Friday, 11/18, 6:30pm
La Casita Cultural Center (109 Otisco Street)
MADE IN L.A.
Made in L.A. is an Emmy award-winning feature documentary that follows the remarkable story of three Latina immigrants working in Los Angeles garment sweatshops as they embark on a three-year odyssey to win basic labor protections from a trendy clothing retailer. In intimate verite style, Made in L.A. reveals the impact of the struggle on each woman’s life as they are gradually transformed by the experience. Compelling, humorous, deeply human, Made in L.A. is a story about immigration, the power of unity, and the courage it takes to find your voice.
Sponsored by La Casita Cultural Center, the Solidarity Committee of Central New York, the Workers Center of Central New York, and the Syracuse University Labor Studies Program
SALT OF THE EARTH
Thursday, 10/20, 8pm
Eggers 060, Syracuse University
Based on an actual strike against the Empire Zinc Mine in New Mexico, the film deals with the prejudice against the Mexican-American workers, who struck to attain wage parity with Anglo workers in other mines and to be treated with dignity by the bosses. The film is an early treatment of feminism, because the wives of the miners play a pivotal role in the strike, against their husbands wishes. In the end, the greatest victory for the workers and their families is the realization that prejudice and poor treatment are conditions that are not always imposed by outside forces. This film was written, directed and produced by members of the original “Hollywood Ten,” who were blacklisted for refusing to answer Congressional inquiries on First Amendment grounds. — from IMDb
Sponsored by the Solidarity Committee of CNY, the Workers Center of CNY, and the Syracuse University Labor Studies Program
Friday, 9/30, 12:30
Plymouth Church, 232 E. Onondaga
For 36 years, the Ida Benderson Senior Center has provided a home and family for low-income Syracuse senior citizens downtown. Without consulting the seniors, Mayor Stephanie Miner decided that the Center will close after Friday (9/30). Let’s show Mayor Miner that the Syracuse community supports its senior citizens. If you can’t make it to the march, please call Mayor Miner and ask her to support Syracuse seniors: 315.448.8005.
We will walk from Plymouth to Ida Benderson and conclude at City Hall. There, a delegation of seniors and allies, bringing an olive branch and a peace dove, will ask to meet with Mayor Miner about options for keeping the Center open.
In Today’s Post-Standard, a Syracuse University scholar weighs in on the imminent closure of the Ida Benderson Senior Center. Dr. Nepveux argues that Ida Benderson is a recreation facility, not an adult day care facility like the Salvation Army. Further, she points out:
“Recreation is a basic part of well-being at all stages of life. It is also recognized to be a human right. Senior centers enable elderly people to congregate and enjoy recreation in safe, warm and accessible spaces. In recognition of the significant poverty of many of our seniors, these centers also provide affordable meals.”
Dr. Nepveux concludes, “Rather than diverting feisty, talented Benderson seniors into a day care program, shouldn’t we channel their enthusiasm into improving the center — and indeed the city — that they hold so dear?”
Three senior women who participate in the Ida Benderson Center had their heads shaved in protest of the imminent Ida Benderson Center closure. The head shaving happened in front of the Ida Benderson Center at 11am.
One of these seniors, Sue Hollister, 76, who uses the Center nearly every day, organized a petition delivered to City Hall two weeks ago calling on Mayor Miner to keep the Center open. The barber was also be a Benderson Center participant.
Hollister said, “Stephanie Miner is cutting senior programs to the bone. We want to show how much these cuts affect us. We might be losing our hair, but we aren’t losing our spirit. We’re going to fight this to the end.”
Bruce Benderson held a press conference at 11 AM Friday, 9/23 in front of the Ida Benderson Center at 205 S. Salina.
Representing the Benderson family, he announced the formation of Friends of the Ida Benderson Center, a group dedicated to supporting the Ida Benderson Center downtown. Mr. Benderson called upon individuals, community groups and businesses in the Syracuse community to contribute whatever funds, skills or other resources they have to reinvigorate the Ida Benderson Center.
Benderson stated, “I find it incredibly grotesque that Mayor Miner intends to fundraise for the Salvation Army, which already has a staff of professional fundraisers. Instead of what seem like duplicitous strategies to destroy the center dedicated to my mother’s name, Miner should have been asking the community to pitch in. Mayor Miner, will you accept our support now?”
Friends of the Ida Benderson Center can be found online at www.idabenderson.org
The Syracuse Common Council will discuss the planned closure of the Ida Benderson Senior Center today, 9/21. The Parks & Recreation Committee will discuss the matter at 10am in the Council chambers, and the full Council will meet for a study session at noon.