On Wednesday, September 21, 2016, the Ojai Peace Network hosted a full day of International Day of Peace activities at the Ojai Art Center. As part of the event, Ojai Peace Coalition founder evan austin was invited to present the organization's NOBLE Peace Prize.
This year's honoree was the Ventura County Chapter of the national group Showing Up for Racial Justice, with Jonathan Horton present to accept the medal and deliver a brief address.
"SURJ is a national network of groups and individuals organizing White people for racial justice. Through community organizing, mobilizing, and education, SURJ moves White people to act as part of a multi-racial majority for justice with passion and accountability. They work to connect people across the country while supporting and collaborating with local and national racial justice organizing efforts. SURJ provides a space to build relationships, skills and political analysis to act for change."
SURJ-VC most recently partnered in a coalition including CAUSE, MICOP, the UFW, and other organizations in advocating for the passage of AB 1066, which granted overtime pay to farmworkers in California, reversing 80 years of prejudicial labor law, They continue to support this coalition in the push for adopting the Farmworker Bill of Rights in Ventura County. They are also maintaining an ongoing material support drive in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in its opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL), and are in steadfast support of the Black Lives Matter movement.
"There is no complete peace without justice. I cannot truly be at peace while injustice prevails in my community, country, in the world." -Jonathan Horton of SURJ-VC
Jonathan ended his remarks with an invitation:
"The work is unending, rewarding, and I hope you’ll join us."
Remember that nominations for the 2017 Noble Peace Prize are already open!
Let us know about a person or organization in the Ojai Valley that is working to make our community and the world a more peaceful place, even if they don't talk about their own work in those terms.