Greetings of the season, and pledging to resist when necessary!
Hello and Happy Holidays from the Center for Conscience in Action, which is committed to peaceful but vigorous and vehement activism in opposition to hate-fueled politics and fascism: resistance to war and militarism, protest of injustice and corruption, and development & distribution of alternative points of view with a focus on collective action for change.
It’s that time of year when you hear from your favorite nonprofit organizations, who seek your continued financial support during the holiday season and end of year tax-deduction rush. And, yes, the Center for Conscience is getting in there for your consideration! Please find in this message how we are and will use the hard-earned dollars you give.
We know you are being presented with many worthy options, but we hope you will remember smaller, locally based groups, like us, who are doing important work. Nov. 29 is Giving Tuesday, so we are asking you to consider CCA as one that you will assist with a contribution. Whatever you can afford to send will be appreciated and well used in our program work overseen by two part-time staff people, James, M. Branum, Legal Director, and me, Rena Guay (aka Serena Blaiz), Program Director.
We recently tabled at the annual Fall Peace Festival, and printed a limited number of “dead tree” editions of our semi-regular Oklahoma Peace Post newsletters for distribution. The PDF version of that can be downloaded here so you can read about our recent work for peace and justice in Oklahoma and beyond. 2016 has been an interesting year for us, with some significant new avenues for outreach for our message about the rights and power of conscience.
Here are some of the 2016 highlights of the year and the newsletter:
- Working with minority groups to address police bias and violence
- Building local chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice
- Upwave Media – Radio, podcasting and more
- Conscientious Objectors legal defense, Ryan Johnson & more
If you would like a hard copy of the Peace Post, just let us know.
Subsequent to the news reported in the Peace Post, just since the recent election, we have worked with other local activist groups, like Black Lives Matter and Green Corn Alliance (a Native American led coalition) to respond to a worrying increase in threats and violence against minority groups and to support the water protectors at Standing Rock with resources and fundraising (see Rose Rock to Standing Rock) and by speaking out at a Support for Standing Rock Rally. Additionally, in the latest edition of my CCA-sponsored podcast Peace Buzz, I talked to Adam Soltani of CAIR Oklahoma about the problem of “Islamaphobia and American Politics.”
Former OK Senator Connie Johnson speaks to
the Trump Protest/Rally for Peace & Love on
Nov. 12, organized by CCA.
But wait! There’s even more recent news since putting out the hard copy newsletter, because the world has changed very suddenly, demanding prompt action — which our established resources and experience allows us to do.
On Nov. 12, the Saturday after the election, we organized a rally to protest the discriminatory words and policy positions of the incoming administration. We recorded the program, which included speeches by former State Senator Connie Johnson, OKC City Councilman Ed Shadid, Sierra Club president Johnson Bridgewater, Aaron Wilder of Planned Parenthood, and Rev. T. Sheri Dickerson of Black Lives Matter OKC, among many others. It was gratifying to have so many young people join us, and sign up for future news and action from CCA (Welcome new readers!) Listen to the recordingof the event on our website.
On Thursday, Nov. 17, Rena was a guest on Red State Radio with Mark Faulk, and updated listeners on the recent development in the Chelsea Manning case, which CCA has worked on since 2010. Chelsea, who has made two suicide attempts this year, has now, through her lawyers, requested a commutation of her 35-year sentence to time served. You can sign a petition to President Obama requesting this through the deadline of Dec. 14. On Dec. 17, we will hold our annual Chelsea Manning Birthday Celebration; details will be available soon on our website or Facebook page.
We had a full plate before, but now we have redoubled our commitment to a peaceful, just and inclusive country and world. We are not going anywhere, and we hope you will stand with us as we stand with communities and individuals at risk in this new reality. With your moral and financial support, we will continue to address needs of our community as they arise.
If you are able, please donate to our work. If you are interested in volunteering, get in touch — we have many ways that you can make a difference, including referring you to our allied groups where your key interests might be better met. We hope that you will join us in a renewed commitment to building a peaceful world. This is not the time to step back or submit to discouragement!
James and I, along with our steering committee, and advisers from Joy Mennonite Church, wish you and your family the most loving and peaceful of holiday seasons, and a New Year with fresh energy and insight for peacemaking.
Rena Guay, Program Director
MAIL US AT:
Center for Conscience in Action
504 NE 16th Street
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73104
PS. Today (11/29) Rena attended a press conference announcing the return of body cams on OKC Police Officers. She helped bring community activists together to support African-American leaders in bringing the City and the police union to a mutual agreement on the policy for use of the cameras. This will lead to more community trust, accountability and justice. (Click image for larger version.)
Support this kind of community involvement by making a tax-deductible donation today!
CCA needs your financial, as well as your moral support. Please share our posts on Facebook and Twitter, or via email, and, if you are able, make a donation. All contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.