2022 WWFOR Fall Retreat
was Saturday, November 19, 2022 Western Washington Fellowship of Reconciliation (WWFOR) presented its annual Fall Retreat.
“Intergenerational Voices for Economic Justice and Peace”
We are pleased to announce that recordings from this event are now online!
- FOR-USA’s new Director Ariel Gold talks about her activist past and vision for FOR: https://youtu.be/-INAfQJhxIo
- Stephen Bezruchka, author of “Inequality Kills Us All,” wows us with facts, figures, and common sense: https://youtu.be/CcdUPYlTBFI
- The MYPF Panel: 5 young activists enrolled in the Mike Yarrow Peace Fellowship program plus one of the program coordinators: https://youtu.be/yt7PMOOWn9s
- Ming Chen gives an update on the Washington Poor People’s Campaign including some great footage of dropping off ballots: https://youtu.be/hB5qDvNw3wo
We featured Ariel Gold, the new national FOR director, Dr. Stephen Bezruchka from the University of Washington’s Department of Global Health, and a panel of 2022 Mike Yarrow Peace Fellows. Finally, Washington State Poor People’s Campaign gave us a brief update and provided some music.
Here is a link to additional resources provided by the Retreat planning committee, or by presenters and attendees!
We are happy that Fellowship of Reconciliation USA’s new Executive Director, Ariel Gold was one of our presenters! We heard about Ariel’s previous activism and her vision for our national organization, https://forusa.org/ . Click here for the video of Ariel Gold’s talk [https://youtu.be/-INAfQJhxIo ]
We also heard from several of the young activists in our Mike Yarrow Peace Fellows program. You can read about this program and get some information about the MYPF activist projects at https://wwfor.org/mike-yarrow-peace-fellowship-4/. Click here for the video with 5 young MYPF activists and one of the program coordinators [https://youtu.be/yt7PMOOWn9s]
Dr. Stephen Bezruchka has worked as an emergency physician in Seattle as well as in a remote location in Nepal. He is an outspoken speaker for economic justice and has long explained how economic disparity causes our wealthy nation to have poorer medical outcomes than many poorer countries. Click here for the video of Dr. Bezruchka’s presentation [https://youtu.be/CcdUPYlTBFI]
Ming Chen, Seattle FOR and Washington Poor People’s Campaign member, gave an update on PPC and led us in songs related to the work of PPC, https://www.washingtonppc.org/. Click here for the video of Ming Chen’s presentation [https://youtu.be/hB5qDvNw3wo].
More biographical info about our presenters, see below.
- 9 am. Introductions
- 9:20 am Ariel Gold, new Executive Director of FOR-US
- 10 am. Dr. Stephen Bezruchka, UW Dept. of Global Health
- 11 am. Break
- 11:15. Panel – Mike Yarrow Peace Fellows: Moderator: Sarah Pham. Participants: Dwija Adamala, Abigail Asare, Nesiah Humphrey, Nnenaya Humphrey,
- Nirja Thaler, Christine Zhang
- 11:45. Break-out Rooms
- 12:05. Report back, evaluations
- 12:20. Poor People’s Campaign Update and PPC Songs – Ming Chen
- 12:40. Goodbyes
- Zoom open for social time, open discussion until 1:15.
to the presenters, attendees, and donors!
MORE INFO ABOUT PRESENTERS
MORE INFO ABOUT PRESENTERS
We will be privileged to hear from national FOR’s new Executive Director, Ariel Gold, a decades long anti-war and human rights leader. She has degrees in Policy Analysis and Management and in Social Work.
Our organization’s first Jewish executive director, Ms. Gold previously worked for 7 years at CODEPINK Women for Peace as a Middle East policy analyst and as national co-director. Her commitment to justice in Palestine/Israel is reflected in the time she and her children spent in the West Bank living with Palestinian families to “experience firsthand the humanity of those living under occupation and understand the obligation that Jews of conscience have to work for peace and equality in Israel/Palestine.”
Ms. Gold stated upon taking this leadership position at FOR-USA, “The work FOR is currently undertaking is enormously important … Given the rise of white supremacy, and the intersecting, ongoing epidemics of racial inequality and gun violence as well as the current attacks on trans rights and bodily integrity, it is necessary and vital to address our issues at home in order to best contribute to the pursuit of peace worldwide.” See more at https://forusa.org/anti-war-and-human-rights-leader-ariel-gold-appointed-as-for-usa-executive-director-in-historic-hire/
Click here for the video of Ariel Gold’s talk [https://youtu.be/-INAfQJhxIo ]
DR. STEPHEN BEZRUCHKA
Dr Bezruchka grew up in Canada and got his medical degree from Stanford in 1973. He spent over 10 years in Nepal setting up a community health project which was a week’s walk from the road. He also developed a remote district hospital into a teaching hospital for Nepali doctors and he worked with Nepalis to help provide health care in remote areas. He wrote a very popular guidebook on trekking in Nepal.
Dr. Bezruchka also worked in Seattle as an emergency room doctor. He studied public health at Johns Hopkins in the early 1990’s and currently teaches at the University of Washington School of Public Health. He has long focused on the intersection between economic inequality and health, noting the sad fact that U.S. life expectancy is lower than many wealthy countries of the world. Dr. Bezruchka’s book “Inequality Kills Us All: Covid-19’s Health Lessons for the World” will be released later this month.
MIKE YARROW PEACE FELLOWS AND THEIR PROJECTS
MODERATOR SARAH PHAM. Sarah is now enrolled at the University of Washington. Sarah has been involved with the MYPF program since she joined as a fellow in 2017, and now is one of the program coordinators. Sarah will be leading monthly “Strategy/Support” meetings via Zoom in the 2022-2023 program year and has set up digital spaces for the MYPF to communicate and support each other through the year.
DWIJA ADAMALA, 17, Olympia. My name is Dwija Adamala, I use the pronouns she/her, and I attend Olympia High School in Olympia, WA. I am passionate about using social activism as a tool to combat economic, and social inequalities. Social justice gives me meaning as it brings together people who share the same vision: those who go beyond to make their communities and shared spaces feel like home to everyone. By focusing on economic justice this year as a Mike Yarrows Peace Fellow, I hope to create a webinar series focused on educating people about the impacts of economic inequities and how we can combat them as a community.
NNENAYA AND NESIAH HUMPHREY, 15 and 14, Montreal. Sisters Nesiah and Nnenaya are homeschooled and live in Montreal, Quebec. They plan to work together on the “crisis of soil erosion”. Despite the apparent non-vital appearance of dirt, our Mother Earth’s topsoil is the greatest reservoir and donor of microbial diversity on the planet, recycling waste, purifying water fixing inorganic CO2 to organic carbon and a myriad of other processes essential for life.
CHRISTINE ZHANG, 16, Olympia. Christine was also a MYPF in 2021, working on gender equality and digital literacy. As a consequence of work on her MYPF project in 2021 she was recommended and appointed to the Olympia School Board as one of 2 Student Representatives on June 23, 2022. She is the founder of “By Her 4 Her” and her project has been to get a digital literacy curriculum adopted by elementary schools in the Olympia area. She has met with legislators, school administrators and School Board members in furtherance of her project and recognizes her work is not yet finished, even though she has enjoyed remarkable successes.
NIRJA THALER, 17, Olympia. Co-founder of the Feminism Club at Olympia High School, Nirja is interested in criminal justice and racial justice issues. She hopes to lobby the legislature and organize public protest, seeking skills to become a better leader for a better world.
ABIGAIL ASARE. Abigail is focusing on Racial Inequality in Education. Abigail started as a MYPF fellow last year, and has spoken eloquently of last year’s project also on social justice issues in education, and especially how they affect low income and students of color. She produced a podcast to help educate the public and school officials on this topic.
MING CHEN, POOR PEOPLE’S CAMPAIGN
Ming Chen recently retired after 26 years as a family nurse practitioner with Public Health – Seattle and King County, working in a variety of settings including a Detox Center, an Addiction Treatment Center and a Public Health Center. He provided primary health care to a diverse and largely immigrant patient population, comprising at least 37 nationalities, and speaking a multitude of languages. All were low income, uninsured or underinsured persons, including many who were living homeless. He has navigated the uncertain waters of health care reform and the implementation of the Affordable Care Act.
Ming’s professional work certainly provided clear evidence of the importance of his activist work; he is on Washington’s Statewide Coordinating Committee for the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and represents WAPPC as a sponsoring organization on the Policy and Research Committee for Health Care is a Human Right. From 2011 to 2013 Ming served on the Steering Committee for Seattle FOR.
For other info, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com or call 206-789-5565.
To see information about previous Fall Retreats, with select recordings, see 2021 Fall Retreat or 2020 Fall Retreat