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Rev. Richard Deats, Long-Time Global Peace Movement Leader, Passes Away

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Rev. Richard Deats, a long-time global peace movement leader and one of the most influential teachers of the philosophy and practice of nonviolent action in 20th-century movements, died in Nyack on April 7 from complications related to pneumonia, according to his son, Mark Deats. He was 89.

“As a long-time leader of the global peace movement organization, the Fellowship of Reconciliation, and editor of Fellowship magazine, Richard Deats was one of the most well respected, well connected, and most influential peace movement leaders in the United States and the world during the last half of the 20th century,” said Rev. John Dear, a close friend and former executive director of the Fellowship of Reconciliation, or FOR.

“Deats worked closely with peace leaders around the world, including Martin Luther King, Jr., Coretta Scott King, Rev. Jim Lawson and other civil rights leaders, several of Mahatma Gandhi’s heirs, Thich Nhat Hanh and various Buddhist leaders, Rev. Daniel Berrigan, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu,” Dear said. Deats joined Mrs. King at the White House when Ronald Reagan signed into law the national holiday honoring Martin Luther King, Jr.

In the early 1980s, Deats helped organize and present hundreds of workshops on nonviolence attended by tens of thousands of people throughout the Philippines which laid the groundwork for the People Power nonviolence movement that brought down the Ferdinand Marcos dictatorship in 1986. He also led 13 peace delegations to the Soviet Union in the 1980s that helped ease tensions and build relations at the height of the Cold War.

The Rev. Richard Deats died April 7, 2021. (Courtesy of the Deats family)

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Rockland LGBTQ Pride Sunday Celebrates 25 Years June 9th

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On Sunday, June 9 from 11am to 5pm, the Village of Nyack will host the 25th Annual Rockland Pride Sunday, the oldest LGBTQ+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Queer) Pride celebration in the Hudson Valley.

This year’s event features a parade, which steps off at 11:30am, vendors, live performances, music, speeches, and activities for children, families, and teens. 

Why is June Pride Month? Because it was in June of 1969 that New York City’s Stonewall Riots took place in New York City, giving birth to the modern LGBTQ+ rights movement.

As it does each year, Rockland County Pride Center will host a family-friendly street fair designed to celebrate LGBTQ+ history,  elected officials to show their support for our community, and give parents of LGBTQ+ young people an opportunity to see happy, successful LGBTQ+ adults. 

This year’s event is supported by grants from the Rockland County Department of Economic Development & Tourism and Arts Westchester. A full sponsor list will be available at the event. 

WHAT:               25TH Annual Rockland Pride Sunday

WHERE:            Downtown Nyack, NY

WHEN:               Sunday June 9, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

                             Parade step-off: 11:30 a.m., Memorial Park

                             Speaking Program: 12:00 noon, Hezekiah Easter Park Gazebo

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Remember The Incredible Sacrifice Our Brave Men And Women Made For Our Continued Freedom

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On May 27th we are honoring and remembering the military servicemen and women whose lives were lost while serving this great country.

There are some days throughout the year when it feels great to be an American. One of those days is Memorial Day. It’s the first official cookout of the year. It becomes acceptable to eat watermelon straight from the rind and corn on the cob. Memorial Day weekend is when pools open and moms start nagging their kids about wearing enough sunscreen and not tracking water into the house. We are on the verge of popsicles, hamburgers, and cakes with strawberries and blueberries in the shape of an American flag.  

When life is good, we wrap ourselves up in it and so often forget the meaning of days like today. Like so many other holidays, the meaning of Memorial Day is often lost in the midst of celebration and relief at days off of work and school. What exactly are we celebrating? Today is the day we remember the fallen. We remember those who gave their lives fighting for a better tomorrow.

 

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