PeaceWorks Rochester
Thursday, April 18, 2019
Public Access

April 2019
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6:00pm [6:00pm] Cruel and Unusual: Solitary confinement as torture in the U.S. prison system A c
Cruel and Unusual: Solitary confinement as torture in the U.S. prison system A call to action April 18th at Brockport Downtown – 161 Chestnut Street Rochester, NY 14604 Room 148 6 to 8:30 p.m. with refreshments available 6 to 6:30 – no registration fee required. Solitary confinement serves as a core mechanism of our racist and classist system of mass incarceration. Currently this affects 80,000 to 100,000 inmates in the United States alone. What impact does this practice have on inmates’ mental health? What does structural racism have to do with mass incarceration? Hear from those who have lived experience from the perspectives of a formerly incarcerated individual and a social worker who was in charge of a solitary unit at Rikers Prison. Learn about alternatives to long term solitary and visions for transformed systems of incarceration. Participate in a virtual reality experience to glimpse what it's like to be held in Solitary Confinement (a 6 x 9 space) for 22-24 hrs a day for months, years and decades with no human contact or interaction. The voices and noises you hear are real people. A full-size replica of a typical solitary confinement cell will be on display during this event to give participants the chance to experience the effects of isolation. Workshop facilitators: Victor Pate - employed by the National Religious Campaign Against Torture as the NY Statewide Campaign Organizer for The Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement. Victor became involved in the Criminal Justice arena after experiencing and overcoming the many obstacles faced by the formerly incarcerated coming home and striving to regain a foothold on life. Sandra Bernabei, a social worker and community organizer with the Antiracist Alliance, who brought the undoing racism® workshop to over 18,000 New York City social workers. She’s on the NY regional leadership team of The People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, working to build a broad based movement for undoing racism and for the elimination of racial disparities in human services. Mary Buser, social worker and author of award-winning book, Lockdown on Rikers: Shocking Stories of Abuse and Injustice at New York’s Notorious Jail, worked in the Rikers Island Mental Health Department. She served as Assistant Chief of Mental Health in the 500-cell Punitive Segregation Unit. Post Rikers, she has been an outspoken advocate for the incarcerated, especially the mentally ill and those in solitary confinement. * Moderated by Melanie Funchess - Director of Community Engagement at the Mental Health Association of Rochester E-mail for more information or leave a message at 585-395-5509 Organized by the Rochester Social Welfare Action Alliance and presented by Social Workers Against Solitary Confinement. Sponsored by: the Student Social Work Organization and the Department of Social Work at the College at Brockport; New York State Campaign for Alternatives to Isolated Confinement; the National Religious Campaign Against Torture; Police Accountability Board; United Christian Leadership; the Flying Squirrel; Rochester Poor People’s Campaign; Roc/ACTS – and funded by a grant from the National Homelessness Social Work Initiative

[6:00pm] Turning guns into gardening tools
Come watch Shane Claiborne and Michael Martin Beat a Gun into a Gardening Tool Thursday, April 18, 6:00pm Greece Baptist Church 1230 Long Pond Road, Rochester, NY 14626 The Beating Guns Tour is a 90-minute event that will feature music, art, and stories of people impacted by gun violence, culminating with an invitation for the audience to take the hammer and transform a gun into garden tools. The tour kicks off on March 9 in Philadelphia, stopping in more than 35 cities. Claiborne and Martin have also launched the Disarming Network to help people connect with safe spaces to disable guns according to Federal ATF guidelines. With less than 5 percent of the world’s population, the people of the US own nearly half the world’s guns. America also holds the record for the most gun deaths—homicide, suicide, and accidental gun deaths—at around ninety a day and about thirty-three thousand per year. Inspired by the biblical prophets’ call to “beat swords into plowshares,” Claiborne and Martin will tour the country this spring with a forge and other blacksmithing tools. Claiborne and Martin build their case with a revealing overview of the history of guns and gun marketing in America, alarming statistics, and stories of devastated lives and restorative justice. They debunk common myths and offer ideas for common sense change. They address: • Fear in America: Americans cling to their guns, ready to kill their neighbor at the slightest sense of fear. This has created a world in which a homeowner answers his door with a gun and shoots at a 14-year-old boy who stops to ask directions after missing his school bus. • Corporate Accountability: The industry that creates one of the most dangerous products available enjoys total immunity when it comes to any responsibility for harm done. • Millions of Guns in America: An average of just under 9.5 million guns are manufactured per year here—25,912 guns per day. Though there’s almost one gun per person in the U.S., only 32 percent of households have guns. “Some folks have a lot of guns.” • Gun Capitalists: Businessmen invented the gun market, “making guns as commonplace as sewing machines.” The early gun empire families were motived by money and “moral agnosticism.” • Forgotten Victims: An estimated 73,000 people per year are shot and survive, many of them injured in life-altering ways. • The Changing NRA: Less than 5 percent of gun owners belong to the NRA. A recent survey found that 74 percent of NRA members support universal background checks on all gun sales, compared to 84 percent of guns owners in general and 90 percent of Americans. • Gun Control Myths: The idea that any gun control measure will lead to all guns being taken is just one myth the authors debunk. “Banning semiautomatic weapons or high capacity magazines that allow guns to shoot one hundred rounds per minute does not lead to taking away hunting rifles or even a handgun purchased for self defense.” Tired of waiting for legislative action on common sense gun laws, Claiborne and Martin say “we will not wait on politicians to turn death into life.” About the Authors: Shane Claiborne is a prominent speaker, activist, and best-selling author. Shane worked with Mother Teresa in Calcutta, and founded The Simple Way in Philadelphia. His books include Red Letter Revolution, and his classic The Irresistible Revolution. He has been featured in a number of films including “Another World Is Possible” and “Ordinary Radicals.” Shane speaks over one hundred times a year, nationally and internationally. His work has appeared in Esquire, SPIN, and The Wall Street Journal, and he has been on everything from Fox News and Al Jazeera to CNN and NPR. He’s given academic lectures at Harvard, Princeton, Liberty, Duke, and Notre Dame. Mike Martin is the founder and executive director of RAWtools, which partners with communities in an effort to repurpose weapons for creative and productive uses. Mike learned to blacksmith in order to turn guns into garden tools and is passionate about connecting people to nonviolent skills like restorative justice and conflict mediation. He is trained for restorative justice facilitation and encourages everyone to explore how they can connect to similar efforts in their community. He blogs at Beating Guns will be his first book. Beating Guns: Hope for People Who Are Weary of Violence by Shane Claiborne and Mike Martin Brazos Press $19.99 paper ISBN: 978-1587434136 Pub Date: March 5, 2019 Beating Guns Contact: Steve Gretz 585-301-8917