We are writing to you today with exciting news. After 18 years of nonstop engagement of this wonderful organization, the two of us—Jodie and Medea— are stepping back from our role as co-directors so that three younger, brilliant and capable women can step forward.
The new co-directors will be:
Farida Alam, our multi-talented web manager (don't forget to check out our brand new website!), art designer and logistical miracle-maker, who has been with CODEPINK for 15 years, will now also be taking on human resources and organizational planning;
Ariel Gold, who came to us 5 years ago as U.S. Middle East foreign policy expert, became co-director in 2018 and will continue in that role;
Carley Towne, a dynamo organizer and activist, will lead our Divest from War and Defund the Pentagon programs, as well as team management and community outreach.
In the past year, the country has witnessed the bravery and brilliance of young people who have taken to the streets and the suites to build major movements to confront racism and violence. We have witnessed that same flowering of initiative within CODEPINK, making this the perfect moment to pass the torch.
As we transition, we want you to engage more with Farida, Ariel, Carley and the whole CODEPINK team. Check out these opportunities to get involved as a peacemaker.
We, Jodie and Medea, are not going far. We will be active board members and will continue to work on key CODEPINK campaigns. Jodie will focus on the local peace economy that puts forth an inspiring, life-affirming path for our collective future—a path made even more urgent by the pandemic. And with the new Cold War against her part-time home, China, she will nurture our China Is Not Our Enemy campaign. Medea will consult with our Middle East and Latin America teams, as well as write articles and books about how to transform our foreign policy and build international solidarity. Both will continue to support our Feminist Foreign Policy Project.
As supporters of CODEPINK, you have always been our greatest strength and we are counting on you to assist with this transition.
Two important ways you can help:
Become one of our peacemakers by sharing some of your time. Check out the various ways you can help and sign up here. There is so much we can create together to end war and cultivate peace.
Make a monthly pledge or a special one-time gift to ensure that our work to end militarism, defund the Pentagon and divest from war grows and thrives.
We are so proud of what we’ve accomplished together over the last 18 years. To mention a few...
- We carried the anti-war message directly to Presidents Bush, Obama and Trump, to pro-war congressional hearings...and to the streets. We have been told by members of Congress that CODEPINK transformed Congressional hearings by bringing citizen voices into the proceedings—despite the risk of arrest.
- We built public opposition to drone warfare. We brought the tragic stories from Yemeni and Afghan families to Washington DC, forcing the military to introduce new rules and compensate many of the innocent victims.
- We advocated for the Iran nuclear deal and embraced citizen diplomacy with Iranians by organizing people-to-people trips to Iran.
- We helped win the release of political prisoners all over the world—like our friends Mohamed Soltan, who spent 2 years in a brutal Egyptian cell, and Edwin Espinal, who was held in a maximum-security prison in Honduras for 18 months.
- We worked with cities, universities and banks to divest from war and invest in life-affirming activities. Our message of Defund War was echoed this year in Congress with historic bills to significantly cut the once-untouchable Pentagon budget.
- We traveled with thousands of you to Gaza, Cuba, Afghanistan, Palestine, Iraq, Iran, Yemen, Pakistan, Honduras, Colombia, Venezuela and Spain. From the U.S.-Mexico border to Greece, we brought material support and messages of peace, connection and love to refugee families.
- We have forced those who drive us to war to hear from those most affected by the violence—abroad and domestically. Here at home, we joined coalitions to demilitarize our police and arranged for moms who lost their loved ones to police violence to meet with the Justice Department and Congress.
- We have exposed—and opposed—the ruthless Trump administration’s sanctions on countries such as Cuba, Venezuela and Iran, and worked with Congress on legislation to roll back this illegal economic warfare.
- Working with groups and communities around the world, including the Poor People’s Campaign, we have been cultivating local peace economies with beautiful examples of how to strengthen our connections to each other and care for what is essential.
- We have expanded our support base to over half of a million people from all over the world, and we have been educating the public with books, articles, webinars and countless interviews on every outlet from Fox News to Democracy Now. Our webinars during coronavirus have highlighted guests from all over the world—China to Bolivia, Palestine to Brazil.
It has been an honor to take part in these campaigns with you. You, our grassroots supporters, have always been the backbone of our successes and we hope we can count on your continued support during this transition to a new generation of leaders.
Onward toward a beautiful world of peace and justice,
Ariel, Carley, Farida, Jodie and Medea
PS If you're interested in cultivating your local peace economy, watch this Message from the Future II presented by our partners at The Leap.
PSS Check out our “Vote for Peace” posters and other goodies at the store.