Dear Oakland Community Members and High School Student Leaders,
On February 15th, Life Academy of Health and Bioscience High School is starting its 2nd Annual Season of Peace-Building campaign. The Season of Peace-Building was a campaign started last year by the students of the “Be A Man – BAM” group (a young men’s group) and the “Real Ambitious Women – RAW” (a young women’s group) because these groups wanted to respond to the senseless killings of youth in the Oakland community. Our groups understood that stopping the violence was nearly impossible, but we strongly believed that building peace could be more contagious. So, we encouraged our community to join our Peace Campaign.
Last year’s Season of Peace-Building was a great success. We collected over 2,000 Peace Pledge signature, had over 100 people fast, and organized a “March for Peace” that over 300 people attended, including Mayor Jean Quan. We all marched to Peralta Hacienda park where everyone broke their final fasts. We also listened to poems and performances by students about their experience in the Season of Peace-Building and about Oakland in general.
We want this year to be an even greater success because our fight is not over! In June, last year, almost two months after the campaign was over, Alejandro Aguilera, one of our students, was killed. We felt like our efforts for peace were worth nothing! However, we decided to continue fighting for a better Oakland, even though it is very big the pain that we carry with us. We need to do it for ourselves, and for our friends who are not here anymore. For these reasons, we decided that we needed to re-launch the Season of Peace-Building this year.
We are reaching out to you to let you know how you can support the campaign in many ways by starting your own peace building campaign, fasting in solidarity with us, collecting peace pledges, and joining us for all public peace-building events.
This is what YOU can do:
Start a fast relay at your school
Commit to fasting with us on March 22, 2013 for the final day of our fast relay
Keep in touch with us through friending our facebook page
Follow us on Twitter
Follow us on Instagram
Read our heartfelt fasting reflections on our website, add YOUR reflections, and get updates on our campaign
We want to invite as many schools, organizations and community members so that we can raise awareness among the Oakland community about suppressing violence with peace through organizing the Season of Peace-Building 2013. We also want to build community so that we can build peace since that would mean we would bring the community together. This year we also want to start a dialogue with politicians and community organizations so that more can be done. We would love your support in making this year’s Season of Peace-Building a great success.
Thank you very much for reading this email,
PS: If you have more questions, check out my interview on ABC7 (start at minute 17:30) — http://abclocal.go.com/kgo/video?id=8980575&pid=5790484