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The Peace Warrior by Dena Eakles
 
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December 2011

DETROIT.

The press and pundits will tell you it is over for Detroit. Color it with fear, and let us forget. But I have been learning about Detroit from the People who live there. Through emails and newsletters I have been encouraged by the resurgence of consciousness and kindness. I wanted to be with People who are reclaiming their humanity in this way. So, a few of us went to the Boggs Center's Reimagining Organizing Movements Leadership gathering on December 10, and for a few short hours and days I was at home in Detroit. This is what I have come to know: out of the ashes, humanity shines. Out of the lies, compassion is victor. I saw Children thriving, because of the love. I saw the Earth healing, because of the need.

There has been an exodus of more than 50% of her population as big money left Detroit. With the dream shattered, those who remained have the choice to give up or wake up. I am happy to tell you the People of Detroit are alive and well. About 1,300 gardens have come to life. Food justice is not a theory. It is a practice. Leadership is shared. The vision is strictly a human one, summed up by the late Jimmy Boggs, "change yourself to change the world." It was an honor to sit with the iconic, 97 year old Grace Lee Boggs and to witness the absolute strength that is her calling card: she is a human being. First and foremost, she is alive, and from what I can tell she is constantly learning.

I have been blessed with a need to be with People who recognize we are one planet, one people - those who know, beyond doubt, that our relationship to the Earth and to one another is one of symbiotic need - and to whom this discovery is joyous. I have been fortunate to find these wonderful souls who dare to challenge the shackles of our institutions and belief systems. Grace Boggs is one such individual and in the wake of her wisdom, many are Remembering. Shine on Detroit.

Grace Lee Boggs with Echo Valley Crew
Grace Lee Boggs with Group from Echo Valley



DRONES, HIGH VOLTAGE TRANSMISSION LINES & MINING THE PENOKEE MOUNTAINS


Are you ready to add your voice to the human request for a sustainable world? Try these on:
  • WNPJ’s pro peace-anti militarism group will be holding monthly pro-peace vigils against the illegal use of drones in warfare at Volk Field, Camp Williams at Camp Douglas. For information, contact Joy First at 608.239.4327.
  • SOUL of the Kickapoo is leading a campaign to stop High Voltage Transmission Lines in Wisconsin. 
    Email type@mwt.net to see if your township has declined the line or to get a custom resolution for your local government. 
  • Mining the northwest Wisconsin Penokee Hills will displace People and harm the waterways and pristine lands.  
    Visit this website for more.



THE LAST MOUNTAIN
Sunday, December 18 at 2:00 p.m.

You are most welcome to the screening of The Last Mountain, a compelling environmental documentary on the people of Coal River Valley, West Virginia and their efforts to save their homeland. For more information, visit I Love Mountains.

Did you know?

  •  Almost one-half of the electricity in the United States comes from burning coal
  • 16 pounds of coal are burned daily for every man, woman and child in the United States
  • One third of the coal comes from the mountains of Appalachia
To learn how you are connected to mountaintop removal, click here.
 

ECHO VALLEY HOPE

Dear Friends,

In January 2004, Wisconsin Trails Magazine acclaimed 
Echo Valley Hope, Inc. as one of “20+ organizations making a difference.”
Our fledgling educational and charitable nonprofit was already being recognized as innovative, hard working and on target. We continue to live up to that honor as we work within our mission to advance sustainable living and all initiatives of peace.

In 2011, we forged relationships with numerous organizations and networks, bringing awareness and charitable donations to the efforts which are aligned with ours. These included The Prem Rawat Foundation
The Cornucopia Institute Valley Stewardship Network, Iraqi and American Reconciliation Project, Wisconsin Network for Peace and JusticeMotherland Rhythm Community’s Benkadi Project,  Veterans for Peace, Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership, Daughters of Navajo Weavers, and Family Farm Defenders.

As we approach 2012, we are committed to Peace First: continued collaborations and exchanges of good will, ideas and financial support with those helping to bring peace and addressing the well-being of all people.

We recognize the essential human needs for local healthy food, water, and shelter. We strive towards educating people about food production, green homes and community supported living. Through our free events and classes in sustainability, we empower individuals to be innovative, free thinking, and community active. Roxanne, a young woman who came to learn about green building and gardening last year, is now working on a raised bed garden to grow local produce for a low-income area in Philadelphia. She said, “My experience with Echo Valley Hope made me want to work on a project with people, not solo--a project with my community and for my community.”

This year, we will be adding educational activities on peace and nonviolence for people of all ages. Throughout the month of July, we will host youth camps inviting children to work together, to support one another, to find their individual strengths and to learn practical and sustainable skills – while having fun.

With your financial support, we can continue to make a difference. Echo Valley Hope, Inc. is a 501(c)3. With low overhead and all-volunteer efforts, you can be sure your tax-deductible donations will be applied to programs advancing sustainable living and to promote all initiatives of peace. Last year, our charitable donations helped people affected by the earthquake and tsunami in Japan, drought and hunger victims in East Africa, brought clean water to students in Iraq, and fed people via local food pantries in Wisconsin.

We know that your dollars are stretched. We know that the needs are great everywhere. That is why we work so hard to address the needs at a fundamental level, planting seeds of hope and of food, teaching people how to work together again, reminding people of the joy of living and the sweetness of peace.

Please allow us to continue to help in this way. Your dollars and your input are welcomed and appreciated.
May the New Year bring us closer to the reality that we know is possible: may each human heart rise up to discover peace within, and may Peace on Earth prevail.

The Board of Directors of Echo Valley Hope,
Dena Eakles, Joyce Firestone, Joan Ross, Melissa Gordon Rhine, Nancy Douglas Putnam, Aedward Del Signore and Lauren West

To make a tax-deductible donation
  • Send a check or money order to:
    Echo Valley Hope, Inc., E 14604 County Rd. F, Ontario, WI 54651,
  • Donate online securely through PayPal here or
  • Donate on Facebook here.

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