WILPF – September 2016

WILPF – September 2016
The African Roots of Cuban Culture Semana de La Cultura Parade in Cotorro, La Habana


WILPF will meet Thursday September 8 at 7 PM, at Fresno Center for Nonviolence, 1584 N Van Ness.  This meeting is open to all members.


September 7, first Wednesday of each month at noon at 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.

STIR IT UP – WILPF – ON KFCF 88.1 FM (Listener -supported Free Speech Radio for Central California)

September 28  3 PM (4th Wednesday of each month)  Jean Hays does outstanding interviews on subjects involving WILPF interests and activities.  Tune in to 88.1!


Monday September 19 at 6:30 PM at the Fresno Center for Nonviolence  1584 N Van Ness at McKinley.  Free, open to the public, and interesting.  Please bring food to share.  for more info – lenivreeves@gmail.com or gerry.bill@gmail.com


Meetings on selected Mondays at 7 PM.  Ellie Bluestein’s new phone # is 559-449-1817.Call for details.


We are three years old! Our first resident came to the DEG on his birthday three years ago. (August 7). If you or someone you know needs a home between homes while he or she figures out what steps they need to take next, please come by to take a tour and talk to the residents who live at the Dakota EcoGarden, and pick up an application if it looks like a good fit.

Or if you can help us in the garden, mentor a resident, or donate some items we can use, or help us with a little money for the PG&E bill, water bill, taxes, etc., we would love to hear from you. Although we do have expenses such as those mentioned, we are doing this on the proverbial shoestring, and that is definitely a point we are trying to make: the homeless can be housed in safe and healthy, humane, ways for not really very much money. We keep hoping we can convince the City and or County of this. 2231 W. Dakota Ave., 93705. Call Nancy Waidtlow for more information: 224 1738. Facebook: Dakota EcoGarden, Web: ecovillagefresno.org.

—– Nancy Waidtlow


Legislative Committee Report

The Fresno WILPF Legislative Committee visited the offices of Senator Boxer and Representative Costa (Senator Feinstein’s office was unavailable for scheduling)  to present this month’s letter written by Betty Sempadian.  Facts and references were supplied to emphasize the fact that perpetual warfare, including drone warfare and attempted regime change, have been failed policies that decrease US security, cause suffering around the world, and fail to accomplish any positive goals.  They do enrich arms manufacturers’ profits, and indeed the US is by far the world’s largest arms dealer.  We requested that our legislators work and strive for a change in foreign policy to put an end to perpetual war.

Plans for the future include coordinating with other WILPF chapters around the country so that many legislators from different areas receive letters and personal communications from WILPF members and Legislative Committees at the same time on the same topic.  We hope to increase our effect by working together.


Monday September 19 at 6:30 PM  Fresno Center for Nonviolence

1584 N Van Ness at McKinley.  Potluck

“A doctor, a lawyer, and a professor go to Cuba with Pastors for Peace”

This is not the start of a bad joke – it is our Pastors for Peace Caravan to Cuba Reportback.  Come hear the different points of view  each person brings to the experience of traveling to Cuba as an act of civil disobedience to oppose the US blockade of Cuba – what?  You didn’t know the blockade was still in force?

Find out about this and much more.  Juan Rafael Avitia, on his first visit to Cuba, was amazed at how different the reality was compared to the US propaganda we are constantly fed by media. You may be startled also. (Avitia is still teaching history; his law degree has not yet lured him out of the classroom.)  Gerry Bill focuses on new economic models and changes in Cuba over the course of the many years he has been on the Caravan.  Leni Villagomez Reeves, who can’t stay away from the place, was deeply moved by Cuban internationalism, as we heard from Cuban doctors who went to West Africa to care for pediatric patients with Ebola; she also explores the deep historical roots of the “culture of resistance” that has empowered Cubans to stay on their independent path in spite of US attacks.

GERRY, LENI & RALPHY  – THE CUBA REPORT  Monday September 19 at 6:30 PM    

Fresno Center for Nonviolence  -1584 N Van Ness at McKinley.  Free, open to the public, and interesting.  Please bring food to share.  for more info – lenivreeves@gmail.com or gerry.bill@gmail.com


Award’s Co-Founder Sandra Ríos Balderrama on Fresno WILPF Library Committee!

Pura Belpré Award: Celebrating 20 Years of Latinx Authors and Illustrators

The Fresno State Henry Madden Library’s Arne Nixon Center for the Study of Children’s Literature and REFORMA (National Association to Promote Library and Information Services to Latinos and the Spanish-Speaking) Fresno will present a panel discussion in celebration of the Pura Belpré Award’s 20th anniversary, on Thursday, September 15th from 4:00-6:30p.m. in the Fresno State North Gym 118. The event is free and open to the public. Light refreshments. Special entertainment. Pura Belpré award-winning books  available for purchase and signing.

The WILPF Library Committee will have information tables at this event and will hold a drawing for some surprise gifts from WILPF. The advocacy efforts behind the 20 years of the Pura Belpré Award align with the goals of WILPF. This book award, named after the first Latina librarian we know of, from New York Public Library, represents inclusion, social justice, and equal rights. Ms. Belpré realized, when she worked at the library, that bilingual story-time was needed and she went further by writing Puerto Rican folktales and bringing many of these tales to life through puppetry. Her goal was to make the New York neighborhoods that she worked in feel welcome! She wanted to speak their language and share their/her culture. This is the essence of library outreach and increasing access to public libraries.. The award honors  Latinx authors and illustrators annually in her name. On September 15th you will get to meet the 2016 winners. Margarita Engle, our local Cuban-American author and poet, won for her book Enchanted Air.  Rafael López, who lives in San Diego and  Guanajuato, Mexico, won the 2016 award for illustration for Drum Dream Girl, also written by Margarita Engle.

The program will also include Josefa Bustos Pelayos, who teaches in Hanford, California and who just  received her master’s degree in Multilingual Multicultural Education and  Alicia Long, who is a Multicultural Literature Instructor  at the University of South Florida  School of Information. Alicia served as a member of the 2014 selection committee of the Pura Belpré award and will speak about the criteria for selecting the best Latinx author and illustrator of the year. Sandra Ríos Balderrama, an active member of the WILPF library committee and co-founder of the Pura Belpré Award 20+ years ago, will serve as moderator.

WILPF Library Committee is excited to partner with REFORMA de Fresno, the Arne Nixon Center and all of the community in helping to celebrate 20 years of an award that promotes inclusion and affirmation of Latinx culture and Latinx authors and illustrators for children’s books.

WILPF donates Jane Addams Children’s Literature Award winning books to the Fresno County Library annually and some of these titles have also won the Pura Belpré Award. Supporting Latinx, authors of color, and women authors as well as independent and small publishers on behalf of quality children’s literature  on topics of equal rights, human rights, women’s rights and civil rights is a path shared by all involved in the planning of this exciting event. —– Sandra Ríos Balderrama

The WILPF Page is edited and compiled by Leni Villagomez Reeves  lenivreeves@gmail.com  or by Patty Bennett patriciajb@aol.com


  • 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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