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.

In Our Backyard: Human Trafficking in America and what we can do about it

Love in action will change the lives of women who are survivors of addiction, prostitution, and human trafficking. Our Sisters and the Institute for Global Education invite you to hear author Nita Belles speak of a way out of exploitation. Ms Belles is the author of In Our Backyard: Human Trafficking in America and What We Can Do to Stop It.
We’re changing location this time only — we’ll meet Monday, May 1 from 7-9 p.m. at Baker Book House, 2768 East Paris Ave SE, in the meeting area at the west end of the building. If anyone would like transportation, please inquire.
You have heard the stories and are aware of the scandal of modern slavery. Would you respond to a woman in severe and chronic distress? Find out about Our Sisters’ project to reach women who want to change their lives.

Fred Van Liew on Restorative Justice

fred van liew photoFred Van Liew will be speaking in Grand Rapids on restorative justice on November 16, 2016.

The first talk will take place at noon at the Kent County Courthouse and the second will take place at 7:00pm at the Dominican Center at Marywood.

Please see the flyers for more information:

Fred Van Liew – lawyer, mediator, consultant, community organizer, and writer:

“I write about ordinary people and their experiences with the justice system, with the professionals – the police, prosecutors, judges, those who run our jails, prisons and correctional programs, those who defend the accused and, most importantly, those most adversely effected by the system.” from The Justice Diary – An Inquiry into Justice in America by Fred Van Liew

Support Our Rapid Bus Drivers!

We invite you to our next Talk at a slightly later time, at 7:30 pm on Thursday, Oct. 27 at IGE, 1118 Wealthy SE.
Hear from union bus driver Jay DeShane of ATU Local 836. Why is the Rapid Board (Interurban Transit Partnership) taking over a year to give the bus drivers a contract? Why is the Rapid trying to take away the workers’ pension and downgrade their health insurance? We will hear from union members, riders, and community leaders who are organizing to get a fair contract and social justice for workers in Grand Rapids and the surrounding towns.
Hosted by labor activist Tom Burke.

Freethought Cafe–report back on Jim Crow Museum, Sun. Oct. 9


Last time, we traveled to the The Jim Crow Museum of Racial Intolerance in Big Rapids.  The intent of the museum is to promote healing, social activism, and the discussion of race and relations.

Since it is difficult to process alone and frankly upsetting, let’s talk about it. Let’s think deeply about better ways and places to live, learning from the ugliness of the past rather than dwelling upon it, while potlucking with coffee and good people.
We will be asking:  What has changed in your lifetime?  What did your elders tell you?  Does discrimination alter what we actually, physically, perceive?  Do we live in a police state now?  Are we, or can we be, post-racist?  How does racism compare to sexism, nationalism, immigration or homophobia?  Where does policy and poverty factor in to all of this? What are we hardwired to do and what can we do about it? What are your thoughts on social engineering (for good)?  
If you are white and full of yourself, we might throw peanuts at you! 
Then we will go forth, braver and more buoyant, tummies full (maybe with peanuts). B(us)YOB if it helps!
Freethought Cafe is at Institute for Global Education, 1118 Wealthy St. SE noon – 2 p.m. Sunday Oct. 9
 Oct 16 we will meet at 1819 Oakwood for a special Halloween screening of Arsenic and Old Lace, with “elderberry wine” for everyone!  Coming in costume encouraged!  Cary Grant lookalikes encouraged to attend!

Fighting cancer fundraiser for Chester Lowe, showing “Free State of Jones”

Fighting Cancer Fundraiser for Chester Lowe

Institute for Global Education Office, 1118 Wealthy Street (just west of Wealthy Theater)

showing “Free State of Jones”

offering pizza and beverages   

Sunday Oct 9, 2 PM

Discussion following film. Call IGE at 454 1642 or write to us at email hidden; JavaScript is required

Freethought Cafe field trip to Jim Crow Museum of Racial Intolerance

Freethought Cafe Field trip to the Jim Crow Museum of Racial Intolerance

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Carpool to Big Rapids (less than an hour drive) and tour the museum at Ferris State. We will meet to discuss what we saw and felt in two weeks on October 9.
Please RSVP to me, Laura email hidden; JavaScript is required  for the museum’s sake! We may or may not qualify for a special tour.
Meet at 11 a.m. in the lot on the corner of Ann NE and Monroe NW. We will want to get to the museum before the homecoming football crowds come in.

Vision For Black Lives: Discussion & Action Group

Vision For Black Lives: Discussion & Action Group

Thursday, September 29 at 6:30 PM to 8:30 PM

at Institute for Global Education, 1118 Wealthy Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI

Centering Black voices, let’s come together to review the incredible document “A Vision for Black Lives”, a massive collaborative effort initiated by The Movement for Black Lives.

Let’s discuss how this could work in Grand Rapids based on priorities and goals of local Black leadership, and collaboratively work towards creating an action plan.

Please review the demands document at https://policy.m4bl.org/beforehand.

IMPORTANT: White SURJ participants: come to listen, bring a snack to share, drinks to share, and notepads and pens to share.


Contact Marie at (616) 446-3622
or email hidden; JavaScript is required

Justice for Rasmea Odeh–September 22 update

Justice for Rasmea Odeh–Tuesday, September 22 update, 7:00pm at IGE

Institute for Global Education is at 1118 Wealthy Street SE, Grand Rapids, MI 49506

Rasmea Odeh is the target of U.S. government repression because she stands for equality, freedom and justice. Rasmea Odeh is a “serve the people” leader of the Arab American community in Chicago, an icon of the Palestinian liberation movement, and a determined activist for equality and justice for women and all oppressed peoples.

Two years ago the U.S. government raided and arrested her, put her on trial for a minor immigration paper work problem, and is attempting to imprison and deport her. In an unfair trial where she was not allowed to talk about being tortured by the Israeli Military, she was found guilty and sentenced to 18 months in prison and then deportation to a country other than her own. This trial was overturned by an appeals court in Cincinnati.  A victory for the movement in solidarity with Rasmea Odeh.

At 69, Rasmea Odeh embodies the life long struggle of the Palestinian people to be free from colonization and occupation. We ask you to come here a report on her case, build the solidarity movement with Rasmea Odeh, and attend her next court hearing in Detroit on Tuesday, November 29 in front of Judge Drain.

Tom Burke with the Committee to Stop FBI Repression at www.StopFBI.net will make a short presentation and then discuss organizing solidarity with Rasmea Odeh.

International Day of Peace Celebrations in Grand Rapids

United Nations International Day of Peace

September 2016

Each year the United Nations International Day of Peace is observed around the world on September 21. It’s a day devoted to strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples. The theme for 2016 is Sustainable Development, through 17 interrelated goals. Grand Rapids Mayor Rosalynn Bliss proclaims September 21, 2016 as the International Day of Peace in Grand Rapids.

International Day of Peace on September 21st:

1. Saturday, September 10, 2016, 9am-8pm: A Peace Festival at the entrance of the Eastown StreetFair where children and adults can participate in hands on activities based on the 7 Principles of Peace.

2. September 19th-23rd, 2016: A Week of Peace Education. The Grand Rapids Public Schools will participate by a resolution in appropriate activities from our Program Guide for observing peace and celebrating people of different cultures now in its 37th year.

3. Sunday September 25, 2016, a Gathering in St. Francis Garden on the front lawn of Dominican Sisters Grand Rapids, Motherhouse at Marywood (E. Fulton and Lakeside Dr.) from 1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m., sponsored by the Instruments of Hope. Fol- lowed by an Interfaith Peace Service from 2-3 p.m. at The Dominican Chapel at Marywood, and a reception.

UNIDP events are sponsored by The Institute for Global Education, the Dominican Sisters Grand Rapids and the Instruments of Hope

www.igegr.org • (616) 454-1642 • email hidden; JavaScript is required

Free Thought Cafe: Dunbar’s Number Theory on Sunday Sept. 18

Dunbar’s Number Theory on Sunday from 12-2pm

Does Dunbar’s Number theory offer insights into why humans act as we do?

Are there implications for our cities, workplaces, or government? This discussion will have no formal moderator and may go anyplace! Will Free Will be pondered? You bet!

Potluck as usual!

Everyone is welcome 🙂

Dunbar’s number is a suggested cognitive limit to the number of people with whom one can maintain stable social relationships. These are relationships in which an individual knows who each person is and how each person relates to every other person.

Upcoming Free Thought events:

September 25, 2016 we will road trip to the museum in Big Rapids

We will have a discussion on Sunday, October 9, 2016 from 12-2pm