An Evening with Dr. Yoav Litvin, Israeli-American Psychologist and Neuroscientist
7 p.m., Wednesday, November 7
Garden Street United Methodist Church Fireside Room
1326 N. Garden St, Bellingham
Bellingham, WA – Bellingham's Veterans For Peace and Whatcom Peace and Justice Center are hosting author, psychologist and nueroscientist Dr. Yoav Litvin at Garden Street Methodist Fireside Room on Wednesday, November 7 at 7 p.m.
Dr. Litvin will examine the results to date of Zionism within a historical framework. How have over a century of settler colonial policies affected the Israeli and Palestinian collective psyches? Can a study of neural systems of emotion inform our understanding of the ongoing oppression of Palestinians and the potential for a just resolution? Litvin will address these questions and speak of their urgency in light of the current rise of white supremacy and global neo-fascism.
Specializing in the behavioral neuroscience of fear, stress, social behaviors, aggression and trauma, Litvin has investigated the neurobehavioral pathways involved in bullying, aggression and defense from the aspects of both aggressor and victim. He has found that studying the science of trauma and its healing can benefit our efforts to find a potential route to justice and reconciliation.
"As humans, our survival instincts render us susceptible to manipulations by fear-mongering politicians," says Dr Litvin. "A scared populace readily accepts and sustains cycles of oppression and privilege. It is morally essential to overcome fear and demand truth, accountability, justice and equality."
Dr. Litvin, an Israeli-American psychologist and neuroscientist, integrates his knowledge of biobehavioral mechanisms with a unique perspective as a former Israel Defense Force soldier, now dissident. His work has appeared in outlets such as Salon, Truthout, Truthdig, teleSur English, Mondoweissand Counterpunch. For more see yoavlitvin.com.
Ed. note: Print copies will be available at from Alternatives to Military Service and Whatcom Peace & Justice Center at community events including Sept. 21's International Day of Peace, Sept. 24-25's Red Square Info Fair, and Sept. 28's Birchwood International Market.
I decided to do an infographic on immigrants in the military because it’s a topic that is not often talked about.
Throughout U.S. history, we have recruited immigrants from all over the world to serve in the U.S. military. As a DACA recipient who considered the military as my only pathway toward attaining citizenship, I quickly realized that was not the case.
DACA recipients who join the military do not have a set pathway towards citizenship. In fact, the U.S. has deported American veterans because of their status, after dedicating their lives to this country.
What really encouraged me to make this infographic was a speaker that came to WWU, Margaret D Scott. Though I strongly disagreed with her conclusions, I found her talk (online here: HTTPS://FAIRHAVEN.WWU.EDU/IMMIGRANTS-US-MILITARY) very informative, and used many of the data to find other resources to create this.
Written by Victoria Matey-Mendoza
[She/Her/Hers] Victoria is a recent graduate from Western Washington University. She joined the Whatcom Peace & Justice Center in 2015 as the student representative. She has been involved in many efforts specifically around immigration and undocumented folks. Through various forms of organizing -- institutional and grassroots -- she has helped many students get civically engaged. Victoria offers various workshops around challenging narratives of undocumented immigrants. In her spare time she enjoys camping, swimming and spending time with her community.
Jennifer Ávila, Honduran journalist, artist, and documentary filmmaker, will speak in Bellingham, Washington, on Tuesday, October 16, 2018, at Christ the Servant Lutheran Church (2600 Lakeway Drive). Ávila is the co-founder of Contra Corriente, a multimedia, youth and women-led media platform.
Everyone is invited to a "not-luck" meal (you are NOT expected to bring any food, but you may if you wish) served from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., to be followed by Jennifer Ávila’s presentation, “The Silencing of Dissent: How Freedom of the Press is Threatened in Honduras.”
Ávila is the featured speaker in Witness for Peace Northwest’s 2018 tour and is hosted locally by the Whatcom Peace & Justice Center and the Justice Seekers of Christ the Servant Lutheran Church.
Ávila’s award-winning work has been shown in international film festivals, and has represented a crucial documentation of the ways U.S. and Honduran policy from deportations to mega-projects have affected the most vulnerable Hondurans.
Ávila spent six years at Radio Progreso, an essential bulwark of freedom of expression in an increasingly hostile environment for journalism, before co-founding Contra Corriente in 2017. While at Radio Progreso, she directed “Guardiana de los Ríos” (about the defense of rivers incarnated by Berta Cáceres), “No Se Van” (about the whys and hows of migration), and “Libertad Tiene Nombre de Mujer” (about women organizing to protect community territory).
The week prior to her visit, the Whatcom Peace & Justice Center will host a screening of “Guardiana de los Ríos” on Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at the Alternative Library (519 E. Maple) at 8 p.m.
Local business are stepping up to support the Whatcom Peace & Justice Center this month, with a number of fundraising events. Please come out and support them -- you'll also be supporting the Center!
Friday, September 7: Drinks for Good at Camber
$1 from every glass of wine, beer, and cider sold will be donated to WPJC
Saturday, September 15: Community Shopping Day at the Co-op
2 percent of the days sales will be donated to WPJC. (Plus: All month, tell your cashier you want to round up to the nearest dollar, donating the difference to WPJC).
Spread the word -- invite your Facebook friends
Friday, September 21: Drink & Dine for Peace
On International Day of Peace, eight local breweries and restaurants are participating in our first-ever Drink & Dine for Peace. Patronize them any time on Sept. 21 and they'll donate a portion of sales to WPJC.
Spread the word -- invite your Facebook friends
I am currently a student at Western Washington University. From the class on social stratification, I and my group decided to do a research on inequalities among U.S. retired and active-duty military members. We found surprising statistics that indicate the severity of the inequities that veterans face. This is my second post in a series of four on what we found. You can read part I here.
76,000 veterans are on the streets on any given night, which counts as 12.3 percent among the total homeless adult population in the U.S., according to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Taking a closer look into a survey of 5,794 veterans examining housing instability, 4,934 (85 percent) experienced brief instability, and 850 (15 percent) experienced ongoing instability. Instability in this case included homelessness, difficulty in paying for housing, frequent moves, and frequent moves with patterns of increased health and health care issues.
Does government give enough?
The brief answer would be no. Just like every living human being, veterans need secure housing, nutritional meals, and basic physical health care. Additionally, veterans need job assessment, training, and placement assistance for transitioning into the workforce after they serve. However, there is an extreme lack of help from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Among the 18.8 million veterans in the United States, only 9 million are able to be served by the Department of Veterans Affairs.
For housing, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), using its own resources or in partnership with others, has secured nearly 15,000 residential rehabilitative and transitional beds and 30,000 permanent beds for homeless veterans throughout the country. This only covers about 3 percent of the total veteran population facing the risk of being homeless (total population at risk: 1.4 million).
For meals, nearly 3 million veterans and their families don’t have enough to eat each month. More than 25 percent of veterans reported food insecurity in the past calendar year, with 12 percent reporting “very low food insecurity.”
The VA’s specialized homelessness program provides healthcare to 150,000 homeless veterans and other services to 112,000 veterans, which covers about 5-7 percent of the veteran population facing being homeless and broke. Almost 2 million veterans are living without health insurance along with 3.8 million members of their households. Among uninsured veterans, 25 percent said they couldn't get medical care because of costs, 30 percent delayed care due to costs, and 50 percent hadn't seen a doctor within the past year. Interestingly, one study found that veterans are significantly less likely to be accessing community clinics; instead, they rely on shelter clinics and street outreach for medical care.
The Washington Post and Kaiser Family Foundation conducted a nationwide poll of veterans from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Half of the respondents in the poll said their readjustment to civilian life was difficult, and 56 percent rated the job assessment help from the government as “not so good” or “poor” (to be noted, 51 percent of individual homeless veterans have disabilities).
There is an extreme insufficiency from the VA’s support. Retired veterans continue to rely on the civilian welfare state to fill gaps, such as getting child welfare services and food stamps. Government money for veterans, while important, is very limited, and available services are often at maximum. It is highly critical, therefore, that community groups reach out to help provide support, resources, and opportunities from non-profit organizations. At the same time, we also should know the importance of advocating for better government spending for veterans instead of on new wars.
In the next blog post, we will look at the issue of mental health that veterans experience after they serve.
Written by Kexin Zeng
WWU student, Sociology Department.
During my summer quarter at Western Washington University, I took a sociology class on social stratification which examines the social causes and consequences of inequality in America on the perspective of social distribution of wealth, power and status. For my group project near the end of the quarter, we chose veterans as our general topic, and we did our research on inequalities among U.S. retired and active-duty military members. We found surprising statistics that indicate the severity of inequities that veterans face. In a series of blog posts, I will share what we found.
Nation of War
The U.S. initiated the Iraq war from 2003 to 2011 and the Afghanistan war from 2001 to present. Currently, the U.S. is also participating in the Syrian war. Since the existence of the country, there have only been 20 years when this country was not participating in war. At $618.8 billion in 2016, military spending accounted for more than 53 percent of the federal discretionary budget. The U.S. leads the world in military spending. If you combine all of the military budgets of every country in this world, the U.S. has half of the total. There are 1,000 U.S. military bases worldwide.
A Peek into the Veterans Homeless Population Boost after 9/11
Nearly half of veterans who are homeless served after 9/11. After the Vietnam War, it took 5-10 years for veterans to end up on the streets. There are 3.3 million veterans who have served since 9/11. Among veterans who are homeless, 47.6 percent are under the age of 35. It takes less than 3 months after discharge to end up on the streets. Along with homelessness, post 9/11 retired veterans have the highest percentage of service-connected disability, at 34.1 percent.
In my next blog post, I will examine and demonstrate U.S. government’s role of addressing the issue of homelessness among veterans.
Written by Kexin Cherie Zeng
WWU student, Sociology Department.
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