Communities & Focus Areas :

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

Ruby Olisemeka is a Food Justice leader in Mount Vernon and will be coordinating a new CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) delivery in her home town of Mount Vernon. The food is being produced by Rock Steady Farm in Millerton, NY, and will help provide nourishing, high quality produce to dozens in Mount Vernon. Rock Steady Farm and Flowers is a women and queer owned cooperative farm, rooted in social justice, growing sustainable vegetables, flowers and herbs in a holistic manner for our Hudson Valley bioregion. The WESPAC Food Justice fund has contributed $4,000 to this CSA effort, and we are hoping to raise another $6,000 to help nourish at least fifty people in need for the twenty week growing season. Every person has a right to high quality, fresh and local food.
If you would like to make a contribution for this effort, you may do so here: https://donorbox.org/rock-steady-farm-csa-delivery-in-mount-vernon
Thank you very much in advance for considering,
Nada

WESPAC’s investment advisor is Andrew Friedman with AJF Financial Services. In this one hour Zoom presentation, Andrew will discuss recent market turmoil, the importance of “systems investing” and the urgent need to protect ecosystems, that when disrupted by human activity, can cause serious disease. How can we use our money and investments to create the world we want to live in? This Zoom session will be facebook livestreamed. Andrew Friedman, President and Founder of AJF Financial Services, is a Certified Sustainable Investment Professional, Certified Financial Planner, a member of the Financial Planning Association and a Registered Investment Advisor. He will speak for the first half hour and then open up to questions. Instructions to join via Zoom:

Topic: Systems Investing
Time: Mar 18, 2020 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting
https://zoom.us/j/467689904

Meeting ID: 467 689 904

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Join by Skype for Business
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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

Corinne Segal has done a fabulous job with this interview on our food system, and how appropriate that it comes out on International Human Rights Day and on the day that we discuss Eric Holt-Gimenez’s book tonight at WESPAC at 7pm on Can We Feed the World Without Destroying It?
Take a look here: https://www.slowfoodmetronorth.org/…/nada-khader-on-the-pol… Thank you, Corinne!

We had a good group that came together including Martha Elder who has presented at WESPAC before (thanks to Tracy’s introduction).  She is the founder of Second Chance Foods and was recently featured on Channel 12 News: 
 
Here is Martha’s website: https://secondchancefoods.org/  She is doing very important food rescue work in our region and is getting fresh, healthy foods to those who need them most.  She will reach out to WESPAC in the coming weeks at times when she needs additional support.
 
Antoinette has sent in a suggestion about reviewing Westchester County’s mapping of food deserts.  Sonna will do some research to see if we can identify where these food deserts are located and how we can help address this.
 
Dan Wohl has invited the WESPAC Food Justice Committee to convene at his new workplace:  the Greenhouse and Education Center at Denny Farrell Riverbank State Park, 679 Riverside Drive, New York, NY.  He is working on developing food security networks between NYC and the Hudson Valley.  Nada reached out to Chloe to see if she would like to bring her youth along for this outing.
 
Doug DeCandia gave us a substantial update about his current work: he is growing herbs and flowers with inmates at Sing Sing and Taconic prisons and is working with the mental health units.  He shared some wonderful photos with Nada of his work that are available upon request.  He and Jalal are exploring the idea of teaching a horticulture and nutrition course at Sing Sing.  He discussed the challenges of working with prison authorities in terms of getting fresh produce from a local CSA into the prison.  They are trying to see if the CSA produce could be added to the commissary list and could arrive in cardboard boxes to alleviate the security concerns of the prison authorities.  It is all a work in progress.  He will be in touch with us in the coming weeks and months at moments when he may need additional support for this important work.  Additionally, this weekend he is offering a workshop on the necessity of building equity in our food system at this soil and nutrition conference in Massachusetts:  https://soilandnutrition.org/
 
We also discussed if, at the county government level, we could get buy in from the county to have any county operated facility commit to purchasing food for their cafeteria from local, small scale Hudson Valley ecological farmers and growers.  This change alone would be transformative for our local economy and would have a serious impact on reducing our carbon footprint and would help with climate change issues along with habitat and farm preservation and the promotion of biodiversity, the health of our precious pollinators and so much more.
 
We also discussed the utility of having a listing of all farms in Westchester County listing what items are grown and where they are made available.  This list may already be available – we need to research.  We would want to include here private property that is being leased to farmers to grow produce, flowers, herbs, raise animals, chickens, bee keeping etc.
 
Our December WESPAC Book Club gathering will take place on Tuesday, December 10th at 7pm with a discussion of “Can We Feed the World without Destroying It” by  Eric Holt Giménez.
 
Respectfully submitted,
 
Nada
 

PANEL DISCUSSION
Police, ICE and Immigrant Safety in Westchester County


Tuesday, October 22nd at 6pm • Yonkers Riverfront Library • 1 Larkin Center in Yonkers, NY 10701

PANELISTS

Joseph Castelli
Police Chief, White Plains Police Department

John J. Mueller
Acting Police Commissioner, Yonkers Police Department

Richard Conway
Chief of Police, Port Chester Village

Jessica Young, Esq.
Westchester Supervising Attorney, Make the Road New York

Diana Sanchez
Yonkers Sanctuary Movement

Vanessa Agudelo (moderator)
Peekskill Trustee & New York Immigration Coalition

For more information, contact:
914-222-3244 • wcprny.org [email protected]

Membership Dues 2019

Dear Members and Friends of WESPAC,

Together, we have supported WESPAC through its 45th anniversary!  Inspired by our rich history, and proud of our nurturing role, WESPAC serves a unique role as a hub for progressive organizing in the county.  We connect people with each other, support a wide range of campaigns and strengthen movement building locally by developing long term relationships with grassroots leaders, workers and environmental groups.

Some of the highlights of this past year include our annual awards dinner with Marc Lamont Hill.  His theme “radical imagination” explored the need for progressives to rise above social inhibitions and imagine true freedom, including freedom for Palestinians. He urged us to channel the bravery of abolitionists and enslaved “freedom fighters”: 

“What happens to our politics when they get tested? What happens when something is on the line. When the job promotion is on the line, when your friendship network is on the line, when your TV job is on the line, … what are you going to sacrifice, what are you going to put aside for justice?”

Another highlight from this past year was the Westchester Social Forum.  WESPAC continues to play a lead role in organizing the Westchester Social Forum, an annual gathering of social justice activists which grew out of the World Social Forum process, bringing together activists, organizers, people of color, working people, poor people, and indigenous people with the goal of building ties between organizations to help build a broader social justice movement. 

Hundreds of Westchester activists and visionaries gathered in March to exchange ideas and information, foster solidarity and celebrate our work to create a more just and equal society. The current political climate has energized both seasoned and new activists who are working to build alliances and find solutions to pressing local issues. 

WESPAC continues to work in coalition for racial equity and criminal justice reform with #FREEnewyork, Start SMART NY and the Antiracist Alliance; for renewable, safe energy and urgent climate action with Food and Water Watch, for immigrant protection with the New York Immigration Coalition, .  WESPAC is also playing a key role in standing up for the civil and constitutional rights of all those who speak out for Palestinian freedom.  

This past year, we have worked together with community partners to show up for our progressive values, as we experience increased levels of repression from the federal government, as we witness growing threats to the wellbeing of the planet and our communities, as profit is placed over people and land, and corporations, not people, control our democracy.  

WESPAC continues to serve as a leading force for progressive social change in Westchester.  We continue to educate and organize for a more just and peaceful world, an end to militarism and racism and a more fair economy that works for all.  Our members continue to advocate for public policies that support immigrant rights, public education, worker rights, affordable housing, safe & renewable energy, LGBTQ rights and healthcare for all.  

The only way we can continue our work is with your help.  Dues are $100 per person annually, or $50 for students and persons with a fixed income.  We are grateful for all levels of support and no one is turned away for lack of funds. Volunteer hours are welcome in lieu of payment and can be arranged with the office.  Please make your tax-deductible contribution today via the donate button at wespac.org or by check in the enclosed envelope.  We are asking for all dues to be received by September 30th.

We are proud of the role we play as a hub for grassroots organizing with a mission to strengthen movement building in the promotion of human rights and self-determination for all communities.  We need your support now more than ever to make this cherished community institution stronger!  

For the WESPAC Community,

Nada Khader, WESPAC Director

PS. Every tax-deductible donation you make goes directly to our critical work for social justice and peace.  Please like our Facebook page and follow us on Twitter!  

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