“Where Do We Go From Here?” Post-Event Offerings

For those who were able to join us for our 53rd Annual Fundraiser: An Evening with Dr. Cornel West – THANK YOU for celebrating with us on Monday, 11/09/2020. We sincerely appreciate your support and hope you enjoyed the evening as much as we did! It was such a riveting event, and the information so vital that we can’t keep this to ourselves.

Below you will find video of the event, including the presentation of awards to some amazing local activists, keynote speech by Dr. Cornel West, and live Q&A. We are overwhelmed by Dr. West’s support of and appreciation for the work of the WNY Peace Center, and his generosity of spirit.

And/or read the full transcript here:

Excerpts from an Evening with Dr. Cornel West – November 9th, 2020

*Compiled by Marty McGee

  • I am so deeply blessed to come back to Buffalo to highlight 53 years of high quality service, love and struggle for justice, on behalf of my brothers and sisters of all colors, who have chosen to build on the legacy of the Clergy and Laity Concerned.
  • It is a humanistic solidarity that’s happening in Buffalo tonight… I want to salute each and every one of you.   Now, it’s true that my dear sister Vicki, anytime she calls I come running because we’ve had struggles all the way back against drones and all host of things in Buffalo.
  • In the end, we are simply human beings who have chosen to be of service to the least of these, to the orphans, the widows, the fatherless, the motherless, the persecuted, the subjugated, the exploited.
  • I’m talking about solidarity through justice!  And that includes everybody; Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, Mexicans, Palestinians, Jews, Russians, Ethiopians, Guatemalans….  Western New York Peace Center, let the world just look at you!  Look at yourselves. These 53 years you’ve been bearing that kind of witness! You mistreat our brothers and sisters in El Salvador, we’re gonna be there!  You mistreat our brothers and sisters in South Africa – We’re gonna be there!  You mistreat our Jewish brothers and sisters in Russia – We’re gonna be there! You mistreat our Palestinians on the West Bank – we’re gonna be there! You mistreat our Uyghurs in China, Muslims – we’re gonna be there!  Our Bahai in Iran.   It is a moral and a spiritual thing.  And that’s why we have smiles on our faces, even though we emerge out of the depths of a struggle, a difficult struggle, a prolonged struggle. 
  • Oh, what a coming together we have in the city of Buffalo. I know it’s just not cold up there with a lot of snow.  No, there’s a lot of sacred fire in Buffalo.  And that sacred fire is grounded in an Unarmed Truth. And the condition of truth is to allow suffering to speak.   We have been lifting our voices in the Western New York Peace Center.   What does that mean?   That means that whatever identity we have, whatever the color of our skin, whatever our gender, whatever cultures and heritage, whatever sexual orientation, whatever religion or non-religion, whatever identity we have, it’s grounded in a moral and spiritual integrity, with a universal solidarity with all who suffer.
  • KENOSIS!  That’s what’s been going on for 53 years (with the WNY Peace Center).  What is Kenosis?  It’s an emptying of the Self, it is a giving of the Self, a donating of the Self, a sacrificing of the Self.   So whatever our gifts are, we use those gifts to be of service to others.
  • You’re talking about justice, that means you got a sacred fire inside ya’ that can never be put out such that you’re going to bear witness over against the grain, you’re gonna be in the world, but not of that world, you’re gonna be transforming that world, you’re NOT gonna build conformance to that world, you’re NOT gonna be complicitous, you’re NOT gonna be complacent, you’re NOT gonna be a coward.
  • Because if you have a sacred fire inside of you the way the Peace Center has had for 53 years, and you have the tenderness and the righteous indignation and the analysis that connects predatory capitalism and white supremacy, male supremacy and Pentagon militarism, .. then you are fortified, to fructify, and all of our deeds together, can leave the world just a little better than we found it. You all have been so kind to allow me to talk so long on the zoom.  But I’m willing to stay as long as you like for questions and answers – I’ve come here to learn, I’ve come here to listen.  But I’ve come here most importantly, to rejoice for 53 years of struggle.
  • Thank you all! – you all stay strong in your work!  It’s a mighty work.  Love y’all!

You can also view the digital program book seen at the start of the event – or download the PDF to review at your leisure!

A huge thank you to the following businesses who have donated items or have supported our virtual marketplace. Please use the link provided to show your support to each one!

If you didn’t attend live but find these materials of value, we ask that you please consider donating to the WNY Peace Center. We appreciate your support and look forward to the next 50+ years!

You can also continue following Dr. West on his podcast, The Tightrope, with Dr. Tricia Rose. Support them on Patreon here: patreon.com/thetightropepod