WILPF – August 2013

WILPF – August 2013
WILPF interns Janette Miguel (left) and Elizabeth Moreno (right) staffing the WILPF table at the Bill McKibben event on Sept. 14.


No WILPF business meeting in August. See August retreat information below.


August 7, first Wednesday of each month at noon at the Fresno County Courthouse; come on the month in which your birthday falls! Wear black, bring a sign if you wish and stand in silence for peace.


August 28, 3 p.m. (4th Wednesday of each month). Jean Hays does outstanding interviews on subjects involving WILPF interests and activities. Let Jean know if you have ideas for a program. Listen!

Also on KFCF 88.1: WILPF member Dr Jean Kennedy, Keeping It Real 8 p.m. every Tuesday.


Meetings on selected Mondays at 7 p.m. Call Ellie at 229-9807 for details.


Our branch’s annual all-day retreat is scheduled for Saturday, August 24. Please plan to attend and help set priorities for the next year. Watch the listserv for details of time and place.

From left to right: Fresno Branch WILPF members Bev Fitzpatrick, Lynn Graham and Ann Carruthers, librarian Sandra Bisnett, WILPF members Mary Perich, Patty Bennett and Jean Hays at the West Fresno County Library, June 19, 2013.
From left to right: Fresno Branch WILPF members Bev Fitzpatrick, Lynn Graham and Ann Carruthers, librarian Sandra Bisnett, WILPF members Mary Perich, Patty Bennett and Jean Hays at the West Fresno County Library, June 19, 2013.


The Fresno Branch of WILPF, in collaboration with co-sponsors Peace Fresno, Center for Nonviolence, Fresno Human Rights Coalition, Reedley Peace Center and College Community Congregational Church, will present award-winning author and Bay Area WILPFer Cecile Pineda, speaking about her most recent book, Devil’s Tango: How I Learned the Fukushima Step by Step.

This event will take place on Saturday, August 10, at 4 p.m. at College Community Congregational Church, 5550 N. Fresno St. in Fresno.

Following Pineda’s presentation there will be a silent candle-lighting ceremony, commemorating all victims of the disastrous effects of nuclear power in all its forms. A light potluck will follow in the Church Social Hall. Pineda’s book will be available for sale at this event. Admission is free.

John Nichols, Washington correspondent for The Nation magazine, says of her book, “Cecile Pineda’s astonishing anatomy of the Fukushima Diaichi nuclear disaster…echoes the best work of Rachel Carson, Marilyn Robinson, and Helen Caldicott. It is a work of a conscience truly in touch with, and deeply concerned with, humanity.” Harvy Wasserman of Counterpunch calls her book brilliant, astonishing, evocative and courageous.

The author’s appearance is part of a California tour, beginning outside the entrance to Lawrence Livermore Labs at 7 a.m. on August 6, Hiroshima Day. Her next stop will be a presentation in San Luis Obispo, sponsored by Mothers for Peace. Next she will speak on August 8 in Monterey on her way to Fresno, August 10.

For more information on Pineda’s Fresno presentation call 559-313-7674.


7 p.m. at College Community Congregational Church, 5550 N. Fresno St.

Ruchira Gupta has graciously accepted an invitation to conduct a Skype presentation at College Community Congregational Church in Fresno. On the evening of August 13 she will join us by Skype to discuss her work, the magnitude of the problem, and advocacy/outreach efforts that can help make a difference.

Indian journalist-turned-activist, Ruchira Gupta, has been working tirelessly for more than 25 years to raise awareness about the plight of women and children forced into prostitution. In 2002 she founded ApneAap, a non-governmental, self-help organization which strives to eliminate sex trafficking by facilitating choice, ensuring rights and effecting change. Inspired by the Gandhian principles of Ahimsa (nonviolence) and Antodaya (uplift of the last woman), ApneAap has to date helped more than 15,000 women by providing them access to education, employment and legal rights.

Gupta has also been working with the United Nations for more than a decade. She was a key figure in the formulation of the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, especially Women and Children. In various places around the world she has helped develop National Action Plans on anti-trafficking laws and the empowerment of women. In collaboration with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime she created a manual, now being used by prosecutors and law enforcement officials to combat victim demand.

Gupta’s work has been recognized internationally. In 1997 she won an Emmy for Outstanding Investigative Journalism for her documentary The Selling of Innocents. In 2007 she received the Abolitionist Award from the House of Lords, the upper house of Parliament in the United Kingdom. In 2009 she was honored with the Clinton Global Citizen Award for Commitment to Leadership in Civil Society. In 2012 she was featured in the PBS documentary Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide. 


Follow WILPF member Kyla Mitchell’s humanitarian efforts in Uganda on her blog, www.bornawayfromhome.blogspot.com. Some excerpts:

Today we worked in the village Arworti-Omya in Opit. It’s located in a beautiful area with greenery all around and a nice view of a nearby “mountain.” It was my first day in the field without teaming up with an Aid Africa staff member. I was very lucky to have a young man of 17 years old to assist me in finding Six-brick Rocket Stoves to document (record information about the stove owner and take GPS coordinates). He had a good idea about which households had stoves and even knew English well enough that he helped me spell the names I was unfamiliar with. It went smoothly and I was grateful things happened that way, though I was a bit nervous at first. It’s an uneasy feeling not being able to communicate effectively with others, especially when there’s a job to be done and more importantly done well….

I had a heart-warming experience when I came upon an elderly man in one of the compounds. He greeted me and said, “You have come to help us?” You could see the gratitude and understanding in his eyes, and I cannot explain with words how deeply it affected me. It warmed my heart to see how happy he was that I was there. For me it was simple; all I was doing was walking around in the bush talking to people and writing words down on a piece of paper. It really is simple to help others. It’s not always easy, but it is simple….

I am truly enjoying my time here; I miss friends and family back home but know I am exactly where I am supposed to be.


On June 19 six WILPF members visited the West Fresno County Library to donate two sets (12 books) of Jane Addams Peace Association (JAPA) books to the children’s collection there. WILPF members were greeted by library staff members Sandra Bisnett and Jay Butterfield. Also attending from the main library staff were Connie Urquart and Jill Potter, photographer.

The JAPA is a sister organization of WILPF. Each year since 1953 the Jane Addams awards have honored exemplary children’s literature that most effectively promotes peace, social justice, world community and gender and racial equality to young readers. For more than 20 years the Fresno WILPF branch has donated sets of award-winning books to the downtown children’s library.

For more information about JAPA, or to order a set of books for the children in your family, visit www.janeaddamspeace.org.


  • Community Alliance

    The Community Alliance is a monthly newspaper that has been published in Fresno, California, since 1996. The purpose of the newspaper is to help build a progressive movement for social and economic justice.

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