Supporting Nonviolence and Social Justice Since 1974.
339 Lafayette Street, New York, New York 10012 (212) 533-4335 Fax: (212) 228-6193 [email protected]

Testimonials from Groups Supported
by the Muste Institute

“We appreciate the support of A.J.  Muste, and couldn’t do it without your help. The work of the Coalition Against Militarism in our Schools (CAMS) that counteracts militarism in our  schools is viewed as politically sensitive in our society. Most organizations and foundations don’t have the commitment to human rights, social justice and the courage of the A J Muste Memorial Institute to support groups like CAMS that do counter-recruiting as a major focus of their activities. Your support is invaluable to our work.”

- Arlene Inouye and Paul Wicker, Coalition Against
Militarism in Our Schools (CAMS), South Pasadena, California
(grantee, 2005)

“Before we moved into the Muste building, our tenants’ rights organization was getting eaten alive by the real estate industry--internally and externally. While the landlords were weakening the rent laws and eradicating affordable housing, our landlords were charging us so much rent we couldn’t afford to pay our staff. Thanks to the great office space at 339 Lafayette and the wonderfully supportive atmosphere created by the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute, our work is much stronger and more effective.”

- Jenny Laurie, Met Council on Housing, New York
(tenant since 2001)

“A.J. Muste’s funds made possible the gathering and training of indigenous women in Mesoamerica, opening the opportunity for them to organize and think up many more dreams and projects for the future. We  greatly appreciate A.J. Muste Memorial Institute’s support, and consider them amongst the few organizations that values and understands grassroots efforts.”

- COMPPA~ Coalition of Popular Communicators for Autonomy, Mexico
(grantee, 2004)

“Over the years, the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute has played a valuable role in our fundraising efforts. As a non-profit organization which relies on individual donations and grants to operate our international human rights campaign, AJ Muste is a precious ally.”

- The SOA Watch Collective, Washington DC
(sponsored project since 2005)

“Prison Action Network can’t say enough about our gratitude to the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute for helping our small non-incorporated non-profit agency to continue its important work of connecting and expanding the New York state community of criminal justice and prison reform activists through our newsletter and radio program networking activities.  It was an honor to be connected to our hero A.J. Muste in this way.”

- Judith Brink, Prison Action Network, Albany, New York
(grantee, 2005)

“Israelis like us, who fight against the occupation and thus swim against the current in our own country, don’t get much support other than what friends inside and outside Israel contribute. At critical moments, we suddenly receive a grant from an organization like yours,  and we are deeply grateful.”

- Uri Avnery, Gush Shalom, Israel
(grantee, 1993 & 2004)

“The A.J. Muste Institute was invaluable to Truth 2 Youth this year; it was our best year for counter-recruiting on the island. We topped the 1000-student mark of young veterans speaking to students, thanks to AJ Muste funds.  These critical visits generated press which of course in turn generated more sympathetic contacts for our small pioneering counter- recruitment group Truth 2 Youth. The ripples are still spreading outward.”

- Catherine Kennedy, Truth 2 Youth, Volcano, Hawaii
(CR Fund grantee, 2006)

“A.J. Muste has enabled our small, grassroots organization outside the United States affect real change on the ground.  Because the Muste Institute is one of the very few organizations that supports social justice groups abroad, they are invaluable to us and other organizations who are often ignored by other funders.”

- Bekah Wolf and Mousa AbuMaria, Palestine Solidarity Project, Palestine
(grantee, 2006)

“A. J. Muste has helped us put our dream into reality: a home for Amazon activists, center of reference and base for our struggle to ensure the rights of the Amazon’s traditional population. We’ve already welcomed delegations of the landless movement, of various sustainable use reserves and continue our work with much more security and spirit now that we’re not threatened to be expulsed any time. The support that the Muste Institute provides is so precious to us, because it is direct, sincere and with all the solidarity and dedication to the grassroots movement.”

- Fátima Cristina, Conselho Nacional dos Seringueiros
(National Council of Rubbertappers), Belem, Brazil
(NOVA Fund grantee, 2006)

“Small, underresourced non-profits working for social change can often feel alone in an uphill struggle for peace and justice.  The A.J. Muste Institute’s enthusiastic support of our historical memory project with youth in El Salvador has meant the world not just to us, but to some very dedicated young people who have had an opportunity they never would have dreamed possible.”

- Tanya Snyder, Voices on the Border, Washington DC
(grantee, 2006)

“The fiscal sponsorship of the A.J. Muste Institute has been a great benefit to the Syracuse Peace Council over the past several years. We have been able to receive grants and larger donations, enabling us to expand our support of the Onondaga Nation, our efforts to end the Iraq war and our work with young people. The technical assistance of their expert staff has also been invaluable to us.”

-Andy Mager, Syracuse Peace Council
(sponsored project since 2003)

“A.J. Muste understood the need to expand our solidarity work from Chiapas to Oaxaca. Thanks to the seed money they provided us, we were able to open our new Oaxaca office in time to support the grassroots movements for social justice organizing in the state, and document government repression and attacks against community organizers there.”

- Diana Denham, Casa Chapulin, Oaxaca, Mexico
(grantee, 2005)

“Without the A.J. Muste Institute willing to take risks on small groups like ours, innovative peace campaigns to address neglected issues might never happen. In our case, A.J. Muste’s support helped us to begin what has become a national peace advocacy campaign to end the 21-year war in northern Uganda. By its commitment, the Muste Institute reminds us that small groups of ordinary people, not just the wealthy and powerful, can make a difference.”

- Peter Quaranto, Uganda Conflict Action Network, Washington DC
(grantee, 2005)

The A.J. Muste Memorial Institute has been a wonderful support for our small group, Artists Against the War. Not only has A.J. Muste been our not-for-profit umbrella, it has also given us advice about financing and fund raising. The staff are always accessible and generous, and we value the assistance they provide so many progressive causes. They are a unique treasure, and we feel lucky to have this connection!”

- Joyce Kozloff, Artists Against the War, New York
(sponsored project since 2005)

“We believe building nonviolent movements is the key to creating the world we want our children to grow up in, and the support of the A.J. Muste Institute has helped us educate, organize and mobilize thousands of people to address the threat of nuclear weapons and the broader culture of violence we live in. When other funders turned their backs on grassroots work in favor of political work inside the beltway, Muste stood with us and provided crucial support.”

- Ralph Hutchison, Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, Tennessee
(grantee, 2005)

“The Bilin Popular Committee Against the Wall and the Settlements continues taking different kinds of direct actions against the ongoing expropriation of the village’s lands in the West Bank. One of the most important actions was carried out with the support of the A.J. Muste Institute. In it, the people of the village constructed a small house on land which is slated to separated from them by the apartheid wall, and become part of a settlement. This action has a crucial effect in strengthening the Palestinian hold on this piece of land, and plays an important role in the struggle for it, standing only meters away from the settlement construction site.”

- Bilin Popular Committee Against the Wall and the Settlements, Palestine
(grantee, 2006)

“The Muste Institute has been invaluable to the NY/NJ Chapter of GABRIELA Network.  It enabled us to use free office space to hold our meetings and gave a grant which enabled us to grow and stabilize. Now we have our own office, thanks to the initial support we received from the Muste Institute!”

- Rebecca Libed, GABRIELA Network, New York
(grantee, 2003; sponsored project since 2003)

“The various small grants from the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute to the Center for Environment, Human Rights and Development (CEHRD) have strengthened the center and the marginalized and excluded poor communities, especially women’s groups and activists in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria, where we work. The Institute’s support has also given us a voice, when it comes to the issues of  non-violence struggle to achieve justice and human rights for the people, to deepen our progressive struggle for a better tomorrow.”

- Patrick  Naagbanton and Comfort  Philip,
Center for Environment, Human Rights and Development, Nigeria
(grantee, 2003 & 2005; INTF grantee, 2006)

“The Visitors is a feature length documentary in production about the journey of the passengers of a charter bus that leaves New York City every weekend for various prisons located in upstate New York. A.J. Muste Memorial Institute supported our efforts to spark some public concern and lead to a questioning about ‘policies’ on prison by exposing the barriers to visiting and the ways the families manage this process. We’re grateful for that.”

-  Melis Birder, The Visitors Documentary Project, New York
(grantee, 2006)

“The successes and accomplishments of our projects and programs, especially the Non-violence Education and Training Program, is greatly owed to among others the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute based in New York, USA. Our trainings and projects with young people in schools would not have been achieved without the support and commitment from A.J. Muste. The board, staff and members of the Youth Forum for Peace and Justice would like to thank and acknowledge the immeasurable financial and spiritual assistance rendered by the A.J. Muste ‘family.’ It is YFPJ’s hope that as we welcome the year 2007, the unwavering partners including A.J. Muste will endeavor to hold up our initiatives.”

- Kabale Ignatius Mukunto, Youth Forum for Peace and Justice, Zambia
(grantee, 2002 & 2005)

“In the 10 years it took to make my documentary, The Camden 28, the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute was the only organization which provided dollar funding for the film. It was a real boost to the project at the time, and now the documentary has gone on to play at film festivals around the world and will even have a national broadcast on PBS this fall, airing on September 11th.”

- Anthony Giacchino, The Camden 28, New York
(grantee, 1999)

“Had it not been for the A.J. Muste Institute our work in Argentina would never have taken flight. Thanks to them there is a committed group in Rosario, Province of Santa Fe, Argentina, working to introduce nonviolence principles in a school and in conjunction with people from the police department working to establish Rosario as a ‘City of Peace’.”

- Veronica Pelicaric, Pace e Bene, Argentina
(INTF grantee, 2006)

“We are war veterans that counter-recruit in New York City and Hudson Valley high schools. We have spoken in 74 high schools and 11 colleges over the past year. The Muste Institute funded our workshop to train veterans as speakers, as well as a CD training tool which has been sent to over 100 veterans’ groups around the U.S. This work would not exist without the financial support of the Muste Institute. Thank you.”

- Jim Murphy, NY Veterans Speak Out/Veterans For Peace, South Nyack
(CR Fund grantee, 2006)

“Without Muste our small group of 9/11 rescue workers would not have had the resources to work for a peaceful response to the World Trade Center attack. We would not have had the financial support to travel to Afghanistan to work alongside our Afghan coworkers. Resistance can be scary and exhausting work. The encouragement of Muste’s people has made all the difference.”

- Megan Bartlett, Ground Zero for Peace, New York
(grantee, 2003; sponsored project, 2007)

“As the ‘Thinking Out Loud’ Collective (Colectivo ‘Pensar en voz alta’), we have been receiving funding from the Muste Institute for the past 10 years. Without your support our nonviolent actions would lack banners, signs, megaphone, leaflets; our community education work in Chiapas wouldn’t be possible because we couldn’t pay for the bus tickets or put together the educational materials that the organizers use with the children.”

- Pietro Ameglio, SERPAJ-Morelos, Mexico
(NOVA Fund grantee, 1998-2005)

“The support we have received from the AJ Muste Institute has helped us a great deal in our efforts to improve the re-entry system for former prisoners in Massachusetts. Real social change only happens when people mobilize to resolve their own problems collectively, and the A.J. Muste Institute is one of the few foundations that provide funding for this kind of action. It’s happening here now, and we are grateful to the A.J. Muste Institute for their support!”

- James Cain, EPOCA (Ex-prisoners and Prisoners Organizing
for Community Advancement), Worcester, Massachusetts
(grantee, 2006)

“As members of the Corporación Jorge Artel, working in Colombia’s Afrocaribbean communities, we are grateful for the grant we received from the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute in 2001. We used the grant to carry out workshops on ethnic rights, culture and nonviolence and to encourage our communities to participate in the democratic life of the country.”

- Ruben Hernandez Cassiani, Corporación Jorge Artel, Colombia
(grantee, 2001)

“The A.J. Muste Memorial Institute is a vital part of the movement for peace and justice. From providing badly-needed office space to ongoing financial support, they have been an essential resource for a wide variety of movements and struggles. Their decades of support have allowed us at the War Resisters League to continue our work to build a world free of violence and militarism. Simply put, what we do would not be possible without their generous support.”

- Steve Theberge, War Resisters League, New York
(tenant, grantee and sponsored project since 1974)

“It is clear that the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute trusts and believes in their grantees to create the change we want to see in the world. With the flexible funding from A.J. Muste, we were able to offer short trainings in nonviolent action for social change to women living in exile who had never before imagined a public role for themselves.  For small organizations working in marginalized communities abroad, the Muste Institute fills a crucial role in our outreach to community groups.”

- Ginger Norwood, International Women’s Partnership
for Peace and Justice, Thailand
(INTF grantee, 2003 & 2005)

“The A.J. Muste Memorial Institute has been an invaluable resource to the Kairos Community for a number of years in terms by helping us with tax-deductible contributions, enabling us to continue to work for peace and justice, as well as by its own commitment to non-violence and community building.”

- Bud Courtney, Kairos/Plowshares, New York
(sponsored project, 1998-2006)

“The A.J. Muste Institute’s support of our Re-Plugged program enabled us to take 26 Palestinian children from Balata refugee camp in Nablus to see their ancestral lands for the first time this January, and to document their experiences. The importance of this work was affirmed to us recently when half of the children’s photography exhibit was stolen out of the branch of the Boston Public Library where it was hanging. We quickly re-printed the missing photos and re-hung them, honoring our commitment, which A.J. Muste has supported, to make the children’s voices heard.”

- Dunya Alwan and Hannah Mermelstein, Birthright Unplugged, Pennsylvania
(grantee, 2006)

“We have always maintained that climate change is more than an environmental issue; it encompasses a broad range of human rights issues. As we build our base, it is extremely significant for us to have a fiscal sponsor like A.J. Muste Memorial Institute that is so identified with social justice. We greatly appreciate this association and the help that it provides us.”

- Tom Stokes, Climate Crisis Coalition, Massachusetts/New Jersey
(sponsored project since 2004)

“We received a grant from the Muste Institute in 2006 for our work developing socio-cultural proposals with youth and adolescents in the housing projects of Malvin Norte in the city of Montevideo. We held workshops with these young people on participation, citizenship-building, active nonviolence, and a culture of peace and human rights, with the goal of improving links among youth and adults in the community. The Muste Institute’s grant meant not only that our institution has been able to carry out this project, but also, and above all, it has allowed us to consolidate a new group of youth working with youth, which has been able to sustain itself over time, generating new support and visions for our work as a human rights institution.”

- Ana Juanche and Daniela López, SERPAJ-Uruguay
(NOVA Fund grantee, 2003 & 2006)

“Over the past years, the A.J. Muste Institute has provided invaluable support as the Student/Farmworker Alliance has mushroomed from a handful of Florida students to a national network of thousands. Along the way, we have achieved two major and precedent-setting victories in solidarity with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers against Taco Bell and McDonald’s. For a non-profit organization on a shoestring budget, A.J. Muste is a key ally.” \

- Marc Rodrigues, Student/Farmworker Alliance, Immokalee, Florida
(grantee, 2004 & 2007)

“In 2005 our offices in Buenos Aires were robbed; the door was broken open, property was damaged and destroyed and all our computers were stolen. In that moment of anguish we received the concrete solidarity of the Muste Institute, which we used to replace the stolen materials, repair the damages and install an alarm system. It was very positive to feel your accompaniment in those difficult moments for our institution.”

- Adolfo Perez Esquivel (Nobel Peace Laureate) and
Susana Moreira, Servicio Paz y Justicia, Argentina
(NOVA Fund grantee, 2005)

The A.J. Muste Memorial Institute has enabled our grassroots organization to incorporate a more inclusive, multicultural approach by providing Hmong, Somali and Latino immigrant youth and their parents, guardians and communities with accurate information about the military in their native languages. We are grateful to A.J. Muste for the opportunity to extend our mission of peace across cultures through our project, “We Speak the Same Language: NO WAR!”

- Women Against Military Madness (WAMM), Minneapolis
(CR Fund grantee, 2006)

“Our thanks go to the A.J Muste Memorial Institute. They enabled us, a grassroots community group based in West Belfast working in some of the most deprived areas in Europe, to receive funding when no other avenue was available to us. Without their help and support we would have had difficulty surviving this past year.”

- Jim Auld, Community Restorative Justice (Ireland), Belfast
(sponsored project, 2006)

“The A J Muste Memorial Institute grant allowed us to fight the so called ‘poverty draft.’ We reached students in the rural high schools of our county, most of which are in small, economically depressed areas, appealing to youth to look at career options beyond those promoted by  military recruiters. In the urban school with the highest percent of students of color, we are helping to protect student privacy and organizing to decrease military recruiter free access to students. Thanks for helping us to reach vulnerable youth.”

- Carol K. Van Houten, Community Alliance of Lane County - Committee for
Countering Military Recruitment, Eugene, Oregon
(grantee, 2003; CR Fund grantee, 2006)

“We would like to testify to the important and valuable aid that the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute gave our campesino organization for strengthening the organizational process of the Asociación Vía Sumapaz in Cundinamarca department. The grant allowed us to build our knowledge and organizing experience in developing community responses to free trade treaties, foreign debt, militarization, self-sufficiency alternatives and nonviolent resistance.”

- German Bedoya, Coordinador Nacional Agrario, Colombia
(grantee, 2005)

“Faslane 365 has been wonderfully supported by the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute. Their grant supported a public event on September 9th, 2006 which launched the year-long blockade against the UK’s nuclear weapon system based at  Faslane in Scotland.”

- Angie Zelter, Faslane 365, United Kingdom
(grantee, 2006)

“This is to inform you that A.J. Muste Memorial Institute is helping the Igorot indigenous leaders and their people in the Philippines by funding their training on the process of peaceful and successful transformation in searching for peaceful dialogue and co-existence with infrastructure development implementors. The indigenous leaders are being educated to organize effective  public meetings, and educating beneficiaries to understand and assess risks in the peaceful actions they undertake against "developers" on their lands. Without A.J. Muste’s support, these marginalized sections of the Philippine population will not be able to assert their collective rights and fight for their genuine independence and solidarity on critical life issues that affect their daily living.”

- Dr. Michael A. Bengwayan, PINE TREE, Philippines
(INTF grantee, 2006)

“The A.J. Muste grant allowed us to attract the interest of other foundations for our social change work. It gave us just the boost we needed to grow our efforts. Thanks for all you do.”

- Rachel Falkove, Northwest Philadelphia Interfaith Hospitality Network
(grantee, 2006)

“A.J. Muste helped make our ‘training for nonviolent action trainers’ a reality. Without their support there would be less action trainers here in the UK, and less people being trained in this vital social change skill. Few funders are brave enough to fund direct action work, which makes A.J. Muste all the more remarkable.”

- Matthew Herbert, Seeds for Change Network, United Kingdom
(grantee, 2004)

“We are grateful to the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute’s ready and willing support for Women and Life on Earth--to the original ecofeminist network back in 1980, and as a fiscal sponsor once again for our new related project since 1999.”

- Anna Gyorgy, Women and Life on Earth, Germany
(sponsored project since 1999)

“A.J. Muste has been one of the courageous early funders of our documentary, ‘The Good Soldier,’ and its outreach program. We have been able to secure other funding as a result of A.J. Muste’s leadership.”

- Lexy Lovell and Michael Uys, Out of the Blue Productions, New York
(grantee, 2006)

“The support received from the A.J. Muste Institute has allowed Centro Esperanza to move forward with organizing work among adolescents and youth, strengthening their organization and leadership, improving their social, artistic and labor capacities and abilities, and allowing them to have more opportunities and success in their personal and social lives. This has allowed Centro Esperanza to develop so the youths themselves are designing the programs and methods that we validate and use in our continued work with this vulnerable sector of our population. One result are the two organized youth groups which are planning and initiating new projects.”

- Yolanda Díaz, Asociación Civil Centro Esperanza, Chiclayo, Peru
(NOVA Fund grantee, 2003, 2004 & 2006)

“Funds from the A.J. Muste Memorial Institute have allowed us to further counter-recruitment efforts in New Jersey. We launched a postcard campaign to Governor Jon Corzine, urging the distribution of opt-out forms to high school students statewide, and are attempting to secure a meeting with Acting Governor Codey. We also provided counter-recruitment literature to  the Plainfield People’s Organization for Progress for distribution to Plainfield High School students. Thanks, A.J. Muste, for allowing us to  inform students of their rights and to bring the issue to the door of the State House.”

- Maggie Astor, New Jersey Peace Action, Bloomfield, New Jersey
(grantee, 2006)

“Thanks to generous support from the Muste Institute, Question Why Films partnered with Human Rights Watch and jointly brought ‘Brother Outsider’--an award-winning documentaryon the late civil rights activist Bayard Rustin--to hundreds of high school students in New York City. It has been immensely inspiring to discuss the film with students and to hear their reflections on pacifism, nonviolence, activism, and the process of creating social change. As one student wrote in her evaluation of our presentation: ‘Seeing this film made me realize that violence cannot do away with violence.’”

- Bennett Singer, Question Why Films, New York
(grantee, 2006)