Commission on Equity and Opportunity Nov 2016 Newsletter

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Let us remember the service of our veterans who have put their lives on the line to protect the freedoms that we enjoy. They have dedicated their lives to their country and deserve to be recognized for their commitment.
Thanksgiving is a time for families and friends to gather together and express thanks for all that has been received, the freedoms we enjoy, and the loved ones who enrich our lives.  However, the holiday can bring financial and emotional stress for many families in need. Several organizations around the state will be distributing turkeys to families in need. CT Site Locations
The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) recognized National Lead Poisoning Prevention week by addressing the health effects and raising awareness at a legislative roundtable held at the Capitol on October 27, 2016.  National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week (NLPPW) was sponsored by the World Health Organization Global Alliance in order to stop lead paint production and raise awareness of childhood lead poisoning.   The panelists praised the Commission on Equity and Opportunity’s (CEO) “Saca El Plomo de Tu Casa” Campaign – a culturally and linguistically appropriate educational awareness media campaign about lead poisoning prevention and lead screening for Latino children in Connecticut.  Childhood Lead Poisoning is the most common pediatric public health problem around the country, yet it is entirely preventable.  Latino and African American children are nearly twice as likely as White children to suffer from lead poisoning. CEO and DPH are currently planning a new educational outreach campaign for African American, Latino and Asian families on lead poisoning.
The 2016 National Hispanic Month Celebration came to an end with a legislative celebration co-hosted by members of the Black & Puerto Rican Caucus, The Commission on Equity and Opportunity, Ecuadorian,BrazilianMexican and Peruvian Consulates of Connecticut and New York. This year’s event was celebrated with folkloric dance, music and cultural cuisine from Peru and Brazil.  The keynote speaker was State Representative Juan Candelaria accompanied by welcoming remarks from Peruvian consul Augusto Thornberry, Ambassador Fernando de Mello Barreto and Mexican Deputy Consul General Vívian Júarez Mondragón.  The Master of Ceremonies was State Representative Edwin Vargas.  National Hispanic Heritage Month is from September 15 to October 15 and it celebrates the histories, cultures and contributions of American citizens whose ancestors came from Spain, Mexico, the Caribbean, Central and South America.
Naugatuck Valley Community College, (NVCC) celebrated the opening of their new and expanded Danbury Campus with a ribbon cutting ceremony. State Representatives Stephen Harding (R-107) and Jan Giegler (R-138) along with CEO’s Executive Director, Subira Gordon were in attendance to congratulate NVCC President Daisy Cocco De Filippis, Connecticut State Colleges and Universities President Mark Ojakian, NVCC Student Government Association President Keila Franco and Mayor Mark Boughton of Danbury on their latest expansion. Naugatuck Valley Community College serves Bethel, Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, Newtown and Sherman as well as many towns between Danbury and Waterbury. The new Danbury campus is located at 190 Main Street. For more information visit NVCC.
Senior Special Projects Coordinator, Mui Mui Hin-McCormick served as a presenter at the Access Health CT Community Conference in Cromwell, CT. The conference brought together community partners and representatives of organizations seeking to build a healthier Connecticut.  Discussions included Effective Outreach Strategies for Diverse Communities (African American, Caribbean American, Latino and Puerto Rican and Asian American and Pacific Islander) around healthcare access and coverage. This event also focused on outreach on mental health issues.
Senior Commission Analyst, Alok Bhatt was a panelist for “Race & The Future of Asian American Politics” at UConn NEAG School of Education on Asian/Pacific American Civic Engagement.  Panelists discussed the place of Asian/Pacific Islander Americans (API) in the political and racialized context of the 2016 election cycle and encouraged the API community to get involved in political discourse on all levels.
On October 8, 2016 Senior Analysts Alok Bhatt and Werner Oyanadel served as presenters at “The Forum 2016”.  The event was hosted by State Representative Brandon McGee and Trinity College and was held at Trinity College in Hartford. They shared information about the CT legislative process, community organizing, how to effectively communicate with legislators and making a difference on community issues.
Information Officer, Denise Drummond along with other College Goal Sunday-CT volunteers assisted high school seniors and their families to complete their Free Application for Federal Student Aid, (FAFSA) forms.  This annual statewide event was held at 11 locations.  Families received one-on-one, expert advice on how to complete the forms as well as information on how to plan for college.
PA 16-41 An Act Concerning The Recommendations Of The Minority Teacher Recruitment Task Force makes a number of policy changes regarding how the state addresses the low number of teachers of color that are in the public school system.
Research shows that students benefit from having teachers from diverse backgrounds.  The percentage of minority teachers in the state is dismal at 6% with the minority student population in many of the State’s urban schools standing at over 70% and over 40% for the state on a whole, and 64% of our school districts don’t have an administrator of color.  The CEO will continue to work on this issue to ensure that in the future students in the state have the opportunity to benefit from a diverse teaching staff.
Teacher Hiring Quest Aims South

New Haven public school system, joined local government and NAACP leaders announcing a renewed determination to lure more teachers of color. The announcement came on the day when the governor signed Public Act 16-41. The plan is to build a “pipeline” to the historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs) that have teacher certification programs. The state and local NAACP will help build the pipeline by co-hosting a minority teacher recruitment conference at Yale on December 1st and 2nd, 2016. Most New Haven public school students are minorities — 82 percent are black and Latino.  For more information and statistics on Teacher and Administrator Demographics Teacher Teacher Hiring Quest Aims South »
Executive Director, Subira Gordon and Senior Commission Analyst, Werner Oyanadel met with Miguel Fraga, First Secretary to the Embassy of the Republic of Cuba.  A dialogue and panel discussion about Cuban-US Relations was held at Central Connecticut State University (CCSU). The visit comes after the historic announcement by Presidents Obama and Castro that the US and Cuba would reestablish diplomatic relations, which was followed by the opening of embassies in the two countries in 2015.  Much remains to be done before normal relations between the two countries can be established.  A central issue in the ongoing negotiations is the decades-old embargo of Cuba that has been enforced by ten successive US administrations.
Diabetes is a serious health problem that affects Hispanic/Latino, African American, Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaskan Native populations.  The American Diabetes Association has prioritized the elimination of disparities by placing disparities prominently in their 2016 advocacy priorities.

Getting information to the community about the seriousness of diabetes, its risk factors as well as those who may be at risk, and ways to help manage the disease is essential.  Therefore, the Commission on Equity and Opportunity supports education and awareness in the Hispanic/LatinoAfrican AmericanAsian AmericanNative Hawaiian and Pacific Islander, and American Indian/Alaskan Native populations.  CEO Executive Director, Subira Gordon is Chair of the CT Diabetes Advisory Council.
Six year old Allyssa Knight is a 1st grader at John Barry Elementary School in Meriden, CT living with Type 1 Diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is a condition in which the pancreas no longer produces insulin so the missing insulin needs to be replaced with insulin injections that allow the body to process glucose and avoid complications from hyperglycemia. At 6 years old Allyssa has learned how to give herself injections, count carbohydrates and monitor her blood sugar.
Tips For Parents & Kids: American Diabetes Association
Safe at School  -   Make sure your child's school is prepared to handle diabetes.
Everyday Life    -  Children can live a normal life! Tips to help your family adjust.
Family Communication  -  Strike the right balance between caring and hovering.

CEO’s Senior Legislative Analyst, Werner Oyanadel, was recently recognized by Connecticut Latino magazine, Imagen, along with entrepreneur Ada Rios, during the magazine’s 2016 Hispanic Heritage Celebration edition.  Mr. Oyanadel was highlighted for his legislative work in support of Latino issues at the Capitol for the past twenty years.  Ms. Rios was recognized for running a successful business focused on all natural women’s skin and beauty products.  Imagen Magazine has been highlighting successful stories of local Latino talents as an example of progress to emulate.  Janet Gonzalez has been directing the magazine for the past 8 years.  The magazine also recognized the accomplishments of Peruvian Captain Ricardo Portal of the Salvation Army, whose photo was highlighted on the cover page of the magazine.  For more information about the leaders highlighted in the magazine visit  
CEO is seeking college students for legislative internship opportunities for the 2017 Regular Session, January 4 - June 7, 2017.  Responsibilities include assisting staff prepare analytical reports of public policy content on topics that affect Latino, African American, and Asian populations in areas of education, economic development, public safety, poverty, public health & discrimination. Interns will be responsible for monitoring legislative committee meetings, attending public hearings, and drafting fact sheets.  Contact Werner at 860-240-0097
A conversation about Diabetes
6th Annual Town Hall Meeting on Health Disparities
November 9, 2016
6:00 PM

(860) 714-5770
359 Washington Street, Hartford, CT 
Hosted by The Curtis D. Robinson Center for Health Equity
Copyright © 2016 Connecticut Commission on Equity and Opportunity, All rights reserved.

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