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Peace and Social Justice

Many Servas members are doing exciting and interesting things to enhance opportunities for Peace and Social Justice. Perhaps you are involved with a local, or national, project to improve the environment, helping with refugees, engaged with various democracy enhancing projects, or a community food bank. Other Servas members may want to know, maybe even join in the effort.We invite you to contribute your story about your personal efforts to buttress Peace and Social Justice. 

Click here to send in your story.

Click here to contact the US Servas Peace Secretary.

  • October 23, 2022 2:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Yosi McIntire, Peace Secretary

    I was introduced to Ivette Garcia several years ago. She taught History at the University of Havana and lectured at the Cuban Institute of International Relations (ISRI). She also worked as a guest lecturer at various universities across Latin America, primarily in Argentina and Nicaragua. For several years she served as First Secretary for the Cuban Embassy in Lisbon, Portugal. She had authored several important books on the history of colonial Cuba. 

    When we met, she was at the historic Smathers Library – part of the University of Florida devoted to Latin American and Caribbean collections, doing research for a new book concerning the historic connections between Saint Augustine and Cuba. When she came to St. Augustine to work with the local Historical Society, she would stay with us.  

    More recently, Ivette openly criticized the Cuban government’s reaction to the July 2021 protests by the San Isidro Movement. As a result, she was fired from her teaching posts in Havana and later also in Nicaragua.  

    Fearing she would be arrested if she were to return to Cuba, or be extradited from Nicaragua to Cuba, she made her way through Honduras and Mexico to the U.S. border. Like so many asylum seekers, she doesn’t know where to turn. She is currently in Hobbs, New Mexico, awaiting her first trial date for January 5, 2023.   

    Ivette seeks a pro-bono immigration attorney and a live-in situation, preferably in New Mexico, until her appearance in court, after which she would be willing to travel anywhere in the United States. She could be a companion, a personal assistant, tutor Spanish, care for an elderly person or some other live-in situation without official pay.    

    Any offers, ideas, or suggestions would be most welcome.   

    (If you are involved with some Peace and Justice initiative in your community that you would like to share with the broader Servas community, please let me know! )

    Sincerely,   

    Yosi, 
    National Peace Secretary. 
    Servas Community Outreach 

  • September 14, 2022 8:35 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Yosi McIntire, Peace Secretary

    Photo: In November 2021, US Servas Peace Secretary, Yosi McIntire, travelled to Honduras as an international poll watcher.

    I thought I might probably be witness to yet another example of electoral fraud by a psychopathic narco-politician who simply had no interest in giving up power. In violation of the Honduran constitution, the incumbent had already run twice. Notwithstanding the fact that it was clear that the corruption was feeding the US cocaine market, and that the violence and misery within Honduras was the source-cause of asylum seekers escaping to the US southern border. According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, in 2021 Hondurans represented the largest nationality crossing the southern U.S. border asking for asylum—more than 200 families a day. Despite the statistics, which showed that the opposition had an overwhelming majority, there was a very real concern that the dictator would be replaced by his strongman, the mayor of Tegucigalpa. The dictator lost. Democracy reigned and Xiomara Castro was elected to the top office of the land. A process that was a privilege to witness.

  • September 13, 2022 7:24 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Alison Telsey,
    SI Representative to the UN in New York

    Geneva Peace Week is October 31 to November 4, 2022. This year’s theme raises the question: Can we eliminate war and violence in a world in which warfare has always been a significant part of human history?

    Geneva Peace Week (31 October – 4 November 2022) is quickly approaching.  It is a time for organizations both in Geneva and internationally to come together to share knowledge and practice on a range of topics related to the promotion of peace.  The theme of this year’s conference is “Peace is Possible”.   The optimism expressed by the title is intriguing and it raised the question: Can we eliminate war and violence in a world in which warfare has always been a significant part of human history? 

    To understand whether peace is possible, it is important to question whether the world is getting better or worse.  For many of us, it appears that the world has become more violent and we feel more vulnerable.   Everyday the media shares information about disasters, shootings, inequality, war, and the spread of nuclear weapons.  The news capitalizes on our morbid interests. Ironically, when one looks at the data of the key variables that impede peace over time, a different conclusion emerges.

    Analysis of recent data on homicide, war, poverty, pollution and more reveals that we’re making progress now in every one of them.  We have made positive gains in health, wealth, safety, knowledge and leisure.   (For example, there has been a significant decline in battle deaths and major wars throughout the 20th century,  90% of people under 25 of the world’s population can read and write,  2/3 of the world is living as a democracy). (Pinker, 2018)

     There is room for optimism but we know that problems on the road to peace are inevitable.  Progress does not mean that everything gets better for everyone all the time.  However, the problems that emerge are problems that can be solved.    There is really no limit to the betterments we can attain if we hold onto the conviction that we can apply knowledge to reduce human suffering.  If the global community can continue to develop our understanding of the causes of peace and continue to develop systems that support peace, perhaps a world without war is more possible than one would think.

     In conclusion in support of Geneva Peace week:  “All we are saying is Give Peace A Chance”.  Geneva Peace week will take place both in-person and also online.  SERVAS members are encouraged to participate in workshops and/or digital series at no cost.  Participants will have the opportunity to share peacebuilding skills to apply in their daily life and work.  For more information regarding Geneva Peace Week, enter the following link:  eu.eventscloud.com

    Pinker, Steven : Is the world getting better or worse? A look at the numbers (Ted Talk), April 30, 2018. Link to TED Talk.

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