• Tell ICE: Stop Deportation of Jewish Homeschooling Family
    No mother should be forced to flee her homeland in order to homeschool her children because of anti-semitic bullying. Yet, Petra Albrecht was not free in Germany to homeschool her children because Germany’s outdated laws have banned homeschooling since World War I. German families who choose to homeschool their children face legal action, including prison, the loss of custody of their children and fines. Petra had chosen to homeschool her youngest child Jayson because he was experiencing anti-Semitic bullying in school, in a country where a least one-fourth of the population remains openly anti-Semitic even post World War II. She lost her parental rights and was forced to flee to the U.S. But here the family has come across more hardship. Petra and Nicole were picked up by Immigration Enforcement and have been in U.S. immigration detention for 11 months, in separate facilities. Jayson was sent back to Germany alone, and is being held in an orphanage in or near Berlin, though he had an open asylum case. The German government refuses to tell the family his exact whereabouts, and the U.S. government refuses to release Petra and Nicole. OUR VALUES To be Jewish is to be an immigrant. The Albrecht family continues a history of Jewish migration that reaches back to the Old Testament and our exodus from Egypt – stories we retell on holy days. That’s why one of Judaism’s central teachings is to “welcome the stranger” as you would a friend. We’re calling on all people of faith and moral courage to stand with Petra, a mother separated from her children, and demand immigration enforcement officials release and reunite her with Jayson and Nicole. In his last letter to his family before being extradited to Germany, Jayson wrote, "I promise you that we will be together again soon..."
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  • Say No to Hate! Sign a letter of support to Metropolitan Community Church of Our Redeemer in Georgia
    Metropolitan Community Church of Our Redeemer was desecrated by a spray painted hate message that quoted Leviticus 18:22 and threatened the church with burning. “We are clear this is not just vandalism; this is life-threatening hatred. When people who cite chapter and verse to send others to hell, they are usually prepared to personally send you there,” said Global Moderator Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson. “It is sad that we have to remind people that hate is not a Christian value.” “As an African American woman, I know that hate is hate. Whether it is the shooting of the Charleston nine, burning of churches, or spray painted threats on church doors, the intent is to silence us with fear for our lives,” said the Rev. Elder Darlene Garner, MCC Director of the Office of Emerging Ministries. “We will not be silent! Silence will not protect us. It will only embolden those who use guns, torches, and spray paint because they have not opened themselves to the power of love.” Send your love by adding your name, and if you can go the extra mile, make a donation for the repairs and the security system at: http://www.gofundme.com/mccofourredeemer
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  • Fort Worth and Tarrant County, Take Down That Flag!
    On June 17, 2015 one young, white man filled with hate accepted the hospitality of nine African Americans and then massacred them. His descent into hatred is well-documented. He has provided a gallery of photos glorifying racist logos and images. We can do nothing to assuage the grief and shock of those who mourn the Charleston Nine. But we can make their slaughter stand for something. We can take action against the display of the flag that motivated the murderer of the Charleston Nine, the latest but certainly not the first, to put into violent action the message of a flag that represents hatred and bigotry.
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  • Stand in Solidarity with Families of Charleston Church Shooting
    On Wednesday night, a gunman opened fire in a historic African American church – at least 9 people were killed, including the pastor. The shooting is the largest attack on a faith community in recent US history. As people of many faiths and beliefs – Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, Buddhist, Hindu, Pagan, Humanist, and others – our hands tremble with the horror and grief of this bloodshed in a sacred space. We must move quickly to show the community of Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church our solidarity, and that we are equally horrified by this shooting. We stand with the Charleston community and reject the hateful actions of this shooter. And we pledge our love and support as the community mourns and begins to heal.
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  • Tell the Cleveland Indians it's time to change their racist name and mascot
    My name is Toni Buffalo, I am a Lakota person of faith and a member of the United Church of Christ. I started this petition because it is time for the Cleveland baseball team to change their racist mascot and inappropriate team name. To me, this is personal – as a Native American woman, a mother, a grandmother and an educator I see the impact of this harmful imagery on our Native youth and students. When our culture is boiled down to a stereotypical team name or a racist team mascot that falsely represent 2.9 million people and 566 federally recognized tribes, the result is our young people suffer and cannot reach their full potential as God’s children. For all youth to grow up in a world that is healed of prejudice, we must dismantle the racist imagery and names in our society. Our indigenous tradition teaches us that we are all relatives to one another through Mother Earth. Our faith tradition tells us that we are all created in God’s image. Holding on to racist images and inappropriate names only serves to injure our common humanity and to disfigure God’s image in all of us. For more than 100 years, the Cleveland baseball team has adopted the name “Indians” and perpetuated the myth of Indigenous peoples as savages in this continent. It's the same negative stereotype that was used to justify genocide and land theft from our communities. The racist caricature of Chief Wahoo is similar to the smiling face of Little Black Sambo and equally offensive. There is nothing funny or endearing about racism. Join me and people of faith around the country in calling on the Cleveland baseball team to change their racist mascot and inappropriate team name!
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    Created by Toni Buffalo
  • Brooklyn College: Stop Defamation of Religion
    Pamela Geller is an infamous anti-Muslim zealot who instead of targeting extremists has made a career harassing mainstream Muslim Americans. Hatred against minority groups (Blacks, Gays, Jews and others) is increasingly unwelcome on campuses around the country. Unfortunately, Geller's organization, Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), was designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) but that does not stop New York's MTA and other mass transit systems from accepting her defamatory ads on trains and buses and platforms. Despite mass transit's reluctance to post all the ads because of the trouble they could incite or provoke, courts have forced MTA and SEPTA (in Philadelphia) to post Geller's ads because of their readings of 1st Amendment protections. Sad to say, Geller and her lawyers have distorted the principles of free speech by ranging far beyond political critique to outright lies designed to equate Islam (a religion of 1.2 billion people) with Nazism and with Savagery. This campaign has a harshly negative effect on Muslims living in New York and in other locations featuring her messaging. nor is it conducive to encouraging Muslims to work in partnership to confront the challenge we all face. Such anti-Muslim prejudice is often cited as a reason for the worsening cycle of violence abroad, perpetrated by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. For example, terrorist Anders Breivik referenced Geller's hate blog a dozen times in his manifesto before he killed more than 70 people in two attacks in Norway, seeking to justify his attacks. A clear link exists between anti-Muslim messaging and harassment. Students of Brooklyn college should be protected during this time and also hear a message of support from the President's Office. As an educational institution, Brooklyn College is a space for free debate but the school (its administration and the student community) should ensure a level of quality as well as accuracy of information. This can be accomplished through organizing debates on the claims and distortions made by Ms Geller and other Islamophobes; disseminating accurate information regarding diverse faith traditions, cultures and ethnic groups; and investigating any financial and social relationship between hate groups and the academic institution.
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  • We support the appeal to replace Archbishop Cordileone
    In a letter published in the San Francisco Chronicle April 16, 2015, Catholics appealed to Pope Francis to replace the archbishop with a leader true to Catholic values. In response to the ad, the archbishops’s reply was "The greatest misrepresentation of all is that the signers presume to speak for the Catholic Community of San Francisco...They do not.” We want Pope Francis to know that YES THEY DO speak for us! "Archbishop Cordileone has fostered an atmosphere of division and intolerance." say leaders. "He has forced Archdiocesan high school teachers to accept a mean-spirited morality code that violates individual consciences, as well as California labor laws He supports a pastor at Star of the Sea parish who marginalizes women’s participation in the church by banning girls from altar service, contrary to your desire to expand women’s roles in the Catholic Church. He has isolated himself from our community, and brushes aside advice from his priests. The Archdiocese of San Francisco is threatened and cannot survive, let alone thrive and grow, under Archbishop Cordileone’s supervision." Full text of the letter is available at: http://bit.ly/1b1ZLhm The story has been covered at: http://www.sfgate.com/bayarea/matier-ross/article/Prominent-Catholics-call-on-pope-to-oust-S-F-6202539.php Get involved by following the campaign on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/theyspeakforme?fref=nf
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  • Join these interfaith youth: Pledge to take part in "Better Together Day"
    Here are a few statistics that might surprise you: - Fewer than 45% of Americans know a single Muslim, Mormon, Buddhist, or Hindu - 40% of Americans have negative attitudes toward atheists - Globally, religious tension is at a six-year high We can look at them and say, “Oh well.” Or we can do something about it. On college campuses all across the country, we young people young people are deciding to do something about it! April 14th is Better Together Day, a national day to bring every American - no matter how they orient around religion - together to talk about what inspires them to make the world a better place. *Between now and 4/14, you can take part by having one conversation with someone of another religious or non-religious background and sharing your experience online.* And science backs up our approach! Research shows that when you know just ONE person of a different religious or non-religious background it leads to a more positive view of that whole community. And once you know someone’s beliefs, you can find what values you have in common, and use that as a basis to work together to fix the problems we all share. Imagine if a faith leader, nurse, doctor, lawyer, teacher, entrepreneur, or activist connected with just one new person. The ripple effect could help transform religion, healthcare, education, business, government and so many other systems where our lives connect. And it starts with just one a conversation. Pledge to celebrate Better Together Day and keep an eye in your inbox for some handy materials to help you have your conversation this week. We’ve seen firsthand that having one interfaith conversation can make a big difference. Here’s a story from one of our champions, Wendy Low, a Jewish senior at the University of Denver. “I was in Chicago for a weeklong interfaith leadership training with students from across the country and different religious backgrounds – including my soon-to-be friend Anusha, a Muslim. We were there to learn how to supercharge our interfaith activism back on campus. We were pumped! But there was a problem. Half a world away, the conflict in Gaza was raging. It was a tragic and religiously-charged moment. Anusha and I disagreed on many parts of the conflict – and our different religious identities were a part of that. What helped us get through the conflict – despite our differences, despite the media, and despite the enormous emotions of the time – was that I understood Anusha’s values because we talked about them. I understood that, as a Muslim, Anusha believes in peace and helping others. And she’s passionate about issues that I care about too – including homelessness, hunger, and human trafficking. Our conversation gave us a common ground of shared values to build our friendship and work better together. I hope you’re feeling as inspired as I am to take part in Better Together Day, a project of Interfaith Youth Core.”
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  • Girls Belong at the Altar! Support Altar girls in San Francisco parish
    It is discriminatory and it is unfair: As one high-ranking Church official put it: “...excluding girls from being altar servers is 'invidious discrimination' and to do this in this day and age in our culture has no justification." http://ncronline.org/news/faith-parish/san-francisco-priests-council-debates-pr-disaster-parish The decision was based on a flawed interpretation of Church teachings: Serving at mass is not a priestly function, and it is not a recruiting tool for the priesthood. http://cta-usa.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/LETTER-for-petition.pdf The ban “discredits the value of girls’ service in the Church”: Every other parish in the archdiocese allows altar girls, and we do not want Fr. Illo’s ban to set a precedent for other parishes. As one priest from a neighboring parish says: "For one San Francisco parish to choose to limit altar servers to males only is just not their business. It hurts us all when it argues archaic theology that discredits the value of girls' service in the Church.” http://www.siprep.org/page.cfm?p=9377 Read more about Star of the Sea Parish and the ban on altar girls at:  http://www.welovestarsf.com/faq.html
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    Created by Jim FitzGerald, Call To Action
  • Jeanette's Family Needs Her
    Jeanette Vizguerra, a Colorado community leader and mother, is facing deportation. Jeanette has led the fight against her own deportation since 2009, part of her secret to success is her die hard community. She needs it again, today! Share this and spread the word. Jeanette has lived in Colorado for twenty years, has 3 small children who are US citizens and has given selflessly as a community activist. She worked for SEIU as a labor organizer and volunteered with her children’s schools, the Aurora Neighborhood Watch Program, Rights for All People, the American Friends Service Committee and contributes to the Romero Troupe. She founded Dreamers Mothers in Action-Colorado. Jeanette has worked hard to build her community in Colorado and has inspired many with her courage and passion. Jeanette’s story exemplifies the brutality of our immigration system that is unjustly separating families and denying many the ability to live with dignity. Although this immigration system has tried to destroy Jeanette’s dignity, she is still fighting to be with her children and she needs our support!! History: Jeanette Vizguerra (A# 089-826-036), came to the US in 1997 with her husband and daughter. They fled after her husband, a bus driver, had been threatened at gun point for the third time. Jeanette worked cleaning office buildings and became a key member of her SEIU local, 105. Eventually she became an organizer, leading the fight for better pay and benefits for all janitors. She also joined a local advocacy group called Rights for All People as one of its founding members. She worked to establish trust and relationship between the immigrant community and the police. She and her husband started a moving and cleaning company and eventually had three more children, all US citizens. Jeanette’s case began in 2009 when she was pulled over for an expired license plate and then arrested for driving without a license (at that time Coloradans couldn't get a license if they couldn't prove status). That traffic stop led to a police officer discovering documents she was going to use to apply for a third job this discovery resulted in a misdemeanor. The economic downturn had impacted the moving company and her husband had taken ill so she was the only breadwinner for her family. In 2013, as she was awaiting an appeal in her case, she received a call from Mexico that her mother was dying. Despite 17 years in the US and thousands of miles, Jeanette and her mother spoke weekly. There are no humanitarian visas or programs available for those circumstances and Jeanette decided she had to be at her mother’s side before she died. She flew to Mexico the next day and, as she was in the air, her mother died. After 7 months of trying to build a life and send for her children, it became clear to Jeanette that at 40 she was too old to get good paying work in Mexico and decided to return to the US. She was detained at the border, and with the help of community, released back to Denver, where she has continued to pick up the threads of her life. This is why Jeanette needs your support. Sign and share this petition widely. http://www.groundswell-mvmt.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Jeanette.png
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  • The Groundswell to Keep the Internet Open and Free
    Two years ago, millions of us rose up in a movement to protect the open Internet -- and we won. Net neutrality keeps the Internet an open platform for people of all faiths and backgrounds to communicate, create, and organize online. Today the Internet is a space where all of us -- no matter the content of our beliefs, color of our skin, size of our wallets -- have an equal voice. The Internet has become the prophetic platform of the 21st century. Through online actions, we have protected sons and daughters from deportation, uplifted communities in the aftermath of mass shootings, changed federal policy on hate crimes, told untold stories, and much more. We have showed up for one another, as people of faith and moral fiber, in life-giving ways. But today, President Trump's appointee announced that he will overturn net neutrality rules. We vow to be part of the resistance. In this critical time, we need net neutrality now more than ever to fight and defend the future of our democracy. Our marches, vigils, petitions, and calls to action depend on organizing on an open Internet. So today, we vow to continue to champion faith and moral voices in the fight to protect the open Internet as a moral imperative. We, as people of many faiths and backgrounds, ask lawmakers to do the right thing as a moral imperative. Please sign and share this now.
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  • After Chapel Hill, Let our Muslim Neighbors Know - We Are With You
    Early Wednesday morning, students Deah Barakat, aged 23, his wife Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21, and her sister Razan, 19, were gunned down in their Chapel Hill home by a neighbor. The Muslim community is upset at the tragic loss of innocent life, scared for their children and feeling alone. While the motive for the shooting is still unclear, it is important that we move quickly to show our Muslim-American neighbors and colleagues that we care for them and are equally horrified by this shooting. As people of diverse faith and moral traditions, let our Muslim American friends know that we stand firm with them in this difficult time and reject the hateful actions of this shooter.
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