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.
IGE has lost another great devoted worker for our cause, Mike Franz. Mike taught English and Film at the Grand Rapids Community College for 37 years, inspiring many students. He became interested in Educators for Social Responsibility and then Institute for Global Education in the mid 80’s. Because Mike was so charitably minded and had many friends, he worked for many peace and justice causes and organizations such as Move On and Senior groups. His great love was his Lutheran Church where he was a musician for many years. He took “loving our neighbor” seriously and realized that that it is necessary to strongly and loudly advocate for justice and peace and get into the streets to do it. He organized many educational programs, media and protest events in the spirit of educator he was, advocating for the values of peace and justice. He was an Executive Board member at IGE for many years and a wonderful guiding presence in our work. Thank you, Mike, we will miss you greatly!
Mike is survived by his lovely wife Mari of 40 years, his daughter Renae, son, Sean, grandchildren, Helena and Armen and brother Robert. Due to Covid, a memorial for Mike will be held in the spring and we will inform you then of the date.
Memorial Donations can be made in his name to Institute for Global Education. igegr.org
by RON IRVINE
I’ve been thinking a lot about peace, especially throughout September in light of the International Day of Peace. In a context of such polarization we are a long ways from being at peace in this country. So much of the cause of this and it’s expression is in the public realm. In my 62 years, I’ve never seen so much political and religious division from the deliberate use of a politics of violence and a language of war to express and provoke rage, hate, and fear. Social media and self constructed social silos leave us all living in very different realities based on our own pet alternative truths. We are going to have to solve these problems we have created or die, suffocating in our safe and secure bubbles of death. But these problems have become so complex that it will take years to unravel them, let alone solve them.
But, in the meantime, peace is possible in the same way it has always been. It must begin within me. Outer turmoil always begins with inner turmoil. Peace out there is not possible without peace within. It is like a jar of water with dirt mixed in. When that jar is all shook up, it is no longer clear. But if we are patient with ourselves and just sit with it in stillness, eventually things will become settled and clear again. If we become still and settled, peace will return.
For more, please check out Living with Open Hands at ronirvine.wordpress.com
Ginsburg’s impact on women spanned age groups, backgrounds
By JOCELYN NOVECK September 21, 2020 GMT
“She was my teacher in so many ways,” said Gloria Steinem, the nation’s most visible feminist leader, in an interview. But even if she hadn’t known her personally, Steinem said, it was due to Ginsburg, who died Friday at 87 of complications of cancer, that “for the first time I felt the Constitution was written for me.”
“Now, it wasn’t written for me — it left out most folks, actually, when it was written,” Steinem added. But, she said, by forcing the courts to address issues like workplace discrimination, sexual assault and a host of others, Ginsburg “literally made me feel as if I had access to the law, because Ruth was there.”
But the extent of Ginsburg’s influence was felt not only by older women like Steinem, 86, who understood from experience the obstacles Ginsburg faced, such as not being able to find a job at a New York law firm despite graduating at the top of her class at Columbia Law School.
Younger women and girls also say they were inspired by the justice’s achievements, her intellect and her fierce determination as she pursued her career. Hawa Sall, 20, a first-generation college student in New York, said it was Ginsburg who inspired her to attend Columbia, where she’s now an undergraduate studying human rights and planning on law school.
“Her resilience, her tenacity, her graciousness through it all — she’s always been one of my biggest inspirations in life,” said Sall, who lives in Brooklyn where Ginsburg was born, and whose family comes from Mali and Senegal. “She’s what I’ve always wanted to be, and still want to be.”
Sall says she was fascinated by what she learned about Ginsburg when she attended an event at the Lower Eastside Girl’s Club in Manhattan for the 2015 book, “Notorious RBG,” by Irin Carmon and Shana Knizhnik (the title played on the name of Brooklyn rapper The Notorious B.I.G.) That book was part of a wave of rock-star like fame that enveloped Ginsburg in her later years on the bench, making her a hero to a younger generation: There was also a famed impression by Kate McKinnon on “Saturday Night Live,” a feature film, starring Felicity Jones as Ginsburg, and the hit documentary “RBG,” both in 2018.
Julie Cohen and Betsy West, who co-directed “RBG,” saw firsthand how women of all ages quickly identified with Ginsburg.
“We’d go to screenings … and afterward older women who had been through the kind of discrimination she faced as a young woman would be sobbing … because they knew what she was up against, and what she did to help them and their daughters and granddaughters,” West said.
But also, Cohen added: “She became a huge symbolic figure for young women and even girls in a way that we hadn’t anticipated. So many children came to the movie, often little girls dressed in little robes. … Girls seemed to find her just mesmerizing.”
West theorizes the fascination might have come from Ginsburg’s small stature. Her legacy, though, was nothing less than enormous, she said: “She changed the world for American women.”
It wasn’t just Democratic-leaning women who praised Ginsburg. Stacey Feeback, a 33-year-old Fayetteville, North Carolina, voter at a weekend rally for President Donald Trump, said the justice was “an inspirational woman.”
“She meant a lot to the (women’s) movement,” Feeback said. “She’s been an inspiration. She’s brought America and women forward in a generation.”
Ginsburg first gained fame as a litigator for the Women’s Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union, which she directed in the ’70s. The project marked “a real turning point for situating women’s rights not just as a gender issue, but as a civil rights issue that affected all of us,” said Ria Tabacco Mar, its current head.
At the time, the Supreme Court had never applied the Constitution’s guarantee of “equal protection of the laws” to strike down a law because of gender discrimination. That changed in 1971 with a case in which Ginsburg helped persuade the high court to invalidate an Idaho law that called for choosing men over women to administer the estates of the dead.
Two years later, she again prevailed — making her first oral argument before the high court she would later join — in the case of a female Air Force officer whose husband was denied spousal benefits that male officers’ wives automatically received.
“For every gender injustice that we see today, Ruth Bader Ginsburg saw it first, and she fought it first,” said Tabacco Mar.
Devi Rao, one of Ginsburg’s law clerks in 2013, said the justice had taught her that “law isn’t just about the law — it’s about the people whose lives are impacted by those laws.”
Rao, who now works on appellate cases for a civil rights firm, said Ginsburg “distinguished herself in a man’s world and on a man’s court without looking like them or sounding like them, but simply because they couldn’t deny the power of her ideas. She teaches women and girls not to count themselves out even though they don’t look like those in power.”
It’s that lesson that mothers like Brianne Burger hope their daughters will understand. Earlier this year, Burger posted a photo of her daughter Adi, 5, on Facebook, outfitted as RBG in black robe and glasses for a school dress-up day in Washington, D.C. The girl came home delighted, her mother said, that so many people recognized her costume.
“She still talks about that day,” said Burger.
Asked what Adi understands about Ginsburg, the mother replied: “She knows that RBG made girls equal to boys.”
Associated Press writers Jennifer Peltz in New York, Jessica Gresko in Washington and Bryan Anderson in Fayetteville, North Carolina, contributed to this report.
IGE member Janice Pugh died August 30, 2020 (b. February 28, 1948). Janice was confined to a wheelchair for many years due to a car accident. She was brave and interesting. She is survived by her son Evan. There are no plans for a funeral or memorial at this time. – Katie Villaire
take it easy
& war will cease.
life is not a race.
proceed at your own pace.
police your space.
release fear and anger with grace.
take it easy
& war will cease.
The South East Market is not only an important new addition to the area in regards to food access, it is also founded on a philosophy that will uplift the moral integrity of both business and community. As the mission states, the market aims to “increase access to healthy and culturally appropriate food for our community through a sustainable and equitable lens.” Alita Kelly, the founder, understands the contiguous connection between our bodies and the Earth and that the health of one depends on the other. Having grown up in the area herself, she also understands that there are voices missing. Alita recently graduated from the University of Michigan in Environmental Science and Sustainable Business. Her past work with local food access organizations and managing nutritional programs has led her to the ambitious pursuit of empowering equitable and sustainable food systems. The value of our health is priceless, which is why the market aims to support the community at large, not exclusively the southeast area. However, the marginalized neighborhoods on the southeast side of Grand Rapids have long endured a lack of healthy food options, which is why the market is particularly committed to bridging that gap for the residents.
The land we live on today, and the land that the market will stand on, is not our own. It is important to understand the history of this land, which once belonged to the peoples of the First Nation. Indigenous philosophy declares that land cannot be owned, it is viewed as our mother and it is our responsibility to care for it, like a relationship. According to their teachings, respect, responsibility, and reciprocity are essential components of maintaining a healthy relationship with both people and nature. These components are also embedded in the foundation of the market.
Sustainability is crucial for a healthy future, but equity is essential as well. Equity starts with respecting and understanding the community’s values and desires, and then aiding in the effort to reach those desires while preserving their dignity. Out of respect for the community’s needs the South East Market makes healthy and affordable produce accessible for families; out of respect for the land the market is sourcing that produce conscientiously. By making these promises, the market also has a responsibility to uphold its values and ensure that concerns for equity are addressed.
The responsibilities we hold correspond with the gifts we are given; as humans, we have the gift of stewardship, knowledge, gratitude, etc. Applying these gifts and more, the market is fulfilling its responsibility to the health of the land and community. It is solving issues through business and community outreach by listening to the community members firsthand. After all, the produce cannot be culturally appropriate without familiarity with the culture. Similarly, the produce is not necessarily ensuring equity if it is not being sourced from a diversity of farmers. The market recognizes this as well and intends to source as much product as possible from Black, Indigenous, people of color and women farmers in the Michigan area. In an effort to keep the food prices affordable for our community members, however, additional food will be supplemented by local farms and larger distribution companies.
In order for the relationship to be successful it must be symbiotic, which in this case means that if the community wants to see the local businesses thrive and continue into the future, the community must also do its part and support the business. By both parties fulfilling their responsibilities it becomes mutually beneficial, also referred to as a reciprocal relationship. With the continual support of the community it becomes even easier for the South East Market to provide more options and meet more needs. The market will soon be able to accept payments from both Electronic Benefit Transfer (EBT) and Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP). With shown interest, there are also hopes to start community workshops to educate the public on various topics concerning health and well-being. The market recognizes the value of a sparked interest, hopefully its farmer-to-consumer connection will inspire the community to learn more about the ways in which their food is produced.
While in its infancy, the market will conduct business virtually. The customers can visit the website and choose which items they would like in their food order. Everything sold through the business will be highly reviewed for its level of sustainable production. The market is working to also offer options that are designed to improve health conditions, such as diabetes, or help work toward personal health goals by organizing a pre-arranged basket of ingredients and recipe cards to prepare the healthy meals. To further aid with accessibility, customers may choose to pick up their produce or have it delivered if they reside within the 49507 zip code.
The market is an investment in the community to uplift the voices and make it a happier and healthier environment, but it also needs your support and small investments to do so effectively. Please visit the market’s website for more information. If you support community health and empowerment please consider donating to the South East Market’s GoFundMe page.
Re: COVID-19, Michigan Unemployment & Medicare
My name is Matthew Brady and my partner Elizabeth and I live in Holland, Michigan. We met in our mid-thirties and have been together five years. I grew up in Cheboygan county, but Elizabeth grew up in Holland. Elizabeth has Limb-Girdle Muscular Dystrophy (Type 2C), which is a very rare form of LGMD. She can move her fingers and speak clearly and is able to work part-time from home. The muscle’s behind Elizabeth’s lungs have weekend to the point where she needs machines to assist her in coughing and ventilating CO2 during sleep. This factor also makes her vulnerable to complications with respiratory infections/diseases, such as COVID-19.
I am fortunately very much aware of the problem of induction and so I keep an eye out for big problems. I started preparing for the COVID-19 outbreak by early March. Elizabeth has aide care, and that is very precious and necessary for us, but the threat of contracting COVID-19 from an aide was a major concern for us. Elizabeth consulted her doctor in mid-March, and he recommended having as few people entering the home as possible. So I told the printshop (I had worked for eight years) that I needed to be her critical worker during the Stay Home/Stay Safe order. The printshop was fine with it at first, and when I spoke with HR, it sounded like I was going to get partial sick pay. Then I was laid off in April, and ultimately terminated at the end of May. By June I was completely unemployed and Elizabeth was struggling to get her aide care back to normal. Her aide care makes it possible for her to work and ultimately me. Having consistent, reliable, and safe aide care provides me respite care and allows me to be able to work full-time. Providing 100% of Elizabeth’s care (both personal and professional) for ten weeks was very physically taxing on me and difficult for us emotionally. Elizabeth finally got her aide care completely back on track by the end of July. Elizabeth has two aides providing her care and they are responsible and respectful of her being high-risk.
I had a difficult time getting my assistance from the Michigan Unemployment Agency, but I finally did receive my benefits recently. Now the problem is finding a job. With a second wave of COVID-19 on the horizon, it seems like no-one is ready to begin hiring longterm.
I’m very interested in relocating up north; where I grew up. I have stronger ties to a community there. I’m also concerned that, aside from Amazon and the 5G sector, the majority of our economy is heading for tough times. It just makes sense to me that the future is more local (in food production as one example) and so that’s where I’d like to see us. Elizabeth has a lot of concerns though, because there is a lot more to consider when you are significantly disabled. It would sure be nice to have some hope for Medicare for all or even a public option, because that of course is a huge concern for us. I lost my health care when I was terminated in May, and that’s not even one of my priorities at this point.
We are very fortunate and blessed compared to most. Our bills are paid for now and we have the basics. We are grateful to IGE for supporting the Western Michigan community. I wish I could spend more time with IGE, and do more in the community. I am trying to figure out how to help some environmentalists from home. I just hope people can come together and support each other during these troubled times.
Crafting Better Communities (formerly Sewing Circle)
We are returning Tuesdays from 2pm to 7pm.
Call IGE Office for schedule and dates. Face masks (we have available) and social distancing required.
At IGE office: 1118 Wealthy SE, Grand Rapids Parking behind building (paid until 5pm), near 4, 5 & 6 bus lines
CREATE: arts, crafts, sew, knit, crochet, draw, color, teach, learn, etc., or just talk. Sewing machine, button maker, art & sign supplies, kid’s stuff, worktables. Collaborative projects welcome.
BOOKS: including “Crafting the Resistance”, “Doomsday Knits”, “Re-Sew”, “Sewing Green”. On-line resources.
Come and go as you like. Coffee & tea. No charge but goodwill donations appreciated.
To schedule special projects like sign making, workshops, individual help or other times contact Kate at 773-220-0847
The Covid-19 pandemic has created an unprecedented situation socially and economically – and that means many Michigan residents may be out of work or facing financial crisis. There are resources available for those that need food, financial assistance, unemployment resources and help paying their utility bills, just to name a few.
A good place to start is by contacting Michigan’s 2-1-1 system, where you’ll be connected to a list of resources across Michigan for help with food, diapers, rental assistance, energy bills and bus fare, to name a few.
Here’s how to connect:
· Call 2-1-1
· Text your zip code to 898211
· Visit the link: https://www.mi211.org/
Additionally, those interested in donating supplies, donating to a food bank or donating blood during the pandemic can call 2-1-1 as well.
If you need assistance with health care coverage, cash assistance, food assistance, childcare costs or emergency housing, utility payments or burial situations, the state of Michigan has a streamlined application system through MI Bridges.
How to apply:
· Online at newmibridges.michigan.gov
· Using a paper application, which can be found online or at a local MDHHS office. Call your local MDHHS office and they will mail the application to you.
· At a local MDHHS office, which can be found here
· At a community partner, which can be found here
For healthcare coverage only, you can apply over the phone by calling 1-855-276-4627
The state of Michigan has expanded the food assistance benefits for Michigan families, and waived the federal work requirements for about 27,000 individuals. Find out more information here.
The state’s 2-1-1 system is a great resource to get connected with local food drives and giveaways.
The state also has a map of where families can find free lunches for children while school is closed due to the pandemic.
Additionally, these news sites offer a wide-ranging roundup of where free food is available across Michigan.
Rent and Housing
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer has temporarily suspended all evictions in Michigan until April 17.
For assistance with emergency housing, get connected with the state’s MI Bridges program.
Additionally, the state offers interest-free forgivable loans to help with mortgage, property taxes and/or condominium association fees in cases of involuntary qualifying hardship – like job loss or a medical event. Learn more about the Step Forward Michigan program by:
· Call 866-946-7432
Gov. Whitmer has issued an executive order that requires water service to be reconnected to residences that have had their water shut off.
Additionally, check with your utility providers to see if they have any policies in place to suspend collections or to postpone bills in cases of financial hardship due to COVID-19.
· DTE Energy and Consumers Energy are not disconnecting service and extending flexible payment plans for low-income customers, seniors and those impacted by illness or job losses related to the pandemic.
· SEMCO has suspended customer disconnections and has waived late fees for anyone unable to pay their monthly natural gas bill. Call SEMCO if you are concerned about paying your bill at 1-800-624-2019.
· AT&T is offering free internet access for new customers for two months. Low-income households can continue to subscribe for $10/month. Service will not be terminated due to inability to pay.
· Comcast and Charter Communications are offering free internet to low-income families. Internet and cable service will not be suspended.
Other resources in Grand Rapids
Electric Cheetah, Kids eat free with an adult meal purchase of $14 or more. 1015 Wealthy St. SE.
Kent County Community Action Food Distribution will add an additional food distribution day March 26 from 1 p.m.- 6 p.m. at Kent County Community Action, 121 Franklin St. SE. To volunteer click here
Kids’ Food Basket, Looking for volunteers. Text KFB to 56651 to donate. 1300 Plymouth Ave NE.
- CRAFTING BETTER COMMUNITIES – (Formerly SEWING CIRCLES)
Tuesdays from 2pm to 7pm. [Call IGE for schedule.] Face masks (we have available) and social distancing required. All are welcome.
At IGE office: 1118 Wealthy SE, Grand Rapids Parking behind building (paid until 5pm), near 4, 5 & 6 bus lines
1. Sunday, October 11, 2020- IGE Board Meeting 2pm-4pm
2. Last week in October and for most of November IGE will focuson the Mexican holiday Day of Dead. IGE will once again display an altar in the window and do something special for Corrine Carey on one of the bulletin boards. More to come later.
3. Pending Film and discussion on Wangari Mathai. Wangari Maathai was Nobel Peace Prize Recipient, founder of the Green Belt Movement, Promoter of community and empowerment of Women in Kenya. Katie Villarie will host this event either in early September . This will be held in the IGE office so sign up is necessary and must wear a mask. More information will follow soon…
MORE TO COME. KEEP CHECKING COMING EVENTS. . .
N.B. The Corrine Carey Memorial has been postponed. The Carey family has decided to wait until next year (2021) to celebrate her memory because of Covid-19 pandemic.
Phone: 1-844-330-2020 Mail: in postage paid envelope
It is important so Grand Rapids receives maximum government funding
(roads, schools, hospitals)
There are NO citizenship questions!!!
1. Institute for Global Education is seeking volunteer opportunities. If you are interested in Peace & Justice issues, and passionate about people and developing more community. The Board of IGE is seeking individuals with good computer skills, add names to our database, send notices to people in data base about upcoming events, and send other information when needed. Board would like new volunteer to work in office at least one day a week, and be able to work independently, or other with other volunteer(s) from time to time.
2. Institute for Global Education is seeking volunteer to work with another volunteer to display and organize our fair trade items that we sale in office that IGE sales. These fair trade items represent Peace & Justice. This volunteer will work with the Treasurer and treasurer assistant to keep track of sales, keep a log, order new supply when need. This job can be done a once or twice month basis.
The Institute for Global Education stands for peace and justice here in Grand Rapids. Please make a donation to keep the Institute for Global Education moving forward.
Every penny goes towards stopping attacks on women, immigrants, unions, African Americans and other oppressed peoples. IGE marched at the airport against Muslim ban. IGE hosts the International Day of Peace where over 150 people participated. IGE supported our union bus drivers of ATU in the struggle to preserve pensions, keep health care benefits, and win a good contract here at the Rapid. IGE rallies and protests against putting children in cages, and taking babies from their parents at the border to ship them to Bethany Christian Services here in Grand Rapids. IGE supported the Young Lords 50 Years Conference in Chicago. IGE has participated in Day of the Dead, Mandela Day, and many other efforts. Together we can build strong movements.
Please donate now! We need your donation more than ever.
Shaping Peace Together
In recognition of the International Day of Peace (September 21, 2020), please join us for an interfaith presentation of what shaping peace looks like from various religions and spiritual traditions.
This a local, Grand Rapids, Michigan, recorded presentation.
YouTube link https://youtu.be/myaF0zZ9mfA