News and Commentary
Center News and Notes
Commentary: Militarism and Spiritual Death
Everybody's Revolution: Heart Unity
Doin' It Justice Concert
Community and Allied Events
Chapmantown Annexation Forum
Friends Advocacy Team Meets
Endangered Species Faire
Multicultural Gender Studies Conversation
Chico Velo Bike Month Calendar
Stonewall Mental Health Month Calendar
Aramenta Hawkins Wins Another Award
Last month we told you that CPJC Executive Director Aramenta Hawkins was selected for the 2017 “After Chico” award, which honors “Chico alums' outstanding contributions in the field of diversity activism, service, education, and/or celebration.” Travon Robinson, Director of University Diversity Programs & Inclusion at Chico State, wrote that “the committee has been truly impressed by your hard work and commitment to diversity efforts for our campus community.” The award was presented April 26; recipients are pictured below.
Now comes word from the Chico State Gender and Equity Center that Aramenta is receiving the Angela Davis Award for being an outstanding woman activist for feminist issues.
The award will be presented in a ceremony at the Chico Women's Center on May 11.
We all celebrate Aramenta's achievements and thank her for being such a marvelous representative of the Chico Peace and Justice Center in our community.
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Center News and Notes
Compiled from the Executive Director Report and Board Minutes
The April CPJC highlight was Pancakes for Peace, which drew about 500 children and adults for a great, all-you-can breakfast plus the annual Easter Egg and Golfball Treasure Hunt, silent auction, massage, and excellent community conversation and socializing. Thanks once again to the planning team, myriad volunteers, and contributors to the silent auction.
During the month we added Love Chapmantown, Mobilize, and Chico Velo to our roster of community allies, and the Center has collaborated with Chico Velo, Showing Up for Racial Justice, Love Chapmantown, and Mobilize for event planning and action.
The pilot workshop for Whose Lives Matter was conducted in early April and will be a major program of the center in coming months. The Human Relations network held an especially well attended and candid public town hall meeting with the District Attorney and Chico Police Chief to discuss the Desmond Phillips Shooting—a meeting that was also covered by local media. The newly formed Citizen's Climate Lobby group is now meeting at CPJC, working to bring about climate change action through an innovative approach to carbon taxes. The Executive Director also participated in a Gold Radio broadcast—a public tv/radio program widely broadcast in the northern Sierra.
The new Program Coordinator for Career Builders, Moses Salgado, has begun the outreach campaign, including high schools and businesses, preparing for major school visits in the beginning of the school year. Volunteer Blake Hollingsworth is analyzing data to identify schools and classes which have the most military recruits after high school; this will help focus the program.
Coming up in May will be the monthly gathering for Peace Gardening 101 (May 6), Everybody's Revolution (May 10), and a Doin' It Justice Choir concert benefitting CPJC and Women's Health Specialists on May 20 and 21. (See separate announcements of these events.)
CPJC is growing a vibrant hub for activists and activism. But our budget is small and we need financial support from the peace and justice community. Please consider a one-time or increased sustaining contribution to further our work. Our website is open 24/7/365 and welcomes your support at http://chicopeace.org/membership.
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US Extreme Militaristic Culture:
Charles Withuhn, CPJC Board Member
A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. April 4, 1967
Let’s be honest, Obama was not the champion of peace many of us hoped he'd be, but at least, he maintained the appearance of providing independent direction to his military advisers. Now that it’s Trump's turn, he has assembled military entourage of former generals, doing away with any semblance of the executive branch acting independently from the military. In one case, Trump broke with federal law by appointing Gen. James Mattis—popularly known as “Mad Dog”–only four years after Obama fired him as the head of Central Command for being too hawkish. Trump's appointment violates an important federal statute dictating that to serve as Secretary of Defense a person must be out of the military for seven years—a person needs time out of the military to learn the value of diplomacy and to get a balanced view of the world. This appointment suggests that we will have an even more militaristic and brutal foreign policy. This should be an important concern to every taxpayer. What will be done on our dime?
A dime is actually very small change. How about the biggest discretionary item in the US budget that costs us over $2 billion dollars a day? Our military budget. And as if that's not enough, as first reported in Mother Jones magazine, (1/14/15), then in the Fiscal Times in (3/19/15), and then by Reuters (6/18/15), “the last 8.5 trillion dollars in tax payer money given to the Pentagon has never been accounted for.” (Note 1)
One trillion is 1000 billion; one billion is 1000 million—gone AWOL despite a Federal Audit requirement! The Reuters article mentions one Department of Defense accountant who “spent the last 15 years of her career inserting phony numbers in Dept. of Defense accounts.”
We don't know what our tax dollars are being spent on! This is a violation of the basic concept of representative governance. If you don't know what your government is doing, how is that different from a dictatorship?
We do know, since Trump’s election, we've been bombing Yemeni civilians, unleashed 59 Tomahawk missiles in Syria, dropped the inappropriately named “Mother of All Bombs” on Afghanistan, made threats to withdraw from the nuclear weapons agreement with Iran, and engaged in brinksmanship and posturing with nuclear-armed North Korea. We are witnessing a reckless cost to US taxpayers and inflated profits for the military industrial complex, particularly Raytheon, in which Trump owns stock! The apathetic response from the US congress, including many Democrats, and from many in the general public, reflects acceptance of an extreme militaristic culture at the expense of social programs and, as Martin Luther King said, “spiritual death”.
For more on increasing militarism and civilian casualties under Trump, check:
“March was the deadliest month ever recorded by Airwars during the Coalition’s campaign in Iraq and Syria. This coincided with the greatest number of munitions dropped by the allies so far in the war.” https://airwars.org/news/international-airstrikes-and-civilian-casualty-claims-in-iraq-and-syria-march-2017/
"Bottom line: Look for ever more death and destruction against civilians and the inevitable blowback that sends us into a downward spiral of violence, all accompanied by an increasingly robust offer of 'alternative facts' on civilian casualties." Gabor Rona, head of the Law and Armed Conflict Project at the Cardozo Law Institute on Holocaust and Human Rights.
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Center Events in May
Peace Gardening 101:
Creative Container Gardening
Saturday, May 6, 9:30 -11:00 am
at the Peace Center Garden
If you enjoy having herbs, flowers and some vegetables at your home but don't have much space or a sunny yard you can have a container garden instead! Come learn about ways to save space and how to grow edible plants successfully in containers. Take home a culinary herb pot to start your container garden. Contact: Colleen at email@example.com or call 239-272-9661.
Wednesday, May 10, 6-8 pm at CPJC
The topic for this month's “Everybody's Revolution” workshop is Heart Unity: Forging Connection and Understanding Across Lines of Race, Religion, and Class. This will be the eighth and final workshop in the series Exploring the Wheel of Integral Nonviolence and will serve as a summing up as we find “heart unity” in our lives and activism. All are welcome, even if you have not attended previous sessions. The workshop will center on participants' preparing “life maps” of their past experiences with race, religion, and class and speculation about a future of individual and group activism. We'll also look again at the spokes of the Wheel of Integral Nonviolence seeking connections among the various spokes, e.g., walking with the poor, withdrawing support from violent institutions, caring for and sharing planetary resources. Join us at CPJC, Wednesday, May 10, 6-8 pm for this important and integrative workshop.
The Doin' It Justice Chorus has generously presenting this concern as a benefit for CPJC and Women's Health Specialists. Suggested donation is $10-$20. We encourage CPJC members to attend either of these concerts where you will enjoy and appreciate music to provide a “Bridge Over Troubled Waters” under the direction of Warren Haskell.
New CPJC Ally, the Love Chapmantown Community Coalition will hold this community forum to discuss Chapmantown annexation. City and county officials will discuss and answer questions about the pending annexation of previously unincorporated Chapmantown by the City of Chico.
Participating will be:
Ann Schwab, City Councilor
Larry Wahl, Butte County Supervisor
Mark Orme, City Manager
Chris Constantin, Assistant City Manager (Economic Development)
Michael O'Brien, Chief of Police
Bill Hack, Fire Chief,
Mark Wolfe, Community Development Director (Code Enforcement)
Brendan Ottoboni, Director of Public Works Engineering
Erik Gustafson, Director of Public Works Operations
Scott Dowell, Administrative Services (Finance)
The Moderator will be Vincent Ornelas, Chapmantown resident and a professor in the School of Social Work, CSU. After brief presentations by the officials, members of the audience will submit questions to the panel. The forum is intended specifically for Chapmantown residents, but all community members are invited to attend. Additional information about the Coalition is at www.lovechapman.org.
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Friends Advocacy Team Program
Saturday, May 6, 11 am – 12 pm at CPJC
The first meeting of the Quaker Friends Committee on National Legislation Advocacy Teams Program—a national Quaker affiliated program that welcomes all who are excited about developing relationships with local legislators.
In our case, we will try to catch the ear of the California’s 1st Congressional District Representative, Doug LaMalfa, and specifically trying to convince him that a budget that increases military spending by $30 billion is a budget against the interest of his constituents.
Emily Savin, Advocacy Team Trainer for FCNL, will be conference calling us and will be giving an introduction training on leadership, lobbying skill building, network building, and civic engagement. Please come join the conversation!
Contact Peter Hoffman for more information, at firstname.lastname@example.org
Butte Environmental Council
38th Annual Endangered Species Faire
Saturday, May 6, 11 am – 4 pm
One Mile Recreation Area
If you’re looking for a chance to meet a reindeer and a crocodile on the same day, Butte Environmental Council’s 38th Annual Endangered Species Faire is the place to be! There will be countless opportunities to learn about threatened and endangered species living in your own backyard. There will be a live animal show featuring exotic endangered animals from all over the world! Local groups have been working around the clock to create hundreds of life like puppets for a puppet parade full of endangered species at 11:30. There will be live music, local food, an eco-scavenger hunt, and much more! The theme of this year’s Endangered Species Faire is “urban habitats”. Visit www.becnet.org/events for more information!
Multicultural Gender Studies
“Talk About It”
Tuesday, May 9, 2-3pm
Sylvester's Cafe, CSU Campus
Students from Multicultural Gender Studies would like to invite you to come support and talk with first-year first-generation students from Multicultural Gender Studies 155. Listen to our podcasts; check out our websites; join us in discussions and share your insights. Presentations and exhibits will include immigration rights, deportation, motherhood, poverty, wage gap, pro-choice/pro-life, and car culture. More information available from Josh Whittinghill email@example.com
All are invited to a benefit concert for the Chico Housing Action Team's "My Brother's Keeper" Free Store for the homeless. Featuring three great local bands: Dylan's Dharma, Bahapki, and Low Flying Birds. Come on down for a night of dancing and original music while supporting a worthy cause. All ages welcome. $10 minimum donation at the door. For more information, contact Dan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 530-412-3910.
New CPJC Community Ally Chico Velo is excited both to be the ‘local host’ of Bike Month for 2017 and to partner with the Center for Peace and Justice. As a 501.c.3 non-profit organization, our mission is to encourage bicycling in our community through advocacy and education. We work closely with the city and county to improve conditions for cycling, educate cyclists and motorists about safety, and represent your interests locally and at the state level in partnership with the California Bicycle Coalition. Join us in improving bicycling in Chico by volunteering or contributing to Chico Velo programs and our Foundation, established to support local bike-related projects and activities.
May is National Bike Month and there’s a host of fun bike rides and activities “on tap” here in Chico and close by, for riders of all abilities and ages. Whether you’re a serious bicyclist already, or wanting to ‘up your game’ or new to it all, there’s bound to be something just right for you! As a League of American Bicyclists’ Gold level Bike-Friendly City, Chico has a lot to offer for bicyclists. It is ideally suited to biking for transportation, recreation, fitness and competition.
Here’s a sampling of the many free Bike Month events and programs (Details and more events and programs at www.chicovelo.org/bike-month.)
National Bike Challenge: The Challenge runs from May 1 through September 30. A fun way to track your miles and compete with friends and family, it will motivate you to get out and ride!
Chico Bike Party – Every Wednesday and every 4th Saturday evening: Join the party on wheels! Meet at 8 pm at ‘The Hands’ at the front of the Muni Bldg parking lot for a short social ‘destination’ ride.
May 6: Ride your bike in the Pioneer Day Parade! – The organizers of the Pioneer Day Parade have invited all bicyclists to come and join the parade! Arrive early and join the bicyclists at the head of the parade! Family Friendly! FREE! Learn more at www.chicopioneerdayparade.com.
May 7: Seersucker Ride – Dress up in vintage clothes. Ride your most-vintage bike. Have a picnic!
May 8-12: Bike to School Week - By riding or walking to school, kids at participating schools earn raffle tickets for daily prizes and a ‘grand prize’ drawing for $250 gift certificates. Maps, stickers and more!
May 13: Bike-in Movie Night: Triplets of Bellville – Ride your bike. Wait for sunset. Watch a great bike movie – outdoors! Popcorn and Bike Valet provided.
May 14: Mother’s Day Ride – Join us for a casual ride to Coffee. Options for Cruiser, Roadie or Mtb rides.
May 17: Ride of Silence – Join with riders from hundreds of cities all over the world to honor and remember bicyclists killed or injured by crashes with vehicles.
May 18: Chico Velo meeting at CPJC – 6:30 to 7:30pm. May meeting topic: Bikepacking – how to, some trip reports and some planned group trips!
May 19: Bike to Work Day and Bike to Happy Hour – Ride your bike to work. Ride your bike from work on a fun short social tour of recent and proposed improvements to bike lanes and routes.
May 21: Ride your Bike in the Park day –Chico Parks department invites us all to take a ride in one of our great parks!
May 21: Bike with BEC Enviro Tour – BEC will guide this casual ‘enviro tour’ including a visit to the BEC gardens on Humbolt and the proposed Stonegate development site.
Details and more events and programs at www.chicovelo.org/bike-month. Now get out for a ride!
Check stonewallchico.org for a full calendar of Stonewall events for May, including the following events surrounding Mental Health Month”
Friday, May 5, 6:30 pm @ Stonewall
Mental Health in the Queer Qmunity Meeting & Discussion
Wednesday, May 10th, 10am-2pm @ Hmong Cultural Center, Oroville
Walk for Mental Health Awareness
Friday, May 12, 6:30 pm @ Stonewall
LGBT Older Adults and Mental Health
Wednesday, May 17th, 11am-3pm @ 492 Rio Lindo Ave.
Iverson Wellness & Recovery Fair
Wednesday, May 17th, 3-5pm @ Rio Lindo Veteran's Hall
Behavioral Health Board Town Hall
Wednesday, May 17th, 5:30pm @ 441 Main street
Chico Police Advisory Board Meeting: Mental Health
Friday, May 19, 6:30 pm @ Stonewall
Queer Mental Health in the Movies
Sunday, May 21st, 1pm @ American Family and Cultural Center, Oroville
Ways to Wellness
Wednesday, May 24th, time TBA @ Sacramento
Mental Health Matters Day at the Capitol