraded to the Everson Museum to view the reveal of this summer’s winners.

Special thanks must go to my community volunteers — 2022 Photo Contest Judges: Terry Baker, Mike Greenlar, Marilu Lopez Fretts and Zau Nhkum. Additionally, special gratitude goes to the additional Photo Walk and Photo Meetup leaders: Shaneika Ford, Bob Gates, Herm Card, Jeffrey Perkins, Emily Kenny, Elijah Gustus, Tyrone Dixon and Greg Munno.

We even launched a podcast, “My South Side,” in May. Abby Fritz, who now works as a producer at City Cast Philly, put together four episodes — a three-part series looking at the challenges Afghans faced while resettling in Syracuse and an episode on South Siders’ relationship to the card game Spades.

We showcased our fourth photo gallery exhibit in 2022, featuring photos captured by residents to professionals who attended Photos Walks since 2010. The exhibit was curated by ArtRage Gallery. If you missed it, not to worry. The images will be rehung this coming January at Onondaga Community College and stay on view through Feb. 23, 2023.

Finally, a big shoutout to Habakkuk Nickens, who was previously featured in The Stand in 2016 for organizing a community cease-fire event — while in prison. Over the summer, Nickens was released from prison, returned home and began contributing a guest column, “Seeking Redemption,” to share the sources of his personal motivation.

— Ashley Kang
The Stand Director

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