Fight Against Mariner East and PennEast Pipelines Continue as Public Hearing Approaches

*Map courtesy of Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection Bethlehem is not immune to the trouble that plagues many communities in Pennsylvania: fracked gas pipelines. Here, Southsider takes a look at the ongoing fights against the Mariner East II and the PennEast pipeline, which highlight a common concern that unites Pennsylvanians across counties. This article will…

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Annual “Homecoming” Event, Festival Unbound

On October 2nd, Touchstone Theatre hosted their annual “Homecoming” event as part of Festival Unbound 2020. In some ways celebration, in other ways a touchpoint for resistance, this event highlighted local Black voices of the Lehigh Valley. The event included local musicians and artists, as well as poetry readings and opportunities to engage in activism…

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A Brief History of Police Brutality: A Workshop by Linda Wiggins-Chavis

This summer Bethlehem Area Public Library (BAPL) hosted a variety of anti-racist educational programing to bring depth and specificity to Bethlehem’s conversations about race and anti-racism. One such program was a series of workshops on theories and histories of race and racial justice, facilitated by teacher, activist, and writer, Linda Wiggins-Chavis. Though the workshops are…

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Banana Factory Presents the Annual Resident Artists’ Exhibition

*Featured photo: “Darth Vase #1”– Deborah Slahta (ceramic and raku fired vase) Each year, the Banana Factory features an exhibit to celebrate the ongoing work of their resident artists. In the 2020 digital exhibition, installations include mystic glass panels of starry orbs, flowing acrylic petunia petals that blend with their background, and lonely rocking chairs,…

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Women of Bethlehem Steel: Spotlight on Myrna Rivera by Hannah Provost

Myrna Rivera was born in Puerto Rico, but considers herself a native of Bethlehem, PA. At six months old, her mother and father brought her to Bethlehem, and she spent her entire life and career here. Rivera’s story, and her work at Bethlehem Steel, reveals the nuances of cultural expectations for women during the 1970s, as she was growing up and joining the workforce. Rivera remembers that, in 1972, when she was graduating high school, it was not a time when very many women went to college, and for her, that attitude was particularly entrenched in her family’s culture.

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New Bethany Ministries Takes on Covid-19

Like most organizations faced with the Covid-19 pandemic, New Bethany Ministries had to address the challenges of restructuring their day-to-day operations. However, because of the nature of their work, New Bethany also faced added pressure from the increasing need demonstrated by the community members that they serve. In this interview with J. Marc Rittle, the…

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