Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation 

Working for peace, social justice and principled nonviolence since 1976

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Accomplishments from May 2009 to April 2010

 

NEWSLETTERS:

·    We published six more issues of our bi-monthly newsletter (SW Washington’s most comprehensive peace & justice newsletter).  We mailed copies of each issue to hundreds of people throughout Thurston and nearby counties, and e-mailed it to dozens of other people nationwide.

·    Our newsletters inform and inspire people in a great many ways in support of peace, nonviolence, and social & economic justice.  We publicize information our readers wouldn’t see elsewhere.  We also help many other organizations by publicizing their activities as well as our own.

 

TELEVISION PROGRAMS:

·    The Olympia FOR produced and broadcast another year of one-hour programs on public affairs issues.  Each program aired twice a week for a full month on Thurston Community TV, cable channel 22 in Thurston County.  Ours is TCTV’s longest-running series – 23 years!

·    This year’s subjects were:  “Nonviolence,”  “Folk Music’s Power for Peace and Justice,”  “Health Care Reform: Single-Payer Is the Solution,”  “Transition Initiatives for Resilient and Sustainable Communities,”  “Stop the Bullying:  Let’s Discuss Politics Civilly, Rationally, Compassionately,”  “Immigration Reform: Create Fair Solutions,”  “Voter-Owned Elections: Replace Special Interests’ Big-Money Financing,”  “The ‘3-Strikes’ Laws Are Unjust,”  “Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers,”  “Death Penalty: New Progress Toward Abolition,”  “Protect the Separation of Church and State,”  and “Restorative Justice and Restorative Practices.”

·    We aired a performance of “The Drug War Roadshow” on TCTV.  (See SPECIAL EVENTS below.)

·    We have posted our TV programs from the past several years on the internet so anyone in the world can watch them.  Visit www.olympiafellowshipofreconciliation.blip.tv and click on the program you want to watch.

·    Our additional TCTV series, “The Big Picture,” showed a wide variety of interesting video documentaries at 10 p.m. every Sunday night.  We give some to the Timberland Regional Library system, so you may borrow them.

 

WEBSITE:

·    We are creating www.olympiafor.org, an attractive new website, which features our newsletters, calendars, descriptions of our TV programs, and much more information than ever before about the Olympia FOR, our activities, the theory and practice of nonviolence, and various issues.

·    The new website’s “TV Programs” page includes a link to let you choose programs to watch on your computer.

PEACE VIGILS:

·    We completed 30 years of vigiling from 12 noon to 1 pm at Sylvester Park’s corner at Legion & Capitol Way.  We’ve vigiled every Wednesday since March 5, 1980.

·    We also completed 11 ½ years of vigiling at Percival Landing’s south end every Friday.  We vigil there from 4:30 to 6:00 p.m. all year around.

·    A lively jazz band, the Artesian Rumble Arkestra (usually 13-18 members), performs at our Friday vigils from 5 to 6 pm, supporting our vigils and delighting us and passersby!

·    We welcomed other organizations’ participation in our vigils with special themes on several special dates.

·    We made many new and timely signs for our vigils.

·    Many persons participated in our 34th annual Holiday Peace Vigil on Saturday December 19.

 

IRAQ:

·    We created the Iraq Memorial to Life, a powerful display commemorating Iraqi civilians killed in the current war, and displayed it in Olympia, Central Park in New York City, and near the Washington Monument in Wash DC.  See www.oly-wa.us/iraqmemorial

 

AFGHANISTAN:

·    We developed close working relationships with Afghan Youth Peace Volunteers (aged 9 to early 20s) and vigorously promoted their heartfelt video messages for peace.  We created opportunities for local youths and adults to talk directly with them by phone.  www.ourjourneytosmile.com.

·    We co-sponsored a rally & march marking 7 years of war.

 

DEATH PENALTY:

·    Our Committee for Alternatives to the Death Penalty became much larger and more active during the past year.

·    We met every month for self-education and action.

·    We showed a film at the Olympia Film Society and hosted a discussion afterward.

·    We organized an evening of poetry about prisons and the death penalty.

·    We started preparing study groups to help local faith communities learn about the death penalty.

·    We staffed information tables at Olympia’s Pride Celebration, Tacoma’s Ethnic Fest, and elsewhere.

·    We actively participated as an organizational member of the Washington Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.

 

SPECIAL EVENTS:

·    We produced two performances of “The Drug War Roadshow,” which exposes the “War on Drugs” as harmful to people in Colombia and the US.  We adapted the national FOR’s Colombia Program script.  We aired a performance on TCTV 8 times, and you can watch it on your computer.

·    See page 1’s IRAQ and AFGHANISTAN sections for our special events about those wars.

·    We displayed our name and peace dove on the Olympia-Rafah Solidarity Mural in downtown Olympia.

·    We organized the annual peace lantern floating ceremony as part of the traditional Japanese Bon Odori mid-summer festival at Capitol Lake.

·    We organized a public display of children’s peace-related art for Fall and Spring Arts Walks in downtown Olympia.

·    We enjoyed potluck picnics in June and August.

·    We staffed information tables and spoke to audiences at several local events.

·    We co-sponsored, endorsed, and/or financially supported a great variety of events and activities for peace, social justice and nonviolence, including speakers on Iraq, Afghanistan, the Middle East, Latin America, and nuclear weapons.

 

PROMOTING NONVIOLENT ACTION:

·    We started a monthly book study group about nonviolent alternatives to war.

·    We presented and/or sponsored several speaking engagements, workshops and special events about war and peace, the power and practicality of nonviolence, how to strengthen social change movements, and related topics.

·    We supported rallies, marches and other activities to oppose the current wars and support peace and justice.

·    We contributed financial support to several other organizations’ efforts for peace, social justice and nonviolence.

·    Upon request, we provided peacekeepers to help a large peace rally and march stay safe, nonviolent and effective.

 

ONGOING INFLUENCE AND SERVICE:

·    As an affiliate member of Interfaith Works, we participated in many of IW’s activities and wrote some of IW’s Perspectives columns for the Olympian.

·    We collaborated with a variety of local organizations in support of their efforts and activities for peace, social and economic justice, human rights and nonviolence.

·    We responded to a great many requests from individuals and organizations and provided an abundance of information, referrals, consultation, services and support for their efforts for peace, social justice, and nonviolence.

·    We actively participate in the Thurston County Progressive Network (TC Pro-Net), www.tcpronet.org

·    We actively participated in activities of the Western Washington FOR.  We contributed financial support to help WWFOR better serve us and the regional peace movement.  Several Olympia FOR representatives actively served on the WWFOR’s regional board and the planning committees of WWFOR’s major events and activities.

 

ORGANIZATIONAL STRENGTH:

·    We accomplish a tremendous amount because we are committed to our values, are well organized, cooperate well with others, earn the larger community’s respect and cooperation, and work very hard.

·    We completed a 15-month Long-Range Strategic Planning process that strengthened the Olympia FOR and what we do.

·    We created new committees and activities for outreach and public relations, fundraising, and developing membership.

·    Our large, active Steering Committee meets regularly and provides overall direction and decision-making.

·    Our Annual Meeting / Celebration / Election encourages broad participation in strengthening the Olympia FOR and having a good time as peacemakers.

·    We connected local folks with regional activities through the Western Washington FOR (www.wwfor.org) and other activities through the national FOR (www.forusa.org).  A growing number of Olympia members participate in WWFOR activities.

·    We continually welcome new people to our mailing list and our many activities.

·    We are an all-volunteer organization that relies entirely on voluntary tax-deductible contributions.

·    While carrying out a greater number of activities since May of last year, we also raised enough money to pay for these ambitious new activities.

·    We even had fun raising money!  Seattle folksinger Tom Rawson performed a highly enjoyable benefit concert.  We enjoyed delicious and sociable benefit dinners last December and are planning another series for June and December of 2010.

 

Olympia Fellowship of Reconciliation

5015 15th Avenue SE, Lacey WA 98503-2723

(360) 491-9093

info@olympiafor.org

www.olympiafor.org

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