IGE is a meeting place for community groups that share our concerns about human rights and education for multicultural and religious awareness. We promote peaceful conflict resolution through training, workshops with youth and adults, and ongoing community discussion.

Non Violent Communication Presentation–Thursday, June 23

June 23 @ 7:00 pm9:00 pm

What is NVC?
a pragmatic process for identifying, communicating and meeting the often unseen but essential motivating needs of your self and of others;  An NVC practice gradually lessens thoughts and actions based on ineffective systems of guilt, judgment, and manipulation (thru positive or negative reactions), while replacing them with thoughts and actions that address the driving issues in each person with creativity and kindness.
How does NVC work?  You go beyond counterproductive cultural habits to connect genuinely with Observations, Feelings, Needs and Requests in yourself and others at the present moment.  Most of NVC is common sense but developing these compassionate ways can make life surprisingly wonderful.   
O – peel off evaluation, comparison, criticism, and judgment to identify objective observations;
F –  develop a vocabulary and awareness of feelings in yourself and others
N – identify one or more basic needs attached to each authentic feeling
R – identify positive actions that you or others can take to meet your needs — requests
E – practice empty-space listening/empathy to hear accurately, paraphrase, reflect;  When appropriate, engage in active “question” empathy to release the ofnr of others;
A – Also apply the above skills to address issues to convey appreciation, dissolve depression, diffuse violence, and work effectively with children and other people at home, work or anywhere;

IGE supports Loving Day!

IGE supports Loving Day!

We want to ask you to support the Loving Day Celebration on Sunday, June 12, 2016 by bringing photos, children’s drawings, or other images of your family to IGE at 1118 Wealthy St. SE for Loving Day.

This IGE photo wall will be in conjunction with the Ebony Road Players Loving Day Celebration on Sunday, June 12, 2016, from 12 Noon to 8pm, between Barth Street and Wealthy Theatre, right behind IGE.

IGE will be open with the Free Thought Café taking place from 12pm to 2pm, followed by an IGE open house from 2pm to 4pm, before everyone moves over to the Wealthy Theater.

Loving Day is celebrated in cities throughout the country in observance of the Loving v. Virginia Supreme Court Case of 1967, which struck down the criminality of interracial marriage in the United States.

Ebony Road Players is organizing the Loving Day Celebration so please see the attached flyer for more information or visit Loving Day Celebration 2016 for the details.

Free Thought Cafe field trip to Geek Group on Saturday

Free Thought Cafe field trip to Geek Group  http://thegeekgroup.org/

This Sunday, we’re meeting on Saturday, because it’s summer and time for adventures!

And: We’re meeting at the Geek Group at 12:30, Saturday, June 4, 2016 for their tour.  It’s their birthday and the place is amazing!  The Geek Group is at 902 Leonard NW.

Then after the tour try out the Mitten brewing company down the street at 527 Leonard NW for some coffee, a good pretzel, or a local craft beverage.

There are lots of fun options this time of year.  You might want to mark your calendar now:
June 4    902 Leonard NW   12:30 p.m, Geek Group (food afterwards)
June 12  1118 Wealthy SE   noon-2   The Enbridge Five (potluck)
June 17  1819 Oakwood NE    7 p.m.   Aliens party (dress the part!)
June 19   No Cafe, Father’s Day. Call your dad (you’re welcome)
June 26  1118 Wealthy SE   noon-2
Do not miss the aliens!!  If you want to help with the party, let me know!  Laura Casaletto

Democracy Spring at Freethought Cafe

Freethought Cafe is getting a visit from Democracy Spring this Sunday, 12:00 noon- 2 p.m. at the Institute for Global Education, 1118 Wealthy St SE.

Who are they? Citizens of all parties and none, risking arrest creating the biggest mass events at the capitol in a generation.  Why don’t you know this? There’s been a media blackout!  What are they fighting?  Big money in politics!
Democracy Spring will discuss the importance of citizen activism and the politics of respectability which intertwine with all social movements. The session will conclude with brainstorming about direct actions — small or large — which you can do in your communities.
We have a potluck too–share as you are able.  And if you disagree, that is fine too–we love us some articulate controversy.  This week, cocktails!
With special appearances from Democracy Spring Marchers, The Dome 12, Wolf PAC, the Prison Creative Arts Project, TYT Army, and some stirring chants.
Thank you, Democracy Spring. Now, I’m going to go create an appropriate beverage.  Democracy Stingers, anyone?

A Discussion on Anarchist Decision Making & PRDM


A Discussion on Anarchist Decision Making & PRDM

May 9 – 7:00pm

at the IGE office

The idea of PRDM (or Decision Making that relates to proximity and resource) is as *a* response to age old questions (in anarchist circles) of power and communication. The perception, and perhaps the attraction, of anarchism for most young people is that it is a way to be involved in the decision making that dictates the arbitrary choices that life is filled with. It is a way to seize power over ones own life by participation. Formal consensus is successful at structuring a method of what purposeful self-determination could look like for a group. Informal consensus is successful at evading what feels arbitrary and collectivist about formal consensus by being more casual and ad hoc about the points in formal consensus that seem arbitrary and bureaucratic.

We are proposing experimentation around a model we call PRDM. PRDM emphasizes autonomy and production rather than collectivity and personal growth regarding our projects. It sketches an idea of an anarchist decision methodology rather than a system of processes. It is also the system that we have been attempting to use at Little Black Cart over the last 10 years.

Benefit for Chester Lowe


We are hosting a benefit to cover Chester Lowe’s medical expenses in his fight against blood cancer–multiple myeloma. Chester must now take 31 medications and maintain a C-PAP machine. Chemo treatments can take a year or longer, with monthly hospitalizations. Fortunately, his vital signs are improving, but this will be a difficult fight. We need your help to raise the money Chester needs to live longer.

Film showing: “Where To Invade Next” by Michael Moore

Sunday, May 15, 2016 at 2:30pm

Institute For Global Education

1118 Wealthy Street S.E.

Grand Rapids MI 49506


Serving food and beverages, with a discussion after the movie. Event is free and open to the public.

Please donate generously, make checks to: “Chester A. Lowe Donation Account” at IGE address above.

Sponsored by Friends of Chester Lowe, contact Katie Villarie 616-459-6626



Young Lords, seniors, students, activists and academics unite to preserve community!

Young Lords, seniors, students, organizers and academics unite to preserve community!

By Tom Burke for IGE

Grand Rapids, MI—Close to 200 people turned out for “A Neighborhood Affair to Preserve Community” organized by the Young Lords Student Organization. The event at Grand Valley State University outside Grand Rapids, MI featured the academic and community organizing work of Jose “Cha Cha” Jimenez, founder of the Young Lords.

The event highlighted the Young Lords in Lincoln Park oral history collection and debuted new oral histories from nearly 50 African American and Latino senior citizens from southeast and southwest Grand Rapids. These stories, “Community House: Senior Histories,” will be available in March through the Kent District Library as well as the Young Lords Collection, housed at Grand Valley. Two professors also showed a rough edit of a Young Lords documentary they are working to finish.

Short speeches by local activists, community leaders, college administrators and local officials conveyed moving personal experiences working to end racism and poverty. There was well-deserved praise for Jose “Cha Cha” Jimenez and his work. Speakers included, Kent District Library director Lance Werner, former Kentwood Mayor Richard Clanton; Tony Baker, Grand Rapids Public Schools board president; Grand Valley President Thomas J. Haas; and Lee Van Orsdel, dean of University Libraries.

This was followed by the spectacular dance performance by Senior Steppers and then the Soul Syndicate band performing for a full dance floor.

José “Cha-Cha” Jiménez founded the Young Lords in 1968 to struggle for human rights and fair housing in Chicago when investors, politicians, and developers began displacing Puerto Ricans, Latinos and others from the Lincoln Park neighborhood. Jiménez organized a movement, formed the original “Rainbow Coalition” with the Black Panthers and Young Patriots, and published a newspaper to draw attention to substandard housing, police brutality and corruption in Chicago.

Jiménez moved to Michigan in the 1980s and later studied at Grand Valley. He began working with a faculty mentor to capture the stories of his friends and neighbors who stood beside him in the Young Lords. This collection began as a Student Summer Scholars project through the Office of Undergraduate Research and Scholarship.

At the event Jiménez said, “While the collection represents two different neighborhoods, the focus is similar: capturing and archiving stories of leaders and activists so that others can learn and understand the history of their community.”

Access the collection online at www.gvsu.edu/younglords.

Kate Shockey speaking on behalf of the Institute for Global Education, a sponsor of the event, said, “We are proud to work with Cha Cha Jimenez here in Grand Rapids as we pursue peace and justice for all. IGE plans to organize to stop the removal of working poor and especially African American people from the neighborhoods around Wealthy Street.”

IGE Talks is hosting a follow up event with Paul Mayhue moderating, “Neighborhood Improvement vs. Resident Displacement”, Thursday, April 7 at 7pm at the IGE office, 1118 Wealthy Street Southeast, Grand Rapids, MI.

A Neighborhood Affair to Preserve Community


Tuesday, March 29, 2016 from 4 to 8:30pm

Grand Valley State University, Allendale, MI

Kirkhof Center, Pere Marquette Room 2204

Food, Music, Dancing, and a Young Lords Documentary Film. The Young Lords in Lincoln Park collection, Community House: Senior Histories, and sponsors GVSU Modern Languages