The following is a republished press release from a community organization or member and NOT written by the Ithaca Voice … to submit community announcements to The Voice, contact us at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com.

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Ithaca, NY— Every year, the U.S. President gives his views on the State of the Union. What if “We the People” reflected in our own communities on the state of our union locally, nationally, globally?

During the week of January 23-31, 2016, groups from across the country—including Ithaca—will be joining our stories, creativity, and voices together to supplement the President’s stories with our own.

Ithaca area’s second annual People’s State of the Union (#PSOTU2016) event will be held on Thursday, January 28th, at The History Center in Tompkins County at 401 E. State Street, #100 Gateway Center building.

Beginning at 6:30 p.m., the public is invited to come together to enjoy free refreshments and music and share personal stories about our own experiences of life in this nation. Free childcare and transportation assistance are available.

A story circle at the 2015 People’s State of the Union in Ithaca. Photo by Jessica Evett

“The History Center in Tompkins County is pleased to host this event, as we are interested in lives lived at the local level and in exploring how reflecting on our stories can be a mechanism for informing future decisions and actions,” says Rod Howe, Executive Director of the History Center.

The local event is supported by Civic Ensemble, CCE-Tompkins County, the Multicultural Resource Center, and The History Center in Tompkins County. Volunteers from the community will facilitate “story circles” to make sure everyone’s voice is heard. Local artists and musicians are donating their time and creativity to the event, too.

A story circle at the 2015 People’s State of the Union in Ithaca. Photo by Jessica Evett

Last year, the Ithaca gathering was one of over 150 events across the country. Read the stories and watch the 2015 Poetic Address to the Nation (a poem derived from the stories) at http://peoplesstateoftheunion.usdac.us/poetic-address/. The national action is organized by the US Department of Arts and Culture (http://usdac.us), a “people-powered” organization seeking to mobilize creativity in the service of social justice. (The USDAC is not a government agency.)

How to participate: The Ithaca event is open to all but space is limited. Please reserve your spot by sending your name and email address (in case of weather-related schedule changes) toPSOTU14850@gmail.com or by filling out the form on our webpage at http://ccetompkins.org/story. Need free childcare or help with transportation? Let us know by contacting PSOTU14850@gmail.com.

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Jolene Almendarez

Jolene Almendarez is Managing Editor at The Ithaca Voice. She can be reached at jalmendarez@ithacavoice.com; you can learn more about her at the links in the top right of this box.