SUPPORT ROCLA WITH YOUR MEMBERSHIP!
Dear ROCLA Members and Friends, For 45 years, the Rochester Committee on Latin America (ROCLA) has sought to build bridges between the Rochester, New York community and the people of Latin America. Through its speakers, films, newsletters, and urgent actions, ROCLA educates residents about the culture, economics, and politics of the countries of Central and South America, Mexico and the Caribbean, and the ways U.S. policies impact the lives of their people.
This past year ROCLA has had no shortages of pressing issues to delve into with our members and community, from the Trump administration’s efforts to rollback relations with Cuba, the dual economic and political crises in Venezuela and conflicting media narratives, the cruel and unjustified practice of separating families seeking protection at our borders, the murder of Brazilian human rights leaders, ongoing and increasing violence in Mexico and Colombia and the recent social upheavals in Nicaragua. While many issues were are of grave concern in 2018, ROCLA also presented on positive initiatives such as our 50-year celebration of solidarity with Cuba, solidarity delegations as a means of creating a better world, and understanding indigenous Andean wisdom.
In 2018 ROCLA has also supported directly affected groups and solidarity organizations that are fighting for justice and human rights in the global south and the United States. At ROCLA’s annual Rice and Beans Dinner which took place in April, we celebrated our White Dove Award winners; international winner Dr. M. Brinton Lykes, and local award winners were the Alianza Agricola and UR DREAMers. Our awardees work with 54 Maya women survivors of sexual violence and severe human rights violations during the Guatemalan civil war; with undocumented NY farmworkers fighting for their rights and for access to driver’s licenses, and with DACAmented and undocumented students who are fighting for passage of the DREAM Act and standing with other vulnerable students. They are all showing us the way to bring justice and human rights in Latin America and the U.S.
But none of ROCLA’s work this past year could have been possible without our members! We extend a thank you to all new members that have joined ROCLA in 2018, and all members who continue to sustain ROCLA’s work. We are writing to you today with a reminder that it is now time to renew your membership for 2019!
We rely on your membership contributions to fund ROCLA’s donations to grassroots and solidarity organizations in Latin America and the U.S. ROCLA also keeps its members informed and updated through its quarterly newsletter ‘Update on the Americas’, urgent action announcements and monthly programs so that you too can act on behalf of justice. This year we have also invested in modernizing our communications, including our new website!
ROCLA does not receive any government funding since much of what we do is to criticize the ongoing oppression of the U.S. So, we need YOU to fund our work! ROCLA’s Steering Committee has a goal of 100 new members and we have not raised the cost of membership. Regular memberships are still $30 and we have added another category of membership for students and those with limited income at $20.
You can also make a check out to MJEF/ROCLA and mail it to: Kathy Goforth, 45 Lynbrook Drive, Rochester, NY 14609.
If you are not yet a member, please consider joining ROCLA now! Beginning in the new year, ROCLA will be moving to an online newsletter only, which will have additional features and links to expand our news about what’s happening in Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Latino diaspora communities in the U.S. ROCLA will save the cost of paper and postage and will be able to use a more flexible format with more use of images. You will also receive announcements of ROCLA events and others related to our work.
We don’t want to lose any of our 300 subscribers! We are setting a deadline for the new year for everyone on the print mail list to sign up for the listserve. That means that if you are not listed on our listserve by then, you will not be able to receive the newsletter.
With much appreciation, The ROCLA Steering Committee: Marilyn Anderson, Sara Curtis, Kathy Goforth, Bob and Marilyn Kaiser, Grania Marcus, Arnie Matlin, Peter and Gail Mott, Esperanza Roncero, Vic Vinkey, Tom Ward, and Karleen West.