Voices Developments

Stories from the Palo Alto, CA Fundraiser

Last Friday, we posted information about the South Bay Sanctuary Covenant fundraising event being hosted in Palo Alto, CA.  It had a great showing from the local community, and Mark Reedy, the President of our Board of Directors was there to report back to the rest of the Voices’ communities about the event.  Here’s what he said-

“Ninety-nine people came to our spring fundraising event– one of our largest groups ever!  This event featured a presentation and slide show of the March 2011 delegation to El Salvador, a pupusa and enchilada dinner, Latin American music and fair trade crafts sale.  The delegates were ten Stanford University students enrolled in a liberation theology and human rights class, the two Stanford campus ministers who taught the course and nine members of South Bay Sanctuary Covenant (SBSC).  The Rev. Amy Morgenstern of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Palo Alto, a member church of SBSC, served as the emcee.  The Rev. Greg Schaefer of the University Church, another member church, provided a reflection from words spoken by Archbishop Romero.

The program began with the delegation presentation accompanied by a slide show.  Each of the delegates spoke about some part of the delegation itinerary or reflected about an experience during the trip that had touched them deeply.  There were many highlights of the presentation, including participating in a candlelight procession marking the 31st anniversary of Romero’s assassination, learning about the anti-mining movement and struggle against corruption and impunity in Cabañas, and staying in the SBSC partner community of Comunidad Octavio Ortiz (C.O.O.).

Attendees enjoyed the flute, drum and guitar music of Peruvian-born Nayo Ulloa, as well as participating in singing the popular Salvadoran song “Sombrero Azul.”  Near the close of the program, Geoff Browning, one of the Stanford campus ministers and delegation leaders, expressed gratitude to SBSC for inviting the Stanford students and ministers to participate in both the 2010 and 2011 delegations.  As a result, they participated in a powerful bicultural and intergenerational experience of solidarity through interactions with Salvadoran community members as well as older SBSC delegates. He gave special thanks to Arlene Schaupp for her leadership and the hope and inspiration she has provided to so many in SBSC’s work of solidarity with the people of C.O.O. and El Salvador over 28 years.

The proceeds from the event will support several projects and causes, including a project to preserve and promote local Salvadoran culture in communities in the Bajo Lempa region, salary support for both Voices’ staff and Bajo Lempa health promoters, and emergency security measures for the staff of Radio Victoria in Cabañas, who have been receiving death threats for courageously speaking out against impunity and corruption.”