community

Harriet Jones / WNPR

Hundreds of people gathered in downtown New London Thursday night in a vigil aimed at drawing attention to the recent epidemic of heroin overdoses. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

For his latest book, Michael Robinson journeyed to the mountains of East Africa with a particular mission in mind: to search for explorer Henry Morton Stanley's so-called "white tribe." This hour, Robinson talks about his experience, and how it helped inform The Lost White Tribe: Explorers, Scientists, and the Theory that Changed a Continent

Keoni Cabral / Creative Commons

The Michigan Civil Rights Commission announced it will hold hearings to see whether discrimination played a role in the handling of Flint’s water crisis. The decision came early last week, amid allegations of environmental racism against the city’s largely black community.

This hour -- from Flint, Michigan to New Haven, Connecticut -- we learn about the environmental justice issues affecting America's low-income communities of color. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A new report on Connecticut's civic health was released Tuesday. This hour, we discuss its findings with Secretary of the State Denise Merrill. 

The country remembers the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on Monday. More than four decades after his death, many people see the Black Lives Matter movement as the modern incarnation of the drive for human dignity and legal standing that Dr. King embodied.

But others, including members of an earlier generation of activists, find fault with the group, seeing it as an aimless, formless group that still lacks direction and follow-through. Meanwhile, younger activists sometimes see their seniors as too narrow in their focus and rigid in their methods.

The multi-national corporation General Electric announced they’ll move their global headquarters to Boston, Massachusetts, this summer. They’ll be leaving Fairfield, Connecticut, where they’d been based for more than 40 years. The local damage will go beyond the loss of 800 jobs.

Homelessness is hard enough, but being a young adult and homeless brings its own set of challenges. No longer eligible for family shelters, 18- to 24-year-olds can be targets of theft and assault by older homeless adults, experts say. In Boston, a new homeless shelter just opened — for young adults only.

The night before the shelter opens, there is a celebratory dinner in the basement of the First Parish church in Harvard Square. The space has been through a $1.3 million renovation, with funds coming from foundations, grants and donations.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

DataHaven, a New Haven-based nonprofit organization, recently completed the nation’s largest survey on community well-being. This hour, we take a look at the results and consider what they reveal about health, happiness, and quality of life in Connecticut. 

It’s lunchtime, and Salah Asfoura walks into Bahnan’s International Marketplace with the ease and familiarity of a regular.

“I shop here all the time,” he says. “I mean, not just here, but when we’re looking for Middle Eastern stuff, they have great pastry here, very fresh.”

Ross MacDonald

Flags are at half-staff in Connecticut on Monday on the anniversary of the mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown in 2012.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

On Friday, an interfaith coalition gathered at the Legislative Office Building in Hartford to condemn terrorism and Islamophobia after last weekend's Paris attacks. 

Protesters in Minneapolis clashed with police Wednesday night, as demonstrations over the police shooting of a black man intensified.

Minnesota Public Radio reports:

"A gathering of hundreds of protesters at a north Minneapolis precinct grew tense Wednesday night, after police cleared the entrance of the station where some had camped since Sunday after Jamar Clark was shot by police.

In the wake of the terror attacks in Paris, a group of local Muslim women gathered in Copley Square Wednesday to mourn the victims.

About two dozen women gathered for what organizers called a “silent vigil” near the steps of the Boston Public Library in Copley Square. They stood in a line, quietly, carrying red roses and signs with messages like “Love trumps evil,” “Pray for the world” and “Spread hope.”

Over the weekend, I watched as crowds in the hundreds gathered in Paris' 10th arrondissement at the killing sites: a few neighborhood bistros like Le Carillon, and a Cambodian restaurant, Le Petit Cambodge — Little Cambodia.

The crowds moved quietly, like museumgoers, as they observed the memorial bouquets and candles or added to them with a hushed reverence.

There are bullet holes in the windows and walls, and the scenes of disorder inside were evidence of the chaos Friday night: beer glasses, still full, on the bar. A single shoe on the floor. Shards of glass.

JJ flickr.com/photos/tattoodjay/ / Creative Commons

NAACP Chairman Roslyn Brock said law enforcement and African-American communities need to come together to talk about their concerns to help ease tensions, but lawmakers must also address aggressive policing nationwide.

On Friday, coordinated terrorist attacks struck the French capital, killing more than 120 people.

Deadly attacks hit multiple sites simultaneously. There were explosions outside a massive stadium. Scores of people were held hostage inside a concert venue. Diners at several cafes and restaurants faced volleys of gunfire.

The incident has prompted anger, grief and an outpouring of sympathy from around the world.

Month after month, Natalia Pedroza showed up at the doctor's office with uncontrolled diabetes and high blood pressure. Her medications never seemed to work, and she kept returning to the emergency room in crisis.

Walfred Lopez, a Los Angeles County community health worker, was determined to figure out why.

A new group in Berkshire County is looking to create a social network for LGBTQ seniors in the area.

Kelly Schott/flickr creative commons

Hartford is going to fly its flags at half-staff in honor of the city's first African-American fire chief, who passed away due to complications from a fall.

WNPR/David DesRoches

The White House recently honored a Hartford teenager and a police officer for their efforts to improve relationships between cops and young people. 

Lee Werling / Flickr

With recent incidents like the ones in Ferguson and Baltimore, the issue of police training and leadership has come under the spotlight. Police commissioners and chiefs have either been fired or forced to resign due to some of these incidents. But police leadership may not be solely responsible for the practices and policies employed by cops on the street.

Rebecca Wilhite / Rebecca Wilhite Photography

Before I knew Charles “Butch” Lewis as the life-long Hartford resident and advocate, before I even knew his name, I knew him as the man on Vine Street with the mutton chop beard and the shades. 

Rebecca Wilhite / Rebecca Wilhite Photography

Longtime Hartford activist Charles "Butch" Lewis died earlier this month. He was 71. 

Some say the Tiny House movement dates back to 1854 when Henry David Thoreau first described the economy and aesthetics of small home living in "Walden".  But the movement didn't gather much steam until 1998 with the publication of Sarah Susanka's "The Not So Big House" - and itty bitty houses began to literally dot the landscape.  So when we heard about a tiny house in Hampton, NH - that was on wheels, that looked like a steamer trunk, that was made of recycled movie sets - we sent Sean Hurley to find out more. 

When hurricanes or other large storms roll in, we often focus on the human toll-- buildings destroyed, properties damaged.

But those same storms can also wreak havoc on ecosystems and the plants that are their foundation. And if a native system is wiped out, will it bounce back? One conservation group is trying to create a repository of native New England seeds, which can be used for just that purpose.

A few years ago, a good friend and I were walking near downtown Philadelphia, not far from my old elementary school, Thomas C. Durham, on 16th and Lombard. The school was built on the edge of a black neighborhood in South Philly in the early 1900s, and its design earned it a spot on the National Register of Historic Places when I was in the third grade. I nudged my friend to take a quick detour with me.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

In June, General Electric confirmed it’s considering a move out of Connecticut. The news came amid a state budget battle over corporate tax hikes. 

hartfordsymphonyblog.com

The Hartford Symphony Orchestra is asking its players to take a big pay cut. Meanwhile, the musicians are looking for a better deal, and wonder, "How do you build the symphony by cutting it?" 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

With ongoing tensions between Palestinians and Israelis, life for musicians there can be challenging. Israeli political and military control over most of the West Bank can mean a separation between Palestinian artists and their audience. In Jerusalem, that sense of isolation can be even more acute. 

Rob Dozier / WNPR

This past weekend, over 50,000 people gathered in downtown Hartford to celebrate their cultural heritage.

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