We had a fabulous 2021 Virtual Westchester Social Forum Series!
The 2021 Virtual Westchester Social Forum took place every Wednesday evening in March 2021 and covered a topic that is part of the progressive platform for this year in this time of pandemic.
March 3rd: Justice Roadmap 2021: watch the recording here
The Justice Roadmap is a legislative agenda designed to address the harms caused by the deeply entangled criminal, legal and immigration systems. For far too long, our state has failed to provide New Yorkers with affordable housing, quality healthcare and robust educational and economic opportunities. Instead, New York has built and metastasized systems of criminalization and incarceration. False and racist labels of criminality are used to justify dehumanizing conditions and treatment, deny basic rights, permanently exile individuals from their communities through incarceration and deportation, and further target and extract resources from economically-distressed communities. These systems operate through violent policy, structure, and culture to oppress and criminalize Black and brown people, families and communities. Now is the time for change.
March 10th: Fund our Future: How Can NYS address our Budget Crisis? Watch the recording here
Join us for a panel discussion with representatives from statewide organizations and coalitions who are advocating for a fairer taxation system, by calling for new taxes and revenue raisers to increase the funds available in the NYS budget to support essential services valued by the citizens of NY, and to avoid budget cuts to public education, healthcare, mental health services, housing, environmental issues, unemployment benefits.
March 17th: Organizing for Health Equity in Our Communities. Watch the recording here
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted drastic, longstanding health disparities affecting people of color. Research has shown that solutions to them demand more than just traditional healthcare, but a focus on other factors affecting quality of life. Healthcare institutions, insurance companies and community organizations are beginning to address them and ensure health equity in Westchester County. Hear how from a panel including:
Mecca Santana Mitchell, Sr. VP of DEI & Community Outreach, Westchester Medical Center
Andrea Beltran Ruggiero, MPA, Executive Vice President, Community Health, Open Door Family Medical Center
Errol L. Pierre, SVP, State Programs at HealthFirst
March 24th: Courageous Conversations about Race Among Westchester Teens. Watch the recording here
Join us for an interactive workshop led by teens from the Westchester Youth Alliance in partnership with the Peekskill Youth NAACP Leadership Council. Hear about their journey making sense of institutional racism and segregation in Westchester communities and beginning to build bridges through dialogue and activism. Participants will be invited to share reflections on what makes such courageous conversations essential, challenging, and empowering as we strive to build multi-racial and cross-community collaboration.
March 31st: Moving Beyond Politics and Positions – How to engage in productive dialogue when there is controversy and polarization. Watch the recording here
Name an issue and there are multiple opinions and strong emotions – immigration, facing and moving forward to correct the impact of 400+ years of systemic racism on our country, the climate emergency, healthcare, housing, criminal justice, the economy, abortion, and the Middle East are some examples. This interactive workshop will engage participants to practice listening and coalition building skills with people who have diverse points of view. Come prepared to connect and practice using issues that are close to your heart.
Offered by Stephanie Low, the National Coalition Building Institute
We are all very much looking forward to welcoming you for our virtual series in March!