May we enter into a spirit of promise and hope this holiday season, discovering what is holy and sacred in our lives, reassured that the divine presence will redeem our broken world. Through acts of solidarity and mutual aid, together we will build a better world of healing and liberation for all.
Click here to show your support for cross-border, cross-sectional solidarity and mutual aid.
Our struggle for human rights and mutual liberation does not happen in isolation; it is a communal struggle that binds us to each other. We're all in this together. We stand together in solidarity.
Thank you for joining with us to transform systems of oppressions and build a new normal.
Building a New Normal
Throughout 2020, we have been stressing the need to build a new normal. This coronavirus is a wake-up call, exposing the structural weaknesses and failures of our domestic infrastructure and global policies. Our movement to construct a new normal is gaining momentum and success. We invite you to join us!
Toward Abolition: De-carcerate, De-fund, and Re-fund
In 2020 we organized with partner coalitions to shine the light on an utterly unjust and broken system: over-funded & militarized policing and incarceration that disproportionately impact persons of color, queer and otherly-abled folks, and those who are undocumented. We call out the insanity: cities award over-inflated budgets to their criminal injustice systems while shutting off essential utilities (water!) and evicting poor people from their homes. The immorality of our government budgets is illustrated by the tens of thousands of imprisoned people demanding compassionate release due to the spread of COVID in jails, prisons, and immigrant detention centers. We must work together to end white supremacy that continues to dominate and oppress our communities. We must move forward in faithful action to abolish systems that destroy life. We must de-fund these systems of racially discriminatory incarceration and re-fund investment in our neighborhoods, schools, nutrition, employment, and public health.
IRTF’s long track record of solidarity between the people of NE Ohio and the people of Central America and Colombia is especially instructive at this moment. Constructing humane, comprehensive immigration reform requires a comprehensive understanding of the social context in the Northern Triangle of Central America that continues to push thousands to flee and seek refuge.
We stand with migrants—mothers, fathers, children—who have the internationally-recognized right to seek refuge through political asylum. Too many lives have been lost due to record-breaking heat and drought, the construction of the border wall, increased militarization of the border, and an asylum system that has been shut down since March. And the people of Central America already dealing with extreme poverty, violence, and systemic corruption were just hit with record-breaking hurricanes over the course of two weeks. This intensifies the importance that we as migrant justice advocates work with the new administration to pave more humanitarian paths for the inevitable surge in migration from the region. More imprisonment and family separation? We say no. We envision a nation that extends dignity and respect to all people. Solidarity compels us to work towardthoughtful changes in immigration policy to protect thousands who continue to come and the millions already living, working, and raising their children in communities across the US. We say #FreeThemAll.
Defense of Nature and Democracy: Resilience & Release
The resilience shown by our sisters and brothers in Colombia and Central America inspires us to take action where we can—right here, right now. Take a look at Honduras. Since the SOA military-led coup in Honduras in 2009, thousands have organized and maintained a courageous pro-democracy movement in the face of repression, criminalization, and countless assassinations. Against incredible odds, indigenous, Afro-descendant, and campesino communities are defending life, land, and water while exposing the legacy of US imperialism and abuses ofextractive capitalism, entangled with patriarchy and white supremacy. Their bold resistance against the human-made forces of the climate crisis motivates our solidarity initiatives here in Cleveland. Through IRTF’s Rapid Response Network (RRN) and engagement in the Honduras Solidarity Network, we were able to achieve the release of 20 political prisoners unjustly held in “pre-trial detention” by the beginning of this year.
Together, we build a better future
We invite you to journey with us toward real transformative justice, to build the better world where all life is valued, care for those in need takes precedence over locking people up, and building genuine relationships to encourage, support, and guide one another predominates over selfish individualism. In a spirit of mutuality, IRTF joins together thousands of people like you from diverse backgrounds and faith traditions who are passionate to unite around our common goals of justice, of mutual care, of human rights, of dignity for all.
With your donation to IRTF, you are bolstering this vital across-borders solidarity movement. In this time of anxiety and fear, let us nurture each other’s wisdom and feel our connectedness to each other across this country, throughout this hemisphere, and around the globe. Our struggle for human rights and mutual liberation does not happen in isolation; it is a communal struggle that binds us to each other. We are all in this together, so we need to stand together. Solidarity!
Thank you for joining with us to transform systems of oppression and build a new normal.
IRTF Board of Trustees
Rachel Rosen DeGolia (co-chair), JP Graulty (treasurer), Rev. Ellen Huffman (co-chair), Yolanda King, Genevieve Mitchell, Diane Pinchot, OSU (secretary), Joann Rymarczyk-Piotrkowski, Akshai Singh, Sarah Sommers
Christine Stonebraker-Martínez & Brian Stefan-Szittai, Co-Coordinators
Marc Alvardo, Volunteer Associate
Pearl Chen, Volunteer Associate
As we enter our 40th year, please show your support for IRTF's crucial work of cross-border, cross-sectional solidarity work. We’ll put your donation to work to stand with marginalized and vulnerable communities in Latin America, at our border, in immigration detention facilities, and on the streets of Cleveland. All people deserve care and safety. Through acts of solidarity and mutual aid, together we will build a better world of healing and liberation for all. Join with us to create a new normal.
Click here to contribute to this vital work.