Ten images depict local Hispanic families who appear safe and happy for the moment. The portraits exhibited at Junta For Progressive Action on Grand Avenue belie their fragility, as the specter of family disruption looms over their lives and the lives of countless others every day.
Proclaiming “Education is an opportunity to success!” and “All human beings deserve equality and dignity,” 30 students held a candlelight vigil to support a state bill that would allow undocumented students access to financial aid at state universities and colleges.
Egidio Severini has never turned down an opportunity for honest work. Born during the second World War in Cheli, Italy, he had his first informal job ferrying wine from an Osteria to his family’s home, where his mother would mix it with water for him and his brother’s dinner. When the family decided to come to the U.S. in 1954, he found that part of being a young immigrant in total “culture shock” was getting a job — first a newspaper route, and then as a cobbler. By high school, he was on his way to becoming a mechanic.
Born and raised Jewish in Brazil, Marcia Calisman moved to Israel as a young woman, and again to the U.S. in 2006. When she arrived at her first stop — Old Saybrook, just 20 minutes away from New Haven — she wasn’t thinking about opening a business based around clothing and accoutrements.
Having worked careers in the film and fashion design industries, she’d moved because her husband, Ronen Yur, had found a job designing jewelry for art and craft fairs around the country. As he adjusted to new work, Calisman got U.S. certification as a doula and joined a massage practice, doing painting and jewelry making on the side.