Study circles in Goshen are entering a new phase action
Anne Meyer BylerStudy circles in Goshen are entering a new phaseaction. Since the summer of 2001, when Goshens Human Relations Commission launched a steering committee to oversee community-wide study circles, around 100 people have participated in some way. The multi-ethnic steering committee, introductory presentations on study circles, two circles that met for four-week mini-sessions in the fall, and six circles that met for six-week sessions this spring have included a cross-section of Goshen residents. The focus of the study guide was on changes in the local population and the effects on race relations, jobs, education, etc.
People from Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Indonesia, Germany, Palestine, and Puerto Rico have participated. So have African-Americans and latinos from the U.S.who continue to face open harassment, as well as subtle discrimination, though their families may have lived here for many generations.
Study circles also invited guests to come to one meeting and share informationfrom their area of expertise. At an Action Forum on April 22, study circle participants came together to hear about all the action ideas coming from all the circles and to vote on those that they felt were most needed in Goshen. The action ideas with the most support are listed below. But, for them to be able to make a difference locally, they will need the support of latinos, anglos, and people of other backgrounds who call Goshen home.
Below is an initial list of the task forces. These are right now in the formation stage, so now is the time to let us know if you have an interest in helping in any way with one of the task forces. (You could be on the task force, or on a list of supporters to help from time to time.) Task Forces: COMMUNITY FESTIVALS/FERIAS DE LA COMUNIDAD CONNECTIONS TASK FORCE DIVERSITY TRAINING HUMAN RELATIONS OFFICER WELCOME PROGRAM/CENTER NEWSPAPER COLUMN ON MINORITY ISSUES
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Contact El Puente P.O.Box 553 Goshen, IN 46526
Tel 574 533 9082 FAX 574 537 0552
Plan Puebla Panama: Another Scheme Skewering Central America
Vicente Fox, Mexicos president, is pushing a comprehensive plan for a major transportation and industrial corridor skewering Central America. In Foxs vision the corridor would run from Puebla, Mexico to Panama and spilling over into Colombia. According to the Action for Community & Ecology in the Regions of Central America website, the plan calls for vast displacement of native communities, rampant and uncontrolled ecological devastation, and massive industrial development. The Zapatistas have denouced the plan. Subcommandante Marcos has declared: The isthmus is not for sale!
Thanks to these schemes, in Latin America indigenous people inhabiting land lying above oil and mineral deposits are killed or displaced; those organizing for a living wage and collective bargaining are killed and disappeared; anyone working to reduce poverty, ecological disruption, and the violence and militarism essential to these agreement risks exile or assassination.