Baseball invites Immigrants to Dominate

By Karlee Dies

Comedian Trevor Noah talks Sports in America

The crowd is cheering. The aroma of hot dogs, popcorn and excitement fill the area. The teams are playing their heart out. Memories are being made. Some of the greatest memories come from sports. American sports are known for great fans, great games, and great athletes.

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Diamond in Little Italy

Photos by Drew Patrick

 

There is no place that bring together cultures, races, genders, and ages quite like a good old-fashion Barbershop. Erie’s Little Italy, has one of the best. Sitting in the heart of Little Italy lies Ruiz Barber Shop.

Little Italy known today only by name, started falling out of favor as factories moved out and the initial Italian immigrants moved with them. Little Italy is working on improving  the area, with the help of grants given to the Sisters of Saint Joseph’s Neighborhood Network. Today the area has become a Multicultural Community.  In an area that deals with its fair share of blight,owner Cesar Ruiz and the Barber Shop has become a beacon of light.

Ruiz barbershop on W 18th street sees patrons of all ages and backgrounds. Conversations about Sports, Politics, family, you name it. With a talented and knowledgeable staff  it truly is a place that you can embrace your own unique style.

 

Check out the complete Ruiz Barber Shop Transformation:

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For more information on Ruiz Barbershop check out their Facebook Page. 

 

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A New Hope

 

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Where am I from? You might never know.

Overseas lays my heart, but yet here I must grow.

I can’t bear to remain in this place, yet I’m told for a living, this country has grace.

Will I thrive through the difference or create some resistance?

Will I try to fit in or will I die from within?

Because living so different, here, is a sin.

I can’t live on my own, I need help from loved ones.

But when I’m so far from my home…where are my loved ones?

I’ve heard from my family that there’s places that help.

But how can I go when I’m not feeling myself?

And by “myself,” I mean someone who’s “cool.”

Because we all know if you’re not popular, you’re a fool. Continue reading

Home in America: Pittsburgh, PA

BY TRACY GEIBEL

As a young girl growing up in Guyana, she was content watching her father make art.  She grew taller, she grew older, but she also grew in her love for art and knew at an early age that it would be a significant part of her life.

Executive director of the Kelly Strayhorn Theater in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, janera solomon has been able to share her love of the arts with the entire community.

She considers herself to be a rule-follower, but spells her name in lowercase as a form of rebellion, a safe form of rebellion.  She began writing it that way in elementary school and has been doing so ever since.

solomon came to America when she was nine years old.  Her father worried about the country’s future, but more so about his four daughters and their futures.  solomon explained that Prime Minister Ptolemy A. Reid had become progressively more conservative, worrying artists and intellectuals alike.  More so, the country’s economic crisis was lowering the living standard.  Like other countries in the Caribbean region, Guyana struggled because its most common exports yielded low income.  Continue reading

#ActToChange

Although the assimilation of the new Americans into the United States brings challenges especially for students, these problems aren’t being ignored. The White House has implemented an anti-bullying campaign to help Asian Americans specifically who are suffering from bullying in their schools in the United States.

The White House is taking a stand against bullying of all types of people, but the Act to Change campaign wants to make it clear that Asian immigrants face a special set of problems that are often overlooked but deserve recognition and action taken to protect and fix this aggressive behavior. Many misconceptions and stereotypes fuel these types of bullying. Other organizations have teamed up with the Act to Change campaign, such as the Sikh Coalition. In addition to the Asian American population particularly being targeted for bullying, Sikh children also face major bullying issues. The Sikh Coalition website states that 67% of Sikh children face bullying in schools; an astounding number. Bullying of this population has even been referred to as an “epidemic.” This organization also makes the point that targeting this type of bullying doesn’t even start with dealing with the bullies themselves, but instead giving those dealing with the bullies the tools to defend themselves and seek help.

This campaign launched in October if 2015 with hopes to raise awareness to the violence. Their goal is to reach out to not only the students but also the faculty and parents of these children with the hopes to “report, stop and prevent bullying.” “Act to Change” encourages students to speak out against bullying and violence they or their peers may be experiencing, believing that it only takes one person to make a difference for the victims of bullying. This issue is a big problem, but with the right resources the White House believes it can be solved and students can be protected.

“Act to Change” gives the opportunity to “take the pledge” to not bully and not let other be bullied. This campaign understands that there are many factors that get in the way of children being able to seek help from adults. Not only is this campaign designed to empower students who need help, but also teachers, parents and other students in these schools to take a stand and make the right choice when they are put in a situation where they are prompted to make the choice to help someone in need.

Facts about bullying in schools are alarming. One out of every five students, on average, faces some sort of bullying. Additionally, the campaign urges students to talk about their experiences, further enforcing the fact that it’s okay to talk about it and to make it known that nobody is alone in their fight against bullying.

In November of 2015, the campaign held an event in Los Angeles. Over 200 people attended. Attendees ranged from artists to community leaders to young people who are facing these issues. This event was held to continue to help with the empowerment of these victims and let them hear stories from even the most distinguished professionals who faced similar circumstances growing up, or even as adults, and to make it known to all the bullied students that it’s not okay to feel harassed, especially because of their race or religion, and in fear of going back to school or work or wherever it is where they feel victimized. There were also testimonials of those who strive to bring intervention to the bullies themselves, who are clearly facing a completely different set of personal obstacles that drive them to have the desire to hurt others, either verbally, physically or both.

This event created an atmosphere of safety and community, reminding everyone that this is a huge issue in America as the country is seeing more and more immigrants from all around the world coming into our communities and school systems. It was created to be celebratory of each person’s uniqueness and that being different is a good thing, nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed of.

There are also legal teams that can be contacted if a student feels bullied or if someone sees or knows of a fellow student being bullied. Bullying is “an act of exerting aggressive, abusive behavior upon others with the intent of causing them mental, emotional or physical harm.” Because all the actions that are defined as bullying  consist of a wide range of name calling to assault with weapons, not every child understands when he or she is being bullied. If any action is being brought upon that harms someone in any way, shape or form then something needs to be done about it.

Old songs provide new opportunities

TRACY GEIBEL

A job training program for refugees isn’t something typically associated with an art museum.

“It’s not really an exhibit based program, but it fits in beautifully with our folk art program,” Kelly Armor, education and folk art director for the Erie Art Museum said.

The program focuses on living artists in the community.  While the museum does have a folk art collection, Old Songs New Opportunities (OSNO) is a unique extension the program.

The refugees who participate learn how to use songs from their own cultural background and other backgrounds with young children.  The songs are learned in both English and the native language.  Then, with instruction on how to use the songs in classrooms, those who participate in the three-month program can then take an internship.

Internships are set up through OSNO and are considered the final portion of the program.  They are held in educational centers, such as St. Martin Center early learning program and the Multicultural Resource Center (MCRC) childcare, with mostly three or four year-olds.

The ultimate goal of the program is find the participants permanent jobs following the internship.  For this reason, the program offers resume building workshops and interviewing advice as well. Continue reading

From Student to Victim

A walk home from school turns dark for a group of young Asian American students in October of 2009. What once was a mundane trek back home after a day of class, becomes a nightmare with traumatic long term effects. After a stressful day at school attempting to dodge the racially driven verbal and physical punches from their peers, 15-year-old Yang Dang, her sister and eight friends were attacked on their walk home from school in Philadelphia, Pa. Around 10 African American students who spent the day taunting and harassing these students followed them home after school and assaulted them. Multiple students ended up in the emergency room, some requiring surgery that would alter their lives forever.  Continue reading

Cultures Combined

“My first year and a half in America was a rollercoaster ride,” said Senada Alihodzic, who is now an American citizen. With help from the United States government, Alihodzic started a new life in Erie, Pennsylvania after she fled her war-ravaged Mediterranean hometown in Bosnia-Herzegovina in 1993 and sought asylum on American soil. She arrived in this country without any knowledge of the area and unable to speak English, unable to communicate with anyone around her, unable to understand anyone trying to communicate with her. Alihodzic experienced a natural phenomenon of the human mind known as culture shock. Continue reading

Finding a home

By: Tracy Geibel

Home.  It’s the one place where you can relax.  It’s the place you look forward to going at the end of a long day.

Now imagine you didn’t have your home, your safe haven.

People come to the United States for a variety of reasons, but in 2015, nearly 70,000 people moved to America to find a new home, one located thousands of miles from their native land.  They didn’t come because they wanted to, but rather because they had no choice to stay in their home country.

These people are refugees.  Continue reading