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April 7, 2020

Politics

African Haitian American Spring Valley Trustee Eudson Tyson Francois steps into the NYS Senate District 38 race. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Eudson Tyson Francois
Have questions about the fire-ravaged Notre Dame cathedral? Bring them Thursday, March 5 to the Alliance Francaise where a Yale professor will give updates. This photo was taken April 15, 2019, from Quai de Montebello, Paris, France. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons by Wandrille de Préville

Around The Towns: Haitian-American Steps Into Senate Race, Race Talk, Paris Cathedral

Planning a trip to Paris and want to know when Notre Dame will re-open? Not for five years says the French president. Why's that? Find out more about the fire-ravaged cathedral on Thursday, March 5 at the Alliance Francaise in White Plains.

That's when Yale University professor R. Howard Bloch will talk about the challenges of rebuilding Notre Dame and about other French cathedrals. The event is at 7 p.m. and here's where to RSVP.

Haitian-American Spring Valley Trustee Enters 38th District Race

"Being able to make history and show Haitian children in our community that someone who looks like them can become a senator is not lost on me. It means a lot," says Tyson Francois, Spring Valley's trustee, who recently joined four other Democrats in a run for the New York State Senate 38th District seat.

The seat is being vacated by Sen. David Carlucci who is running for Rep. Nita Lowey's congressional seat. The district covers most of Rockland County and a small part of Ossining in Westchester County. 

Francois is starting his 3rd year on the Spring Valley Board of Trustees. He was first elected in 2017. Born in Haiti, Francois came to the U.S. in 1984 and became a U.S. citizen.

Francois said he'll bring "results to the district" if elected, recounting his leadership on the Spring Valley village board, an elected post.

"Under my leadership, we improved services for residents, advocated against changes to Temporary Protected Status (TPS), held free legal clinics to help TPS recipients and advocated, front and center, for the East Ramapo Central School District. As State Senator, I will continue to be a dedicated public servant and deliver results for Rockland and Westchester Counties.”

Affordable housing, tenants' rights, services for the homeless, affordable health care, senior citizen’s rights, lowering taxes, increasing school funding and ensuring equal pay for all genders are all on Francois' to-do list if he gets elected.

CURE Parent Workshop Covers Race, Racism

A race and racism workshop drew 20 parents to Larchmont on a recent Sunday where they learned the most constructive and age-appropriate ways to discuss these subjects with their kids.

Children are naturally curious about visible differences among people. Staying calm and positive in potentially awkward situations is the first step, educators say. Participants in the workshop learned not to say things like “I don’t see difference!” which teach children that talking about race is taboo, were among the takeaways.

Nicole Alifante, founder of the Coalition for Understanding Racism Through Education (CURE), a Larchmont-Mamaroneck nonprofit, which sponsored the workshop, called the meeting a success.

“Talking About Race for Parents: Raising Children for Racial Justice”  was hosted by the Community Resource Center of Mamaroneck. The facilitator was a New York City-based group called the Center for Racial Justice in Education.

While many people think of racism as individual acts of meanness, participants learned how race and racism permeate institutions and ideas in American society. Parents were given strategies and resources for developing anti-racism in themselves, their families and communities over the longer term.

Participant, parent and psychologist Kira Bartlett called the experience incredible.

"The skilled and dynamic facilitators created a safe space for us to learn while exploring complex and difficult material," she said. "As a psychologist, I was especially appreciative of the facilitators’ ability to hold space for all of members of the group at different stages."

CURE works to bring a deeper understanding of institutional racism and how it leads to disparities in wealth, criminal justice, housing, education and other areas of American society. Click here for more information about CURE covered here in Daily Voice Plus.