305 S Plain St Ithaca, NY

Southside Community Center Responds to Ithaca Times Attempt at Degradation

The current Ithaca Times article is filled with inaccuracies, for starters, Dr. Nia Nunn’s appropriate title as a tenured Associate Professor at Ithaca College and Board Chair at Southside Community Center was not communicated in the paper.

We, the members of the Southside Community Center Board of Directors, vehemently dispute the claims under investigation that derive from 2016 and before.  As an agency, there are limitations in our ability to publicly speak about the specific conduct of former employees.  That said, our attorneys can confirm that the agency does not owe any former employee money.

The merits of the article lack due diligence and we have many corrections for the editor.  We are saddened that the Ithaca Times has attempted to resurrect shadows from the past, albeit inaccurately, and are further dismayed that the Ithaca Times acted as a vehicle for degradation.

Operating like a Tabloid, the article is not only filled with a long list of inaccuracies about Southside Community Center, its portrayal particularly of Black women reinforces a Master narrative that must be dismantled.  Recognizing the power of the written word, people who have expressed outrage are encouraged to WRITE!

WRITE about your reaction to the normalized racist and sexist portrayal of Black women in the current Ithaca Times article. The article portrays personal and personnel conflicts within Southside Community Center as a battle between Black women, which is buttressed by potent visuals in the print version: as if two Black women are squaring off, against one another.  Not only is this portrayal of past circumstances inaccurate, it also degrades and discredits Black women for everyone’s pleasure.  This article feeds a narrative of fratricide and anti-Blackness. With all of his power and privilege as a White, Male, Writer it is a shame that Matt Butler made the choice to capitalize off of sadness, personal suffering, and desperation. The work that we are doing at Southside is about interrupting the internalized self-hatred that many of our people bear. Any attempts to publicly humiliate Southside Community Center reinforces the desperate need for this work. WRITE about how and why the Ithaca Times article is demeaning to all of the services and critical work that is happening at Southside Community Center today.

WRITE the truth about what you see at Southside Community Center.  Since 2016, the structure and dynamics at Southside Community Center have improved significantly. We haven’t been just surviving, WE ARE THRIVING!!  Speak to your specific experience with and observations of staff members, board members, any programming, and even the energy of the space.  WRITE about the partnerships, transformations, and the impact that you’ve felt and observed. Help to communicate the truth about the Southside Community Center today.

WHERE SHOULD I SUBMIT MY WRITING?

There are several avenues to communicate your support of Southside Community Center. 

  1. Comment directly: You can comment on the Ithaca Times article directly online
    1. The comment section at the bottom of the article
    2. Instagram post
    3. Facebook post
  2. Write to the Ithaca Times
  3. Write to the Ithaca Voice

Southside Community Center is a small not-for-profit organization that is 15 years away from celebrating 100 years of service to the community since its incorporation in 1934.  A dedicated volunteer Board, members of the staff, and committed community members continue to remain engaged in the agency’s mission and purpose, therefore, the current Ithaca Times article and sharing of inaccurate and unnecessary information will not interfere with the vibrant and impactful work that Southside Community Center has been offering for the past several years.

Thank you to everyone deeply invested in the Southside Community Center’s mission and purpose.

  • Southside Community Center Board of Directors

Dr. Nia Nunn, Alkay Waller, Vannessa DeJesus, Richard Nwakire Onyejuruwa, Raquel Mercado, and Pastor Sonya Hicks