In the Spirit of Giving, support WFPSW

 

Dear WFPSW supporter,

Mil gracias. Thank you so much for your accompaniment, contribution to and unwavering solidarity with Witness for Peace Southwest (WfPSW) and our partners throughout Latin America. As WfPSW Regional Organizer I am very excited to share the work we have done this last year. As we begin 2017, we ask for your continued support at this critical time for solidarity across movements in the US, Latin America and the world.

I write you from Central America, Honduras specifically. Here, over the last two years, I have accompanied an unique process with WFP to launch our international program. For us, and our partners, it has been a difficult yet beautiful and necessary struggle to make this happen.  We currently have two international team members on the ground and have organized four delegations in the last year opening opportunities for US based organizers, people of conscious and other interested individuals to engage with Honduran indigenous, African descendants, women, youth and union leaders among others. Next year, WFPSW will host two delegations to Honduras: Radical Organizing Across Difference (March 17th-26th) and The Fight for Reparations (June 25th-July 7th).

I began as WfPSW RO late summer 2015. Since then, I have worked alongside our international teams, national staff, national and regional board members as well as with our grassroots membership to re-build our region from our 2014-2015 hiatus. At WFPSW, we look to take down the walls that divide our peoples, challenge policies that repress our communities and build just, humane societies.

Throughout the year, we have hosted several events from our 2016 inaugural dinner with report backs from Cuba, Venezuela, Honduras, Colombia and Mexico in addition to participating in initiatives against US militarism and occupation such as International Peace week in San Pedro, California. We have also supported campaigns in solidarity with greater Cuba-US relations and commemorative events honoring the people’s driven Cuban Revolution.

Since the spring, our region has also supported larger cross-organizational campaigns for justice. The assassination of Berta Cáceres on March 3rd devastated millions across the globe. We have continued to accompany the Lenca people even more and have campaigned in favor of the Berta Cáceres and Human Rights in Honduras Act (HR 5474) calling for US military divestment in Honduras – similar congressional demands have not been made since the late ‘80s.

Over the summer, we have added one new member to our growing regional  board: Robin Garcia, long-time activist originally from Los Angeles, California. Robin’s work spans across the Americas where she has dedicated her time to working in grassroots journalism and alternative media such as teleSUR and working with Venezuela’s multimedia movement. Robin started in July and we look forward to building more with her in the future.

In the fall, we organized an impressive five state, 11 city tour with two young Venezuelan queer organizers: Maria Gabriela del Pilar Blanco and Paola Martucci Gomez. They witnessed firsthand the harsh realities facing Black and Brown communities across the greater US West region and shared their tales of triumph with the Bolivarian Revolution. Moreover, they gave their own accounts of the challenges currently facing the revolutionary process including: a violent opposition bloc, international media manipulation, economic blockade, sharp drop in global oil prices and the truest hurdle of all, building XXIst century socialism. Their talks were beyond inspiring and engaged autonomous community spaces, universities and grassroots organizations in needed conversations about imagining, creating and sustaining alternatives.

While we are uncertain what the political and economic future holds for our communities and our countries, here at Witness for Peace Southwest, we are certain that our commitment to social justice and solidarity must not waver. Now, more than ever, we depend on your continued support in all facets of our organizing.

We hope to see you on our delegations in Honduras, Cuba, Venezuela and Colombia next year!

We want to make a stop in your community during our next speaker’s tour!

And, as always, your continued financial support is received in the deepest of gratitude and greatest appreciation. Make a donation today! Become a sustaining donor!

Every contribution makes a difference, from $5 to $100. Make a donation once a month or one time.

You can make your tax-deductible donations via our PayPal account using the following email address: southwestwfp@gmail.com or mail a check to Witness for Peace Southwest @ PO Box 1781 Ojai, CA 93024.

In solidarity, peace and justice,

Jeanette

WfPSW Regional Organizer: jcharles.wfpsw@gmail.com & wfpsw@witnessforpeace.org, 805.669.VIVA (8482)

WfPSW 2016 New Year’s Message!

Happy New Year!
¡Feliz Año Nuevo!

We are organizing for a world where many worlds fit, as the Zapatista movement has echoed since January 1, 1994. Their uprising, launched on the New Year, marked another chapter in Latin America and the Caribbean’s revolutionary spirit with the likes of the Cuban and Haitian Revolutions. As we too begin another new year, we remember their legacies and continue to tread along shared paths.

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“I am Latin America…a people without legs that marches on…”

At Witness for Peace Southwest, we usher in 2016 with renewed hopes for a more just and humane world. We move forward while we reflect on another year of hard work in the struggle to change US policy actions in Latin America and to strengthen our growing solidarity. Changes have been underway here in the SW and we know we are better for them!

In 2016, join us on our international delegations to Cuba and Venezuela over the summer and for New Years. Exchange with grassroots organizations domestically along the Mexico-U.S. border and in Puerto Rico this March and November. Become a trained delegation coordinator or design your own customized delegation for your school, church, community or organization!

In 2016, work with WFPSW to organize speaker’s tours events in your area, host local WFPSW chapter meetings and congressional visits on key issues facing Latin America and the Caribbean. Also, consider submitting materials for our newsletter.

Contact me, Jeanette Charles, your Regional Organizer, directly at jcharles.wfpsw@gmail.com or (805) 669-VIVA to get involved, ask questions or simply to build community.

And finally, please consider making a donation to WFPSW. Our work is sustained by the commitments of individual activists, believers, teachers, workers, students, freedom fighters, organizers and everyone in between across the Southwest. Checks can be made out to Witness for Peace Southwest and mailed to PO Box 1781 Ojai, CA 93024. You can make secure tax deductible donations here. And consider becoming a monlthy sustainer supporting peace, freedom and justice in the Americas.

 
In peace and solidarity, 

JeanetteCharlesBioPic

Jeanette Charles
WFPSW Regional Organizer

PS. Remember to like our Facebook page and join our group

WfPSW Welcomes a New RO!

WFPSW welcomes a new Regional Organizer!

Introducing Jeanette Charles!

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Jeanette comes to WFPSW with loads of Latin America and Witness for Peace experience. For 2 years now Jeanette has served on the Witness for Peace Southwest board of directors. Jeanette is a journalist, organizer, popular educator and queer woman of color raised in working class Black and Brown Los Angeles. The basis of her continued work draws from histories of resistance and revolution across the Americas especially from the legacy of the Haitian Revolution and other Black maroon led rebellions. Members of Jeanette’s paternal family left Haiti during the Duvalier dictatorship as part of a great exodus of Haitians in the 1960s and 70s. Jeanette self-identifies as Black/African descent and specifically as a daughter of the Haitian diaspora. Jeanette is fluent in English and Spanish and grew up in a largely Mexican/Central American neighborhood. In the last five years Jeanette has lived in Venezuela and has extensive travel and cross cultural experiences throughout the Americas.

Most recently, Jeanette worked as a journalist for the Latin American based international news channel, teleSUR in Quito, Ecuador. Much of Jeanette’s analysis is attributed to the delegations and political exchanges she has organized with the Chiapas Support Committee to Haiti, Colombia, Venezuela, Guatemala, Mexico and Honduras with grassroots movements. Jeanette’s senior thesis was on the Honduran Resistance to the Coup in 2009-2010 where she spent several months on the ground researching and establishing relationships with organizers and community leaders documenting people’s struggles. Jeanette is currently pursuing a PHD from the Bolivarian University of Venezuela.

In the United States, Jeanette’s work has focused primarily on building Black and Brown unity and organizing against mass incarceration as well as state violence.

Jeanette is starting off as part time staff with Witness for Peace Southwest until funds are raised to increase Jeanette’s hours as a full time organizer. Jeanette is exited to plan a full calendar of events, delegations to Venezuela, Colombia, Mexico, Honduras and Cuba and bring speakers from Latin America in 2016. The board of directors of WfPSW welcomes Jeanette!

Feel free to welcome her and ask her how you can get involved. Jeanette’s email is jcharles.wfpsw@gmail.com or call 805-669-VIVA.