All posts by MichiganUnited

New Christian, Muslim Coalition Launches with March

Coalition to focus on American traditions of diversity and religious freedom
Faith leaders and congregants from local Christian and Muslim communities took to the streets Sunday in a display of unity to uplift basic human dignity and counter recent attacks on refugees, Muslims and immigrants. “Neighbors Building Bridges” launched its campaign for interfaith and intercultural understanding with a march that began in Southwest Detroit at St. Gabriel’s Church, included the American Muslim Society in East Dearborn and ended at UAW Local 600.

Mario Hernandez hero“The Muslims of East Dearborn and the Christians of Southwest Detroit are neighbors who face many of the same challenges since the presidential election,” said Mario Hernandez, an immigrant parent fighting to stop his deportation. “But, working together with like-minded allies, we can strengthen our communities and work to overcome the racism and xenophobia that are ever present. We are people of faith who want to keep immigrant families like mine together and we see our adherence to faith as a way to combat bigotry and prejudice.”

The group, made of many people from different faiths and backgrounds, sees itself as being rooted in the great American traditions of diversity and religious freedom.

“When we look at the diversity of the people who make up our communities, we should be reminded that this nation was founded by immigrants many of whom were seeking the right to worship without persecution,” said Khalid Turaani, President of the American Muslim Leadership Council. “We are following the examples set in our respective faith traditions of welcoming the stranger and providing a place of refuge for those in need. It just so happens those are core American values as well. We want to be clear that refugees, immigrants and people of all faiths are welcome here.”
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Photo courtesy Chloe Michaels

Faith-Based Communities Grant Sanctuary to Endangered Immigrant Families

Announce major unity march between Latino Christian and Arab-American, Muslim communities
Jewish, Christian and Muslim faith leaders stepped forward at a press conference today to say they will be on the frontlines of protection for immigrant families threatened with deportation. The event at Central United Methodist Church featured faith leaders of six Metro area congregations taking action against the increased raids and targeting of immigrant families by the Trump administration.
“We believe that breaking families apart is wrong. Donald Trump’s indiscriminate raids and deportations are a moral outrage, and we cannot be silent,” said Rev. Jill Zundell, pastor of Central United Methodist Church in Detroit. “We will give comfort to the afflicted and shelter to those who suffer. No one will live in fear while under the protection of our church.”
Some faith leaders cited not only the increased raids but the overall rise in hate crimes and Trump’s second attempt at a Muslim Ban as creating a xenophobic atmosphere that has to be fought.
17310200_1431008380263031_2431266359802486085_o“These dreadful policies are against the spirit of America’s most sacred beliefs and cannot be allowed to stand unchallenged,” said Imam Almasmari of the Michigan Muslim Community Council. “Moreover, the attacks on immigrants and refugees, Muslims, and recent violence against the Jewish community all branch from the same hateful root. We support sanctuary both to help families, but also to stand up for the America we believe in: a strong, vibrant, multi-cultural democracy where everyone has the opportunity to flourish.”
Organizers also announced a major unity march between the Latino Christian community of Southwest Detroit and the Arab-American and Muslim community of Dearborn. The march will convene at St. Gabriel’s Church on Vernor Highway on April 2nd at 3:30 PM.

 

Parents push Kalamazoo school board to take new approach to bullying, discipline

Groups call for end of segregation and medication

Social Economic and Educational Change (SEE Change), a parent advocate group affiliated with Michigan United and Justice Against Bullying at School (JABS) attended Thursday’s Kalamazoo public school board meeting to express concerns about students bullying their children and staff using excessive force to physically restrain them, resulting in cuts, bruises, muscle strains and in one case, a concussion.  

Parents were also concern about the use of alternative schools to segregate minority students and the excessive medication of students with disabilities. Earl Moore described how he saw his son’s behavior change after being bullied. Rather than dealing with the bullying, the school responded to the behavior change with physical restraint. Ultimately, his son was suspended from school for more 30 days.  “The school refused to allow my son to come back to school unless he took medication” Moore said. Kalamazoo keeps records of its students in a School Wide Information System (SWIS) Moore said the SWIS report on his son describes his behavior in criminal terms, a characterization that will follow him wherever he goes.

Gwendolyn Hooker told the school board how her granddaughter, Justyce suffered  multiple brutal attacks. She said the district showed a lack of concern in addressing the issue of bullying and how it affected students like Justyce.

Tammie Woods  spoke of her son’s battles with depression and anxiety after multiple restraints resulted in a concussion, cuts, and his arm being twisted. Woods described the Specific Learning Disabilities reading program (SLD Read) at Western Michigan University where she sought help for her son. Woods feels Kalamazoo school should provide since her child does not qualify for SLD Read services.

George White, lead advocate with SEE Change said bullying and the effects of bullying can lead to depression, withdrawal, low self esteem, poor grades, poor peer relationships, increases the dropout ratio and in rare cases can lead to death. White also commented on the need for the Restorative Justice models gaining traction all around the country in addressing student bullying. White also recommended Trauma Informed Care practices in classrooms to improve student, parent, teacher relationships.  

White said SEE Change will return to each school board meeting with more parents until they get the results that the parents seek. SEE Change plans further conversations in the community about policy reform needed to reduce bullying, expulsions, suspensions, restraint and medication dependence. The goal is to return all children to mainstream classrooms.

School board member, Lauren Freedman expressed an interest in working with SEE Change to resolve some of the issues. Dr. Rice also indicated a willingness to meet with the group.  

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No Sessions, No Ban!

Immigrant  and Civil rights activists call for end to Muslim ban, Attorney General’s resignation

Protesters gathered outside the McNamara federal building in Detroit Tuesday to oppose the latest version of President Trump’s Muslim ban and to call for US Attorney General, Jeff Sessions to step down. Trump made minor revisions to an earlier Executive Action to overcome the objections of federal courts with a new order that continues to shut down immigration from several Muslim majority nations, leaving many refugees out in the cold. The move comes in the wake of reports that Sessions lied in his Senate confirmation when he testified that he’d never met with Russian officials during the presidential campaign.

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Dawoud Walid, CAIR Courtesy Lightworker Photo

“The Muslim Ban 2.0 is but another way that the Trump administration is showing its hostility towards certain immigrants.” said Dawud Walid, Executive Director, of the Michigan Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-MI). “Sessions endorsement of it shows his inability to properly enforce the civil rights laws of our nation.”

Michigan United opposed the appointment of Sessions as Attorney General based on his long history of obstructing voting rights and the rights of immigrants. Minister Helen Peterson read from a letter by Coretta Scott-King, who stood against Session’s nomination as federal court justice in 1986. In it, King said “Anyone who has used the power of his office as United States Attorney to intimidate and chill the free exercise of the ballot by citizens should not be elevated to our courts,” The group took the same position when opposing his nomination to lead the Justice Department.

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Courtesy Lightworker Photo

New Muslim ban proves to be just as bigoted as its predecessor

Fear and hatred have no place in policy, refugees still need our help

As President Trump unveils his revised travel ban, immigrant rights organizations are reacting with outrage. The new order makes minor revisions, but keeps the core of Trump’s original program: shutting down immigration from several majority-Muslim nations and closing the door on refugees.

“Hatred with extra lawyering is still hatred.” said Adonis Flores of Michigan United. “The Trump administration continues to undermine our core values as Americans and divide us with fear and bigotry. We are a nation that protects the vulnerable. We’re a nation that stands up for those who are in need. We don’t ban people based on their religion or nation of origin, and we don’t slam the door on refugees.”

Michigan United was already planning to hold a rally outside the McNamara Federal Building Tuesday at 5:30 to call for the resignation of Jeff Sessions. The new Attorney General has recently come under fire for accusations of perjury, but Michigan United has opposed Sessions’ refusal to protect civil and immigrant rights.

JOB POSTING: Criminal Justice Reform Organizer

Criminal Justice Reform Organizer

Location: Kalamazoo

Salary Range: $30,000 – $32,000

Deadline: Candidates are encouraged to apply immediately. Applications are due by February 14, 2017.

Michigan United is a statewide coalition of faith, labor, civil rights, business, and social service organizations working together for racial and economic justice through community organizing.

We put everyday people at the center of campaigns that build power to address the root causes of poverty and inequality. We also provide services to help develop the capacity of our members to lead.

Our major campaigns areas include immigrants rights and immigration reform, ending mass incarceration, universal family care and environmental justice.

Michigan United provides extensive training on organizing for change. We are a collaborative work environment where we invest in our team and win powerful campaigns. We provide generous paid time off to promote work/life balance, health benefits for those who qualify, and the opportunity to earn a paid sabbatical.

We value passion for justice and our issues, creativity, and initiative. Expect to work in a fast-paced environment and balance multiple priorities.

Women, people of color, and LGBTQ persons are strongly encouraged to apply.

Michigan United is currently organizing numerous campaigns to reform our criminal justice system. Mass incarceration tears apart families and worsens the pain of poverty. We believe in a more humane approach that emphasizes alternatives to incarceration, diversion courts, fairer sentencing, and supportive re-entry programs.

The Criminal Justice Reform Organizer will work in Kalamazoo to develop the leadership of Returning Citizens and their allies to win important local and statewide reforms. These include better opportunities for housing and employment.

Prior experience in community or political organizing a plus.

Send resume and cover letter to Christine@miunited.org, cc: elisheva@miunited.org  

Subject: Criminal Justice Reform Organizer

JOB POSTING: Gender Justice and Family Care Organizer

Gender Justice and Family Care Organizer (2)

Location: Detroit

Salary Range: $33,000 – $36,000

Note: One position is long-term, while the other is currently funded for seven months. We are currently raising the funds to ensure that both positions are long-term.

Deadline: Candidates are encouraged to apply immediately. Applications are due by February 14, 2017.

Michigan United is a statewide coalition of faith, labor, civil rights, business, and social service organizations working together for racial and economic justice through community organizing.

We put everyday people at the center of campaigns that build power to address the root causes of poverty and inequality. We also provide services to help develop the capacity of our members to lead.

Our major campaigns areas include immigrants rights and immigration reform, ending mass incarceration, universal family care and environmental justice.

Michigan United provides extensive training on organizing for change. We are a collaborative work environment where we invest in our team and win powerful campaigns. We provide generous paid time off to promote work/life balance, health benefits for those who qualify, and the opportunity to earn a paid sabbatical.

We value passion for justice and our issues, creativity, and initiative. Expect to work in a fast-paced environment and balance multiple priorities.

Women, people of color, and LGBTQ persons are strongly encouraged to apply.

Michigan United is leading the fight to defend the Affordable Care Act, Medicaid and Medicare.  It’s not enough just to defend the status quo, so we’re also working to win universal affordable child care, elder care, and paid family leave.

The Health Care Organizers will work to recruit and train volunteer teams that lead campaigns to provide affordable care to all. We use direct action, earned media, and power of real people’s stories and leadership.

Prior experience in community or political organizing a plus.

Send resume and cover letter to Meredith@miunited.org, cc: Rebecca@miunited.org  

Subject: Health Care Organizer

JOB POSTING: Immigrant Civil Rights Organizer

Immigrant Civil Rights Organizer

Location: Detroit

Salary Range: $30,000 – $35,000

Deadline: Candidates are encouraged to apply immediately. Applications are due by February 14, 2017.

Michigan United is a statewide coalition of faith, labor, civil rights, business, and social service organizations working together for racial and economic justice through community organizing.

We put everyday people at the center of campaigns that build power to address the root causes of poverty and inequality. We also provide services to help develop the capacity of our members to lead.

Our major campaigns areas include immigrants rights and immigration reform, ending mass incarceration, universal family care and environmental justice.

Michigan United provides extensive training on organizing for change. We are a collaborative work environment where we invest in our team and win powerful campaigns. We provide generous paid time off to promote work/life balance, health benefits for those who qualify, and the opportunity to earn a paid sabbatical.

We value passion for justice and our issues, creativity, and initiative. Expect to work in a fast-paced environment and balance multiple priorities.

Women, people of color, and LGBTQ persons are strongly encouraged to apply.

The Immigrant Civil Rights Organizer will work to help build a state and national coalition of groups working to promote immigrant civil rights. In Michigan, this work will include identifying and recruiting local organizations to join our work, building the capacity of community organizations to identify and document civil rights abuses, and organizing campaigns to hold law enforcement accountable. Nationally, the Organizer will work with our partners in the Northern Borders Coalition to develop campaigns that promote civil rights along the border, especially in relation to the Border Patrol.

Prior experience in community or political organizing a plus. Foreign language proficiency helpful, but not required.

Send resume and cover letter to adonis@miunited.org, cc: nigel@miunited.org, ryan@miunited.org

Subject: Family Defense Organizer

JOB POSTING: Immigrant Family Defense Organizer

Immigrant Family Defense Organizer

Location: Detroit

Salary Range: $30,000-$35,000

Deadline: Candidates are encouraged to apply immediately. Applications are due by February 14, 2017.

Michigan United is a statewide coalition of faith, labor, civil rights, business, and social service organizations working together for racial and economic justice through community organizing.

We put everyday people at the center of campaigns that build power to address the root causes of poverty and inequality. We also provide services to help develop the capacity of our members to lead.

Our major campaigns areas include immigrants rights and immigration reform, ending mass incarceration, universal family care and environmental justice.

Michigan United provides extensive training on organizing for change. We are a collaborative work environment where we invest in our team and win powerful campaigns. We provide generous paid time off to promote work/life balance, health benefits for those who qualify, and the opportunity to earn a paid sabbatical.

We value passion for justice and our issues, creativity, and initiative. Expect to work in a fast-paced environment and balance multiple priorities.

Women, people of color, and LGBTQ persons are strongly encouraged to apply.

The Immigrant Family Defense Organizers will implement major aspects of our program to defend immigrant workers, immigrant families and immigrant students from deportations and civil rights abuses. This includes organizing Know-Your-Rights and Family Education programs, training volunteers to respond to abuses and conduct community education, organizing Sanctuary at houses of worship and supporting advocacy campaigns.

Family Defense Organizers should be fluent speakers of Spanish or Arabic. Some prior experience with community or political work a plus.

Send resume and cover letter to adonis@miunited.org, cc: nigel@miunited.org, ryan@miunited.org

Subject: Family Defense Organizer

JOB POSTING: Immigrant Family Defense Coordinator

Immigrant Family Defense Coordinator

Location: Detroit

Salary Range: $35,000-$45,000

Deadline: Candidates are encouraged to apply immediately. Applications are due by February 14, 2017.

Michigan United is a statewide coalition of faith, labor, civil rights, business, and social service organizations working together for racial and economic justice through community organizing.

We put everyday people at the center of campaigns that build power to address the root causes of poverty and inequality. We also provide services to help develop the capacity of our members to lead.

Our major campaigns areas include immigrants rights and immigration reform, ending mass incarceration, universal family care and environmental justice.

Michigan United provides extensive training on organizing for change. We are a collaborative work environment where we invest in our team and win powerful campaigns. We provide generous paid time off to promote work/life balance, health benefits for those who qualify, and the opportunity to earn a paid sabbatical.

We value passion for justice and our issues, creativity, and initiative. Expect to work in a fast-paced environment and balance multiple priorities.

Women, people of color, and LGBTQ persons are strongly encouraged to apply.

The Immigrant Family Defense Coordinator will be responsible for overseeing major aspects of our program to defend immigrant workers, immigrant families and immigrant students from deportations and civil rights abuses. This includes coordinating  Know-Your-Rights and Family Education programs, developing community-based legal services and organizing Sanctuary at houses of worship. The Coordinator will also oversee a Family Navigator program, which develops the capacity of stipended volunteers to act as community legal resource workers and deportation defenders.

The Family Defense Coordinator should be a fluent speaker of English and Spanish. Prior experience in community or political work is necessary.

Send resume and cover letter to adonis@miunited.org, cc: nigel@miunited.org, ryan@miunited.org

Subject: Family Defense Coordinator