WNYPC 2021 Coordinating Board Candidates

Nominees (selected by the Board Nominations Committee):

1. Gabrie’l Atchison, Ph.D.

Vision statement: I am interested in being on the Board of the WNY Peace Center because my interests intersect with most of the nine taskforce areas. I have also found that the WNY Peace Center leadership recognizes that these different areas are intersectional. I tend to see things through the lens of religion, and have been working to incorporate environmental, economic, and racial justice issues into our congregations – through service projects and education. For the WNY Peace Center, I believe I can be helpful in mobilizing faith leaders to engage in the work happening on the ground. On a personal level, working against injustice can make you cynical and depressed if you do not have a vision to work towards. Someone once said to me that our goal is “peace in each body.” I am hoping that by being part of an organization working toward a vision of peace, I can have the energy and encouragement to stay in the fight. 

2. Joseph Chamberlain

Vision statement: I’m 84 and known we need energized young on the Board Nevertheless, sometime the young need us! So here goes! I am a great grandfather x 2. My grandkids are a quarter Chinese, which is to say we’re diverse. I’ve been a Peace Center Member for years. In the 80’s was on the Steering Committee (the Board) with The Mangs and some three years back was on the board as Vice Chair. Before that latest I used to just come be there with our mini-democracy. As divided as we could sometimes be, it was usually a joy. In between board membership I did a 3 year stint on the vestry at Trinity Episcopal Church, a progressive church involved with refugees, Compass House, etc, etc. I am an active member of the Peace Center Environmental Justice Taskforce, also a member of Veterans for Peace, take part in the end militarism taskforce. I’m also a regular, protesting ICE detention of refugees in Batavia and elsewhere. Also follow LASC programs as I’ve spent some time in Southern Mexico and Guatemala! I’m a poet, and formerly in Summer have planned with Marie Schuster and have hosted and read in Peace Poetry gatherings for the Infringement Festival. On ZOOM recently hosted peace poetry readings and Ferlinghetti memorial readings with group participation for a monthly meeting of Climate Justice Taskforce. As to life work: 39 years with Child and Family Services as a family counselor (MSW) and Preventative Social Worker (Court cases). Before that, 4 years with Social Services, inner city focus. Also 3 years US Army (1956 to 1959). I would hope to bring ideas and take part in workable programs to enable what is left of Democracy, Social and Environmental ventures!

3. Talia Rodriguez, J.D.

Vision statement: I would like to serve on the WNY Peace Center board to further my personal and professional mission of advancing the rights and equity for people of all gender in WNY. As a feminist, it is important to me that I actively participate in coalition building activities like those that are supported by the WNY Peace Center, to share the history and experiences of the women who have come before me.