Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom – April 2020

Hope in Uncertain Times

I wish all remain well while navigating these difficult times brought on by the COVID-19 virus; the health of each of you is what matters most! Our daily lives and routines have been turned upside down as we learn to cope physically and mentally with the ever-changing details and directives we’ve been given regarding this pandemic.

Events we have looked forward to have been cancelled, some rescheduled, people we enjoy seeing are now behind closed doors and our activities have been interrupted, all causing disappointment amid the uncertainty. We are forced to slow down to a near standstill pace and the environment is responding.

John Perkins suggests, “Perhaps the most important message the coronavirus offers is that the natural world is conspiring to save us from ourselves.” This brings me hope for our planet and for humanity.With gratitude, I appreciate all of you. We will get through this together! If anyone is in need, please feel free to contact me: Teresa Castillo, Fresno WILPF Branch Chair, at 559-360-8054 or taca_03@ymail.com.

Membership Brunch Rescheduled

The Membership Brunch has been rescheduled to Saturday, June 20. You are invited to gather with us. Come and bring guests. Please RSVP!

Renewing old friendships and making new ones, recalling memories of past actions and sharing dreams of the future with prospective members is what the WILPF Fresno Membership Brunch is all about. This year’s conversation will focus on WILPF Women in Suffrage. We stand on the shoulders of the women who came before us.

With gratitude, we acknowledge the work of the founders of the Women’s International League of Peace and Freedom in their struggle to bring the right to vote to women. Over the decades since then, members of WILPF have honored their fight by using the power of the vote to bring about social justice change.

At the WILPF Fresno Membership Brunch, the actions of the several issues committees, such as Cuba and the Bolivian Alliance, Advancing Human Rights, Earth Democracy and Legislative, will highlight the accomplishments they have made over the past year. Attendees will be encouraged to contribute ideas for future actions.

Special guests will include members of Black Women Organization for Political Action and Belle Vang and Christian Sorondo, Fresno State students who recently returned from the UN Commission on the Status of Women and will share their impressions of that event. Teatro de la Tierra and the Raging Grannies will entertain and inspire with poems and songs.

As brunch will be served, please RSVP. Member volunteers are needed for various tasks on the day of the brunch. For reservations, to volunteer or for questions, contact the Membership Brunch Planning Team: Evonne Waldo, text 831 214-1007; Ann Carruthers, 559-243-9390; or Patricia Wells, 559-612-6180. Other members of the Membership Brunch Planning Committee include Jean Hays, Janet Slagter, Melissa Fry and Patricia Gallimore.

—Evonne Waldo

Water Is Life…but What’s in Our Water?

World Water Day and Earth Day events have been cancelled, but we can still learn online and watch for future events to be scheduled.

Pat Elder’s 20-city California tour was cancelled due to the COVID-19 threat.Find out how the U.S. military has been poisoning us all with toxic chemicals, “PFAS,” also referred to as the “forever chemicals.” They don’t go away. In fact, almost all of us have some level of toxic PFAS chemicals in our bodies. Learn more at:  www.militarypoisons.org.

Pastors for Peace Caravan to Cuba

Join us for a life changing experience in Cuba. Are you ready to go to Cuba in defiance of the U.S. travel ban?

Many people from the Fresno area have done that and have seen the real Cuba for themselves.

Our caravans extend solidarity to the Cuban people and give you an opportunity to learn about Cuba through direct experience. This year, we will travel to Havana and to Matanzas Province to explore how the Cuban people are surviving under an economic blockade maintained for more than 60 years by the United States and intensified by the Trump administration.

Despite the blockade, we will see how they are moving forward in fields such as healthcare and organic farming, the diversity of religious expression in Cuba and Cuba’s efforts to tackle the colonial legacies of racism, sexism and homophobia.

Pastors for Peace Caravan applications now available. The Caravan dates are July 17–30. Deadline to apply: May 1. For more information and to request an application, contact IFCO Pastors for Peace at friendshipmentcaravan@ifconews.org or 212-926-5757 ext. 6.

Library Committee News

Photo by Sandra Rios Balderrama

Malaga’s Little Library is being replenished by our Fresno WILPF Library Committee!

JACBA Donation

A wonderful morning of peace and giving was celebrated with the staff and students at the Jane Addams Elementary School in the Fresno Unified School District on March 12.

Cheryl Caldera reading Dangerous Jane to students at the Jane Addams Elementary School. Photo by Sandra Iyall

Thanks to the school’s principal, Ms. Espinoza, and the school librarian, Ms. Jung, members of the WILPF Library Committee were welcomed to read and talk about Jane Addams in classrooms. A donation of Jane Addams Children’s Book Award books was made to the library.

The students and faculty greeted our WILPF readers with courtesy and respect and expressed deep interest in learning about the school’s namesake, Jane Addams.

This was a rewarding experience for all participants!

—Cheryl Caldera, Library Committee Co-Chair

The Library Committee extends their gratitude for the generosity of anonymous member donors who have made the purchase of current JACBA book sets possible to continue the tradition of donations.

Start Cleaning and Gathering Items for the WILPF Yard Sale!

On Saturday, Mat 16, the WILPF Yard Sale will again be held during the Harvard Avenue Block Sale. We will be in the front yard of WILPF member Patty Bennett, 512 E. Harvard Ave., Fresno.

We are counting on your donations. Do a little spring cleaning, recycle items you no longer need or want and make some much needed money for Fresno WILPF.

Items can be left on Patty’s porch beginning on Saturday, May 9. 

Please sort and label your boxes to help us with set up!

The BIG question is who is willing and available to help during the week before the sale? We need to spend a few hours each day the week before the sale to see what we have and organize all those items into categories (e.g., kitchen, decorative, clothing, sports equipment).

Better organized yard sales make more money!

For more information or questions, contact Bev Fitzpatrick at dfitzpatrick29@comcast.net or 559-355-9717.

Tax Day

Wednesday, April 15 (or the final filing date if it is extended)

For many years, members of our Fresno WILPF chapter have stood outside the Griffith Post Office, handing out tax information and the Community Alliance. Change will come when more people are informed!

Join us by taking a shift of one or two hours between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m. Call or text Bev at 559-355-9717.


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

WILPF MEETING
Next meeting: Thursday, April 9, at 7 p.m., at Fresno Center for Nonviolence, 1584 N. Van Ness Ave. This meeting is open to all.

STIR IT UP–WILPF ON KFCF 88.1 FM
Listener-supported free speech radio for Central California

April 22 at 3 p.m. (4th Wednesday of each month). Jean Hays does outstanding interviews on subjects involving WILPF interests and activities. Tune in to 88.1!

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE
Meets monthly. Contact Jean Hays at skyhorse3593@sbcglobal.net.

LIBRARY COMMITTEE
Meets monthly. Contact Ann Carruthers at acarruthers@earthlink.net.

EARTH DEMOCRACY
Meets monthly to act on environmental issues. Co-chairs: Jean Hays and Catherine Fowler. Call 559-313-7674.

CUBA AND THE BOLIVARIAN ALLIANCE
Meets by phone and e-mail. Contact Leni at lenivreeves@gmail.com.

RAGING GRANNIES
Meetings on selected Mondays at 7 p.m. Contact Evonne Waldo at evonnewaldo@yahoo.com.

WOMEN IN BLACK
An international network of women committed to peace with justice. Usually meet the first Wednesday of each month at noon at the Fresno County Courthouse. Wear black, bring a sign if you wish and stand in silence for peace. For details, contact Teresa at taca_03@ymail.com or 559-360-8054.

MEMBERSHIP
Send dues to WILPF Fresno, P.O. Box 5114, Fresno, CA 93755.

For inquiries, information and updates, contact Evonne Waldo at evonnewaldo@yahoo.com.

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  • 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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