WHAT WOULD IT TAKE TO BRING TOGETHER UNDER ONE ROOF AS MANY OF THE GROUPS IN SYRACUSE, NY, THAT SHARED THE PEACE AND SOCIAL JUSTICE AGENDA?
That was the question. In May 2008, The Center opened. The Peace Council, AFSC, Peace Action, Citizen Action, and Sustainable Syracuse were under one roof and the hard work of group to group collaboration had begun, with this as our mission:
The Syracuse Center for Peace and Social Justice -- a non-profit community supported organization -- facilitates collaboration among groups working for peace and social justice. Among our capacity-building services, we provide rental space for offices, meetings and community events. -- Mission Statement.
On opening day, we announced that $200,000 had been raised….truly impressive for a group with only a few lonely capitalists on the list!
The benefits of our vision are clearly bearing fruit. For instance, a Hiroshima Day commemoration event is held in Central New York annually. In recent years the Syracuse Peace Council (the oldest continuously existing anti-war organization in the country), Peace Action, and AFSC have been the major organizers.
All of these organizations were now Center residents, so collaborating was simple, and all of their energy could be focused on enhancing the event and publicizing it. Imagine . . . no more phone tag, waiting for email replies, or setting up and driving to meetings--just smooth, efficient organizing!
Our supporters count on the Center to keep the campfire burning on the issues that define our humanity. They know they can count on our studied activism, and unswerving outrage. They know we will give voice to what moves us forward and condemn what diminishes us.
But the work is unfinished. Funds are needed to support the collaborative programs that will develop the Center as the destination for all who want to educate and agitate for a saner world. We also need to support the people of the Center so that they can sustain both their families and the work.