Sunday, October 05, 2008

Beth Wood on the Montana Journey, Oct. 3rd

Hello All!

I have been the official blogger for the Journey before so you may already know me. However, if you don’t, I’ll give you a quick bio of me. I was a very low-key Ohio abolitionist who came on board when I became disgusted about the state’s intention to start executing folks in Ohio. Then . . . I went to the Fast and Vigil and met Abe Bonowitz. Years later, we have formed a family that now includes our son, Isaac. I am actually an elementary school teacher but have been on hiatus from that while enjoying my son’s early years. During this hiatus, I started doing some part-time work with New Jerseyans for Alternatives to the Death Penalty while I lived in New Jersey. Since their successful abolition campaign wrapped up, I have been working for Murder Victims’ Families for Reconciliation, Equal Justice USA and Witness to Innocence. I am currently traveling on the Journey on behalf of MVFR as support personnel for the speakers. On a side note, MVFR has JUST rolled out a wonderful new web site. See! Bill Pelke has asked me write about my experiences and the people that I meet while I am here.

The Journey officially kicked off yesterday with a well attended student event at Carroll College in Helena. We have already garnered lots of positive media attention. In fact, we were thrilled to see that the Bozeman Daily Chronicle ran a story titled, “Eye for an Eye No More,” featuring Journey of Hope co-founder and a founding board member of MVFR, Marietta Jeager-Lane. See: It was not only front page above the fold but ABOVE last night’s vice presidential debate coverage. We are being hosted by the Montana Abolition Coalition, which is a “broad based group of organizations and individuals committed to ending the death penalty in Montana. The Coalition includes faith groups, civil and human rights organizations and murder victims’ families groups. The groups differ in their reasons, but all agree on the need to end capital punishment.” They are very capably led by Jen Kirby. Our experience has been outstanding and they have been most welcoming. See: to learn more about them.

Some fun things that happened yesterday in Montana. Isaac was restless at the event so we went outside to kick a ball around. As we were playing, a deer walked up and grazed nearby. Apparently, there is quite a deer population in Helena but certainly an unusual happening for us city folk.

Be sure to tune in tomorrow to meet some of the folks on the Journey this year and hear of tomorrow’s happenings.

Warmly with wishes for a peaceful day!

Beth Wood

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