Dear supporter of the ANSWER Coalition,
My name is Karina Garcia, and I’m a New York City public school teacher and ANSWER organizer. I also advise a student group—Youth Against War and Racism—which is comprised of a dozen high school activists between the ages of 14 and 17.
Karina Garcia, center, with Youth Against
My students are very excited right now because they are planning to attend an ANSWER Youth Activist Seminar in Washington, D.C. The two-day Seminar will include workshops on public speaking, and political education.
The problem is that taking 10 teenagers to D.C. for a weekend costs around $1200, and that is money we simply do not have. On behalf of my students, I’m writing to you—as someone who has been a consistent supporter of the anti-war movement—to ask if you’d be interested in sponsoring our trip.
Many of the young activists who want to go to the D.C. Youth Seminar were five years old when the war on Afghanistan started. They are determined to do everything they can to bring it to an end, to not let Afghanistan become this generation’s Vietnam.
They formed Youth Against War and Racism one year ago when they organized a bus to attend ANSWER’s National March on Washington on the seventh anniversary of the Iraq war. For months before the march, they went classroom to classroom in our school giving anti-war presentations and asking students to get on the bus. In the end, we took 40 students in a packed bus to their first protest. When they came back they immediately made a video of the march that they showed to a school-wide assembly.
As soon as they began planning to attend ANSWER's Youth Activist Seminar, my students recorded a video explaining why they wanted to attend. Their infectious enthusiasm is likely to grow after they attend and become organizers in other exciting upcoming events.
The problem is funds. My students have already been fundraising for the trip, most recently selling Valentine-grams to their classmates. They tried to organize a fundraising dance, but the school didn’t approve it. We’re still far from reaching our target.
In the New York City public schools, we see firsthand the consequences of a government that consistently prioritizes bailouts and war over our young people’s education. At my school, we’re often short of basic supplies like paper.
The 10 members of YAWR who are hoping to come to Washington are passionate about their activism. They are the next generation of the anti-war movement, and will undoubtedly take all the experiences and activist skills they learn into college with them.
On behalf of Youth Against War and Racism, thanks for taking the time to read our appeal—and thank you for any help you can offer. Click this link to make your donation and help sponsor our trip.