In late June 2017, the Traprock Center for Peace and Justice board of directors approved grants for members’ projects ranging from identifying and addressing sexism at home and in our communities, to planting trees in a reforestation project in an area of Vietnam devastated by Agent Orange defoliants during the Vietnam War.
“These projects have been made possible,” explained Traprock director Patricia Hynes, “through generous contributions to our organization given recently by the Markham-Nathan Fund for Social Justice, the New England War Tax Resistance, and individual donors, some of them anonymous. These have allowed us to offer small grants for socially meaningful and needed projects.”
Keepers of the Fire
Longtime activist and singer Sarah Pirtle will continue her Common Threads dialogue project, serving adults and teens in Franklin, Hampshire and Hampden counties. A grant last year allowed her to create the booklet “Keepers of the Fire,” and distribute it at the January 21 Greenfield Women’s March and to 40 libraries and houses of worship. The booklet can now be downloaded for free from the Common Threads page. A first workshop was held at Pelham library. Further workshops on changing sexism and reconciling gender issues will be offered on the community level through this new funding.
Books Not Bombs and 10,000 Trees for Vietnam
Two projects that Pat Hynes has been working on will receive additional funding thanks to the recent contributions. The first is “Peace and Justice Books for Orange Children’s Library,” a collaboration between Friends of the Library, Orange; Traprock and the children’s library staff to buy books and hold events with children to promote awareness, reading and discussion of the books, all with themes around peace, social justice, nature and environmental justice.
Pat’s second project, “$10,000 for 10,000 trees for Vietnam” was the focus of an article this spring in the Greenfield Recorder, which led to great interest and generous donations. With the goal of 10,000 trees now in sight, the additional summer grant funding from Traprock will pay for more planting by the project partner in Dong Son Commune, A Luoi Valley, Vietnam.
2017 UN Climate Summit presence, Germany
The fourth project supported was proposed by Anna Gyorgy, coordinator of the Women and Life on Earth internet project, an on-line international news and networking effort sponsored in the USA by Traprock. Last year she and other Traprock friends honored the 1980 Women’s Pentagon Action, when some 2000 women surrounded the Pentagon demanding “an end to the arms race. No more bombs. No more amazing inventions for death.”
This year the mid-November anniversary will focus on connections between militarism, war and the climate crisis. Anna, who lived and worked on the internet project in Germany for years, will follow the next international climate summit, November 6-17 in Bonn, a former home. “We look forward to Anna’s reports back from and around this critical international meeting, as well as on the energy transition to renewables taking place in Germany,” said Hynes.
Teachers for Peace
Peace activist Mary McCarthy will partner with elementary school teachers in specific communities in Western Mass, “with the purpose of creating a culture of peace in the classroom and helping to cultivate peace skills as life skills for the students.” The program will include developing projects, using books and hands-on activities to promote peace and problem solving in the classroom and beyond. A special website will offer resources and more information.
See report in the Greenfield Recorder, July 22, 2017 – Traprock Peace Center projects planned.
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