Athesia organizes huge Activism Fair at the Visual Studies Workshop, Sat the 14th.

Athesia organizes huge Activism Fair at the Visual Studies Workshop, Sat the 14th.

Athesia at the Liberty Pole protest against the Dakota Access Pipeline from Iakaonne´tha ne oneka 11/05/16

MCC art professor Athesia Benjamin has always been an informed and socially aware citizen, if not necessarily on the front lines of civic activism. This election, however, sparked Athesia to turn awareness into engagement with new found passion.


With Brighton Town Court Judge Karen Morris (l) and former Brighton Town Supervisor Sandra Frankel (r) from Athesia makes D & C print endorsement!

Inspired by Bernie Sanders’ message, Athesia worked tirelessly at the Culver and Parcells headquarters, appeared in a major campaign video, and wrote the Sander’s endorsement statement for the Democrat and Chronicle.

Alarmed by Trump’s campaign, she started the blog 20016electiongotmelike to express in drawings and writings her “awesome disgust of Donald J. Trump.” Athesia even made an anti-Cruz sign held outside his rally at MCC.

As the election neared, Athesia almost singlehandedly organized a highly successful protest at the Liberty Pole against the Dakota Access Pipeline where she “was a firebrand and a spitfire, revving up and inspiring the crowd.” (see Iakaonne´tha ne oneka )

To Athesia the election felt like crashing unexpectedly through thin ice into stinging cold water.

But she got right back up.

a-fairAs reported earlier today by WXXI, (“Event aims to transform fear into activism”), Athesia has (almost singlehandedly again) organized an Activism Fair scheduled for Saturday, January 14, at the Visual Studies Workshop at 31 Prince Street from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m:

Some 30 local groups are joining forces to host a Rochester Activism Fair this coming weekend.

Organizations such as the Citizens Climate Lobby, Monroe County Young Democrats, and the Gay Alliance hope to recruit volunteers who are committed to social justice and political change, but aren’t sure how to proceed.

Athesia Benjamin is one of the organizers of the event. She says it was inspired by collective fears about what the incoming Trump administration will mean for a host of civil liberties.

Many of us feel as though we are being alarmist in our desire to protect these liberties that feel threatened, but I think that’s just good preparation. We need to be ready and prepared to combat this threat in a way that we never have before.

Thanks Athesia for all your commitment and hard work!  For more information, see Rochester Activism Fair or contact her at [email protected]


Iakaonne´tha ne oneka

I Was Racially Profiled In My Own Neighborhood Today. Again.

About The Author

Welcome to Talker of the Town! My name is David Kramer. I have a Ph.D in English and teach at Keuka College. I am a former and still active Fellow at the Nazareth College Center for Public History and a Storyteller in Residence at the SmallMatters Institute. Over the years, I have taught at Monroe Community College, the Rochester Institute of Technology and St. John Fisher College. I have published numerous Guest Essays, Letters, Book Reviews and Opinion pieces in The New York Times, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, the Buffalo News, the Rochester Patriot, the Providence Journal, the Providence Business News, the Brown Alumni Magazine, the New London Day, the Boston Herald, the Messenger Post Newspapers, the Wedge, the Empty Closet, the CITY, Lake Affect Magazine and Brighton Connections. My poetry appears in The Criterion: An International Journal in English and Rundenalia and my academic writing in War, Literature and the Arts and Twentieth Century Literary Criticism. Starting in February 2013, I wrote for three Democratic and Chronicle  blogs, "Make City Schools Better," "Unite Rochester," and the "Editorial Board." When my tenure at the D & C  ended, I wanted to continue conversations first begun there. And start new ones.  So we created this new space, Talker of the Town, where all are invited to join. I don’t like to say these posts are “mine.” Very few of them are the sole product of my sometimes overheated imagination. Instead, I call them partnerships and collaborations. Or as they say in education, “peer group work.” Talker of the Town might better be Talkers of the Town. The blog won’t thrive without your leads, text, pictures, ideas, facebook shares, tweets, comments and criticisms.


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