For immediate release 3/1/05
9/11 FAMILIES MEET 3/11 FAMILIES
Delegation to Madrid Marks Train Bombing Anniversary
September 11th family members from the U.S. will travel to Madrid, Spain to establish relationships with family members of the 190 people killed in the March 11th, 2004 train bombings there. In addition to joining commemoration ceremonies on the evening of March 10th, they will mark the Spanish-language release their book, “Peaceful Tomorrows: Turning Our Grief into Action for Peace.” The delegation will be in Madrid from March 6-12.
The U.S. delegates represent September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows, a non-profit organization founded in 2002 by family members of those killed on September 11th who united to turn their grief into action for peace. By developing and advocating nonviolent options and actions in their pursuit of justice, they hope to break the cycles of violence engendered by war and terrorism. Peaceful Tomorrows was nominated for the 2003 and 2004 Nobel Peace Prize. Its book has been translated into Japanese and Italian.
The delegation, consisting of 9/11 family members Karen Shea (Portland, Oregon), Adele Welty (Queens, New York) and David Potorti (Cary, North Carolina) , also will meet with leading groups in the Spanish peace movement, including “Cultura Contra la Guerra,” “Justicia y Paz,” and “EURED” (European Network for Peace Education, Spanish Chapter), and will hold workshops with teachers and students in primary and secondary schools, some of whom were directly affected by the March 11th attacks.
In addition, they will meet with survivors of the bombing of Guernica, Spain (1937) and families affected by the Spanish Civil War (1936-39) and its aftermath, who have joined together to create the “Association for the Recovery of Historical Memory.” They will also participate in the “International Summit on Democracy, Terrorism and Security” convened by the Club De Madrid, which will bring together more than 50 former and current heads of state and government, decision and policy makers, world experts on terrorism and security, and citizens from around the world.
Itinerary is being coordinated by Juan Gutierrez, Director of the Guernika Gogoratuz Peace Research Center, San Sebastian, Spain. (http://www.gernikagogoratuz.org/englishgernikagogoratuz.html)
Cell phone in Spain: ++34 607 600 762
September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows (http://www.peacefultomorrows.org)
Phone in New York: 212-598-0970
Bios for delegation:
KAREN SHEA (Portland, Oregon) is a teacher and a member of Peaceful Tomorrows. She works with at-risk students, teen mothers, and other youth at Miller Education Center in Hillsboro, Oregon. On 9/11, she lost her uncle, Stephen Edward Tighe, and his brother-in-law Timothy O’Brien at the World Trade Center. Both Steve and Tim worked for Cantor-Fitzgerald. Since 9/11, Karen has continued to work for human rights and social justice and continues to volunteer in Oaxaca, Mexico with Enlaces Comunitarios (Community Links), an organization which works for sustainable development and mutual understanding in the midst of globalization. She has also been a national First Amendment mentor teacher for Newsweek and The Freedom Forum and hopes to continue her work for peace and reconciliation.
ADELE WELTY (Queens, New York) is a retired social worker who currently serves on Peaceful Tomorrow’s steering committee. She is also chair of the group’s outreach committee, which focuses on issues faced by underrepresented minorities affected by 9/11. She has worked for the New York City Department for the Aging in the Elderly Crime Victims Resource Center, which provides services to victims of domestic elder abuse as well as to victims of crime. She previously worked for the Brookdale Center on Aging of Hunter College, in the Institute on Law and Rights of Older Adults. She has four children and six grandchildren, and lives in the same house she resided in when her son, Firefighter Timothy Welty, was born. He was lost in the line of duty at the World Trade Center on 9/11 and left a young son and daughter. In December, 2004, Welty joined a delegation to Amman, Jordan, which brought humanitarian supplies to Iraqi civilian refugees from Fallujah.
DAVID POTORTI (Cary, North Carolina) is one of the founding members of September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows and serves as the group’s Co-Director. On September 11th, he lost his oldest brother, Jim, at the World Trade Center, where he was a vice president/ systems analyst for Marsh & McLennan. Prior to September 11th, David has served as writer/producer of television promotion and marketing campaigns, was a freelance reporter for several newspapers including the Independent Weekly in Durham, North Carolina, and has worked as a writer and on-air host for local public television and radio stations UNC-TV and WUNC-FM. He has represented Peaceful Tomorrows in speaking events around the country and in Japan, South Korea, Italy and Canada.