Join Us In Continuing Rev. Walker's Legacy
Dear friends and supporters,
We are writing to you even as we mourn the sudden and immeasurable loss of our beloved leader Rev. Lucius Walker, Jr., who peacefully joined his ancestors on September 7, just a month past his 80th birthday. We write to you now — because we know that this is what he would want us to do.
After decades of faithful service, unswerving commitment, and courageous prophetic leadership, Lucius has completed his work among us and handed over the torch. The ocean of condolences, remembrances, prayers and wishes that continue to arrive from across the US, around the world, and in a special way from all over Cuba, remind us how broad and deep his witness actually was. It now falls upon us to pick up the torch and carry on the work.
At this very difficult moment for us, and for all of us who love peace and work for justice, we write to declare to our friends and faithful supporters that the work of IFCO is being carried ever forward. The Board of Directors and staff of IFCO/Pastors for Peace have accepted the call and responsibility to continue IFCO’s stated mission “to serve and empower those who suffer the pain of civil rights and human rights violations.” The commitments, programs, and goals established under Lucius’ leadership since 1967 will continue!
We continue to be inspired by the life and example of Rev. Walker, and we are so grateful for your collaboration through all these years with the Pastors for Peace program (and its scores of humanitarian and consciousness-raising caravans to Central America, Chiapas, Cuba, and the Gulf Coast), the Latin American School of Medicine scholarship program, our support and sponsorship of hundreds of domestic community organizing efforts, Cuba solidarity work, Haiti medical relief, and so many other endeavors for justice and reconciliation. These groundbreaking action/education programs are truly Rev. Walker’s legacy.
We, the Board of Directors and staff of IFCO/Pastors for Peace, invite you to renew your commitment to IFCO, and to pledge with us to continue Rev. Walker’s legacy in a way that would make him proud.
Our newly formed advisory committee will work with us to support this endeavor. We invite you to join them, and us, in showing the world that Rev Walker’s spirit lives on in all of us who struggle to create a more equitable, peaceful, and just world.
There is no way to measure all that Rev. Lucius Walker Jr. has accomplished as director of IFCO/Pastors for Peace. Under his leadership we have:
● Shipped more than 3,000 tons of medical, educational and cultural aid denied
to the people of Cuba by the cruel and senseless US blockade;
● Educated tens of thousands of US citizens and lawmakers, and people of other nations, about the cruel effects of the blockade;
● Established a groundbreaking scholarship program that is a present and future pathway for hundreds of US youth from humble origins to become physicians and provide desperately-needed medical services in their home communities;
● Provided a practical model for people-to-people diplomacy as an alternative
to war and war-like measures (including embargoes) as a saner and more ethical
way to live within a community of nations;
● Provided emergency supplies in a timely and efficient manner to victims of Hurricane Katrina and disasters in Central America and Haiti, and served as a witness to the decency and solidarity of the people of the US when our government turned its back on them;
● Offered technical support and encouragement to hundreds of grassroots projects that provide hope and concrete alternatives to victims of racism, poverty, discrimination, and other forms of injustice;
● Served as faithful witnesses and obeyed the command to ‘feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and free those in chains’ — until, time and time again, even the US government had to back down and relent.
Everything IFCO/Pastors for Peace has accomplished during these last 43 years was possible because of your gifts, both large and small —gifts which you have given as a sign of your commitment to the same goals that have always inspired IFCO’s work. We are deeply grateful for that support, and for your participation in our projects.
The loss of Rev. Walker is a heavy burden for us all. But it is especially important to show the world, right now, that his spirit energizes us and commands us to carry on his work and continue reaching for the goals he had in sight for the future – expanding the medical school scholarship program, continuing support for grassroots community organizing and working to end the brutal US blockade against Cuba!
Now, in this most difficult moment, the legacy of faith, commitment, and inspiration left by Rev. Lucius Walker, Jr. emboldens us to invite you to join us in raising one million dollars for IFCO’s work within the next three months. Your support is essential for continuing IFCO’s programs, and building a financial foundation as we move forward in searching for a new director and ensuring IFCO’s future.
We trust you understand the urgency of this campaign. This is a critical moment in our history. WE NEED TO HEAR FROM YOU NOW!
The idea of raising a million dollars may seem to be an unreachable goal. But, as we reflect on IFCO’s history, we realize that so many of the programs we have successfully implemented must have seemed pretty preposterous at first:
● Driving a caravan of school buses to a Caribbean island?
● Sending young Blacks and Latin@s to study medicine in Havana?
● Challenging the mean-spirited policies of the most powerful government on earth?
Please join us today, with your generous gift, in saying
Si, Se Puede ... Yes, we can!
Join us in remembering these words of Che Guevara:
“Let’s be realistic; let’s do what’s impossible!”
You would have been moved to tears, just as we were, by the dozens of young doctors and medical students from the Latin American School of medicine, in their white coats, who came to bear witness to the living legacy of Rev. Walker at his funeral. Under his leadership, we have worked for ten years to build this groundbreaking program. With your support, this lifeline of medical training for underserved communities will continue to expand and grow so that even more communities will be served by these dedicated young doctors.
Therefore since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses . . .
let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us. Hebrews 12:1
Let us keep working together to build that better world that we know is possible.
Rev. Thomas E. Smith Ellen P. Bernstein
Chairman and Acting Co-Director Acting Co-Director
for the Board and staff of IFCO/Pastors for Peace
PS: We also invite you to visit the IFCO webpage www.ifconews.org and the link to www.legacy.com to see the many expressions of care and concern that we have received from those who have been touched by Lucius’ work and ministry. All of us have so many stories to share bout Lucius — we hope you will write to us and send us yours!!