Celebrating Our Community Self-Reliance

Community self-reliance Feb.25-page-001

Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Director's Blog, Economic and Human Rights, Environmental and Food Justice, Frontpage, Movement Building, Racial Justice

NY Wants to Tell You What You Can and Cannot Boycott

It is very disappointing that our local NYS Assembly Member David Buchwald is a co-sponsor of A8220.  I am trying to set up a meeting with him.  If you are in his district and would be willing to attend this meeting, please let me know.  In the meantime, please do be in touch with your state representatives on this free speech matter.  The NY State Senate passed a bill last week that will create a blacklist of individuals and institutions that are engaged in a boycott of a U.S. ally.  55 NY state senators voted in favor and 6 senators voted against

These six NYS Senators who voted against are all African American and Latino. Read more ›

Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Director's Blog, Economic and Human Rights, Frontpage, Militarism and Foreign Policy, Movement Building, Racial Justice

Herbal Tea Tasting with Dana Ludmer – REGISTRATION CLOSED but we will offer again. Room is at capacity.

teas

WESPAC Food Justice in partnership with the Westchester County Youth Councils of Family Services of Westchester present:

Herbal Tea Tasting Workshop with Dana Ludmer:
Developing our Relationship with Plants and Herbs at this time of Planetary Change and Transformation
There is a great practice of sampling tea without knowing what the herb is allowing people to move beyond “this herb is good for this problem” (which is quite allopathic) and start building a relationship with herbs that is more descriptive, personal and experiential.  We will engage in conversation about the benefits of plants and how we can nurture them.
Wednesday, February 3rd at 6pm
Lanza Center for All Ages (former site of the American Red Cross in White Plains just down the street from Good Counsel)
106 North Broadway
White Plains, NY 10603
Plenty of free parking.  Free and open to the public but RSVPs required at wespacfoundation@gmail.com or call 914.449.6514.  Dinner will be served before the tea tasting at 6pm (French lentil soup, pasta and salad).
Posted in Blogs, Environmental and Food Justice, Frontpage, Movement Building

WESPAC 2015 Annual Report

A huge thank you to Francesca Kabemba, WESPAC’s Executive Assistant, for compiling this annual report 2015.  The WESPAC staff and board would like to thank all friends and donors for keeping the lights on at WESPAC and for all your support in so many ways.  We have much work to do together in 2016.  Please click the link under the photo for our annual report.

annual report

annual report 2015

Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Director's Blog, Economic and Human Rights, Environmental and Food Justice, Frontpage, Militarism and Foreign Policy, Movement Building, Racial Justice

Westchester Coalition for Police Reform

Hello everyone,WESPAC members are joining with the Westchester Coalition for Police Reform for a rally in front of…

Posted by Explore WESPAC on Saturday, December 12, 2015

Posted in Blogs, Director's Blog, Frontpage

Next WESPAC Food Justice Planning Committee Meeting

A big thank you to all who attended our community harvest dinner on Monday.  By all accounts, it was a memorable evening as we transition now to the holiday season.  A special thank you to Professor Tracy Basile at Pace University who brought Micmac elder Evan Pritchard with her as well as the students in her Food Revolution class.  We all appreciated Doug’s presentation that expressed a spiritual dimension to our life and work and relationship with the life around us, the plants and the food we eat. harvest dinner final

We announced that the next WESPAC Food Justice Planning Committee meeting will take place on Thursday, December 17th, at 7pm in the WESPAC office.  People may ask – what is food justice?  One definition that we are comfortable with is:

Food Justice means communities exercising their right to grow, sell, and eat healthy food. Healthy food is fresh, nutritious, affordable, culturally-appropriate, and grown locally with care for the well-being of the land, workers, and animals. Our collective food justice work can lead to a strong local food system, self-reliant communities, and a healthy environment.

See you December 17th and before that: this Saturday at 1pm in Peekskill for  our local climate action rally and then the following Saturday, December 5th, for the Margaret Eberle Fair Trade Festival.  All details at wespac.org

Forward and onward,

Nada

Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Community Gardening, Director's Blog, Economic and Human Rights, Environmental and Food Justice, Frontpage, Movement Building

Calls needed to Elected Officials regarding refugee crisis

From Felice Gelman:

Dear all,

The horrendous attack in Paris and the equally dreadful attacks in Beirut and Turkey have moved the spotlight of world concern from the plight of millions of refugees and displaced people to the fear of possible attacks in other western countries .  The daily cycle of news, however, has not changed the situation on the ground.  Hundreds of thousands of victims –innocent men, women and children — are fleeing war and violence in the Middle East.  Hundreds of thousands are literally washing ashore, living in terrible conditions in refugee camps and have no realistic hope of returning to homes that no longer exist.   Read more ›

Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Director's Blog, Frontpage, Militarism and Foreign Policy, Movement Building

Responding Locally to the Refugee Crisis

Refugees

Refugees: A Call to Action by the Westchester, Rockland and the Hudson Valley Community

As the tides of refugees from war in the Middle East literally wash ashore in Europe, we are witness to human tragedy of unfathomable proportions. In a world where governments wage wars that result in the displacement of tens of millions of people, we as human beings face a responsibility and a real opportunity to do the right thing. We welcome the tired, the poor the hungry and endangered to our country and community.  We cannot be witness and not take action.  All around the country, municipalities and local communities are calling for the United States of America to open wide the doors to the refugees, and are ready to welcome refugee families into their communities.   We in the Westchester, Rockland and Hudson Valley Community join in the call for action to save and welcome refugees as follows:

• Ask our Senators and Congresspeople to advocate for the prompt resettlement in the US of a substantial number of refugees;
• Ask our county legislators to endorse the effort and provide the community support needed;
• Ask our local municipalities to endorse the effort and coordinate to assist in the hosting, housing and absorption of families;
• Bring together both community and faith-based groups to provide community support and participate in resettlement efforts;

We make this call based on the firm conviction that all people — regardless of race, nationality, religion, gender, sexual orientation, ability, or legal status — deserve to live in freedom and safety.

We, the undersigned organizations, commit to advocate energetically for opening our doors to refugees to share the message above broadly.  We will invite our constituents and our partners to join us in taking direct action to support refugees who arrive in the lower Hudson Valley.

For further information or to add your organization to this call, please contact Andrew Courtney at 914-271-8633 or email at courtney6@optonline.net with your organization’s name, the contact person, email and phone number.

List of Current Endorsers of  Refugee Call:

 

Bart Worden, Leader, The Ethical Culture Society of Westchester. White Plains, NY

 

Center and Library for the Bible and Social Justice, Stony Point, NY

 

Creative Response to Conflict, Rockland County, NY

 

Concerned Families of Westchester, Hastings/Dobbs Ferry, NY

 

Connie Hogarth Center For Social Action, Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY

 

Dominican Sisters of Blauvelt, Rockland County, NY,

 

Dominican Sisters of Hope, Ossining, NY

 

Dominican Sisters of Sparkill, Sparkill, NY

 

Fellowship of Reconciliation (FOR) Nyack, NY

 

First Presbyterian Church, Katonah, NY

 

Grace Episcopal Church, White Plains, NY

 

Hearts and Homes for Refugees, Pelham, NY

International Center for Ethno-Religious Mediation,  Mt. Vernon, NY

 

Jean Fallon for Maryknoll Sisters, Ossining, NY

 

Jerrahi Mosque, Chestnut Ridge, NY

 

Jewish Voice for Peace – Westchester

 

Hudson Valley Community Coalition, Cross River, NY

 

Rev. Karen Eiler for the Memorial United Methodist Church, White Plains, NY

 

Katonah United Methodist Church, Katonah, NY

 

MADE Transitional Services, Spring Valley, NY

 

Mental Health Association of Westchester County, Tarrytown, NY

 

Muslim Peace Fellowship, Stony Point, NY

 

New Rochelle High School Human Rights Coalition, New Rochelle, NY

 

Our Savior Lutheran Church,  Croton-on-Hudson, NY

 

Pace Community Law Practice, White Plains, NY

 

PAPA (Peekskill Area Pastors Association), Montrose, NY

 

Rabbi Billy Dreskin, Woodlands Community Temple, Greenburgh, NY

 

Rabbi Jennifer Jaech and Rabbi Emerita Helene Ferris, of Temple Israel of Northern Westchester,

Croton-on-Hudson, NY 

 

Rabbi Jonathan Blake, Westchester Reform Temple, Scarsdale, NY

 

Rabbi Scott Weiner, Senior Rabbi, Temple Israel, New Rochelle, NY

 

Rabbi Tom Weiner, Congregation Kol Ami, White Plains, NY

 

Rev. Melissa Hinnen, Asbury United Methodist Church, Croton-on-Hudson, NY

 

Rockland for a Just Peace in Palestine/Israel, Nyack, NY

 

School Sisters of Notre Dame AM Province, Wilton, Ct.

 

Sisters of Charity of New York, Bronx, NY

 

Sisters of St. Ursula, US Region, Rhinebeck, NY

 

St. Augustines Episcopal Church, Croton-on-Hudson, NY

 

Temple Israel of New Rochelle,  New Rochelle, NY

 

The Community of Living Traditions at Stony Point Center, Stony Point, NY

 

The Church in the Highlands, White Plains, NY

 

The Duchesne Center for Religion and Social Justice, Manhattanville College, Purchase, NY

 

The Immigration Justice Clinic of John Jay Legal Services Inc. at Pace University School of Law,   White Plains, NY

 

Walkabout Clearwater, Hudson Valley Region, NY

 

Westchester Coalition Against Islamophobia.

 

WESPAC Foundation, White Plains, NY

 

Westchester For Change, Susan Van Dolsen Co-Founder, Rye, NY

 

Westchester Martin Luther King Jr. Institute for Nonviolence,  White Plains, NY

 

 

Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Director's Blog, Economic and Human Rights, Frontpage, Militarism and Foreign Policy, Movement Building

Nature Walk with local farmer Doug DeCandia

Doug Walk

Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Community Gardening, Director's Blog, Environmental and Food Justice, Frontpage, Movement Building

Phyllis Bennis at WESPAC’s Annual Meeting

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ttADruVx3RI

Posted in Blogs, Communities & Focus Areas, Director's Blog, Frontpage, Militarism and Foreign Policy, Movement Building

Upcoming Events

  1. Dramatic Escape Film Screening – Jacob Burns

    February 18 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  2. My Name is Rachel Corrie

    February 24 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  3. Celebrating Community Self-Reliance

    February 25 @ 6:00 pm - 9:00 pm
  4. 2016 SUMMIT ON SAUDI ARABIA: Understanding the Kingdom and its Global Role

    March 5 @ 8:00 am - March 6 @ 3:00 pm
  5. WPCR Community Forum on Body Cameras

    March 7 @ 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm

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Please mark your calendars for a screening of Josh Fox's film:
"How To Let Go Of The World And Love The Things Climate Can’t Change", about the power that local communities have in determining their own climate and energy solutions and the power of movement building through inspiration.
After the screening of the film there will be a Q & A with filmmaker Josh Fox.

RSVP and spread the word!
...

EXCLUSIVE FILM SCREENING of "How to Let Go of the World…"followed by a Q&A with Josh Fox's

March 14, 2016, 6:00pm - March 14, 2016, 8:30pm

Manhattanville College

Please join us for a very special screening of Josh Fox's new film, "How to Let Go of the World and Love All the Things Climate Can't Change" at Manhattanville College. This is the first screening of the new film in the NY metropolitan region. Josh Fox will lead a Q&A after the screening of the film. The event is free and open to the public. There is a voluntary suggested donation of $10 which will help local communities' battles against fossil fuel infrastructure. Doors open at 6:00 and the film will begin at 6:30. Cosponsors: Connie Hogarth Center for Social Action, Grassroots Environmental Education, Manhattanville College, ResistAIM, Rockland Water Coalition, Sierra Club Lower Hudson Group, Safe Energy Rights Group (SEnRG), Stop the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion (SAPE) and WESPAC ABOUT THE FILM Set across the globe, in the film Josh meets scientists, artists, entrepreneurs and environmental activists who are investing in renewable energy sources as an alternative to climate damaging fossil fuel practices. The film highlights these global game-changers as testament that renewable energy alternatives are indeed possible and there is super-human strength in grassroots community activism. Love The Things Climate Can’t Change is about the power that local communities have in determining their own climate and energy solutions democratically, investigating and providing a roadmap for how communities successfully reject the industry use of fracked gas and develop renewable solutions. More than that, the film models the core values that drive these fights, inspiring grassroots movement building through inspiration. THE LET GO AND LOVE Tour More than just a film, How To Let Go Of The World And Love The Things Climate Can’t Change, is intended to be a launchpad for education and action in communities. Josh Fox plans to tour the film to 100 towns and cities in the U.S. and across the world that are cited as “Hot Spots” for fossil fuel infrastructure to engage with residents in protecting their lives and land from the encroaching gas industry. With experts, artists, and concrete resources including toolkits, counterproposal support, and connections to investors to finance their counter-proposals, the LET GO AND LOVE TOUR will help communities lead a renewable energy revolution, one community at a time. ABOUT JOSH FOX Josh Fox is best known as the writer/director of GASLAND Parts I and II. He is internationally recognized as a spokesperson and leader on the issue of fracking and extreme energy development. GASLAND premiered at the Sundance film festival 2010, where it was awarded the 2010 Special Jury Prize for Documentary. The film premiered on HBO and was nominated for the 2011 Academy Award for Best Documentary. That year, Josh won the Emmy for Best Non-Fiction Director. GASLAND Part II premiered on HBO in 2013. Part II was nominated for a News and Documentary Emmy, won the 2013 Environmental Media Association Award for Best Documentary, the Best Film at the Wild and Scenic Film Festival and was given the Hell Yeah Prize from Cinema Eye Honors. In addition, Josh is the recipient of the 2011 Ono/Lennon Grant for Peace.

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Explore WESPAC added an event. ...

Celebrating Our Community Self-Reliance

February 25, 2016, 6:00pm

Thomas H. Slater Community Center, Inc.

Please join us for an evening to come together and benefit the Good Food for Hudson Initiative Thursday, February 25th 2016 Thomas H. Slater Center 2 Fisher Ct. White Plains, NY 6pm Food Justice means communities exercising their right to grow, sell, and eat healthy food. Healthy food is fresh, nutritious, affordable, culturally-appropriate, and grown locally with care for the well-being of the land, workers, and animals. Our collective food justice work can lead to a strong local food system, self-reliant communities, and a healthy environment. The evening will be emceed by Lord Judah and will feature presentations by Lineage farmers Jen and Jon, and Doug DeCandia. Jalal Sabur, founder of the Victory Bus Project and Freedom Food Alliance will present on soul food justice. Chef Giovanni of Break Bread not Hearts, and local artist, Kala, will provide delicious food and entertainment for the evening. This event is free and open to the public and is sponsored by WESPAC Food Justice. We will pass the hat for contributions for Good Food for Hudson Initiative.

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Funeral Arrangements for Sundiata:
MONDAY, FEBRUARY 1 at 9:30 AM
PRAYER SERVICES

HUDSON VALLEY ISLAMIC COMMUNITY CENTER

3680 LEXINGTON AVENUE
MOHEGAN LAKE, NY 10547
IMAM PAPA SAUL

FOLLOWING SERVICES, BURIAL

10:30/11 AM

HILLSIDE CORTLANDT CEMETERY

1033 OREGON ROAD
CORTLANDT MANOR, NY 10567
914 737 2929
...

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Our Beloved Warrior, Sundiata Sadiq, has joined the ancestors.

It is with much sadness and tears that I announce the passing of our beloved warrior Sundiata Sadiq. He passed this morning at home in the presence of his loving family.

Sundiata Sadiq was a local and national black liberation and social justice activist for the past 4 decades.

Nationally, his recent effort - in conjunction with Pam Africa and Ossining NAACP chapter president Carlos Coca - resulted in adoption by the national NAACP of a resolution calling for a new trial for journalist Mumia Abu Jamal.

Another notable national achievement: In 1973 The Ossining Peace and Justice Center and the Ossining Black Liberation Front crafted a suit against police brutality. After lengthy negotiations with the national NAACP, approval was given for the local NAACP chapter to join the suit. Along with Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., they convinced Benjamin Hooks (former executive director of the national NAACP) to allow the Ossining NAACP chapter to bring the first environmental racism suit in the history of NAACP against a waste transfer station which was owned by former Ossining police officers (Barlow).

Locally, he had been active in both Rockland (Chairman of Rockland County CORE 1968/69; Organizer for Poor People's Campaign 68; Nyack Narcotics commission advisor 1969) and Westchester (a founding member Board of Directors Ossining Open Door Clinic; Ossining CAP Chairman1975; Ossining NAACP president.)

More recently, among many other things, he hosted a cable TV program for the past 25 years, and stewarded the Ossining NAACP chapter at various times. His impressive resume of public achievements also includes:

Chair of the Ossining Black Liberation Front - 1970's
WESTCOP Vice President 1975
Afro American Cultural Foundation Secretary 1977/79
Northeast Skydiving Novice competition winner at Gardner NY 1979
Black Community Coalition to elect Valerie Jamison to Peekskill School Board 1984
Character witness for Latifa Carter in NY trial on Black Domestic Terrorism - proved that the FBI, the Joint Terrorist Task Force and Rudy Guiliani (then assistant attorney general for the US Southern District of NY) framed these 8 people.
Candidate for Village Trustee, Village of Ossining - during that run, his barbershop was raided by police before a candidates' debate at Ossining Chamber of Commerce.
He served on the WESPAC Board of Directors from 2008 to 2014.

He was a spokesperson for the Free Mumia Abu-Jamal Coalition NY, and remained very active in the movement to, in his words, "Free all Political Prisoners and Prisoners of War here in Amerikkka."

I cannot completely express how much I loved and respected Sundiata, his honesty and integrity, his love for his people, his lifelong commitment and struggle for justice and liberation for Black people and all oppressed people. He leaves all of us with the responsibility of carrying on his life's work.

Sudiata: we love you and respect you; may you rest in peace and may we find within ourselves the courage to carry on the work for love, life and liberation.

In sorrow,

Nada
...

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Andrew Courtney and Nada Khader receive award on behalf of the WESPAC Community given by CAIR NY on Friday, January 22nd. ...

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