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  Volume Six, Number Four - November, 2001

In this period of unprecedented tragedy and opportunity for our nation, our world, for each of us as caring individuals, we bring our passions for peace, for restorative justice and for human service.  We commit to you our maximum energy, thoughtfulness and creativity in a time which requires the very best in each of us.

 This would have been a time of high energy and focus for Amy; a time in which her years of academic preparation and commitment as a peacemaker would have been sought and tested.  She would have responded to the challenges, made her daily priorities lists and worked very hard.

  We are pleased that our unique experience Æ acquired through South AfricaÍs truth and reconciliation process and our meaningful restorative journey with Ntobeko Peni and Easy Nofemela Æ is being drawn upon by groups and organizations throughout the United States.  We are gratified to feel useful and are encouraged by the sense of moderation and self-exploration which we experience in our travels.  It is a good time for being busy and constructive. This is also a time for reflection.  The season suggests thanksgiving and the times require that we search ourselves to determine how we might be more deserving.

  We are presented with an unprecedented opportunity to do the right thing Æ to be especially thoughtful in our response to the harm which has been done to our world and to those who are accountable for these seemingly unfathomable cries for attention.

South Africans have much to teach us in this regard.  As bridges between South Africans and Americans, we are re-doubling our efforts to share these important lessons with anyone who is interested in hearing them.

  May our faiths be strengthened, our self-searching be revealing, our actions be sensitive, our intentions be honorable.  And may we find harmony and peace in this blessed season of thanksgiving and renewal.

    Since September 11, we have been introduced to groups or to organizations numerous times by many outstanding people.  We want to highlight introductions by three individuals: Paul Suzman to Seattle Rotary Club (September 19), Hugh Fynn, Headmaster, to St. JosephÍs Marist College in Cape Town (October 16), Ambassador James Joseph to Duke University (October 26).  Whereas there have been other memorable introductions made during this period Æ Faith in Politics dinner in Washington, DC (October 24) and University of Massachusetts at Amherst (November 7) Æ we are not always successful in recovering written copies of them.


  Anguishing over his role in assassination, Mark Antony called out: ñCaesarÍs spirit, ranging for revenge with Ate by his side come hot from Hell, shall in these confines with a monarchÍs voice, cry ïHAVOCÍ and let slip the Dogs of Warî.

  Fellow Rotarians, honored guests, ladies and gentlemen, we are all still aching from an outrageous assault on all our senses, our people, and our beloved country.

  As long as humankind has ranged across this Earth, people have acted on their innate instinct for retribution both on a personal and national level. But, every so often, and never often enough, we see examples of hope and courage and beauty that rise above the maelstrom.  We saw much of this awe-inspiring selflessness in New York last week.  And even now we are seeing the best of our United States as we console each other and ask what we can do for others: as we work to return to normalcy.  It is this compassion that is the backbone of this country.  Service above self.

  We have with us today, two people who exemplify courage and compassion.  And in these difficult days, as our Nation ponders its just response to violation, we can learn much from them and their reactions and subsequent actions.  These ordinary people.

  In 1993, a beautiful, bright young Fulbright scholar, Amy Biehl, was stabbed to death in the townships of Cape Town as she sought to work with and understand those that ended her life so abruptly.  My fellow Rotarians, close your eyes for a few seconds and imagine how you might react were she your child.

  Bishop Desmond Tutu, overcome with emotion said, ñWe should be giving to the Biehls reparations.  They have turned it all upside down.  It is these victims in their agony who say Æ ïwe want to help the community that produced these murderers be transfigured.Í

  Amy Biehl in her studies and actions wanted to focus on womenÍs rights and democratic transitions in Africa.  And she did.  And when she died she unleashed no ïdogs of war, or revenge with hate at its sideÍ.  No, she unleashed something infinitely more powerful; two ordinary parents aching to celebrate her life and fulfill her dreams and goals in extraordinary ways. Ordinary parents, ladies and gentlemen, is how the Biehls describe themselves.

  I am proud to have been born in a country whose people confounded the cynics and the worldÍs expectations as they wrestled a peaceful transition to democracy.  Ordinary South Africans of all walks of life realized that when you exact an eye for an eye, you are blinded. I am proud to have adopted as my home a country that produces ordinary Americans such as Amy, Linda and Peter Biehl to help us rise above the vicious cycles of retribution.  And we should all be proud as Rotarians that the Rotary Club of Newlands in Cape Town honored themselves by bestowing on the Biehls honorary membership.

  I believe it is our custom at Seattle 4 to welcome honorary members of Rotary to our club, while on our feet, even if they are, just ordinary people. So please rise and welcome to the podium Linda and Peter Biehl.


  The Biehls are from California.  They spend much of the year in South Africa.  They are the parents of four children, one of them being Amy Biehl, a dynamic 26-year-old Stanford University graduate and Fulbright scholar working on voter registration education prior to the 1994 elections.  On August 25, 1993, Amy drove friends back from UWC to Gugulethu. In Gugulethu she was stopped, stoned and stabbed to death by local youths who had just attended a PAC rally.

  AmyÍs parents decided to travel to South Africa to participate in the TRC process.  Due to their daughterÍs belief in the efficacy of the TRC to achieve healing justice, they decided to support amnesty for the perpetrators of AmyÍs death.

  Reflecting on AmyÍs death, Peter and Linda came to the conclusion that the most significant way in which they could commemorate AmyÍs dedication to ensuring human rights and racial justice in South Africa was to continue her work of empowering disadvantaged communities.  In 1994, they established the Amy Biehl Foundation in the USA and the Amy Biehl Foundation Trust in South Africa in 1997.  The TrustÍs work with and for disadvantaged black and coloured communities exemplifies the BiehlsÍ mission of weaving a barrier against violence.

  The Trust administers community based and primarily youth oriented programmes in six areas: education; health and safety; employment skills and micro-enterprise development; environment; arts and music; and recreation.  It believes that providing consistent access to training and activities in these sectors will contribute towards youth development and decreased juvenile crime.  The programmes have expanded to serve adults, under the principle that healthy youth entails healthy families and communities.  The Trust currently manages 30 programmes with sites located in the Cape Flats, Strand and George.

  They honour us greatly by accepting our invitation to be our guests tonight. I sincerely hope that we at St. JosephÍs Marist College can align ourselves and get involved in some of these projects.


There are many ways to introduce Peter and Linda Biehl.  They have been singled out for high honors and awards by the Unites States Congress, Presidents and various publics for their reconciling spirit and many acts of goodness.  Stories about them on television programs like ñSixty Minutesî and articles about them in many or our major newspapers have presented them to millions of households as the great Americans they are.

  But on this occasion,  I want to introduce them to you as ñuniversal parentsî who have been adopted by young people of varied colors and cultures and from widely different campuses and communities.  And they have responded as parents do by encouraging supporting, nurturing and inspiring countless young people to reach deep within for their better selves.  They will tell you that the engagement with South Africa has been a transforming experience for the many students with whom they work.  The students, on the other hand, will tell you that the opportunity work with Peter and Linda through the Amy Biehl Foundation has been an equally transforming experience.

  The Foundation was organized to honor the legacy of Amy Biehl, a Fulbright scholar attached to the University of Cape Town who had gone to South Africa to support the black majorityÍs struggle for freedom.  On August 25th, 1993, two days before she was to leave the country, Amy was stabbed to death by a mob caught up in the violent political climate that preceded the election of Nelson Mandela and the launch of the new democracy.

The four young killers were brought to trial and sentenced to 18 years in prison.  When the Truth and Reconciliation Commission was established, the young men applied for amnesty.  It was a time when Nelson Mandela and the many victims of the inhumanity of apartheid stunned us all with their willingness to forgive the perpetrators of unbelievable acts of humanity.  Just as we were convinced that this spirit of forgiveness was peculiarly South African, clearly unique and cultural, Peter and Linda went before the Commission and asked for amnesty for their daughterÍs killers, reminding us of the incredible potential of the human spirit.

In 1994, the Biehls launched the Amy Biehl Foundation to keep the memory of their daughter alive and to continue her work to help build a new South Africa.  Among the many programs they developed over the last eight years is one that re-trained two of AmyÍs killers and helped them to begin a construction company.  As Bishop Desmund Tutu said of Peter and Linda, ñThey have turned it all upside down.  In the depth of their agony and pain, they have said we want to help.î

We invited them here today because they understand what the Archbishop means when he says that there can be no future without forgiveness.  We asked them to speak to you today because they understand that when neighbors help neighbors, and even when strangers help strangers, both those who help and those who are helped are transformed.  They have received numerous recognitions and awards for their work, yet they remain humble and committed, working tirelessly to continue the work their daughter started.  So I present them to you as surrogate parents for many students and role models for us all, two people who represent the best in the American spirit and the best in the American character.  


  On August 25 Æ to mark the eighth anniversary of AmyÍs death Æ the following letter was delivered to editors of Cape TownÍs major daily newspapers.  As a kind of status report on our efforts in South Africa to date, our Foundation friends may find it more interesting than the newspaper editors apparently did.  

An Open Letter to the People of Cape Town from Peter and Linda Biehl (Amy Biehl Foundation Trust)

  August 25.  It has been eight years since the telephone call which brought the news of AmyÍs death.  It was a Wednesday.  She must have died while her family was living yet another morning halfway around the world.

  It all seemed so distant, so far away.  We heard only voices, saw only faxes, struggled only with words on that day. South Africa existed as an abstraction in those first searing hours.

  Eight years later, we are absorbed with South Africa.  It is the single most consuming challenge in our lives. It follows us everywhere Æ even to America when we return to our family, to the lives of our children.  We spend 75 percent of our time here.

  Like a cold shower, South Africa has awakened us to the realities of life and death as daily struggles.  We have learned to value and to celebrate precious life.  We are continually wrenched and saddened by the casual norms of death so close to us.

  But the life/death extremes of South African existence are well known.  Even well accepted by South Africans.  Incredibly, these extremes have become a backdrop rationale for the national condition.  As in ñ...we are, after all, South Africa.î  While we shall never be able to accept this rationale for failure, we are aware that we are not South Africans and our understandings and empathies are, thus, imperfect.

  We cannot rationalize the violent losses of three valued Foundation Trust employees or the incapacitation of a fourth.  Nor can we accept the violent murders of two terrific boys (ages 8 and 14 years) or the gang rape of an 8 year old girl Æ all participants in our after school programs.

  But the media assault us with these stories daily.  There is no new information here.

  Lessons for Future

Rather, let us share more subtle, complex and difficult lessons learned in our eight years of human service work in countless townships and informal settlements near Cape Town, Strand and George.  These lessons are more important to share because they might contribute to future progress and may Æ in a sense Æ become a part of AmyÍs continuing legacy here.

South AfricaÍs Constitution and Bill of Rights are treasures.  So are its people Æ too many of whom remain disadvantaged and disenfranchised as a matter of daily living experience.  This unfortunate reality is not unique to South Africa.  We share it in America.


Too often, we are told by members of the advantaged community that we must bring ñthose peopleî from the disadvantaged communities into the mainstream of South African life.  We argue that the true mainstream is where the people are: in the disadvantaged settings where more than 70 percent of South Africans reside.


Intellectual and financial capital must be integrated into the mainstream of South African life.  Mainstream communities have vast daily needs for goods and services, for education and for health and nutritional advancement.  Motivated, service-oriented people should not have to journey from their mainstream communities Æ struggling with impossible transportation barriers Æ to come to Cape Town to be instructed that they must pay 20 percent interest to borrow seed capital for their own empowerment.


South Africa is a case study on the far-reaching effects of isolation on human advancement.  Years of sanctions have extracted an incalculable toll on the nation and its place in the world. Of even greater importance is the continuing isolation of 70-80 percent of the nationÍs population from the tools and resources required for human and economic self-empowerment.  Lack of efficient, safe and convenient transport continues to isolate disadvantaged South Africans and is among apartheidÍs cruelest legacies.  Transportation issues plague our violence prevention programs and businesses daily and consume more human and financial resources than any consideration other than the safety of our people.


South Africans often characterize themselves as survivors.  Traits of survivors are often admirable.  Sometimes, they are not.  We find a sort of ñdog-eat-dogî mentality in the business and organization world which is disquieting.  Since September 1997 the Amy Biehl Foundation Trust has been operating as a sanctioned charitable trust in South Africa.  Regardless of our charitable work, we have consistently been forced to pay more than necessary for capital equipment, goods and services.  We have swallowed hard and carried on because we are guests in this country.

  When the mission of our Community Baking Trust is to provide low-cost, high-quality bread to poor people, why should we be forced to absorb two arbitrary price increases in flour each year?   This is counter-productive because eventually we are forced to pass at least a portion of these cost increases through to our customers, who given a chance will expand the national demand for bread dramatically, if they can afford a loaf of bread.  Additionally, the bread we donate to other charitable programs becomes more costly to us.  At some point, we must finally adjust the price of bread to our customers or put Community Baking Trust to rest.

  In our experience, we believe the Amy Biehl Foundation Trust is plagued with the misconception that we are blessed with abundant financial resources.  This is not true.  While we have invested over R20 million in South Africa since September 1997, most of it has been painstakingly raised in the United States and each dollar becomes more difficult to raise, each year.  For those South Africans Æ private, corporate and governmental Æ who have assisted us financially, we are sincerely grateful.  To those Americans who continue to embrace South AfricaÍs continuing struggle for economic justice and our very small role in it, we are similarly appreciative.

  Nonetheless, the perception that the Trust has significant money arouses the survivor ethic, which says ñ...thereÍs money there; letÍs go for itî. It would be more productive for South Africa were we to sit together with the question ñ...thereÍs money there; how can we make it go further to benefit South Africa?î


When a disadvantaged community has nothing, harmony and solidarity abound.  When a member of that community earns something (whether commission sales of ñAMYÍs BREAD-The Bread of Hope and Peace, or a salary for teaching in one of our TrustÍs after-school schools) harmony can be disturbed and solidarity shaken.  Jealousy impedes human social and economic progress.  We wonder whether jealousy led to the torching of our Community Baking TrustÍs Parow bakery.  Or to the derailing of a project to develop a community arts/economic empowerment center for the people of Philippi, Nyanga and BrownÍs Farm? Or to creation of senseless roadblocks to a peer HIV/AIDS prevention program in a Thembalethu school, near George?


Our experience is that disadvantaged people are so unaccustomed to promises kept, to dreams fulfilled, that they develop a fear of success -of actually achieving - a long time goal.  This fear is often expressed at the very moment when success appears with the assertion that ñ...we were not properly consulted on this projectî.  Always at the last minute, this inevitable phenomenon has forced us to become creative problem-solvers.  Yet, sometimes, we fail.

  A high school principal once told us: ñMr. and Mrs. Biehl, we must have conflict.  And when conflict develops we must stop everything until conflict can be resolved.î To which Linda replied: ñI donÍt agree that conflict is essential.  And I know that while you are stopping everything, children in your community are dying.î


In many ways, our most fulfilling moments have occurred since your nationÍs truth and reconciliation process presented us the opportunity to know, understand and reconcile with Ntombeko Peni and Easy Nofemela Æ two extraordinary young men granted amnesty for their roles in AmyÍs death, who now work hard for their community and our Community Baking Trust. We take pride in our growing relationship with Ntombeko and Easy and in the nation which makes it possible.

  Simon Fanshawe, in his July 28 piece for TELEGRAPH MAGAZINE (London Daily Telegraph) puts perfectly for us: ñBecause when youÍre with Peter and Linda and Easy and Peni, it just seems the most obvious thing that they are together as friends.  Somehow, it doesnÍt seem strange at all. Because that way, at least AmyÍs death has given them all a future.î


Two years ago, we were invited to address the student body at Helderberg College, near Somerset West.  The students Æ a very interesting and diverse group Æ were attentive as we spoke.  When we were finished, a student body officer (African and Pan African Congress member) addressed the students to say ñ...the Biehls really are Black people with White faces and we thank them for returning to South Africa.î Then, he returned to us and said ñbut, you know, Mrs. Biehl, itÍs still about the land.î We shall not forget that remark.  It remains a chilling reminder of unfinished business here.


We have learned in our work that a daily consideration of whether rewards justify risks is essential. Some of our people Æ South Africans  and Americans Æ have faced gun-point confrontations.  Last Friday, August 17, an Albany bakery driver was fatally shot in Gugulethu. How can you knowingly place your people at risk? What return can justify this? These daily judgments weigh heavily on those who make them.  Recently, a police commandant implored us to continue our bread deliveries in the Cape Flats with the following plea: ñif you pull out, the thugs will have wonî.  Shallow victory.  South AfricaÍs disadvantaged people donÍt require an oppressor to rob them of their futures.  They are, sadly, capable of doing it to themselves.


Since September 1997, the Amy Biehl Foundation Trust has launched and sustains a holistic portfolio of community-centered violence/prevention/human empowerment programs.


  • AB Connect (email chat room for linking schools and kids)
  • After-School Programs (6)
  • ñGo For Goldî Tutorial Program (with Neil Muller Construction)
  • Youth Reading Role Models Programs (15)
  • Zerilda Park Primary School Library

Health and Safety

  • After School Feeding Programs
  • Emergency First-Aid Training (nearly 5000 people trained)
  • AmyÍs Tavern Project (HIV/AIDS prevention with beer distributors)
  • HIV/AIDS Peer Education Programs
  • Nutrition, Cooking and Gardening Program
  • School Vegetable Gardening Project


  • Amy Biehl Greening and Environmental Program

Arts and Music

  • Amy Biehl Music Program
  • Art Therapy

Employment Skills and Enterprise Development

  • Buthisizwe Education and Development Trust
  • Buthisizwe Manufacturing (Pty)
  • Community Baking Trust


  • Amy Biehl Athletic Scholarship Program
  • Khayelitsha Golf Driving Range
  • Mountain View Skate Park
  • Playing Field Creation (4)

We share pride in these very successful programs with their creators and managers in townships and informal settlements from Cape Town to Strand to George.  Each week, thousands of youth and many budding township entrepreneurs and teachers draw their salaries from programs and businesses sponsored by the Amy Biehl Foundation Trust.

The needs are vast. The demands of mounting and sustaining quality programs are humbling and we need help from South Africans at all levels in order to expand our work.  Help can come in a variety of forms and favorable tax treatment may now be offered for financial gifts to our Buthisizwe Education Fund Trust.  We invite South Africans to contact us or Project Manager, Ashleigh Murphy, at (021) 425-0094/5/6/7 or at abftrust@iafrica.com.

Amy has committed us to South Africa for life.  We are challenged by the magnitude of human need, humbled by our very finite resources and fearful of the safety of our dedicated people.  But we wonÍt abandon the people we are here to serve.

Thank you for this opportunity to share our story with our South African neighbors.

Sincerely, Peter and Linda Biehl


Activity Highlights at a Glance  


 11        Peter and Linda join Steve and Marybeth Schwarz at Edgar School in Metuchen, NJ for another successful speaking/fund-raising event with MarybethÍs new students, teachers and parents.

  15            Valued Trust staff member/advocate Laura Harley departs South Africa to begin graduate studies in international public health at Yale University. LauraÍs many important contributions to disadvantaged communities in the George area are her continuing legacy.

  26            Former Foundation staffers Trevor Murphy (Laguna Beach, CA) and Sarah Baigrie (Cape Town, RSA) are married in Plettenberg Bay, RSA. Many key Xhosa staff members of the Foundation participate in a beautiful occasion.

  29        Duke interns Neil Gupta and Chintan Maru join the Foundation for the summer months.


 4          Biehls host former Notre Dame intern Michelle Carlos and 2001 Irish MBAs to meet Foundation Cape Town staff at a gathering in their loft.

 11        HBO airs documentary film ñLong NightÍs Journey Into Dayî on South AfricaÍs Truth and Reconciliation process for the first time.


14            University of Notre Dame Mendoza School of Business Administration, Gigot Center for Entrepreneurial Studies, hosts its annual dinner at Mount Nelson Hotel, Cape Town.

  15            Jacobus Blauuw, driver for the George branch of Community Baking Trust and beloved friend, is murdered while delivering our bread (ñAMYÍS BREADî) to the community of Thembalethu.  None of us shall ever forget Jacobus or his selfless service to his community.

  16        Biehls join David Webber and Renatta Van Rooyen to complete Jacobus BlauuwÍs delivery route in Thembalethu, in his honor and memory.

  19            Charles Korr (University of Missouri, St. Louis) attends Foundation staff meeting in Cape Town to share some of his research into the role of sport on Robben Island during the extended imprisonment of anti-apartheid struggle heroes.


14            Foundation tours key staff members of the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee to Foundation programs near Cape Town.

  15        Peter attends the bittersweet farewell gathering for USAID-South Africa Director, Stacy Rhodes and wife, Trish, in Pretoria and is introduced to incoming Director, Dirk Dykerman. Stacy Rhodes has been very important to the FoundationÍs successful relationship with USAID, and will be missed.

  21        Linda and Peter, with David and Dianne Webber, meet Raymond and Wendy Ackerman Æ founders/builders of Pick ïn Pay Æ South AfricaÍs largest retail supermarket chain and most innovative social enterprise.  Under Ray AckermanÍs guidance, Pick ïn Pay markets will offer ñAMYÍs BREAD...THE BREAD OF HOPE AND PEACEî to South AfricaÍs advantaged markets.

  25        To commemorate the eighth anniversary of AmyÍs death, Linda and Peter, Vanessa and Victor West, Ntobeko Peni and Easy Nofemela distribute free bread and other survival essentials to flood victims in KTC and Lower Philippi, near Cape Town.


 8          Peter and Linda share the opening of the season of atonement with a Tustin, CA synagogue community struggling with the frustrations created by the unending violence between Israelis and Palestinians.

  9          Biehls arrive in Washington, DC for Congressional presentation on the new South Africa with students from the University of Maryland, scheduled for Wednesday, September 12.

  11        The day no American will ever forget. The day we lost our innocence.

  19        Biehls address over one thousand members of the Seattle Rotary Club, introduced by South African native, Paul Suzman.

  20        Linda and Peter attend and address a fund raising event for SeattleÍs Desmond Tutu Peace Center featuring a screening of ñLong NightÍs Journey Into Day.î

  22            Whittier College Scholars Program students and faculty host the Biehls at their annual planning/work retreat in Santa Monica, CA.  Participants share experience and wisdom in community service work, guided by Joyce Kaufman, PhD, Program Director.

  26        Biehls arrive in Albuquerque for two wonderful days with students, faculty, staff, parents and friends of Amy Biehl Charter High School, to announce the schoolÍs first major capital fund drive for a new center city campus.


 11        Official launch of ñAMYÍS TAVERN PROJECTî in George. This unique and creative project integrates counseling by trained community service volunteers with distribution of condoms and literature to the taverns where youth congregate, using the beer trucks of Southern Cape Beer Distributors (Pty) Ltd.

 16        Linda and Peter address the prize-giving ceremonies at St. JosephÍs Marist College in Rondebosch, where they learn from Headmaster, Hugh Fynn, that Foundation Education Director, Solomon Makosana is a board member. A wonderful evening!

  16        Biehls join Project Manager, Ashleigh Murphy, for lunch with administrators of the University of Cape Town Graduate School of Business to explore opportunities for involvement of UCT MBA candidates in Foundation business enterprises and start-ups.

  22        Biehls depart Cape Town for the last time in 2001.

  24        Peter and Linda are featured speakers at dinner to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Washington, DCÍs Faith in Politics organization, founded by Rev. Douglas Tanner to provide an intimate forum for reflection and consideration of ethical issues as they relate to political matters.  Biehls have the unenviable challenge of following remarks by Co-Chairmen, Reps. Amo Houghton (NY) and John Lewis (GA).

  26            Assisted by interns Neil Gupta, Tejas Shah and former intern/present Cape Town staffer, Elizabeth Richardson, the Biehls speak at Duke UniversityÍs Parents Weekend hosted by Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy. Also participating are former interns Carrie Johnson and Chintan Maru of Duke and Christie Lacy-Krietz of Stanford. A wonderful opportunity to meet Duke faculty, students and parents!

  28            ñParents repay daughterÍs killers with forgivenessî, by Gavin du Venage appears on San Francisco CHRONICLE front page.


 4          Biehls have lunch with Milton Academy director of jazz music, Bob Sinicrope, to explore opportunities for synergy with our music program in the Cape Flats. A Milton Academy jazz band has already contributed its performance fee from Cape TownÍs Green Dolphin Club to the Foundation.

  5            Professor Joshua Margolis, faculty and MBA candidates at Harvard Business School host the Biehls for an invigorating day of mutual exploration of opportunities for partnership between HBS and our Foundation.

  6-8            Chancellor Marcellette G. Williams and her committed team at University of Massachusetts-Amherst orchestrate a finely-tuned and fully-scheduled campus ñimmersionî for Linda and Peter, during which they are presented with seemingly-endless and thoughtfully-planned opportunities to engage with UMASS trustees, administrators, deans, faculty, students and area residents on a wide range of subjects relating to AmyÍs living legacy and to the living of her values, as parents. Nothing is overlooked in this unforgettable visit Æ including the continuous distribution of ñAMYÍs BREADî throughout the ñUMASS Communityî and a presentation of ChancellorÍs Medals to the Biehls at a memorable luncheon of traditional South African cuisine catered and presented by students in the highly-rated UMASS hospitality management program.  We shall report further on this memorable visit in a subsequent NEWSLETTER, but we would sure follow Marcellette Williams and her incredible team anywhere they may go!

  8            Following lunch with Chancellor Williams and presidents of Smith College, Amherst College, Hampshire College and Mt. Holyoke College, the Biehls spend the evening with Foundation supporters, the Greer family, at their beautiful country home near Great Barrington, MA.

  9          Linda and Peter are introduced to Open Society InstituteÍs Herbert Sturz and wife Elizabeth and Dr. Vartan Gregorian, Carnegie Corporation of New York, and wife Clare at a dinner hosted by Foundation partners, Vincent and Anne Mai in New York.  It is an evening of far-ranging discussion of opportunities for human service and conditions in South Africa, Afghanistan and New York City.

  11        ñAmyÍs bread brings jobs, sustenance to South Africaî, by T. Susan Chang, appears in Boston GLOBE food section.

  11            ñComing full circleî, by Gavin Du Venage, appears in the Toronto STAR.

  13        At 9:01 AM (PST), William Zachary Corbin arrives at San DiegoÍs Mercy Hospital to proud parents Tim and Molly Biehl Corbin.

  13        Peter addresses an evening gathering of the Anti Defamation League of Orange County, CA in Newport Beach while Linda stops off in San Diego to assist Molly and Tim.

  14            Corona Del Mar High School welcomes Peter to its 2nd Annual Community Service Day, along with 21 area non-profit organizations which benefited from 18,000 hours of volunteer service from CDM seniors last year. Peter has the opportunity to speak with two assemblies (high school, middle school) on a fulfilling day.

  15        Peter addresses an evening prayer meeting at St. JohnÍs Neuman Catholic Church in Irvine, CA.


  Foundation programs can still use the following donated items (in new or used condition):

  • Baby clothes/toddler clothes and accessories
  • Ballet shoes and attire
  • Golf equipment
  • Musical instruments

  Please send donations Æ with an indication of value, for tax purposes Æ to the Foundation in La Quinta, CA.


  We close this NEWSLETTER with the following letter Æ just received. We hope it will be as inspiring to you as it has been to us.

  Dear Peter and Linda,

  Thank you for coming to CDM (Corona Del Mar High School) today. I regret that I cannot be there to meet you.  I have read about your incredible journey through the papers and the internet.  Though I have never met you I feel somehow connected with you in spirit.

  It will almost be two years ago that ñA Long NightÍs Journey Into Dayî was shown at the Newport Beach Film Festival. Lucy Steinberg said at that time it changed her life.  I barely knew her at the time.  Later that year my son, an 8th grader came home from school and told me his good friend was strangled at school and was in the hospital in Intensive Care.  I asked what happened and my son told me he watched a ñbullyî choke his friend until he passed out. I asked my son what he did to help his friend. He told me ñnothing, I was too scared?î The incident was left unreported and everyone thought the victim had a seizure. I was literally sick to think my son witnessed this incident and did nothing.  We talked for a long time. He agreed to do the right thing the next morning and report the incident.  When he did the principal told my son that what he saw wasnÍt right and his friend really did have a seizure.  I realized at this moment that the school was in denial and there were serious problems.  The victim and his family were ostracized and blamed. Lucy Steinberg was a friend of this family. She called me, a mere acquaintance, to figure out what we could do to help the family and support the victim.  She talked about the documentary, ñA Long NightÍs Journey Into Dayî and how the essence of this film compelled her into action by standing up for what was right. This was what I came to find out was my defining moment, a decision to keep the peace or rock the boat.

  It has been a long, hard journey for Lucy and I in the past year and a half.  We went up against a community that wants no bad publicity, wants to see things through rose-colored glasses and doesnÍt often hear what their children are actually saying and feeling. We had town-hall meetings to promote peace and tolerance at school.  We organized meetings to highlight community agencies that have character-education programs.

  We were floored by the response.  Parents started talking to their children about what was happening at school.  The code of silence was breaking down and kids started reporting one incident after the other of bullying and intimidation. We brought these stories to the attention of the administration and school board.  After much work at anti-intimidation policy was drafted and approved by the school board.  This was not only to assist the victims but also to ensure the bullies received help as well.

  The amazing part of all this is that the work your daughter Amy did touched peopleÍs lives even after her death. Lucy felt the power and conviction to fight for a cause she believed in. Her belief helped me have the courage to sacrifice something I cared about ñbeing the good PTA momî to being an activist.  The hardest part now is to forgive and let go of the anger to those that did ever thing in their power to discredit us.  But your example of forgiveness to the men that murdered your daughter humbles me. Your message of peace coming from honoring your daughter is extremely powerful. By concentrating on what positive steps we could do to change the school climate and not dwelling on the obstacles and the negativity, we were able to make changes.  The battle is not over but it is a wonderful joy to have you on our campus. That is what I call a leap of destiny.

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Amy Biehl Foundation
P.O. Box 66
San Marcos, CA 92079-0066
Phone: 949.650.5356
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