Movement Building :

Occupy may day

WESPAC connects organizations, people and issues across all divisions, recognizing that we cannot win a better world if we stay divided. WESPAC promotes movement building through regular potlucks that bring people together to share food, knowledge and build relationships. WESPAC has developed a Speakers Bureau that can provide effective speakers on a variety of current social justice issues. WESPAC is an active member of a number of local coalitions including: the Hudson Valley Fair Economy Coalition, the Hudson Valley Community Coalition and the Westchester Coalition for Police Reform.

“Children in Detention, an introduction to the No Way to Treat a Child Campaign” was originally recorded on June 16, 2020.

58 minutes
https://www.classwars.org/NoWayTreatChild.mp3

Panelists: Kwame Holmes, PhD, Scholar in Residence, Human Rights Program, Bard College, AND Shaina Low, U.S. Advocacy Officer at Defense for Children International, Palestine.

Permission to air this program has been granted by the four sponsoring groups, Jewish Voice For Peace – Hudson Valley, Mideast Crisis Response, Veterans For Peace, and Women in Black – New Paltz.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

| EVENT DETAILS |

Event Name

Honoring Black Lives Lost Rally 

Date

Friday, July 10, 2020

Time

6PM – 8PM

Location

Westchester County Courthouse, 111 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. White Plains, NY

Chief Sponsor

Westchester Coalition for Police Reform (WCPR)

| PRESS CONTACTS |

Nada Khader 

[email protected]

Lui Villa

[email protected] | 914-439-4571

| INTERVIEW OPPORTUNITIES |

Kenneth Chamberlain Jr. 

[email protected]com | 718-433-7170

GATHER WITH FAMILIES TO HONOR LIVES LOST TO POLICE VIOLENCE

Building a Community Through Solidarity

July 1, 2020 – White Plains, NY – On Friday, July 10th at 6PM, please join the Westchester Coalition for Police Reform at the Westchester County Courthouse to honor the lives impacted by police violence and to bring awareness to the need for police reform. Led by Kenneth Chamberlain Jr., impacted families will come together to share their experiences for an evening of communal solidarity.  The event, emceed by Sunitha Malieckal of the Westchester Coalition for Police Reform, will feature speakers from the community consisting of leaders, advocates, and political officials committed to social justice, action, and reform.  As voiced by Mr. Chamberlain Jr., “We will not rest until every human being is afforded true safety in every corner of Westchester County.”  In this time, let us gather, let us listen, so we may “plan, strategize, organize and mobilize” to build a better community together. 

Speakers:

  • Sorraya Sampson, President & CEO, Urban League of Westchester County, Inc. 

  • Nada Khader, Executive Director, WESPAC Foundation

  • Damon Jones, New York Representative, Blacks in Law Enforcement of America

  • Mayo Bartlett, Civil Rights Attorney

  • Cynthia Turnquest Jones, Delta Sigma Theta Westchester Alumnae Chapter

  • Mondaire Jones, Candidate for US Congress (CD-17)

  • Mimi Rocah, Candidate for Westchester County District Attorney

  • Patrick Schelle, ARA 

  • William Wagstaff Civil Rights Attorney 

  • Jeffery Deskovic, Deskovic Foundation 

  • Nate Graves, Youth Activist

 

Event Co-sponsors

  • Westchester Coalition for Police Reform
  • Westchester Martin Luther King, Jr. Institute for Nonviolence 

  • New York Civil Liberties Union – Lower Hudson Valley Chapter 

  • WESPAC Foundation 

  • Westchester Blacks in Law Enforcement of America

  • AntiRacist Alliance

  • Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. – Westchester Alumnae Chapter 

  • Ethical Culture Society of Westchester 

  • VOCAL-NY Westchester Chapter

  • Black Westchester Magazine

  • Westchester Black Political Conference

  • Urban League of Westchester County, Inc.

  • Indivisible White Plains

  • Indivisible Westchester

  • Indivisible New Rochelle

  • Tha B.U.M.P. The Brown Urban Mother Partnership

  • Progressive Women of Pelham

  • Progressive Women of NY

  • Westchester Black Women’s Political Caucus

  • Kappa Alpha PSI – New Rochelle – White Plains Alumni Chapter

 

The Westchester Coalition for Police Reform is dedicated to improved police-community relations, police transparency, accountability, and independent oversight of law enforcement.


 

 

Hello everyone,
 
Here is an important announcement from a new coalition that has formed in Westchester County as a result of the recent primary election experience.
 

There were egregious issues during the NY 2020 primary election (from delays of absentee ballots, voter suppression during early voting and 2-, 3- and 4-hour lines to vote on primary day) as evidenced by the deluge of complaints posted on social media and covered by the press. There is widespread outrage, which is more than warranted.

To address these alarming issues, a coalition is being formed under the moniker “Concerned Voters of Westchester,” inviting Westchester-based organizations that represent the diversity of our county to join in the initiative.

The coalition plans to call on elected officials to conduct a robust investigation into all election violations by immediately holding public hearings to ensure an accurate, fair, fully accessible, safe and secure election for November.

If you would like your group to join this coalition and sign onto the letter (attached), please reply to  [email protected]gmail.com   by Tuesday at noon with your group’s name and contact person.

There is now a petition calling for public hearings to mount public pressure and this email account ([email protected]gmail.com) where voters can send in their primary voting experiences. Incident summaries and the sources are being compiled into a compendium for presentation to elected officials and election authorities.
Please amplify this petition and contact email to your organization’s members to enable them to voice their concerns using all the communication methods you use, e.g., email, social media, meetings, etc.

Concerned Voters of Westchester Coalition Mission:
Elections, a non-partisan issue, are the bedrock of our republic’s democracy. This diverse coalition of citizen voters and organizations are vested in accurate, fair, fully accessible, safe and secure elections. We are dedicated to ensuring that the Westchester County Board of Elections fulfills its obligation to conduct fully compliant, legal elections that provide confidence to the electorate that elections are fair, fully accessible, safe and secure. The mission of this group is to exert extraordinary pressure on, and advocate for action by all elected officials and authorities who are both vested in and responsible for accurate, fair, fully accessible, safe and secure elections in November 2020 and beyond.

Stay tuned!  We are organizing additional actions to pressure authorities to address systemic problems with our elections.

 

 

Here is the recording of an important webinar with South Dakota State Senator Red Dawn Foster on the work of Return to the Heart Foundation, an Indigenous-led grantmaking organization that empowers women-led initiatives throughout Indian Country. https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=594420184612151 For Native Americans, Covid-19 has hit hard, from the growing number of infections in Navaho and Hopi Nations to the racism that the Lakota continue to face in protecting their borders. South Dakota State Senator Red Dawn goes into detail about how Native nations are staying resilient and how mutual aid can support their efforts.

 

What a magnificent awards gathering the WESPAC Community had last night!  Between the awardees and our keynote speaker, we were all transported to the realm of possibility and the world that we can make happen together!  Take a listen: https://www.facebook.com/WESPACFOUNDATION/videos/747136596090336/?vh=e

WESPAC 2020 Dinner Journal Final

The Antiracist Alliance, WCPR, the local chapter of NYCLU as well as WESPAC have worked together to put together this letter. We are asking for additional organizations, groups and congregations to please add your names if you support our list of specific reforms outlined in the letter. Now is the moment. If you agree, please sign on here June 5, 2020

A Call to Police Leaders

Communities across the country, including our own, are angered and appalled as we witness an unending stream of callous, disrespectful, and often deadly encounters between police and civilians. While many of these events occur elsewhere, both individual experience and published research reports tell us that there is not a community in Westchester County that is not afflicted by disturbing police-civilian encounters, racially biased policing practices, and a problematic lack of transparency by its law enforcement agencies. 

This is a call for you to make a firm and public commitment to transparency, accountability, and a zero-tolerance approach to police misconduct. 

While we are wary after decades of refusals to reform, we remain willing to partner with our law enforcement leaders who embrace the tenets of accountability, transparency, equal justice, and respect for all human life. 

Below you will find a list of specific reforms that we wish to see implemented immediately here in Westchester. Achieving these recommendations will send a strong message to all members of our community that our leaders are committed to fundamentally redefining the relationship between our police department and our community. This is tough work, but if we commit to it, we can build a stronger community: one that is rooted in the fundamental ideals of liberty and justice for all.

In peace and commitment to partnership for the safety of all,

Residents and organizations of Westchester County (list is still in formation):

AntiRacist Alliance 

Black Westchester

Blacks in Law Enforcement

CD17 Indivisible

Indivisible New Rochelle

Indivisible Scarsdale 

Indivisible Westchester Districts 6 & 7

Indivisible White Plains

Indivisible Yorktown Heights

Larchmont/Mamaroneck Indivisible

NYCD16-Indivisible

PISAB/The People’s Institute; for Survival and Beyond NY/Northeast

SURJ Westchester Coordinating Committee

WESPAC

Westchester Black Political Conference

Westchester Coalition Against Islamophobia

Westchester Coalition for Police Reform

Westchester for Change 

Westchester Martin Luther King Jr. Institute for Nonviolence

OUR EXPECTATIONS

We expect you, as leaders with authority and responsibility for law enforcement in Westchester County, to assume full responsibility for meeting the highest possible standard of accountability, transparency and equal protection to all residents and visitors to our county. Our specific expectations are detailed below. 

  • Make publicly available the current policies and patrol guides of all law enforcement agencies under County jurisdiction, including but not limited to policies on: de-escalation tactics, implicit bias, use of force, department diversity, enforcement of low-level offenses, field interviews, search and seizure, use of surveillance technology, and the penalties for violating these policies.

  • Make public the training materials used for police officers: including hours spent training on de-escalation, implicit bias, and use of force. 

  • Commit to collecting comprehensive data on all police stops – including the rationale for the stop and the race, ethnicity, age, and sex of people stopped – and making that data publicly available. 

  • Pass legislation/Require officers making police stops to provide an identification card, state the reason for the interaction, and to state that you may not be searched without your consent without probable cause. 

  • Pass legislation/Require a full, independent investigation into any police-civilian interaction that results in civilian injury or death. 

  • Advocate for legislation that would make the measures outlined above mandatory throughout New York State, including Repeal 50-a, (the law which currently cloaks police officers’ disciplinary records in secrecy), the Right-to-Know Act, which requires officer identification during police stops, and the Police-STAT Act, which requires that police departments collect and report data on police stops so that they can be monitored for patterns of racial profiling.

 We remain committed to working to advance racial justice and hold our police officers accountable, and we invite you to join us in this fight.

Greetings to all from WESPAC!

Our Annual WESPAC Awards Gathering is now an online gathering scheduled for Saturday, June 13th from 7pm to 8:30pm.  We truly hope that as many of you as possible will be able to join us as we honor the outstanding work of Sister Jean Fallon (Maryknoll), David Peters (New Rochelle Against Racism) and Noah Wagner and Leah Alper (If Not Now) as they continue to work tirelessly for a more just and peaceful world.
 
Please consider taking out a journal ad in support of our 46th anniversary and annual awards gathering (details for taking out a journal ad attached).  Please make your awards gathering contribution here for either general support, to attend our online gathering or to take out a journal ad.  If you are able to support WESPAC at levels that you have in the past, it would help us enormously as we have lost important revenue from renting out our beautiful office space.  Please help sustain WESPAC through this pandemic!  We are counting on you!  Let us know that you care and that you want WESPAC to keep our lights on and operations running!  Any amount at all will be very much appreciated.
 
We thank all who have already sent in contributions for our annual gathering and are happy to offer refunds upon request since there will be no actual sit down dinner this year.  The WESPAC Board is working hard to make our annual gathering as enjoyable as possible as we all adjust to new working realities.  Details to join the gathering online will be emailed to all registrants closer to the date.
 
We hope that you and your loved ones are safe as we mourn the loss of all those who have passed during this pandemic.
 
The struggle for justice continues,
 
Nada

This is such an amazing offering from our precious local farmers.  Thank you, thank you, thank you: 

This is a community effort of farmers, growers, and non profits organizing to support our community in this time of need, in the Westchester, NY area. Our Mission is to assemble “grow-bags” from our nurtured seedlings and burlap sacks. These grow- bags will be near fruiting stage and will provide you and your family with a bountiful harvest throughout the season, with care. Please see the flyer for full information and fill out the Google Form to request and reserve your vegetable grow-bags and arrange delivery. We will deliver around the Westchester area, starting on 4/29. Please feel free to contact us with any questions! See the flyer for information.

https://forms.gle/oQkHFQC8vg2FxwrK6

Best,

Natalia

Westchester Social Forum POSTPONED! After consultations with the Westchester County authorities, the Westchester Social Forum planning committee is postponing the March 29th social forum.

In addition, all meetings, forums and events that were scheduled for the WESPAC office are being postponed or turned into online meetings through early April. We will re-assess then. We are not yet sure about the WESPAC Dinner scheduled for April 30th and will re-assess in early April.

The more we can abide by social distancing and isolation, the less severe will be the peak of this virus. I encourage all other organizations and institutions to follow suit. Work/stay at home if you can and keep six feet from others for the next several weeks.

We need to figure out ways that service sector workers, hourly wage earners can take care of their families without needing to be forced to go to work. Community health and wellness first. Social distancing is hard. We can check on each other via phone calls, messaging etc.

I will keep you posted as plans develop, and as we are able to re-schedule.

I hope we all work together to minimize the harm of this virus and protect the most vulnerable.

Hoping you stay safe and healthy,

Nada