Haitian orphanage gets local help
When Len Erker visited Haiti last year to hold the baby that he and his wife, Nancy Fargo, were planning to adopt, it was clear that the Timothy House orphanage was completely overwhelmed by the number of children needing help. But he soon learned that things were even worse than he’d feared. Erker left Haiti believing that the baby was fine, yet two weeks later, they learned that the infant had abruptly died. And because the orphanage has essentially no access to health care, no one knows why.
Fargo and Erker are now in the process of adopting two more children from Timothy House, believing that “it is a matter of life and death for these kids.” But the couple, who have already adopted a child from China and two from Vietnam, wanted to do still more to help the beleaguered institution. So they’ve teamed up with another adoptive parent, Kate Pett, to organize a fund-raiser.
Puppeteer Hobey Ford, singer/songwriter Vince Junior and Haitian dancers Debra and Joe Roberts have signed on to the effort and will perform in a midday fund-raising concert Saturday, Feb. 26, at Jubilee! Community. The event will also include a silent auction featuring items donated by more than 80 artists, many of them Southern Highland Craft Guild members.
The suggested donation is $8 for adults, $6 for children — this promises to be a very kid-friendly show. And the organizers pledge that 100 percent of the proceeds will go directly to Timothy House.
Pett told Xpress, “I have worked for many worthy causes but really believe that this orphanage in Haiti, and the needs of these children, are especially pressing.”
The Timothy House fund-raising concert happens Saturay, Feb. 26, at Jubilee! Community, starting at 12:30 p.m. For more info, contact Nancy Fargo (645-2762) or Kate Pett (658-3371).
— Cecil Bothwell
African-Americans return to their roots
The last three decades have seen a dramatic demographic change in this country — the return migration of African-Americans to the South. The shift reverses a long-standing trend, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Economic Research Service.
After a net loss of almost 300,000 African-Americans in the last half of the 1960s, the net in-migration of blacks to the South has become more pronounced in each five-year period since. Newly released census data show that between 1995 and 2000, nearly 350,000 blacks returned to the region — many to the rural South.
Commentator and acclaimed author bell hooks will discuss this phenomenon in “Return Migration,” the keynote address she will give as part of UNCA’s celebration of Black History Month on Friday, Feb. 25, 1 p.m. in Lipinsky Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.
Although hooks (who chooses to lower-case her name) is known mainly as a feminist thinker, her writings cover a broad range of topics spanning gender, race, teaching and the significance of mass media in contemporary culture. Her first book, Ain’t I a Woman: Black Women and Feminism (South End Press, 1981), was named one of the 20 most influential women’s books of the last 20 years by Publishers Weekly in 1992. Her most recent book, We Real Cool: Black Men and Masculinity (Routledge, 2003), takes a hard look at the problems black males face. Hooks, who lives in New York City, has taught at Yale, Oberlin College and the City University of New York.
For more information, call UNCA’s Multicultural Student Programs office at 232-5110.
— Lisa Watters
Help for eating disorders
As many as 11 million people in the United States battle eating disorders such as anorexia and bulimia. And about 25 million more struggle with a binge-eating disorder, according to studies cited by the Seattle-based National Eating Disorders Association.
A series of local events scheduled around Eating Disorders Awareness Week (Feb. 28 to March 4) aims to help people coping with these challenges. Here’s a rundown of the planned events, compliments of WNC Eating Disorders Task Force member Sarah Vance Goodman:
• Tuesday, March 1, 4-7 p.m. in UNCA’s Laurel Forum: An informational gathering for T.H.E. (Treatment, Healing & Education for Disordered Eating), a new local resource center forming to coordinate and distribute information about disordered eating in the Asheville community.
• Wednesday, March 2, 12:20-1:30 p.m. in UNCA’s Laurel Forum: “Voices of Hope: Breaking the Bonds of Disordered Eating.” Three young women will talk about their own battles with various eating disorders and their fight to recover.
• Thursday, March 3, 4:45-6:30 p.m. in the Whitman Room of UNCA’s Ramsey Library: A screening of Killing Us Softly 3, Jean Kilbourne’s award-winning film, which considers whether and how the image of women in advertising has changed over the past 20 years. A discussion facilitated by Ann Weber will follow.
• Wednesday, March 23, 12:20-1:30 p.m. in UNCA’s Laurel Forum: A panel discussion on eating disorders. Participants will include a nutritionist, a therapist, a student and mother, and a medical doctor.
For more information, contact the UNCA Counseling Center at 251-6517. National resources include the National Eating Disorders Association Web site (www.NationalEatingDisorders.org) and a toll-free help line (800-931-2237).
— Tracy Rose
The ACRC rides again
They may have been down, but they certainly aren’t out.
When the Asheville Community Resource Center lost the lease to its popular Lexington Avenue space last year, it created quite a stir among the group’s many supporters and members.
But the group recently announced that it has found a new home. On Saturday, Feb. 26, the ACRC will open the doors to its new location — 16 Carolina Lane (just a stone’s throw from their former digs) — from noon until midnight. The public is invited to come discover the new space and and learn about the ACRC’s many programs. Group members will be on hand to answer questions and give out literature. Food will be provided by the nonprofit Food Not Bombs. In addition, there’ll be music by local bands and DJs, children’s activities and a raffle featuring gifts from local businesses.
The ACRC is a collective of individuals and organizations who work together to maintain a space for local, regional and global social change. The collective includes such diverse groups as The Bountiful Cities Project, the Prison Books Program, the Asheville Free School, Earth First, Tranzmission and the Asheville Doula Collective. It also maintains a reading room and film house, while playing host to community meetings, speakers and events.
For more information, call Elyse Manning at 254-0552.
— Brian Sarzynski