Unitarian Universalist Church hosts opponent of the "War
Sat, 25 Jan 2003 - Valdosta Daily Times
- Website: www.valdostadailytimes.com
Section: Living the Life, page 10A
VALDOSTA - Unitarian Universalist Church, 1951 E. Park Ave.,
hosts a speaker, 1 p.m. Sunday, on the church's drug policy.
Last June the General
Assembly of the Unitarian Universalist Association, held in Quebec
City, Canada, adopted a statement of conscience supporting drug-policy
reform and alternatives to "The War on Drugs," according
to the church. In recognition of this assembly's efforts, the
local Unitarian congregation hosts Nora Callahan, national speaker
with Journey for Justice. Callahan advocates change in current
This weekend, she will give a presentation and offer discussion
Callahan, the co-founder/executive director of The November
Coalition, is journeying throughout the Southeast. "Her
mission is to educate/activate the friends and loved ones of
the nation's 450,000 drug prisoners to press for change in current
anti-drug policy," according to the church.
In 1997, Nora co-founded TNC with her brother, who had been
sentenced to 27.5 years in federal prison for cocaine conspiracy.
TNC began as a small group of citizens whose lives have been
gravely affected by the nation's anti-drug policy. TNC has grown
to a nationwide network of many thousands, including ordinary
citizens alarmed at the uselessness and societal damage caused
by drug laws."
In 2001 Callahan
married Chuck Armsbury, who detoured into revolutionary activism
in the 1960s and ended up in federal prison. He is the editor
of TNC's quarterly [newspaper], The Razor Wire. The couple
left Eastern Washington State on January 8 to drive southeast
in their motorhome for a five-month 5,000 "Southern Journey"
which is allowing them to visit a variety of forums, conferences,
At the TNC website, she describes how she became involved:
"My brother, Gary Callahan, had been imprisoned for about
seven years when he asked me to organize prisoners with their
loved ones to oppose the drug war. That was 1997, and by that
time I had learned that a five-year prison sentence was considered
crushing in any other country, and that our nation was just about
to take title of 'World's Leading Jailer.' "My brother had
22 such crushing years left to serve. If you are the loved one
of a prisoner, you know firsthand this agony, the feelings of
helplessness, confusion and shame."