You are here

Calendar

IRTF Events Calendar

January 18, 2020: CIS - Saint Oscar Romero 40th Anniversary Delegation - Application Deadline

Saint Romero: Solidarity and the Struggle for Social Justice in El Salvador today, Program will include:

  • Romero Vigil and processions Saturday, March 22 and March 24
  • Visit Romero’s home and the chapel where he gave his life and Cathedral and tomb of Saint Romero
  • Visit women imprisoned for stillbirths and obstetric emergencies, accused of abortion, and women who have been released due to organization and solidarity.
  • Visit Romero and Paso Puente Communities and learn of their struggle for social inclusion after living years in squalor conditions – no water, plumbing, shacks made of plastic, tin and old bed springs, rampant illiteracy, discrimination by authorities, and injustice. Learn of the difference solidarity and working as partners with mutual respect can make.
  • Visit women empowered through CIS small business program /formerly SEW
  • Analysis:   the roots of violence and migration; the struggle for water as a human right, impact, and strategies of the new government of Nayib Bukele in El Salvador.  

Logistics

Travel: You are responsible for arranging and paying for your flight.

Arrival:   by Thursday, March 19 midday

Departure:   Any time on Thursday, March 26

Cost:

  • $700 per person in shared room (3-5 persons)
  • $800 per person in shared double room
  • $900 per person for single room

Costs include all in-country costs March 19-25: in-country transportation, to and from airport on designated dates, all meals starting lunch on March 19 and ending with breakfast March 26, 8 nights in the hotel, program, translation/guide.

Costs do not include airfare or additional hotel, food, transport outside of delegation dates.   If a delegate arrives before or leaves after designated dates, CIS can arrange extra nights in hotel and/or taxi service to and from the airport. Hotel nights are approximately $30 per night and taxi ride to or from the airport is approximately $28.  

Applications are due by January 18 through an online google form, which IRTF will then pass on to CIS: https://forms.gle/WFMPX6nQGGhpdoFs5

Payment is due later, after your application is accepted. IRTF can give you info on how to make your payment to CIS, for more information: http://www.cis-elsalvador.org/index.php/en/payments

Flights: It is better to arrange that yourself. We can tell you what flight most Cleveland delegation participants will be on. 

For more information on CIS as an organization, please feel free to visit their webpage: http://www.cis-elsalvador.org/index.php/en/

January 18, 2020: An Act of Love - free film screening
6-8pm
West Park United Church of Christ, 3909 Rocky River Dr, Cleveland, OH 44111

Full equality for the LGBTQ community cannot exist in the U.S. without the support of the Christian community. Laws may be passed that provide more rights and protections, but those rights will be routinely ignored in places where the community does not agree that LGBTQ citizens should be treated as equals under the law and under God. Just as the struggle for racial and gender equality made huge strides forward once they gained the support of influential religious communities – so will the LGBTQ movement.

"An Act of Love" tells the story of the Rev. Frank Shaeffer's decision to officiate the marriage of his son to another man and the consequences of breaking the rules. Panel discussion will follow with guests Rev. Dr. J Bennett Guess of the ACLU, Rev. Dr. Steve Bailey of the United Methodist Church-North Coast District, and Rev. Dr. Bentley de Bardelaben-Phillips of United Church of Christ national office.

January 25, 2020: Organizing 101: Intro to Faith-Based Organizing
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
First Congregational Church of Akron 292 E Market St, Akron, OH 44308

Join us for an introductory training about putting faith into action by organizing to build and restore our communities.

Please register by email to michael.mfia@livingwaterone.org

January 26, 2020: Just Mercy
4-7pm
Cedar Lee Theatre 2163 Lee Road Cleveland Heights, OH 44118

Just Mercy is the new film that tells the true story of Walter McMillian, who with the help of young defense attorney Bryan Stevenson, appeals his murder conviction.  Walter McMillian was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of a young white woman who worked as a clerk in a dry cleaning store in Monroeville, Alabama. Mr. McMillian was held on death row prior to being convicted and sentenced to death. His trial lasted only a day and a half. Three witnesses testified against Mr. McMillian and the jury ignored multiple alibi witnesses (who, like Mr. McMillian, were African-America) who testified that he was at a church fish fry at the time of the crime. The trial judge overrode the jury’s sentencing verdict for life and sentenced Mr. McMillian to death.

The Living Water Association (local district of the United Church of  Christ) and the East Ohio Conference of the United Methodist Church have arranged for a free screening of this ground-breaking film. 

January 29, 2020: Homelessness & Hope: A Storytellers' Faith Journey - Chris Knestrick
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
St. Dominic Church, 19000 Van Aken Blvd, Shaker Hts.

Chris Knestrick's faith journey has taken him from St. Edward High School to Mercyhurst College, to the Catholic Worker, to IRTF, to Christian Peacemaker Teams-Colombia, to seminary in Chicago, and back to Cleveland as director of  the NEO Coalition for the Homeless (NEOCH). NEOCH is front and center in the current struggle for dignity and justice for Cleveland's thousands of unhoused residents. Chris' guest column about the City of Cleveland's inadequate response to homelessness this winter was recently published in The Plain Dealer. You can read it here.

Storytellers is a ministry of St. Dominic Church that features civic, political, business, and religious leaders from our community offering stories of faith, family, work, and life. These stories weave hope, humor, and triumph together to inspire listeners.

Refreshments provided. 

To learn more about or support NEOCH, visit www.neoch.org

Read more about St Dominic's ministries and programs here: https://www.smore.com/h34s7-faithful-citizenship-newsletter?ref=email

 

January 31, 2020: Seeking co-sponsors for IRTF Social Justice Teach-In on Feb 8

Feb 8, 2020: "Art & Storytelling" is the theme of IRTF's 20th annual Social Justice Teach-In at Case Western Reserve University

Dear friends:

We invite your listing as a co-sponsor of IRTF’s 20th annual Social Justice Teach-In, to be held on Saturday, February 8, 2020 at Case Western Reserve University, in conjunction with the CWRU Social Justice Institute and the Center for Civic Engagement and Learning.

This event has a wide following by area students and teachers. At recent Teach-Ins, we’ve had hundreds of students from 30-35 area high schools and colleges. We are able to offer them free registration and brunch because of the generosity of our many co-sponsors.

 

CO-SPONSORSHIP LEVELS

$100 – includes 2 free registrations and your listing

$200 – includes 4 free registrations and your logo

$300 – includes 6 free registrations and your logo prominently displayed.

See Co-sponsorship form attached here on this webpage. 

Sign up as a co-sponsor online 2020TeachIn.eventbrite.com, email promotions@irtfcleveland.org , or mail your check to IRTF, 3606 Bridge Ave., Cleveland 44113.

More about the Teach-In: We expect more than 600 people (of all ages) to engage in a variety of workshops covering issues such as environmentalism, food justice, peacemaking, racial justice, refugees, state-sponsored violence, creative nonviolence, and worker justice. Most of the attendees will be high school and college students, who can attend for free. For the past three years, we’ve had students and teachers from 30-35 area schools!

Keynote address:  "Art and Storytelling"is the theme of IRTF’s 20th annual Social Justice Teach-In. Our keynote speaker is Olmeca, a bilingual Latinx hip-hop artist, producer, activist, and scholar who intersects various identities and demographics.

The son of immigrants who grew up in the barrios of L.A., Olmeca is one of the few artists who broke ground as an artist and advocate for human rights. His unique writing talent in both English and Spanish has gained the attention of hip-hop and alt-Latinx music audiences. His lyrics are written to encourage critical thinking, transformative education, cultural/political empowerment, and social justice. His story and community efforts have earned him the respect from professors, community organizations, and social justice dignitaries like Dolores Huerta, Luis J. Rodriguez, Naomi Klein, and Emery Douglas.

Olmeca has been a panelist, facilitator, and keynote speaker at universities, conferences, rallies, and community spaces across the U.S. He speaks on art and activism, culture and identity, immigration and cultural empowerment. Olmeca is a graduate of California State University-L.A. in Latin American Studies and Philosophy. In addition to his work as a gifted performing artist, Olmeca is a part-time instructor in Gender Studies and Ethnic Studies at University of Nevada-Las Vegas.

[Note: The Olmecs were the earliest known major civilization in Mesoamerica, having lived in the tropical lowlands of south-central Mexico, in the present-day states of Veracruz and Tabasco, 1500-400 BCE.]

Read more of Olmeca’s bio here: https://first-avenue.com/performer/olmeca

Workshops:  Attendees can choose from among 30+ workshops by local and national people well-versed in justice issues. Some workshops will be organized or presented by CWRU students. The list of workshops is in formation at 2020TeachIn.eventbrite.com.

Questions? Contact promotions@irtfcleveland.org or call 216.961.0003

Here is a listing of the 44 co-sponsors from the 2019 Social Justice Teach-In. Co-sponsors for the 2020 Social Justice Teach-In are being updated at 2020TeachIn.eventbrite.com.

Action Reconciliation Service for Peace (ARSP)

AIDS Clinical Trials Unit at Case Western Reserve University

Archwood United Church of Christ

Brian & Donna Fry

Church of the Covenant

Church of the Gesu

Church of the Resurrection

Church of St. Dominic: Faithful Citizenship

COAR Peace Mission

Code Pink Cleveland

Communion of Saints Parish

Community Church of Chesterland

Congregation of St. Joseph

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)-Cleveland Chapter

Cuyahoga County Progressive Caucus

Dominican Sisters of Peace

Equal Exchange

Global Gifts

Haas Orthodontic Arts

Harmony Springs Christian Church

Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Garfield Heights

Hope House of Prayer

Ian Charnas

Joan Reidy

John Carroll University-Campus Ministry

John Carroll University-Peace, Justice, Human Rights Program

Judge Diane Karpinski (retired)

Mark Weber

Northeast Ohio Sierra Club

Oberlin College-Bonner Center for Service Learning

Presbytery of the Western Reserve

Revy Fair Trade

Sisters of Charity of St. Augustine

Sisters of the Humility of Mary

Sisters of Notre Dame

Senator Nickie J. Antonio, OH-23

St. Edward High School

Steve Holecko

Ursuline College-Campus Ministry

Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland

Vegan Collective-Cleveland

West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church

West Shore Unitarian Universalist Church – Social Action Cmte

Women Speak Out for Peace and Justice

 Questions? Contact promotions@irtfcleveland.org or call 216.961.0003

 

February 6, 2020: Immigrant Defense Vigil
4-5pm
Anthony J. Celebrezze Federal Building, 1240 E. 9th St. (at Lakeside), downtown Cleveland

[First Thursday vigils: Jan. 9, Feb. 6, Mar. 5]

Why we gather

To show the love, concern, and compassion that the people of Ohio have for immigrants who are suffering under the harsh policies of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).

About the vigils

People of faith and conscience in NE Ohio have been organizing interfaith vigils in defense of immigrants since September 2018. At these vigils we pray, sing, hold silence, and call on those in power to act in accordance with values of justice and compassion. We gather to show the love, concern, and compassion that the people of Ohio have for immigrants who are suffering under the harsh policies of ICE.

We pray for
...the families who have endured immense pain and suffering at the hands of our government
...comfort and hope for those languishing in detention
...a change of heart in our leaders so that they might change their ways

We stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers locked in cages. We demand their release!

Our banner, “This Is About Family,” draws attention to the pain and suffering experienced by immigrant families. Near-record levels of apprehensions, detentions, and deportations are tearing families apart.

All people of faith and conscience are welcome. Your presence is most appreciated.

Our demands

As people of faith and conscience, we are calling on the US government to:

1- give permanent legal status to immigrants with DACA and TPS

2- end family separation

3- decrease the number of detention beds

4- cut the budgets for ICE and USCBP (US Customs & Border Protection)

5- resume discretion in immigration enforcement and prosecution

*DACA=Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (aka “Dreamers”)

*TPS = Temporary Protected Status

Unreasonable, Unjust, Cruel Enforcement – and a waste of our tax dollars

Parents are getting picked up by ICE and Border Patrol while driving to work or dropping off their kids at school. This is absolutely cruel! The US government should only pursue those who have been convicted of serious violent crimes. Other immigrants should be allowed to continue living, working, and raising their children until broader immigration reforms are put in place.

For those who are suffering from harsh immigration enforcement policies, we gather to bear witness to the inhumane treatment that is being funded by US taxpayer dollars. We hold them in the light of hope and pray for compassion. Please join us!

Questions? 

Check with irtf@irtfcleveland.org

(216) 961 0003 IRTF office

 P.S. These Thursday gatherings are vigils, not rallies. So please don’t bring your own signs. We will gather around the common banner, “This is about family.” Thank you.

Please like and share the Facebook event.

 

February 8, 2020: 20th annual IRTF Social Justice Teach-In
11:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Case Western Reserve University
Tinkham Veale Center 11038 Bellflower Rd Cleveland, OH 44106

What: "Peacemaking through Art & Storytelling" is the theme of the 20th annual Social Justice Teach-In, co-organized by IRTF, CWRU Social Justice Institute, and the CWRU Center for Civic Engagement and Learning.  The Social Justice Teach-In on February 8, 2020, will showcase dozens of workshops on domestic and global justice issues.

Registration: Registration, which includes brunch, is free for high school and college students and $10 for others pre-registered ($15 at the door).  Registration is required to save your spot for brunch. Registration is requested ASAP (brunch might not be available for walk-ins). Register at https://2020teachin.eventbrite.com. To avoid credit card fees, mail your check payable to IRTF to IRTF, 3606 Bridge Ave, Cleveland OH 44113.

Look for the Facebook event. Please share. 

When: Saturday, February 8, 2020 from 10:30a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Check-in at 10:30am. Brunch at 10:30am. Welcome remarks at 11am.

Where: Case Western Reserve University, Tinkham Veale Student Center, 11038 Bellflower Rd. Cleveland, OH 44106. Parking is free along the street, and there is paid parking in the Severance Hall parking garage

Who:  We expect more than 600 people (of all ages) to engage in a variety of workshops covering issues such as environmentalism, food justice, peacemaking, racial justice, refugees, state-sponsored violence, creative nonviolence, and worker justice. Most of the attendees will be high school and college students, who can attend for free. For the past two years, we’ve had students and teachers from 35 area schools!

Keynote address:  Olmeca is a Bilingual Hip-Hop artist, producer, activist and scholar who has been featured on Complex Magazine, Billboard, NPR, Huffington Post, Noisey, and Democracy Now.  His work has been featured on various documentaries on PBS, BBC World, as well as, featured films. He has written music for tv shows including “Sons of Anarchy,” and new series, “The Mayans” on FX and toured Latin American, U.S. and Europe. 

Currently, Olmeca is celebrating the release of his new album, “DEFINE". The album can be found on multiple playlists on Spotify and iTunes where some of the singles are reaching 100k plays.  He is faculty at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas in the Interdisciplinary Gender and Ethnic Studies Department teaching Latin American History, Latinx in the U.S. and Hip-Hop courses. For the next year, Olmeca will be a Kennedy Center Artist Fellow and is finishing a poetry book to accompany the album

Noisey says, "Olmeca is a 21 century shaman and one of the reasons bilingual music is a thing today..." 

Olmeca grew up in the barrios of L.A. and Mexico, a reality that brewed his blending of music genres and cultural sensitivity.  His bilingual music has earned him respect and praises in both English and Spanish news outlets and genres (Hip-Hop and Latin Alternative). Olmeca has collaborated with Taboo (Black Eyed Peas), Latin Alternative band, Ozomatli, Hip-Hop legend, Ras Kass, and Dave Kushner (Velvet Revolver).  Olmeca has toured Canada, Latin America and Europe and has helped spawn a new trend of bilingual Hip-hop. While everyday people respect his lyrical content, music connoisseurs value the production, and educators utilize Olmeca’s music in their classrooms.

This, along with his social commentary and community efforts makes Olmeca a stand-alone artist in how he can intersect various identities and demographics. It is also for this reason that he is not only a gifted performing artist, but a university lecturer doing guest lectures, residencies and keynote speeches in universities throughout the U.S.  His capacity to bring various campus programs, offices and academic departments together is not only unique, but also necessary.   His work has been noted by social justice dignitaries speaking alongside Dolores Huerta, Naomi Klein and many others.

Workshops: Attendees can choose from among 35-40 workshops by local and national people well-versed in justice issues. Some workshops will be organized or presented by CWRU students. The list of workshops will be available in late January at https://2020teachin.eventbrite.com.

Schedule:

10:30a.m. walk-in registration begins in the Tinkham Veale Atrium. We will also hold pre-registration check-in and brunch
11:00a.m. to 11:25 a.m. welcome remarks and intro to keynote speaker (Tinkham Ballroom)
11:25a.m. to 12:10p.m. keynote (Tinkham Ballroom)
12:10p.m. to 12:15p.m.  closing remarks and logistics (Tinkham Ballroom)
12:30p.m. to 1:25p.m.  workshop session 1
1:40p.m. to 2:35p.m. workshop session 2
2:50p.m. to 3:30p.m. Jolt for Justice (Tinkham Ballroom)

Questions?

Contact irtf@irtfcleveland.org or call 216.961.0003

February 11, 2020: Peace Activism in a Digital World
7-8:30pm
Market Garden Brewery, 1947 W 25th St, Cleveland, OH 44113

Dr. Rose will discuss the physical and online spaces of activism and protest events in the 20th and 21st century, including the use of social media as a tool for organizing in cases like Standing Rock. As a historian, she examines the changing modes of protest events as well as common practices between activist communities.

Shelley Rose, Ph.D. is an Associate Professor of History at Cleveland State University who specializes in protest history and digital humanities. She is the author of several articles on gender, protest, and European history and leads the Protest Spaces transnational research network. 

Free and open to the public. Peace@ThePub is a monthly meeting featuring interesting conversation, camaraderie, food and drink.

Read more about Cleveland Peace Action here: https://www.peaceactioncleveland.org/

Cleveland Peace Action is a convergence of people committed to ending violence and promoting justice, through education, advocacy and action. Our current priorities include:

  • Ending wars and U.S. military interventions, replacing them with engagement and diplomacy, in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Venezuela and Iran.
  • Cutting Pentagon spending and redirecting those funds for human needs, such as education, housing, transportation and health care.
  • Peace with justice for all, in the Middle East and in particular, an end to the oppression of Palestinians.
  • Reducing and ultimately abolishing nuclear weapons worldwide.
  • Partnering with local groups to end violence and injustice in our communities.
  • Working for environmental justice and addressing global climate change.
February 12, 2020: Food Action Forum - Make Our Food System Fair!
7-8pm
Zoom meeting via internet

 

Wednesdays: Jan 8, Feb 12, Mar 11 – Please join us!

If you live in the Greater Cleveland area and would like to sit down with a small group to participate in this zoom meeting together (either at the IRTF office or a coffee shop), please email OhioFairTrade@irtfcleveland.org or call (216) 961 0003

Wed., Jan 8, 7-8pm: info and free registration here

 

What is the Food Action Forum? (aka Citizen-Consumer Food Movement)

This invitation to join the Food Action Forum comes from Equal Exchange, an Alternative Trade Organization (ATO) and the first fair trade coffee company in the US, which is working to build a democratic brand that connects small farmers in the Global South to consumers in the Global North. IRTF in Cleveland first introduced NE Ohioans to Equal Exchange coffee in the mid-1990s. Several faith congregations began selling Equal Exchange as an act of solidarity and justice. Heinen’s became the first grocer chain to sell Equal Exchange in all its stores in the US. IRTF and Equal Exchange have been close partners and friends ever since.  

 

What is this monthly meeting?

Food Action Forum meetings (monthly) allow all of us to connect, build community, and have space to push our campaigns forward and engage in actions out there in your communities. In today’s overwhelmingly digital world we want to find ways to create meaningful and deep connections with this community, connections that are two-way, connections that are active, not passive. We look forward to connecting, join us!

We’re working across geography and time zones to build our ATO* and a more vital movement for food justice. We look forward to connecting with you. Join us!

For any questions, please reach out to eeactionforum@equalexchange.coop. --Frankie, Em, Danielle

 

*What are ATOs? Alternative Trade Organizations (ATOs) are at risk

Equal Exchange was founded in 1986 as an alternative trade organization (ATO) with the mission of connecting US consumers and small marginalized farmers from the global south from countries like Nicaragua, Peru, or India. Alternative trade organizations have foundational influence in the broader fair trade movement but have become isolated from even their most natural allies including coops, citizen movements, community economic organizations, unions, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).  This isolation has caused ATOs to not only be under grave threat for the future but at risk of not surviving the market in the next ten to fifteen years.

 

Fair-Washing: Fair Trade is being stripped of its original meaning

The Fair Trade idea may have won successes in the last 10 years, but those successes have been limited. And in the process of gaining recognition and support, control has been wrested from small farmers and turned into a marketing attribute at the service of northern companies; it has been commodified and stripped of all real meaning. While some northern ATOs are still here and hundreds of farmer groups in the Global South hang on, "Fair Trade” as envisioned 30 years ago, is no longer recognizable.

 

Corporate Control: Our food system is being controlled by large corporations

In the wider food system, corporations control everything from seeds to supply and prices, while relentlessly chipping away at the regulations that inform and protect consumers. They fight feverishly to prevent us from knowing if GMOs are present in our food. They continue to promote production methods that hasten the warming of the planet—a present-day threat to millions of small farmers and others around the world. And, corporations count on consumers remaining unorganized to maintain the status quo.   

 

Consumers Can Make a Huge Difference: We need active consumer involvement

We now know that we cannot possibly succeed in our goal to transform the food system without the active, deep and committed participation of citizen-consumers like you. An authentic Fair Trade system requires democratic organizing of producers in the South, worker democracy for businesses in the North, and active consumer involvement in the North. 

What Are We Building?

We are taking a powerful, new step in building a democratic brand that connects small farmers in the South to consumers in the North. We believe that in order to be successful in realizing the original Fair Trade vision, we need to deepen involvement and participation in our model. In doing this, we go back to the best that Alternative Trade has always been about: innovation, global solidarity, social imagining and learning, and economic justice. This will be a long, slow process and a great challenge. We need your buying support, your investing support, and your political support. 

Please join us in building this dream. We invite you to help us shape the Equal Exchange Action Forum. 

 

Here are some ways to get involved:

-Educate yourself. See resources on the food system, fair trade coffee, coffee producing in selected Latin American countries, sustainable farming, cooperatives, solidarity economy

-Join the Behind the Barcodes campaign

-Urge Congress to pass the Food Anti-Trust Review Act

-Become a member of the Food Action Forum

-Connect with like-minded folks at monthly Fair Trade Meet-Ups. See more at http://ohiofairtrade.com/

 

February 13, 2020 to February 23, 2020: Sandino Vive! Delegation to Nicaragua

Sandino Vive! Delegation to Nicaragua

Join our solidarity delegation to Nicaragua, the beautiful Central American nation known as the “land of lakes and volcanoes.” Named by former U.S. NSA Security Advisor John Bolton as part of the “troika of tyranny” alongside Cuba and Venezuela, Nicaragua was subjected to an attempted coup d’etat in 2018 that left the international community wondering what is happening in the country. This is your chance to see what’s really going on in Nicaragua, 40 years after the triumph of the Sandinista Popular Revolution which overthrew the U.S.-backed Somoza dictatorship.

Our delegation will meet with different sectors of the Nicaraguan population, including workers, farmers, women, youth, and journalists. An important part of the delegation will be spent in rural areas in communities organized by the Rural Workers’ Association (Asociación de Trabajadores del Campo [ATC]), which is a founding member of the global peasant movement La Via Campesina. We will also visit important sites of the Sandinista Revolution as part of our efforts to preserve the historic memory of this nation’s long struggle for sovereignty. On February 21, we will remember the 86th anniversary of the assassination of Augusto C. Sandino, the “General of Free Women and Men”, who has inspired decades of anti-imperialist struggle in Nicaragua and around the world.

This delegation is co-sponsored by the Friends of the ATC solidarity network, La Via Campesina Nicaragua, and the Alliance for Global Justice.

WHEN: 

Thursday, February 13 to Sunday, February 23, 2020

WHERE: 

We will begin and end our trip in the city of Managua, Nicaragua’s capital. We will visit urban and rural communities in different areas of the country, concentrating specifically in the northern mountainous regions. Lodging will take place in ATC schools, locally-run hotels, and family homestays.

WHO: 

Curious about or committed to peasant and worker rights, social movements, and internationalist solidarity? We’d love for you to travel with us! Most of all, we want delegates who wish to extend this experience to their own communities upon returning home.

COST: 

Sliding scale, $1000-$1500. Trip fee includes lodging, meals, in-country transport, translation, and staff coordination. You are responsible for international arrival (or other travel plans to Nicaragua) and personal expenses. We can provide ideas to help delegates fundraise to cover their trip fee.

QUESTIONS?

Visit Friends of the ATC's Webpage for more information about the organization.

Interested in applying? Please email info@friendsatc.org for an application. 

Applications are due Sunday, December 22, 2019.

February 17, 2020 to February 21, 2020: Unsettling Histories: Decolonizing Discipleship
Forest Home Camp, Oak View, CA

This year we will follow up on the BKI 2019, when we listened to and learned from a range of Indigenous voices concerning land, law and language (note: you do not need to have participated to join us in 2020).  The 2020 BKI, as Rev. Art Cribbs puts it, "aims to help us toward 20/20 vision," by:

Unsettling Histories: 

Cohorts will focus on the personal and political work required of settlers and immigrants, in order that we might more deeply:

  • understand how our narratives, communities and landscapes in North America are haunted by violence and injustice, past and present; and
  • heal the myriad layers of our colonization, and colonizing behaviors, inward and outward.

Participants will examine our own familial and communal immigrant/settler histories—where our people came from, where and how they/we settled, how they/we colluded and collided with the colonial project, then and now.

Decolonizing Discipleship: 

We will imagine and strategize how, as persons and communities of faith, to embody more meaningful practices of:

  • restorative solidarity and relationship with Indigenous communities; and
  • “response-ability” to name, understand and resist historical and current structures of settler colonialism.

hukišunuškuy: (pronounced hu-kee-shoon-óosh-kooy): A mitsqanaqan (Ventureño Chumash) phrase introduced to us by local Chumash scholar activist Matthew Vestuto that connotes a different kind of settling: “A promise to vision together.” Guest Indigenous leaders will serve as interlocutors through the process, encouraging us to become reliable “Treaty People” and to work together toward justice and a decolonized future.

Full registration includes a copy of Elaine Enns and Ched Myers’ forthcoming book Healing Haunted Histories: Decolonizing Our Landlines, Bloodlines and Songlines (Cascade, summer 2020). Note: you do not need to have participated in 2019 to join us in 2020. 

Accommodation Information and Registration >> click here
Transport Guide >> click here
Latest flyer - help us spread the word!

Questions? Email us.

Registrations close January 29th, 2020.

February 19, 2020 to February 29, 2020: Christian Peacemaker Teams - Delegation to the US/Mexico Borderlands

Delegation to the US/Mexico Borderlands

Witness the impact of immigration enforcement in the US/Mexico borderlands where foreign policy masquerades as domestic, and where life and death decisions are foisted upon our neighbors, relatives and friends, placing them in vulnerable and volatile situations. Journey with us through this zone of conflict, the gauntlet of the Sonoran desert, part of the lethal continuum that our neighbors from Latin America travel to reach the fields, factories and detention centers of the US. Come to observe, query, discern, contribute, learn and then take home the story of human struggle and hope.

With the lens of the borderlands, delegation members will examine how immigration reform does and does not impact US citizens' neighbors, and US citizens themselves. Delegates will meet some of those directly affected by public policy, including migrants, local residents, activists, and law enforcement personnel. They will walk desert trails and visit sites such as detention centers, human resource centers, and cooperatives, traveling back and forth across the border. Participants will see first hand the impact of militarism on migrants and border communities.

Delegation participants may expect relatively mild weather in February: cool nights, warm, dry days. Prepare for moderate level trail walking. A passport or border card is essential for this delegation. Spanish is helpful but not required.

FUNDRAISING EXPECTATION: 

$900 USD, which does NOT include the cost of travel to Tucson, Arizona, USA.

APPLICATION:

apply through Christian Peacemaker Teams here. Or via the PDF attached to this webpage.

Flyers:
February 28, 2020 to March 8, 2020: WFP - Solidarity Collective Delegation Environmental Justice in Colombia

Confronting Climate Change and Building Peace: Environmental Justice in Colombia

OVERVIEW:

After decades of armed conflict, the people of Colombia are still fighting to achieve peace and resolution in their nation. However, ecotourism and megaprojects led by multinational groups are not only harming the environment but driving a wedge between the Peace Process.

In reality, the Peace Process opened up more space for multinational investment and business interests because it failed to change the neoliberal economic model. US-supported policies, such as aerial fumigation, facilitate greater business investments by forcing occupants to lear the land, thus leaving it open for businesses to move in.

This delegation will explore dual facets of climate change, how US policies contribute to continued environmental degradation in Colombia, how the narrative of climate change is used as a justification for displacement, and how the threat of climate change prevents indigenous and rural communities from protecting their land, and the opportunity to advocate for their right to peace and environmental justice.

COST:

$1,000 + international airfare
Price covers meals, lodging, interpreters, and transportation within Colombia, along with reading and activist tools. 
Fundraising help is available

DEADLINE:

Apply by following this link.

Application & $250 deposit due January 15, 2020.
Remaining Balance due January 28, 2020.

​PAYMENT:

Payment should be made through Witness for Peace by following this link or mailing to 

Witness for Peace Midwest
PO box 6078
Minneapolis, Mn 55406
*Please note the name of the delegation on the check

QUESTIONS:

For more information contact carlissa.g.arrow@vanderbilt.edu and cgdyer@ncsu.edu

March 5, 2020: Immigrant Defense Vigil
4-5pm
Anthony J. Celebrezze Federal Building, 1240 E. 9th St. (at Lakeside), downtown Cleveland

[First Thursday vigils: Jan. 9, Feb. 6, Mar. 5]

Why we gather

To show the love, concern, and compassion that the people of Ohio have for immigrants who are suffering under the harsh policies of ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).

About the vigils

People of faith and conscience in NE Ohio have been organizing interfaith vigils in defense of immigrants since September 2018. At these vigils we pray, sing, hold silence, and call on those in power to act in accordance with values of justice and compassion. We gather to show the love, concern, and compassion that the people of Ohio have for immigrants who are suffering under the harsh policies of ICE.

We pray for
...the families who have endured immense pain and suffering at the hands of our government
...comfort and hope for those languishing in detention
...a change of heart in our leaders so that they might change their ways

We stand in solidarity with our sisters and brothers locked in cages. We demand their release!

Our banner, “This Is About Family,” draws attention to the pain and suffering experienced by immigrant families. Near-record levels of apprehensions, detentions, and deportations are tearing families apart.

All people of faith and conscience are welcome. Your presence is most appreciated.

Our demands

As people of faith and conscience, we are calling on the US government to:

1- give permanent legal status to immigrants with DACA and TPS

2- end family separation

3- decrease the number of detention beds

4- cut the budgets for ICE and USCBP (US Customs & Border Protection)

5- resume discretion in immigration enforcement and prosecution

*DACA=Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (aka “Dreamers”)

*TPS = Temporary Protected Status

Unreasonable, Unjust, Cruel Enforcement – and a waste of our tax dollars

Parents are getting picked up by ICE and Border Patrol while driving to work or dropping off their kids at school. This is absolutely cruel! The US government should only pursue those who have been convicted of serious violent crimes. Other immigrants should be allowed to continue living, working, and raising their children until broader immigration reforms are put in place.

For those who are suffering from harsh immigration enforcement policies, we gather to bear witness to the inhumane treatment that is being funded by US taxpayer dollars. We hold them in the light of hope and pray for compassion. Please join us!

Questions? 

Check with irtf@irtfcleveland.org

(216) 961 0003 IRTF office

 P.S. These Thursday gatherings are vigils, not rallies. So please don’t bring your own signs. We will gather around the common banner, “This is about family.” Thank you.

Please like and share the Facebook event.

 

March 11, 2020: Food Action Forum - Make Our Food System Fair!
7-8pm
Zoom meeting via internet

 

Wednesdays: Jan 8, Feb 12, Mar 11 – Please join us!

If you live in the Greater Cleveland area and would like to sit down with a small group to participate in this zoom meeting together (either at the IRTF office or a coffee shop), please email OhioFairTrade@irtfcleveland.org or call (216) 961 0003

Wed., Jan 8, 7-8pm: info and free registration here

 

What is the Food Action Forum? (aka Citizen-Consumer Food Movement)

This invitation to join the Food Action Forum comes from Equal Exchange, an Alternative Trade Organization (ATO) and the first fair trade coffee company in the US, which is working to build a democratic brand that connects small farmers in the Global South to consumers in the Global North. IRTF in Cleveland first introduced NE Ohioans to Equal Exchange coffee in the mid-1990s. Several faith congregations began selling Equal Exchange as an act of solidarity and justice. Heinen’s became the first grocer chain to sell Equal Exchange in all its stores in the US. IRTF and Equal Exchange have been close partners and friends ever since.  

 

What is this monthly meeting?

Food Action Forum meetings (monthly) allow all of us to connect, build community, and have space to push our campaigns forward and engage in actions out there in your communities. In today’s overwhelmingly digital world we want to find ways to create meaningful and deep connections with this community, connections that are two-way, connections that are active, not passive. We look forward to connecting, join us!

We’re working across geography and time zones to build our ATO* and a more vital movement for food justice. We look forward to connecting with you. Join us!

For any questions, please reach out to eeactionforum@equalexchange.coop. --Frankie, Em, Danielle

 

*What are ATOs? Alternative Trade Organizations (ATOs) are at risk

Equal Exchange was founded in 1986 as an alternative trade organization (ATO) with the mission of connecting US consumers and small marginalized farmers from the global south from countries like Nicaragua, Peru, or India. Alternative trade organizations have foundational influence in the broader fair trade movement but have become isolated from even their most natural allies including coops, citizen movements, community economic organizations, unions, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs).  This isolation has caused ATOs to not only be under grave threat for the future but at risk of not surviving the market in the next ten to fifteen years.

 

Fair-Washing: Fair Trade is being stripped of its original meaning

The Fair Trade idea may have won successes in the last 10 years, but those successes have been limited. And in the process of gaining recognition and support, control has been wrested from small farmers and turned into a marketing attribute at the service of northern companies; it has been commodified and stripped of all real meaning. While some northern ATOs are still here and hundreds of farmer groups in the Global South hang on, "Fair Trade” as envisioned 30 years ago, is no longer recognizable.

 

Corporate Control: Our food system is being controlled by large corporations

In the wider food system, corporations control everything from seeds to supply and prices, while relentlessly chipping away at the regulations that inform and protect consumers. They fight feverishly to prevent us from knowing if GMOs are present in our food. They continue to promote production methods that hasten the warming of the planet—a present-day threat to millions of small farmers and others around the world. And, corporations count on consumers remaining unorganized to maintain the status quo.   

 

Consumers Can Make a Huge Difference: We need active consumer involvement

We now know that we cannot possibly succeed in our goal to transform the food system without the active, deep and committed participation of citizen-consumers like you. An authentic Fair Trade system requires democratic organizing of producers in the South, worker democracy for businesses in the North, and active consumer involvement in the North. 

What Are We Building?

We are taking a powerful, new step in building a democratic brand that connects small farmers in the South to consumers in the North. We believe that in order to be successful in realizing the original Fair Trade vision, we need to deepen involvement and participation in our model. In doing this, we go back to the best that Alternative Trade has always been about: innovation, global solidarity, social imagining and learning, and economic justice. This will be a long, slow process and a great challenge. We need your buying support, your investing support, and your political support. 

Please join us in building this dream. We invite you to help us shape the Equal Exchange Action Forum. 

 

Here are some ways to get involved:

-Educate yourself. See resources on the food system, fair trade coffee, coffee producing in selected Latin American countries, sustainable farming, cooperatives, solidarity economy

-Join the Behind the Barcodes campaign

-Urge Congress to pass the Food Anti-Trust Review Act

-Become a member of the Food Action Forum

-Connect with like-minded folks at monthly Fair Trade Meet-Ups. See more at http://ohiofairtrade.com/

 

March 13, 2020 to March 15, 2020: International Days of Action Against Sanctions & Economic War
International Days of Action Against US Imposed Sanctions

US imposed sanctions, violate international law and are a tool of regime change. They impact a third of humanity in 39 countries.  They are a crime against humanity used, like military intervention, to topple popular governments and movements.   They provide economic and military support to pro-US right-wing forces.

The US economic dominance and its +800 military bases worldwide demands all other countries participate in acts of economic strangulation.  They must end all normal trade relations, otherwise, they risk having Wall Street’s guns pointed at them.  The banks and financial institutions that are responsible for the devastation of our communities at home drive the plunder of countries abroad.

The Alliance for Global Justice is encouraging mobilizations and educational efforts to be organized for the International Days of Action against US imposed Sanctions and Economic War on March 13-15.

Please add your endorsement and help spread the word.

March 27, 2020 to March 29, 2020: Dismantle Border Imperialism: Convergence in Tucson

SOA Watch recently released a report outlining the egregious history and results of US training of Latin American state agents and how that training is now being provided to US Department of Homeland Security agents, specifically Border Patrol and ICE staff, for use against migrants and refugees at borders and within the US.

Why is this of concern?

1-  More than 100 people have been killed by US Border Patrol as a direct result of their excessive use of force over the last 15 years. This includes the cross-border killings of 15-year-old Sergio Adrián Hernández Güereca in 2010 and 16-year-old José Antonio Elena Rodríguez in 2012;  both were killed by US Border Patrol agents who shot them from the US side of the border! when the teenagers were on Mexican soil.

2- Not a single Border Patrol agent has even been held legally accountable for these killings

3- recent internal government report concluded that criminal misconduct by border officers is at a five-year high

4- Border Patrol and ICE agents are being trained at Ft Benning, the home of the ignominious School of Assassins (School of Americas/WHINSEC).

 

Since the 1990s, SOA Watch has been monitoring the results of the civilian-targeted warfare training provided at SOA/WHINSEC. These militarized security forces (who are being lethally trained) lack oversight and disproportionately target communities of color. It is our obligation to continue to resist and stand in solidarity with the victims of US-led and sanctioned state violence to end these egregious patterns of violence and the structures that uphold them.

Invitation:

March 27-29, 2020: SOA Watch is collaborating with other organizations to facilitate a weekend of panels and action in Tucson, Arizona, to further our collective work to dismantle border imperialism and all forms of US-led and supported violence that threaten the well-being and autonomy of our communities and territories. More information will be available in the upcoming weeks.

We hope you will join us in Tucson and in our ongoing call for solidarity with migrants around the world who seek a dignified life. Together, we affirm the right to stay in one’s homeland with dignity, we affirm the right to migrate, and we affirm that no human being is ever illegal. Together, we will continue to fight for a better and more just world!

http://www.soaw.org/home/

April 24, 2020 to April 27, 2020: Ecumenical Advocacy Days 2020

Imagine! God’s Earth and People Restored

Around the world, the most marginalized communities disproportionately affected by hunger, poverty, and the structural history of colonialism and racism are experiencing the impacts of the climate crisis most profoundly. Women and children in these communities suffer the most.

Earth and its people are groaning and calling for us to respond in hope. We are all affected. Temperatures are rising dramatically and dangerously everywhere, disrupting ecological systems and every type of human activity. The generations of tomorrow depend on what we do today.

EAD 2020 will explore the intersection of climate change and economic injustice. This will galvanize our advocacy on behalf of policies and programs to chip away at the systems of oppression that keep people in poverty and push all life on earth to the brink of destruction.

In his encyclical, Laudato Si, Pope Francis recognized the double injustice of climate change and poverty. He is part of a growing chorus of various faith leaders who are raising their voices. The United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in its last report issued a call for urgent, scaled up, global and local action.

Churches continue to respond actively to the climate crisis with disaster relief to support low-income communities and ecosystems most impacted by climate-related disasters. They are also working to build resilient and sustainable communities and economies that can create jobs and prevent future disasters. Churches are partnering with youth, indigenous communities, civil and human rights organizations, the international community, and others to address inequality and strengthen the movement for climate justice.

2020 will be a pivotal year for the United States, and the world, with a U.S. general election that will set the course for many years ahead. As people of faith, we see the political reality of this time. Yet we also hold hope for a time yet to come when all people, regardless of race, gender, economic status, ability, or age will realize the full vision of God’s desire for a just community and a flourishing Earth.

To advance this vision, we are called to speak out for justice – climate justice and economic justice. Join us at EAD 2020 to imagine and advocate for an Earth and its people restored.

“This territory is not ours, it’s not mine, it’s not yours. It belongs to the generation yet to come.” ~ Maritza Naforo, Huitoto indigenous leader, Colombia

“We look for — and speed the coming of — the new heavens and a new earth, where justice is at home” (2 Pet. 3:12,13).

ABOUT EAD:

Ecumenical Advocacy Days is a movement of the ecumenical Christian community, and its recognized partners and allies, grounded in biblical witness and our shared traditions of justice, peace and the integrity of creation. Our goal, through worship, theological reflection and opportunities for learning and witness, is to strengthen our Christian voice and to mobilize for advocacy on a wide variety of U.S. domestic and international policy issues.

REGISTER:

https://advocacydays.org/2020-imagine-gods-earth-people-restored/registration/

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

https://advocacydays.org/2020-imagine-gods-earth-people-restored/