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.

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!

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.

Numerous studies confirm that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than the native-born population. The U.S. government began criminalizing unauthorized immigration itself
with “Operation Streamline” in 2005, making it a misdemeanor to enter without inspection and a
felony to re-enter, creating a massive windfall for the privatized detention industry. Falsely
stigmatizing our immigrant neighbors as criminals fuels racist and xenophobic hatred and
division in our society.

People who cross the border without permission are not deliberately choosing to break the law
rather than “waiting in line”: Essentially there is no line to wait in, because U.S. policy allows
very few opportunities for legal migration.

Harsh immigration policies and walls do not keep people out, because desperate people will
migrate for survival. Rather, these policies only make migrants vulnerable to abuse and
suffering. They die trying to cross the desert in more remote places, they are preyed upon in
transit by criminal networks and governments, and once in the United States they are subject to
labor abuses by employers who exploit their precarious legal status.

Many migrants are desperately seeking refuge from poverty and violence fueled by U.S.
policies. The U.S. government spent billions of dollars in the 1980s propping up repressive
Central American regimes serving the interests of oligarchs, devastating those societies and
fueling ongoing cycles of violence. Over 70% of guns used by drug and crime syndicates in
Mexico come from the United States. “Free trade” policies that enrich global corporations have
devastated subsistence agriculture and ravaged the poor in Mexico and Central America. The
violent gangs that plague Central America were formed on the streets of Los Angeles, and sent to
El Salvador when U.S. authorities began rounding them up and deporting them in 1989.

There is a moral obligation to help those who flee their homelands. Every major religious
and spiritual tradition commands us to welcome the stranger and help the less fortunate. We also
have an obligation under international law to provide refuge to those who have a “well-founded
fear of persecution” based on belonging to a targeted group, and to not send them back to the country from which they have fled. People who present themselves to officials at the border
asking for asylum are complying with the law. The U.S. and the rest of the world embraced this
obligation in ratifying the Refugee Convention after the horrors of WWII, and has a tradition of
being a place of refuge. Yet the U.S. government has been stripping away protections and
ramping up the obstacles for asylum-seekers. Of the 13 million Syrian refugees, the U.S. has
taken only 33,000 total (and only 11 Syrians in the first 3-1/2 months of this year). The U.S. and
Mexican governments have teamed up in the mass deportation of immigrants from Honduras, El
Salvador, and Guatemala, where they face state-sponsored violence and some of the world’s
highest homicide rates.

Recently the Trump administration has hit a new moral low in deliberately tearing children from their parents, detaining some 3,000 in unacceptable conditions, withholding information on their whereabouts, and cynically claiming that small children can represent themselves in court.

We call out to people of faith and conscience to mobilize locally and nationally for:
a just, welcoming, and inclusive approach to immigration;

  •  support of immigrants in our midst and defense of their rights;
  •  sanctuary for immigrants in need, in our congregations and communities;
  •  an immediate end to the hateful and divisive rhetoric about people from diverse
    countries and backgrounds, acknowledging that we are one human family;
  •  an end to the punitive separation of immigrant families, and immediate family
    reunification;
  •  an end to the criminalization of migration;
  •  full compliance with national and international laws that protect asylum-seekers and that
    prohibit their mistreatment at the border or forcible return;
  •  foreign policies that promote peace, well-being, and justice instead of the fear and misery
    that drives people to flee their homelands;

ICPJ is hiring

Summary: Are you a detail-oriented person who wants to work for justice as your job? Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice, a grassroots nonprofit in Ann Arbor, MI, is seeking an interim communications and administrative support manager.

Duties

  • Communications:
    • publicizing ICPJ events through the website, email list, social media, and other channels
    • Developing and mailing print newsletters
    • Assisting with the mailing of fund appeals
  • Program Support
    • Provide logistical assistance to task forces and other programs for upcoming programs
  • Administrative Support
    • Work with Director and volunteers to ensure timely data entry and acknowledgement of donations with support
    • Work with Director and volunteers to assist basic bookkeeping such as preparing deposits and issuing checks, and reconciling accounts
    • Other tasks as assigned

Qualifications:

  • Excellent written communication skills, with a focus on digital communication such as website, mass email, and social media
  • Ability to process transactions with a high level of accuracy
  • Ability to manage multiple project and deadlines simultaneously
  • Key software packages the applicant would use are Salesforce Nonprofit Success Pack, Quickbooks, GSuite products (especially Docs and Sheets), and Microsoft Office products (including Publisher). Familiarity with specific software products is not required, but applicant must show ability to quickly learn basic proficiency in new software.
  • Graphic design skills preferred

Details:

  • 10-20 hours/week,
  • $13-16/hour
  • anticipated as a 6 month temporary position
  • A majority of hours will be on-site during normal business hours at ICPJ office. Some evenings or weekends. Some ability to work remotely may be negotiated.

To apply: send resume and cover letter to [email protected]. No phone calls please.

Tell Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners to Vote YES on Equity Policy

UPDATE: Thank you to the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners for voting unanimously to support the Equity Policy.

Imagine if every department in local government was regularly asking, “How can we advance racial equity in our work?”

Thanks to your activism, last July the City of Ann Arbor took the next step to making that happen, and this week Washtenaw County can as well as the Board of Commissioners holds a public hearing on a proposed Equity Policy.

How you can help:​ 

  • Email the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners that you support this work. Also offer any suggestions on how the resolution and ordinance can be improved or how the ongoing work can be strengthened.
  • Attend the County Commission meeting Wednesday, September 5 to show your support for the ordinance.
  • Speak out at the public hearing to encourage the Commissioners to support a robust equity policy, ]to support it with adequate staffing, and to provide for regular public reports on the progress to ensure accountability.

Background:

As part of the One Community initiative, leaders in Washtenaw County government and the City of Ann Arbor have gone through an extensive training process to understand structural racism, to see how even race-neutral and well-intentioned efforts can result in racially disparate outcomes, and to practice using tools to develop sound equity-focused policies and practices. Check out the One Community video to learn more.

Poverty Simulation Volunteers Needed

Sign here to volunteer to help run an ICPJ Poverty Simulation on Saturday, August 11, 2018. You will be emailed role assignments/instructions prior to the date of the simulation. We will need around 25 people to help. This is a perfect group volunteer opportunity, please consider sharing this with group leadership. Thank you!! Questions contact ICPJ at 734-663-1870 or email [email protected]

Sign Up: HERE.

Location: Friends in Deed, Ann Arbor location TBD.

 

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