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Global IMC Network

Re-Thinking High School

July 22, 2017 by pegjohnston

“When you think about it, we’ve gone from the Model T to the Tesla, from the switchboard to the iPhone. But high school has stayed the same.”

Union-Endicott's Tiger Ventures program which is an alternative high school in the Linnaeus West school was recently awarded a $2.5 million grant from XQ America Rethinking High School. XQ helps public high schools across the United States create innovative programs that engage students in creative projects, team building, and interactive learning. The XQ Super School Bus is on tour and visited the district Saturday with a bus filled with facts about American education. On their site they argue, "IQ (Intelligence Quotient) is important. It measures how we process information. But it isn’t everything.In fact, the latest science shows that intelligence is not fixed and that there’s a lot more to a person’s capability than what can be measured in an IQ test. What also matters is a person’s EQ (Emotional Quotient)—the ability to relate to others, understand emotional cues and collaborate.But today, neither IQ nor EQ is enough. There’s a certain something, something we call XQ, that’s essential for success in the new era we’re entering."

The Super School bus facts reveal that while American elementary schools perform well compared to other countries, the US falls behind dramatically at the high school stage. XQ also challenges the notion that every student can get an education and prepare people for college, noting that some schools don't even offer basic subjects like biology, chemistry, calculus and others. In an attempt to re-define high school they have funded 10 schools and have recently funded 8 more, one of which is the UE school.

The Tiger Ventures Project at UE has been in existence for one year and serves young people who can benefit from learning differently. For instance, it has a Maker's Space in the school and art programs and communications equipment for TV/video production. Students can apply or get referred into the program. The project competed for the first round of funding and ranked in the top 50 but did not win. However, they founded the program anyway, and were surprised when they got the call that their efforts were noticed and they were being awarded 2.5 million dollars.

For a video and more information about the project visit

Update: Tarik Abdelazim announces for Binghamton Mayor

June 11, 2017 by pegjohnston

Tarik Abdelazim has officially announced as a candidate for Binghamton Mayor. In announcing at Sunflower Park in the First Ward, Abdelazim said, "

My work has brought me to communities all across the country that struggle with the same problems we face here in Binghamton: factories closed and jobs gone; empty grocery stores and vacant homes dragging down our neighborhoods; working families and seniors struggling to get by; an epidemic of addiction; too many youth lost to gangs, drugs, and crime....


June 6, 2017 by imc-editor

Broome County has launched a new website that shows you how to find all kinds of outdoor activities and events. With an interactive map it lists all parks, hiking trails, biking, paddling, fishing, and more. Go All Out Broome is also on Facebook and Twitter.


Mural Fest 2017 at Floral Ave. Park

June 4, 2017 by pegjohnston


Public Art Workshops Mural Fest 2017 at Floral Ave. Park JC

October 7th, 2017 11 am – 4 pm

This year Mural Fest will offer even more community engagement with art, guided by artists. The Dept of Public has permission to paint murals on several structures at Floral Ave. Park in Johnson City. This year DPA will create workshops with community members led by experienced artists to plan a mural, including choosing a theme, gridding the design, choosing colors, prepping the space, and then painting it at Mural Fest. Similarly, DPA is partnering with Southern Tier Solar Works to create solar lanterns for neighbors: the workshop would come up with designs that use upcycled materials, learn how to assemble the solar lights, and gather materials for a table at Mural Fest where people could build their own solar lantern. Another idea is to create either a Box City or cardboard animals for small children to paint and play with at the previous Mural Fest at Cheri Lindsey Park.

"Leaving behind permanent murals is important," said Peg Johnston of DPA, "and just as important is engaging people in the process of creating art in public places. We are grateful to the Village of Johnson City for the opportunity to paint several structures at Floral Ave. Park."

Interested?  Stay in touch!  We will be announcing workshop details throughout the summer email us at  to get our updates. Include your name, email, phone, and what you would be interested in.

ONE SHOT A book review

May 16, 2017 by pegjohnston

One Shot by John Leary takes on all the major issues of the day--climate change, poverty, hunger, emigration, and more-- and puts forth mankind's "one shot" at saving the world--forest gardens.  Leary is director of Trees for the Future which has planted millions of trees around the world and has innovated an approach to devastating deforestation and soil erosion in the most impoverished areas of the world. A forest Garden encourages small farmers in Africa to plant a ring of fast growing trees around their small 1-4 acre plots. Bushes keep animals from trampling crops and vegetables are planted under the trees. A wide diversity of trees and crops gives greater economic sustainability and the leaves from the trees fertilize the soil.  The trees trap the water into the earth interrupting the downward cycle of drought, deforestation, starvation.

Leary recites the bad news of the world that is probably familiar to most aware folks. He gives a good overview of the mess the world is in and all of us who have been freaking out about climate change and other environmental problems are receptive to the "One Shot" to solved these problems. What is novel about this book is not that it advocates forest gardens for impoverished countries but that he advocates a similar approach for Western agriculture. He mentions, but doesn't elucidate, the dilemma of large scale farms in the US, especially drought, soil depletion, and lack of biodiversity. I kept reading to discover what that change might look like in the US where mono crops and huge agri biz dominate. In the end I was disappointed although not surprised as Trees for the Future focus exclusively on farmers in the most distressed environments like Haiti, Africa, South America.

But what would Forest Gardens look like in Central New York? We have rapidly become an important agricultural  area with small farmers, innovative entrepreneurs, and government encouragement. One feature that Leary suggests is small farmers  taking charge of their own land and lives. It's hard to imagine giant corporate farms transitioning to more diverse crops but it is possible to conceive of family farms in upstate NY adopting some of these methods to overcome our own challenges in agriculture. Anyone have an idea of what that would look like?


Join the Resistance Movement (the latest from Citizen Action 7-24-17)

May 14, 2017 by imc-editor

Resistance Movement Southern Tier– Join Us

 General Meeting - the First Wednesday of each month at 6:30 at the First Congregational Church, 30 Main St., Binghamton.

Actions and Events and Trainings

Monday July 24 – PLOT will be meeting at 6:00 at Citizen Action.  PLOT will host a special guest speaker Brenda Cave-James, a local historian and founder of the 'Trav'lin This Road' cultural performance ensemble. Her presentation will cover the history of African American's in the Binghamton area. There is a rich history that I, for one, am very excited to learn more about firsthand! For information contact Monique Saastamoinen at 213-357-2120

Public Art and Solar Innovation

May 7, 2017 by imc-editor

The Southern Tier Solar Works sponsored a Workshop Sat. May 6th, featuring the Land Art Generator Initiative. After being inspired by all kinds of beautiful solar possibilities, we discussed ideas for the Victory Factory in JC which is that massive white building in Johnson City. What a productive discussion on renewable energy and public art as placemaking tools in Broome County with community organizers, JC planner, BU engineering professor, artists, and students! We also brainstormed some ideas to re-purpose the factory building into a mixed use renewable energy and art incubator including providing subsidized housing, trainings for local residents looking to jump into the workforce, workshops for the local youth, agriculture, and transforming the vacant lot into a sustainable, accessible, and inclusive public space. For more information, contact

Southern Tier Solar Works is a not-for-profit program dedicated to developing the solar industry through education and outreach to create jobs, energy savings, and a healthier climate in Broome, Chenango, Delaware, Otsego, and Tioga counties. They can help with residential solar projects and refer people to local solar contractors.

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