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Global IMC Network

SCOTUS stands up for Abortion Access in Texas and Elsewhere

June 27, 2016 by pegjohnston

Photo: Amy Hagstrom Miller, center (in white) and other providers.

6/27/16       Supreme Court strikes down Texas measures as unconstitutional, allowing all Texas clinics currently open to stay open and paving the way for more clinics to open/reopen in the future, and establishes a strong legal standard that will protect women’s access to abortion in states beyond Texas. This landmark decision continues the powerful momentum for women’s rights and against political interference in our right to safe, legal abortion. People of all ages, races, religions, and backgrounds are putting politicians on notice—you cannot inject your beliefs into our personal decisions.

Said Amy Hagstrom-Miller president and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health and lead plaintiff in the case, “Today, the Supreme Court affirmed what we at Whole Woman’s Health have known all along—that every woman, no matter where she lives, deserves access to compassionate, respectful, and comprehensive care from a clinic she trusts. Today justice was served.”

Said Nancy Northup, President and CEO of the Center for Reproductive Rights, "Today women across the nation have had their constitutional rights vindicated. The Supreme Court sent a loud and clear message that politicians cannot use deceptive means to shut down abortion clinics."
Hillary Clinton immediately praised the ruling. "SCOTUS's decision is a victory for women in Texas and across America. Safe abortion should be a right—not just on paper, but in reality."



Our Hearts are in Orlando: More Kissing in the Streets

June 26, 2016 by pegjohnston

Formerly from Binghamton, Rev. Miller Hoffman responded to the Orlando killings of gay people in Huffington Post. She advocates more "kissing in the street."

In the month when so many of us celebrate liberation and pride, within a week of the anniversary of the massacre of our black siblings in a Charleston church, in a place where we gather – in a place we are known to congregate to soak ourselves in laughter and community and self-worth – and in the wake of terrific successes as the long arc of justice bends toward recognition of our humanity and equality and worth...

This attack joins the wave of violence against lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people. It joins the Stonewall Inn and the Upstairs Lounge and others as an invasion of our recreational sanctuaries. Our trans sisters of color are being killed and their bodies abandoned in horrifying numbers. Legislative and policy attempts run riot to humiliate us from bathrooms to cake shops, to demonize and criminalize our love and our pride and our spirit – attempts not just to destroy our body but to also crush our soul, to not only devastate our souls but to obliterate our bodies. To silence us, and to erase us. To make us unspeakable, unhearable, unseen.


NEW DPA Installation at KNOW Theatre

June 19, 2016 by pegjohnston

Photo: DPA installs Three Panel on the fence in front of KNOW Theatre as well as on 5 boarded up windows.

Mark Bowers, DPA member and now a member of the KNOW Theatre, initiated an installation of mural panels to beautify and  draw attention to the theatre. Mural panels were painted last year by Bruce Greig and Kady Perry's BCC Mural ART Class. "This is a great melding of two art forms," said Bowers, "and a great use of these panels by many young artists."

Vigil for Orlando

June 14, 2016 by pegjohnston

In Binghamton NY about 500 people honored the memory of the victims of the Orlando mass killing at the LGBT club Pulse on June 12th. Several clergy and Mayor David spoke as well as Ehtisham Siddiqui, president of the Islamic Organization of the Southern Tier, with 30-40 of its members behind him, who drew the most applause from the crowd. He denounced the violence and hate of the individual who killed 49 and injured 53 people and spoke of Islam's affirmation for diversity. Mr. Siddiqui was also the only person to call for common sense bans on assault weapons and to call out Trump for his Islamophobia and hate of minorities in general. 

The vigil was sponsored by the Binghamton Pride Coalition and the City of Binghamton with help from the Broome County Council of Churches. Members of the Coalition read the names of the dead:

Stanley Almodovar III, 23 years old, Amanda Alvear, 25 years old, Oscar A Aracena-Montero, 26 years old, Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, 33 years old, Antonio Davon Brown, 29 years old, Darryl Roman Burt II, 29 years old, Angel L. Candelario-Padro, 28 years old, Juan Chevez-Martinez, 25 years old, Luis Daniel Conde, 39 years old, Cory James Connell, 21 years old, Tevin Eugene Crosby, 25 years old, Deonka Deidra Drayton, 32 years old, Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, 31 years old, Leroy Valentin Fernandez, 25 years old, Mercedez Marisol Flores, 26 years old, Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, 22 years old, Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22 years old, Paul Terrell Henry, 41 years old, Frank Hernandez, 27 years old, Miguel Angel Honorato, 30 years old, Javier Jorge-Reyes, 40 years old, Jason Benjamin Josaphat, 19 years old, Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, 30 years old, Anthony Luis Laureanodisla, 25 years old, Christopher Andrew Leinonen, 32 years old, Alejandro Barrios Martinez, 21 years old, Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, 49 years old, Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, 25 years old, Kimberly Morris, 37 years old, Akyra Monet Murray, 18 years old, Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, 20 years old, Geraldo A. Ortiz-Jimenez, 25 years old, Eric Ivan Ortiz-Rivera, 36 years old, Joel Rayon Paniagua, 32 years old, Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, 35 years old, Enrique L. Rios, Jr., 25 years old, Jean C. Nives Rodriguez, 27 years old, Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, 35 years old, Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, 24 years old, Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan, 24 years old, Edward Sotomayor Jr., 34 years old, Shane Evan Tomlinson, 33 years old, Martin Benitez Torres, 33 years old, Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, 24 years old, Juan P. Rivera Velazquez, 37 years old, Luis S. Vielma, 22 years old, Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, 50 years old, Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, 37 years old, Jerald Arthur Wright, 31 years old.


Peacemaker Award Winners

June 10, 2016 by Ralph McGrew

Abigail Lane of Chenango Valley High School and Mackenzie Bronson of Chenango Forks High School won the fifth annual Stu Naismith Memorial Peacemaker Awards. The two $350 scholarships were given on June 6 and 10, jointly by the Stu Naismith Chapter of Veterans for Peace and the Binghamton Community Friends Meeting (Quaker), in memory of Stuart Naismith (1927-2011), a World War II veteran and tireless campaigner for peace, who taught in both school districts.
Abigail and Mackenzie earned the awards by working for peace in everyday life, preparing for further education, and writing essays on peacemaking. The picture shows Joyce Thomas of the Quaker Meeting, Mackenzie Bronson, Stu's wife Peggy Naismith, and Jim Clune of Veterans for Peace. To support the scholarships in future years, contributions can be sent to the Binghamton Community Friends Meeting with the notation Peacemaker Award, in care of Alexa Héder, 9 Hickory Road, Binghamton 13905-1347.

Mural Design Contest: Binghamton Plaza Rear Wall UPDATED

May 29, 2016 by pegjohnston

         NEWS FLASH: Mayor David has added $750 to the prize for the winning design AND the deadline is being extended to July 17th.   The Dept. of Public Art (DPA) announces a design contest for a mural slated for the rear of the Binghamton Plaza along the Chenango River Trail, which is also the site of this year's Mural Fest 2016 at Cheri Lindsey Park. "This wall is visible from across the river which makes it part of the Binghamton Gateway and will show Binghamton as a creative, vibrant, and growing community," said Peg Johnston of the DPA. The contest, which carries a $250 prize, will attract local, regional, and national talent and will portray Binghamton's strengths and beauty. The deadline is July 5th and designs should be uploaded to co-sponsor Re-Bold Binghamton's site

            "We are grateful to Michael Galesi and Galesi Development, owner of the Binghamton Plaza property, for his forward thinking in allowing us to paint a mural on this building," commented Mark Bowers, one of the coordinators for Mural Fest 2016. Mr. Galesi, as well as the newly formed Public Arts Advisory Board and Mayor Rich David will have input on the final design. “We are looking for a bold design that will represent the best of Binghamton and track well from across the river,” said Bowers.

            Councilman Conrad Taylor, who represents the North Side said, “The people of the Northside are fighting every day to revitalize their neighborhood and welcome this opportunity to make the Northside waterfront a more beautiful place.”

            Mural Fest 2016 is slated for September 17th, and will be held along the Chenango River Trail at Cheri Lindsey Park. The pool house at the Park will also be painted on that day. There will also be art activities for children and adults. Last year's Mural Fest created more than 30 mural panels which were subsequently placed on boarded up buildings in Binghamton, a program which continues.

            Both Mural Fests were funded in part by the Chenango Co Arts Council (NYS Decentralization grant) with help from the Hoyt Foundation, as well as by the Broome County Tourism fund. Additional fundraising will be needed for supplies and actual painting of the mural. For more information and for a copy of the Request for Proposals, contact

Download the RFP for Mural Fest Design Contest below.

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TRASH! A Collaborative ECO Art Exhibit

May 20, 2016 by pegjohnston

            The Cooperative Gallery 213 is sponsoring the first Environmental Art exhibit June 2-25, 2016, titled TRASH! A Collaborative EcoArt curated by Peg Johnston. It opens Thursday June 2nd from 6-8 pm and First Friday from 3 pm to 9 pm. Many of the artists will talk about their art and working with specific materials on Third Thursday June 16th at 7 pm. All events are free and open to the public.

            "This exhibit is filled with amazing art made from all kinds of materials from paper to plastics, fabric to scrap metal, styrofoam to recycled wood,” says Peg Johnston, an artist at the Cooperative Gallery in Binghamton NY. “I am fascinated with materials that most would call waste and creating art from them.” Beyond use of non-traditional art materials, works in this show will bring attention to the plight of our environment and our role in both creating and remediating environmental destruction.

            Another event associated with the TRASH! exhibit is a free Writing Workshop and Reading by Andrei Guruianu, former Broome County Poet Laureate, on Saturday June 25th from 1-4 pm. Guruianu  has recently published a new book, Dead Reckoning, Transatlantic Passages on Europe and America. His workshop will include collaging and writing from that art, and readings at the end. It is funded by Poets and Writers, a national organization devoted to offering encouragement and support for emerging writers.

            The Cooperative Gallery, a popular stop on the First Friday Art Walk, located at 213 State Street in Binghamton, is open on Frist Friday 3- 9 pm and regularly Fridays from 3-6 and Saturdays from 12- 4 pm and also by appointment. Find us on Facebook at Cooperative Gallery 213 and sign up for our weekly e-newsletter on our website at or on our Facebook page, Cooperative Gallery 213.

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