Former homeless, at-risk youth running for State Senate

Hassan Williams is running for the State Senate seat of the 2nd Suffolk District against incumbent candidate Sonia Chang-Diaz on the Democratic Primary on Tuesday, September 14.  This former at-risk youth from Roxbury shares with the Sampan why he wants to run for office. Sampan: Please tell our readers about yourself. Williams:  My name is Hassan A. Williams and I am an educator, attorney and community advocate.  As a child, I was a troubled youth.  Born and raised in Roxbury, I resorted to hustling and fighting to survive.  I attended Boston Latin School and graduated from Boston Technical High School (currently known as … Continue reading

Can breast cancer be prevented?

There is no sure way to prevent breast cancer. But there are things all women can do that might reduce their risk and help increase the odds that if cancer does occur, it is found at an early, more treatable stage. Lowering your risk: You can lower your risk of breast cancer by changing those risk factors that are under your control. If you limit alcohol use, exercise regularly, and stay at a healthy weight, you are decreasing your risk of getting breast cancer. Women who choose to breast-feed for at least several months may also reduce their breast cancer … Continue reading

Globalized labor in 19th century Massachusetts

China officially surpassed Japan as the world’s second largest economy last week. At the same time, the millions toiling in the workshop of the world are grabbing headlines of a more controversial kind. Complaints of poor working conditions, suicide cases in factory campuses, wage disputes, and even strikes have caused concern for Modern China’s economic revolution. A much smaller group of Chinese laborers saw themselves in a similar struggle, not in Shenzhen, but in North Adams, Massachusetts, over a hundred years ago. The peculiar account of the lives of seventy-five Chinese men in the 19th century industrial hotbed is the … Continue reading

Cakes versus pies

Many things are often enjoyed in parties of family and friends, like BBQs, hot dogs, and, of course, cakes and pies. Cakes and pies are seen in a wide range of celebrations and get-togethers, such as birthdays or reunions. Cakes and pies both taste good and can be decorated in many ways. You may have seen houses made out of cookies with cherries on top, beautiful cakes with realistic (yet edible!) decorations, or even something like rocket-shaped cake on a launching pad. Decorations aren’t a competition between these two party foods, but there are lots more to compare. The most … Continue reading

A rainy August Moon Festival on Quincy’s Hancock Street draws crowds after 23 years

The August Moon festival in Quincy, organized by the non-profit Quincy Asian Resources (QARI), drew thousands on August 22nd even as it rained throughout most of the day. Preceded by the Chinatown August Moon festival a week earlier, the Quincy festival celebrates this famous cultural holiday in a community with a large and rapidly growing Asian and Asian American population. In addition to performances like youth break-dancing and Chinese dance, those who came to the festival enjoyed children’s activities like a moon bounce, Chinese cultural area, a newly created food court, and information on pertinent community organizations as well as … Continue reading