Hundreds of union plumbers offer free services to Flint residents
Three hundred union plumbers volunteered their services to residents of Flint, Michigan, who, at the direction of a state-appointed emergency manager, had their water source switched to one that created unsafe — and even toxic — levels of lead in their drinking water. The plumbers installed new faucets and water filters at no charge. Many existing faucets in Flint homes cannot fit a filter, which residents need in order to get dangerous levels of lead out of their drinking water.
On one January day, the plumbers replaced faucets and filters in 800 homes, according to the Huffington Post. The effort was coordinated by the United Association of Journeymen and Apprentices of the Plumbing and Pipe Fitting Industry, and the trade group Plumbing Manufacturers International, which donated the fixtures.
Scholarship honors work of PSC founding president
The deadline is approaching for CUNY students to apply for the Belle Zeller Scholarship, an award established in honor of Belle Zeller, the founding president of the Professional Staff Congress and professor emerita of political science at Brooklyn College. The scholarship honors good character and service to CUNY and the surrounding community for students with at least a 3.75 GPA. Awards consist of yearly in-state tuition for full-time CUNY students, and recipients may receive up to three annual awards. CUNY undergraduate and graduate students and law school students are eligible for awards. The application deadline is April 1, 2016. For more details, go to the scholarship website.
Honorary degree recommended for juvenile justice advocate
CUNY’s University Student Senate passed a resolution on January 31, 2016, recommending that the CUNY Board of Trustees award the late prison reform advocate Kalief Browder an honorary degree. Accused of stealing a backpack, the 16-year-old Browder was sent to prison at Rikers Island, where he was held for three years without trial. Nearly two of those years were spent in solitary confinement, according to The New York Times. Upon his release, Browder earned his GED and enrolled at Bronx Community College. He became a tireless advocate for prison reform, but the psychological damage done by his confinement was inescapable. Browder took his life on June 6, 2015. Citing Browder’s case and the “unspeakable violence” Browder endured, President Barack Obama announced a ban on solitary confinement of juvenile inmates in federal custody.