Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice inspires, educates, and mobilizes people to unite across differences and to act from their shared ethical and spiritual values in pursuit of peace with social and environmental justice.

Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice envisions a world free from violence, including the violence of war, poverty, oppression, and environmental devastation. To enact this vision, we commit to nurture a community in which compassion and respect foster actions that dismantle systems of violence while simultaneously creating systems of peace, justice, and ecological sustainability.

Local Man on Life Support, Facing Deportation, Enters Sanctuary

Mohamed Soumah, a 44-year-old man from the West African former French colony of Guinea-Conakry who has been threatened by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with immediate deportation, has taken sanctuary in Ann Arbor Friends Meeting House (Quakers).  Mohamed, who has been living and working in the United States for fifteen years, suffers from a serious, life-threatening disease that requires ongoing medical attention. According to his physician, he is essentially on life support.  His home country lacks adequate facilities for this kind of care, so returning there would be a death sentence.  His mother, who suffered the same hereditary condition, died there due to inadequate treatment.  The average per capita income in Guinea is $825/year, and average life expectancy is 52 years. The United Nations Development Program ranks Guinea 175th of 189 countries included in the Human Development Index rankings.

Press Release – 31 October 2018

Press Advisory – 31 October 2018

How you can help:

  • Volunteer to provide support: A volunteer training will take place on Sunday, November 11 at 1pm at the Ann Arbor Friends Meeting, 1420 Hill Street.
  • Donate to  Washtenaw Congregational Sanctuary to Mohamed and build a sanctuary network for others facing unjust deportations
  • Advocate to the ICE Detroit Field Office to give Mohamed Soumah a stay of removal for medical reasons as the medical facilities in his home country are inadequate to provide him the lifesaving care he needs. Contact  [email protected]
  • Advocate for more humane immigration policies. One way to do that is to submit a public comment opposing President Trump’s proposed change to the Public Charge Rule, will make immigrant families afraid to access essential health, nutrition and shelter programs. Learn more at ProtectingImmigrantFamilies.org

The Pittsburgh shooting and the call of justice

Our hearts are broken by the news of the mass shooting at Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh earlier today. Our thoughts and prayers go to those affected by this hate crime: the families who have lost loved ones, the broader Jewish community who feels a renewed fear of the continued threat of anti-Semetic violence, and members of other communities targetted by hate groups who see in this attack a reminder of their own vulnerability.

Rabbi Arthur Waskow of the Shalom Center reminds us “The Torah teaches, ‘Tzedek tzedek tirdof — Justice, justice shall you pursue.’ Why “justice” twice”? This means: Pursue just ends through just means.”

The shooter, Robert D. Bowers pursued unjust ends through unjust means. His white Christian nationalist ideology led him to seek a country that put members of his community above others.  He pursued this unjust end through demonization and violence.

This crime follows just days after the series of pipe bomb attacks on Democratic lawmakers and their supporters and ricin-laden to the President. This series of attacks reminds us that demonization and hate speech have consequences.

“Justice, justice shall you pursue.” These crimes call us again to rededicate ourselves to the just ends: a society of inclusion and equity for all faiths, ethnicities, and genders. These crimes also call us pursue these goals through just means–coragously challenging the idoelogies of bigotry and supremecism while avoiding the seductive traps of demonization and violence.

As I write this the death toll stands at 11. May their memories be a blessing. May their families find comfort. And may we all join together in the just pursuit of a world of inclusion through just means.

ICPJ is Hiring

Are you passionate about justice and peace? Do you have a love of bringing people together across their differences to make a difference? Can you balance the needs of running top-notch social chance programs with the administrative duties of running a nonprofit organization? If so, you might be the right person to be ICPJ’s next Director.  Continue Reading »

ICPJ Statement on Immigration

Interfaith Council for Peace & Justice unequivocally stands with our immigrant sisters and
brothers throughout the United States and with our immigrant neighbors in Washtenaw County.
Our advocacy and our work with immigrants moves us to speak out and act for justice for our
neighbors:

There is a U.S. migration policy disaster, not a migration crisis. Contrary to the impression
created by xenophobic rhetoric, apprehensions of migrants at the southern border were down
44% in 2017, and net migration from Mexico has been negative since 2008 as more Mexicans
are leaving the United States than entering. The foreign-born population (documented and
undocumented) is about 13% in the United States, a smaller proportion than at the peak in 1890
and less than many other countries including Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Switzerland, and
Germany. Continue Reading »

Leaders of Color Scholarship Opportunities for Facing Race 2018

Leaders of Color, would you like to attend the Facing Race conference in Detroit this fall? This is your chance! Apply today!

NEW & Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice are excited to announce scholarship opportunities for leaders of color in Washtenaw County to attend the Facing Race 2018 conference in Detroit, Nov 8 – 10th.

Facing Race is a national conference presented by Race Forward: The Center for Racial Justice Innovation. A unique collaborative space for racial justice movement making, Facing Race is the largest multiracial, inter-generational gathering of organizers, educators, creatives and other leaders. Facing Race will offer unprecedented access to information and resources on racial equity from across the nation.

The scholarship fund’s mission is to facilitate conference attendance by people of color in Washtenaw County who are active in social justice work and who would otherwise be unable to attend the conference. Please fill out the application by Thursday, September 27 for consideration. Thank you to our funders, including tthe United Way of Washtenaw County, the Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation, Washtenaw Intermediate School District, and Linh & Dug Song –

NOTE: Separate scholarship funds may be available for K-12 educators in Washtenaw County schools. Contact [email protected] for details.

Cultural Criticism & Transformation Fall Series

Join ICPJ and award-winning storyteller and anti-racist educator La’Ron Williams for the Cultural Criticism & Transformation Fall Series. The two-part series will feature films and guided discussions over the covert messages within popular culture.

The first event will be held on Sunday, October 7th at 2:00 pm. Participants will be watching and discussing the video “bell hooks: Cultural Criticism and Transformation.” As one of the nation’s leading public intellectuals, bell hooks makes compelling arguments in favor of the need to delve deeply into the covert messages contained in films and other forms of popular culture.

This conversation will be continued on Sunday, November 4th at 2:00 pm. Participants will be examining the popular blockbuster film “Black Panther” and using their newfound “hooksian” capacity for critical analysis to engage with and discuss the influence and messages of the film.

Where: Ypsilanti District Library – 5577 Whittaker Road, Ypsilanti, MI 48197

Cost: Free and open to the public!

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