Sedonte Ward Scholarship

Parents Turn Pain into Policy

NEW YORK — Arlene Ward knew the choice she made that night would change the lives of the young people from the housing projects that define Manhattan’s Lower East Side skyline. She sat in the hospital room where her son’s dead body lay, still warm, a tube jammed down his throat after a gunshot to the chest.

Ward grew up in the projects. When she was a child, revenge was an instrumental part of meting out street justice.

A young protester has a powerful message.

When Kids Are Killed by Police

See main story "Parents Turn Pain into Policy." On a Sunday afternoon this past summer, a little boy who recently lost a baby tooth stood amid a throng of angry protesters marching their way from a house on East 229th Street through quiet residential streets in the Bronx to the 47th Precinct, where police brass waited behind a metal enclosure. The little boy held a bright red sign, difficult to make out since he was so small, and the crowd obscured the message written with thick black marker. As the crowd parted, the message became clear: “N.Y.P.D Don’t Kill Me!!!” To stress the point, someone had underlined the message three times. The little boy was one of a clutch of 50 protesters led by Constance Malcolm, whose son Ra Graham died after he was chased to his second-floor bathroom and fatally shot.

Sandy Hook One Year on, the Nation Struggles With the Stigma of Mental Illness

Photo by Robert Stolarik. NEWTOWN, Conn. -- Sandy Hook Elementary School has been razed. The process of destroying the school -- where last year Adam Lanza, a socially awkward 20-year old, massacred 20 first-grade students and six teachers and staff in a matter of minutes -- began earlier in the year and is now nearly complete. It was a secretive project.

Since Sandy Hook, Tracking Mental Health Changes Nationwide

NEWTOWN, Conn., -- Nearly one year after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, the town has struggled to reclaim its identity as a quaint New England town. A sign hanging on a pole on the road leading to the elementary school. Photo by Robert Stolarik. 
>> Click Here to Read the Main Article: Sandy Hook One Year on, the Nation Struggles With the Stigma of Mental Illness
ARLINGTON, Va. --  The near financial collapse in 2008 had state capitols across the country tightening their fiscal belts. As part of that new fiscal reality, money for mental health programs suffered deep cuts.

Trans Freedom Fighters Help Today’s Trans Teens

Photo by Robert Stolarick
In the late 1990s when Carl Siciliano worked at Safe Space, an organization that helped homeless teens, he ended up with a lot of gang members at the intake center. Many of them, mostly Crips and Bloods, were virulently homophobic and would assault the gay and transgender teens who would show up. Instead of risking the threat of violence, many of the gay and trans teens stopped going. 
That’s when Siciliano had the idea of opening housing for gay homeless youth. “I was never into the idea of segregated spaces,” said Siciliano, who now is the executive director of the Ali Forney Center. “But it was amazing to see what a difference it made, to see how well they responded to having a safe space.”
Now, Siciliano said, he wants to take that step specifically for transgender teens.