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West Region News January 2022

Highlights of work from around the region

67 S thanks community
Photo: / AFSC

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67 Sueños, Oakland
Sharing gratitude for the work of ’21, excitement for what’s up in ‘22
In this beautiful video, 67 Sueños shares its thanks to “our students, family, and community for a memorable 2021. We know it was a difficult year for many reasons, yet we are grateful for all the amazing things we were able to accomplish! Thanks for always supporting our work and showing up for us! We love y’all and we are excited to see what 2022 will bring.”

 


AFSC: “Build communities, not cages.”

Healing Justice Program, Oakland
Deaths in county jail spark calls for an investigation
AFSC has joined with partners in calling for an independent investigation into the large number of deaths of people held in Santa Rita Jail. Seven people died in custody there in 2021, and 56 have died since 2014. "This is urgent and should not wait," said John Lindsay-Poland of AFSC at a meeting of the Alameda County Board of Supervisors.

 

Immigrant Rights Program, Denver
Expressing condolences, helping people respond to fires
AFSC Colorado extends our deepest condolences to the loved ones of Alicia Cardenas, Alyssa Gunn-Maldonado, Danny Scofield (known in community as Dano Blair), Michael Swinyard and Sarah Steck after they were senselessly murdered in late December. AFSC has also created this bilingual list of resources for people affected by the recent wildfires in Boulder County.

 


Commemorating International Women's Day Photo: Eduardo Stanley

Pan Valley Institute (PVI), Fresno
Uplifting the voices of immigrants and refugees in the Central Valley
“As program director of PVI since its founding in 1998, I have been inspired by the hundreds of young people who have participated in our program over the years,” writes Myrna Martinez Nateras of AFSC. “It's been an honor to support them in their efforts to create more just and equitable futures for all community members.” A recent example of such work is Queer in the Valley, in which AFSC ArteVism Fellows celebrate QTBIPOC people in the Central Valley.

 


Pedro Rios speaks with colleague Kristin Kumpf. Photo: Bryan Vana

US-Mexico Border Program, San Diego
Concern about our nation’s course one year after January 6
In some quarters, an intolerant autocratic force guided by white supremacist beliefs has moved from the fringes to the center, writes Pedro Rios of AFSC in the San Diego Union-Tribune. The attack on the Capitol was a clarion call for our country to change course. And those who believe in freedom must commit to preserving it without replicating the violence that devalues human life.

 

Roots for Peace (R4P) Program, Los Angeles
Celebrating a thriving community garden in LA
From Instagram: “R4P recently celebrated over 10 years of work at Mar Vista Gardens and a transition away from providing organizational support for the community garden. The members of the collective are AMAZING, and it has been an honor to accompany them as they grew their urban farming skills, their power around the right to grow food in public housing, and their consensus decision-making processes. We have no doubt that members and the garden will continue to thrive!”

 


Lauro Silva shares a blessing at the AFSC New Mexico celebration.

People of the Land Program, Albuquerque
Gathering celebrates the good work of farmers, friends and partners
AFSC New Mexico recently held a virtual end-of-year celebration to share about our programs and thank everyone who made it happen. Sayrah Namaste of AFSC writes that partners made several moving statements about the importance of AFSC’s “beautiful work” for communities across the state.

 

Project Voice Immigrant Rights Program, Oregon-Washington
Forum addresses legal representation, overtime pay for farmworkers
Pedro Sosa represented AFSC at a recent community forum addressing bills coming before the Oregon legislature regarding universal legal representation and overtime pay for farmworkers. Pedro encourages people in the new year to work for changes for our communities.

 


Dov Baum directs AFSC’s Economic Activism Program.

Economic Activism Program, Oakland
Confronting companies that profit from border militarization
In this interview with Todd Miller of The Border Chronicle, Dov Baum of AFSC talks about the first immigration justice divestment list of companies ever created. AFSC’s list identifies more than 60 companies that have profited from the militarization of the border and from the surveillance, criminalization, and incarceration of migrants.

Short takes
Have you checked out the new website for Just Communities Arizona (formerly AFSC Arizona)?....AFSC has joined over 150 other organizations in pushing for voting rights and democracy; here’s a petition to protect our right to vote…. Join AFSC’s Office of Public Policy and Advocacy (OPPA) on January 18, 4pm PT, for their policy recap from 2021….Here’s the latest from AFSC work in the Midwest.

Your support matters
Your gifts of time and money make a real difference. Please be in touch with any West Region program by visiting afsc.org, and support the AFSC West Region by donating today. Please share this subscription link for this newsletter with others. Thank you!