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Sead works to change Norwalk with new coalition

Jalin Sead. (File photo)

NORWALK, Conn. – Jalin Sead is branching out, leaving the NAACP and founding the Connecticut Coalition For Change (CC4C) in the hopes of making Norwalk a better place, in multiple ways.

“Most revolutions, if you want to call it that, all start when you raise consciousness in the community,” Sead said. “If people knew what was going on in the city, I don’t think a lot of that stuff would actually happen.”

He aims to raise awareness of the affairs happening in Norwalk so that people may “come to their own consensus of the action they need to take,” he said. He hopes to then invite them to be part of the decision making involved in those affairs.

With the CC4C, Sead hopes to address many concerns, including rectifying police relations with the minority community, registering 2,000 new Norwalk voters by the 2018 election, and promoting drug prevention in Connecticut, such as combatting the opium and heroin epidemic, he said.

Sead, who is Democratic Town Committee (DTC) deputy treasurer, also aims to launch a mentoring program in February. The program will mentor youths in academics, as well as in becoming more aware of what happens in the community and help them become “community-minded,” he said. Sead intends for the program to be “millennial-friendly and forward thinking.”

Sead co-founded the CC4C with Brien McMahon High School student Darius Williams, whom Sead referred to as his right hand man. Sead has known Williams since the latter was a child, and the two have been working together since last October.

“We think a lot alike,” Sead said. “He reminds me of myself. I started getting involved about ten years ago, when I was a junior or sophomore in high school, and he’s somebody who has that same drive and passion.” Prior to CC4C, Williams has aided Sead in attending Council meetings and Board of Education meetings. In the past year, they organized a trip to the National Museum of African American History and Culture in D.C.

Sead also hopes to promote mental health, as Williams and other coalition followers received NARCAN® training at the Norwalk Hospital to administer narcan, a drug used to treat overdoses. Sead said the Coalition is planning to begin their own NARCAN® training program.

Sead plans to meet with every elected official in Norwalk in hopes of gaining support and building partnerships. “We believe that, especially in community service and politics and everything, It’s all about partnership,” Sead said. “Partnering with elected officials, partnering with other organizations and partnering with the community so we can come up with solutions to these big problems.”

The CC4C’s core values include respect, excellence, teamwork, integrity, diversity, and inclusion. “I don’t want this to be an all-black organization or a Black and Latino organization,” Sead said. “I want it to be a multi-racial, multi-generational organization.”

Sead ran for Norwalk Branch NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People) president last fall, losing to  Brenda Penn-Williams, a veteran political activist.

“As of November 9th, 2017 I am no longer an Executive Board member, Chair of any committee, or General Member of the Norwalk Branch, NAACP,” Sead said in an email. “I still believe in the goals of the NAACP, and would partner with the NAACP, and would welcome any collaboration in the future. I am focusing on trying to figure out ways to effectively bring about positive change for the City of Norwalk, and specifically Minorities, and low income families.”

Sead believes he will do more with the CC4C than he could with the NAACP. “Their purpose is really to fight for racial equality and make sure that people are treated properly based on their race,” he said. “I just see that there’s so much more to the community and there’s a bigger conversation that needs to be had… I just saw there was more I could do, dealing with a lot more issues that the NAACP really typically doesn’t handle.”

The mentoring program he plans would take too long to organize with the NAACP alone, he said.

“There’s so many people that want to do something great, that I think we just have to sit down and have that conversation, and I hope that conversation can be started in some way with CC4C,” Sead said. “…A lot of times when you get involved, you get disconnected from the people, and I think CC4C is trying to bring it back to the people.”

Andrew Shukovsky is a Norwalk Community College student, volunteering for NancyOnNorwalk. 

Jalin Sead, left, and Darius Williams, right, speak at the 2016 NAACP Freedom Fund banquet.

12 comments

Seasoned December 1, 2017 at 9:18 am

While efforts like this are admirable and well-intentioned, it’s interesting that so many millenials think they are the only ones who get it and that starting yet another non-profit in the already crowded landscape is better than doing the hard work of becoming a change agent from within and learning how to partner. Given the goal of diversity, why not reach out to existing mentoring and academic programs? As someone who is on lots of non-profits’ “ask for $” lists, the landscape is messy and troublesome when it comes to improving our community and helping young people. Doing your own thing the way you want based on what you think is needed may not be the best path.

Jalin Sead December 1, 2017 at 10:36 am

@Seasoned

I’ve been involved for a while now and I’ve worked with numerous organizations over the span of 10 years. I started this Coalition, because there are so many groups that are doing the same things, yet they tend to not work together. A coalition is a union between individuals, and organizations who have common goals. It’s about building partnerships not division. I have tried to accomplish this from within established organizations and be the “Sead of Change” from within, but myself and many young people saw the need for something new.

I don’t believe we are the only ones who get it. But until all of who do “get it” come together and have an honest conversation we will stay on the same course. Let’s all come together and have an honest conversation.

“I don’t want this to be an all-black organization or a Black and Latino organization,” Sead said. “I want it to be a multi-racial, multi-generational organization.”

Lisa Brinton Thomson December 1, 2017 at 10:38 am

@ Seasoned – I applaud Jalin’s initiative. Sometimes trying to change the system from within demands more effort, energy and politics than actually going out and conducting the public service(s) that were supposedly the objectives in the first place. Good luck Jalin!

Margaret K. Suib, Esq., Norwalk Fair Housing Officer December 1, 2017 at 11:01 am

I have had the privilege of knowing and working with Jalin Sead and Darius Williams for a number of years. They are the future of Norwalk and they represent that future incredibly well. Norwalk is fortunate and blessed to have such committed, articulate, engaged, caring young men. I wish them well and can’t wait to work with them and CC4C!

Donna Smirniotopoulos December 1, 2017 at 11:04 am

@Jalin Sead, good for you and good for all of us too. Established organizations like the NAACP are vitally important in communities like Norwalk. So are activist organizations like CC4C that focus on building coalitions across the generations, genders, races and ethnicities b by reaching out to serve the underserved and hear the under-heard (yep, just made that up).

Bravo!

Seasoned December 1, 2017 at 4:15 pm

All good points but one only has to look at the track record / staying power of similar efforts over the past 10-15 years to see what happens over time. Wondering where Human Services Council and other umbrella organizations fit in the plan…

Rick December 1, 2017 at 4:26 pm

Jalin thank you for what your doing , can we get a email or link to write you

Ive found in Norwalk a lot activists from the 70s seen to live here as well

thanks Andrew

Martha A Wooten Dumas December 1, 2017 at 8:34 pm

Just one thing I am asking of you, set date and see how many or make be just one person from these other organizations to me, bring there mission and set down , not with the city officials.

Rick December 2, 2017 at 12:47 am

towing cars at Roodner Court tonight , they are targeting the housing complexes

It doesn’t seem right to dump on the elderly its a problem the city is trying to hide

Someone needs to help our neighbors our elderly

Channel 12 and The Hour shows some abse by the towing companies yet its happening again right now.

Sherelle Harris December 2, 2017 at 11:12 am

This is a great initiative by two talented young men who have put in the footwork to see things as they are. I appreciate their growth, sincerity and willingness to listen. As I explained to one of them there is a big difference in a being politician and an activist. I think that they are smart enough not to let the bad/selfish side of politics use them or muddy their cause, and that they are ever growing in wisdom enough not to let ego, flattery or divisiveness take precedence over the work they set forth to accomplish. KUDOS Jalin and Darius.

Great Job! December 3, 2017 at 3:46 pm

Great job Darius and Jalin, I’m looking forward to great things to come from your initiative.

@ Ms. Wooten Dumas, although I respect your opinion I disagree, city officials must be represented at the table, forming a coalition of stakeholders is imperative.
I believe that these young men will recognize, understand this and act accordingly when necessary.

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