Angling For Acceptance


Love CNY ThinkTank and RISE are teaming up!!  Sunday August 27th , Love CNY ThinkTank and RISE (Refugee and Immigrant Self-Empowerment) will team up to host a fishing event and barbecue for refugee families and volunteers at Emerson Park in Auburn, New York.

Central New York has long been a melting pot for New Americans and a space for multicultural possibilities. An event such as “Angling for Acceptance” continues this tradition, providing vehicles for New American families to reconcile across generations, to create bonds of understanding between cultures, and to enjoy one’s time in natural settings.

We’ll provide information about safe places to fish, NYS regulations, mercury and whats safe to eat and what’s not. We’ll teach them how to setup their poles, tie a hook, select bait, catch and clean fish. After we’ll have a bbq.  Our hope is to gather enough materials for the 25 New American participants so that, following the event, each individual can continue a pursuit of fishing, an exploration of the outdoors, and a path towards understanding, whether among different cultures or the refugees themselves. Your contributions will ensure the success of this event and set us up for success in future events.
We need help with this event! Volunteers with fishing expertise, and volunteers to help run the grill and bring a dish to pass.  Volunteers should arrive by 9:30am.

There are several ways that you can help, please consider any of the following:
Click Here to Teach Someone to Fish (Volunteer)
Click Here to Cook/Setup the BBQ (Volunteer)
Click Here to Find a New Home for Your Gently Used Fishing Gear (Donate Items)
Click Here to Help US Provide Licenses/Fishing Gear (Donate Money)

Monetary Donations are greatly appreciated and may be used for any of the following:
Single Day Fishing License – $5
Annual Fishing License – $25
Basic Gear for one Family – $35

Thank you for your help in making this event a success!!

Love CNY ThinkTank’s Pride Month

19143083_1738294609533800_6780971794740468900_oAt Love CNY ThinkTank we are disappointed that the LGBTQ+ community continues to face so much adversity.  Somehow even in today’s modern society it is still socially acceptable in so many peoples minds to discriminate, disparage and disenfranchise this community.  For these reasons we feel it is very important for us to do what we can to be Allies to this community and add our voices to their struggle.  In the spirit of Pride Month we got involved in a couple of events to support this cause.
LGBTQ+ Awareness with Sage Upstate
On Wednesday, May 31, Professor Jessica Reeher of the Communication Studies department at SUNY Oswego presented at Sage Upstate in celebration of Pride.  She spoke about her research agenda which focuses on representations of marginalized groups through popular culture texts, such as film, music, and television.  As a cisgender, heterosexual woman, she notes that she identifies as an ally to the LGBTQ+ community and is especially concerned with the ways in which popular culture texts play a role in either normalizing or marginalizing underrepresented populations.  Her talk focused on the idea of heteronormativity – a notion that posits heterosexuality as the norm and any other representation as “not normal.”
To highlight this notion, her discussion focused on identity formation, which examines the social constructs of who we are as individuals and the various aspects that make up our own unique identity, such as biology, gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, etc, and how this then informs our standpoint.  Standpoint theory, briefly, suggests that we each have a standpoint from which we experience and understand the world that is connected to our identity.  A white, cisgender, heterosexual woman is going to see and experience the world in a very different way than a black, genderqueer, homosexual man.  The point is not to say that any one standpoint is “correct” or “proper” or “acceptable” but to recognize the importance of these other perspectives and to recognize the institutions and systems that allow some to be seen as “normal” and others to be seen as “outside,” “strange,” or “not socially acceptable.”
Gay 5K
19388511_1738316032864991_3574066180693756327_oOne of our Founding Members is also the race director for the Gay 5K.  In support of her efforts Love CNY ThinkTank played an instrumental role in helping this years race to be another success.  We were able to volunteer/fundraise in excess of $250.  We participated by putting together the race packets for the participants.  We also assisted with packet pickup and we had volunteers on race day.  One of the takeaways form this experience was the opportunity to listen to people talk about their experience and see their appreciation of our efforts to show that we see their community as “normal” and to encourage others to do the same.
Despite the reality that there is still a great deal of work to be done for this cause, I had the opportunity to listen to a gentleman describe some of his experiences over the years.  This man was so overwhelmed by how much more acceptance there is today than there was when he first came out.  It was a genuine opportunity to see what effect efforts like this can have on real people and how lives can be changed.  This one particular gentleman’s story sticks in my mind from that day, but I am certain that if I heard this one story at this one event there are hundreds, even thousands, more stories in CNY that would resonate just as strongly.  We all have an opportunity to positively impact peoples lives and I hope that at future events more of you will take an opportunity to experience this and feel the sense of pride that I felt in being just a small part of this.

May & June Events

In honor of LGBT Pride month this June, we have signed on to be official sponsors of the CNY Gay 5k (Saturday, June 17th). Our board member, Valerie Lisi, is the race director. In 2016 she established the race to raise awareness for local LGBT organizations. All proceeds from the race directly benefit SAGE Upstate and CNY Pride.

As an official sponsor of the race our goal is to recruit volunteers and collect donations. At a minimum we will contribute 25 volunteer hours, $250 in donations, or a combination of both to reach our goal.

In addition we are hosting an ally awareness event prior to the race where we’ll have guest speakers discuss issues facing the LGBT community in CNY. This is the first in a series of events we plan to host, Thoughts to Action, where we’ll invite guest speakers from relevant local organizations to discuss key issues facing our community, then go out and volunteer with those organizations.

Upcoming Events  

Ally Awareness Night (sponsored by the Love CNY ThinkTank)
Wednesday, May 31st, 6 – 8 pm, SAGE Upstate, 431 E Fayette St. #050
Syracuse, NY 13202

Join us for a night of free food and conversation centered around supporting the LGBT community in Central New York. At the meeting we will have several guest speakers:

  • Hannah Radcliff-Hoy from SAGE Upstate will discuss her organization’s role in the community and opportunities to volunteer
  • Valerie Lisi, race director for the CNY Gay 5k will be there to talk about the race and opportunities to volunteer or donate
  • Jessica Reeher, a special presenter will discuss issues surrounding sexuality, gender, heteronormativity, and ally awareness   

CNY Gay 5k                                                                 
Saturday, June 17th, 9 am, Long Branch Park in Liverpool, NY

  • Volunteer on race day. When you sign up, be sure to put (Love CNY ThinkTank) after your last name, so that race organizers know you’re with us.
  • Donate. If you donate, we’d appreciate your support. We have several runners registered for the race. In the “Donating on Behalf of a Runner” field, type in Love CNY ThinkTank. A $10 donation = 1 hour of volunteer time that will be included towards our sponsorship of the race.
  • Register to run or walk!

We have been tracking the flooding happening on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. When the water starts to recede we will share opportunities to help with cleanup and habitat restoration.

Stay tuned this summer as we partner with local organizations to support refugees in our community. This fall we plan to work with CNY Robotics to support the continued development of engaging educational opportunities for youth in our community.  

Please join our Love CNY ThinkTank Facebook group for additional updates, and follow us at

Salmon River Cleanup

We had a nice event on April 23rd on the Salmon River.  We organized a group to cleanup the Sportsman Pool South fishing area.  It was a beautiful day and there was plenty of trash to pickup.  It was a very nice opportunity to get out in the spirit of Earth Day and make an immediate impact.  Even the kids got into the action and it gave us an opportunity to explain to them why we don’t litter and the damage that it can have. Don’t forget Love My Park Day is Saturday May 6th, so please get out and support your favorite local park!!

Syracuse March for Science

Hooray for Science!!  We were so inspired by the multitude of concerned citizens that came out on April 22nd to support Science in America.  I think we can all agree that science has a critically important role in shaping our future as a society. The current departure from scientific fact, and the politicizing of issues that are not “opinions” or “beliefs” is very disturbing to say the least.  This is one of a multitude of reasons that we started Love CNY Think Tank.

We would like to thank the New Feminists for Justice and their supporters for organizing the Syracuse March for Science. We also want to thank all of the other organizations that came out to support the event and to help educate and inspire.  I know my son enjoyed the physics demonstration and the SUNY ESF tent very much.  He must have asked me a hundred times if we “could do more science”.  That is the kind of inspiration that really makes this type of event resonate.

Of course we would especially like to thank everyone that signed up on our mailing list and helped us select our logo!  We were very happy that so many of you are interested in our group.  As you probably know this was our first event and we were very pleased with the level of interest that we received.  We sincerely hope to see all of you (and more!) at future events.

Earth Day Events

Check out these Earth Day events!

Syracuse March for Science, Saturday, April 22nd
Join the Love CNY ThinkTank for a weekend of celebrating the environment. This Saturday our group will be participating in the March for Science in Syracuse to show our unyielding support for all things science and the conservation of our planet. Visit our table to learn more about our group and to help us choose our new logo! Look for us near the fountain in Clinton Square. The march begins at 10 am. Details for the event can be found on the March for Science Syracuse Facebook page.

Stream Cleanup on the Salmon River, Suncay, April 23rd
On Sunday, April 23rd @ 11 am, we’ll be hosting a stream cleanup on the Salmon River. Meet at the at the Sportsman’s Pool south parking lot. Following the cleanup there will be a BBQ lunch nearby where you can spend time with old and new friends interested in making a difference in CNY.

We will provide garbage bags and latex gloves. In addition, we suggest bringing a pair of leather gloves if you have them. More details about the stream cleanup to follow.

Location details:
Map of the area
Directions from Syracuse