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.

It’s What We Do

What do we do at Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice? We bring people together across differences to make a difference for transit, for fighting poverty, and for civil rights.

Donate NowThis is what we do, but we can only do it with you.

Please donate today to make this work possible. You can give online through Network for Good or mail your tax-deductible donation to ICPJ, 1679 Broadway Street, Ann Arbor, MI 48105. Please make checks payable to ICPJ. See you donations page for more options.

Thank you to the great folks at  Move Communications for their great work on the video.

Tell the County to Support Mixed-Income Housing on Platt Road

platt road

UPDATE: We won! On May 6 the Ways and Means Committee voted 6-3 to move forward with the Platt Road vision, including the mixed income component that includes affordable housing.

Summary: On Wendesday, May 6 the Washtenaw County Ways and Means Committtee will vote to more the proecess forward to develop mixed-income housing on the County’s Platt Road property.

Take Action: 

Background: The Washtenaw County Board or Commissioners has been exploring options for what to do with a site of the former juvenile detention center on Platt Road. In August, the County led a community design process that resulted in a Vision Plan and alternatives analysis that includes mixed-income housing with an affordable housing component. However, as often happens with affordable housing is proposed, this vision has met with some community opposition.

The vision plan calls for a design based around the following principles:

  • Integration with neighborhood
  • Mixed-income development, including affordable and moderately-priced housing including non-residential uses that would be accessory and supportive to the neighborhood
  • Varied types and forms of housing for people of different ages
  • Use green technologies and sustainable design (stormwater management, green energy, limiting use of impervious surface)
  • Reduced auto-dependency, embrace alternative transportation (walking, biking, transit), and promote a pedestrian-oriented development pattern.

Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice, along with Religious Action for Affordable Housing are calling on the County Board of Commissioners to follow through on the Vision Plan and include affordable housing on the Platt Road site.

A reflection by Latin America Task Force Chair Rebecca Kanner

Rebecca Kanner, Latin American Task Force Chair, was arrested in November 2014 for committing a civil disobedience as she crossed onto the grounds of the Stewart Detention Center. The center houses around 2,000 undocumented civil detainees and has been cited for human rights violations by numerous social justice groups.

Below is her defense statement which she was to present in court, however the case was eventually dismissed.

“Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Picture1On Saturday, November 22, 2014, I participated in non-violent civil disobedience at Stewart Detention Center, crossing the line onto Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) property to call for the institution’s closure.   When participating in civil disobedience, I am practicing a lesson that I learned many years ago in my ninth grade civics class: that sometimes breaking the law is a viable action by concerned people to protect our democracy.

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Why our Spring Newsletter Isn’t Titled “All Lives Matter”

This article was published in ICPJ’s Spring 2015 Newsletter – See the full Spring Newsletter Here

By Chuck Warpehoski, ICPJ Director

Our ICPJ Spring Newsletter is titled “Black Lives Matter”, and you may be wondering why it does not have a broader context. First, yes, all lives do matter. This fundamental value of life is affirmed by the world’s philosophical and religious traditions. Judaism teaches that we are all created Tzelem Elokim, “In the image of God.” The first principle of Unitarian Universalism affirms, “the inherent worth and dignity of every person.” Buddhism teaches that the Buddha nature is within each person. My own faith, Quakerism, teaches me to, “walk cheerfully over the world answering that of God in every one.”

Yes, we all teach that every life matters, but we as a society don’t live that way. And when we are silent to the inequalities and injustices in our world, our silence says “not all lives matter.”

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On Being an Immigrant by Jorge Delva

Jorge’s mother in 1987, healthy and getting her degree in Hospitality Management.

Jorge’s mother in 1987, healthy and getting her degree in
Hospitality Management.

This article was published in ICPJ’s Spring 2015 Newsletter – See the full Spring Newsletter Here

I am a successful university professor, happily married with two wonderful daughters, who regularly gives thanks for the life my family and I presently have. But it was not always this nice. This note provides a snapshot of my family’s immigrant experience.

I was 16 years old when my mother, sister, and I immigrated to the US, in 1982. From Santiago, Chile, we moved to Honolulu, Hawaii. My mother’s sister was our sponsor and, because at the time she lived in Honolulu, we landed there. The push factor for leaving our home country was the unstable political situation. We were excited to move to the USA but little did we know what was in store for us.

As beautiful and racially, ethnically, and culturally diverse as Hawaii was (and continues to be), life was not easy. Fitting in was a challenge, but we were aided by many kind people who helped us feel welcome. Rather, the big problem was a structural one. Continue Reading »

Standing Up for Peace and Justice: Memories of ICPJ’s Founding Generation by Nancy Williams

Jean Greeen, Lloyd Williams and Gordon Bunbridge at a 1984 vigil for nuclear disarmament (Photo: Gregory Fox

Jean Greeen, Lloyd Williams and Gordon Bunbridge at a 1984 vigil for nuclear disarmament (Photo: Gregory Fox

This is an extended version of an article was published in ICPJ’s Spring 2015 Newsletter – See the full Spring Newsletter Here

[Editor’s Note: Nancy Williams has been writing a series of profiles of ICPJ members over seventy years old, a group for which Nancy well qualifies. She agreed to write about the experiences of four of ICPJ’s founding members, Russ Fuller, Barbara Fuller, her late husband Lloyd Williams, and herself. Enjoy.]

 

I was born in 1920 in Glen Ridge, a lovely town of some 10,000 people in the eastern part of New Jersey, about one hour’s distance from New York City.

My mother was 40 and my father 50 when I was born. My sister Judith was 8 1/2 years older than I. My father was what was sometimes called back then “a gentleman of the old school,” which somehow translated into the fact that he could not do anything practical around the house, including boiling water, which he claimed he simply didn’t have the knack for. My mother, both by necessity and natural ability, ran our house. Continue Reading »

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