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.
Dear Friends and Members of WESPAC,
Statement of Solidarity on the Anniversary of Kristallnacht
by Howard Horowitz, member of the WESPAC Foundation Board
Tonight, we will commemorate the 80th anniversary of the Great Pogrom, which the Nazis euphemistically dubbed ‘the Night of Crystal’ – Kristallnacht. This anniversary comes at a moment in history when anti-Semitism is still prevalent, and we are still plagued by evil and hatred (Rabbi Josh Weinberg).
At WESPAC Foundation we remember Kristallnacht and the Holocaust with a message of “solidarity” with all those struggling for justice in these dark times. Solidarity is uplifting, meaningful and a call to action. In our thinking about this, let me share with you an excerpt from a post by Robert Herbst of Larchmont, a civil rights lawyer, a peace and justice activist and who identifies as Jewish:
“In the wake of Pittsburgh, there is no Jewish future in turning inward, either physically, spiritually, or politically, here in the United States, or in the Middle East. The insecurities of the nation and world we have made and live in since the Second World War are widely shared by all except those who have accumulated the money and power to escape them. Rather than locking ourselves away, it is to the Others we must turn – white, black and brown, Christian and Muslim, poor, working and middle class – if we are to have any hope of Tikkun Olam.”
There is an urgent and immediate need for a statement of solidarity. Echoing Charlottesville, there are those among us already muddying the waters claiming “there are bad guys on all sides—left and right.” We reject anti-Semitism in all its forms and expressions wherever and by whomever it is expressed. What happened at Tree of Life is Trump-supported, right wing white nationalism, plain and simple. It has nothing to do with left or anyone else and certainly not anywhere in the struggle for justice in Palestine.
Our struggles are bound up with the many communities facing violence and oppression during these dark times, and we call your attention to just a few of the statements of solidarity that are so needed as we commemorate Kristallnacht.
“Stewarding our own land, growing our own food, educating our own youth, participating in our own healthcare and justice systems, this is the source of real power and dignity,” writes Leah Penniman, co-founder of Soul Fire Farm in Grafton, NY. Her brand new book, “Farming While Black” is the centerpiece for a special gathering at WESPAC.
Come hear Amani Olugbala, Assistant Director of Programs at Soul Fire Farm, tell how our most cherished sustainable farming practices – from organic agriculture to the farm cooperative and the CSA – have roots in African wisdom. She is a gifted storyteller and food justice advocate with over 15 years of experience in youth education and community outreach and a vital part of Soul Fire Farm.
Soul Fire Farm is part of a global network of farmers working to increase farmland stewardship by people of color, restore Afro-indigenous farming practices, and end food apartheid.
Books will be available for sale. This event is free and open to the public. Plenty of free parking on site. Contributions to support this work will be gratefully accepted.
Community Forum on the Racial Impact of Marijuana Policing
in Westchester County
Thursday, July 26th at 7pm
White Plains Library Auditorium
100 Martine Avenue in White Plains, NY 10601
In a state where racially biased policing is the norm, Westchester County stands out as one of the worst offenders.
Between 2013 and 2017, Black and Latino people were vastly overrepresented among those arrested for marijuana possession relative to their presence in Westchester’s population–despite data showing similar rates of use across populations. While only 14 percent of the County’s residents are Black, Black people comprised over half (52 percent) of those arrested for marijuana possession. Latinx people have also been disproportionately impacted, comprising just 17% of residents, but 34% of arrestees.
This massive increase of Westchester residents involved with the criminal justice system has had significant reverberations. A marijuana arrest creates a permanent criminal record that can easily be found by employers, landlords, schools, credit agencies and banks.
This public discussion will examine the long-term costs and consequences of unequal enforcement of marijuana prohibition in Westchester, solutions to address the harms caused to communities, and efforts to legalize marijuana in New York State while creating a diverse and inclusive industry.
Sponsored by: Drug Policy Alliance, WESPAC Foundation, Westchester Coalition for Police Reform, NYCLU, VOCAL-NY, and more
At this year’s Summer Solstice, Nathalie “BioDame” Reynoso will lead us in ceremony as we open the space to check in on our milestones. How have our baby-steps added up? What have we mulled over? We’ll press pause and resume for health, happiness, equilibrium, and equity’s sake.
Join us for a healing evening at “Honoring the Summer Solstice through Intercultural Community Ceremony.” The space will facilitate us in honoring our paths and realigning ourselves with what is and is not serving us during this time in which we have the most daylight
..so if you can, allow yourself this time to simply be and charge yourself up with that Community Solstice Sun
(. ❛ ᴗ ❛.)
•Mantra and Manifest Actualization•
Free and Open to the Public
Tuesday June 19, 2018 Led by Local Ceremonialist
6:30pm Nathalie “BioDame” Reynoso
WESPAC Foundation of the Westchester-based
White Plains, NY 10607
On-site Parking Available cer
*Bring items you’d like to add to
Pastor Dr. Gawain de Leeuw is kindly opening up the doors of his church for those of us who would like to take the time to grieve collectively for the dozens of Palestinian lives lost in the Great March of Return. He will lead us in evening prayers and ancient hymns in his tradition, and we will light candles, read the names and ages of the Palestinians who have lost their lives and share what we know of their lived experience and families. For those who are observing fasting this month of Ramadan, we invite folks to bring a dish to share afterwards for a community iftar (breaking of the fast). Please RSVP to Nada at [email protected] if you plan to attend.