2019 Peace Calendar | Syracuse Cultural Workers

2019 Peace Calendar

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  • Over 200 people's history annotations
  • 48th edition
  • Holidays for many faiths
  • Lunar cycles, 13 native moons

JANUARY

Girls Will Be Girls

This intriguing photograph from choreographer Camille Brown’s BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play captures two young black women sharing a madcap moment. It reminds us that even in this racially and politically charged world, growing up black and female is many things, not least among them joyous and hopeful.

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Carving Out Identity

Choreographer Camille Brown’s BLACK GIRL: Linguistic Play is a complex and hopeful look at growing up black and female. The production’s website says, “In a society where black women are often only portrayed in terms of their strength, resiliency, or trauma, this work seeks to interrogate these narratives by representing a nuanced spectrum of black womanhood in a racially and politically charged world. … Brown uses the rhythmic play of African-American dance vernacular including social dancing, double dutch, steppin’, tap, Juba, ring shout, and gesture as the black woman’s domain to evoke childhood memories of self-discovery.”

FEBRUARY

Reckoning with White Supremacy

Powerful art from the African Holocaust Society brings us face to face with the deadly history of racism in the US: the enslavement of generations of people torn from Africa in bondage, followed by segregation, Jim Crow and continuing oppression. It is well past time for reparations to address this toxic legacy.

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Slavery and So Much More

White Supremacy has held sway in what we now call the United States since before the nation was born. Events in recent years remind us that despite centuries of struggle for the abolition of slavery, voting rights, civil rights and Black Power, the grip of institutional racism remains iron clad.

  • Every year since 1989, H.R. 40 The Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act, has been introduced into the House of Representatives. The number 40 echoes the unfulfilled promise of 40 acres and a mule after the Civil War. The modest bill, which doesn’t have a Senate companion, would establish a commission to examine the institution of slavery in the U.S. and its early colonies, and recommend appropriate remedies. The bill has never made it out of committee.
  • While the movement for reparations dates back centuries, recent efforts have emphasized not only the original sin of slavery, but also the terrorism, legal segregation, economic apartheid and myriad other forms of discrimination which followed the violent rollback of Reconstruction. With the Movement for Black Lives continuing and the UN’s International Decade of People of African Descent underway, HR40 offers a path to address this long overdue debt.
  • While there are no perfect models for reparations, we can learn from efforts from the Holocaust, Japanese internment, Truth and Reconciliation in South Africa and elsewhere. One of those lessons is that persistence does indeed pay off.

MARCH

International Women’s Day Pakistan 2018

March 8, 2018 saw the first women’s rights marches ever held in Pakistan (photograph by Asif Hassan). In Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, hundreds of women marched for an end to violence and as an act of solidarity. Women are here, harassers must fear!

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Freedom for Women

International Women’s Day (IWD) 2018 saw the first women’s rights marches in the conservative Muslim country of Pakistan. Pakistan’s dual system of civil and sharia law means harsh lives for women. In 1979 new criminal offenses and punishments were enacted into law. Even after laws were amended in 2006, rates of domestic abuse and forced marriages remain high.

  • In Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, marches attracted hundreds of women. As word spread on social media of their demands for women’s rights, and an end to violence, so too did the morale and courage of Pakistani women.
  • Trans women, nuns, Dalit women, union women, women on motorcycles all joined. Signs honored Qandeel Baloch, a social media star murdered by her brother. A small coffin labeled, “Patriarchy’s funeral” was carried in her honor.
  • As the recognition and power of IWD finds footing in new countries, women gather together in support, resistance, and solidarity.

APRIL

Ending the Fossil Fuel Era

Reversing climate chaos will require all of us to join the emerging energy revolution. This “can-do” SCW collage reminds us of the many ways to engage in the movement to prevent human-created climate change from destroying a livable future on Earth.

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This Will Take All of Us

Climate change affects all the issues about which we care so deeply – the Earth, equality, human dignity, justice, peace and much more. Human-created climate change is well underway. It is too late to stop, but not too late to prevent it from destroying our future.

  • As journalist Naomi Klein has written, preventing climate chaos requires us to address the multitude of social and economic issues confronting our world, and provides a critical opportunity to support frontline communities from the shores of Bangladesh to Standing Rock to New Orleans. We must find ways to create a united movement to confront the wealthy few who threaten the future of billions of people, plants, animals and other life.
  • Reversing climate chaos will require all of us to join the emerging energy revolution. There are many ways to engage – some of which are shown above. We can, and must, pull together to meet this challenge.

MAY

From Beach Trash to Ocean Art

This eye-popping sculpture is the work of the ongoing project Washed Ashore, founded by Angela Haseltine Pozzi. These sculptures of marine life create beauty and wonder out of the plastic beach trash, which then leads to conversations about the ocean trash epidemic.

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Washed Ashore

Trash is the ocean’s deadliest predator.
The enviro-art project, Washed Ashore, aims to educate all of us (citizens, businesses, governments at all levels) about plastic pollution in the oceans and waterways, and to spur personal and societal changes critical to reducing the threat. Using the enormous amounts of plastic trash that wash up on coastal beaches, the project creates large-scale sculptures of sea life endangered by marine debris. • In today’s world, convenience is valued above all. Single-use plastic bags are “helpfully” provided. Miles-long chains of entwined bags, observable from space(!), wreak havoc on the normal life of sea creatures. This amazing art asks us to reconsider our habits: do we need the plastic straw or bag or bottle or cup...

JUNE

Stonewall 50th Anniversary

An exuberant SCW collage celebrates PRIDE in the Peace Calendar these past many years. In June 2019, there is so much to celebrate, and more remaining to be accomplished. The mile-long rainbow flag was carried by thousands in the NYC 25th Stonewall Celebration.

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Pride Was Born

The US was dangerous and stifling for gay people in the 1950’s and 60’s. Businesses rarely welcomed them; often it was bars that tolerated gay men, lesbians, drag queens and transgender people. Brutal police raids were common. On June 28, 1969 clientele at the Stonewall Inn in Greenwich Village, NYC, resisted a police raid. Violent protests escalated. LGBT activist work exploded in cities across the US. On June 28, 1970, the first pride marches were held in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York.

Fifty years later, the Stonewall Inn is still open, and in 2016 was designated a national monument, the first dedicated to LGBT rights. Protections have been established at state and federal levels, in areas of employment, housing, hospital visits, marriage, adoption. Gay Straight Alliances in schools provide safe space for all students and the legalization of gay marriage in June, 2015 is welcomed by most Americans. Unfortunately, violence has also grown. Victims of hate crimes are overwhelmingly transgender women of color, who live at the deadly intersections of transphobia, racism and sexism. The current administration’s public rhetoric invites hate crimes. Still, the diverse LGBT communities continue to grow and to gather one Saturday each June to hold parades in celebration of pride in their lives of freedom

JULY

Demand Palestinian Right of Return

Each Israeli Independence Day, Palestinians remember the Nakba (catastrophe) when Israel drove 700,000 people from their homes. Adel Hana’s photo for the AP shows a key, symbolic of the hope that fuels the Palestinians’ desire to return home. There can be no peace without justice.

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Jewish or Democratic?

ewish or Democratic?
Each Israeli Independence Day, Palestinians commemorate the Nakba, or “catastrophe,” when 700,000 people were systematically driven from their homes in 1948. Many fleeing Palestinians kept their house keys in hopes they would soon return to their homes. New generations inherit their ancestors’ displacement and its symbol, the key.

  • Today, Palestinians in the Occupied Territories live under an apartheid system that denies them the right to vote in national elections, due process, free movement and access to clean water. US taxpayers fund and arm the Israeli military, which responds to Palestinian protesters at the border wall in Gaza with live fire.
  • Palestinians and supporters call for boycott, divestment and sanctions of Israel in an international campaign similar to the one that helped cripple the South African apartheid government.
  • As Israeli settlements continue to expand, encouraged by the US, the possibility of a just two-state solution in Palestine and Israel grows more remote. Many have commented that Israel can be either a Jewish state or a democratic state, but it cannot be both. The Israeli state has a right to exist, but also a responsibility to facilitate the return of those it has displaced or provide compensation to those who do not wish to return. The Palestinian right of return, articulated in UN Resolution 194, is a necessary step on the road to justice.

AUGUST

Refugees - A Global Responsibility

This stone artwork by Nizar Ali Badr is a quiet yet powerful reminder that, irrespective of our differences, the millions of displaced people in search of safe refuge are a responsibility shared by all members of the human family.

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Rescue Refugees and We Rescue Ourselves

We are overwhelmed by the plight of millions of people displaced by war, persecution and the early impacts of climate change. We see an epidemic of suffering, as families facing only bad choices, are forced from their homes. An unimaginable journey awaits: where to go; how to carry food, diapers, medicine, pets; any “normalcy” shattered by uncertainty. The simple but moving art of Stepping Stones gives us a glimpse of this bewildering reality.

  • Proven programs offering refugees asylum and resettlement allow us to provide desperately-needed services and reclaim our agency and commitment to empathy. With our help, people can rebuild their lives. Our shared presence on this earth means a global responsibility to do no less.

SEPTEMBER

Protect kids not guns

Karen Kotlar's photo captures the determination of young people who ignited a nationwide gun control movement in the wake of the February 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS in Parkland, FL. Stop gun violence in schools and urban communities. Ban assault weapons! Require universal background checks!

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Enough Is Enough

On 2/14/2018, a shooter armed with an assault rifle killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas HS in Parkland, FL. Within days the grieving students ignited a nationwide gun control movement.

  • They successfully confronted the gun-friendly Florida legislature. Next came school walkouts and a huge March For Our Lives on Washington and across the country. Over 150,000 students at 2,700 schools walked out on April 20, the 19th anniversary of he Columbine shootings.
  • Understanding the epidemic of gun violence in many African American communities, the students reached out to Black Lives Matter activists to form a powerful coalition of suburban and urban youth.
  • Much of the NRA money that corrupts our politics comes from the gun industry. While chances of enacting federal gun control under Trump are slim, we can divest from the gun and ammunition industry. Following the lead of courageous young people we can end the scourge of gun violence.

OCTOBER

Housekeys Not Handcuffs

Art Hazelwood and Michelle Williams’ provocative mural exposes the causes of homelessness and poverty, empowering communities facing chronic shortages of affordable housing to demand protection of their civil and human rights. Created with the Western Regional Advocacy Project in San Francisco. ©2016 Western Regional Advocacy Project with San Francisco Print Collective, Art Hazelwood and Michelle Williams

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Whose Quality of Life?

San Francisco police issued 22,000 citations over eight years for the “crimes” of sitting, sleeping or begging in public places. So-called “quality of life” laws are meant to regulate public behavior in order to prevent more serious crimes from occurring.

  • Akin to “broken windows policing,” quality of life laws targeting homeless people are politically popular, but the Western Regional Advocacy Project found that enforcement of quality of life laws contributes to people moving between neighborhoods and being barred from services that help them escape homelessness, thereby keeping them on the streets. The citations carry fines, and an additional $300 fee can be added to an arrest warrant if the fine cannot be paid. Criminalizing homelessness traps people in a cycle of incarceration with no help into stable housing.
  • Gentrification, the influx of higher-income residents into previously low-income neighborhoods, also contributes to homelessness by limiting the availability of affordable housing. Studies show that spending on public programs is decreased in poor neighborhoods with affluent enclaves, so gentrification hurts the residents who stay in the neighborhood as well as those who are displaced.
  • The federal Low-Income Housing Credit, the major source of funding for affordable housing, incentivizes private developers to create housing specifically for low-income families. However, the credit is woefully underfunded and often ineffective at providing enough affordable housing, even when supplemented by state and local funding.

NOVEMBER

Asônamâkêwin - “Passing It On”

The elimination of Indigenous languages has been a central part of colonization and assimilation. Many Native nations are now teaching their youth and others their languages which have been on the brink of extinction. Hal Cameron's art beautifully illustrates this critical task.

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Nyaweñha skanñon

In life we are given so many beautiful gifts and language is one of them. Growing up on the Onondaga Nation I heard my language when my elders would speak to one another. I heard my language in the longhouse when I would attend our traditional ceremonies. I heard my language while attending the Onondaga Nation School, where my Aksodaha (grandmother) Audrey Shenandoah would dedicate thirty seven years of her life as the Onondaga Language teacher. She grew up with her grandparents who were fluent in Onoñ da’ge’ga and she along with so many of our elders carried that gift as their first language. I speak English as my first language but didn’t understand why until I became an adult. Through presidential orders and boarding school punishments the English language was forced upon innocent children who were brutalized, tortured and discarded in shallow graves for speaking the only words they had ever known.

  • My assimilated and colonized existence has a strong influence on how I live my life today, along with my strong traditional upbringing in my family, longhouse and community.
  • I live in a time where our language is on the verge of extinction. Our first language speakers have traveled onto the sky world and left us here to carry on the work of our people and to do the best we can to save our language.

– Awhenjiosta Myers

DECEMBER

The Tree Charter

An SCW collage based on a photo by Louis Dallara celebrates the tenets of the Charter, created in the United Kingdom in 2015 under the leadership of the Woodland Trust. Join the movement to strengthen the bonds between trees, woods and people.

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Standing Strong, Together

In the United Kingdom in 2015 the Woodland Trust took the lead in building a people-powered movement for trees. More than 70 organizations and 300 local groups participated in a process to create a clear, unifying statement about people’s rights to the benefits of trees, woods and forests. The Charter describes a mutually beneficial relationship.

  • Across the globe from forests, to savannas, to cities, trees are under new threats from climate change, even as overpopulation, agriculture and development continue to destroy trees and forests. The Charter is both inspiration and action plan for those who love trees to work toward a world in which people and trees can stand strong, together.
  • Each November, national Tree Charter Day brings everyone together to celebrate trees, woods and people.

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