Happy Holidays and Thank You for Supporting CSI!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009 1:26 PM
Dear CSI Friends and Supporters,
We at CSI wish everyone Happy Holidays and a successful New Year!
The world continues to be a challenging environment. This past year we saw increased turmoil and violence in many places. While the media have focused on Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran, many more areas require increased attention. There is a need for awareness and support of freedom and independence throughout the world. There is a need to hear the voice of those whom traditional media have left behind. This is the mission of CSI and what we plan to do for years to come.
2009 has been CSI?s best year ever. We have organized several programs on well-known issues in a distinctive and provocative way. No effort has been spared to bring alternative views to the discussion. Among the public programs we offered this year were: Anniversary of a Revolution: Perspectives on Iran; The Conflict in Somalia; Separation of Religion and State: Muslim World and Civil Society; Cuba, Past, Present and Future; Russia, Then and Now. All programs were well attended and well received.
In the latter part of 2009, we have been busy with a new and virtually unique initiative: the Freedom Exchange project. The initiative involves advocacy for a prisoner exchange between the US and Cuba. The prisoners involved have mostly been convicted of political offenses, generally related to espionage. The novelty of the initiative is that, instead of advocating for the release of one or more prisoners as many organizations do, we advocate for an exchange. A dedicated website for the project will be launched before the end of the year. We are striving to build a coalition to support our petitions to President Obama and President Raul Castro of Cuba. In those petitions we urge those leaders to issue an executive decree that would allow for the release of the prisoners. In the future, we may extend the Freedom Exchange initiative to other countries and factions in conflict around the world. These programs, and others to be announced later, will make next year a very important stage in our development. As we transition to a more pro-active role, we are hoping to educate the public while also making a difference in the lives of many.
We mention these projects not as a stale list of accomplishments in a year-end letter. We are actually asking for your support and participation. As a small, all-volunteer organization, we need new talent just as much as we need financial support. If you can take the time to look at our website and learn what we are working on, you may have ideas to contribute. You may provide contacts to expand our reach.On the Freedom Exchange project we are going to need your input as we build the coalition. If you do not have the time to get involved, you can support our activities by making a donation.
Conflict Solutions International is a 501? (3) nonprofit which means that your donations are tax deductible. You can send your check to Conflict Solutions International, 1629 K Street, N.W., suite 300, Washington, DC 20006. Or you can use the Paypal button on the Donations section of our website. A letter acknowledging your contribution will be mailed to you with all the necessary tax information. You still have time to make a 2009 donation as long as you date your check this year. Whether you can afford a few dollars or a larger donation, your support will make a difference and would be greatly appreciated. If you have any questions or suggestions, you can always give us a call or send us a message. In the meantime, on behalf of CSI, its directors and volunteers, we wish you a joyous holiday season.
The CSI Team