WILPF: July 2015

 

WILPF BUSINESS MEETING

WILPF will meet on Thursday, July 9, at 7 p.m. at the Fresno Center for Nonviolence (1584 N. Van Ness Ave.). This meeting is open to all members.

WOMEN IN BLACK

July 1 (first Wednesday of each month) at noon at the Fresno County Courthouse. Wear black, bring a sign and stand in silence for peace; we ask that you respect the silent vigil, please.

STIR IT UP – WILPF ON KFCF 88.1 FM

(listener-supported free speech radio for Central California)

July 22, 3 p.m. (4th Wednesday of each month). Jean Hays does outstanding interviews on subjects involving WILPF interests and activities. You know you want to tune in!

RAGING GRANNIES

Meetings on selected Mondays at 7 p.m. Call Ellie at 559-229-9807 for details.

 

 

JULY 7

IT’S A CUBA PARTY! IT’S CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE—BREAK AND END THE U.S. BLOCKADE OF CUBA!

PASTORS FOR PEACE CARAVAN TO CUBA WILL BE IN FRESNO

JULY 7 AT 6:30 P.M. AT DAKOTA ECOGARDEN (2231 W. Dakota Ave., near Hughes Avenue)

Music, speakers and potluck picnic supper. The West Coast bus will arrive, and four people from this area will join the Caravan this year. You can find out why we go, what we hope to do and learn, and what some of our past caravanistas have to say. Plus a special guest speaker! For more information, contact Leni V. Reeves at lenivreeves@gmail.com or 559-855-4511 or Gerry Bill at 559-227-2133. Local participation in the Caravan is sponsored by the Fresno Center for Nonviolence and WILPF Fresno.

 

FRESNO WILPF SPONSORS TANGERINES ON JULY 10

FILM PLUS RAGING GRANNIES PERFORMANCE

Come by the WILPF table and get all your WILPF Centennial/Fresno 50-year information, too. Friday, July 10, 5:30 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. at the Tower Theater, 815 E Olive Ave.

The Estonian drama Tangerines, directed by Zara Urushadze, is an internationally acclaimed film nominated for both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe for Best Foreign Language Film. Set in 1992 during the conflict between Georgia and Abkhazian separatists after the Soviet Union’s dissolution, the movie tells the story of two Estonian immigrant farmers who decide to remain in Georgia long enough to harvest their tangerine crop. During the war, one farmer takes in two wounded soldiers from opposite sides. The soldiers vow to kill each other when they recover, but as they recover from their wounds they also recover a humanity that gives them a chance to transcend ethnic hatreds. Set in the breathtaking Caucasus Mountains, this cinematic poem makes an eloquent statement for peace. In Estonian, Russian and Georgian with English subtitles.

 

CELEBRATING 50 YEARS OF DANGEROUS WOMEN

Progress in Developing WILPF Fresno’s 50th Anniversary

and International WILPF Centennial Exhibits and Events

 

The WILPF Fresno 50th Anniversary/Centennial Committee is gearing up for exhibits and events in September. The theme is “Celebrating the Peace Activism of Dangerous Women.” Thought-provoking, educational and fun events will inform and engage the Fresno and regional communities. A panoramic presentation of both historical and current events and issues will help Fresnans review both peace-making and peace-breaking at the local, national and international levels.

A three-week-long exhibit is scheduled at the Pete P. Peters Balcony Gallery at Fresno State’s Henry Madden Library on the third floor of the North Wing from Tuesday, Sept. 8, through Sunday, Sept. 27.

A Grand Reception is being planned at the Balcony Gallery at the Fresno State Library on Friday, Sept. 11, from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Everyone is welcome.

Events and exhibits at the Balcony Gallery and Fresno State will include the following:

  • Presentation of an initial “Oral History of WILPF Fresno,” produced and created by the students and professors from the Mass Communication and Journalism Department.
  • “History of International and National WILPF.” Many people might be excited to discover that out of 11 U.S. winners of the Nobel Peace Prize, three are women. The first two were WILPF members: Jane Addams in 1931 and Emily Greene Balch in 1946. Addams was the first president of WILPF International. Balch was noted for anticipating and opposing the Cold War developments that began even before the end of World War II.
  • A celebration in the Fresno State Peace Garden, where a statue of Jane Addams stands alongside fellow North Americans Cesar Chavez and Martin Luther King, Jr., as well as international peace activist Mahatma Gandhi.
  • A lively panorama of local WILPF peace activism history will include WILPF Fresno’s lawsuit against the City of Fresno for removing “Think Before You Register for the Draft” placards from Fresno City buses. The Fresno City Council (in less conservative days) approved Fresno as a “nuclear-free zone.”
  • Profiles of Fresno’s Dangerous Women will inspire Fresno with stories of the extraordinary bravery of local women.
  • The Raging Grannies will delight and provoke with their timely and updated lyrics to both common and unusual songs.
  • Two forums on current topics that incorporate Fresno address local, national and international WILPF priorities, such as the intermeshing of poverty, racism, challenges to health, gender, age, education and job issues. Speakers will be representing differing points of view.
  • Interactive displays on local/national “hot topics,” such as the impact of the use of herbicides containing glyphosate.

 

The Fresno County Downtown Library is hosting a display and events throughout September. Events. The exhibits will include the following:

  • A Grand Reception: date to be announced
  • Local award-winning author and poet Margarita Engle will participate in an event at the Downtown Library, featuring her Jane Addams award-winning books, The Surrender Tree and Silver People.
  • Weekend events will encourage the engagement of children and families in the reading of some of the many Jane Addams peace-honored books that WILPF Fresno has donated to the library system over the years.

 

Fund-raising to develop and put on these exhibits and events has begun in earnest. Please contribute!—and volunteer!!—generously! Contributions are tax-deductible when checks are made out to “Fresno Center for Nonviolence” (1584 N. Van Ness Ave., Fresno CA 93728). Please note the purpose on the check: “WILPF 50th Anniversary Educational Exhibits”. To volunteer, e-mail or call Sandra Iyall at sliyall@earthlink.net or 559-222-6429.

 

Meet members of the Centennial Committee at the WILPF Fresno–sponsored Fresno Filmworks presentation of Tangerines. Be there on Friday, July 10, at either the 5:30 p.m. or 8:30 p.m. showing at the Tower Theater.

—Murphy

 

BUILDING A BELOVED COMMUNITY:

WINGS Fresno Finds Ways to Help the Homeless

 

WINGS Fresno is an interfaith organization started two years ago by a group of homeless advocate leaders from various churches who wanted to leverage their support. Through the leadership and coordination of WINGS Santa Cruz, the Fresno team didn’t have to reinvent the wheel. We learned a great deal from a two-day training in Santa Cruz, then took what we learned and made our program fit the needs of our community.

Many in the leadership group were and are members of the Fresno Madera Continuum of Care (FMCOC) representing their faith community’s homeless outreach; WINGS Fresno is now a member. Because of the established relationship with the FMCOC, WINGS Fresno was able to consult with representatives from Fresno County Social Services and the Fresno Housing Authority as we were developing our program. Their input was helpful. However, just as we were ready to launch our first training for volunteers and assign two WINGS volunteers to work with a client (a homeless individual who has received housing) everything changed! Well, not everything!

WINGS Fresno was asked (the only volunteer organization that was) to participate in the 25 Cities Initiative, a national program tasked with ending veteran and chronic homelessness by 2015–2016. I realize that we won’t end homelessness, maybe ever, so it would be better if the government could be a little more realistic…but it is the government!

With acknowledgement of those unrealistic expectations, the leadership of WINGS Fresno agreed to work with multiple agencies in the 25 Cities effort to house as many homeless veterans and chronic homeless as possible. A coordinated effort seemed to make sense. WINGS representatives were soon on the various 25 Cities committees. It wasn’t long before they found a way WINGS could truly help: We could provide money for documentation. Most homeless individuals have lost their important documents and don’t have the money to replace them. Through a donation and funds raised, WINGS was able to provide California IDs and birth certificates. WINGS leadership coordinates with the 25 Cities Outreach Program and provides volunteers once a week to be at the DMV and the Hall of Records to assist homeless individuals getting their documents and paying for them. The Outreach Team, from various agencies, finds their clients who need documents and brings them to meet the WINGS volunteers. As of the end of May, WINGS had helped with 34 California IDs, 25 Fresno County birth certificates and 21 out-of-state birth certificates.

Our next new venture started in December 2014 when two WINGS leaders found a client in an apartment, still sleeping on the floor and heating water in a can on her stove! Immediately, we saw another way that WINGS volunteers could help. So we started asking for donations of gently used furniture, kitchen supplies, sheets, towels and items for a Welcome Box of cleaning supplies (one can’t buy soap with EBT!). Again, generous donations to WINGS Fresno have enabled us to purchase refurbished mattresses so that everyone housed has a bed. Since January 2015, WINGS Fresno has provided furnishings for 47 households. That is the reality—47 homeless individuals in Fresno housed! And we aren’t done yet. Every week, agencies are matching individuals with housing, finding landlords to work with and referring clients to WINGS for furnishings

 

This is where you, the reader, come in. For donations, please contact Bev Fitzpatrick at dfitzpatrick29@comcast.net or 559-355-9717. I will arrange to pick up your items. Because of the generosity of one of our WINGS volunteers and her husband, we have warehouse space downtown. Please remember WINGS Fresno, and help us pass the word about donations. Or, better yet, call our administrator, Marianne LeCompte, at 559-285-1833, about training and become a WINGS Fresno volunteer and help us Build a Beloved Community.

—Bev Fitzpatrick

 

 

WHAT? CRAFT FAIRE ALREADY?

Save the date: Saturday, Dec. 12, at the Big Red Church

Lots of time still to gather donations for the silent auction and check out soup recipes.

 

The WILPF page is compiled and edited by Leni V. Reeves (lenivreeves@gmail.com).

  • 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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