Stop Hate 2000 Newsletter December, 1999

Dear Friends,

December is a month when we begin to think of new beginnings. At least in the north, it's still getting darker and colder, but it no longer comes at us with a rush. We almost think we'll find a way to survive winter. And, as we find some confidence that we may have a future after all, we turn from memories of what's gone to thoughts about the present and future. Almost every society and tradition which finds its roots north of the Equator seems to find a way to celebrate light and hope at this darkest of months.

We're also finding our way to new ideas and projects. Those of you who are on our mailing list will already have received a letter regarding a quilt in memory of all victims of hate and violence. That letter which we sent should, we hope, be on the new message board soon. It's an idea which one of he group (Monie) thought of last year, and there was a little bit of progress made on it before the hike (or hikes) took up everyone's attention and energy. While we hope to recover the pieces which were sent in then, we're pretty much assuming we're starting over. Unfortunately, there are more victims to remember.  But, like the bears when went hiking last October, the quilt will ensure their stories won't be forgotten, and will get told and retold.

Some of you are also beginning to tell us of projects and plans which you have. That's exactly what's wanted. This site is developing into a way in which we can trade news and ideas. The more we hear from you, the better for all of us. We can help each other out!

In the wake of the Columbine High School tragedy, there's been an effort in Littleton to start up a place where teens can drop in during the afternoon and evening. Appropriately called "The Place", it's one mile south of the school, at Pierce Village Center. It's meant to be run for teens by teens where they can "hang out", and be treated not only with respect, but also heard seriously and listened to. the organizers need both volunteers and donations. If you'd like to know more, have a look at (http://www.projectlisten.org), or try e-mailing (ralf@indra.com).

We have previously heard from various artists about songs they have written and recorded, particularly those inspired by Matthew Shepard's death. We again apologize to those who posted notices about them on our old message board - we miss them. We have heard of another, "Til There's Love" which is part of an album being put together by Heather D. Swanson. You can hear some of the album, and look at the song's lyrics at (http://fosgate.com/epiphany), or contact Heather at (PixieDawn@aol.com).

Also, from time to time in the Seattle area, a television program which includes Gabi Clayton's work in talking to school classes about her son, Bill, gets re-aired. As we hear of times and places when this happens, we'll try to let you know.

Before we forget, thanks to anyone who signed Eric Williams' birthday card for Matthew. At last count, 175 people had done so.

But December is still a month for reflection, enjoyment of what we have, and modest surprise at our ongoing survival, rather than doing much about our plans. So we'll wish you a merry Christmas, a happy Hanukkah, a holy and reflective Ramadan, a saturnine Saturnalia, and, in general, a safe and enjoyable mid-winter. we'll look forward to being in touch again in the new year (yes, we think there'll be one!).

The Stop Hate 2000 e-Team

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