Sunday, May 10, 2015
Agnes Scott College, Gaines Auditorium
In keeping with the tradition of Julia Ward Howe’s 1870 Mother’s Day Proclamation, this year’s Mother’s Day for Peace theme is “Bold Peace: From Here to Where?” Ms. Howe was a 19th century abolitionist, poet, and suffragist, and she tried to organize and international “Mother’s Day”, long before there was such a Hallmark-emblemed day for moms, where women could come together, mourn the loss of their children’s lives (by the hand of each other’s children) and create solutions to end war.
The timing of MD4P this year could not be more appropriate. For the first time in years, Congress is embarking on the appropriations process to dole out nearly $1.24 trillion in the federal discretionary budget. The Department of Defense budget is at an all time high: the Overseas Contingency Operations fund is slated to receive $90 billion; nuclear spending equals Cold War levels; and funding for atomic clean up is lower than we’ve seen in years.
Over the past year, Georgia WAND’s programming has inquired about the root causes of systemic violence and militarism. Program participants and speakers have identified root causes to be fear, racism, poverty, a lack of adequate political power, and candidates who don’t reflect the lives of voters, to name a few. A manifestation of these underlying causes of violence is the U.S. Pentagon budget.
MD4P will focus on connecting these dots and building solidarity and commitment to long-term movement-building to end war and violence, at their root causes.
MD4P 2015 will be an odyssey of the mind for Georgia WAND constituents. We will look further into how we can shift from a culture of war and violence toward one of peace and unity. The main event is a Speaker’s Salon, featuring former Assistant Secretary of Defense who controlled 70% of the defense budget, Lawrence Korb, currently a Senior Fellow with the Center for American Progress; Shakia Pennix, an activist with Atlanta’s Generation Y Project against police violence and militarization; and Ohio legislator and National WAND Education Fund Board Chair, Senator Charleta Tavares.
It is critical to anchor our work, the solutions, and this Salon, in the lives of people who have first hand knowledge of violence and militarism, at home and abroad. Therefore, the Co-Moderators of Speakers Salon are Juan Evans, Racial Justice Action Center (program organizer for Solutions not Punishments Coalition and Women on the Rise), and Maggie Martin, Iraq Veterans Against the War. To frame the conversation, we’ll begin with a brief interactive presentation about the proposed 2016 federal budget.