The Gifford Newsletter

Spring 2020  |  Adapting to Change

Banner photo credit: Solon Quinn Studios

Sheena Solomon is the Executive Director of The Gifford Foundation.

Broadening Perspectives:
When will Black America be able to Breathe?

The United States of America is in the midst of a public health crisis, and Central New York is no exception. In the last few months, that crisis has been represented by COVID-19, a global pandemic that has taken the lives of over 100,000 people. The recent police killing of George Floyd reminded us that the pandemic does not stand alone: racism, white supremacy, ignorance, fear, and an inequitable justice system are also claiming innocent lives every day.

Perspective: Syracuse History, Civic Engagement, and George Floyd

Thousands of Central New Yorkers gathered in downtown Syracuse over the weekend of June 6th to protest police brutality and other forms of systemic, institutionalized racism. Also present were law enforcement, elected officials, and representatives from many nonprofit organizations. As the crowd grew, many took pictures alongside the famous Jerry Rescue statue in Clinton Square. The parallels between current events and Syracuse’s abolitionist history were all too clear: a century and a half later, the streets were filled once again by concerned citizens standing up for civil rights and protesting destructive policies.

The Haven at Skanda: an Interview with Ellen Beckerman

We sat down with Ellen Beckerman – Executive Director of The Haven at Skanda to learn about how this innovative animal sanctuary is expanding its services and reaching more people in the face of a global pandemic.

Perspective: What about the Kids without a Computer during COVID-19?

One of the first institutions to be upended by the COVID-19 pandemic was our nation’s school system. The Syracuse City School District was no exception. On March 16th, schools were ordered to close while teachers, staff, administrators, parents, and volunteers were suddenly faced with the unprecedented and formidable challenge of converting the rest of the school year to an online format.

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