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A DARING JOURNEY From Immigration to Education

December 4, 2015 by imc-editor

The film A DARING JOURNEY: From Immigration to Education documents three stories of people who risked their lives to cross the border from Mexico, to fulfill their dreams. The film begins with each giving a vivid description of the journey coming here, then describing their struggles to earn a living in the shadows of our immigration system. Each of them goes on to pursue education, Luis and Sergio for themselves and Ruben Sr. and his wife Janet for their son. They all share the goal of wanting to make a contribution to their new country. Oscar-nominated, Emmy-winning filmmaker Dorothy Fadiman was inspired to make this film while shopping for groceries in Ruben Sr.'s market. One day he greeted her with this news, "My son is going to college!" She asked, "Where is he going?" Ruben answered, "Vassar." Dorothy said, "What a small world, our daughter graduated from Vassar!" She knew then and there that this family's story would make a provocative documentary. Ruben Sr. and his wife, Janet, had arrived with no education, and now their son was off to a private highly-ranked college. Over the next five years, Dorothy documented Ruben Jr.'s educational journey - from Eastside College Preparatory, a school for under-represented populations in East Palo Alto, CA, through his college graduation. While filming she met the other two interviewees: Luis, a published poet who works full-time as a waiter while getting a Master's degree from San Francisco State, and Sergio, who became the first undocumented person to be licensed to practice the law in the USA. What impressed her about all of these people was that they share an appreciation for the importance of education in being able to participate, actively, in their new country while building a better life.
WHY is this film important: There are approximately 12 million undocumented people living in the United States. Half of these individuals are Mexican. These three stories present a microcosm of the realities that many immigrants experience once they arrive in the United States: of working hard to survive without legal status and going on to pursue education so they and their children are able to address the challenges in their futures with better tools and more options.
DIRECTOR/CO-PRODUCER: OSCAR-nominated, EMMY-winning filmmaker Dorothy Fadiman
NARRATOR: María Marroquín, Executive Director of the Day Worker Center of Mountain View. CONCENTRIC MEDIA is an independent media production company. Our films document stories of individuals and communities working toward social justice, human rights, and personal growth. All of our films can be viewed and downloaded FREE.

The Creative Arts Film Festival is an annual international short film festival that takes place online, every year, around the world, all throughout December. Admission is FREE, so tell your friends! We want the entire world to enjoy these amazing movies -- on every continent, in every country, and in every home. Tell your friends! Because it's all about having a GREAT time watching GREAT movies from the next generation of GREAT filmmakers!

Are You a Poet? Split This Rock

December 1, 2015 by pegjohnston

Check out Split This Rock, a progressive poetry collective with lots of events both online and in the DC area.
 Split This Rock Poetry Festival 2016 April 14-17 , 2016
The 5th annual Abortion Rights Poetry Contest is open for submissions - January 10, 2016 deadline.
On December 20 we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the influential series, Sunday Kind of Love. A unique collaboration with Busboys and Poets, the series predates even Split This Rock!
In January we are proud to kick off a major series of events, Al Mutanabbi Street Starts Here DC 2016, a city-wide festival dedicated to the people of Iraq and those living everywhere that free expression is threatened. Arab and Iranian poets and translators will be reading and talking about the power of translation throughout the DC area.

Visit their website at

Bob Johnston Photography Show and Competition Returns in January 2016

November 29, 2015 by imc-editor

Last year's Best of Show "Toast" by Mike Ricciardi

SPONSORED BY Cooperative Gallery 213 and the Two Rivers Photography Club January 1 – 23rd, 2016

The Cooperative Gallery 213 and the Two Rivers Photography Club are sponsoring the 5th Bob Johnston Photography Show and Competition January 1-23rd, 2016. “We are looking forward to the best photography this area has to offer,” according to Peg Johnston, Cooperative Gallery president and daughter of the late Bob Johnston. It is an open themed Photography Show and Competition and all photographic media and all photographers are eligible to enter. Photographs will again be judged by Jim Johnston (no relation), a local professional photographer.

A reception for the photographers, friends, and the public will take place New Year's Day at the Gorgeous Washington Assn Art Walk from 6-9, with gallery hours starting at 3 pm that day. The Exhibit will be open Fridays 3-6 pm, Saturdays 12-4 pm and by appointment until January 23rd. Prizes and cash awards for the winners will be announced at First Friday, January 1st at 6:30 pm at a reception for the artists.

The Competition is named for Bob Johnston, a lifelong photographer and a gallery member who died in 2010. “Bob Johnston was an ‘Ansell Adams’ kind of photographer who worked mostly in black and white film and favored both urban and natural landscapes,” said Bill Gorman, also a photographer and member of the Cooperative Gallery. Bob Johnston defined a good photo this way: “For me, the successful photograph is one in which both the abstract elements and the subject matter of the image reinforce each other to provide an emotional experience for the viewer.”

Complete submission guidelines and deadlines are posted at, Or download below.

Each entrant may submit up to 3 photos with an entry fee of $10 each. The open themed show will be judged and cash prizes will be given for Best in Show and two Judge’s Choice photos one each in Color and Black and White. Photos may be sold and the standard 20% commission will be paid to the gallery. All photos must be framed and ready to hang. Two non-adhesive labels must accompany each entry with Title, Name of Photographer, Medium, Price using Arial 14 pt type on a label no larger than 2” X 3” (labels in envelope attached to wire is recommended). In addition, name and complete contact information must be affixed to the back of each photo.

Submissions may be dropped off at the Cooperative Gallery 213 State St. Binghamton NY on Sunday Dec. 20, 3:00 -5:00 pm, Saturday Dec. 26, 2:00-5:00 pm Sunday Dec. 27, 1:00–3:00 pm. Contact or (607) 757-0499 for more information.

Bridge Work Improving This Site

November 27, 2015 by imc-editor

We are sorry if you have visited the binghamton bridge recently and been dismayed to find it crashed. We have taken a number of steps to rectify the situation. First of all we have removed the hundreds, if not thousands, of users who are spammers. And then we deleted old events dating back to 2010 as well as many articles that go way back. They were taking up space on the site without much benefit. However, we regret if something you posted a good bit ago is gone when you search for it. As you can imagine it is time consuming to delete thousands of entries so if we missed something valuable we apologize. We owe a great debt of gratitude to Joshua Ludski for his advice and help in fixing things! Nice to have smart friends!

Secondly, we increased the space on the server, at greater cost to us, but essential to keeping the site up and running. So, if your appreciation runs to sending a small donation our way, you can use our donate button, with "bridge work" in notation, and we will be most appreciative. You can also send a check to Ctr for Gender, Art, and Culture 213 State St. #1 Binghamton NY 13901 with the same notation.

Finally, we are still looking for someone who can do some updates on the site-- a couple of hours initially and then some maintenance. Our site is on the Drupal platform, and we do have some funds to pay a tech person. Email us at Thanks!

The binghamton bridge also posts listed events and articles in a weekly e-newsletter that goes out Sunday evening. If you need help posting, please contact us! And join the mailing list by clicking on the link on the homepage. If you have registered and are still blocked from posting, drop us a note and we will approve you quickly!


Amazon vs Local Business

November 23, 2015 by pegjohnston

reprinted from Institute for Local Self Reliance

Amazon is on a building spree, and many local officials are eager to bring one of its giant fulfillment centers to their own backyard. They are so eager, in fact, that some have resorted to offering the company lavish tax breaks and other public assistance. Between 2012 and 2014, Amazon picked up $431 million in local tax incentives to finance its warehouse expansion.

Searching for Peace, Once Again

November 13, 2015 by pegjohnston

By Tim Wolcott

         Soon before the beginning of the current school year, Bob Graves, the Maine-Endwell High School Spartan Theater Company Director, was asked what they were going to present in 2015-2016.  “Would it be another musical or a tragedy?”  The questioner (which was not me) went on, “I really liked when you produced those little plays about peace.”  Bob wasn’t yet sure what the company was going to do, so he honestly admitted, “we haven’t decided yet.”

         Mr. Graves recounted this story in his introduction to this season’s first presentation, “Searching for Peace”, a collection of one-act plays and songs with peace as the central theme.  He went on to say, and I paraphrase, “after thinking about all the current wars that are putting American lives at risk, maybe it is time to revisit the theme of peace.”  I am glad he made that decision.  Too often the courage to trumpet peace is drowned out by the false majesty of war.

         The present production was very similar to the 2006 production, but had musical interludes and a couple of additional theatrical acts.  The November 7th, 2015 performance was, depending on the piece, poignant, audacious and/or inspirational. 

         I also had the pleasure of seeing the production in 2006.   This production was a reprise of the four original acts – “How Violence Is Ended”, “The Christmas Truce”, “When the Twins Went to War” and “The War Prayer”.  The staging was different, but the text was the same.  In the Buddhist legend, “How Violence Is Ended”, the clarion call was repeated, “Do not be short-sighted” (seek impulsive revenge) and “Do not be long-sighted” (hold grudges).  “The Christmas Truce” recounts the spontaneous cessation of war on Christmas Eve by German and English troops during W.W.I.  Hearing “Silent Night”, hauntingly sung, in German, offstage while the English trench soldiers become visibly mesmerized by its serenity was very powerful. The message of Mark Twain’s “The War Prayer” could not resonate more.  In that act, a preacher in the pulpit is rallying the congregation to war through biblical passages and patriotic slogans when he is interrupted by a female messenger from God.  She proceeds to translate the preacher’s uplifting rhetoric to its barbaric reality.  After a prolonged silence of rapt understanding, the congregants declare her insane, and the preacher continues his sermon as the play ends.

         During the interludes, talented musicians within the cast amplified the powerful content from the dramatic acts.  A faculty member sang, in French, a WWI protest song (while a translation was shown simultaneously) that included the words, “President, if blood be shed, let it be yours.”  John Lennon’s “Imagine” and “Let It Be” were sung to echo the non-violent sentiment of the production.  The evening ended with the entire cast and audience singing Lennon’s “Give Peace a Chance”. 

         We all do have to participate in giving peace a chance.  This production surely helped us see and hear how.


Let's Study Recycling for Profit: Nov 14th

November 7, 2015 by imc-editor

A local group of community members and students will explore recycling and re-use of materials in Broome County to see if there are opportunities both for increased recycling and for creating jobs. Nov. 14th, 2 pm on BU campus--Library second floor, it is LS2523A South Study.

According to EPA there are over 250 million tons of solid waste generated in the US every year. Over 4 lbs per person per day. With nearly 200,000 people in Broome county that's 800,000 lbs per day or divided by 2000 lbs per ton 400 tons or 10 tractor trailer loads of garbage per day.

Rubber, textiles and leather are about 9% or 72,000 lbs per day. Nearly 2 tractor trailer loads every day.  

To give you some idea of value: Recycled clothes from collection boxes are valued at 20 cents per lb or $8,000 per 40,000 lb load. Let's say that 50% of the rubber, textiles and leather are clothes  that's $4,000 every day. That's the approximate value of just 4 1/2 % of the solid waste going into Broome counties landfill as clothing every day.

According to Les Platt, one of the organizers, "I've sold Credential clothes, that's clothes collected in community boxes, for as much as 38 cents per lb or 2 1/2 times current values." Most materials have nowhere near these values. Some are more valuable. The point is that there are millions of dollars being buried in Broome Counties landfill every year at the cost of other millions of dollars.

Platt says, "Our job is to see how much of this value we can reclaim, at what savings and to direct whatever value we can into productive activities. From my point of view that will be street kids projects, creating jobs for people coming out of jail and of course careers or business opportunities we find for ourselves. There are thousands of other possibilities."

There are hundreds of recycling activities going on in every community all the time. These include scavengers who rummage through dumpsters searching for redemption containers and individuals who search the country side or curbs on garbage days looking for useful items to resell or scrap. There are thousands of people right here in Broome county who have ongoing rummage sales, garage sales or year around flea markets.

There are independent garbage collectors who provide recycling services to commercial enterprises, industries and institutions or scavenge their own collections for anything of value easily separated.

Local municipalities and the county have instituted recycling projects. Catholic Charities, the Salvation Army, the Rescue Mission and many other non profits and churches have thrift stores and rummage sales. There are dozens of profit making thrift stores, consignment shops, used vehicle and equipment dealers. There are many junk yards, scrap dealers, professional materials collectors and brokers of all sizes from local collectors to national and international dealers.

There are local, state, federal and international agency's and institutions set up to promote and regulate recycling activities.The organizers are saying, "Our job will be to study them, learn to understand them, find ways to improve their situations increase their effectiveness and reassure them, that overall we are a credible team member."

"We will need to get involved at all levels. We will need hundreds of people. To attract them we will need to recruit those who are interested, identify or create incentives for those who are ambitious, define infrastructure for the general public to participate and start physical projects, large and small to illustrate viability. We will need to create cash flow, inspire entrepreneurs and attract investors."

For more information, visit the calendar on this site, or email


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