Common Cause on “Redistricting, Gerrymandering, and the Independent Syracuse Redistricting Commission”

Join the Strathmore Speakers Series and Onondaga Free Library for an evening with Abbey McHugh and Heather Cogan of Common Cause NY, as they discuss gerrymandering, voter suppression, and the recent work of Syracuse’s independent Redistricting Commission. Syracuse is one of only a handful of governments in the nation to adopt an independent redistricting model and is believed to be the first city east of the Mississippi River to do so. Onondaga County’s process was largely criticized as partisan and messy, resulting in district maps that are currently facing legal action. Ms. McHugh and Ms. Cogan will highlight the importance of Syracuse’s independent model, its potential impact on Syracuse’s voting districts, and ways average citizens can engage in this unique, once-in-a-decade process.

This event will be held on Thursday, June 2 at 7 pm on Zoom. Like all Strathmore Speaker Series and Onondaga Free Library events, this presentation is free and open to the public.

You can register for this event here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZEvc-GhrDksHdeNegZTHC36tYPjxT8SQa0a

About Common Cause

Common Cause is a nonpartisan, grassroots organization dedicated to upholding the core values of American democracy. Common Cause works to create open, honest, and accountable government that serves the public interest; promote equal rights, opportunity, and representation for all; and empower all people to make their voices heard in the political process. Common Cause New York is one of the most active state chapters in the country, representing tens of thousands of New Yorkers throughout the state. With over 64,000 members, Common Cause NY is a leader in the movement for election administration reform, campaign finance reform and upholding ethics laws to impact systems that undermine people’s faith in democracy.

Dr. Brian Taylor on Russia’s War in Ukraine

Join the Strathmore Speakers Series and Onondaga Free Library for a timely discussion of the ongoing war in the Ukraine, featuring Syracuse University Political Science Professor and Russia expert, Dr. Brian Taylor. Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine on February 24, 2022 sent shock waves through the international community and threatens to irrevocably upset the existing geopolitical order. What does the ongoing war mean for Europe? For NATO? And for the United States? Is this the start of a new Cold War? And if so, how will Putin respond? What impact will Russia’s actions have on the norms of international behavior? Can we ever go back? And, perhaps most importantly, how will this conflict end? Is there a peaceful solution to be found? Or must force be met with force? You won’t want to miss this incredibly important lecture. A brief Q&A will follow Dr. Taylor’s talk.

This event will be held on Thursday, May 19th at 7 pm on Zoom. Like all Strathmore Speaker Series and Onondaga Free Library events, this presentation is free and open to the public.

You can register for this event here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZItce-hrTgpGtIysL-dnB6TwzIZFnM_t3Y7

About Brian Taylor

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Brian Taylor is a Professor of Political Science in the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. Taylor is the author of three books on Russian politics: The Code of PutinismState Building in Putin’s Russia: Policing and Coercion after Communism and Politics and the Russian Army: Civil-Military Relations, 1689-2000. He received his B.A. from the University of Iowa, a M.Sc. from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

M. C. Antil, “Floor Burns: Love, Passion and the 1967 Syracuse All-City Championship”

Join the Strathmore Speakers Series and Onondaga Free Library for an evening with author and Syracuse native M. C. Antil as he discusses his most recent work, “Floor Burns: Love, Passion and the 1967 Syracuse All-City Championship.” A riveting account of a high school championship game in which two teams—one large and public, the other small and Catholic—fought for bragging rights in a small, hard-working town in the industrial northeast, “Floor Burns” is more than simply a basketball tale; it’s the the story of a small working-class city, its people, and the turbulent times they shared. Over time, the 1967 Syracuse All-City Championship—which pitted an all-white team of boys from a tiny Polish school against a racially mixed team from a sprawling new public facility overlooking the city—would become a metaphor for the kind of radical social and cultural changes small blue-collar factory towns like Syracuse were undergoing all across the industrial northeast. It’s a metaphor that has lost none of its relevancy or potency. A brief Q&A will follow Mr. Antil’s talk.

This event will be held on Thursday, May 12th at 7 pm on Zoom. Like all Strathmore Speaker Series and Onondaga Free Library events, this presentation is free and open to the public.

You can register for this event here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZItdOGvqDstH9BVD5lcuFlInf5D0wwhdpxn

About M.C. Antil

M.C. Antil is a born-and-raised Syracuse native and current Chicago-based writer, baseball junkie and self-styled pop culture omnivore who has fed his addictions over the years by successfully holding down a series of day jobs, most notably as a communications and marketing strategist in the competitive and often hyper-kinetic worlds of television, new media and professional sports.

BRIDGE STREET: CNY Native Pens New Book “Floor Burns” About 1967 Syracuse All-City Championship

ESPN SYRACUSE: M.C. Antil “Orange Nation” 12-15

Baseball Coach and Public Speaker Alfonzo Whitehurst on “Motivation and Finding the Wisdom”

Join the Strathmore Speakers Series and Onondaga Free Library for an evening with motivational speaker, coach, Syracuse City School District physical education teacher, and CEO of “Find the Wisdom,” Alfonzo Whitehurst. No stranger to struggle, turmoil, and pain, Mr. Whitehurst was able to triumph over his early adversity, and turn the hardships of life into strength, wisdom, and positivity. Now, he has made it his mission to guide others toward a path for success and, using the motivational tools he developed for “Find the Wisdom,” helps at-risk kids to stay on track to achieve success in school, on the athletic field, and in life.

Corcoran players on the field during rain. Photo by Dennis Nett for Syracuse.com

Today, Mr. Whitehurst is the head coach of Corcoran’s modified baseball team. The team is comprised of twelve players, eleven of whom had never played the sport before they were recruited to be on the team. Many had never even watched the sport on television. In the six years leading up to Mr. Whitehurst taking the helm, the team had won only a single game. The idea of playing a sport where most of the players didn’t look like the Corcoran students, just didn’t occur to them. With the guidance of Mr. Whitehurst and his assistant coach Andrés Miranda, the players are slowly learning the game. But perhaps more importantly, they are learning to celebrate their successes, keep their disappointments in perspective, and focus on what they can control. A brief Q&A will follow Mr. Whitehurst’s talk.

This event will be held on Thursday, April 14th at 7 pm on Zoom. Like all Strathmore Speaker Series and Onondaga Free Library events, this presentation is free and open to the public.

You can register for this event here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMrcu-qrj4uEtb8TUuKkc4zXGGZwb_NKTJE

About Alfonzo Whitehurst

Alfonzo Whitehurst is a public speaker, coach, and physical education teacher in the Syracuse City School District. He holds a BS and MS in Physical Education from Utica College, and is currently the physical education teacher, football coach, and baseball coach at Van Duyn Elementary School.  In 2020, he was recognized as the First Year Teacher of the Year by the New York State Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance. As the face behind “Find the Wisdom,” he has brought his story of triumph over adversity, and the lessons learned from it, to many throughout Central New York.

Learn more about Alfonzo here:

Some Syracuse middle school rookies take a chance on baseball. And learn something more.

Raised amid struggle, sheer joy on graduation day

Inspiring Tomorrow’s Leaders: Alfonzo Whitehurst ’18