Letter from Chappaqua Meeting


I’d like to let you know what’s going on a Chappaqua Monthly Meeting at the moment.


In mid-June one of our young people asked permission from Business Meeting to hang a Black Lives Matter banner he was designing at the meeting. He hung the banner next to our sign on Rt. 120, aka Quaker Road, one of the main routes into Chappaqua. (See photo to the right.)


About two weeks later a vandal covered the work ‘Black’ over with white paint. The young artist repainted his banner. A few days later the banner was defaced with black spray paint. The young man immediately repainted a second time. In both incidents, there was a lot of community support and sympathy for the vandalism of an important message. Our meeting wrote a letter to the local paper, The Examiner News, in support of Black Lives Matter.  (To read, visit www.theexaminernews.com and search for “Friends Meeting.”)


Shortly after Tropical Storm Isaias, in the early hours of Aug. 6, someone brought some sort of accelerant and burnt the entire banner down, leaving a singed tree and a bare spot on the earth below.  The banner was up again on the same tree the next morning.


As a response, in cooperation with others in the community and in consultation with the meeting, our young artist and his parents have started a Go Fund Me fundraiser to cover the cost of creating more banners to hang around the community and for scholarships to the Children’s Aid Society’s Wagon Road Camp on the grounds of the Chappaqua Mountain Institute, founded by Purchase Quarter. This campaign has raised over $6,000 from 91 people so far and spread similar banners far and wide. 


The community has supported us not just with this fundraiser, but with calls, social media messages and even rallies, which has been much more than we ever expected and very gratifying to see on such an important issue of racial justice.


We’ll keep you posted as this develops,

Avis Sri-Jayantha