Healthy Food for Our Neighbors

Institute for Global Education 




Dear IGE Friend, 

The Institute for Global Education, a 501c3 not for profit all volunteer organization, which advances the causes of peace, justice, diversity and non violence in West Michigan, invites you to participate with us in two new  initiatives here in our community. As an all volunteer organization,  we do this work with the financial support of our friends.  

We want to offer you the opportunity to partner with us in an outreach program to the homeless. We  have joined with the St Mark’s Episcopal Church Saturday Breakfast program where we distribute, on a monthly basis, essential items to homeless people at the  breakfast. This includes masks, hand sanitizer, hand and foot warmers, and protein bars. We have learned that there is a great need for socks for men and women and would like to add them to the bags we distribute. Donations of new socks and/or funds to purchase socks and other items are needed. Sock material should be of synthetic fabric which washes easily and dries quickly. 

In partnership with AmeriCorps volunteers and the Ecosocialist Committee of the Grand Rapids Democratic Socialists of America, a special summer project, “Healthy Food for Our Neighbors ” is being launched.  Volunteers will be planting and growing vegetables to be distributed through various community venues.  Contributions of plants and gardening supplies, including manure, woodchips, and ground coverings, or the funds to purchase those items, are needed. 

Your past support is greatly appreciated and we hope that you will consider supporting these two initiatives for those in need in our community.  Donations can be made online at

If you have further questions, please contact email hidden; JavaScript is required.


Kim McKeon, Chairperson

Kate Shockey, Co-Chairperson

Institute for Global Education Board




IGE Talks – Earth Day 2021



You may watch the Youtube videos in advance here but be sure to come to the Zoom show!!!

Email email hidden; JavaScript is required for the Zoom link.


May Day is International Workers Day

May Day

Join Us On May Day!  All Workers Are Essential!


Saturday, May 1, 2021 Noon Spirit of Solidarity Monument

(220 Front Avenue across from the Grand Rapids Public Museum)

On May Day we gather to remember the workers, both essential and retired, who lost their lives this past year due to the mishandling of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

We also honor the Haymarket Martyrs of Chicago, who along with furniture workers in Grand Rapids, fought for the 8-hour day and a new, better world. Back in 1886, the Chicago police attacked striking workers injuring and killing dozens. The State of Illinois then hung four of eight labor leaders after a rigged trial. Out of this outrage a new world-wide labor movement was born. So today in every country, May 1st is celebrated as International Workers Day!

We want safer work conditions for all workers and to build a strong labor movement. Our demands are honest and simple: 

Build Back Better with Unions! Support the AFL-CIO’s push to pass the PRO Act

Jobs or income now! Extend unemployment to 26 weeks, not 20. Make Michigan unemployment great again!

Stop racist police brutality and end police crimes. Support community control of the police.

Support the Equality Act! Fight discrimination against the LGBTQIA+

Support immigrant rights. No more kids in cages! Legalization for all!

The workers, united, will never be defeated!

Hosted by IATSE Local 26 (Stagehands), ATU Local 836 (Bus Drivers), and the Kent-Ionia Labor Council.  

“Salt of the Earth” Movie & Discussion

Virginia Jenks Chambers portrays her involvement in the miners strike. Born November 8, 1917 in St. Louis Missouri, Virginia and her husband Tom Chambers were founding members of IGE. Virginia died February, 1990.

IGE is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.  Join us by Zoom or with limited seating in the IGE office.  We will be showing the movie on Zoom and/or you can watch in advance on YouTube (Salt of the Earth movie)  and then join our discussion.  For the Zoom link or office reservations, please leave a message at 616-259-6124.

Credit to IMDb

Essentials for Smiles: Care items for Homeless People

Smiles all around!

March 12,, 2021

Dear Patron,

There are many unhoused citizens in and around greater Grand Rapids this year. The wintertime was especially difficult for these individuals due to the harsh winter weather in Michigan. The encampment at Heartside Park was uprooted as well, making things more difficult for them because it takes away the makeshift homes they had established for themselves. The Covid-19 Pandemic is only exasperating the situation because the people need to remain apart and in sanitary conditions to remain healthy. The dire need that the unhoused have is only growing. Now that spring is around the corner, we hope to brighten people’s days with simple essential items that are vital for their wellbeing.

At the Institute for Global Education (IGE), we seek to help our unhoused neighbors and friends by partnering with local non-profits. We have found that St. Mark’s Episcopal Church at 134 Division Avenue North, Grand Rapids, MI 49503 provides services to these individuals. At the IGE, we started gathering supplies to put together care packages of essential products.

Would you consider donating either funding or essentials outlined below for our care packages to help us achieve our mission?

We call this mission “Essentials for Smiles” in hopes of brightening people’s days and ensuring they have essentials they need for the foreseeable future such as masks, chap sticks, and gloves.

We greatly appreciate your donation and it will be used to put together more care packages. If you wish to contribute funds, please go to Paypal or send us a check made out to IGE indicating “Essentials for Smiles”. To donate essentials, please contact Kate Shockey at email hidden; JavaScript is required.


Kim McKeon, Board Chair
Kate Shockey, Board Co-Chair

Non-Violence; Martin Luther King Jr. and Ghandi



MLK Dream Speech curtesy of The Washington Post
Martin Luther King Jr.’s Speech “I have a dream” in 1963.

Many years ago, I spent some time in Tennessee. There was an organization in Memphis similar to Institue for Global Education (IGE), and I was volunteering with them. People from Grand Rapids who had been members of IGE and had moved South had founded this organization, using the IGE as a pattern. On Martin Luther King Jr’s (MLK) Birthday, in order to celebrate, the group held a well-attended event in a giant church in Memphis. Arun Ghandi, Mahatma Ghandi’s grandson, was the featured speaker. I remember talking to Arun after he spoke. I gave him the January 15th page from my page-a-day quote calendar: it quoted Ghandi about non-violence in honor of MLK’s birthday. Arun loved the calendar page and told me that Martin Luther King Jr. was the only one who had seriously implemented his grandfather’s ideas. He had used them to craft the American non-violent civil rights revolution. Arun said he was staying there in Memphis in order to research and study MLK’s papers.

More things you might not know about Martin Luther King Jr.; Martin Luther King Jr. was not born with that name. His birth name was Michael King Jr. If he later changed his name from Michael King Jr. to Martin Luther King, Jr., how could he be a Jr.? Because his father was also Michael King – Michael King Sr. The father changed his own name to Martin Luther and the son followed. So, the Jr. is correct as his name was the same as his father’s at 12 years of age, Martin Luther King Jr. jumped out of a second-story window, allegedly attempting suicide. At 15 years of age, without finishing high school, Martin Luther King Jr. started at Morehouse College in Atlanta. He graduated in 1948 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology. He then entered Crozier Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania and finished with a Doctor of Divinity degree in 1951. He received his Ph.D. in Theology from Boston University in 1955 and became Dr. King.

How many times did MLK Jr. go to jail? 29. This sounds like a lot especially for a scholar and preacher and purveyor of non-violence. But remember, the police and the government wanted to punish him for his activities. For example, one time he was jailed for driving 30 mph in a 25-mph zone. How many times did people attempt to take MLK Jr.’s life? Twice, that we know of. What close relative of MLK Jr.’s did an assassin kill? His mother. How many African Americans have a declared federal holiday on the day of their birth? One. How many other Americans have a declared federal holiday on the day of their birth? Two – both were Presidents.

By: Diane Baum

Review: Fred Hampton and the Black Panther Party

SPECIAL VIEWING OF JUDAS & THE BLACK MESSIAH at the IGE Office on Sunday February 28, 2021 at 2:00 p.m.  Limited space available (around 10 seats).  First come first served.  Email email hidden; JavaScript is required for a reservation or for an alternative date this week to see the movie in the office. 
There will be a Zoom discussion after the movie at 4:30 p.m. open to the public.
Topic: Judas & the Black Messiah Movie Discussion
Time: Sunday, Feb 28, 2021 at  4:30 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
To join Zoom Meeting please contact email hidden; JavaScript is required for more info.
On Friday, February 12, 2021, the film “Judas and the Black Messiah” directed and produced by Shaka King, was released to theaters. It will also have a month run on HBO Max. The film is a drama based on real-life events — a fascinating look at Fred Hampton and the Black Panther Party.

This political movement was born during the turbulent civil rights era of the 1960’s. Its goal was to defend communities of color from police brutality and oppression. It was also a social movement that offered many free services to struggling neighborhoods. Under the leadership of Huey P. Newton, the Panthers created “Survival Programs,” helping people with basic needs like comprehensive medical and educational assistance, and “Free Breakfast for Children.”Here is the Black Panthers’ Ten-Point Program from 1967.

  1. We want freedom. We want power to determine the destiny of our Black Community.
  2. We want full employment for our people.
  3. We want an end to the robbery by the Capitalists of our Black Community.
  4. We want decent housing fit for shelter of human beings.
  5. We want education for our people that exposes the true nature of this decadent American society. We want education that teaches us our true history and our role in the present day society.
  6. We want all Black men to be exempt from military service.
  7. We want an immediate end to POLICE BRUTALITY and MURDER of Black people.
  8. We want freedom for all Black men held in federal, state, county and city prisons and jails.
  9. We want all Black people, when brought to trial, to be tried in court by a jury of their peer group or people from their Black Communities, as defined by the Constitution of the United States.
  10. We want land, bread, housing, education, clothing, justice and peace.

How compelling that this radical agenda speaks to us today in 2021!

In 1969, Fred Hampton of the Black Panthers, William “Preacherman” Fesperman of the Young Patriots and our own Jose “Cha Cha” Jimenez of the Young Lords founded the first Rainbow Coalition in the Lincoln Park neighborhood of Chicago. In place of the usual brawling street-gang activity, the Coalition relied on nonviolent community organization. It began an effective campaign against police brutality, poverty, corruption and gentrification in low-income neighborhoods of Chicago.

In 1967, the FBI with its COINTELPRO, initiated a campaign to disrupt the Panthers’ successful social programs and destroy the Black Panthers entirely. J. Edgar Hoover believed the Panthers to be the greatest threat to the internal security of the United States. Most historians consider the death of Fred Hampton a political assassination by our government. The current film, “Judas and the Black Messiah” explores the Black Panthers, the final days of Fred Hampton, and the events that led to his death.


Written By: Gerard Akkerhuis | Edited By: Diane Baum

Resources: Judas and the Black Messiah Wiki | Black Panther Party Wiki | Rainbow Coalition – Fred Hampton Wiki


            Email: email hidden; JavaScript is required        

            Web site:

The Institute for Global Education opened its doors four decades ago. We have advanced causes of peace, justice, diversity, and non-violence in the West Michigan area. Think Globally Act Locally. We are now an all-volunteer organization and do this work with the financial and volunteer support of many friends like you.

In the past 40 years, we have accomplished much, but with your additional financial support, we can do even more. We have not asked for contributions in recent years but are asking now.

Two of our most dedicated workers died this year: Corrine Carey and Mike Franz. Their families have designated IGE as an organization to which you can make donations in their honor.

IGE appreciates donations at any level. IGE is a 501(C)(3) organization. This year, when you donate to IGE, there is up to a $300 deduction for cash donations (cash, check, credit & debit cards) without itemizing.

  • Send a check to IGE
  • Pay with a credit card through PayPal on our website
  • Stop by with cash

We have peace and justice items including T-shirts, Yard signs and Buttons.  These, along with IGE memberships, make great holiday gifts.

Again, thank you for your ongoing support.

Mike Franz

Mike Franz

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.        

Is Peace Possible?


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