CCC to Join Equality March

On June 11th, CCC will join Fort Wayne’s Equality March. The march will run from 2pm – 4pm, beginning at the Martin Luther King Jr. Bridge and ending with a rally at the Allen County Courthouse. Angola CCC members who would like to carpool to Ft. Wayne should meet at the First Congregational United Church of Christ at 12:30 pm.

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The Equality March for Unity and Pride is an international movement with marches planned in Washington D.C. as well as multiple other cities throughout the U.S. and Canada. According to their website, the march is “a grassroots movement which will mobilize the diverse LGBTQ+ communities to peacefully and clearly address concerns about the current political landscapes.”

Ft. Wayne’s event is co-sponsored by The Allen County Stonewall Democrats, the People for the Common Good and Liberation Movement Fort Wayne. Please join us to support equality!

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CCC Joins Hometown Collaboration Initiative

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This May, Angola was approved to become part of the Hometown Collaboration Initiative (HCI). Better yet, CCC gets to be a part of it!

You can read more about HCI here, but in a nutshell, it’s a partnership between Indiana communities of 25,000 people or fewer and the Indiana Office of Community and Rural Affairs.

HCI communities form teams which analyze their communities’ needs and assets. Then, with assistance from Ball State’s Indiana Communities Institute and Purdue’s Center for Regional Development, they plan and implement a capstone project that benefits their town. Seed money is provided for completing the capstone.

Right now, Angola’s HCI is in the earliest stages of the process — community-wide collaboration. CCC is pleased to announce that it will have a voice in the process through the participation of Community/Diversity co-chair Claudia Camargo. Thanks to Claudia for donating her time to this worthy cause. And thanks to the city of Angola for recognizing that diversity is an important part of making us who we are.

Want to know what our HCI might do? Check out other communities’ accomplishments here.

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TLC Donations Go to Good Cause

At the April General Meeting, the CCC took up a cash donation to benefit Angola’s TLC

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TLC House provides emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence.

House. TLC offers emergency shelter for women and children fleeing domestic violence.  The shelter is always in need of hygiene products and other necessary items to make their guests feel not only safe but also at home.

According to CCC member Marty Zee-Diller, the more than $150 in donations collected at the General Meeting went to undergarments, shampoo, conditioner, and razors. Zee-Diller noted that TLC Executive Director Mada Waldrop “really knows how to make the dollars stretch, so we were able to meet many of their current needs.” In fact, after buying everything on Waldrop’s wish list, there were $15 left over, which Zee-Diller converted to a gift card for the shelter’s future use.

Once again, CCC’s monthly drive has benefited the community. Stay tuned for more information about June’s effort.

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Book Study Group Looking for New Suggestions

Book Study group seeks next text

The Book Study Group will wrap up its discussion of This is an Uprising by Engler and Engler on Monday, April 24 at 6pm. The discussion will be held in the upstairs meeting room of the Carnegie Library of Steuben County in Angola.

At the April meeting, the group is inviting new members to join them and help them decide what to read next. They are specifically looking for texts that deal with diversity, the environment, social justice, or other pressing current issues. If you have a suggestion please contact the team leaders or just come to the meeting with ideas.

The Book Study Group is part of the Community & Diversity team’s education efforts and will continue to meet the fourth Monday of each month. If you can’t make it in April, put the meeting on your calendar for May!

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Children of Turning Point Shelter helped through CCC drive

A month ago, the Community & Diversity committee of CCC asked for new or lightly used stuffed animals, coloring books, crayons, markers and other toys to give to area children in need. And wow did you deliver!

CCC member Bruce Andres dropping off bags at Turning Point.

Gift bag after gift bag containing multiple toys, drawing supplies, blankets or stuffed animals were donated by those who attended the March CCC meeting. A local artist who attended donated coloring books he created, along with crayons and markers for children.

Volunteers stayed after the meeting to sort gift bags into age groups, from toddler to school-age. In all, 51 bags were assembled.

These gifts were donated to Turning Point, who said they served 50 children last year. CCC Communication Team member, Bruce Andres, who delivered the bags, reported that Turning Point staff thought the sizable donation should be enough for all children served by the shelter in the next year.

In a Facebook Post, Turning Point wrote:

THANK YOU!!! Community Coalition for Change, Angola for the generous multitude of comfort bags for our incoming children. What a blessing it will be for our littlest residents. Blessing to all those who made this possible. You are truly an amazing group!!

Remember, positive change at a national level begins with positive change at a local level. As political divisions continue to do harm, there is work to be done together to make our community, and this nation, a better place.

Stay tuned for information on next month’s community drive, and huge thanks to those who donated this month!

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Missed discussion of Yemeni culture? Watch it here

On Thursday, March 16, Salwa Alsuraimi, founder and president of Aira of Coldwater (Aira means “a new beginning” in Arabic), presented information about the Arab immigrant experience, and led group discussion on the topic.  Watch the video here:

 

 

 

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CCC discusses Yemeni Culture at Angola’s library

It’s about safety for our children,” Salwa Mohsen Alsuraimi says to a group of about 25 people who took part in a cultural competency training this past week hosted by the Community Coalition for Change. She tells us Yemeni and other immigrants come here to escape civil war and for jobs — for a better future for their children.

Salwa is first generation woman from Yemen; she’s president of Aira of Coldwater (a not-for-profit group that provides translation services, drivers training and other services to break down cultural barriers). She has been in this country with her family since she was two.

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She notes there are about 2000 people from Yemen in the Coldwater area; approximately 80% of the adults are illiterate in both English and Arabic, which means need for her services are high.

Salwa talked of the immigrant experience, of the wishes and dreams people have for themselves and their children. She spoke of the fear and confusion many immigrants feel when they come to what is still perceived as the promised land. She explained the vetting process that is already in existence, and noted that to bring a wife or husband over takes between one to eight years. A brother or other relative may take as many as 15 years.

Salwa hopes that by offering trainings to local groups such as ours (she recently did a
training for a local dentist and his staff, aimed at helping them to better serve their community), we can begin to know and understand each other more.

She stressed repeatedly that while there may be cultural differences, the wearing of a veil, marriage contracts, etc., we all want the same things: opportunities for ourselves, to be kind to others and to provide our children with chances we may not have had.

Salwa is engaging, encourages questions and responds honestly to queries from her audience. It was an informative, enjoyable evening.

For more information about Aira, email alsuraimi@outlook.com. Or check out the Tibbits Theater in Coldwater, who is partnering with Aira and others for various cultural events, boxoffice@tibbits.org.

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