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
Events + Notes
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 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.
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!
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 & 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!
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!
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
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!
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, 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
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 Project
Volunteer Meeting | Business Kit Assembly
Sunday, May 21, 2017
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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!
Love & Acceptance at the Library
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
News 12 coverage of the Love All Project
February 13, 2017