Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom – August 2021

Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom – August 2021
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Women, Power, and Social Justice

Building from Strength

IT’S NOT YOUR ORDINARY TRIENNIAL CONGRESS

Here’s Where to Register:

https://wilpfus34congress.org/register

YOU ARE ALL INVITED TO THE WILPF TRIENNIAL CONGRESS!

It will be online for the first time ever.

The cost is far less than ever before—only $35.*

Special guests include Vandana Shiva (Saturday, Aug. 14, at 8 a.m.) and Rev. Liz Theoharis (Friday, Aug. 13, at 4:35 p.m.).

FRESNO WILPF WILL BE WELL REPRESENTED

Fresno WILPF members involved in the terrifyingly complex planning of this innovative Triennial Congress include Jan Slagter and Bev Fitzpatrick. 

Other Fresno members sharing our knowledge and experience:

Bev Fitzpatrick will lead a presentation called Housing and Homelessness: Hands-On Caring and Sharing. 

Thursday, Aug. 12, 5 p.m.

Dr. Jean Kennedy will participate in Building the Black Caucus on Saturday. Aug. 21, at approx. 11 a.m. It is said that when WILPF opened its membership to African American women in 1915, it entered a new era. This Black Liberation Caucus group is encouraging WILPF-US to have an increased presence of African American women as WILPF members from 2021, as well as more women of color in WILPF-US leadership.

Leni will also be part of the Cuba and the Bolivarian Alliance Committee presentation on Saturday, Aug. 14, at 12:20 p.m. Lessons from Cuba: Women on the Frontlines will explore the leadership role of women in Cuban society, science and medicine. Did you know that more than 50% of Cuba’s parliament and research scientists, as well as front-line doctors, are women? Or that Cuba was the first country in the Western Hemisphere to legalize abortion rights?

Patricia Wells-Solorzano and Teatro de la Tierra will perform on Sunday, Aug. 22, at noon. Jan Slagter will introduce the group.

But that’s not all: The Raging Grannies have made a special recording for the Congress, beginning with a tribute to Ellie Bluestein. It will be seen and, more important, heard on Friday, Aug. 20, at 5:45 p.m.

*If you want to attend but don’t have the cash, the Fresno Branch has scholarships available. This requires a report back to our group at a meeting! Might be fun!

Some of the Most Useful Presentations Are Weekday Evenings

A message from Bev Fitzpatrick, a member of the Congress Program Committee: Aug. 9–22, the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) will present a virtual program on Zoom. The Congress Planning Committee is delighted with the level of participation. Weekends will include national and international speakers, panel presentations and entertainment.

On weekdays, join the presentations and workshops beginning at 5 p.m.

Monday, Aug. 9—Legislative Advocacy: Uniting for Effectiveness

Tuesday, Aug. 10—Building Branches from the Inside and Out

Wednesday, Aug. 11—Growing a Peace Camp

Thursday, Aug. 12—Housing and Homelessness: Hands-On Caring and Sharing

Monday, Aug. 16—Fundraising and Relationship Building: Fashioning Change

Tuesday, Aug. 17—Military Services and Enlisting: What Youth Need to Know before Enlisting

Wednesday, Aug. 18—Membership Development: One by One: Building Relationships

Thursday, Aug. 19—Preserving Your WILPF Legacy: Record and Archive Branch Interviews and Documents

To register, visit  https://events.r20.constantcontact.com/register/eventReg?oeidk=a07ehtrzm2cc92cd635.

Bev Fitzpatrick: WINGS

The delivery team at work.

WINGS volunteers serve Fresno’s homeless families, veterans, individuals, and ​women and children escaping domestic violence. They provide home furnishings for newly housed folks in our communities who might otherwise be sleeping on the floor and assist people with getting the identity documents required to apply for housing. WINGS makes a difference!

WINGS grew out of a group at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Fresno. And do I mean grew! Homes mean hope and dignity to people. Bev Fitzpatrick is a founding member of this project and still both on the Board and on the job in the warehouse and loading dock.

The presentation Housing and Homelessness: Hands-On Caring and Sharing comes from lived experience. Don’t miss it!

Jean Hays: Legislative Work and Vision

Among Fresno WILPF’s many active issues committees is and has been our fearless Legislative Committee. Over the years, we have tirelessly and fearlessly visited local offices of our elected representatives, expressing WILPF’s opinion on issues to be decided upon at the federal level, as well as state and local levels.

    During this time, we fervently wished that many or even all WILPF-US branches could do the same, concentrating on one national issue each month and bombarding our members of Congress during the same week or month with the same topic. We know they would talk among themselves about the coordinated “push” to pass the legislation that we support.

    We hope they would realize that WILPF is not going away and that we are showing, by our actions, that our government should be truly of the people, by the people and for the people. It is all of us!

    To that end, we are proposing a national Legislative Action Group, in which an issue would be decided by consensus each month. Every branch member is then encouraged to call, visit locally and/or e-mail our Congress members, urging them to act in the spirit of the people, not the spirit of big money. As Michael Moore suggested, we could call with our morning coffee or tea. The possibilities are endless.

Dr. Jean Kennedy: Anti-Racism Work

Dr. Jean Kennedy

At three WILPF-US branches—the Fannie Lou Hamer branch in Columbus, Ga., organized by Theresa El-Amin; the Metro Atlanta branch organized by Chantaye McLaughlin; and the Triad NC branch organized by George Friday—more than 30 people, mostly Black women, recently became new members. They launched the Black Liberation Caucus (BLC) on May 22.

The BLC will focus on reparations, freedom for all political prisoners, criminal justice reform, ending voter suppression, anti-racist transformation of WILPF-US and solidarity with other oppressed people of color.

Decisions are made by consensus. This represents a paradigm shift to the organizational culture of WILPF-US and might be comfortable for some WILPF-US members, while uncomfortable for others, even those who think of themselves as allies of the BLM movement and Black, Indigenous, Chicanx/Latinx, Asian and Pacific Islander peoples, other People of Color, and other marginalized persons.

Some reading this (those who have not been doing their unpacking racism work) might see groups such as BLC as creating tension, or as “racist” rather than anti-racist. But I personally feel that we need this tension to cause a tipping point as we are all dealing with varying degrees of  “rac-isum” within this country, and the world. Even our vote is under attack!

So maybe look at this as “all hands on deck” because we all bring our historical experiences shaped by multidimensional pressure. It is “societal racism” that makes it necessary to have a Black Liberation Caucus within WILPF, working to eradicate any racism from WILPF-US, as well as our larger community. We are all learning to get along in solidarity.

I have learned that all voices are important in the work that we are doing in our local branches of WILPF-US. So you  can see why I am excited to see what my personal takeaways will be from this upcoming WILPF US 34th Triennial Congress in August.  

Hibakusha

Hibakusha will be screened on Saturday, Aug. 7, at 7 p.m. at the Big Red Church, 2131 N. Van Ness Blvd. For more information, contact Melissa at mjfry2008@icloud.com.

Hibakusha in Japanese refers to survivors of the Hiroshima-Nagasaki bombings of August 1945, which by horrific means the United States caused the Japanese to surrender and brought WWII to an end.

This film is a story of their lives and experiences during and after those two horrible bombings. The Hibakusha were often shunned and not seen as good marriage choices because their bodies had been changed in ways forever. One hundred seventy thousand lives lost at Hiroshima, 70,000 lives lost at Nagasaki.

This is the Prayer of the Survivors that was sung by the Himawari (Sunflower) Choir at Nagasaki on Aug. 9, 2008.

Do you Hear Us?
We don’t want anymore Hibakusha
Please don’t make any more like us
We don’t want any more Hibakusha.
Even the Blue Sky 
Is the Color of Sadness
Do you Remember
Hiroshima and Nagasaki?
Our Lives, Our Loves
Burnt up and Gone
Please don’t make any more like us
We don’t want any more Hibakusha

Those horrific days
Please do no Repeat
We don’t want any more Hibakusha
In the Whole Wide World


WILPF MEETING

Thursday, Aug. 12, 7 p.m., online. Watch your e-mail for the announcement and a link or a call-in number. For more information, contact Teresa at taca_03@ymail.com or Leni at lenivreeves@gmail.com.

STIR IT UP–WILPF ON KFCF 88.1 FM

Aug. 2, 3 p.m. (4th Wednesday of each month). Jean Hays does outstanding interviews on subjects involving WILPF interests and activities.

MEMBERSHIP

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

Send questions and information updates to Nancy Hatcher at nhatcher46@gmail.com.

WILPF membership is $35/year. Contact Nancy H. about the low-income rate, sponsored by our contributions above the $35 that goes to the national organization.

COMMITTEES—STILL AT WORK!

DISARM/END WARS COMMITTEE

Contact Melissa Fry at mjfry2008@icloud.com.

LEGISLATIVE COMMITTEE

Contact Jean Hays at skyhorse3593@sbcglobal.net.

LIBRARY COMMITTEE

Contact Cheryl Caldera at grammy44cac@gmail.com.

EARTH DEMOCRACY

Contact Jean Hays at skyhorse3593@sbcglobal.net.

CUBA AND THE BOLIVARIAN ALLIANCE

Contact Leni at lenivreeves@gmail.com.

ADVANCING HUMAN RIGHTS/WINGS

Contact Bev Fitzpatrick at dfitzpatrick29@comcast.net.

RAGING GRANNIES

Contact Evonne Waldo at evonnewaldo@yahoo.com.

UNPACKING RACISM

Zoom discussion held the last Sunday of each month at 6.30 p.m. To join, RSVP to Jean Kennedy at drjeankennedy@yahoo.com or text 559-270-1023.

WOMEN IN BLACK

Sept. 1, noon (1st Wednesday of each month), at the Courthouse. Contact Bev at dfitzpatrick29@comcast.net.

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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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