by Ellen Finkelstein
Kazu Haga, keynoter at 2013 Seabeck conference, urged us to work for peace “not just in Afghanistan, and not just in Israel & Palestine, but in the streets of East Oakland, and in the southside of Chicago, and in East St Louis … because there are wars being waged in our backyards that we sometimes don’t acknowledge. … More people need to be working to end wars overseas and we need to be more committed to the inequities at home.” It was after the historic March on Washington that Martin Luther King started to truly connect the dots between racism, militarism, poverty, and economic injustice. FOR has historically worked to do just that, and never has that been more in need. During the past several months, we have seen the acquittal of George Zimmerman, release of a film about Oscar Grant (“Fruitvale Station”), increasing activism around No New Jim Crow and the school-to-prison pipeline, and the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington. And we have seen the real prospects of a war with Syria.
Let’s use this opportunity to challenge ourselves and others to re-commit and to re-envision. Challenge ourselves to balance anger and love, compassion and outrage in order to build the beloved community and a powerful movement for change. Join WWFOR at the annual Fall Retreat on November 9 in Lacey to explore “Realities of the ‘New Jim Crow.’ What will I do? What will we do?” www.wwfor.org, email@example.com, or 206-789-5565.