by Karima Amin
Here in Buffalo there are meetings, forums, panels, rallies, gatherings, demonstrations, teach-ins and conferences everyday. On a daily basis, those of us who care about social justice are scrambling for time, stretching our energies, and striving to make Western New York, and the world, better. There is so much work to be done and it often appears that the workers are few. No doubt, most of us have discovered that our solo efforts may be minimally productive. Coalitions can be chaotic at times but a strong coalition with a defined mission can be successful in a major way. That is why Prisoners Are People Too, Inc. joined VOICE-Buffalo two years ago.
In 1996, VOICE-Buffalo was born when a group of clergy identified congregation-based organizing as a strategy for change. Moving forward, with the motto:“Faithfully bringing forth Justice,” VOICE-Buffalo has been able to bring people together in an interracial, urban-suburban coalition of more than 45 faith-based congregations, as well as community, business, and labor leaders throughout Buffalo and Erie County. VOICE-Buffalo has a proven track record of rallying local leaders, congregations, and businesses together in holding policy makers and power players accountable. In 2013, VOICE-Buffalo stood with us in our desire to improve conditions at the Erie County Holding Center as well as our aim to bring restorative practices to our county jails. In 2014, VOICE-Buffalo championed our desire for conditional release that would allow some individuals in our county jails to be released before the completion of their sentences with certain conditions and wrap-around services in place for successful reentry. This year, PRISONERS ARE PEOPLE TOO, INC. is especially concerned with the need for providing healthcare to returning citizens. VOICE-Buffalo agrees. This means that more than 45 entities agree with us. As one organization, we have power. With VOICE-Buffalo we have more power and a stronger community presence.
If you are not a member of PRP2 and you don’t know VOICE-Buffalo, then you need to come to VOICE-Buffalo’s annual Public Meeting, which will be held on Monday, October 26. As you know PRP2 usually meets on the last Monday of the month. This month, we will participate in the VOICE-Buffalo Public Meeting. On October 26, we will meet at Elim Christian Fellowship, 70 Chalmers Avenue in Buffalo, at 7:00-8:30pm. Doors open at 6:30pm. Last year we had 700 attendees. This year we are aiming for 1100 attendees who value community enhancement and who believe in the power that we have to hold our public officials accountable. These public officials will be at the Public Meeting and we will define our public agenda. We will ask them to stand up and publicly state their degree of willingness to work with us.
In addition to providing healthcare to returning citizens, on the local front, we are working toward the following:
·Addressing Violence in the Community (Buffalo Peacemakers)
·Workforce Diversity and Workforce Development
·Extending Public Transportation
Come out, come early, learn more, and join us. The work needs YOU! If you plan to attend, please respond to this message with an e-mail, or give me a call, or inbox me on Facebook. Please note again: WE ARE NOTAT PRATT-WILLERT this month. We will be at ELIM CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP.
“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.”
Karima Amin, 716-834-8438; email@example.com;
If you plan to attend, let me know TODAY, so that I can pre-register you. When you arrive at the church, all you have to do is say that you are a member of PRP2. Your name will be on a list. If you are not pre-registered, you will have to stand in line and wait to sign-in before entering the sanctuary. Call me….716-834-8438……or e-mail me: firstname.lastname@example.org…..or inbox me on Facebook…….thanx…..-ka
“God has not called us to see through each other, but to see each other through.” (Anonymous)