Jonestown: Reflection, healing, history

Friends of the Fillmore Mini Park meet in October 2018 to plan for the first Jonestown commemoration. They are having a great time revitalizing the Fillmore even for an occasion as solemn as this one.

by New Community Leadership Foundation

San Francisco – We are honored to present an annual gathering of reflection, healing and history in the historic Fillmore. The New Community Leadership Foundation, San Francisco Beautiful, USF Professor James Taylor, 100 Black Organizations, Arlander R. Cole, SFPD Capt. Yulanda Williams, and our public, private and community partners will unite Monday, Nov. 18, 2019, for a candlelight vigil and open mic to honor our Jonestown ancestors and the Black community still surviving in San Francisco working endlessly to strengthen their lives, families, businesses and neighborhoods.

“We will never forget; we will continue to educate and tell the stories,” says Capt. Yulanda Williams, a survivor of Jonestown.

“African Americans in San Francisco: From Migration to Jonestown” candlelight vigil and open mic program is Monday, Nov. 18, from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. at the Fillmore Mini Park on Fillmore Street between Turk and Golden Gate. Capt. Williams will open with brief remarks.

Come enjoy delicious hot beverages, music, poetry and community reflections. Reclaim Fillmore and Western Addition history in the name of humanity for the people who perished. The future outcome is to create a dedicated space where people can take a moment, travel through time, read and reflect on the community’s vibrant legacy in San Francisco.

The New Community Leadership Foundation and San Francisco Beautiful are committed to creating a reflective place in the Fillmore “Mini Park” by dedicating a proper memorial for the victims, surviving individuals and family members that ended in the tragic deaths of 918 people at Jonestown, Guyana, on Nov. 18, 1978. The historic memorial will be the first of its kind in San Francisco to acknowledge the Peoples Temple and Jonestown as an integral part of San Francisco’s and the Fillmore-Western Addition’s social, religious and political history.

The Fillmore “Mini Park” – on Fillmore Street between Turk and Golden Gate – renovation will break ground the summer of 2020. “The renovation of the mini park symbolizes victory in the African American community. Our community is still alive and organizing to reclaim sacred land,” says Jameel Rasheed Patterson, the executive director of the New Community Leadership Foundation.

Help support our mission of reclaiming and preserving our history in the Fillmore. The Fillmore Mini Park, Fillmore Heritage Center connects us to our Fillmore past: Bop City, Sun Reporter, Blues, Jazz, the 1966 SFSU student protest, Black Panther Party and more. While we cannot bring back the old Fillmore, we can reflect, heal and make new history.

We would like to acknowledge our sponsors. The gold sponsor is LIME Scooters; the silver sponsors are McDonald’s and Trader Joe’s; our bronze sponsors are Fillmore Jazz Ambassadors, A Better Choice Housing, Interception Equals Change and West Coast Entertainment Association, and special thanks to District 5 Supervisor Vallie Brown.

For more information, contact Majeid Crawford at info@NCLFINC.ORG or 415-857-1136.