Shades Repertory Theater

For Immediate Release:

Shades Repertory Theater

Garnerville Arts Center

55 West Railroad Avenue

Garnerville, N.Y. 10923

Box Office: 845.675.8044

Theater: 845.271.4295


Shades Repertory presents play on first African-American Woman to give birth while incarcerated in 1958.

(Garnerville, N.Y.) The Shades Repertory Theater opens it’s 2019 Season with a dynamic production of Samuel Harps’ Award-Winning play CLOVER, directed by veteran actor Mel Hancock. The play is inspired by the true story of the first woman to give birth in a North Carolina prison in the Summer of 1958.

The explosive two act drama will be performed by a talented group of NYC actors in the Dye Works Theater at the Historic Garnerville Arts Center on September 5, 6, 7 at 8p. (Doors Open at 7:30)

The play brings awareness to the epidemic of female incarceration in the U.S., which now stands at over 200,000, which is a 700% increase since 1980. Of this staggering statistic, 60% of these women have children under the age of 18.

CLOVER is co-sponsored by the Rockland Based Organization The Gordon Center for Black Culture & Arts (gordonbca.org)

Tickets are $20 – $18 for Students and Seniors online tics – eventcombo.com


The Elias Foundation is excited to once again announce this opportunity for Fellowships in underserved communities. We are accepting Letters of Interest from activists in the Hudson Valley working in local movement building in communities hardest hit by injustice and inequality.

Please note: the deadline for sending a Letter of Interest is September 30, 2019.  

The goal of this program is to strengthen and build social justice movements by developing activists’ skills and capacities in the Hudson Valley.  The Elias Foundation hopes to identify and support the work of people from the grassroots and frontline communities. This includes, but is not limited to, individuals who self-define as low-income, people of color, indigenous, immigrant, women, trans, gender nonconforming, LGBT and/or queer, youth, working class and disabled.

Each awardee will receive a total of $90,000 over five years of support ($25,000 for the first three years, $10,000 in fourth year and $5,000 for the final year). This support is aimed at people working in underserved communities who would not normally have access to this kind of funding.

To read more about the Fellowship, the criteria for applying and information on Letters of Interest, please visit the Elias Foundation website.

You can also contact Polly Withers at [email protected]org if you have any questions or would like to nominate someone. Thank you.

Jackie Mann
Elias Foundation

Professional dancers Mauricio Zenteno and Paulette Machicado are offering three weeks of free ballet classes in their Ardsley studio for tots and youth, as well as adults. They have a special class for youth with autism, down syndrome and other challenges. August 5th through 24th. All details at https://alayadance.com/classes/free-classes/


Call to Action: Palestinians Refugees in Lebanon Demand Dignity!

Refugees across camps in Lebanon are rising up! The Lebanese Ministry of Labour’s new mandate forbids refugees from working in the country without work visas, heavily impacting Palestinian, Syrian, and other refugees. The new mandate has led to mass firings and a crackdown on refugee workers, as well as mass protests and strikes across the camps. 

This decision comes on top of already existing laws that discriminate against refugees and ban Palestinians from working in the 72 regulated professions, including medicine, public transit, farming, and fishery. Refugees are now demanding to live with human dignity. Their demands include:

  • Grant Palestinian refugees clear legal status guaranteeing civil, economic and social rights;

  • Amend Lebanese labor laws to cancel the work permit requirement for Palestinian refugees and end their exclusion from regulated professions

  • End ongoing discrimination against Palestinian refugees in a range of areas, including allowing them to own property.

In order to stand with refugee workers against the decision, here is how you can support our call to action:

  1. Call or email your local Lebanese Embassy or Consulate in Turtle Island/USA to demand a repeal of the law and dignity for Palestinian refugees.

  2. Join us in solidarity with refugees in Lebanon this Monday, July 29th at 4:30 PM at the Lebanese Embassy at 9 E 76th St, NY. RSVP to the action here.

GENDA Know Your Rights Training at WESPAC

The Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act (GENDA), which historically passed in January 2019, protects New Yorkers who identify as Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming/Non-Binary (TGNCNB); by including gender identity and expression to existing human rights law. This covers the following domains:

  • Housing

  • Employment

  • Education

  • Public Accommodations and Healthcare

  • Equal Access to Credit

  • Freedom From Harassment

You can learn more about how GENDA impacts the lives of those who identify as TGNCNB by attending this training at WESPAC on Wednesday, August 21st at 6pm.  Free parking upper level.  RSVPs required.  Free and open to the public:



From Katie Schaffer, 

Dear all,
Thank you for joining us at the FREEnewyork Westchester Town Hall last night! It was powerful to share space and reflect on our collective work for decarceration and pretrial justice. 
Attached, you will find digital copies of:

Photos from the event are available for viewing at: https://www.facebook.com/WESPACFOUNDATION/ 

If you want to stay in touch with the Truthworker Theatre Company, you can find them on their website at truthworker.com (links to their social media at the bottom of the page). 
To take action right now:
  • CALL Senate Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins and tell her: “My name is ____ and I am a constituent from ____ [name your town/city]. Thank you for your leadership in moving forward bail, discovery, and speedy trial legislation. As you know, the work is not done! As we move forward, we hope to have your support in passing the next round of bail reform legislation that ends money bail and protects due process for all and true speedy trial legislation that guarantees the right to a speedy trial.”
  • CALL your County Legislator and ask them: What is your plan to make sure bail reform is implemented to maximize decarceration and vastly reduce the number of people incarcerated pretrial?

We look forward to working with all of you in the fight for decarceration and pretrial justice in Westchester County.

Katie & the FREEnewyork Team  



FREEnewyork – Our Stories, Our Wins, Our Fight 

FREEnewyork Local Organizing Guide

Conflict Resolution Facilitators Needed at the Westchester County Jail

On the weekend on May 31 to June 2, the first conflict resolution workshop was held for women at the Westchester County Jail.  Nine women who had been accused or everything from misdemeanors to violent crimes sat in a classroom together. This workshop was led by the Alternatives to Violence Project to help the women deal with the conflicts in their lives. All women participated fully, speaking about themselves positively, brainstorming violence and nonviolence, sharing a conflict they solved nonviolently, using I messages, and doing role plays. When asked at the end of the three-day workshop what they will take away with them, they responded the importance of listening, assertiveness, actual tools to use when they find themselves in a conflict situation, affirmation and a better understanding of themselves.

The Westchester County Jail, in Valhalla, New York, is exemplary in providing programs and preparing prisoners for reentry.  Programs and counseling begin on entry to the facility and continue through their stay. The Administration fully supports these efforts and enthusiastically welcomed a new program into the facility.

AVP, begun in 1975 by inmates at Green Haven Correctional Facility, helps people build conflict resolution skills by working on communication, listening, community, and tools to resolve conflict by using exercises and role plays rather than lectures. The intense emotional focus used in dealing with conflict and anger is interspersed with “Light and Livelies”. 

AVP needs more facilitators to meet the needs at the county jail. There will be an AVP Basic Workshop in Scarsdale on August 9-11. For more information on the Westchester County Jail Program contact Jacqueline Labatt-Simon at [email protected].

The Alternatives to Violence Project conducts workshops in the community and prisons.  All facilitators and participants are volunteers. For information on AVP, go to www.avpny.org

This year, because of the unwavering advocacy of directly impacted people and organizations across the state, a historic package of bail, discovery, and speedy trial legislation passed in the state budget. On July 10th, join us for a #FREEnewyork Town Hall in Yonkers.  You will learn details about the new legislation, hear from directly impacted individuals and understand what this legislation means for Westchester County.


Together, we will:

  • CELEBRATE the thousands of people who will no longer be subject to the trauma of pretrial jailing
  • ACKNOWLEDGE those who were carved out of the legislation
  • STRATEGIZE the next stage of bail reform to end money bail and protect due process for all people regardless of charge.


At the Town Hall, we will hear from  directly impacted people as well as our allies in this work.


RSVP FOR THE FREEnewyork Town Hall: Westchester


The event is sponsored by JustLeadershipUSA, VOCAL-NY, NYCLU, Westchester Children’s Association, WESPAC Foundation, Westchester for Change, Irvington Activists and LPS Progressive Life Services.



  • Date: July 10th
  • Time: 6-8 PM PM (dinner at 5:30 PM)
  • Location: Yonkers Public Library (Riverfront, 1 Larkin Center, Yonkers)
  • Spread the word on Facebook& with the attached flyer
  • Free & open to the public