Policing Isn’t Working for Cops Either

Originally Published by Waging Nonviolence on July 11th, 2016

“It’s okay mommy…. It’s okay, I’m right here with you…”

Those were the words of four-year-old Dae’Anna, consoling her mother Lavish Reynolds after she witnessed the police shoot and kill her boyfriend Philando Castile.

Those words are now scarred into the psyche of America, much like words that came before it: “Hands up, don’t shoot.” “I can’t breath.” “It’s not real.” [Read more...]

2016 First Quarter Financials

As part of our commitment to fiscal transparency, we release our financial statements each quarter for everyone to view. We’re a bit late this time around, but the finances for our first quarter of the year are now available online.

As always, we try to save money wherever we can, and not spend it just because we have it or just because it’s in our budget. We know that we rely on your support, and we owe it to you to make sure that we are spending every penny wisely.

We were able to save some funds this quarter with a volunteer who has been helping us out with our administrative tasks. We went a little over budget on the travel line items, but that’s actually a good thing because it means that our work is spreading even more!!! We’ve recently conducted workshops and presentations in Boston and Chicago, and set up a regular workshop at CTF Prison in Soledad. Between that and our regular work in San Bruno County Jail and San Quentin State Prison, we’ve been on the road a lot.

We came in under on the income side as well, but we typically get a lot more donations in towards the end of the year, so we anticipate that we will make that up with your help. We are also working hard to secure at least one more large grant (so far we only receive one large grant a year, from the people at the Lakeshore Foundation). The good news is that people have been so generous in our workshops that we’ve exceeded our budgeted amount there! Thanks to everyone who has supported us.

If you have any questions about our finances, please feel free to contact us at any time and we will try to get back to you as soon as possible. In the meantime, we thank you again from the bottom of our hearts for investing in peace!!!

Fiscal Transparency: 2015 Numbers

2015

As many of you know, we take the issue of fiscal transparency very seriously.

We live in an era of secrecy, and a culture of fear when it comes to talking openly about money. We continue to hear about financial mismanagement or outright scandals, even in nonprofit organizations. Living in an individualistic culture and under a capitalist system, we’re taught to hide our numbers and our accounting, which creates a culture that is ripe for greed.

Financial TransparencyAt East Point Peace Academy, our work is not simply about changing a policy here and there, or inspiring individuals here and there. We are trying to change paradigms. We are fighting the culture of fear, mistrust, greed, violence.

It is with this thinking that we commit ourselves to true financial transparency. For us, this is also part of our commitment to the principles of Gift Economics, another way we try to change paradigms around money.

Each quarter, we post our financial statement on our website for all to see. It’s not hidden in the dark allies of our site. It’s one click away from our homepage. Everyone can see how much money we’ve raised, and how every penny is being spent – including how much each individual makes at East Point.

We rely on your support to keep our work going. You deserve to know how your support is being spent.

Our 2015 financial statement has just been posted, along with a proposed budget for 2016.

Last year, we spent just $80,978! And with your help, we were able to raise over $104,000!!! Of that amount, a whopping 67% came from our individuals and small community partners, with the rest coming from foundations!!! That’s amazing!!! When we say we rely on our community, we really mean it. THANK YOU ALL!!!

This also means that we have some reserves going into 2016, which will help us sustain our work. As an organization that relies on Gift Economics, our funding is never guaranteed, so this is important to us.

With just under $81,000 spent, we were able to reach 2,000 individuals across the nation last year! This includes people inside our criminal justice system, middle school, high school and college students, activists and community leaders, movement organizations and many more. We certified 20 new trainers (including some inside a county jail), worked in 5 states and 2 countries and provided over 500 hours of training. That’s a lot of work for not a lot of money, all made possible with your support.

And we want to do even more in 2016. We are currently planning to launch a new program, “Empowered Straight.” This program takes an alternative approach to the failed “Scared Straight” model of bringing young people into prisons to scare them. Instead, we will be bringing students in to work with our inside Peace Warriors, to learn about nonviolence from the inmates. We believe that hope and inspiration is a much better motivator for peace than fear and intimidation.

We are also continuing our work in San Bruno County Jail, San Quentin State Prison, and the Correctional Training Facility in Soledad, where we have teams of nonviolence trainers. We are opening up our Friday meditation circles to more people from the public. We are also excited to launch a series of ongoing advanced workshops for graduates of our two-day intro workshop.

We want to thank each and every single one of you who was part of an amazing 2015 – our second full year of programs! And we hope you can join us to make 2016 an even bigger year.

Please consider supporting us to help sustain and grow our programs!

We look forward to seeing you soon! Onward toward Beloved Community!

In Peace,

East Point Peace Academy

 

 

2015 Financial Statement

CLICK HERE FOR 2015 BUDGET TO ACTUAL FINANCIAL STATEMENT

As always, as part of our commitment to fiscal transparency, we are releasing our financial statement for the year 2015. We are so grateful to every single person who played a part in supporting us!

Transparency isn’t just about numbers. It’s also about our story, so let us share a few things about what we experienced last year that puts more context to these numbers.

First, as you can see, we only spent 65% of what we budgeted. That’s largely because we only raised 79% of what we budgeted. Some of it was due to our limited capacity as a small organization, so we were able to do less in some areas than we had hoped. For example, we were not able to organize a fundraising event, which is why we only spent 25% of what we budgeted for Development. We also struggled to receive support from foundations.

Another reason though, is that we simply don’t believe in spending money because we said we would. This is a common end-of-the-year practice in many businesses, government agencies, and even nonprofits.

There’s also some great news in these numbers. For example, we raised almost three-times as much from our community than we anticipated!!! Thank you all so much for believing in our work!!! We also received our second $25,000 grant from one foundation that we believe will be a long-term commitment. So while we didn’t meet our goal for grants this year, it’s only going to go up from here.

Plus, because of our frugal spending, we have a nice surplus moving into next year. As an organization that relies so heavily on faith, this is a nice cushion.

A few more things:

  • We didn’t need to hire any contractors because of some amazing volunteers we’ve had throughout the year. THANK YOU ALL!!!
  • It took us a while to find the right grant-writer, so we only spent half the budgeted amount.
  • Almost all of our trainers and guest speakers donated their stipends and honorariums back to East Point, which is why we spent less than 5% of those two items combined.
  • Thanks to our partners who believe in us, we didn’t have to spend anything on site rentals this year!
  • We also spent much less than anticipated on travel. This is because our local programs have really taken off, and we’ve really invested in building those up.
  • We were going to invest some money into brochures and other publications (graphics design and printing), but because word was getting out so much about our work without them, we didn’t feel like it was necessary.
  • We did go over budget on equipment because our laptop was unfortunately stolen during the year, which was an unforeseen expense…

Click here to see our financial statement. If you have any questions about any our finances, please feel free to email us at info (at) eastpointpeace.org.

Again, thank you to each and every single person who supported us in 2015, and we’ll see you in 2016!!!

East Point Peace Academy

Profile of a Warrior: Gus Newport

“The pursuit of peace means the gentle treatment of all people.” – Gus Newport

As a volunteer for the East Point Peace Academy, I recently had the privilege to meet up with civil rights leader, former mayor of Berkeley and peace advocate Gus Newport. Through several hours of conversation, we explored the intimate relationship between racism, social justice, and the our cultural relationship to education in the United States.

gusA descendant of African American slaves, Mr. Newport was born and raised in Rochester, New York. As a child, Mr. Newport was spoon fed activism from his mother and grandmother, and quickly developed a taste for peace. As a teenager, he was recognized as one of the brightest minds in his community, and was supported in cultivating his power and precision with words as a member of a traveling debate team. But in 1961 after the police invaded a Black Muslim mosque in Rochester, Gus met Malcolm X, and his life changed when he decided to put his voice into action. [Read more...]

Welcome our 2015 County Jail Peace Warriors!

Check out images from the graduation ceremony of our Peace from Within Advanced Training-of-Trainers, held October 1st inside the San Bruno County Jail. These graduates received their certification as Assistant Facilitators in Kingian Nonviolence Conflict Reconciliation after undergoing an intensive 6-month training.

Thanks to all of the guests who made it in to celebrate with us! It was great to breaking bread, sharing stories, laughter and tears with all of you!

Check out the images below, click here to be taken to our Flickr gallery or here to see them on Facebook.

“Comfort Women” and Negative Peace in Japan

Glendale’s bronze ‘Comfort Women’ memorial. Tetsuya Mizuno/The Yomiuri Shimbun/AP Images

I was born in Tokyo, Japan, and consider myself a proud Japanese citizen. I love my country, my culture, my heritage, my people. While I now live in the United States, I will always consider Japan to be my home. I am committed to doing whatever I can to contribute to a real lasting peace in my homeland, because peace is something that we all want, we all desire, and we all deserve.

But gross misunderstandings of “peace” can be harmful and dangerous.

Over the past couple of months, there has been an issue on the table for the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, to support the construction of a memorial to recognize “comfort women.” These “comfort women” were sexual slaves used by the Japanese Imperial Army during the war to give “comfort” to its soldiers. By some estimates, over 200,000 women from throughout Asia were brought – some against their will, other coerced – into these “comfort stations.” [Read more...]

Letter from Sean Yokota

Sean receiving his certificate for completing his Kingian Nonviolence Training.

Sean receiving his certificate for completing his Kingian Nonviolence Training.

My name is Sean Yokota. I am a third generation Japanese American, born and raised in San Francisco. I rebelled against the “model minority” stereotype in my mid-teens by running with an older tougher crowd. I soon became enamored with the criminal lifestyle and quickly adopted many of the habits and social norms that go with it. [Read more...]