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March - April 2012

Richmond Confronts Its Inner Enemy


By Charles Robideau
In the epilogue of his new book, Richmonds Unhealed History, the Rev. Ben Campbell poses a stark choice for his city: Here, at the beginning of Richmonds fifth century as a multiracial settlement, the choice can be made to seek a great future, or to surrender to an inner enemy far more destructive than any race or class or nation. What is that inner enemy? Campbell offered an answer to that question during a recent forum at which he and Professor John Moeser gave complementary analyses of Richmonds history and current status. The enemy, he suggested, is shame shame over the past and present results of slavery, segregation and Jim Crow, which now prevents Richmonders from embracing what could be a splendid future. I love Bobby Kennedys thing, Campbell said Some people say why? Some people say why not?
Ben Campbell reads from Richmonds Unhealed History.

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City School Board Sticks Up for Its Kids


Its a truism that the route to a good productive life for all young people, especially those in poverty, is a good education, starting in Pre-K and running at least through high school and then through college. The Richmond School Board, which oversees the education of 23,000 pupils, including many thousands living in poverty, has taken this principle to heart. Refusing to accept a huge gouge out of its budget for the next school year, the board adopted a budget measured to the systems needs, showing a deficit of $28.3 million, Lacking any taxing power or ability to raise its own funds, the Board turned to the first available source, the City of Richmond, asking Mayor Dwight Joness administration to make up the deficit. The Mayors response was to stand firm on the citys proposed new budget, which flat-funded the school system with an allocation of $123.8 million, the same as last year. The Mayor then set up a special task force to recommend cuts to bring the schools budget into balance. This Board has fulfilled its responsibility, Board Chairman Dawn Page said at a March 19 Board meeting. Page pointed out that over the last five years, the Board has cut $50 million in expenses as state and city funding has declined. What the Board now asks
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Housing Tenants Plead To Keep Their Homes


On March 6, Richmond Mayor Dwight Jones announced a proposed $780.9 million budget for the coming fiscal year. In a letter to City Council members, the Mayor stated: Perhaps the boldest and most potentially catalytic are my proposals to transform public housing into mixed-income communities anchored by high-performing schools. These new communities will provide safe, healthy and economically diverse neighborhoods. The Mayors visionary statement ran into immediate blowback, from tenants of scattered-site houses, as
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RPECnews RPECnews
is a publication of the Richmond Peace Education Center 3500 Patterson Avenue Richmond, VA 23221 Phone: (804) 232-1002 E-mail: rpec@rpec.org RPEC Web Page: http://www.rpec.org

Reflections
Adria Scharf Director, Richmond Peace Education Center It is important for Americans to know the history of U.S. involvement in Iran. Without understanding that history, it is impossible to understand the current dynamic of U.S.-Iranian relations. A critical episode, whose ripple effects continue, took place in 1953. In August of that year the United States and Britain overthrew Irans democratically elected Prime Minister in a coup detat. Following the coup, we installed the pro-western Shah, a deeply corrupt and unpopular leader who retained power until the Islamic Revolution arose in response in 1979. Many of us were not taught much about this episode of U.S. foreign policy in high school history class. For more details about the CIA coup, this New York Times site is one resource: <www.nytimes.com/library/ world/mideast/041600iran-cia-index.html>. The situation in Iran is extremely complex and layered. My own view continues to deepen the more I read and learn. These are some observations: Military strikes on Iran would risk a wider war and terrible, unpredictable consequences. There is wide consensus on this point, hawkish statements from certain presidential candidates notwithstanding. Retired four-star Marine Corps General Anthony Zinni has warned if you liked Iraq and Afghanistan, youll love Iran. Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates says If you think the war in Iraq was hard, an attack on Iran would, in my opinion, be a catastrophe. Its unlikely that Israeli or U.S. strikes would be sanitized or narrowly targeted. Because Irans nuclear facilities are located near populated areas and some of the compounds are below ground, the strikes would likely cause extensive Iranian civilian deaths and infrastructure damage. War would also spike the price of oil, placing the fragile global economy at serious risk of a downturn. Human rights activists and Green Movement supporters in Iran do not want western military intervention. They often specifically rule it out. For example, Shirin Ebadi, the Iranian human rights activist and Nobel Prize winner, repeats frequently in interviews that despite her opposition to the current regime, she opposes any form of western military intervention. Fear of western intervention actually dampens space for democratic change within Iran. But isnt Iran developing nuclear weapons? U.S. intelligence has not determined that Iran is definitely on course to build a nuclear weapon. Intelligence shows the country is developing some of the technical ability necessary to produce nuclear weapons, but has not decided whether to produce them. Iran is seeking the capacity to produce nuclear energy. The two should not be simplistically conflated. Enrichment to low levels for energy use under international surveillance is not the same as nuclear weapons development. The concern of Israel and the United States (both of which have large numbers of nuclear weapons themselves) is that by enriching uranium for energy use, Iran would require less time to develop a nuclear weapon in the future.
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RPEC Staff
Executive Director: Adria Scharf Asst. to the Director: Paul Fleisher Conflict Resolution Coordinator: Santa Sorenson Office Manager: Johnnie J. Taylor

2012 Board of Directors


Chair: Ellie Meleski Vice-chair: Zandra Rawlinson Treasurer: Gordon Davies Secretary: Anne-Marie McCartan Renee Hill Tony Scott Cricket White John Williamson Charol Shakeshaft Anne Weber Amy Woo Maryam Ansari Dwayne Bennett Kenneth Dance Lucretia McCully Patrice Schwermer

Newsletter Staff
Editor: Charles Robideau ccrobideau@comcast.net Bill Gerow John Gallini Cathy Woodson Judy Bennett Adria Scharf Francis Woodruff John Williamson Renee Hill Robin Farmer Santa Sorenson Jennifer Garvin-Sanchez Thad Williamson The opinions and announcements in RPECnews are those of the individual writers and are not necessarily endorsed by RPEC. RPECnews is published 6 times per year and has a circulation of approximately 1100. We welcome article and calendar submissions.

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Reflections
Continued from Page 2 Heres the rub. Countries including Iran that participate in the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty are allowed to enrich uranium for peaceful energy use. By contrast, both Israel and India, whose nuclear weapons programs we have winked at or supported while remaining their close allies, have refused to sign the treaty. Our own double standards exacerbate the current situation, and undermine our credibility in the eyes of the world and the Iranian people. Incredibly, the U.S. actually endorsed and seeded Iran's early nuclear program in the mid-1970s under the Shah, when we viewed Iran as an ally. What if Iran does develop nuclear weapons in a few years? I dont want a nuclear-armed Iran; Id like to see a wholly nuclear free Middle East and South Asia. But this situation does not have a military solution. Military strikes would only delay and may only briefly delay Iran's nuclear capability. Moreover, an attack could if anything reaffirm those in Iran who desire nuclear weapons as a deterrent against western aggression. A majority of Americans oppose war in Iran. A majority of Israelis in fact oppose an Israeli strike without U.S. backing, according to polls, and a large portion of Israelis oppose any strike, even with U.S. backing. The majority of people in all three countries want peace. A saner course would be direct engagement. In the new book A Single Roll of the Dice: Obamas Diplomacy with Iran, Trita Parsi, president of the National Iranian American Council, makes such a case. He argues that President Obama, who came into office promising to engage Iran, gave diplomacy too little time. Again and again our leaders have overestimated the capacity of force to solve international problems and underestimated or ignored its negative and unpredictable consequences After a decade of costly wars in the Middle East, from Afghanistan to Iraq, we as a country badly need to pause, reflect, draw some lessons from our military misadventuresand fundamentally shift course.

Peace Activist Fager To Speak on Torture


Chuck Fager, director of Quaker House, a peace project next to Fort Bragg in North Carolina, will speak on Sunday, May 6, he will speak on accountability for official U.S. torture, and possible future torture in Afghanistan, Yemen, and elsewhere. "Accountability for torture today is the way to prevent torture tomorrow, Fager says."After a promising start, the current administration has been very disappointing on this issue. I urge those concerned for peace and justice to keep speaking out on torture accountability. He will speak at Richmond Friends Meeting, 4500 Kensington Ave., May 6 at 12:45 p.m. Light refreshments will be served. The event is co-sponsored by RPEC and the Richmond Friends Meeting.

Nominations Now Open For Peacemaker Award


Nominations for RPECs 2012 Peacemaker of the Year award are now open. The deadline for submitting nominations is Monday, April 9. This annual award recognizes the efforts of an individual or organization to build a more just and peaceful community and world. Nominees must be Richmond area residents, or Virginia residents who have had a significant effect on the Richmond metropolitan region. Previous recipients include Bishop Walter Sullivan, Congressman Bobby Scott, King Salim Khalfani, Not With These Hands, Betsy Brinson, the Richmond Organization for Sexual Minority Youth (ROSMY), and (last year) the Sacred Ground Historical Reclamation Project of the Defenders for Freedom, Justice & Equality. Nomination forms can be downloaded from the RPEC web site, www.rpec.org.
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Trayvon Martin
Richmonders have joined nationwide demands for justice in the killing of Trayvon Martin in Florida. Much more than an arrest of the killer is needed to redeem Martins death. The Stand Your Ground legislation which abetted the killing has been enacted in many other states. It has not yet infected Virginia, but its virus is present in the Castle Doctrine bill, which stalled in this years General Assembly but could reappear next year if the Gun Lobby has its way. And while the Gun Lobby didnt win the Castle Doctrine this year, it did achieve repeal of the one-a-month gun purchase act, which will restore Virginias status as a top purveyor of murder weapons. To truly honor Trayvon Martin, we need to turn back the tide of gunnery that has turned many city streets and even college campuses into killing fields. Richmonders should not put away their marching shoes.

RPECnews

RPEC Happenings
Conflict Resolution Training for Trainers
RPEC will conduct Conflict Resolution Training for Trainers on Saturday, May 19 and Sunday, May 20, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on both days at the Fan Free Clinic, 1010 North Thompson, Richmond. Please bring a bag lunch for Saturday and Sunday. Drinks and snacks provided. The training is open to community members and educators who wish to learn conflict resolution techniques for their own purposes, or to become facilitators for our conflict resolution team. CEU/Recertification points are available for educators. To be certified to lead workshops for RPEC, new facilitators must complete an apprenticeship process after taking the training. The fee is $150, which includes a manual. Partial scholarships are available on the basis of need. To pre-register, email name, address and phone number to rpec@rpec.org. Please mail your check in advance to RPEC, 3500 Patterson Ave., Richmond, VA 23221.

Essay Contest Open


The annual Peace Essay contest is underway, with a deadline for entries April 23. The contest, open to young Virginians from grades K through 12, offers a top prize of $100 in each of four age divisions, and other cash prizes. The contest theme, Justice for All, asks essayists to consider why justice for all is so important and how treating everyone fairly would help create a more peaceful world. Students are asked to find examples from history or current events to support their ideas, and to think about how they might work toward greater justice in their own life, community and world. Entries are limited to 1,000 words. Entry forms with contest rules are available at www.rpec.org.

Youth Peace Summit Convenes April 28


The Richmond Youth Peace Project (RYPP) will hold its 2012 Youth Peace Summit on Saturday, April 28, at Northminster Baptist Church, 3121 Moss Side Ave., Richmond, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Summit is open to young people ages 12-19, free of charge. Lunch will be provided. The Summit promotes teen leadership, non-violent conflict resolution, social justice and positive selfexpression, all explored in workshops, as well as larger group activities and an afternoon performance by local teens. Registration forms and lists of workshops can be found on Page 12 of this RPECnews or obtained from the RPEC office. Participants can register by email to rypp@rpec.org or www.rpec.org, through U.S. Mail to RPEC, 3500 Patterson Ave., Richmond, VA 23221, or by calling 232-1002. To help defray costs, the Summit welcomes donations from individuals, and organizations sending groups are encouraged to donate $5 per participant. This years Summit is sponsored by RYPP (an initiative of RPEC), Drums No Guns, Armstrong Leadership Project / Richmond Hill, and Northminster Baptist Church.

New Workshops Set


In recent weeks we have completed training for the childrens Mental Health Resource Center, the Adult Career Development Center, and Occupy Richmond. Our upcoming workshops are with the Armstrong Leadership Program, First Baptist Church Youth and Resource Information Help for the Disadvantaged, and youth of Resource Information Help for the Disadvantaged (RIHD).

Youre Invited to Dinner!


We invite you to come to the RPEC Membership Appreciation Dinner on Thursday, May 24, at 5:30pm, at Ginter Park Presbyterian Church (3601 Seminary Avenue in the Fellowship Hall). This is a free event, our thank you to our members and supporters. The evening will include a meal, an engaging presentation, and an opportunity for informal discussion. We'll start at 5:30 p.m. and finish by 7:45. For directions: http://ginterparkpc.org/visitors/directions.htm. RSVP to rpec@rpec.org. Free child care will be provided; let us know in advance if you need child care or have accessibility needs.

Save the Date!

John McCutcheon Concert For Peace


Songs from McCutcheons New Woody Guthrie album

Friday, August 3 7 p.m.


Proceeds to support RPEC
For more information: www.rpec.org

Don't miss this peace community celebration!


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John Moeser finds poverty in Richmond is the highest its ever been.

Richmonds Inner Enemy


Continued from Page 1

History is made by people who say why not? Thats the spirit we preach we have, but its not the spirit we are living. Campbell noted that while he was working on the Slave Trail Commission, he and other commission members were astounded to realize that the truth of the Richmond slave market had been hidden from the city from 1865 until 2000 135 years. It was massive, he said of the slave market. It was forty to fifty percent of the economy of the city. It was incredible. How could it not be written about at all in the history books? The answer is shame. Whose shame? White shame is one kind of shame. Black shame is another kind of shame. Its something underneath. In Richmond it makes these kinds of dead-ends occur in our conversations and in our inability to move forward with the energy we want.

In the forum sponsored by Pax Christi at St. Bridgets Roman Catholic Church on March 18, Campbell traced Richmonds political, social and psychic history from 1607, when John Smith and Christopher Newport planted their flag at Jamestown. Moeser focused on present-day Richmond, explaining how the citys problems of poverty and racial separation are the result of deliberate decisions by past political leaders. Those problems are worsening, Moeser said, noting that the rate of poverty in the city is the highest its ever been, reaching 25.3 percent in 2010, with a rate of 38.7 percent almost four in ten -- for children under 18. Half of the children of single mothers are living in poverty. New on the scene, Moeser said, are the invisible poor, people who have lost jobs, have no health care coverage, and may be on the verge of running out of food. Historically, the black community has borne the brunt of poverty, both Moeser and Campbell agreed. Jackson Ward was known as the Wall Street of the black community, Moeser said. There were banks, an insurance company, department stores, restaurants galore. Then, in the wake of the Great Depression, came redlining, by which neighborhoods were rated for mortgages and commercial loans. The risky color was red, which was painted over Jackson Ward and every other black neighborhood. For Jackson Ward, the result was massive defunding, Moeser said. There were no mortgage loans, no renovation loans, as the redline became a self-fulfilling prophecy. Then, in the 1950s, came urban renewal and direct assaults on black neighborhoods, especially Jackson Ward, which was amputated by the Route 64 superhighway. Campbell, pointing to a projection aerial photo of the massive road,

noted that the road could have curved north of Jackson Ward through an empty valley wide enough for two superhighways. In fact, Richmond voters had twice opposed construction of the road in referendum votes. But the white establishment and the Byrd Machine said, Were going to build that road. So they tore down more than a thousand dwellings, tied off thirty-one streets, and displaced from six to ten thousand people. How did that happen? Jackson Ward didnt suffer alone. Every black neighborhood in the city was either torn down or invaded, Campbell said. By state law, Richmond is now barred from annexing any territory in surrounding counties. As a result, the city is confined to an area barely big enough to support itself, strangled by the burgeoning surrounding counties. Much as Campbell and Moeser criticize Richmond and its history, their criticism is tempered indeed motivated by a deep and passionate love for the city. The Gospel is being preached here, Campbell said. There is good, healthy stuff going on. There are terrific people here. People all over this metropolitan city know each other across these various disintegrated lines of race, class and jurisdiction. So whats our problem? In the introduction to his book, Campbell aims at that problem. Denial of history, not worship of it, is the anchor that has wrapped its seductive rope around the legs of metropolitan Richmond, pulling it down every time there is a positive initiative. . . .We are captive to forces we have not identified or remembered, forces that prevent us from being who we, in our best instincts, want to be. . . .Our dysfunction should not surprise us. It is persistent and constant. If we address it, we will thrive. If we continue to deny it, we will fail.
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Tenants resist home sales


Continued from Page 1

well as from the Richmond School Board, which refused to accept the mayors rejection of the Boards request for extra budget help from the City. (See separate story.) Two weeks after the Mayors announcement, on Wednesday, March 21, the meeting room of the Richmond Rehabilitation and Housing Authority (RRHA) was packed with tenants of single-family scattered-site housing units, protesting the authoritys plan to sell the units and relocate the occupants into other public housing facilities. While the Mayor had invoked the prospect of new mixed-income communities, the tenants insisted they already live in such communities and dont want to leave.

Lillie Estes: Lets do better to uplift each other as human beings.

I dont want to go into the projects, said Charlene Harris, 65, a resident of the Randolph Community, where many residents had been displaced by the Downtown Expressway. She said that she had moved into scattered-site housing in 1968. I dont want to live in a house where I have to duck bullets. How in the world am I going to buy a home? Lillian Carter, 70, also a Randolph resident, queried: Why cant I stay in the house Ive been in for forty-four years? We dont want to leave. The speakers were members of RePHRAME (Residents of Public Housing in Richmond Against Mass Eviction), a network that includes RPEC as a member organization. Also lending support were members of Occupy Richmond. The RRHAs strategic plan, developed in 2005, calls for sale of 121 scattered-site properties, which the authority says are too costly to maintain, while funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has decreased. About 60 of the properties are occupied; the rest vacant. The authority said that proceeds from selling the properties would be invested in new housing that would provide a greater number of quality, affordable housing units for RRHA community members, as

well as homeownership opportunities. Thad Williamson, a University of Richmond professor and specialist in urban policy, testified that the sales would be a terrible and unjustifiable mistake. In a prepared statement to the board, Williamson said the proposal would reconcentrate, rather than deconcentrate, public housing. And it would further disrupt the lives, social ties and communities of existing residents, some of whom have been in their current units for a long time. Citing the authoritys plan to pursue a new model of mixed-income housing, Williamson said: Moving residents out of homes in decent neighborhoods that they would prefer to stay in, for the sake of raising short -term capital, can only exacerbate the Authoritys long-term trust problem, undermining the authoritys own ambitious goals. City Council member Marty Jewell attended the meeting and spoke briefly, calling the RRHAs plan bogus on its face. Noting the Authoritys aim is to deconcentrate units, Jewell challenged, Who concentrated them? Before making the proposed sales, the Authority must get permission from HUD. Board Chairman James Carleton assured the tenants that such a request had not been initiated. Charles Robideau

Lillian Carter tells Authority members, We dont want to leave.

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City School Board


Continued from Page 1

is to maintain what we now have, not to add any new programs. The current years schools budget balanced at $249.1 million, with half of the revenue coming from the city. For next year, the School Board expects to lose $9.1 million in revenue from state and federal sources, while increasing outlays by $14.7 million, the bulk of it in a mandated contribution of $8.2 million to the Virginia Retirement System. Officially, the School Board has welcomed the task force and participated in joint meetings to review school programs and budgeting. But the Board has not relaxed its insistence that its stand is just and proper. To support its case, Board members have held information meetings in schools around the city, urging support for the request for the citys aid. We want to prepare kids for the future, said Maurice Henderson, Board vice chairman, at a meeting at Chimborazo Elementary School. Kids must be lifetime learners to compete. For most students in the system, their time at school is the best part of their day, Henderson said. For many, he said, breakfast at school

may be their first meal of the day, and the lunch at school may be their last of the day. Each Friday, Henderson added, the schools send food bags home with students to help tide them over until Monday. While its primary goal is education, the school system is the best anti-poverty institution in the City of Richmond, Henderson said. Among the literature distributed at the information meetings is a questionnaire asking respondents to prioritize possible cost-cutting measures. Some possible cuts, and respective savings: Class size increases (138 teachers) -- $2,656,000. Instructional aides (80 positions) -- $1,878,902. Custodians (49 positions) -$1,614,000. Elementary foreign language -$450,000. Security (13 positions) -$442,613. Reduce Summer School -$892,500. Other possible cuts include participation in regional programs, such as the Maggie L. Walker and Appomattox Governors schools. In discussing their situation, the Board members have shown a calm determination. Its the role of the

School Board to speak out for the needs of our children, said Henderson, the Boards liaison with the mayoral task force. Lets stand our ground. Charles Robideau

Private Schools boosted


As the public school boards looked to the state for aid, the General Assembly gave a boost to their private school competitors. By party-line voting, the General Assembly approved a Republicanbacked bill to provide tax credits for scholarships to enable low- and middle-income students to attend private, non-profit schools. This is a war on K-12 education, Democratic Senator Henry L. Marsh told the Richmond TimesDispatch. This is a direct attack on K-12. Make no mistake about it. The new law will allow individuals and corporations to write off 65 percent of donations to non-profit organizations that offers scholarships. The write-offs will be capped at $25 million per year. Democratic Delegate Jennifer McClellan, in an op-ed in the TimesDispatch, warned that the measure diverts funding from public to private schools through tax credits.

School Board Chairman Dawn Page and Vice Chairman Maurice Henderson, at right, respond to questions at Chimborazo School.

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Consumers Corner

Coffee
John Gallini and Alisha Gallini Number 7 in the Better World Shopping Guides list of Top Ten Things to Change is coffee. Lets start first with the Better World Shopper (BSW) ratings: http://betterworldshopper.com/r-coffee.html It should be no surprise that the top ranked companies all produce fair trade products. And happily, one can find fair trade coffee products at stores throughout the Richmond area. Although as Fair Trade becomes more mainstream it also tends to lower standards and reduce minimum prices paid to the farm workers. We will come back to this. In the top A+ category is Equal Exchange coffee. This company has been in the forefront of marketing products according to fair trade principles since 1986 (for more details on fair trade go to http:// www.equalexchange.coop/fair-trade-faq). Quoting their website, Our founders envisioned a food system that empowers farmers and consumers, supports small farmer co-ops, and uses sustainable farming methods. In Richmond, Equal Exchange coffee is sold at 10,000 Villages and Ellwood-Thompson, both in Carytown, as well as online. It is also available through a few area churches, often at prices below retail. Not rated, but definitely near the top of the list is Blanchard's Coffee company, an independent, familyowned coffee roastery here in Richmond. They roast almost daily as they have since 2004. They do roast fair trade beans, and since they are local, the beans should be reliably fresh. Their fair trade coffees are certified by Transfair (recently renamed Fair Trade USA) and they currently offer selections from Peru, Honduras, Ethiopia and the Dominican Republic. A number of local stores and shops sell their coffee (see their website: http:// www.blanchardscoffee.com/about.php ) The third company that should be considered in the top tier is Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. They receive an A rating from BSW. They also roast fair trade beans and are bringing a production and distribution center to southeastern Virginia, investing $180 million and creating as many as 800 jobs over the next five years. Green Mountain coffee is available at Martins and Krogers.

At the same level as Green Mountain is Newmans Own coffee, since Green Mountain roasts the beans that are sold under the Newmans Own label. This brand is also available at Martins and Krogers. Most of these products sell in the same retail price range, about $9.00 per 10 oz package although one can obtain Equal Exchange coffee on-line and through church sales for less than $7.00 per 10 oz. This is about twice the price of a brand like the bottom rated Maxwell House. Prices for a variety of locally available coffee product are shown in Table I. (See table on the following page.) One further note: coffee begins to lose its freshness as soon as it is done roasting, and is at its peak in the first few days after it is roasted. To preserve freshness keep it from air, heat, moisture and light. Ground coffee is best when consumed within one to two weeks of roasting. Whole beans are best within one month of roasting.

Fair Trade
As we noted at the beginning of this article, the top rated coffee producers are also Fair Trade producers, that is, their coffee beans are produced in ways that provide a better living for the workers who pick the beans. In a recent Food First Backgrounder (http:// www.foodfirst.org/sites/www.foodfirst.org/files/pdf/ The_struggle_for_food_justice_in_Fair_Trade_201112.pdf) Fair Trade is defined as: a trading partnership, based on dialogue, transparency and respect, which seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers especially in the South. Fair trade organizations (backed by consumers) are engaged actively in supporting producers, raising awareness, and campaigning for changes in the rules and practice of conventional international trade. The authors ask Is fair trade creating a new, more sustainable and socially just economy by changing the rules of trade? Or are the changing rules within fair trade undermining its social, economic and environmental objectives? and they note that new certifying organizations such as the Fair Trade USA certification agency recently broke from Fairtrade International (FTI) and unilaterally announced draft standards for the certification of large-scale coffee plantations. There is an extensive article on Fair Trade Continued on Page 10

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Table I - Coffee in Richmond Area Stores Blanchard's N.R. Yes Yes Yes Yes BNo No No No Peet's

COFFEE

Brand

BWSG Rating Fair Trade available? Oganic available? Bulk available? Local?

Equal Exchange A+ Yes Yes Yes No

Newman's Own A Yes Yes Yes No

Green Green Starbucks Mountain Mountain A A B+ Yes No Yes Yes Yes No No No No See below See below No

Eight-O-Clock Maxwell House C F No No No No No No No No

RPECnews

Notes

On-line Includes shipping for quantities >$75. Bulk available at E-T

Richmond based coffee roaster available at many local stores

Markets Green Mountain coffee under Newman brand. Bulk available at E-T

On-line Includes shipping for multi-pack quantities. Announced plans for roastery in S-E Virginia

On-line Includes shipping for multi-pack quantities.

Claim to exceed Fair Trade standards. On-line Includes shipping for multi-pack quantities.

$9.00

$9.00

$7.80

$8.80

$6.70 $ 9.00+ $6.40 $8.70 $9.40-$11 $8.75 - 13.65 $9.40 $9.15 $8.75 $9.00 $7.00 $9.00 $7.00 $9.00

Source/Price ($/10 oz) On-line Church programs 10,000 Villages Ellwood-Thompson Good Foods Groc. Whole Foods Market Kroger (with Kroger card) Martin's

$8.33 yes $7.50 $8.75

$5.45 $4.95

$4.35 $4.20

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Coffee
Continued from Page 8 USA, including criticisms, on Wikipedia (http://en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/TransFair_USA) The primary issue has to do with whether the Fair Trade label can be appropriate for coffee grown by larger plantation style farms. At this point, as far as we can tell, all Fair Trade coffee is produced on small farmer owned farms but stay tuned. Of the Fair Trade certified brands available in our area, only Equal Exchange is certified by FTI, with the rest certified by Fair Trade USA. Since the availability of high quality fair trade coffee is no longer a significant issue, the consumer choice comes down to whether you are willing to pay a significant premium for a product that provides better wages and conditions for those who grow and harvest the product.

Forgiveness and the Death Penalty a Discussion


. Join Naseem Rakha, author of The Crying Tree, for a discussion of capital punishment and the state of our prison system in this country. Naseem is a journalist and author whose stories have been heard on NPR and read in the Christian Science Monitor and other publications. Her best-selling novel, The Crying Tree, tells how a family deals with the murder of a son, coming finally to forgive the killer before his execution. For anyone who has ever wondered how forgiveness is possible, even when the pain is overwhelming, wonder no more, said Sister Helen Prejean, author of Dead Man Walking. The Crying Tree takes you on a journey you won't soon forget." The discussion will be Wednesday, May 2, from 7 to 9 p.m., at the Richmond Friends Meeting House, 4500 Kensington Ave., Richmond. For more information contact Steve Northup at 804-301-4920. The event is co-sponsored by Virginians for Alternatives to the Death Penalty, ACLU of Virginia, Richmond Friends Meeting, and the Richmond Peace Education Center. Documentary Film

Extraordinary Womans Work for Human Rights


Marii Hasegawa: Gentle Woman of a Dangerous Kind is a documentary film portraying one womans extraordinary lifes work for human rights and global peace. The 30minute film will be premiered at the Visual Arts Center, 1812 West Main Street, on Sunday, April 15, at 1 p.m. Born near Hiroshima, Japan, into a family of Buddhist priests, Marii Hasegawa was barely a year old when her family moved to California in 1919. She had just graduated from the University of California at Berkeley when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor and about 110,000 people of Japanese birth and descent, including Marii and her family, were forcibly interned in war relocation camps. After the war, Hasegawa moved east, married a scientist, raised two daughters, ran a family farm, and quietly began working for peace and human rights. More than 60 years later, she was still at it.

Planned Giving Opportunities with RPEC


Supporters of the Richmond Peace Education Center can leave a lasting legacy of peace for years to come in one of two ways: By establishing a charitable give annuity that provides a substantial tax deduction when it is given, and serves as a regular source of income for the remainder of the givers life, or By including a bequest to the Peace Center in the members will, or designating the Center as a beneficiary. Such a bequest can be designated either for a specific use, or for the general maintenance of the Peace Center and its programs. If you would like to consider making such a gift to RPEC, we encourage you to contact us. We will be able to guide you in making arrangements for such a donation to the work of our organization.

Our Mission
The Richmond Peace Education Center is working to build a more peaceful and just community in the Richmond, Virginia area. Since its founding in 1980, the center has been a leading voice for nonviolence and social justice, offering programs on conflict resolution and violence prevention, racial justice, and global issues. RPEC needs your involvement. Contact the office to plug in: rpec@rpec.org or 232-1002. Together, we can build a more peaceful and just community and world.

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RPECnews

La Resistencia A Film Preview


By Jennifer Garvin-Sanchez It may seem strange to review a film that hasnt been made yet. Well, ok. Its not really a review. Its more like a preview. Last week I received an e-mail about an upcoming film to be made about farmers in the Aguan Valley in Honduras. The trailer for the film is very well made check it out at http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=8C1sTrY_JdQ ; the film looks very promising. Ive been more or less following this story for a couple of years and was pleasantly surprised to see that a new film is being made about it. The film-maker followed 3,000 landless farming families as they occupied yes, occupied -- the palm oil plantations of Miguel Facuss, the richest man in Honduras. Over their two-year-long occupation, the film maker, Jesse Freeston, wrote, they were threatened, jailed, beaten, had their homes burnt down, and more than forty farmers were killed by Facuss's guards, the police, and the military, all of which worked together to try to push them off the land. Before Tahrir Square, these farmers occupied the lands of Facuss and are, according to the film maker, implementing their own democracy inside the occupied plantations. Freeston claims Facuss had a hand in planning the 2009 military coup d'etat in Honduras. While the previous President had been sympathetic to the farmers, the current President, Porfirio Lobo Sosa, supports the oligarchy in Honduras in their bid to take keep control of the Aguan Valley. This land is extremely valuable in the production of African Palm Oil, a vegetable oil used in cooking, as well as in highly processed foods and bio-diesel. Much of the land in the Valley at one time was owned by local farmers cooperatively; they were the ones who planted the African Palm Oil trees, but because of AID

loans made to the co-ops at 11 percent interest, many of the co-ops were not able to repay the loans and lost their land. (For more information about the co-ops in the Aguan Valley read To be a Revolutionary, by Father Guadelupe Carney, Harper and Row, 1985). But this is not the whole story, for the making of the documentary itself is the part I wanted to write about. According to the film-maker, despite spending two years amassing tremendous footage (as attested by the trailer), he has been told that Americans do not care about this story in Honduras. Freeston was told by one influential person in the film-making world that he had a fascinating story and incredible footage, and if it were about Iran (or presumably Tahrir Square, or anywhere in the Middle East) he would fund it. But Americans do not care about Honduras. So Freeston is going to the people to raise funds to complete the film. The story about the making of the film seems to me to be equally important. Media in the United States are currently controlled by fewer and fewer giant corporations. Through our corporate-owned media we are told what food to buy, what President to vote for, how to look our best, what toothpaste works best, and even what stories we are interested in. But thats not the end of the story, for in this digital age, Freeston has access to a huge database of potential donors who can fund his film. So Freeston is raising money to bypass the oligarchy in our country to produce a film about peasants in Honduras who occupied their land before we occupied Wall Street. The Occupy Movement in the United States has had much the same experience with corporate-controlled media and has taken to producing their own videos and stories. So in the end, this story is about the democratization of the film industry. Freeston has sent out a plea to those who care about Honduras to help raise $20,000 for editing, music, etc. For more information go to http://www.indiegogo.com/Resistencia-1.

NO, Mr. Netanyahu; NO, President Obama: NO War on Iran and NO First Strike!
These bold words dominated a full -page ad in The New York Times on Wednesday, March 7, three days after President Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the American Israeli Public Affairs Council (AIPAC) and then met at the White House. The ad was arranged by Rabbi Michael Lerner, publisher of the magazine Tikkun, and was supported by many signatories, including the Richmond Peace Education Center. Im concerned that we are on a course to war, said RPEC exective director Adria Scharf, warning that military strikes against Iran will have terrible, unpredictable consequences. Lerner explained that the ad in the Times was needed because the

media have blocked this position out of public discourse. The ad urges President Obama: Please show some leadership by affirming the value of non-violence even when dealing with a state like Iran. . . .Some of us believe that Israel could actually work out peaceful relations with Iran and enhance its own security and U.S. security by ending the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, helping the Palestinian people create an economically and politically viable state. . . .
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RPECnews

Richmond Youth Peace Project


Peace Summit April 28, 2012
Registration Form
Participants can register by email to RYPP@RPEC.org or www.rpec.org, through U.S. Mail to RPEC, 3500 Patterson Ave., Richmond, VA 23221, or by calling 232-1002. Name: _______________________________________________________________________ Email address:_____________________________ Telephone(s) :____________________________ School:_______________________________________ Age: ___________Grade: ___________ If you are registering as part of a group, Name of group: ____________________________________ Parent or adult sponsor: ___________________________________________ Mailing Address: __________________________________________________________________ City, State, Zip: ___________________________________________________________________ Telephone: ______________________ email: _____________________________ (For parents/adults) Yes, please add me to the RPEC mailing list! ________

Please choose the workshops you would most like to attend. Make selections for BOTH MORNING AND AFTERNOON SESSIONS. Select a first, second and third choice. We will try to assign you to your top choices. Register early to improve the chance of getting the workshops of your choice. Morning Workshops: Select a first, second and third choice
_____ Be AngryBut Learning to manage your anger for positive results

_____ Cooking for Meatless Mondays. Prepare healthy, ecologically friendly meatless main dishes
_____ Education rights: School discipline and Bullying Know your rights at school _____ Keep the Peace: Conflict resolution skills _____ Lead Strong: The 7 Winning Ways to Leadership Success! Role play specific leadership techniques _____ Lessons Of Laughter: Improvise the funny side of Attitude, Commitment, Teamwork and Trust _____ Practical Money Skills for Life. Set goals and make wise decisions as you become economically self-sufficient _____ Sidewalk Art: A visual reflection of the meaning of peace and justice _____ So Youre Turning 18 How do your legal rights and responsibilities change as you become an adult? _____ Unpacking the 2010 Census: What does data tell us about Race and Class in Metro Richmond? Afternoon Workshops: Select a first, second and third choice _____ Regreening the City: Create Seed Bombs to help bring nature back into the concrete jungle _____ Redesign your Community Sculpture/design project using recycled materials _____ Flying Over Your Obstacles! Introductory Yoga demo and class _____ Hip Hop as Activism Use the elements of hip hop to address youth social issues _____ Hoop Dance Empowerment! Learn techniques to express yourself with a hoop as your partner _____ Junkyard Jam: Healing the community with rhythm, featuring Drums No Guns _____ Keep the Peace: Conflict resolution skills _____ Know Your RightsProtect your legal rights in and outside of school _____ Love is Kind: Recognize dating abuseand learn what to do about it. _____ Theater Alive! Dramatic ways to communicate your message in everyday situations

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