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June 3rd: New Haven Orientation

Reverend Kevin Ewing joined us for part of our day-long orientation to share his experiences with community organizing in the West River area.

Reverend Kevin Ewing is the president of the West River Neighborhood Services Corporation. He is also the community organizer contracted by Community Foundation for a Greater New Haven to do the on the ground work with the residents in West River, an area with a long history of organizing. It began in 1982 when some George Street resident grew weary of the trucks rumbling past their homes at all hours of the day. They successfully lobbied to have the Rte. 34 traffic rerouted to Legion Avenue. From that success, they continued to work together forming the West River Neighborhood Association in 1986, which finally morphed into the West River Neighborhood Services Corporation (501c3) in 2005. In July of 2000 the Board of Aldermen approved a plan developed by West River residents making it New Havens first and only Neighborhood Revitalization Zone.

June 10th: Youth Development & Environmental Justice

The co-founder and director of Solar Youth Inc., Joanne Scuilli, discussed her organization as well as issues of youth advocacy and environmentalism in New Haven with the Fellows.

Joanne received her BA from Barnard College, majoring in  Environmental Science. While receiving her Masters from the Yale  School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, she realized she could  pull her three passions - youth, cities and the environment - together  to fill a niche in social and environmental justice work. Eventually,  with the help of Echoing Green, she founded Solar Youth, Inc. which  continues to provide positive youth development opportunities and  support to New Haven's low-income youth as they become stewards of  their local and global environment.

June 17th: Public Service Law & Civil Rights Advocacy

Yale Law School Professor and director of the Worker & Immigrants Rights Clinic, Michael Wishnie will join the Fellows to talk about his innovative work representing grassroots community groups and about his perspective on immigration law.

Michael Wishnie is a Clinical Professor of Law at Yale Law School. He was Professor of Clinical Law and co-director of the Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Program at New York University School of Law. He has served as a Skadden Fellow, representing New York City taxi drivers, garment, construction, restaurant and domestic workers in their efforts to vindicate basic labor and employment rights. Previously, Professor Wishnie worked as a staff attorney at the Brooklyn Neighborhood Office of The Legal Aid Society, and as a law clerk to Judge H. Lee Sarokin, Justice Harry A. Blackmun, and Justice Stephen G. Breyer. Before earning his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1993, Professor Wishnie spent two years teaching in the Peoples Republic of China.

June 24th: Education

Janna Wagner & Jessica Sager are the co-founders of All Our Kin, an organization dedicated to the promotion of early education opportunities.  They will discuss issues of education and child care advocacy in New Haven.

Born and raised in New Haven,
Janna Wagner holds a B.A. in psychology from Yale University and an M.Ed. from Harvard Graduate School of Education. She taught in the South Bronx through Teach for America, and then joined the staff of the Boston Public Schools' Center for Leadership Development. Ms. Wagner was named one of greater New Haven's "Forty Under 40" by Business Times, and a "Rising Star" by Business New Haven. She is a board member of Edith B. Jackson Child Care Center and the chair of the Infant/Toddler Committee of the New Haven School Readiness Council. She is a member of the Affirmative Action Commission of the City of New Haven, an Associate Fellow of Jonathan Edwards College at Yale University, and founder of The Group with No Name, a social, civic and educational organization for New Haven's residents. In addition, Ms. Wagner serves as chair of the Board of the Ulysses S. Grant Foundation, a fifty-three year old academic enrichment summer program, which brings together Yale and New Haven students on Yale's campus.

Jessica Sager received her B.A. from Barnard College and worked as an artist-in-the-schools in New York City before attending Yale Law School, where she was a Coker Teaching Fellow. In 1999, she received her J.D. from Yale. Upon graduation, she was awarded both the Mary McCarthy and Liman Public Interest Fellowships. In 2001, Yale University and the City of New Haven awarded Ms. Sager and Ms. Wagner a Seton Elm-Ivy Award. Ms. Sager and Ms. Wagner also received Working Women's "Twenty Under Thirty Award" for the most promising young female entrepreneurs. Together with Ms. Wagner, Ms. Sager leads a seminar on early childhood education policy for undergraduates interested in becoming advocates and leaders in the field of early childhood at the Dwight Hall Center for Public Service and Social Justice at Yale. Ms. Sager chairs the Home Care Committee of the New Haven School Readiness Council, and serves on the Care4Kids Advisory Committee and United Way's Success by Six Advisory Committee. Ms. Sager is a member of the Connecticut bar.


July 1st: Health and Homelessness

Ron Dunhill from Hill Health Center will describe his experiences locating the homeless in New Haven, as well as issues of health and health care access in New Haven.

Ronald Dunhill is a registered Nurse in the homeless program at the Hill Health Center. For years, he's worked with homeless men, women and children in New Haven by helping them to find permanent housing and providing free outpatient health care services. Hill Health Center is a federally qualified community health center established in 1968 in a collaboration between the community and Yale Medical School. The first community health center in Connecticut, the Hill Health Center has a long history of serving New Haven neighborhoods, which are among the poorest in the State. Hill Health Center also provides health care services to the City of West Haven and towns of the Lower Naugatuck Valley, Ansonia, Derby, Seymour, Shelton, Naugatuck and Oxford.


July 8th: Philanthropy & Addressing Community Needs

Jennifer Heath, Vice President of United Way of Greater New Haven, will discuss the impact of the economic downturn on non-profits and community development. She will also discuss current trends in philanthropy both locally and nationally. A report by the Community Foundation on this issue can be found here.

At United Way, Jennifer Heath is responsible for community investments and civic engagement initatives, Compass and Success by 6. Prior to joining the United Way, Jennifer was a non-profit consultant at Holt, Wexler and Farnam, where she assisted a range of clients with strategic planning, program evaluation, and group facilitation. Much of her work focused on early care and education, after-school programs, and homelessness; her clients included The William Casper Graustein Memorial Fund, the City of New Haven, the City of Hartford, and several United Ways, including Danbury, Bridgeport, and Philadelphia. Previously, Jennifer worked with CT Voices for Children and Yale University. Jennifer is a graduate of Davidson College and has a Master in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School for Public Affairs at Princeton University. Jennifer lives with her husband Ken in Hamden, where she is an elected member of the Hamden Board of Education.




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Learn more about the Dwight Hall Summer Fellowship Program