LETTER: Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment Celebrates 40 Years

Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment celebrated its 40th anniversary in June.

The following information was provided by the Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment:

On Sunday, June 9, Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment gathered at our Annual Meeting and Potluck at the Belmont/Watertown United Methodist Church to celebrate our 40th anniversary.

Forty years ago, the worst accident at a U.S. nuclear power plant took place at the Three Mile Island plant in Pennsylvania. That was 1979, and in response to that seminal event, Watertown Citizens for Environmental Safety was born. We later became Watertown Citizens for Peace, Justice and the Environment. Our commitment to promoting peace and cooperation, opposing war and aggression, advocating for social and economic justice, and protecting our environment has guided our work for four decades.

We have worked in coalition with sister organizations in Watertown and greater Boston and with Town officials and committees. We served as a launching pad for groups like Trees for Watertown, Watertown-El Tremedal Sister City Project, and ReThink Plastic.

Our celebration of this history began with an inspiring welcome from Rev. Mike Clark who reminded us that our history is more than memories, but rather the foundation for our present work for peace, justice and the environment. The evening continued with a special recognition of two long-serving members of our Steering Committee — Henrietta Light, the coordinator of the Life Friendly Garden Tour, and Lisa Kane, former Watertown Citizens president and active member of our working groups.

The highlight of the evening was the performance by Improv Riot. Members of our working groups — Watertown Citizens for Black Lives, Watertown Faces Climate Change, Friends of Bees, and Watertown Citizens Refugees Support Group — shared vignettes about the challenges and rewards of organizing. Improv Riot then improvised around these experiences. The result was an evening of laughter and fun.

Watertown Citizens will continue its work in years to come. A hallmark of our organization is our ability to respond to the interests of our members and supporters by sustaining new initiatives like those focused on climate change and racial justice. We like to think of ourselves as a “living institution” — able to respond to today’s challenges with creativity and determination, and a commitment to being in the fight for the long haul.

We invite you to become involved. Join us at our Monthly Meetings held on the third Wednesday of each month at 7:00 p.m. in the Watertown Free Public Library. Bring your energy and ideas as we embark on another decade working for peace, justice and the environment.

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