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Inaugural book by community press gives voice to Westside residents

August 10, 2011

Judy Holmes
(315) 443-8085

The Gifford Street Community Press, a Syracuse-based community press, has announced the publication of “HOME: Journeys into the Westside,” an exploration of the diversity and rich cultural heritage of Syracuse’s Westside neighborhood through the voices of its residents. The publication will be celebrated during an invitation-only event from 7-9 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 17 in the Café Kubal at 601 Tully St., Syracuse. The book will be available in the café or by contacting the Gifford Street Community Press (

homeThe Gifford Street Community Press was created in 2010 to provide a venue for the multilingual and multicultural voices of Westside residents to be heard and shared. Building from the community’s sense of kinship, the press aims to support conversation and build relationships that will foster greater civic awareness of local issues and, when necessary, support resident-driven change in the neighborhood.

The creation of “HOME: Journeys into the Westside” was facilitated by Syracuse University students who worked with residents to create their narratives. In addition to the longer narratives, the students collected shorter writing pieces and drawings from residents through a series of community-based writing stations students facilitated last spring in churches, libraries, coffee shops and restaurants in the Westside neighborhood over eight weeks. The students were enrolled in courses presented by the Writing Program in SU’s College of Arts and Sciences and cross-listed with the Department of Anthropology in the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

The Gifford Street Community Press plans to produce and showcase artwork, writings and other meaningful cultural pieces that represent authentic voices from the community. The mission is to contribute to the promotion of love, healing and respect within the Westside, and validate the existence of peoples and cultures represented in the Westside Community.

Further information about the Gifford Street Community Press can be found online at For further information about the event, contact Steve Parks at or 267-258-9632.

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