2020 Peace Calendar | Syracuse Cultural Workers

2020 Peace Calendar

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Daily and monthly inspiration!

Packed with inspirational art, peoples history dates and more.

  • Over 200 people's history annotations
  • 48th edition
  • Holidays for many faiths
  • Lunar cycles, 13 native moons
  • 14X11 closed, 28x11 on wall


Sacred Circles, Sacred Cycles

James Brunt, stone art, 2018

“Secular Sacred” is a phrase used by long-time Calendar Committee member Marie Summerwood (RIP: 1/17/2019) as she encouraged us to recognize the life and power which surrounds us. As we enter a new year, we can find deep peace in this creation of stones at Filey Beach on England’s eastern coast. We are invited to join in, be still, experience solidarity, feel the power of the sea and experience the natural world.  We need this inner peace as we confront the political conflict, pain and fear which are so powerful right now. James Brunt creates elaborate ephemeral artworks using the natural materials he finds in forests, parks, and beaches near his home in Yorkshire, England.


Farming While Black

Naima Penniman, acrylic on wood, photographs, 2018

African women braided seeds into their hair before being forced to board transatlantic slave ships, a creative act of survival and resistance. Leah Penniman, cofounder of Soul Fire Farm (SFF) writes, “For thousands of years Black people have had a sacred relationship with soil that far surpasses our 246 years of enslavement and 65 years of sharecropping in the United States.” Restoring this connection is central to SFF’s mission.

Created outside New York’s Capital District in 2011, SFF networks with other farms and farmers of color across the country and the world. An inspirational mix of farm, healing center and community organizing project, Soul Fire seeks to: uproot racism in the food system; end inequity in access to land, sustenance, and power in the food system; reverse industrial agriculture’s damage to the planet and vulnerable communities; and heal from a history of oppression that has disconnected communities from land.

In order to accomplish these goals, SFF feeds people through a Community Supported Agriculture project, trains Farmer-Activists through a variety of programs, builds the movement  and uplifts radical self-care. Reparations are a key thread running through its many efforts for broad social transformation.


Pass the Equal Rights Amendment NOW!

Bettye Lane, photograph ©1979

First proposed in 1923 by suffragists in the National Woman’s Party, the Equal Rights Amendment provides for the legal equality of the sexes in the United States. It was passed by Congress in 1972, then sent to the states where ratification by 38 states (¾) was required. Only 35 ratified by 1982, a seemingly arbitrary deadline. With renewed interest, Nevada passed it in 2017 and Illinois in 2018 leaving only one state needed for approval. Five states have voted to rescind or withdraw their ratification of the ERA (all during the 1970s): Nebraska, Tennessee, Idaho, Kentucky and South Dakota. Article V of the Constitution speaks only to the states’ power to ratify an amendment but not to the power to rescind a ratification. Therefore, it is most likely that the actions of the five states are not legally valid. States that have NOT ratified (get busy): Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi,Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Utah, Virginia.

What better way to celebrate the 2020 Centennial of Women’s Suffrage than to make the ERA the 28th Amendment to the Constitution! SCW added color to Bettye Lane photograph of a 100,000 strong women’s rights demonstration on July 9, 1978 in Washington, DC.


Water Protectors

GoodSpace Murals ©2017 with Indigenous Roots Cultural Center and MN350 for Northern Spark 2017. Photo: Katie Moritz/Rewire

The indigenous-led Water/Earth protection movement which crystalized at Standing Rock in 2016 has continued in myriad ways across North America and beyond. In Minneapolis, MN, Indigenous Roots mobilized a caravan to Standing Rock in late September 2016 with 148 indigenous- Native, Latinx, Black and AAPI youth to learn and lend their support.

Inspired by that work, a two year collaboration, coordinated by GoodSpace Murals, with Indigenous Roots, their youth group and climate justice organization MN350 created this powerful public art.The photo features Mary Anne Quiroz (Filipina) and Sergio Quiroz (Mexica/Nahua) with a mural of their daughter Xicintli Meztli (Red Corn of the Moon). They formed a Mexica Aztec dance and drum group, Kalpulli Yaocenoxtli, more than a decade ago. With their brightly colored feathers and traditional regalia, the group is easy to identify at ceremonies, protests, marches and parades. Indigenous Roots works to build community power by providing culturally relevant space and opportunities that preserve, promote and practice holistic well being through arts, culture and activism.


Port Chicago Strike - 1944

Dave Homer, illustration, from The Port Chicago 50: Disaster, Mutiny, and the Fight for Civil Rights ©2014 by Steve Sheinkin. Reprinted by permission of Roaring Book Press, a division of Holtzbrinck Publishing Holdings Limited Partnership.

BOOM! 7/17/44. Huge explosions at Port Chicago Naval Yard, Richmond, CA kill 320 sailors, mostly African Americans from segregated units (15% of all WWII African American fatalities). On 8/9/44, despite threats of a firing squad for refusing to obey orders during wartime, 50 of 258 survivors refuse to resume loading live ammunition under the same unsafe conditions and ill-trained white officers. The ensuing trial for mutiny, despite leading to guilty verdicts, accelerated both the NAACP’s challenges to the status quo (led by Thurgood Marshall) and changes in the US Navy’s segregation policy. The men were all given clemency after two years and the end of the war. Most refused to seek pardons, believing themselves innocent. Recognizing that segregation was hampering the war effort, change began with improvements in munitions and task design/administration and finally, in February 1946 the Navy became the first branch of the US military to eliminate all racial barriers.


Pride in India

REUTERS/Abhishek N. Chinnappa photo

In 1991 organizations fighting discrimination against those affected by HIV or AIDS began the battle to overturn Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code. Their report revealing widespreadblackmail, extortion, and violence against gay people, especially by the police, called for the repeal of laws that legitimized discrimination and social exclusion. In September 2018, LGBTQ+ people in India celebrated after the country’s Supreme Court unanimously struck down a colonial-era ban on gay sex. The ruling was opposed by many Hindu, Christian, and Muslim leaders seeking to undermine trends toward LGBTQ+ acceptance and protection even as Nahrendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist BJP (Bharatiya Janata Party) stirs up violence against minorities and lower castes and suppresses civic activists. When over 70 countries still legalize discrimination, the ruling is an important victory, and a beacon of hope to a global LGBTQ+ population estimated to be in the hundreds of millions.


Political Prisoners

Bec Young, mixed media illustration ©2019

These political prisoners are among scores of people incarcerated in the US because of their actions and beliefs. Some are committed to nonviolence, others advocated or engaged in armed actions as part of liberation struggles. Most were convicted based on intimidated witnesses, falsified evidence, biased judges and more. Many, including Mumia Abu-Jamal and Leonard Peltier, have spent over half their lives behind bars. Collectively these women and men have struggled for Black Liberation, Indigenous rights, Puerto Rican independence, economic justice, environmental protection, nuclear disarmament and much more. The US criminal INjustice system is especially vengeful toward those who challenge capitalism. We must not forgot them, or the grave sacrifices they have made and continue to make.


Tucson Migrant Memorial Quilt

Cornelia Bayley, Migrant Quilt Project, quilt, 2014

The brutal treatment of migrants arriving alive at the US southern border is well-known. But there is also a toll in lives taken by 25 years of trade & border policies (including NAFTA, CAFTA, Operation Gatekeeper, Safeguard, and Hold the Line) that have disrupted economies and intentionally shunted migrants away from urban areas and into unforgiving desert terrain.

On a 2005 backpacking trip Jody Ipsen came across a “layup” site, where migrant families abandoned their belongings before joining a paid driver, or “coyote”, who would help them across the border. “I was stunned by the number of items left behind, but even more stunned to learn how many people didn’t make it and died in the desert,” she said.

With local artists and quilters, she began creating memory quilts from the discarded clothing. 3,200 bodies (quilts represent deaths from each year since 2000, when the Pima County Medical Examiner’s Office began documenting the names of deceased migrants whose bodies had been recovered) have been found since 2000 in the Tucson Sector, one of nine Border Patrol zones comprising the U.S.-Mexico land border. There are 17 completed quilts, stitched with the names of the dead and, frequently, the word “unknown” or “desconocido”, used to designate an unidentified person’s remains. The quiltmakers ask viewers to consider the desperation that motivates people to risk death to find more secure lives for themselves and their families, with the hope of inspiring support for humane changes in border policies.


Gaming the Vote

Keith Knight, pen, ink ©2018

This BINGO is no fun for the millions of US citizens targeted by state-sanctioned disenfranchisement. Reflecting the Republican lust for power , voter suppression is thriving. The 2013 Supreme Court decision (5 to 4) gutted the Voting Rights Act of 1965 by removing oversight of nine states with the most egregious history. Increasingly, states are enacting laws that restrict ballot access for people of color, low-income folks, the elderly and disabled, and students. Voters face a variety of obstacles aimed to discourage or prevent them from voting. With the most fundamental right of democratic citizenship at risk, growing suppression is stimulating effective resistance, localized and specific to the communities being threatened.


Power to the People

Ann Altman, oil, pastel ©2019

Since the disastrous 2016 presidential election, there is an emerging consensus on the left that elections do indeed matter and increased engagement is crucial. The 2020 elections will be the most consequential in most of our lifetimes, offering the opportunity to roll back many reactionary policies or extend and further entrench them.
Ann Altman’s colorful image captures some of the diverse tasks required to transform our culture and political direction. In her words, “Action is the best antidote for despair.” There’s a place for all of us to contribute – find yours.


Honoring Indigenous Peoples

Eduardo Kobra, murals; Marcia Rosa photographs, 2019

Created by Brazilian street artist Eduardo Kobra for the 2016 Rio Olympics, Las Etnias (The Ethnicities), is the largest mural in the world - measuring almost 3,000 square meters. The design illustrates a common bond among indigenous peoples from five continents: a Mursi man (Ethiopia) above, a Huli man (Papua New Guinea), a Kayin woman (Thailand), a Tapajó boy (Brazilian Amazon) and a Supi man (Europe) left to right below. The intricate, kaleidoscopic style showcases cultural diversity and the larger goal of world peace.


Gather Together

Jennifer Bloomer/Radici Studios, mixed media, 2017

At year’s end, we pause in gratitude for family and friends, our many blessings. It can be a time, as well, to expand our circles beyond those we love. The practice of generosity counteracts the powerful forces of greed and fear that shape our world. It depends not upon abundance (a very relative notion), but on trust and an open heart. This holiday, share a meal or an experience with people unlike you and yours. In the months to come let us re-dedicate ourselves to the unfinished work of building a tolerant democracy whose government is accountable and open to all its people.