Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Hispanic Heritage Month @ Cardozo SHS

Each year, Americans observe National Hispanic Heritage Month from September 15 to October 15, by celebrating the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America.

This year with the leadership of Ms. Benitez who is the new after school coordinator, Cardozo Senior High School celebrated their first Hispanic Heritage Month ceremony. This was a great event for Ward 1, it brought youth of all races together and shared the Latino culture and customs. The program included typical Latino food (Tacos from Mexico, Pupusas from El Salvador, Sancocho form Domican Republic, and much more). Youth from all ethnic back grounds were able to indulge in different foods, and music. Nothing stood out more than the performance by youth from GALA Theater, and the talented Quique Avilés. Youth from Gala presented to those in attendance an amazing skit that portrayed the struggles of immigrant mothers. This was followed by a song that left its audience in a whimper of silence. The performances both shocked and left the audience wanting more. In the end Quique Avilés stunned the audience with a poem that gave confidence, and amazed youth from all back grounds.

At the end of the program over 30 youth walked and talked without any immigration boundaries, and treated each other as equals. This was an amazing event that needs to be commended and supported! This is a great step for Ward 1, and a great accomplishment to Cardozo Senior High School.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Substance Abuse Community Conversations

One of the things we talk a lot about on the blog is the importance of community engagement. Through Community conversations communities discover what they care about, and what issues are key to the success of their community. Conversation is part of life. And it’s an important part of community building. In conversation, we not only discover what we care about, we uncover new ideas for building healthy community. “Drug and alcohol abuse rates are higher in the District than anywhere else in the country, and experts say the wide availability of drugs, high stress levels and difficulties getting abusers into treatment fuel the city's persistently stratospheric rates.” To read more please see this article that goes in depth on DC’s substance abuse rate.
Since September SWOTDC has taken much interest into finding more information to help with this issue. In September SWOTDC held meetings that discussed substance abuse rates in Wards 1 and 2, and has continue to hold meetings and community conversations to discuss possible solutions. Please join in conversation facilitated by the DC Prevention Center October 18th 2011 at 6pm at the Northwest association Community Meeting. It will be held at the Saint Stevens Episcopal Church for more information please see attached flier.