Mike Franz’s Celebration of Life will be July 9, 2021

Mike Franz

The Celebration of Life for Mike Franz, postponed since September 2020,

has been planned.  Please mark your calendar for Friday, July 9, 2021, at 11:00 am.

This will be held at Trinity Lutheran Church, 2600 East Fulton St. in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

There will be visitation with family at 10:00 am and a service will be held at 11:00 am,

immediately followed by lunch.  There will be time during the service for reflections.

There will be two speakers from IGE to share about Mike.  Please respond by July 1, 2021, to Kim McKeon at email hidden; JavaScript is required

if you would like to attend.

Thank You,

Kimberly McKeon, IGE Co-chair 

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        

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