Saturday, June 27, 2015
6pm Potluck Dinner (bring a dish or $ donation),
Central United Methodist Church, 25th & Wisc. Ave.
Join us Sat., June 27 at CUMC!
10am Final Packing of Material Donations we are accepting
c.2pm Painting the bus in the afternoon
“A Brief History & What’s Next in US/Cuba Relations,” by Prof. of US Foreign Policy Hear MU Muralists & Terminated Director over Censored Mural of Assata Shakur
On Saturday, June 27, a Pastors for Peace Caravan to Cuba will visit Milwaukee with a 6pm dinner and a 7pm program at Central United Methodist Church (CUMC), 639 N. 25th St. There is no charge but all are invited to bring a dish to share and/or a monetary donation to Pastors for Peace. The program will feature an expert from Purdue University on the status of U.S./Cuba relations, plus the students and staff of Marquette University involved in the censored mural of a Black activist who received asylum in Cuba. A school bus headed to Cuba, as part of the challenge to the continuing US embargo and travel restrictions, will be painted that afternoon and loaded with material donations to be delivered to the Martin Luther King Center in Havana.
“The Caravan is an act of friendship with the Cuban people and to show support for ending the economic blockade and travel restrictions which are still in place,” stated Gail Walker, co-Executive Director of Pastors for Peace. Ms. Walker grew up in Milwaukee, attended Marquette, and her father Lucius Walker was the first African American professional assigned to work on Milwaukee’s southside as the youth leader for the Christian Center. He later was the founding Executive Director of Northcott Neighborhood House in Milwaukee, and then established IFCO & Pastors for Peace in NYC’s Harlem neighborhood.
The June 27th program will include an update on US/Cuba relations by Purdue University Prof. Harry Targ, author of Cuba and the USA: A New World Order?, as well as recent essays on threats to academic freedom in the U.S. He has taught courses on U.S. foreign policy, in Peace Studies, and has led study groups to Cuba.
Dr. Susannah Bartlow, former director of the Gender & Sexuality Resource Center at MU, will also speak, along with the students at Marquette who created a mural of a Black activist Assata Shakur, who has been living in Cuba which granted her asylum over 35 years ago. The MU administration painted over the mural and summarily terminated Dr. Bartlow without consulting the students or the relevant academic experts or departments. You can see the full mural here & judge for yourself. Dr. Bartlow and the students have received support from many MU faculty and students, as well as nationally; also see her 3 part commentary on these developments on her blog.
Pastors for Peace also administers admissions for Cuba’s free medical school program geared towards students of color in the U.S., who promise to work in an underserved community after they graduate. There are currently two Wisconsin women studying medicine free of charge in Havana, both of whom were born in Milwaukee.
The Caravan will visit some 50 U.S. cities with educational events and collections of humanitarian donations, such as construction supplies and tools; medical equipment and supplies (expiration January 2016 or later); bikes/wheelchairs/walkers in good condition; school supplies; and as bibles in Spanish. Donations can be dropped off at CUMC, 639 N. 25th St. (414 344-1600) at the following times: Mon.-Fri., 9 am – 1pm; and after service on Sundays, at 11:15 AM, as well as on Saturday, June 20, between 10-12 noon.