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Next Steps

We listen to those on the front lines. We read books. We talk with our friends as we struggle with learning truths about our own complicity in racism and oppression. We march and show up at rallies. We occasionally even speak up, even when it is uncomfortable to do so. These are all necessary steps on the road to justice.

But it doesn’t mean a thing without a power base committed to change. That is to be one next step for the Riverton Peace Mission on our journey towards community harmony.

In early June, three of us leaders of the Riverton Peace Mission go to Missoula, Montana for training by United Today, Stronger Tomorrow to hone our skills in community organizing. I don’t mean about how to plan events. We are fairly good at that. The Riverton Peace Mission was formed when some of us decided that the annual Peace March was not enough. While truth-telling is good and must continue, education and awareness is not enough. It’s the foundation, but not the structure for lasting change.

We are working on strategies in follow-up to the Summit for the Unhoused to assure that it was not in vain and instead results in accountable collaboration focused to close the gaps for the needs of the most vulnerable of our neighbors. The resources are there.

We are working to decriminalize public intoxication and other policies that discriminate against those who suffer from mental illness due to historic trauma. Creating alternatives to jailing and recycling people through the criminal justice system will benefit everyone including reduced budgets for taxpayers.

Much of the cost for the training in Missoula is covered, but not all, and certainly not what will be needed to engage people to build our base over the next few months.

Join others who have made a monthly pledge of $3, $6, $11 or more. My goal is that we get 15 new donors this week who make monthly pledges that combined will total over $100. Will you be one of those 15 people who help to reach our goal?

Fear not. Be humble. Have faith. Be bold. Build relationships. Do justice.

Chesie Lee

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