Thanks to your generous support, the Institute continues to be very busy, as you can see in these pages. Over the past few months we have been able to support many exciting grassroots organizing and activist campaigns through our grantmaking and sponsorship programs. With your continued help, we can reach even more worthy projects with our crucial resources.
We are grateful to all of you who responded to the July letter from our Board of Directors about the Youth Manifesto Campaign’s counter-recruitment victory in Oakland, the massive anti-nuclear march in New York, Haitian resistance to corporate agriculture and other movement milestones. Thank you for being inspired to give so generously.
If you haven’t donated yet, or if you did and are able to give again, please take a moment to send us a check in the enclosed reply envelope or contribute through the JustGive button on our website.
With your help, we can continue to grow our support for the many groups locally, nationally and around the world who are using nonviolent action as an instrument to further the struggle for peace and social justice.
In January 2010, the Muste Institute took on fiscal sponsorship of Movement for Justice in El Barrio (MJB, also known by its name in Spanish, Movimiento por Justicia del Barrio), a community organization founded in 2005 in East Harlem, New York City. The Movement is made up of more than 600 immigrant and low-income families fighting displacement from their homes in this neighborhood known as El Barrio, and building solidarity with like-minded grassroots social justice movements around the world.
The Movement’s mission incorporates struggles "for the liberation of women, immigrants, gays, lesbians, the transgender community, people of color, and indigenous communities." Because many of its members are Mexican immigrants, MJB has close links with Mexico, and identifies itself as part of "The Other Campaign," a nonviolent civil society movement started by the Zapatista rebels.
In February 2010, MJB hosted its Third Encuentro for Dignity and Against Displacement. Hundreds of activists from across the city took part in the gathering. Also present via live video link were South African activists from townships in Cape Town and Durban, where residents were resisting forced displacement ahead of the 2010 World Cup, and Mexican activists from San Salvador Atenco, who have been defending their community from the planned construction of a commercial airport.
The Visitors, a Muste Institute-supported documentary about families who travel from New York City by bus every weekend to visit relatives in upstate prisons, was released in April 2009 to great acclaim. The story follows Denise, the bus coordinator (pictured here), whose husband is coming home soon after 17 years of imprisonment. The Muste Institute granted $2,000 in June 2006 through the Prison Action Network for production expenses of this film by Turkish-born director Melis Birder, which seeks to raise awareness about the impact of incarceration on prisoners’ families. In early 2010 the film screened at three New York prisons and at the Museum of Modern Art, and aired on the Documentary Channel. It will be shown this November at a meeting of the American Society of Criminology. It is also available on DVD; for details see www.visitorsdocumentary.com.
Remembering Martha Friedlaender
I was saddened to learn of the death of Martha Friedlaender on September 3 at age 78, after a long illness. She served on the Board of the Muste Institute between 1982 and 1986, and was also involved with the Fellowship of Reconciliation and the Ethical Culture Society. I worked closely with her at the time of the New York City mobilization against nuclear weapons in June of 1982, when the crowds filling Central Park were too vast to count. She was cheerful, determined, vigorous and active; a woman who lit the room when she walked in. She is missed.
Help Us Bring Nonviolence Back into the Classroom!
Our best-selling pamphlet of Martin Luther King’s great writings and speeches on nonviolence has just gone out of print—at a moment when fall classes are starting, and the rush of year-end donations is still around the corner. We need your help to reprint this great resource as soon as possible, so we can get it into the hands of students and activists around the country. Please donate now! (If you want your gift to go specifically for this purpose, please indicate "MLK" on the memo line of your check or when designating your online donation.)
The Muste Institute's Counter Recruitment Fund makes small grants for grassroots efforts to inform young people about the realities of military service, help them protect their privacy from recruiters and refer them to non-military education and employment options. Our next deadline for proposals is October 11, 2010. Guidelines are on our website at ajmuste.org/counter-recruit.htm.
Community Alliance of Lane County, Eugene, OR: $1,500 for a project challenging the militarization of youth while working to support the movement for immigration reform, and focusing on the connections between these two issues. www.calclane.org
Peace House, Ashland, OR: $1,500 for a program fighting the poverty draft by reaching out to high school students in the southern Oregon area of Ashland, Phoenix, Talent and Medford with information about the reality of military service and alternative education and career options. www.peacehouse.net
American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), San Francisco, CA: $1,500 for Full Picture, a project to increase the number of classroom presentations by recent veterans and to provide informational literature and resources on alternatives to the military to students in the San Francisco Bay area. www.afsc.org/office/san-francisco-ca
The International Nonviolence Training Fund (INTF) makes grants for nonviolence trainings outside the U.S. or in indigenous communities within the U.S. The next deadline is December 3, 2010. Guidelines and application forms are on our website at www.ajmuste.org/guidintf.htm. Between July 2009 and June 2010, the INTF made the following eight grants totaling $22,588:
Active Nonviolence Education Center, Dharamsala, India: $2,888 in June 2010 (via Tibetan Children’s Villages) for a Training/ Workshop/ Open Forum Discussion on Active Nonviolence Strategies with Tibetan refugees. www.anec.org.in
Grupo de Reflexión, Oaxaca, Mexico: $3,000 in December 2009 (via Educa Oaxaca, Servicios para una Educación Alternativa A.C.) to build capacity in nonviolence for social movements in Oaxaca. An intensive training involved 50 participants from Catholic base communities, indigenous and campesino communities organizing for territorial and resource rights, organic farmers, unionized teachers and other social movements. A follow-up public discussion of nonviolent strategies was attended by 85 people, including students, professors, activists and leaders, in the city of Oaxaca. www.educaoaxaca.org
Kwale Interfaith Youth Association, Mombasa, Kenya: $3,000 in April 2010 for a three-day active nonviolence training with 25 leaders from this youth association.
Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow - New Discourse, Tel Aviv, Israel: $2,500 in December 2009 for a training with 20 young activists from the ethnically mixed Dora neighborhood, who are organizing themselves to change the current academic system because it creates and perpetuates economic inequalities between ethnic groups and limits educational options. The training came out of a longterm awareness process facilitated by Mizrahi Democratic Rainbow-New Discourse, in which community members learn about the root, structural causes of the social injustices they face and build campaigns for change. hakeshethamizrahit.blogspot.com
Palestine Solidarity Project, Palestine: $2,800 in January 2010 for the Center for Strategic Alternatives Political Action Training, helping Palestinian community members to develop autonomous strategies of nonviolent resistance to displacement and violence. palestinesolidarityproject.org
Whatcom Peace & Justice Center, Bellingham, WA: $2,400 in April 2010 for a “Community Honor and Resistance Nonviolence Training” on the Lummi Nation Indian Reservation, as part of efforts to create an active, inclusive, community voice for peace and social justice in Whatcom County. www.whatcompjc.org
Your donations are needed to sustain the International Nonviolence Training Fund, so more people can learn how to collectively apply the theory and practice of nonviolent action to effective campaigns for social justice. The INTF’s grantmaking focuses on building local training capacity throughout the world, especially in areas where funding is scarce. To support this important work, indicate “INTF” on the memo line of your check or when designating your online gift. Please donate now!
The Adalys Vázquez Solidarity Travel Fund enables grassroots social movements from Latin America, the Caribbean and indigenous territories throughout the hemisphere to expand their presence at regional gatherings in order to share experiences and coordinate strategies. The next deadline is December 1, 2010.Guidelines are on our website in English at ajmuste.org/novaintro-eng.html and in Spanish at ajmuste.org/novaintro.html.
Asamblea de los Pueblos del Caribe-Capitulo Dominicano (Assembly of the Peoples of the Caribbean-Dominican Chapter), Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic: $650 for Estanisla Cadete of the Confederación Nacional de Mujeres del Campo (CONAMUCA, National Confederation of Rural Women) to participate in the V Asamblea de los Pueblos del Caribe (Fifth Assembly of the Peoples of the Caribbean) held August 3-8, 2010 in Barbados.
Asociación Enlaces Nicaragüenses en Costa Rica (Association of Nicaraguan Connections in Costa Rica), San José, Costa Rica: $588.45 for coordinator Quxabel Cardenas Amador to travel to the Foro Social Mundial de las Migraciones (World Social Forum on Migrations) to be held October 8-10 in Quito, Ecuador.
Associação de Mulheres Indigenas Pankararu (Pankararu Association of Indigenous Women), São Paulo, Brazil: $500 (via sponsor: Grupo de Mulheres Negras Nzinga Mbandi) for Salete Silva and Maria Silviane Gomes to represent the Associação de Mulheres Indigenas Pankararu at the Fórum Social Mundial das Américas (World Social Forum of the Americas) held August 11-15, 2010 in Asuncion, Paraguay.
Grupo de Mujeres Itza - Escuela de Formación Feminista (Itza Women's Group - School of Feminist Training), Medellín, Antioquia, Colombia: $500 for Marta Restrepo López to participate in the Intercambio Regional de la Red de Género y Paz (Gender and Peace Network Regional Exchange), scheduled for September 3-17, 2010 in Cuba.
Marcha Mundial de las Mujeres Chiapas/Colectivo Feminista Mercedes Olivera y Bustamante, A.C. (World March of Women Chiapas/Mercedes Olivera y Bustamante Feminist Collective), San Cristóbal de Las Casas, Chiapas, Mexico: $570.17 for Norma Iris Cacho Niño to participate in the Encuentro de Mujeres y Pueblos de las Américas contra la Militarización (Gathering of Women and Peoples of the Americas Against Militarization), held August 16-23, 2010, in Bogotá, Colombia. mmmchiapas.wordpress.com
ORMACHE (Organización Mapuche Warriache), Trelew-Chubut-Argentina: $1,100 for ORMACHE activist and educator Sandra Silva to travel to the “Congreso Latinoamericano de Educación Intercultural Bilingüe” (Latin American Congress of Intercultural Bilingual Education), to be held October 19-22 in La Antigua, Guatemala.
Red Nacional por la Defensa de la Soberanía Alimentaria en Guatemala (REDSAG, National Network for the Defense of Food Sovereignty in Guatemala), Chimaltenango, Guatemala: $500 for Mariela Susana Guinac Tiney to participate in the V Conferencia Latinoamericana de Agroecología y Asamblea Continental del Movimiento Agroecológico de América Latina y el Caribe-MAELA (V Latin American Agroecology Conference and Continental Assembly of the Agroecological Movement of Latin America and the Caribbean-MAELA), held August 7-16, 2010 in Asunción, Paraguay. www.redsag.org