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Black History Celebration Santa Maria

The Black History Month Celebration at Pioneer Park in Santa Maria on Saturday 2/17/18 went beautifully; the site in a tree sheltered open spaced field was sweet and the many people we met, too!  We talked with countless folks about what Truth In Recruitment is about and doing, plus handouts, buttons and wristbands were offered.  And of course, everybody got given a flyer about the upcoming Santa Maria High School Family Forum scheduled for Tuesday 2/27/18 about Military Recruiters On Campus. 

 

On SaturdayTruth In Recruitment was among some 28 participating community organizations including CAUSE, Democratic Club of Santa Maria Valley, Lompoc Valley, AGIF Education Foundation, United Domestic Workers Union, the NAACP, the Girl Scouts of America and others.  All providing informational pamphlets, services, membership sign-up lists and other resources to help educate the public.

 

There was live music with a band, dancers and speakers including keynote speaker Congressman Salud Carbajal and newly elected 3rd District Supervisor Joan Hartmann.  Capping the event, Black History Month celebrants were generously provided with a delicious Santa Maria BBQ and the successful day was unanimously enjoyed by all.

NAACP, Lompoc Chapter- Presentation.

This was a tough group to talk to about Truth in Military Recruitment at U.S. High Schools, especially in SB North County. I thought Kate & Lisha did a great Job. The majority of the audience were either retired or current Air Force Personnel, I assume as Officer’s or non-commissioned officers. They were highly educated with adult college educated children. There was one High school age female whose testimony was that Military Recruiters where an ever present entity in her High School. I believe she was a senior at a Lompoc High school.

The audience had testimonies that the service had been good for them. However they also spoke about the racism inside and outside the military service. I spoke to them about my experience with
Veterans For Peace, Arlington West, SBCC Teen Memorial and EOPS at SBCC. I tried to relate to them the Cost of War, especially the human cost. The Teen Memorial or Teen Cemetery tried to reveal a name and face, of the 18 & 19 year olds that had perished in the Iraq & Afghanistan wars. We tried to convey to high school & college aged students the lost human potential to their families,
community, and nation. These young men & women could have been the future leaders of their communities, cities, states and nation.

I also tried to explain that the high school students of yesterday & today have the right to know that they have alternatives to military service. College is an alternative to all high school students. Not just to the “shinny Pennies”. EOPS at the California Community Colleges is an opportunity for all students. They have vocational & transfer programs to 4 year colleges. One does not have to be a stellar student to attend. The high light of the night for me was when a former SBCC EOPS student of mine approached me after our presentation. He was a professional working and living in Santa Maria and completing his Phd at UCSB. He was in EOPS and a tutor at SBCC then transferred to UCSB where he obtained his BA & MA. Over all this was a satisfying presentation!

Santa Maria High School Family Forum: Military Recruiters On Campus

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Date:          Tuesday, February 27, 2018  

                    5:30 – 6:00 pm — Pupusas dinner

                    6:00 – 7:30 pm — Forum

Location:     Santa Maria Public Library, Shepard Hall

                    421 So. McClelland Street, Santa Maria, CA 94358

Santa Maria High School teachers and families have voiced concern about military recruiters on campus and the presence of a National Guard Recruiter, whose office is named W.A.R. (We All Rise), on campus.

In a cooperative effort to address these concerns, this forum will review:

  • The history of this military recruiter presence,
  • The ethics of a military recruiter having an office on school grounds,
  • A family’s right to protect their children’s privacy, and
  • How students and parents would like to address this issue.

There also will be discussion of recruiters on campus, in general.

This forum is co-sponsored by the Mixteco Indigena Community Organizing Project called El Proyecto Mixteco Indigena Comunitaria (MICOP), the Fund for Santa Barbara, Importa, the McCune Foundation and Truth in Recruitment.

You are cordially invited to join us!  Language translation and dinner will be provided.

Foro Familiar para Santa Maria High School:

Reclutadores Militares en el campus

Fecha y Horario:  Martes, Febrero 27, 2018  

5:30 – 6:00 pm — Pupusas cena

6:00 – 7:30 pm — Foro

Ubicacion:  Biblioteca Publica de Santa Maria, Shepard Hall

421 So. McClelland Street, Santa Maria, CA 94358

Los padres y maestros de Santa Maria High School han expresado una intranquilidad con el reclutador de la Guardia Nacional. El cual tiene una oficina personal dentro del plantel educativo.

En un esfuerzo por restaurar la calma de los padres este foro hablara sobre:

  • El origen de esta oficina de reclutamiento,
  • Es apropiado tener esta oficina,
  • Información sobre los derechos de privacidad de los estudiantes y
  • Que hacer respecto a esta oficina.

También habrá una discusión general sobre la presencia de reclutadores en los planteles educativos.

Este foro esta copatrocinado por El Proyecto Mixteco Indigena Comunitario (MICOP), el Fund for Santa Barbara, Importa, la fundación McCune y por Truth in Recruitment.

¡Usted está cordialmente invitado!  Interpretación de idiomas y la cena serán provistos.

Santa Barbara Women’s March, January 20th 2018.

Does a Military career empower womyn?

This the question that Truth in Recruitment asked the people of Santa Barbara, Saturday, during the womyns rally?

We definitely received a variety of valuable answers, nonetheless it was clear that at the core of all of the responses was a genuine interest in the empowerment of girls and womyn. Participating in the rally was a humbling opportunity to acknowledge and receive validation from, other organizations who are pushing towards the similar direction of change. Witnessing, young womyn of numerous backgrounds express themselves unapologetically was priceless and truly motivating. It fed the fire that motivates Truth in Recruitment to share our message with as many people as possible, especially during a time in which:

  • Multiple branches of US military want to increase the recruitment of women to 10% of the armed forces.
  • 1 in 3 women have experienced sexual assault while serving in the military.
  • Youth of color and low economic status are disproportionately targeted.

In addition to the march renewing our social responsibly this was my daughter’s first demonstration, since we didn’t actually get to march. It was so beautiful to see her engage will all the nearby attendees, and their reaction towards a 13 month old encourages me to bring her along ALWAYS. We also ran into some of the mom friends “hermanas” that we’ve met in this journey ; who are raising their children with intention.Thanks for being such an awesome example! Lastly,

to add to this day’s supportive ambiance our friends from Veterans for Peace Joy and Gilbert Robledo helped us table and promoted our literature and resistance buttons. Can’t wait for what next year’s gathering will bring!

Carpinteria High School Tabling

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Michael, Elizabeth, and Fernando, of Truth in Recruitment, tabled at a Carpinteria High School community service fair sponsored by SB County Partners in Education on Friday December 1, 2017. The Wheel of Fortune was themed “Resisters and Veterans.” Michael, himself a veteran of the Vietnam War, discussed whistleblower and veteran Chelsea Manning’s impact with one inquisitive student.

Several students wrote in the comment book, based on a prompt about Rosa Parks’ role in Civil Rights (December 1 was the anniversary of her being arrested for not giving up her seat on a segregated bus). They would take stands against racism, for peace and in favor of net neutrality.  Students also participated in the penny poll exercise indicating what priorities should receive government funding (with each penny representing one million dollars). Education, humanitarian aid, and environmentalism were popular; however two students put their entire $10 million in the jar marked “military” which then led to a lively debate.

One student told them he was signed up for the Delayed Entry Program (DEP), which meant that he could be heading to boot camp after he graduated. (See links on this website for DEP cancellation forms) Fernando spoke with him about his options and the student left with literature about getting out of the program should he change his mind. By the end, many students were intrigued enough to request literature that offered alternative perspectives on the military.

Santa Barbara High School Community Service Fair on Friday, October 27

On a Friday morning, October 27, at Santa Barbara High School,  I joined Fernando and Kate during  Santa Barbara High School’s Community Service Fair. As I arrived at the Truth in Recruitment table, students were swarming around while asking questions and playing games.  At the Wheel of Fortune, Fernando and students were talking about the financial realities of a military career and other questions posed by the wheel. Kate guided a small group to ‘vote with their dollars’ as if they were members of Congress deciding how to allocate funds for the national budget.  Students doled out the coins while considering the consequences of distributing money between education, humanitarian aid, environment, the prison system and the military.  In a comment book, people took turns writing about the ways they are proud of their heritage.  All these young people walked away with bracelets that read: Question Authority.

Several teachers and students told us they were grateful that Truth in Recruitment was there.

It was fun.

Barb Parmet

Santa Maria High School Career Fair

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Tabling at Santa Maria High School career fair on October 12 was such a refreshing experience. We were welcomed by gusty winds, and a well-organized staff who had taken the time to set up a delicious continental breakfast for all attendees.

Shortly after we arrived, students began rolling into the career fair space. Interacting with freshmen, sophomores, juniors and seniors was inspirational in so many levels. Although we intended on guiding the students through our table in a certain order, creating room for spontaneity definitely paid off! Students wanted to engage and go deeper on topics such as job training, and so by adjusting our game plan we accomplished our goal of informing students and addressing their questions and concerns on a more personal level. We came prepared with information and activities such as: spinning a wheel of fortune with prompts for them to consider regarding ways that youth might be drawn to a military career such as “Travel and Meet New People?” They also voted in a penny poll, choosing to give funds in jars labeled “Environment”, “Education” or “Prisons”, for example. Finally we asked them to write their “Vision” in our comment book. For all this effort, they were complimented by wonderful prizes a: “Question Authority” bracelet, political buttons and of course community service opportunities!

As the waves of students came and went it is clear that our youth are hopeful, well-intended and have such big dreams! A good way to support them is by providing them with resources that allow them to make informed choices regardless off the career path they may choose. If I am super honest, listening to them chipped away some of the cynicism that has come with years of struggle. It was a much need reminder of the things I hoped for “when I grew up”, and can now achieve prepared with the knowledge that comes from years of experience. I certainly look forward for more opportunities to make connections with folks up in Santa Maria High, as several members of the staff appreciated our presence and wanted to get involved.

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