Monday, December 30, 2013

"Bringing Communities Together": A Letter from Kit Bonson, Activist and Split This Rock Board Member

Dear Friend of Split This Rock,

At this time of year, many organizations ask for your donation by telling you how they excel above other groups in the community. But as a Board member of Split This Rock, I would like to ask for your support by telling you how we are bringing communities together, especially ones that are close to my heart.

When Split This Rock started five years ago, it was in part a powerful artistic and political response to the tragedy of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. At the time, I was a peace activist in the DC area and had been busy since 9/11 organizing local and national antiwar marches.   

As we have come to expect, Splitistas turned out in droves to march alongside the peace community. And just as important, Split This Rock organized poetic gatherings that provided a cultural interpretation of our sadness and hope during those dark days. Without Split This Rock, the peace movement would have been missing a critical voice.

Split This Rock has also been consistent supporter of reproductive health, a longtime passion of mine as well. A few years ago, I approached Director Sarah Browning about the possibility of a poetry contest in conjunction with the Abortion Care Network, a national organization of independent providers and their supporters. 

She immediately agreed and we were pleased to see the large response. When the first-place winner read her poem about clinic escorting at the ACN annual conference, you could have heard a pin drop as meeting attendees were transported by the words. Now in its third year, the Annual Abortion Rights Poetry Contest is once again proudly cosponsored by Split This Rock. We are currently accepting submissions until January 10th -- so please send us your work! 

I'm pleased to say that everyone on the staff and Board of Split This Rock is similarly engaged in these and other activist struggles, through their poetry pursuits and through their own organizing. The broad range of issues includes multicultural diversity, GLBT pride, environmental justice, pushing beyond racial barriers, neighborhood development, empowering youth, and creating international partnerships.

Nothing epitomizes these community connections more than Split This Rock Poetry Festival, coming up again only 3 months from now! We invite you to join us March 27-30 four days of poetry, community building, and creative transformation where we celebrate the many ways poetry can act as an agent for social change. 

We know that you are already a strong supporter of this work. We would be very grateful if you would consider a year-end donation so our work in 2014 will be even stronger!

Please contribute today. You can send a check made out to Split This Rock to:   

1112 16th Street, NW
Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036

Or go online to donate here.

With gratitude and in solidarity,

Kit Bonson
Split This Rock Board Member

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