full screen background image
Global Justice Institute   446 W. 36th St. New York, NY 10018   (212).629.7440   info@globaljusticeinst.org
REQUEST  FOR  FINANCIAL  ASSISTANCE

Request for Financial Assistance – LGBTQ Justice Work in Mtito Andei, Kenya (Dec. 2016) Mtito Andei, Kenya is a medium size city in Kenya strategically located half way between the two major cities of Nairobi, the capital, and Mombosa on the Indian Ocean Coast. The town is economically depressed, and since it is a major overnight truck stop on the Mombosa – Nairobi route, many women (and some men) resort to prostitution as the only option to support their families. The HIV rate among children in Mtito Andei is very high, and local churches often ostracize sex workers and LGBTQ people.

About two years ago, Metropolitan Community Church pastor Rev. Michael Kimindu relocated his ministry to Mtito Andei since he is originally from that area, and it was underserved in the area of religious and justice ministry. With the assistance of a small number of donors, 2 acres of land were purchased, and a gazebo type structure and a small home for Rev. Kimindu and his family were built.

Currently, Rev Kimindu is building strong alliances within the community with elementary school leaders, a new local university and several community leaders also concerned with the community’s issues. His vision includes some small scale agriculture and vocational training to provide alternatives for local residents, promoting safer sex among sex workers, addressing child abuse issues in local schools, and providing a spiritual home for those who are shunned by their churches. To leverage the property and his resources, Rev. Kimindu has formed a collaborative ministry with Metropolitan Community Churches, Global Justice Institute, Other Sheep and the Kimer-Kamba Cultural Centre.

Our most current step is constructing a small totally enclosed classroom building which will facilitate community meetings and training, and to provide a small office space for Rev. Kimindu along with a small kitchen. Most of the funds have been raised to construct the building, and with construction over the past three months, the building is almost complete!

Our next need is to raise the funds for supplies and equipment for this building since we have just about exhausted our existing funds to complete construction. Below is a cost estimate for variousbuilding equipping needs:

 
TAKING ACTION AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE- EVERY VOICE COUNTS - ACTIVISM THROUGH ADVOCACY
Tell your lawmakers to support sensible gun control legislation! We can build faith communities that actively oppose gun violence by petitioning government at all levels to outlaw assault weapons and to appropriately regulate sales, possession, and use of guns and other rifles. We can express our faith in our actions. May our actions lead to an end to the sale and distribution of assault rifles, stronger regulation of gun manufacturing and purchases, an end to the violent use of firearms, and the building of safer communities.
We encourage you to take actions at these levels of government.
FEDERAL STATE   LOCAL
Write your members of Congress and tell them to support legislation that helps prevent gun violence! The Brady Campaign has a useful tool that will queue your email message to your congressional delegation and local media. While supporters of gun control lacked sufficient votes to advance the issue, the work remains and we must not relent. Contact your delegation and ask for their support for common sense gun laws. States United to Prevent Gun Violence offers a clearinghouse of state-based anti-gun advocacy organizations whom you may contact for campaign and partnership opportunities to advocate for common sense gun laws at the state level. You can also reach out directly to the state representatives who represent your church and your members. The Brady Campaign has a score card of how your state rates in terms of the strength of its gun control and gun violence prevention laws. Use that a discussion point with your State Representatives and State Senators. Here are other talking points to use. Contact your City Council or County Board of Commissioners and call for implementing a gun turn-in or buy-back program. These allow gun owners to responsibly get rid of their weapons. Local law enforcement takes the weapons and destroys them. A 2015 program in Greensboro, North Carolina had over 1,000 people participate. Ask your local officials to adopt “amnesty days” in which people can turn in illegally owned firearms with no questions asked and free any potential prosecution.



ACTIVISM THROUGH WORSHIP

Our goal is to build faith communities that actively oppose gun violence through our Sunday worship, our prayer life, and our special programs. Here are some suggestions on how you can start:




See the liturgy used at All God’s Children MCC to honor and memorialize the Emmanuel 9
Visit Faiths United Against Gun Violence to find a wealth of resources for worship service including litanies, music, sermon topics, and prayers. Sign up to participate in/endorse the National Vigil for Gun Violence Victims and National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend (14-18 December 2016). See the liturgies that Sunshine Cathedral MCC and Christ the Liberator MCC used in special worship services to ground their response to gun violence, especially in the aftermath of the shooting in Orlando.

Find additional resources on gun violence prevention at the North Carolina Council of Churches.


ACTIVISM THROUGH THE INTERNET


Consider building virtual and online faith communities that actively oppose gun violence by carrying our witness into cyberspace through the use of technology. Here’s how you can make the most of your virtual presence:

Include anti-gun violence graphics, statements, hashtags, and blogs in your websites. You can start social media campaigns.
   
Start, promote, and participate in online discussion groups.





“Like” or “follow” anti-gun violence groups like the Brady Campaign and the National Gun Victims Action Council to stay informed about the issue.
Visit the Council of Elders’ fasting and prayer vigil Facebook page where they invite you to offer your own prayers and comments. Visit the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence to stay current on all their action alerts (link here somewhere).
Send tweets (and encourage your congregants to tweet) messages opposing gun violence. #gunviolence #orlando #disarmhate #orlandostrong #charleston9 #enough #sandyhook have all trended in social media in the past week.
OVERTURN THE BLOOD BAN
The Orlando massacre reminded the nation that there is still a ban on blood donations by gay men. The unwarranted ban highlights how men who have sex with men remain unable to provide real, immediate, and meaningful help to the victims of the attack. Federal policy prohibits us from helping our own. The Public Policy Team, the Global Justice Institute, and Metropolitan Community Churches call on all people of faith and goodwill to actively petition the U.S. government to end the blood ban. Our lives hang in the balance. Read our previous statement and call to action (with resources) HERE.   May Our Activism Be Our Prayer.


TAKE A FEW MINUTES TO ACT ON THE FOLLOWING:



SPEAK OUT AGAINST TORTURE


Plan an Event at Your Church Wear Orange Familiarize Yourself with These handy Tools

Bulletin Inserts

Ways to host a vigil or educational event


  Petitions and fact sheet
  Organizing a letter writing campaign.

You are encouraged to take pictures from your events and share them on social media.

Use hashtags

#TortureAwarenessMonth
and
#TortureFreeWorld.

The National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) will use these to demonstrate support for closing Guantanamo to national lawmakers and the national media.

To request an orange jumpsuit,

write Matt Hawthorne (NRCAT) at mhawthorne@nrcat.org

or call him at 202-547-1920.


Every human being is created to reflect the image of God and is worthy of dignity and respect. So we unite around the belief that no one should face inhumane confinement or
torture a moral issueany form of torture. We have an opportunity to join with faith leaders and activists of all stripes in calling on the U.S. government to end systems of torture and torturous confinement in the Guantanamo prison complex. While President Obama has transferred additional prisoner out of that facility, 80 are left. The days of his Administration are waning and the opportunity to ensure that Guantanamo Prison is shut down are quickly drawing to a close
.3 May, 2016
Please ask your faith leaders if they would be willing to support this work by wearing a jumpsuit. Organizers will provide the jumpsuit. Here are other resources you and your congregation and faith partners may use to participate in this national event:


ADD YOUR VOICE TO FINALLY CLOSE GUANTANAMO
June is Torture Awareness Month, and the Global Justice Institute and MCC are asking our pastors, clergy, lay leaders, friends and associates to join the campaign to close Guantanamo by leading a worship service, holding a vigil, or appearing at another appropriate event wearing an orange jumpsuit in solidarity with those held at Guantanamo. We are also inviting you to ask your fellow faith leaders from other traditions to consider events and wearing a jumpsuit. Along with the organizers, we believe that in the middle of a rancorous presidential election, this sort of highly visible public action is necessary to break through the political back and forth and make a clear statement that torture and indefinite detention without trial are wrong and Guantanamo should be closed now.



JOIN FAITH LEADERS FOR A GLOBAL WEEK OF ACTION AGAINST GUN VIOLENCE

25 April, 2016

The Global Justice Institute and Metropolitan Community Churches are committed to cultivating a world in which peace can thrive.

One of the first steps in creating peaceful places to stand against violence, gun violence in particular. We invite you, your 1-8 May 201 6congregation, and your faith partners to join the International Action on Small Arms (IANSA). Held annually, this week of action is a chance to raise awareness of how gun violence affects people’s lives, and to draw attention to issues such as people becoming disabled because of gun violence; lack of support for survivors or the families of victims; and domestic violence becoming far more lethal when guns are involved.

This year’s Global Week of Action will be held fromMay 1-8, and will focus on the theme “Time to End the Deadly Flood of Guns!”

This theme was chosen to raise awareness of guns flowing across national borders, into communities, into schools, and into homes.


The actions coordinate with meetings held at the United Nations to discuss small arms problems.
Organizers invite MCC leaders and congregations to participate in this week of action in the following ways:

Address the issue of gun violence in any services you may hold between May 1-8, even if only briefly. We are providing background information for your reference.
   
Help educate your members about how and where to dispose of unwanted guns (see information here)
   
Print out the attached information sheets and exhibit posters and display them where viewers can learn more about the issue.
   
Personalize the Global Week of Action logo (included in this alert) and theme, and post it on your social media, and/or send it to IANSA for us to post. Engage the theme in your own special way and share. Use the hashtags: #TimeToEndTheDeadlyFloodOfGuns #GlobalWeekOfActionAgainstGunViolence
   
   

If you have questions or special needs, you may contact the Public Policy Team atmccadvocacy@mcchurch.net or Rose Welch with IANSA at rose.welsch@iansa.org and 00 1 703 474 4520.




JOIN THE MOVEMENT TO END MASS INCARCERATION

photo: aclu.org

Here Are Some Actions You Can Take to Change U.S. Policy Toward the Incarcerated
Please contact your Senator today to urge them to SUPPORT S. 2123, the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015:
Call the U.S. Capitol Switchboard at 1-800-270-0309 and ask for your Senator.
When you are connected to your member’s office these are things that you might say: I want Senator ___________ to know that it is now time to reform our criminal justice system by ending mass incarceration. Please support reducing the mandatory minimum terms for nonviolent defendants convicted of drug offenses and programs that encourage early release for good behavior. Please support the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015.
Contact Bill Medford (faith organizer) for the call in information.
  To learn more, please see:

 Text of S. 2123, the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act of 2015, or the one page summary.
 Remarks by President Barack Obama to the NAACP on Mass Incarceration
 Bureau of Justice Statistics, Correctional Populations in the United States, 2013
 Polices for Ending Mass Incarceration
 Interfaith Letter Supporting the Sentencing Reform and Corrections Act
 For more information, contact mccadvocacy@mccchurch.net
This statement was prepared by the Public Policy Team of Metropolitan Community Churches and the Global Justice Institute (Rev. Elder Pat Bumgardner, Chair).
Posted in Incarceration, Prisoners, Race, Take Action, US Action
One Faith Leader’s Perspective on Houston Voters’ Rejection of Equal Rights Measure

By gjiadmin on 6 November, 2015

Dry Bones in Houston
Rev. Dr. Michael Diaz

Days later, I’m still in disbelief. One hour I want to cry out at the top of my lungs, and the next hour, I want to sit in deadening silence. As I move from frustration to tears, I remember the last time I was this emotional. Back in May of 2014, Houston City Council passed the historic Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO), ensuring Houstonians have the right to access employment, housing, and public accommodations without discrimination.

I remember the courage exercised by so many friends. Many spoke their truth like never before in front of city officials, risking the little stability found in the closet by coming out for the first time ever on public television.

I was proud of my city that day.

I feel ashamed today.


Here are actions you can take to help to advance equality for LGBT and anyone who faces discrimination and marginalization:

Participate in the 40 DAYS OF FAITH IN ACTION campaign by the National LGBTQ Task Force (a follow up to the Faith & Family Power Summit) with resources available here.
Add your name to Believe Out Loud’s open letter to Houston voters telling them the discrimination is not a Christian value.
Use social media (e.g., Twitter, Facebook, SnapChat, Instagram) to share your story about how natural and loved by God your family is. Use the hashtags #HolyTrouble and #FaithFamilyLGBTQ
More firmly establish partnerships among your congregation, other local faith groups, and social justice organizations so you can host educational forums on religious liberty, religious exemptions, and equal rights. The Public Policy Team is available to consult and help organize.
If you would like our support send us an email.



For more information, contact mccadvocacy@mccchurch.net