CHER February 2020 Newsletter

Welcome to the CHER February Newsletter! Each month, we send out an e-newsletter to keep the campus and community updated about what we’re doing here in the Center for Hartford Engagement & Research at Trinity College (affectionately known as CHER😎). Over the past month we’ve visited student workers at Trinfo Café, reopened the Trinity VITA Tax Clinic, taking HMTCA students bowling, and celebrated the power of women. Take a look at our highlights below, and be sure to contact us if you are interested in collaborating.

Tulsi Sumukadas ‘20 Receives a #CHERShoutout for Leadership at Trinfo Café and Community Service!

When you see Tulsi Sumakadas ‘20 around campus, be sure to say congratulations! Tulsi was chosen this month for a #CHERShoutout due to her Hartford engagement work as the new coordinator of student-led community events at Trinfo Café, volunteer work with the Trinity Homelessness Project, and more fantastic work as a Health Fellow and with the Biology Club on campus and in Hartford. Tulsi said, “One of the reasons that I wanted to work at Trinfo and get involved in community service was to make sure I had opportunities to get off campus. I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to organize an event and reach out to a lot of different groups. Also, helping the clients here is more than just answering a five minute question. I helped a woman a few months in a row who needed assistance with her resume, then a job application, and then she ended up getting the job and I helped her with the paperwork she needed to start. So it’s been really nice to spend time with people and make a bigger difference.

Trinity VITA Tax Clinic at Trinfo.Café Reopens for 2020

Tax season is here, and the Trinity VITA Tax Clinic at Trinfo.Café is open now through April 15th Located at 1300 Broad Street, next to the Trinity College campus and the Learning Corridor. This Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) clinic is one of several in Hartford sponsored by the United Way. VITA offers free income tax preparation services to households generally with incomes of $55,000 or below, persons with disabilities, and taxpayers who speak languages other than English. Professor Serena Laws and students enrolled in her “POLS 310: Tax Policy and Inequality in Hartford” Community Learning course have been trained as tax preparers. Make an appointment calling 2-1-1 or by going online to The Trinity VITA Tax Clinic at Trinfo.Café is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays from 10am to 2pm, and Fridays from 10am to 5pm.

Community Partners: Submit a Proposal to the Liberal Arts Action Lab by Friday 2/28

Got an idea about how to strengthen Hartford? The Liberal Arts Action Lab invites Hartford community partners to submit a 3-paragraph proposal on a problem or question that you’d like help answering with a team of student and faculty researchers from Capital Community College and Trinity College in Fall 2020. After review by the Action Lab, your proposal will publicly appear online to help us match you with interested faculty fellows and students. Any neighborhood group, non-profit organization, government agency, or social entrepreneur, large or small, is encouraged to submit a proposal by Tuesday February 28th, and we will contact you after the Hartford Resident Advisory Board prioritizes proposals in early March. Apply here and contact with any questions.

Community Action Gateway Starts Spring Research Projects

After last semester’s successful video projects, students in the Community Action Gateway are starting semester-long research projects with four community partners: Sexual Assault Crisis ServicesMake the Road CTCompass Peacebuilders, and the Permanent Commission on the Status of Hartford Women. Each of these groups have asked students to conduct research with them and help them present their findings to a larger audience. Pictured above, Caroline Killian ’23, Tiana Sharpe ’23, and Camm Mattison ’23 attend a meeting with community partners at Hartford City Hall. Read more about their projects here.

 JZ-AMP Mentors and HMTCA Middle-School Mentees Go Bowling Together

Last weekend, Trinity student mentors and HMTCA middle school mentees in the Jones-Zimmermann Academic Mentoring program took a field trip to go bowling together! In addition to their after-school tutoring and life skills coaching, the mentees also participate in enrichment activities like this throughout the year. This year, they’ll be continuing their tech skills series over at Trinfo Café. Read more about JZ-AMP’s collaboration with CHER programs here.

JELLO Community Service Club Volunteers at Second Saturdays at The Wadsworth Atheneum and Amistad Center for Arts & Culture

Last weekend, JELLO Community Service students were busy yet again! They spent time volunteering at the Wadsworth Atheneum and the Amistad Center for Arts & Culture for the free programs on  Second Saturdays for Families. Needless to say, the collage-making station was incredible! See more photos here.

Trinity’s Women & Gender Resource Action Center Visits with Hartford Magnet Trinity College Academy (HMTCA) Young Women’s Club

Earlier this month, Laura Lockwood, the Director of Trinity College’s Women & Gender Resource Action Center (WGRAC) visited HMTCA students. Working with Trinity College alumna Mel Cavanaugh ’11 and HMTCA history teacher, Laura visited with the school’s Young Womens Club to discuss what a “women’s center” looks like as well as issues around consent and sexual violence after they had watched film “The Hunting Ground.” Read Robert Cotto Jr.’s interview with Laura here.

Trinity’s “50 For The Next 50” Event Recognizes Many Women Involved in Hartford

On February 7th, as part of the “Women at the Summit” commemoration of the 50th anniversary of coeducation, Trinity College honored a group of 50 women who will have a lasting impact on the college for the next 50 years. CHER congratulates all of the honorees! Not coincidentally, we also note that many of the women selected for this award also have dedicated countless hours to building meaningful relationships between Trinity and Hartford. See all the honorees and their bios here.

Abby Williamson Named Next CHER Director
We are pleased to announce that Abby Williamson, Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Policy and Law, will be the next director of the Center for Hartford Engagement and Research (CHER) beginning in September 2020. Professor Jack Dougherty, the inaugural CHER Director, will be stepping down from his two-year term as scheduled. Congratulations to Abby!

Applications Due Wed Feb 26th: Liberal Arts Action Lab  and CT Data Collaborative are hiring a paid Nonprofit Data & Technology Consulting Intern for Summer 2020.

Free Workshop Wed Feb 26th: “What is a Healthy Relationship?” An interactive workshop and paint night about healthy relationships to bring awareness to domestic violence. Co-Sponsored by Trinfo Café, Alpha Chi Omega, and YWCA Sexual Assault Crisis Service. 6:30–8:00 p.m. Trinfo Café, 1300 Broad Street. Free and open to the public.

Free Lunchtime Lecture Fri Feb 28th: Free lunchtime lecture: “Frontiers in Historical GIS, the Geohumanities, and Narrative Visualization” by Professors Anne Kelly Knowles (University of Maine) and LaDale Winling (Virginia Tech), 12-1pm at the Liberal Arts Action Lab, 10 Constitution Plaza. Co-sponsored by UConn, Capital Community College, and Trinity College. View the entire program. Free and open to the public. Lunch provided: first come, first served.

Free Event Fri Feb 28th: Trinfo BINGO: Join us for BINGO night! Delicious food and prizes for the winners. Free and open to the public. Co-Sponsored by Trinfo Café and the Office of S.A.I.L. 6:00–7:30 p.m. Trinfo Café, 1300 Broad Street. Free and open to the public.

Weds March 4th: Blood Drive 10am-3:30pm, Washington Room, Mather Student Center. Sign up for a time slot in-person in Mather Hall during lunch week of Feb 24th or e-mail

Free Workshop Fri March 6th: “Writing Strategies For Strengthening Community Partnerships” with Dr. Erin Brock Carlson. Are you interested in learning more about how to use writing strategies to strengthen your community partnerships? To create a broader impact on the community? Join us for a workshop focused on how to use many types of writing to meet your goals. 11am-3pm, Liberal Arts Action Lab in Downtown Hartford (10 Constitution Plaza). Open to the public, and designed for higher education faculty, staff, and community partners. RSVP here.