Our Story

Sharon R. Baanante

On Monday, February 6, 2017, white supremacist fliers were circulated throughout my hometown of Norwalk and surrounding towns in Connecticut.  Covered in plastic sheets and filled with a few small pebbles to weigh them down, they were left in driveways and mailboxes. The fliers stated “We must secure the existence of our race and future for white children.  Make America White Again.”

As the daughter of a predominately black father and an openly gay white mother, I was taught at a young age to simply love everyone. So the moment I heard that hate had hit our beautifully diverse city, I knew I needed to stand up for our community and for those most vulnerable during these uncertain times. The best way that I could offset the hate is by inviting my community on a journey to love ALL.

Just two days after reading about the hate fliers, I started a community movement on Facebook called “Love ALL Project”.  Love ALL Project is a volunteer non-partisan organization whose mission is to stop the cycle of hate by fostering understanding and relationships between different cultures through community collaborations.  Love ALL Project will provide ways for our community to link arms and work together to better understand one another.

With the right resources and support, we can spread the love by sharing our community model with other towns and cities.

We hope that you join us on our community journey to love ALL!

Let love rule!

Sharon R. Baanante
Founder, Love ALL Project

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Love All Project

10 simple things you can do in response to Charlottesville

Most of us are still trying to make sense of what happened in Charlottesville. How could our great country have white nationalists marching in the streets in broad daylight and in the night with torches? How could such hate and violence appear in our country whose fundamental values are based on liberty and justice for all? How do we stop this madness? It’s overwhelming and surreal but we have to start somewhere. We ALL have to start doing something, right here and right now, ALL OF US. We cannot allow our country to revisit one of the darkest chapters in American and world history. We have to make a change and we have to do this together.

Here are 10 things you can do to stop the hate. Let’s counter the hate with our words and our actions! Let love rule!

  1. Join our grassroots effort by volunteering, donating or spreading the word about Love ALL Project - Norwalk.
  2. Donate to the Southern Poverty Law Center or a local grassroots organization that helps marginalized groups. Consider asking your friends for donations in lieu of gifts.
  3. Call your senators and tell them that you are concerned with the public safety of our citizens and that they must condemn white supremacy and hate groups.
  4. Call people out when they make comments about hate in your presence or on social media. This includes family members. Do it kindly. Do not name call. Be empathetic. Ask questions. State facts. Let them know that you support diversity.
  5. Attend local protests and meetings that support diversity. Always keep it peaceful and do not gather close to or confront hate groups.
  6. Cross the divide and extend a hand, say hello or have a conversation with those who are not like you.
  7. Embed diversity throughout the organizations that you belong to. (I.e. make sure that there is diversity on committees, in staffing positions, at your events, etc.)
  8. Teach your children about the dark moments in history. Let them know that they can help the world to never repeat these mistakes through their kind actions and words.
  9. Talk to your friends about what is happening. Have a peaceful conversation. Raise awareness.
  10. Commit yourself to this movement to stop the hate.

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Events + Notes

Community Storycast

Community Storycast at the SoNo Arts Festival - August 4-5, 2018

WE WANT TO HEAR YOUR STORY! Stop by our booth at the SoNo Arts Festival, Aug 4-5, in South Norwalk, CT as we record podcasts and film for the launch of our Community Storycast! You'll have a chance to tell us a 2-5 minute story about the time when you were welcomed into a community or time when you welcomed someone into your community. Maybe you have a powerful story about love, community, or inclusion? We want to hear it. Open to anyone in the area including visitors! Podcasting will occur on Saturday, August 4 and filming on Sunday, August 5. Let love rule!


Goodnight Neighbor

Goodnight Neighbor with Eric Niederer, Board Member and Former Co-Chairman of SPED Partners – July 2018

Hello parents and guardians! Put your elementary students to bed with this new episode of "Goodnight Neighbor" featuring our special guest reader, Eric Niederer, Board Member of SPED Partners as he reads "My Brother Charlie" written by Holly Robinson Peete and Ryan Elizabeth Peete. This picture book mirrors the real life of actress Holly Robinson Peete and her then 12-year-old daughter, Ryan who is the fraternal twin of a brother with autism.

Watch here


Wont you be my Neighbor

Advanced Screening - Won't You Be My Neighbor? - June 21, 2018

Thank you to everyone who came out last week for our advanced screening of "Won't You Be My Neighbor?". We also want to thank Garden Cinemas Norwalk for their warm hospitality and Focus Features Film for helping us make this happen. The documentary was extraordinary! Special thanks to Hector Pachas Photography for volunteering to take photos. For more photos, please visit:

Love All Project Facebook Page.


Goodnight Neighbor

Goodnight Neighbor with Theresa Rangel, Principal of Tracey Elementary School – June 2018

Hello parents and guardians! Put your elementary students to bed with our first episode of "Goodnight Neighbor" featuring our special guest reader, Theresa Rangel (Principal of Tracey Elementary School), as she reads "How Oliver Fits In" by Cale Atkinson. Goodnight Neighbor is a series of monthly cultural and diversity readings by civic leaders in our community. This series is in collaboration with the Norwalk Public Library and Love ALL Project. Let love rule!

Watch the Video


Community Table - dinner

Community Table - dinner & a story - May 19, 2018

We had an incredible evening at Harbor Harvest for our "Community Table - dinner & a story". Marta Figueroa shared her personal immigration story of incredible courage, hard work, and perseverance. Thank you to Building One Community for partnering with us and clarifying myths and facts about immigrants and immigration. For future Community Table events, please be sure to follow us on Facebook or check back on our website.


Goodnight Neighbor

Goodnight Neighbor - May 2018

This summer, Love ALL Project will be partnering with the Norwalk Public Library and launching "Goodnight Neighbor", a series of monthly online cultural book readings for young children by civic leaders in our community. Follow us on Facebook (www.facebook.com/loveallproject) to view the monthly readings or check back on our website.


Dinner and a Story

Community Table - dinner &
a story – May 17, 2018

Please join Love ALL Project and members of our community at 6:30pm on Thursday, May 17, at Harbor Harvest for our upcoming "Community Table - dinner and a story". Local dinner guest Marta Figueroa, will join us for dinner and will tell us her inspiring story about life as an immigrant in Connecticut. This event will offer attendees the chance to join a small group dinner, listen to an incredible life story, engage in conversation, and learn.

Love ALL Project would like to thank our community partner, Building One Community, for helping make this event possible.

FOR FURTHER DETAILS AND TO PURCHASE A TICKET FOR THIS EVENT, PLEASE VISIT

Buy Tickets


Dinner and a Story

Community Table - dinner &
a story - April 5, 2018

Thanks to everyone that came out to Harbor Harvest for our inaugural "Community Table - dinner & a story" event with dinner guest Raven Matherne, CT's first transgender lawmaker. We also want to thank the inspiring Raven Matherne for sharing her personal journey with us and Triangle Community Center for their support. For more information on the event, please see the article:

The Hour News Article


Dinner and a Story

Community Table - dinner &
a story - April 5, 2018
SOLD OUT

We are thrilled to launch our "Community Table - dinner & a story" event series! Please join us at 6:30pm on Thursday, April 5, at Harbor Harvest, for our first "Community Table - dinner and a story". Dinner guest, Raven Matherne, Connecticut's first transgender lawmaker, will join us for dinner and will tell us her inspiring story about life as a transgender person. This event will offer attendees the chance to join a small group dinner, to listen, engage, and learn. Sponsored by Triangle Community Center.

Learn More


Immigration Love Story

Love ALL Project Volunteers "Immigration Love Story" - Feb 14, 2018

We are proud to share this "Immigration Love Story" that features two inspiring Love ALL Project volunteers; Danny (former DACA recipient) and Victoria (U.S. & Ecuadorian Citizen). Thank you Danny and Victoria for opening our hearts and our minds to love and immigration.

Click here to view the full segment.


Pure Poetry High School Volunteers

Pure Poetry Let Love Rule Fundraiser - Feb 11, 2018

Thank you Pure Poetry and the incredible Trumbull High School students who volunteered their time and efforts to help raise funds for Love ALL Projects's Community Table event series. Let love rule! For more event pictures or information on this series of events, please visit our facebook page.


Saltwater Ugly Sweater Party

SoNo's Ugly Sweater Party - December 16, 2017

It was a fun time at Saltwater SoNo's Ugly Sweater Party on December 16! We want to extend a huge thank you to Saltwater SoNo for donating a portion of their evening proceeds to Love ALL Project. We are also thankful to those who braved the cold to come out and support us!


Drum Circle

Love ALL Project - Children's Community Drum Circle - November 19, 2017

Love ALL Project hosted a Children's Community Drum Circle at the Community Thanksgiving Luncheon at Cornerstone Community Church in Norwalk on November 19. A select group of children from Person to Person, Child Guidance Center of Mid-Fairfield and Cornerstone Community Church participated in this professional music workshop and short performance. Using percussion instruments and rhythm as a tool for unity, the children made new friends and beautiful music! For more pictures, please visit our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/loveallproject. Let love rule!


Peace Love and Justice photo op

Peace, Love & Justice Rally - October 29, 2017

Thank you First Congregational Church for inviting Love ALL Project founder, Sharon Baanante to speak at the Peace, Love & Justice Rally alongside Congressman Jim Himes, CT State Senator Bob Duff, Norwalk Mayor Harry Rilling and other community activists and leaders. Thank you to those who braved the storm to be a part of this special event. We are proud of our CT legislators, leaders, organizations, and community activists who continue to work towards uniting and supporting our diverse community. Together we are a community movement.
For more pictures of this event, please visit our Facebook page!
A special thanks to our volunteer photographer Hector Pachas Photography!


Sono arts festival photo op

Love ALL Storytelling Family Event - November 5, 2017

Love ALL Project is pleased to announce our second Love ALL Storytelling Family Event in collaboration with the NORWALK PUBLIC LIBRARY and Family & Children's Agency. Please join us Sunday, November 5 at 1:00pm for an interactive afternoon of fun with local author and storyteller Karen Hall (Ms. Karen of Acting Out). This free event will be focused on diversity through Ms. Karen's unique telling of the story of Ferdinand. The children will also have an opportunity to create their own stories about kindness, compassion and celebrating differences. Complimentary pizza and drinks will be provided. Recommended for children ages 5-11 and their parent(s)/guardian(s). FREE ADMISSION.

RSVP on Facebook

or call the Norwalk Public Library at 203.899.2780 X15131.
Space is limited. Let love rule!


Sono arts festival photo op

Newsletter - Our Community Journey - September 2017

Check out our first Love ALL Project newsletter! We'll take a look back at our first six months, what's on the horizon and how you can help. Be sure to subscribe to our newsletter through the link or via our Facebook page. Let love rule!

September 2017 Newsletter


Sono arts festival photo op

10 simple things you can do in response to Charlottesville

Most of us are still trying to make sense of what happened in Charlottesville. How could our great country have white nationalists marching in the streets in broad daylight and in the night with torches? How could such hate and violence appear in our country whose fundamental values are based on liberty and justice for all? How do we stop this madness? It’s overwhelming and surreal but we have to start somewhere. We ALL have to start doing something, right here and right now, ALL OF US. We cannot allow our country to revisit one of the darkest chapters in American and world history. We have to make a change and we have to do this together.

Click Read More below for 10 things you can do to stop the hate. Let’s counter the hate with our words and our actions! Let love rule!

Read More


Sono arts festival photo op

SoNo Arts Festival, August 5–6, 2017

Thank you to all of those that supported us at the Love ALL Project kids booth at the SoNo Arts Festival, May 5 and 6 in South Norwalk, CT. It was terrific to see such great support of our project. We are confident our community support will allow us to continue spreading the love!

Check out the pictures: Photos
Sono arts festival photbanner

SoNo Arts Festival, August 5-6, 2017

Calling all kids and kids at heart! Swing by our Love ALL Project kids booth at SoNo Arts Festival in South Norwalk on Sat, Aug 5 - Sun, Aug 6. Our fun activity booth will be open from 10am-5pm. While you are there, don't forget to pick up a Love ALL Project car magnet. Let love rule!

SoNo Arts Fest: http://www.sonoartsfest.com/
SoNo Art Playground: https://www.sonoartplayground.org/


Love All Family Storytelling

Love ALL Family Storytelling Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Thank you to all of the families that came out for our Love ALL Family Storytelling Night on Tuesday, June 20. The evening focused on teaching children to embrace diversity by celebrating differences, practicing empathy and showing compassion. A special thanks to the NORWALK PUBLIC LIBRARY and Al-Madany Islamic Center for collaborating with Love ALL Project. We also want to thank Karen Hall of Acting Out with Ms. Karen for donating her time and talent to teach our next generation to love. Let love rule!

See event photos on Facebook


Love All Business Kit

Love ALL Project
Volunteer Meeting | Business Kit Assembly
Sunday, May 21, 2017
7pm-8:30pm
Cappuccino’s Café
761 Main Ave (I.Park), Norwalk

Mark your calendar for our Love ALL Project volunteer meeting, Sunday, May 21 at 7pm. We will be assembling “Love ALL Project Business Kits”. This is one of many projects that will help us activate community support of diversity. The kits will include a Love ALL Project window cling for community businesses to show their support for diversity. For businesses who have customers waiting for a service or product (i.e. restaurants, salons, etc.) we will provide a Love ALL Project origami heart activity set that will encourage those to share their stories about diversity. Please sign up on Facebook at www.facebook.com/loveallproject/ or e-mail info@loveallproject.org.


Love All Car Magnet

Photo Credit: Lauren Henry Photography

Love ALL Project Car Magnets

Our Love ALL Project car magnets show our love, support and respect for everyone regardless of their race, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, socioeconomic background, citizenship status or disability. Show your support of diversity and pick up your free magnet at our volunteer owned hair salon, Stylin’, located at 345 Main Ave (next to Café Dolce) in Norwalk, CT. A huge thank you to Stylin’ for supporting our journey.
Let love rule!

Press

Library Services for Immigrants & New Americans

Library Services for Immigrants & New Americans by Jennifer Koerber

May 2018

We are incredibly honored to have Love ALL Project's first storytelling family event, in collaboration with the Norwalk Public Library and Al Madany Islamic Center, discussed in a new book entitled "Library Services for Immigrants and New Americans: Celebration and Integration" by Jennifer Koerber. This is a must read book fro all private and public libraries. To purchase a copy, please visit https://www.abc-clio.com/ABC-CLIOCorporate/product.aspx?pc=A5536P.

Read More

Community Table for Love All Project - Featuring Love All Project

Love ALL Project hosts ‘Community Table’

April 6, 2018

NORWALK — In the homey, low-tech refuge of Norwalk’s Harbor Harvest, signs are hand-written in chalk and the smoky aroma of slowly cooked meats hang in the air. And on Thursday evening, 10 strangers assembled in its twilit hall in the hopes of forging relationships with people unlike themselves the old-fashioned way — over a meal.

Read Full Story

CT Parent Magazine - Featuring Love All Project

Love & Acceptance at the Library

October 2017

The library is a place that welcomes all, in both times of harmony and division. At the Norwalk Public Library, we have been working with a new non-profit group called the Love ALL Project, which was started in February 2017 to support diversity and unite communities. Together, we hosted a family storytelling event in June in collaboration with Acting Out with Ms. Karen and the Al-Madany Islamic Center of Norwalk. Families from our community were invited to meet new people over dinner and work together to create stories about love and acceptance.

Read Full Story

Storytelling Event Photo

Storytelling Event Promotes Understanding

October 24, 2017

NORWALK — There were tales of being misunderstood, like Indi, the monster who was only playing at being frightening. Other stories involved things that felt ignored, like the color green, the saddest color in the rainbow. Each of the stories ended when a conversation helped the characters understand one another.

During the Love ALL Project’s storytelling sessions at the Norwalk Public Library, elementary students are encouraged to understand others. Families come in and share a meal with people they do not know, participate in an interactive story, then write short stories of their own — the tales of Indi and the color green were written by past participants.

Read Full Story

Love All Project : Promoting Multi-Cultural Diversity in Fairfield County

July 18, 2017

Sharon Baanante started the Love All Project in response to hate based flyers which were distributed throughout Fairfield County earlier this year. The project's goal is to promote multi-cultural diversity throughout the area. She joined Ken Tuccio in studio to talk all about it.

Read More...

Unity in the Community

April 1, 2017

Pinkney Park in Rowayton was the venue for the inaugural Unity in Our Community event, which brought more than a dozen nonprofit organizations together in one place. The goal was to give residents the opportunity to learn more about each organization’s mission and how to get involved. Guests enjoyed live music by Dre Towey and PJ Pacifico, along with a poetry reading by Drew Lamm. Activities for families included planting seeds in the beautiful Memorial Garden, face painting by the junior members of the Rowayton Arts Center, and signing the Unity Tree, a concept created by artist Carey Hahn. Pastor Karen Eiler from Rowayton United Methodist Church and Pastor Livingston from United Church of Rowayton kicked off the event off with an interfaith prayer. Their message was simple: Even the smallest acts of kindness mean a lot.

Read More...

Norwalk Woman's New Group Aims To End Racial Tension

March 16, 2017

NORWALK, Conn. -- Sharon Baanante sees a remarkable irony. One of the darkest moments in the history of Norwalk race relations just might have provided the spark to light the way to develop a model for harmony, respect and collaboration that the city and other communities can embrace.

Read More...

Editorial: Send a clear message — No room here for hate

February 27, 2017

Hundreds of fliers bearing those so-called Fourteen Words, the world’s most popular white supremacist mantra, were found stuffed into mailboxes and tossed on driveways last week in Norwalk, Wilton, Westport, and Weston. The discovery disturbed homeowners and frustrated authorities whose options may be limited by First Amendment protections.

Read More...

White supremacist fliers propel Norwalk residents to action

February 13, 2017

NORWALK — When Sharon Baanante’s father first decided to move his family from Westport to Norwalk, he cited the city’s unique diversity as the main reason why.

More than 20 years later, Baanante, who now has a family of her own, is leading a charge to highlight and celebrate the vast diversity that drew her family to this area in the first place.

Read More...

News 12 coverage of the Love All Project

February 13, 2017

Contact

Are you an organization looking to collaborate?...Do you want to volunteer?....Do you have some feedback, ideas or a question?....

We want to hear from you!
Join us on our community journey to love all!

info@loveallproject.org

203.247.2355

Norwalk, CT