WFPSE: What We Do
Witness for Peace Southeast (WFPSE) is a politically independent grassroots organization of people committed to nonviolence and led by faith and conscience. WFPSE’s mission is to support peace, justice and sustainable economies in the Americas by changing U.S. policies and corporate practices that contribute to poverty and oppression in Latin America and the Caribbean.
At Witness for Peace Southeast, we work to raise people’s consciousness and empower them to take action. We don’t provide charity, but ask why it is that some countries need charity in the first place. We work to tackle the root causes of poverty and oppression. We stand in solidarity with our partners in Latin America.
We envision U.S. policies that support fair trade, not free trade. We envision a U.S. immigration policy that promotes dignity and human rights. We envision a U.S. drug policy that addresses demand, rehabilitates users, and offers alternative economies in Latin America. We envision just, sustainable policies in the U.S., Latin America, and the Caribbean.
WFPSE delegations and speakers tours raise consciousness about the root causes of the growing gap between rich and poor. Skills training empower delegates to take action to change the structures which lead to poverty and oppression.
We attack our core issues through a variety of activities:
- International delegations to Mexico, Nicaragua, Honduras, Colombia and Cuba give American adults and teenagers first-hand knowledge of conditions and issues. Delegates experience visiting sweatshops, doing homestay visits with Latin American families in the countryside, meeting with indigenous leaders, learning from organizers and activists, and taking messages to the U.S. Embassy in country. One particularly important component is extensive training about objectives, strategies, and tactics to influence change upon their return. Back in the U.S., WFPSE staff and returned delegates visit with Representatives, Senators, and the Department of State to share what we learned and urge for reform.
- The Witness for Peace Annual Retreat brings together organizers and activists from all over the southeast. Attendees hear first hand testimonials from people most impacted by U.S. policies in Latin America, attend workshops devoted to activism and organizing training, and network with other individuals in the southeast working for social justice.
- Each year a Pilgrimage across North Carolina is organized to raise awareness about key policy issues facing Latin America. A diverse coalition of people and organizations from different backgrounds, experiences, and faith communities joins together to walk across North Carolina in a Pilgrimage for Peace and Justice.
- Each fall WFPSE coordinates a speakers tour in the southeast. A speaker from Latin America spends one month touring churches, universities, and communities to raise awareness and inspire action. Past speakers include organizers, activists, and community leaders.