Monday, July 18, 2011

African Heritage Delegation Arrives in Israel-Palestine

Interfaith Peace-Builders is a coalition member of the US Campaign
July 18, 2011

Interfaith Peace-Builders (IFPB) is pleased to announce that our historic 14 member African Heritage Delegation to Israel/Palestine arrived at Ben-Gurion airport Monday morning and is now safely in Jerusalem.
The African Heritage delegation will travel in Israel/Palestine for two weeks and meet with members of Palestinian and Israeli civil society, human rights organizations, grassroots activists and others.  Specific meetings will also feature African Heritage communities in Israel/Palestine, Jews of color (Sephardi and Mizrahi Jews), Palestinian refugees, and others whose unique experiences will contribute to the educational and activist aim of the delegation.
The goals of the delegation (the 38th organized by IFPB since 2001) are:

To exchange lessons learned from Black Power, Civil Rights, anti-apartheid and anti-racist, pro-justice, struggles in the US with those waging similar campaigns in Palestine/Israel.
To strengthen African-American leaders who have on-the-ground experience in Israel/Palestine and can work for change upon return home.
To further link African American delegation participants with work being done in other anti-war, peace and justice communities in the US.

The African Heritage Delegation builds upon existing efforts within the African Heritage communities and will strengthen work focusing on Apartheid in Israel, justice in Palestine, and the growth of boycott, divestment and sanctions campaigns nationally. In a 2007 "Letter to Black America on Palestinian Rights" over 40 African American activists urged:
It is time for our people to once again demand that the silence be broken on the injustices faced by the Palestinian people resulting from the Israeli occupation.

This delegation grows out of that call and ongoing efforts within the African American community  IFPB is working with local and national organizational partners to recruit community leaders, activists, faith leaders, artists, educators, and more from African Heritage communities.

Participants on this delegation have the unique opportunity to hear directly from Palestinians and Israelis regarding their hopes for peace and the role of the US government in promoting a resolution to the conflict.


A photo of the delegates at orientation in Washington, DC.

The delegation includes the following people:

Queen Adams (not pictured) - Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia
Avery Blakeney - Washington, DC
Carolyn L. Boyd - Alexandria, Virginia
Gloria Brown - Streetsboro, Ohio
Jesse Hagopian  - Seattle, Washington
Oscar Harrell - Sudbury, Massachusetts
Keith Harvey - Wareham, Massachusetts
Trina Jackson - Decatur, Georgia
Gerald Lenoir - Berkeley, California
Michael Nettles - College Park, Maryland
Sterling Pack - Marriottsville, Maryland
Mark Pollard - Atlanta, Georgia
Raheemah Raheem - Tulsa, Oklahoma
Paula Watts - Fort Washington, Maryland

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