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IRTF Events Calendar

February 23, 2019: Cleveland says NO WAR on Venezuela
Market Square, corner of W 25th and Lorain Ave., Cleveland

From No War on Venezuela:

For hundreds of years, the U.S. has waged war against the people of the world through coups, invasions, and economic warfare.

U.S.-led sanctions and currency manipulation are responsible for the suffering in Venezuela. Right-wing legislators and media guide the Venezuelan opposition.  Venezuela has the largest proven oil reserves in the world and is rich in gold and other mineral wealth. Iraq war architect John Bolton said that regime change in Venezuela would be a tremendous opportunity to gain more profits for Wall Street.

We cannot be silent in the face of the latest U.S. aggression against the Venezuelan people. Nicolás Maduro is the president of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, chosen twice by the people as part of an internationally observed electoral process. Since the 1998 election of Hugo Chávez, the United States has been relentless in its pursuit of regime change in Venezuela. Today, these efforts have escalated to threats of all-out military violence, the plundering of billions of dollars in wealth from the Venezuelan people and pushing a multitude of outrageous lies in the global media.

Saturday, Feb 23, 2019

12:30pm picket line at Voss Industries, 2168 W 25th St,  a military contractor, subsidiary of Consolidated Aerospace Manufacturing, LLC, that manufactures parts for war drones

1pm - march to Market Square

1:15-2pm - rally at Market Square

Cleveland Says NO WAR on Venezuela is organized by a local chapter of the International Action Center. Endorsed by groups including Cleveland Peace Action, InterReligious Task Force on Central America 

See the Facebook event here.

Learn more at

February 28, 2019 to April 25, 2019: Thursdays (4pm weekly) – vigils at the ICE office in Brooklyn Heights
ICE Office, 925 Keynote Circle, Brooklyn Heights, OH

A group of clergy—Jewish, Islamic, Christian, other-- and others concerned for immigrants in our community are organizing weekly interfaith prayer vigils at the Immigration, Customs & Enforcement (ICE) office. This is a step of prophetic faith witness, and we are fortunate to find many neighbors in this city who are trusted partners in this work and share our belief that faithfulness requires prophetic action in situations of where abuse of power and great suffering exist. Please join us each Thursday if you are able.

March 1, 2019 to March 3, 2019: Fair Trade Campaigns conference in Chicago
Mar 1 at 8 AM – Mar 3 at 9 PM CST
The Florentine 151 W Adams St, Chicago, Illinois 60603

The Fair Trade Campaigns National Conference will be in Chicago this year. The conference is a great place to network and gain practical skills for building the Fair Trade Movement.

Email if you are interested in joining!

Share this Facebook event link with your friends:

Fair Trade Campaigns National Conference: Growing the Movement Together

With over 2,100 designated Fair Trade Towns and thousands of universities, school and other groups, Fair Trade advocacy is one of the largest grassroots movements in the world. Representatives from across the movement will share successes and best practices and explore opportunities for global partnerships. Join us to celebrate the growth and impact of this inspiring network.

Gather with fair trade enthusiasts from across the US.

Learn more about these Fair Trade Campaigns:


-high schools



Through keynotes, panels, workshops and networking, the conference will inspire and equip attendees with practical tools to drive conscious consumerism. These conversations will reinforce our understanding that small everyday choices, behaviors and advocacy efforts can drive large scale impact – and create common ground for collaboration and greater impact moving forward.   


Seth Goldman (Co-founder of Honest Tea, Executive Chair of Beyond Meat), Laura Lapp (Vice-President of Sustainability, Chartwell Dining Hall Services), DeRay Mckesson (civil rights activist), Paul Rice (Founder/CEO of Fair Trade USA), Elizabeth Segran (staff writer for Fast Company)

Other speakers from: 

Abolition Ohio


Aspire CoffeeWorks


Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa

Chicago Fair Trade

Chicago Interfaith Workers’ Center

Cooperativa de Caficultores de Anserma

Fair Trade Federation

Heifer International

International Women’s Coffee Alliance


Midwest Academy

Morten Group

Nonprofit Leadership Alliance


Spectrum Nonprofit Services


US Foods

World Fair Trade Organization

YMCA well as several high schools, colleges, and universities


WORKSHOPS include:

Advocacy and organizing


Diverse and inclusive advocacy

Engaging campus allies

Gender equality

Impacts of fair trade

Responsible production & consumption

Seafood sustainability

Sustainable cocoa

Systems and standards of fair trade

See this link for full list of workshops.




5-9pm: registration, expo, kick-off celebration



9-11: plenaries

11- 12:30: workshops

12:30-1:30: lunch, expo

1:30: plenary

3-5: workshops

5-7: plenaries and dinner



9-10:30: plenaries

10:30-12: workshops

12-1: lunch, expo

1-3: plenary

3: closing remarks



JW Marriott Hotel

151 W Adams St

Chicago IL 60603



Contact to coordinate carpools and overnight stays with others from northern Ohio who will be attending the conference.



See this link to register by Feb 28. 

Pre-registration is $175 (student) or $200 (other)

More if you register on site.

Meals: Registration fee includes these meals only: SAT lunch & dinner; SUN lunch

Accommodations: It is recommended you find your own affordable accommodations. If you want to look at the hotel prices (generally $149/night plus taxes), see this link .



March 8, 2019: One Night for One World - Intl Women's Day celebration
Ariel International Center, 1163 E 40th St, Cleveland OH 44114

Support our friends at IPM: International Partners in Mission 

One Night for One World ... Join us in Celebrating Northeast Ohio’s Commitment to Global Partnerships Building Justice, Peace, & Hope Around the World.

Please join us for One Night for One World benefit in celebration of International Women's Day on Friday, March 8th, 2019 from 6:00-9:00 pm at the Ariel International Center (located at 1163 East 40th Street, Cleveland, OH 44114). Hosted by a volunteer committee of Cleveland’s corporate and community leaders, this annual event is held in celebration of the amazing and life-sustaining work of IPM’s more than 50 community-based projects in 20 countries across the globe. Join IPM for an incredible evening of cultural celebration to benefit IPM's life-changing work across borders of culture, faith, and economic circumstance with children, women, and youth to nurture justice, peace, & hope in our world.

Enjoy a fabulous evening of international cuisine, local vendors, live music, live performances, open bar with wine and craft cocktails, silent auction & other entertainment all included in the price of admission!

Guests will enjoy Ariel International Center's breathtaking view of Cleveland's beautiful lakefront city skyline, and have the opportunity to meet IPM's remarkable Project Partners from more than 10 countries including Brazil, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, El Salvador, India, Kenya, Nepal, Nicaragua, Uganda, & the USA.

More info and tickets here.

The celebration will be preceded by a panel discussion: International Women and Business with a Purpose

Moderator: Marcia Moreno, CEO of AmMore LLC, the first Cleveland-based company dedicated to helping organizations attract, recruit, and retain Latinx talent. 

Panelists include: 

Lucia Gutierrez, Echeri International

Shemariah Arki, educator, activist and community organizer

Limited seating, so please RSVP to Selina at 

March 8, 2019 to March 11, 2019: Fair Food Campaign – join us on the tour with CIW farm workers from Florida at The Ohio State University, U of Michigan. Boycott Wendy’s!

From March 2-14, 2019, farm workers from Immokalee, Florida, are traveling across the eastern US to four of the country’s top public universities – the University of Florida in Gainesville, University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill,  Ohio State University in Columbus on March 8, and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor on March 11. The farm workers will be joining students and fair food advocates in calling on these institutions to end their relationships with Wendy’s until the fast-food giant joins the award-winning Fair Food Program.  The CIW has called a national boycott of the hamburger chain, demanding that, instead of cheap “4 for $4” deals, Wendy’s put human rights on the menu. Click here for more information!

To get in the carpool from Cleveland to Columbus on Friday, March 8 (International Women's Day), contact by March 6.

Fri, March 8 - event in Columbus, OH. See the Facebook event here

Mon, March 11 - event in Ann Arbor, MI.  See the Facebook event here

Breaking News!!

 “It is the position of the Michigan Union Board of Representatives to not support companies that engage in practices deemed unethical by the Fair Food Program…”

With the CIW’s human rights tour just weeks away, a dramatic wave of support for the Fair Food Program surged across the UM community this past month, marked by skyrocketing support for a student petition, overwhelming backing from the Student Government for a strongly-worded resolution, and a powerful statement, quoted above, from the Michigan Union Board of Representatives (which, as it happens, plays a key role in choosing vendors for the university’s massive student union).  Even the city of Ann Arbor got in on the action with an unequivocal resolution by the City Council. 

University of Michigan. Read more about UM's support of the farm workers  here

Fair Food Program. See list of participating buyers and growers here.

March 15, 2019: Guatemala Accompaniment Project - application deadline

Following the signing of the Peace Accords, international investment in large-scale mega-development projects, like mines and hydroelectric dams, increased. So, too, did attacks against Indigenous and campesino community leaders and organizations defending life and territory

GAP provides accompaniment to organizations and individuals:

-involved in legal cases for justice and accountability for crimes committed during the Guatemalan Internal Armed Conflict

-under threat for defending their resources, communities, culture, and self-determination.

What is accompaniment?

NISGUA is one of many organizations worldwide using international accompaniment as a strategy to stand with activists in their struggle for social, racial, and environmental justice. Organizations, communities, and activists under threat request an international presence as a security measure to dissuade attacks and create a safer space for them to carry out their struggle for defense of life and territory and justice for crimes of the past.

How does accompaniment work?

In Guatemala, state, corporate, and parallel clandestine actors exert power through threats, criminalization, and violence. Accompaniers’ monitoring and reporting serve to dissuade violence and to alert the international community when violence does occur. Our nationwide network takes action, putting pressure on the Guatemalan and U.S. governments, transnational corporations, and other actors. This helps ensure that activists have the political space necessary to safely organize in defense of their rights. Our accompaniers work in collaboration with the international accompaniment project ACOGUATE, which includes six other committees from Europe and North America.

Learn more to apply for a 6-month commitment as an accompanier here.

March 26, 2019 to March 28, 2019: Fair Trade Federation conference in Austin
Mar 26 at 8 AM – Mar 28 at 9 PM CDT
DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Austin 6505 N Interstate 35, Austin, Texas 78752

The 360 Fair Trade Conference and Expo will be in Austin this year. The conference is a great place to network and gain practical skills for building the Fair Trade Movement. IRTF partner Equal Exchange, the first fair trade coffee company in the US, is one of the sponsors of this annual gathering of fair trade advocates. Check out Equal Exchange's Action Forum "Over time, we will take actions that challenge the corporate control of foodincrease the market viability of small farmers and their co-operatives, and reshape our food system in ways that benefit all of us."

Learn more about this 25th anniversary Fair Trade Federation Conference & Expo here

Email if you are interested in joining!

March 27, 2019 to April 7, 2019: Cleveland International Film Festival (stay tuned for announcement of IRTF-sponsored film)
April 4, 2019 to April 8, 2019: Ecumenical Advocacy Days: Troubling the Waters for the Healing of the World

Travel with IRTF to Washington, DC


 April 4-8, 2019

 Troubling the Waters for the Healing of the World

Join IRTF at the annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days conference where we will join with hundreds from across the US to analyze current policies and envision ways to move forward to build the kind of world we want, the world we need. Join us!

 We will stand together against

· racism

· sexism

· xenophobia

· poverty

· militarism

· and other social evils


“Troubling the waters” has a long and rich history in our nation and faith traditions. For centuries, courageous and prophetic leaders have “troubled the waters” to challenge authority and resist oppression. They stirred up #GoodTrouble to bring healing to our nation and world, pointing the way forward toward justice, respect, and inclusion.

The 2019 Ecumenical Advocacy Days Conference will draw on #GoodTrouble pioneers from the civil rights era—as well as inspiration from today’s young leaders—to learn from the past, share best practices, and encourage one another for the important work ahead. 


WED…… to Washington, DC

THU-FRI…..visits on Capitol Hill


MON……....more visits on Capitol Hill, return to Cleveland

The conference is a gathering of hundreds of people of faith and conscience, sharing our common beliefs—from our many traditions—in justice, peace, and the integrity of creation. We’ll build our base of information and skills (including advocacy training) at workshops and plenary sessions. Then we’ll take our united voices to our legislators on Capitol Hill, calling for progressive policy change on a number of domestic and international peace, justice, and humanitarian issues. 

WORKSHOP AREAS: Africa, Asia-Pacific, domestic US issues, eco-justice, global economic justice, Latin America & Caribbean, Middle East, and peace-global security


Rev. Jennifer Butler (Founding Executive Director of Faith in Public Life), Rev. Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri (Presbyterian Ruling Elder and teacher), Rev. Dr. Raphael Gamaliel Warnock (Senior Pastor of the Historic Ebenezer Baptist Church), Rev. Teresa Hord Owens (General Minister & President of the Disciples of Christ), David LaMotte (songwriter, speaker and writer) , Rev. Adam Taylor (Executive Director of Sojourners), Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis (Co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival)

SCHOLARSHIP FUND: Scholarship assistance might be available for students or others. Tax-deductible contributions are needed for the fund. Donate online here, or mail to IRTF. Memo: advocacy delegation

 TRAVEL LOGISTICS: Contact to coordinate carpools and overnight stays.


QUESTIONS? Call 216 961 0003.


Here is more info about

Troubling the Waters for the Healing of the World

In 2019, we gather at a time in which people of faith and conscience are again called to stand in the prophetic stream of those who have come before us, those who were not afraid to stir up #GoodTrouble for the sake of God’s kindom.

The history of engaging in #GoodTrouble is embedded in our faith tradition and our history as a nation and in the world. In the Bible, we read stories of the midwives who resisted Pharaoh and preserved the lives of Hebrew baby boys. We see Moses challenging the authority of Pharaoh, and Jesus overturn tables run by money changers. Throughout our U.S. history, Native peoples resisted land theft and cultural assimilation by European settlers through many forms of resistance. Colonists resisted England’s imperial overreach and enslaved Africans resisted captivity both physically and spiritually. That spiritual resistance was especially pronounced in spirituals sung by those dehumanized by slavery. “Wade in the Water,” and other spirituals were messages of lament, hope and courage. They also included instructions on how to get to freedom. Years later, leaders such as Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks, and John Lewis drew on these same spirituals for inspiration as they stirred up #GoodTrouble in their time.

Today, we are deeply troubled by what we see in the world. The 2019 Ecumenical Advocacy Days Conference will draw on #GoodTrouble pioneers from the Civil Rights era as well as inspiration from young leaders to learn from the past, share best practices, and encourage one another for the work ahead. Through worship, educational and training workshops, and advocacy, we will beckon the Spirit to “Trouble the Waters” as depicted in John 5:1-9, calling on God to bring healing to our nation and world. Join us as we envision and train for new ways to stir up #GoodTrouble for the healing of all God’s children.

John 5:1-9 (KJV)

After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches. In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water. For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had. And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.

Isaiah 43:1-9

But now thus says the Lord, who created you, O Jacob, who formed you, O Israel: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Ethiopia and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my sight, and honored, and I love you, I give people in return for you, nations in exchange for your life. Do not fear, for I am with you; I will bring your offspring from the east, and from the west I will gather you; I will say to the north, “Give them up,” and to the south, “Do not withhold; bring my sons from far away and my daughters from the end of the earth— everyone who is called by my name, whom I created for my glory, whom I formed and made.” Bring forth the people who are blind, yet have eyes, who are deaf, yet have ears! Let all the nations gather together, and let the peoples assemble. Who among them declared this, and foretold to us the former things? Let them bring their witnesses to justify them, and let them hear and say, “It is true.”

Join IRTF as we travel to renew our revolutionary spirit and learn about these important intersections

April 13, 2019 to April 15, 2019: IRTF Phonathon -- volunteers needed
IRTF, 3606 Bridge Ave, Cleveland OH 44113

Please consider volunteering for our annual phonathon to contact IRTF supporters.

SAT, Apr 13, 10-2

SUN, Apr 14, 1-4

MON, Apr 15, 5-8 

If you can't stay the whole time, come for just 90 minutes or so.

This is EASY calling.

  1. We only call people on our mailing list who are already supportive of our human rights work.
  2. We provide a script.
  3. We mostly leave voicemail messages.
  4. We provide refreshments and good company.

 To volunteer, please come to the office any of the hours listed above*. Please bring your cell phone (if you have unlimited minutes) to make calls, or use one of our three phone lines.  If you would like to bring a snack to share, that would be welcome, too.

 Meet our board members; they’ll be here on the phones!

 If you would like to let us know to expect you, call 216 961 0003 or email

 *Volunteers are also needed during the daytime  MON-TUE-WED (Apr 15-16-17) for clerical work in the office. 

Many thanks.

May 6, 2019 to May 7, 2019: Clone of IRTF Phonathon -- volunteers needed
IRTF, 3606 Bridge Ave, Cleveland OH 44113

Please consider volunteering for our annual phonathon to contact IRTF supporters.

MON, May 6, 5-8 

TUE, May 7, 5-8

If you can't stay the whole time, come for just 90 minutes or so.

This is EASY calling.

  1. We only call people on our mailing list who are already supportive of our human rights work.
  2. We provide a script.
  3. We mostly leave voicemail messages.
  4. We provide refreshments and good company.

 To volunteer, please come to the office any of the hours listed above*. Please bring your cell phone (if you have unlimited minutes) to make calls, or use one of our three phone lines.  If you would like to bring a snack to share, that would be welcome, too.

 Meet our board members; they’ll be here on the phones!

 If you would like to let us know to expect you, call 216 961 0003 or email

 *Volunteers are also needed during the daytime  MON-TUE-WED for clerical work in the office. 

Many thanks.

May 11, 2019: IRTF Dance Gala: Rhythms of Latin America
Franklin Circle Church, 1688 Fulton Rd., Cleveland, OH 44113

Saturday, May 11, 7:30pm-11:30pm 

The InterReligious Task Force on Central America invites the public to our annual Latin Dance Gala on Saturday, May 11, 2019. Enjoy free dance lessons and performances. We will celebrate right in our own neighborhood at Franklin Circle Church hall (1688 Fulton Rd Cleveland, OH 44113). Don’t miss out! 


7:30-8pm................DJ & open dancing, refreshments

8-9:30pm................performances & dance lessons dancing to Latin rhythms

11pm......................raffle winners announced

Wine & beer available. Donation requested. 

Non-alcoholic beverages and food are complimentary.

Sponsors needed: Sponsorship packages are available from $100-$1000. To become a sponsor, choose your sponsorship level on the event site, or email us at .

Tickets: Mail $20 to IRTF, 3606 Bridge Ave., Cleveland OH 44113 by May 9. Or puchase on the event site (which will charge a processing fee).  Discount tickets of $10 also available for open dancing, 9:30-11:30pm only (i.e., you'd miss the free dance lessons and performance, as well as the food). 

Tickets at the door are $5 more. 

Questions: 216 961 0003 or