Westchester Martin Luther King, Jr.
Institute for Nonviolence
December 4, 2012
Each year we reach out to our new friends and longer-time supporters to share our current year’s accomplishments and to ask for your support to help us continue our work for the upcoming year. Increasing competition for grants means we need donations from individuals like you more than ever. We remain committed to educating about and advocating for nonviolence with youth and adults throughout Westchester. In 2012 your support moved us forward with the following activities:
· "Ending Violence Building Hope” was a resounding success. Last February’s half-day annual conference featured Big Apple Playback Theatre (BAPT), with their uniquely creative brand of improvisation, helped us explore our feelings about violence and nonviolence, poverty and inequality, race and reconciliation. Youth and adults, including police officers, were amazed and inspired by BAPT’s interpretations. Our next conference will be on Saturday, February 2, 2013 with an extended schedule, including BAPT and more. This is one of our most important outreach programs for youth across the county. We are really counting on your support to continue and expand on Ending Violence, Building Hope this year.
· Through the year we facilitate regular sessions with young people. We use interactive discussions and role-play to examine their perceptions of police, their experiences with them and how to respond constructively, and broader issues of personal responsibility, power and inequality. This is part of our ongoing effort to build trust between law enforcement officers and the members of communities they serve.
· We coordinate the work of the Network for Police Accountability, a regional coalition of organizations brought together through concern about the circumstances surrounding the death of Kenneth Chamberlain, Sr. in November of 2011. The Network is acting to address specific cases and to develop oversight mechanisms for police departments in Westchester and beyond.
· One of our great achievements this year was the permanent move of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Library to its new home at the Thomas H. Slater Center on Fisher Court in downtown White Plains. Our administrative office remains at Memorial United Methodist Church, but this free lending library for children and adults is now more accessible. The library is a unique resource for study and information on (but not limited to) African American History, struggles for social justice, civil rights and of course Dr. Martin Luther King and other great peacemakers. Your support will help us to acquire more bookcases, books and other media.
These are the highlights of our 2012 activities. In addition, throughout the year we sponsor or co-sponsor discussion series, fairs and concerts.
Will you become our financial partner this year by sending a donation of $100 or more in response to this letter?
Perhaps a monthly pledge of $5-$10 would be a better option for you. That’s just the cost of 2 or 3 cups of coffee per week but it will go a long way toward helping us to continue offering successful programming.
Your financial institution may be able to assist you in setting up a worry-free automatic monthly payment. You can also make donations of any amount on our website at www.mlkwestchester.org/support-us
or by mail in the enclosed return envelope.
Whichever method you choose, we appreciate any amount you give. We are a 501 (c ) (3) organization. All contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowable.
Together we can keep our work for nonviolence and social justice alive and strong!
Chair, Fundraising Committee
P.S. Come to our uplifting Annual Interfaith Concert on Sunday, January 13, 4:00 p.m. at Good Counsel Academy in White Plains. We hope to see you there!