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.

Area Faith Leaders Issue Forum Statement on Policing and Racial Justice

Background

Over fifty Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti faith leaders have issued a Statement on Policing and Racial Justice below. To sign up use the form at the right, or contact ev. Jeff Harrold at revharrold@gmail.com, or 734-353-2527.

Statement on Policing and Racial Justice

“…What does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?” Micah 6:8

As a county-wide, inter-faith advocacy effort with a faith-inspired platform that fosters mutual respect and effectiveness, we are compelled to mobilize and speak up for justice and equality. In particular, we believe that there is a great need for the leaders of faith to speak to the systemic racial injustice that is experienced by many in our communities. Our obligation is to speak up whenever anyone is treated unjustly for as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King said: “An injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Continue Reading »

Peace is Right Here

Check out the great video that Q4T put together higlighting the work that ICPJ and others have done in Ann Arbor to stand up against Islamophobia, including our One Human Family banner campaign!

Let’s Talk about Economic and Racial Justice Series, Part II: Income Inequality

 

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By Ian Robinson, Lecturer and Associate Research Scientist at the University of Michigan, and the President of the Huron Valley Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO.

In February 2015, six University of Michigan academics released a report on what has been happening regarding poverty and economic inequality in Washtenaw County over the last eight years.   What we found was disconcerting, despite the fact that Washtenaw County has the fourth highest per capita income in the state and is the most knowledge-based county economy in the state, we still experienced a major increase in income inequality.  As the graph on this pages shows, the “real” (i.e., taking account of inflation) earnings of those in the bottom 90% of the income distribution fell, while those in the top 10% rose.

Because of this trend, the share of our population not earning enough to meet their “basic needs,” as defined by the United Way in their recent report, also increased: by 2013, 37% of individual workers and 24% of households in our county could not meet their basic needs.   County-wide averages hid major differences within Washtenaw County: 59% of households in the City of Ypsilanti failed to meet this threshold, while the figure for York Charter Township was 10%….

To read the entire article from the 2016 Spring Newsletter, click here.

 

Eating Our Fruits & Vegetables = Less Climate Change!

Grocery stores have very strict standards about what fruit and vegetables should look like. If a carrot or a tomato is misshapen, it is very likely to end up in the trash before it ever reaches the store. U.S. grocers throw out nearly 26% of all produce—billions of pounds—before it even reaches their stores due mostly to self-imposed strict cosmetic standards.

Perfectly edible, wonderfully nutritious apples, peaches, carrots and onions rot in our landfills — in a country where 1 in 6 people are considered food insecure and where more than 80% of us are not eating enough produce.

Less obvious, but just as important, wasted food is a big contributor to climate change, (1) as it rots in landfills and (2) because of all the energy wasted and emissions produced as it is grown, processed, packaged, transported and stored, only to be thrown away.e713da82642e0a7911d498603c2db20e

To address this issue, there is now a national campaign to get Walmart to start selling cosmetically less-than-perfect produce. The @UglyFruitAndVeg Campaign hopes to make these fruits and vegetable available to consumers at lower prices, thus saving a lot of waste and making healthy food more available to low-income people. You can add your name to the online petition: http://endfoodwaste.org/ugly-fruit- – -veg.html (Whole Foods was originally part of this campaign, but they have recently agreed to do a pilot project selling “ugly” produce!)

Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice is acting locally on this campaign as well as supporting the national campaign.  We contacted local Whole Foods managers before Whole Foods agreed to make this change, and we are currently in the process of contacting local Walmart managers, urging them to market and sell “ugly” produce at reduced prices.

It is also worth taking a look at our own part in this problem. Most of us will tend to reject produce that doesn’t look like what we are used to, so we may want to look at and work to change our own behaviors in the process!

 

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree’s “Food Recovery Act”

Fight Food Waste – Support HR 4184

The fact that in this country, we waste about 40% of our food is shocking, especially when 1 out of 6 people are food

insecure. In addition, wasted food is a big contributor to climate change.  Why?

(1) As it rots in landfills, it creates methane, a powerful greenhouse gas that contributes to climate change and

(2) All the energy used and emissions produced as it is grown, processed, packaged, transported and stored is wasted when it’s thrown away.

The act includes many ways to address food waste,Food Waste Infographic shareable

including:

  • Standardize and clarify “Use By” labels
  • Fund a National Awareness Campaign
  • Expand tax deductions for food donations
  • Strengthen the Good Samaritan Food Donation Act
  • Support large scale composting and “food waste to energy” programs

 

To learn more visit: pingree.house.gov/foodwaste

To tell Congress to support the Act, visit:

http://bit.ly/1Vs8IE5

 

Peacemaking in the Midst of Conflict with Aziz Abu Sarah

 

TED2014 - The Next Chapter, March 17-21, 2014, Vancouver Convention Center, Vancouver, Canada. Photo: Ryan Lash

TED2014 – The Next Chapter, March 17-21, 2014, Vancouver Convention Center, Vancouver, Canada. Photo: Ryan Lash

You are invited to this inspirational and uplifting event to be held Sunday, March 20, featuring  Aziz Abu Sarah, a transformative peacemaker.

About Aziz

Aziz Abu Sarah is a National Geographic Explorer and Cultural Educator, as well as a TED Fellow. A Palestinian from Jerusalem. Aziz is the cofounder of MEJDI Tours, a social enterprise focused on introducing multi-narrative cultural education and responsible business practices to the travel industry. Aziz was the Palestinian leader of the ICPJ Dual Narrative Tour to Israel/Palestine in 2011, which changed the lives of many of the tour members. Aziz has also served as the Executive Director of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict Resolution at George Mason University (2009-2015), and was the chairman of the joint Israeli-Palestinian organization the Bereaved Families Forum (2006 to 2010). Continue Reading »

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