On October 20, 1976, The Hartford Times closed ending a 159 year run — and Hartford became a one-paper town. In the decades since, The Hartford Courant was sold to a national corporation, losing local management and hampering coverage of Connecticut’s capital city. Meanwhile, the Hartford Times headquarters fell into ruin and disrepair with periodic attempts to restore the building’s former glory all failing.
Without a champion of the city, Hartford’s narrative took a gloomy turn and the people became increasingly disillusioned with the pessimistic coverage of their community. But the turn of the century brought a renewed interest in the legacy of The Hartford Times as a champion of reform and an advocate of the people.
In 1996, the newspaper’s archives of stories, clippings, and photographs found a permanent home at the Hartford Public Library.
In 2013, the University of Connecticut announced an ambitious plan to relocate its West Hartford campus to downtown Hartford and, in the process, restore, and renovate the iconic Hartford Times building. The grandiose façade is the focal point of the university’s Hartford home, which offers academic programs in public policy, social work, and public administration to thousands of undergraduate and graduate students.
In 2015, Civic Mind began the work to revive the paper’s legacy brand and honor its history. After six years of soul-searching interviews, research, and collaboration, the Hartford Times was launched on January 17, 2022 in celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Our goal is to provide information equality — inclusive, consistent, and purposeful information for the people of Hartford to effectively participate in civic action and build our democracy. We will do this by sharing inspiring thought leadership, defending our community with compassion and courage, and together, proudly building a better state.
Melvette is a Danbury mother of four young adults and has over 20 years experience engaging families in communities through her various roles in corporate, government, non-profit and faith-based organizations. Growing up in New York City shaped her world views and continues to fuel her passion and commitment for racial equity, social change, and civic engagement. Melvette is the Director of Parent Leadership and Family Civic Engagement at the Connecticut Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity and Opportunity (CWCSEO) and leads the Parent Leadership Training Institute in Connecticut.
Peter Goselin has practiced labor and employment law in the Hartford area for more than 25 years. He is a member of the Connecticut chapter of the National Lawyers Guild and a co-chair of the Green Party of Connecticut.
Jamil Ragland is a writer from the Hartford area. Raised in Greater Hartford, he attended Capital Community College and graduated from Trinity College in 2013. Jamil began writing opinion pieces in 2008, inspired by the columnists he read while working at a local gas station.
His work deals with politics, race, and culture. Jamil believes that writing is a way to share ideas that can have positive changes for people in need. Speaking out is a way to hold the powerful to account and to rally people to causes that cannot be achieved alone.
Jamil has been published in CT News Junkie, The Connecticut Mirror, WNPR, New England Public Media, The Hartford Courant and several other venues. Additionally, he has appeared on The Colin McEnroe Show and Where We Live. He was the co-host of Connecticut Public’s The Radius Project, a podcast which explored the city of Hartford. He’s won the United Way of Central and Northern Connecticut’s Community Rock Star award, and PRNDI’s Commentary Award, 2nd place.
Jamil works as a staff writer at Planned Parenthood of Southern New England. He lives in Hartford with his son.
Jonathan Wharton, Ph.D.
Jonathan L. Wharton, Ph.D. is the School of Graduate and Professional Studies associate dean and teaches political science at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven. His teaching, writing and research centers on state and local government, public policy, economic development as well as identity and coalition building politics. Wharton currently serves on the New England Political Science Association, Connecticut Mirror and Connecticut Trust for Historic Preservation boards as well as volunteers for tristate chapters of his Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity. Wharton served as a New Haven City Plan commissioner (2016-2020), deacon and moderator at New Haven’s First Congregational Center Church on the Green (2017-2021), New Haven Republicans chairman (2016-2018) and elected to the Republican State Central Committee (2018-2020).
2021 David B. Walker Award
“…recognizing a tireless dedication to public service.”
Thomas founded Civic Mind in 2011 as the political and economic climate of the “Great Recession” created a market in demand of social impact through community organization, creativity, and collaboration.
His blend of social entrepreneurship and public interest advocacy has made him a recognized leader in community wealth building and socioeconomic justice in Connecticut.
University of Connecticut
Master of Public Administration, Fellows Program
University of Pennsylvania
School of Social Policy and Practice, Social Impact Strategy
School of Public Health, Climate Change and Health
Stanford Social Innovation Review
Design Thinking for the Social Sector
Westfield State University
Bachelor of Science, Business Management
Connecticut Sustainable Business Council
Senior Public Policy Fellow
State of Connecticut’s Commission on Women, Children, Seniors, Equity & Opportunity (CWCSEO)
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