WILPF BUSINESS MEETING
April 12 (2nd Thursday of each month), 7 p.m.–9 p.m. at the Fresno Center for Nonviolence, 1584 N. Van Ness Ave. Meetings are open to all members and those interested in WILPF membership.
WOMEN IN BLACK
April 4 (1st Wednesday of each month except July/August) at noon at the Fresno County Courthouse. Come at least once during this critical year, perhaps during the month in which your birthday falls. Wear black, bring a sign if you wish, and stand in silence, in solidarity with a worldwide network of women committed to peace with justice and actively opposed to war, militarism and other forms of violence. See article for more information.
STIR IT UP–WILPF ON KFCF 88.1 FM (listener-supported free speech radio for Central California)
April 25 (4th Wednesday of each month) at 3 p.m. Jean Hays conducts outstanding interviews on subjects involving WILPF interests and activities. Let Jean know if you have ideas for a program. Tune in to 88.1!
Meetings on selected Mondays at 7 p.m. Call Patty at 559-999-9709 for details.
ABOUT WOMEN IN BLACK
By Teresa Castillo
Have you ever wondered why we wear black and stand in a silent vigil each month?
It all began in 1988 in central Jerusalem when women began holding a vigil every Friday in response to the human rights violations they saw the Israeli soldiers commit in the Occupied Territories of Palestine during the First Intifada. The action was named “Women in Black” because the women all wore black to signify their state of mourning for all victims of the conflict. The group silently, powerfully, stood up for peace in a time of extreme conflict.
Similar vigils spread throughout the country and started around the world in solidarity with the original Israeli group. Subsequent vigils in many other countries since that time have embraced other social and political issues. Especially notable was the “Women in Black” group in former Yugoslavia, which in the 1990s confronted rampant nationalism, hatred and bloodshed, often meeting with violence from nationalists.
Fresno WILPF supports Women in Black with a vigil on the first Wednesday of every month, from noon to 1 p.m. in the breezeway of the Fresno County Superior Courthouse. I have had the opportunity to join the vigil several months and feel privileged to stand in solidarity for peace with our monthly regulars: Joan Poss, Sue Kern, Barbara Ann Hormann and Eric.
We welcome anyone who wants to join us, with the issue of your choice. We wear black, hold signs, stand in silence and pass out information and the Community Alliance. All issues have been recognized over the many years that Fresno WILPF has participated in this vigil. Please join us in standing up for peace.
NEWS FROM THE EARTH DEMOCRACY COMMITTEE
By Jean Hays
It has been a busy month for our WILPF Earth Democracy issues group. On Saturday, March 10, we collaborated with other Valley Water Consortium groups (Tehipite Chapter of Sierra Club, Fresnans Against Fracking, Friends of San Joaquin River Gorge, Dumna and Mono Tribes) to present H2O III: Distilling Sustainable Solutions. This, our latest water forum, has happened every four years since 2010.
The well-attended forum, which was presented at Fresno City College, opened with a tribal blessing by Mono-Dumna Keith Turner. Then it was on to the Forum Hall in the Social Science Building for five powerful, information-packed presentations by Dr. David Cehrs, Dr. Dan O’Connell, Ron Stork, Dr. Jacob Katz and Tom Frantz. After a brief lunch break, there were various classroom breakout sessions featuring terrific presentations by Walt Shubin, Anita Lodge, Chris Acree, Tom Willey and Lloyd Carter.
Attendees left the forum with a great deal of information, hoping to use it to help Mother Earth and us to try to conserve and nurture all things, air and water in particular, so necessary for life to continue. We offer a huge thank you to Professor Paul Gilmore and the Social Science Department at FCC for providing the venue and going above and beyond to take care of our requests for tables, the Forum Hall and various classrooms.
There are plans underway to do a repeat of the afternoon presentations as one program so everyone can see and hear all presenters without having to pick and choose. The morning portion of the forum was filmed by CMAC and will be available shortly on YouTube. Look for H2O III: Distilling Sustainable Solutions.
A more-than-huge thank you to our WILPF water forum committee: Ann Carruthers, Evonne Waldo, Donna Salwasser, Melissa Fry, Catherine Fowler and Teresa Castillo. Without you, this event would not have happened!
March 22 is World Water Day, and each year CineCulture collaborates with WILPF to choose a water-related film on the Friday closest to this date. This year’s film was Shadow of Drought, screened on March 23. We welcomed the Tehipite Chapter of the Sierra Club, Fresnans Against Fracking and Friends of the San Joaquin River Gorge this year as co-sponsors. This timely documentary addresses the looming water crisis in southern California and the San Joaquin Valley in great detail. Thanks to filmmaker/director Bill Wisneski, who teaches and produces award-winning films at Palomar College in Southern California.
You are invited to stop by the WILPF booth at Earth Day Fresno on Saturday, April 14, at Radio Park. There will be plenty of hands-on activities as you learn more about how to care for Mother Earth. Children of all ages will be able to clean plastic debris out of the WILPF “ocean,” clean various items in the home with a safe, non-toxic vinegar solution and learn more about water-saving strategies. Looking forward to seeing you at Radio Park, Saturday, April 14, at Earth Day Fresno.
LIBRARY COMMITTEE PROJECTS
The WILPF Fresno Library Committee completed its donation of 2016 Jane Addams Children’s Award Books at the Betty Rodriguez Library during March. The committee is now planning its priorities for the coming year, including the donation of the 2017 Jane Addams Children’s Book Awards to four library branches.
2017 JANE ADDAMS CHILDREN’S BOOK AWARDS
The Jane Addams Children’s Book Award annually recognizes children’s books of literary and aesthetic excellence that effectively engage children in thinking about peace, social justice, global community and equity for all people.
Books for Younger Children Category
Steamboat School, written by Deborah Hopkinson, illustrated by Ron Husband, is a fictionalized account of Reverend John Meachum’s resourceful circumvention of an 1847 Missouri statute that outlawed schooling for African Americans.
First Step: How One Girl Put Segregation on Trial, written by Susan E. Goodman, illustrated by E.B. Lewis, spotlights a decisive action in the long history of African American efforts to desegregate schools by law.
I Dissent: Ruth Bader Ginsburg Makes Her Mark, written by Debbie Levy, illustrated by Elizabeth Baddeley, celebrates Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s lifelong refusal to accept the unacceptable.
Books for Older Children Category
Sachiko: A Nagasaki Bomb Survivor’s Story, written by Caren B.Stelson, traces the life of Sachiko Yasui, a six-year-old playing with friends a mere half mile from ground zero when the United States bombed Nagasaki.
We Will Not Be Silent: The White Rose Student Resistance Movement That Defied Adolf Hitler, written by Russell Freedman, charts the political evolution of a handful of university students, many former members of the Hitler Youth, as they witness Nazi persecution of German citizens.
Wolf Hollow, written by Lauren Wolk, is a coming-of-age novel set in rural World War II Pennsylvania.
SUPPORT FOR MALAGA’S ARRIAGA COMMUNITY CENTER
The WILPF Library Committee continues to support Malaga’s Arriaga Community Center by donating gently used books, as well as a set of the Jane Addams Children’s Award Books on a regular basis.
The Center has remodeled one room to be the Teen Room, which holds the books where their afterschool program and other programs are held. They are in the process of setting up a teen corner with teen books in this room. There are also computer stations for the students to use.
As part of our ongoing support for the Center, we asked Director Romana Campos to give us a wish list of items that the Center could use. If you have any of the following items to donate, contact Janet Capella (559-974-5541).
Bookshelves, bean bag chairs, bookends
Cooking pans/pots to make rice crispy, macaroni, spaghetti, etc., for the kids
Large picture frames to insert activity/program pictures and display
Lobby couch (synthetic leather) to place in the library room
Arts and craft items, paper/poster board/scissors/pencils/crayons and or other type of crafts
19” or above computer monitor or flat-screen TV that could be used as a camera monitor
Office telephone with two wireless units (to avoid missing calls when in other areas of the center)
Sports items such as kickballs, basketballs and uniforms
Office supplies, clipboards and a small table
Paint/brushes to repaint one of the murals in the Malaga Center
DAKOTA ECOGARDEN UPDATE
The Dakota EcoGarden (Facebook and www.ecovillagefresno.org) is at 2231 W. Dakota Ave. WILPF helped get this transitional homeless facility started and supports it in many ways, including providing space for DEG news on the WILPF page.
If you are homeless or on the verge of homelessness, call Nancy W at 559-224-1738. We may have room for you if you are able to live harmoniously in community with others and do your share of the work needed to maintain the house and garden, and if you have a plan that will enable you to move to permanent housing within a year.
We have had a busy month, with a new staircase being built and several residents moving on to permanent housing. We are looking forward to Earth Day on April 14. Call Nancy also if you would like to help put in the spring garden vegetables.