2015 – 2016 Highlights and 2016 – 2017 Preview



  • Rallies for Unity, Solidarity, and Peace; larger every time (~200 Nov ’15 esp re refugees, ~300 Dec ’15 esp re Islamophobia, ~700 people April ’16 esp re hate-mongering [Love Trumps Hate])
  • Annual Dinner speaker from BLACK/Black Lives Matter Rochester, Ricardo Adams, with four award-winning activists (Frank Gage, Richard Lipsitz, Leslie Pickering, and John Washington)
  • Increased collaboration with other groups on numerous events.
    Vicki 2 CroppedFor example:  [T]error, a film about FBI entrapment, screened at Hallwalls March 15 in collaboration with Open Buffalo


  • Peace and Nonviolence Festival, Sunday, September 11, 2:30pm at Canalside with partners in WNY Coalition of Peace and Nonviolence Advocates (>80 groups).
  • Annual Dinner Saturday, November 14, featuring a former Drone Operator/Whistleblower!


  • The WNYPC is growing more diverse!! People of various races, ages, ethnicities, etc. are getting involved!!
  • A new Peace Action – Canisius College is collaborating with us!

Meeting Cropped

  • We have had 3 interns this past year – Dior Lindsey, MSW UB School of Social Work; Kim Tran, Graphic Media Arts BS at Canisius College are both finishing their degrees but will continue with the peace Center. Ladaisha Williams from Bryant and Stratton has also worked with us.


  • Continued linking of justice efforts and movement-building including through the new national organization STARI – Stand Together Against Racism & Islamophobia the WNYPC facilitates (unityandsolidarity.org)
  • Membership drive(s) in diverse communities
  • New interns next year – along with continued involvement from former interns!

Resist Militarism!

  • Peace Walk: Undrone Upstate (>165 miles, Hancock Air National Guard Base to Niagara Falls Air Reserve Station) Walk for Undronefrom October 6 to October 20, 2015
  • Nonviolent direct action and support: Especially includes Charley Bowman’s arrest at Jerry Berrigan Memorial Blockade, 12 arrested at Hancock Field, with outrageous Orders Of Protection and misdemeanor charges
  • Regular Vigils at Base: On second and fourth Mondays of the month from 3:30 PM to 4:30 PM at the Main Gate on Lockport Road, Niagara Falls


  • Overnight Gathering of the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars over the summer – as a retreat, brainstorm, and planning session. Details in process.
  • Infringement Festival street theater re Guantanamo detainees and torture, July 28 – Aug 7

Racial Justice

  • Administer community policing surveys in collaboration with Open Buffalo and other groups to establish community needs and perceptions (Partnership for the Public Good research)Vicki 3
  • Holding Stop the School-to-Prison-Pipeline workshops (e.g., at Math Science Technology Prep School, 666 E Delavan; at the Merriweather Library) with Save The Kids Buffalo
  • Working with Cariol Horne, former police officer fired for stopping police brutality just over a year before she would have gotten her pension. Cariol Horne is starting a Cariol Horne Whistleblowers’ Fund.


  • Speakout re Ethical Peace Officers (Community Policing, Precinct E) on June 11 at the Delavan-Grider Community Center, time to be determined; to be followed by speakouts for all precincts
  • National Week of Action Against Incarcerating Youth May 15-21 – with Buffalo Save The Kids

Prisoners’ Rights

  • #JusticeForIndia Campaign, collaborating with Buffalo Anti-Racism Coalition (BARC); includes four people arrested, and numerous rallies with up to >100 people and significant media coverageIndia Vigil
  • Chuck Culhane giving workshop on Reforming the Parole System at “Criminal Justice & Solitary Confinement” Conference taking place at this very moment; John Walker finally taken off parole due to our campaign in collaboration with BARC and Prisoners Are People Too


  • Regular vigils in front of the Erie County Holding Center 4-5pm every Wednesday
  • #JusticeForIndia Campaign, on Monday, May 2, 4pm at the Erie County Holding Center in collaboration with Buffalo Anti-Racism Coalition (BARC)


Peaceful Conflict Resolution/Peace Education Project

  • PeaceJam Juvenile Justice at the Erie County Secure Youth Detention Facility; 6 sessions per week last summer; invited to provide (and did) second series in Oct-Dec 2015.
  • Math Science Technology Prep School, 666 E Delavan – Peace Education Project: weekly time at the school includes individual and group interaction in the Peace Room on subjects from Racism to Policing to Academic AchievementCamp Peace Prints
  • Creating a Culture of Peace workshop and presentation for 80 foster grandparents
  • PeaceJam – Delavan-Grider Community Center, every Wednesday, 5-6:30pm; incl Global Call to Action Project w/SSJ Sister Karen Klimczak Center for Nonviolence


  • PeaceJamming for Appreciation not Discrimination – interactive performance at Delavan-Grider Center on Saturday, June 11 (time to be determined)
  • Camp Peaceprints – Pathways to Peace: July 18-29, 10am-3pm M-F; St. Mary’s School for the Deaf. Alternative day camp for 8-13 year olds, focusing on multifaith and other compassionate views. Skill-building includes peaceful conflict resolution, leadership skills, arts, etc. – and very likely swimming! Partnership with SSJ Sr. Karen Klimczak Center for Nonviolence and others. Volunteers and youth assistants welcome.

Latin American Solidarity Committee

  • Bissonette Evening Celebration with Two-Time Nobel Peace Prize Nominee Kathy Kelly, bringing her moving and personal experience to scores of students and others, illuminating her riveting story of Solidarity Across War Zones: Lessons learned in Central America, the Middle East, and Central Asia. Her message was compelling and inspiring!!Kathy Kelly
  • Monthly Coffee Houses on compelling topics, usually but not exclusively on Central and South American solidarity issues; includes Peace Action Canisius presence and promising youth participation!
  • Continues working and supporting other groups (e.g., Rural Migrant Ministries, Pastors 4 Peace, and SOA Watch)


  • May Coffeehouse, 7-9pm May 23 (Monday) , at Hallwalls (cnr Delaware & Tupper) – showing recent documentary film Maestra with Canadian-Cuban Friendship Association Niagara
  • US-Cuba Friendship Caravan – Pastors for Peace – Celebrate 27th caravan on June 20, Monday 5:30 with a backyard BBQ, food, live music at 75 Wellington Rd (716-835-4705 for more info)

Environmental JusticeArrest

  • Campaign to Stop the “Bomb Trains” is getting excellent traction, with 24-hour vigils and investigations resulting in media attention, increased public awareness, and even legislator support on the issue
  • “We Are Seneca Lake” campaign to stop the proposed underground gas storage facility has included more than 500 arrests, 3 of them of our own Charley Bowman, former WNYPC Director and current Chair of Environmental Justice Taskforce
  • Continued NYS Ban on Fracking is an example of a wonderfully successful campaign by the WNYPC collaborating with many other organizations


  • The taskforce will continue working on the following issues: stopping new investment in fossil fuels, which includes stopping the Bakken crude oil carrying trains in NY State and promotion of NY State making all its electrical power from renewable sources of energy. The latter also includes transforming our unneeded military bases into gigantic solar farms and/or wind farms.

Economic JusticeHarold Gottbucks

  • Harold Gottbucks has made regular appearances – espousing continued windfalls to the wealthy, including at the Unity and Solidarity “Love Trumps Hate” Rally (he was rooting for “Drumf”; we ought to see if they’ll feature him on “The Daily Show” 😉
  • Supporting the “Fight for $15” campaign – Including collaboration with other groups as well as instituting $15 in-house at the WNY Peace Center
  • Active in Anti-Anti Boycott Divestment and Sanction (BDS) Campaign, which stopped the disastrous proposed legislation in NYS (includes stymying, especially in re Israel)


  • Lobby our US Congressional representatives not to allow the anti-BDS legislation being proposed at the national level
  • Continue working with the Center for Economic Justice, PUSH Buffalo, and others on the Fight for $15
  • Feature Harold Gottbucks in summer festivals and rallies if he’s willing to come when we arrange for a red carpet for him!!


In Summary . . . .

Our WNY Peace Center is working together for peace through justice at home and abroad through collaborations, increased public awareness, direct action, and above all connecting the dots between issues to build a movement and real change. You make it all possible!!!!