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

Non-Violence in The Present

Non-violence is not talked about very much at this time, but it is a crucial component of human life.  It is true that humans want to maintain themselves in groups of similar people.  It feels safer and easier.  However, the fear of apparently different others eventually leads to violence against other people, property, and institutions. We must recognize that fear and bravely practice non-violence.  We may have been socialized to accept violence. It is difficult to be non-violent, especially since it is seen as cowardice and weakness, but it is absolutely necessary in these troubled times. There are very useful books, videos, and teachers who can help us change our thinking and actions. Gene Sharp has written a great deal and so has Marshall Rosenberg. Great pacifists like Dorothy Day and others struggled to promote peaceful ways of relating to others. Non-violence requires constant practice.


Twelve-step programs promote respect for oneself and others and ways of saying your truth in kind ways, “say what you mean, but don’t say it mean.” We begin with goodwill, acceptance, and listening to others in order to achieve conflict resolution.  The structures of humanity in families, other relationships, business, and government need to always begin with the assumption of goodwill and honesty tempered with kindness. Yes, sometimes hostile behavior requires defensive action to protect ourselves and others, but hostility should never come first.


Formal education and informal socialization must stress the equality of all humans. Everyone deserves to be treated equitably. Of course, babies, sick, and infirm people need extra care and attention. We must practice the cultivation of courage and patience with ourselves and others. Differences of countries of origin, color, gender, gender preference, wealth, age, intelligence, religion in people should not determine greater or lesser status. Connection with others is a necessity for all humans. Our Institute for Global Education office has some good literature on non-violence for all ages of people.

By: Kate Villaire

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

Please donate to IGE

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.