Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

AAACP to become Michigan Peaceworks

16. November 2004 • Murph
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The Ann Arbor Area Committee for Peace announces an upcoming name change via e-mail:


Effective January 2005, the Ann Arbor Area Committee for Peace will have a new name. We’re finally shaking off our geographically limiting, sterile-sounding, too-long, acronym-defying moniker in favor of one that’s snappier, more dynamic, and easier to say.

The new name gives us the flexibility to work anywhere in the state AND ushers in an expansion of our mission.

It has become evident that advancing peace in the world requires making repairs on the home front. The social inequities, feelings of powerlessness, and lack of information about world events among U.S. citizens enables dominant government and corporate actors to wage wars while neglecting social and environmental needs.

Therefore, our continuing work around peace will involve collaborating with low-income communities around issues that affect their quality of life while making the link between local and global issues. What will that work look like? Here are some examples:

  1. provide trainings and consultancy for grassroots organizations in low-income communities
  2. organize accountability sessions with elected officials
  3. establish youth-organizer trainings and peace pilot programs in high schools
  4. engage in voter education and registration
  5. continue our tried-and-true methods of promoting peace through community education, demonstrations, and media advocacy.

We also wish to facilitate the tremendous energy that you all have for various peace-related projects. Get involved! Come to Thursday night’s community gathering and potluck!

Peace Community Gathering & Potluck
THIS Thursday, November 18
7 pm
Northside Presbyterian/St. Aidan’s Episcopal Church
1679 Broadway, Ann Arbor (off Plymouth Rd.)
Enter through the farthest north door.

Bring a tasty dish to pass! AAACP will provide beverages, plates, cups, and utensils.

We’ll share reflections and ideas in a large group, then break down into small groups by areas of interest for further conversation. We’ll facilitate the swapping of contact information so you can stay in touch with like-minded souls. Come for the camaraderie!

Show up at 6:30 pm if you’re able, to help set up tables and chairs.

  1. Ok, don’t take this wrong, but I’d like to know if AAACP has anything really solid they can show for thier work. I don’t know much about them, and think that their vision of fixing things at home is a great goal. Can anyone tell me about their acomplishments &or failures? Have they made an impact on the poor in the area, or is this a new direction?
       —Just a Voice    Nov. 17 '04 - 12:28PM    #
  2. JaV, the way I’m reading their message, addressing the needs of the poor at home is a new line for them. Previously, I think their work has been focused on anti-war advocacy.

    Looking at their accomplishments page suggests that they’ve done more (in general) than I had thought, but the only item that seems really focused on the local/regional poor is voter registration drives over the summer and providing voter transportation on election day. (I approve.)

    I’m glad to see this change in focus; there’s only so much time you can spend standing in front of the federal building demanding an immediate end to war before it just gets kinda masturbatory, and if they’ve got that much energy, this is a much more realistic cause to put it towards.
       —Murph    Nov. 17 '04 - 02:20PM    #
  3. Just to clarify—- the group that has held the regular demonstrations in front of the Federal Building is the Ann Arbor Coalition Against the War (AACAW), started by former AAACP members who wanted the group to take a firm stance on divestment. AAACP has organized several marches, but these usually ended in the Diag, not at the Federal Bldg.

    As for the group’s acheivments, they held onto the larger anti-war message of 2002 after the war started, when others began focusing on different areas. The drop on participation and the results of the election have forced them to accept that the group as it was in fall 2002 is no longer viable.

    As for their accomplishments, AAACP ran a very effective campaign in the lower-income parts of A2 away from campus to register voters and get out the vote. While not visible, their efforts certainly made a difference in this regard, in spite of low numbers of volunteer.

    I share Murph’s hopes that the group will be able to use its constituency and new focus in a more effective manner, as I think they have more potential than the past few years have shown.
       —mwh    Nov. 17 '04 - 05:21PM    #
  4. Hey murph & mwh, thanks, I read the article but was rushing out the door so didn’t have a chance to do a basic google on them, and yes I think I had them confused with AACAW. Seems thier new direction should serve the community well.

    Though, the split with AACAW is so reminicent of the 60’s when groups splintered and splintered. Those who want to make change need to stick together in a pack, or get picked off one by one. By that I mean a march of thousands will get notice, but 10 people protesting in front of the federal building is a total joke. I remember many many years ago, I think it was clinton years, I was by the federal building and about 15 people were protesting something (I asked at the time, but don’t remember). I think 15 people protesting in front of the federal building is a waste of time (IMHO) and makes your cause look stupid and worthless. Just one persons opinion.
       —Just a Voice    Nov. 18 '04 - 12:20AM    #