Vital Signs

A group of activist nurses rethink health care.

“I’ve always had an uncomfortable relationship with institutions,” Peggy Chinn, a professor of nursing, declares from the podium. The audience laughs in agreement. They don’t tend to get along with authority, either. They’ve gathered at the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing on a September weekend to find others like themselves at the first Rebellious Nursing! conference. For these nurses, who bring a far-left perspective that’s uncommon in their profession, the weekend promises to be part homecoming, part summit; part protest, part celebration. These “rebellious. . . Read more
Julia Calagiovanni
Taking the Stage

Experiments in theatre and in community-building.

Illustration by Devon Geyelin. From the Harlem-125th Street Station, it was a simple subway ride uptown to Bronxworks, a community center on the borough’s artery, the Grand Concourse. I settled into a folding chair in a bright room, facing a makeshift stage. A dozen middle-schoolers outfitted in matching T-shirts mingled onstage, nervous and excited. A tall bald guy, intense and energetic, introduced himself as a “joker,” or facilitator, and explained to the audience that we were “spect-actors,” not spectators. Then he urged us to be. . . Read more
Julia Calagiovanni
Crossing Streams

New Haven implements single-stream recycling, but some neighborhoods are slow to take advantage of the change.

As I walked through Dwight, a largely residential neighborhood west of downtown New Haven, I saw trash and recycling bins crammed into alleys between buildings and, occasionally, waiting out at the curb. Pickup for most residents was still two days away, but many of the bins were already brimming. The recycling waiting inside those bins, or toters, has recently become a major focus for the city in recent years. In late 2009, the Board of Aldermen authorized a new single stream recycling policy that the. . . Read more
Julia Calagiovanni
The Innovation Scene

Startup Connecticut is the state’s ambitious new plan for encouraging entrepreneurship.

I paused before entering The Grove, a sleek “coworking” space on Orange Street. Someone inside opened the door for me and said, “Don’t be shy.” In fact, I was hardly noticed. It was a Sunday afternoon, and Startup Weekend New Haven, a three-day marathon of networking, pitching, coding, and designing, was drawing to a close. Startup Weekend, a nonprofit organization, has been holding similar marathons around the world since 2007. This was the first in New Haven. Eighty participants from across the country attended between. . . Read more
Julia Calagiovanni