Professor Virginia Franklin, Associate Professor at St. Francis College and JHP Advisory Committee Member, wanted to share this inspiring film by German filmmaker, Tobias Kriele, The Power of the Weak, about one man’s journey through the free health and medical system in Cuba, as well as his political work to free the Cuban Five.

The Women’s Press Collective hosted a showing of the documentary The Power of the Weak at ​St. Francis on Monday April 18th. The film is a great look inside Cuba through the profile of a young man named Jorgito who, despite having severe cerebral palsy, completed his education through college and has his disorder well controlled, both made possible by Cuba’s free education and health systems.

On Tuesday. April 19th, Jorgito received a visa to visit the States, and was in New York Saturday throughMonday. The WPC had a second showing of The Power of the Weak and both Jorgito and Tobias Kriele were present for a post viewing discussion. Lisa Daniell, the head of Women’s Press Collective, made a special effort to reach out to People living with disability.

At this time of changing U.S.-Cuba relations, The Power of the Weak screening and discussion provides a unique opportunity for U.S. audiences to learn about some of the achievements of Cuban society. Jorgito, who was born with severe cerebral palsy, and his family, friends, doctors and teachers, describe the physical and academic accomplishments, social integration and political participation of a young disabled person in Cuban society through compelling personal interviews. The documentary provides a picture of the world-renowned Cuban medical and educational systems that persist through the country’s economic suffering.

Jorgito’s deep love for his country found expression through his participation in the campaign to free the Cuban Five ― five Cubans whose imprisonment in the U.S. for infiltrating anti-Cuban organizations in Miami engaged in attacks on Cuba was internationally criticized, generating a world-wide movement for their freedom. Recognizing the relationship of his own development to the development of the society in which he lives,

Jorgito states: ”Without Cuba and its history, I wouldn’t be Jorgito.”

Please contact The Women’s Press Collective at 718-222-0405 for future screenings of the film.

 

 

 

JHP Honors Veteran Sheridan Dean

As a volunteer organization serving veterans for nearly seventy-five years, I wanted to report on something dear to JHP for Veterans Day so I picked up the phone and called Sheridan Dean. One of our goals is to train veterans to teach our veteran programs. Sheridan, after taking two programs at the Brooklyn VA taught by Camille Tokerud, assisted her in teaching a program at the Genesis House in Brooklyn, and now he is co-teaching with Linda Kessler at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights. He said “what is rewarding is that there are always a couple of veterans in each class who, like me, get hooked on photography.”

During his military service, Sheridan attended aviation school and worked on aircraft structural repair. Returning home to Brooklyn, he had a career with the telephone company. Now, in retirement, he is happy to document events like yesterday’s at Brooklyn Borough Hall: Eric Adams, Borough President, and Commissioner of Veteran Affairs, Loree Sutton, MD, Brigadier General US Army Ret. spoke about housing and jobs for veterans. The transit Authority and the NYC Police Department are both hiring, but Sheridan said he is happy in retirement, teaching JHP programs and doing photography. His goal is to make each photograph museum quality.

JHP honored the Commissioner on October 19th at our annual benefit auction. She is such a fabulous speaker; our guests were ready to enlist! Sheridan said that he is proud of her as a veteran, especially her energy and her positivity. She has made great strides in eradicating veteran homelessness in NYC and in creating jobs for veterans. When I asked what else she could do to help NYC veterans, Sheridan liked the idea of a Museum for veteran’s art.

Last Veteran’s Day, Sheridan and I and a few others spoke about the JHP programs to veterans at St. Francis College. When I asked about his Veteran’s Day agenda for this year, he said he’d be at the Brooklyn Mall: Applebee’s, Red Lobster and Olive Garden providing free dining for Veterans. He also has a dinner to attend on Long Island, hosted by the Knights of Columbus.

– Maureen McNeil, Executive Director

Photograph by: Sheridan Dean

Photograph by: Sheridan Dean

Photograph by: Sheridan Dean

Top Photograph by: Camille Tokerud

New JHP Veterans Program at St. Francis College Announced

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Veterans Day, Maureen McNeil, Executive Director of Josephine Herrick Project announced the start of a free photography program for veterans at St. Francis College in Brooklyn Heights. Veteran Sheridan Dean commented on his experience in JHP photography programs at the Brooklyn VA. and how he has now become an assistant photography teacher at Genesis program for Services for the Under Served.