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What Can I Do to Get Involved in Peace & Justice Work?

What can I do? We hear that question a lot! So, here’s a list of actions you could take. Some are quick and easy while others are more involved. We encourage you to read this list and see what calls out to you!

Create your own action

If you don’t see something here that speaks to your heart or if you could use a little financial support to implement an idea listed here, create your own action. Contact us for an application form for a Williamson Peace Action Fund grant. These micro grants of $500 or less support local, grassroots action to gather, equip, and mobilize people for the work of peace rooted in justice.

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What Can I Do: Vol. 1

Stand in solidarity with indigenous communities:

  • Click here to a petition to tell President Obama: Stop the Dakota Access oil pipeline.
  • Go one step further and join the #NoDAPL Global Weeks of Action running through September 17th. These actions are being called for by the Camp of the Sacred Stones and the Red Warrior Camp. Click here to find an action near you.
  • Take another step -- If you live in the Vancouver area, contact us for information about "Walking from Wrongs to Rights" – an effort to catalyze action and understanding around the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recommendations. The event will take place October 15-16.

Act to reduce mass incarceration in the US:

Fly the flag of Peace – literally:

  • Read Ian Mevorach’s story of the distribution of peace flags in his community – an action that emerged after the Pulse night club tragedy. The flags stand for LGBTQI solidarity and inclusion, as well as for peace, solidarity with immigrants and other nations, welcome and equality for people of color, and care for the earth.
  • Take another step, and consider flying a flag yourself.
  • Go one step further and encourage your church or community group to join you. Ian writes, "This is an inclusive project that you and your congregation can become a part of very easily...I invite you to join the project. Order a 100, 200 flags and try handing them out in your town. Flags are about $2 plus shipping. Try partnering with folks in the LGBTQ community within and beyond your congregation and see how the story unfolds."

Take nonviolent direct action against racism, xenophobia, and U.S. militarization at home and abroad:

Create your own action:

If you don’t see something here that speaks to your heart, create your own action. Contact us for an application form for a Williamson Peace Action Fund grant. These small grants of $500 or less support local, grassroots action to gather, equip, and mobilize people for the work of peace rooted in justice.

"One cannot level one's moral lance at every evil in the universe. There are just too many of them. But you can do something, and the difference between doing something and doing nothing is everything." --Daniel Berrigan


What Can I Do: Vol. 2

Join a Conversation on Dismantling Racism

  • Watch this quick video (less than 4 minute) and and note the way the caller and Heather McGhee model honest and respectful conversation.
    • Take it further: Ask your Sunday School class (or other small group) to also watch and discuss the video.
  • Educate yourself: Our friend Holly Roach is teaching a three-part webinar series on Dismantling Racism for The Center for Progressive Renewal in October. This course is an exploration of the historical and structural ways that racism is hardwired to culture in the United States. She will explore the role of white people in challenging racism and white supremacy and how to have that work be fed and sustained by the deepest wells of our faith. Registration is only $69.00 and the classes will take place Oct. 11, Oct. 18, and Oct. 25 from 8pm-9:30pm ET (If the cost is an issue, contact ledayne@bpfna.org). Click here to learn more and register online now!
    • Take it further: Invite others to join you in this webinar series.
  • Join the Kairos Winds of Change Campaign and Add Your Voice to the Call for Reconciliation through Education. Reconciliation is in the wind, a wind that is heralding change across the country. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) opened hearts and minds, inspired a growing movement to repair the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada, and provided 94 Calls to Action to guide us.
  • Education for Reconciliation: Call to Action #62: KAIROS and the Legacy of Hope Foundation agree that education is the key to reconciliation. #62 calls for the residential school legacy, Treaties and past and present Indigenous contributions to this country to be a mandatory part of the curriculum in each province and territory. This is crucial – without a shared understanding of how our collective past brought us to where we are today, we will not be able to walk together into a better future. As the campaign progresses, KAIROS will focus on additional Calls to Action.

Speak Out Against Endless War

  • Sign the Petition to repeal the US Authorization for Use of Military Force: The flawed blank check that authorizes the president to wage war, anywhere at any time. It’s been 15 years of endless war. Now is the time for the U.S. Congress to repeal the overly broad 2001 and 2002 AUMFs. This petition comes from our friend and fellow Baptist US Representative Barbara Lee.

Embrace Love > Hate

Fifteen years ago, Balbir Singh Sodhi was shot and killed as the first person murdered in a hate crime after 9/11. The site of his death in Phoenix, Arizona is a Second Ground Zero; a place to honor the thousands of people who have been harmed or killed by hate since 9/15.

  • Read for a dose of inspiration: You can read Balbir's brother Rana Sodhi's beautiful essay in CNN today: Love: The best tool for combatting hate. You can also hear this story on PRI's The World: In an era of 'enormous rage,' I'm still finding love in America. And listen to more here: Broadcasting on Facebook Live from Ground Zero AND in the pulpit of Middle Church in NYC on the 2016 anniversary of 9/11.
  • Take another step and watch DIVIDED WE FALL: DIVIDED WE FALL tells the heart-wrenching story of Balbir Singh Sodhi and hundreds of others in the aftermath of 9/11. It shows how communities responded to devastating hate with #revolutionarylove. The filmmakers thought the film would capture a chapter in US history, a brief explosion of hate toward Muslim and Sikh Americans. But fifteen years later, hate and mass violence are once again part of our daily lives. In this crucial election year, these communities are five times more likely to be targets of hate crimes than before 9/11.
  • Take yet another step and host a screening: Since 2008, DIVIDED WE FALL has inspired brave new dialogue in classrooms and communities on racism, hate, and healing. That's why the Revolutionary Love Project is teaming with the Sikh Coalition to bring you the film and dialogue tools for free. There are already 80 screenings and dialogues planned, and with your help we can reach our goal of 100 events across the country before the US election on November 8. We provide you with the film as well as a dialogue guide to help your congregation, classroom, family and friends join a coast-to-coast discussion on #revolutionarylove. You can watch the film and SIGN UP here and the organizers will send you everything you need.

What Can I Do: Vol. 3

Sign Up for the Groundswell Rapid Response Team

  • Will you join us on the front lines as we fight for America? We're building a rapid-response community to flood Congress with phone calls to stand for love and justice in the face of dangerous policies on the horizon. Click here.

Listen to Faithful Solidarity in a Time of White Nationalism

  • Aziza Hasan of New Ground: Muslim-Jewish Partnership for Change, Deborah Waxman of the Reconstructionist Rabbinical College, and Kavneet Singh of the Sikh American Legal Defense & Education Fund (SALDEF) offer specific ideas for supporting targeted communities and offer spiritual wisdom for these days. Click here.

Ask Your Church to Explore Past Examples of Faithful Living in Hard Times 

  • We have the witness of many people and communities who have acted with conviction and courage in dark and dangerous days. I have found myself of late reading over and again an email from a pastor about a conversation with one of his oldest members. The member, a 92-year-old WWII veteran who served time in a German prison camp, has been making calls encouraging dismayed friends by reminding them,  "Christians have done some pretty good work under situations like this, so don’t give up now.” To steep ourselves in that history is to equip ourselves for these days. Two documentaries--A Church Stands With Its People and Act of Faith: The Reverend Emery Andrews Story--tell the story of Christians standing with interned persons of Japanese descent during WWII. Either or both would be an excellent starting place for congregations seeking faithful response.

Report Incidents of Vandalism, Harassment, and Assault

  • Donald Trump’s victory has been followed by a series of racist attacks and instances of vandalism and racist graffiti. Some BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz members and churches have experienced some of this directly or witnessed this in their communities.
    • It is important to REPORT all incidents, even if small, so that there is a accurate record of the current moment.
    • All incidents should be reported to local law enforcement so that they become part of the official record. (Obviously, there are exceptions if local law enforcement is known to be unsafe.)
    • The Southern Poverty Law Center is also collecting reports. If you know of an incident, please click here to #ReportHate.

Consider the Global Exchange Hate-Free Community Campaign

  • Join us. Declare our communities Hate Free Zones. Together we will blanket our neighborhoods, towns and cities with a message of love, diversity and inclusion. Post a Our Community is a Hate Free Zone poster in your window at home, at work, in your schools, in places of worship, in local businesses, at bus stations, in parks, everywhere.
    • Our Community is a Hate Free Zone!
      • We embrace each other in the face of fear and will stand against those who seek to divide us.
      • We will give safe haven to those who feel threatened.
      • We will seek justice for those who suffer violence and oppression.
      • We will resist injustice and hate and vow to be a force of love, respect, and dignity for all.
      • Together we will be a powerful force for the diverse, inclusive, and unified society we cherish and hold dear.

Consider Becoming a Sanctuary Church

  • Some congregations might consider taking bolder steps such as joining the network of sanctuary congregations.     
  • You can also encourage your city to become a sanctuary: Click here to tell U.S. Mayors: Protect Undocumented Immigrants - Declare Your City a Sanctuary of Safety!

Tell Us What You're Doing

  • We welcome you to share your thoughts with us on further action and, with your permission, we will multiply the effects of those efforts by sharing your ideas with the broader BPFNA community. Click here.

What Can I Do: Vol. 4 - How to Speak Up Consistently About Peace & Justice Issues

JOIN THE BPFNA ~ BAUTISTAS POR LA PAZ PEACEFUL RESISTANCE FACEBOOK PAGE

This page offers a place to share struggles and encouragement, find spiritual sustenance, and get and share ideas for action. Join here. If you prefer, you can get a weekly update emailed to you, by signing up for the mailing list here.


CALL YOUR GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS

(Adapted from the Action Checklist for Americans of Conscience blog)

For those in the US:

  • Put your representative’s name, local phone, DC phone, address, and email on a worksheet or your phone. Get them here.
  • Put your two senators’ names, local phones, DC phones, addresses, and email addresses there too. Get them here.

For those in Canada:

  • Put your MP's name and contact information in your phones. Get them here.

To Keep in Mind:

  • Don't forget regional and local level officials as well. Important work can be done and is being done at these levels. Your voice has even more impact right where you are.
  • Decide on your “Top Three” most-important issues. Focusing on just a few issues will prevent overwhelm. Consider choosing at least one issue that doesn’t affect you personally.
  • Have a conversation with yourself and/or beloved others about how you want to give time and/or treasure to your Top Three.
  • Set aside time each week to be active. 20-60 minutes is a good range. Add this to your calendar. You might consider doing your actions with others for support and community.

What to Say:

(Adapted from a blog by former US congressional staffers)

1. Give your name, city, and zip/postal code, and say "I don't need a response." That way, they can quickly confirm you are a constituent, and that they can tally you down without taking the time to input you into a response database.

2. PLEASE ONLY CALL YOUR OWN REPRESENTATIVES! Your tally will not be marked down unless you can rattle off a city and zip from the state, or are calling from an in-state area code. I know you really want to give Mitch McConnell your opinion, but your call will be ignored unless you can provide a zip from Kentucky. And don't try to make this up; I could often tell who was lying before I even picked up the phone from the caller ID. Exceptions to this are things like Paul Ryan's ACA poll.

3. State the issue, state your position. "I am opposed to a ban on Muslims entering the US." "I support  background checks for gun purchases." "I am in favor of the Affordable Care Act." That's it. That's all we write down so we can get a tally of who is in favor, who is against. It doesn't matter WHY you hold that opinion. The more people calling, the less detail they write down. Help them out by being simple and direct.

4. Please be nice! The people answering the phones already had the hardest job and some of the lowest pay as well, and since the recent elections now their jobs have become absolute murder, with nonstop calls for 9 hours every day. Thank them for their hard work answering the phones, because without them our representatives could not represent us.

What does this sound like?

"Hi, my name is Mark, I'm a constituent from Seattle, zip code 98***, I don't need a response. I am opposed to any ban on Muslims entering the United States and I encourage the Senator to please oppose implementation of any such ban. Thanks for your hard work answering the phones!"

This is how I wish every caller had phrased their message. It makes it easier for the people answering the phones and takes less time and emotion than a long script. I know that you want to say why, but keeping it short and sweet helps the office answer more calls per hour, meaning more people get heard. The bigger the tally, the more powerful our voice.


SEND A POSTCARD TO AN ELECTED OFFICIAL

We're hearing that, along with phone calls, postcards are currently the most effective way to communicate with elected officials. We've even created a special BPFNA postcard in English and Spanish (they print 4 to a page). Download those here.

If you have a little more time, host a postcard writing party:

Print a bunch of cards, invite some friends, have access to websites with addresses of political leaders, and have some basic information about justice issues available. You and your friends can make your opinions known and enjoy being together. Having a little fun while you do it is a great way to keep yourself active!

If you have even more time, make your postcard party a regular event:

If you enjoy this effort, why not do it monthly or even weekly?


One specific action for this week:
SPEAK UP FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IN COLOMBIA

Our friends at FOR Peace Presence, a nonviolent accompaniment program in Colombia, request this action:

Over the weekend we received news that our own accompaniers in the Peace Community have been subject to a neo-paramilitary threat.*

FOR Peace Presence is committed to our accompaniment of the Peace Community of San José de Apartadó and our other partners around the country. We vigorously support the right of the civilian population to live in peace and dedicate ourselves to using active non-violence, in the spirit of FOR worldwide, to overcome the dehumanising effects of armed conflict here in Colombia. It is no surprise that the Peace Community would seek to prevent armed actors from entering or remaining in their villages, but these are decisions that we accompany rather than take ourselves. We are conscious of a legitimate role for the State in building peace, which must involve non-toleration of paramilitary activity.

At this time we call upon your support for peacebuilders and human rights' defenders and the Peace Community in particular, as well as our own team of accompaniers. We ask you to take a moment to email the human rights' officer, Rebecca Daley, at the US Embassy in Bogotá, encouraging her to impress upon the Colombian State its obligations towards the safety of civilians, in particular respecting the strongly-held commitment to non-violence of the Peace Community and its international accompaniers.


What I Can Do: Vol. 5

Educate and Strengthen Yourself for the Work

1. Sign up to watch and discuss "On Being an Ally"

BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz will be holding an online discussion of the webinar "On Being an Ally," which is part of the "White Privilege: Let's Talk" webinar series from the United Church of Christ. The discussion will take place on our online meeting platform, Zoom as well as via Facebook. The discussion will be led by LeDayne McLeese Polaski -- and we need your thoughts, questions, and insights to make it a success.

Go here to watch the webinar • Go here to RSVP for this discussion • Go here to join the event Facebook page

2. If you live in the Toronto area, consider taking part in "Colour-coded:  Decolonising Hearts, Minds and Spirits" 

Go here for more information.

3. Check out this great resource for finding steady ground strengthening our spirits to resist and thrive in these times.

To be in shape for the long haul, we have to get our minds and spirits ready, as well as jump into action.

When we’re in bad shape, our power is diminished — we’re less creative, more reactive, and less able to plan strategically. If we intend to stay active and effective in the world, we have a responsibility to tend to our spirits.

This resource looks at seven behaviors we can use right away to strengthen ourselves, so we can keep taking more and more powerful and strategic actions.

Available in English and Spanish.

4. Join the BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz Peaceful Resistance

Facebook: This page offers a place to share struggles and encouragement, find spiritual sustenance, and get and share ideas for action.

Weekly email: If you prefer, you can get a weekly update emailed to you by signing up for the mailing list here.


Take Action

1. Pledge to support the Here to Stay Network.

2. Print and Display a Sign of Welcome:

One member's church put up lawn signs to show hospitality and welcome all residents and neighbors to the community, no matter where they're from. You too can display this sign! Click here to purchase a sign of your own or click here to download a version you can print yourself or take to your local print shop. You may also be able to pick up a sign from one of the pick-up locations. Click here to see if there's one near you.

3. Get involved in educational advocacy in response to Betsy DeVos' confirmation

from Rev. Mindi Welton-Mitchell

Here are some quick things you can do in response to Betsy DeVos' confirmation. Every one of you can join a local PTA even if you are not a parent. You can also help form a PTA. They are the largest child advocacy organization in the US.

1. Join your local PTA. They are the largest child advocacy organization in the country.
2. If your PTA does not have a legislative chair, volunteer to be one. The Legislative Chair's duties are to inform local PTA of legislation
3. Attend school board meetings. Learn what the issues are in your school district. Advocate for resources.
4. Learn who your local legislators are and call or email to set up a meeting to introduce yourself. Let them know you are a concerned voter
5. Bring legislative issues back to your local PTA. Educate parents, teachers, staff, and students on what is going on.
6. Launch letter writing or call-in campaigns on issues. Make your legislators work! Organize rallies when necessary.
7. Translate your materials into other languages. Reach out to folks of different ethnic groups & invite them into leadership & advocacy.
8. Organize with legislative chairs from other PTA's in your district, and if you are at a Council level, with other councils. Get involved.
9. This is how we form Dumbledore's Army. This is how we resist. This is how we make sure that all of our students are advocated for.
10. If your school doesn't have a PTA, form one. If disabled students are not recognized/included, form a Special Needs PTA. We did.
11. There are Homeschooling PTA's, Deaf/Hard of Hearing PTA's, Japanese language PTA's, etc. All you need is willingness to advocate for students.

4. Remember the visionary Berta Cáceres

March 2 marks the one-year anniversary of the brutal assassination of Berta Cáceres, a visionary environmentalist, anti-racist, and feminist social movement leader -- our friends at SOA Watch suggest these ways of remembering her:

These are trying times, but they are also filled with intense resistance that gives us hope that a different future is possible. We must continue to work for a world of justice and peace. Berta Cáceres' visionary leadership and resistance during her life and the steadfast continuation of the struggle by her colleagues in COPINH inspires us to continue the long-term work of resisting U.S. empire and domination around the world, including stopping U.S. military aid and training in Honduras. 

We encourage you to organize an event this March to remember Berta and call for an end to the U.S. militarization of Honduras. Berta's organization, COPINH has issued a call for actions around the world on March 2 as well as for events throughout the month of March (Read Statement Here).  We share a few ideas and possible dates, by no means all, here:

  • March 2 - Global Day of Action and Anniversary of Berta's assassination: Organize an action or a Vigil for Berta and so many others who have lost their lives speaking out for justice.  If your Representative or Senator supports continued U.S. funding of Honduras' security forces, hold the event outside his/her office (contact arturo@soaw.org for more on your Rep. or Senator's position)
  • March 4 - Berta Cáceres' Birthday: Honor Berta's legacy as an environmentalist, anti-racist, and feminist social movement leader
  • March 8 - International Women's Day: Show a film on Berta and her legacy - click here for some suggested videos/documentaries
  • March 27 - Anniversary of COPINH: Organize a protest against US military aid to Honduras
  • March ? - Participate in an protest in solidarity with refugees & migrants; bring posters of Berta to call attention to the U.S. role in creating forced migration from Honduras

Speak Up

1. Use these BPFNA postcards to write to your government officials and let them know your concerns as people of faith about the issues above -- or anything else on your mind and heart (prints 4 to a page. In English and Spanish). #AlternativeFaith 

2. Use these suggestions for more ways to speak up consistently about peace and justice issues.


What I Can Do: Vol. 6

Speak up for peace & justice

One cannot level one's moral lance at every evil in the universe. There are just too many of them. But you can do something, and the difference between doing something and doing nothing is everything. –Daniel Berrigan  

In recent weeks, we've encouraged you to prepare to speak up consistently for peace rooted in justice. Today, we're sharing a wide array of options for speaking up on issues both within and beyond BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz member countries. Remember, we are not asking you to do everything. We encourage you to discern what time and energy you have to devote to this and take the actions that make sense for you.


Things you can do to Speak Up...

1. Watch this great short film on HOW to interrupt a racist incident.

2. Read this great piece on interrupting Islamophobia.

3. Read Muslim justice: A Christian imperative for the Trump years.

This article by BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz board member Cody Sanders has some excellent information and action steps.

4. SHARE! Who do you know who might benefit from one one or more of the pieces above?

5. Support Farm Workers’ Human Rights by Boycotting Wendy's.

The Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW), a group of farm workers based in Immokalee, FL, continues to struggle to improve conditions in the fields. Last year the CIW called a boycott of fast-food chain Wendy’s to pressure the firm to join the Fair Food Program to ensure farm workers’ human rights are protected. You can also join the CIW March Human Rights Tour, which will visit multiple cities to build support for the boycott. It will climax on Sunday, March 26, in Columbus, Ohio, with a major action at Wendy’s headquarters. Check out the route. Join the action!

6. Help harmonize UNDRIP with Canadian law.

Peacemakers are being asked to help to build the political will needed to enact Bill C-262, an Act to ensure that the laws of Canada are in harmony with the United Nations  Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. Romeo Saganash, MP for Abitibi—Baie-James—Nunavik—Eeyou, sponsored the bill and created a petition. Go here for details and to access the petition. Please sign the petition and spread the word!

7. Speak Up for Land Right Defenders in Honduras.

More than 120 human and land rights defenders have been killed in Honduras since 2009, and countless others have been threatened or attacked. Rural communities standing up for land rights and the environment experience shocking levels of violence—and the projects they’re protesting can usually be traced back to well-connected Honduran political and business elites. The United States has also played a strong role in this humanitarian crisis, through direct funding and through its contributions to multilateral banks providing loans to the very projects that are associated with the attacks. Being the largest aid donor to Honduras, the United States has the responsibility to ensure that its money and investments are not putting the lives of rural Honduran communities and leaders in danger.

In response to this dire situation, members of the House have started circulating a Dear Colleague letter addressed to Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. Contact your representative TODAY and ask them to sign the letter!


And here are several actions related to shifting US policies

1. Tell the US Congress, “Don’t Move the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem!”

From Churches for Middle East Peace: Join CMEP in asking Congress to speak out against moving the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. Since the beginning of the year the US Congress has introduced multiple bills seeking to move the U.S. embassy in Israel to Jerusalem. This would change over 50 years of U.S. foreign policy. Prior to his inauguration President Trump said that one of the first things he would do is move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem. Now the White House says that they are “at the very early stages of that decision making process.” Jerusalem is important to Jews, Christians and Muslims. Its final status needs to be negotiated by Israelis and Palestinians with the support of our nation and the international community.” For more on CMEP’s position read Executive Director Mae Elise Cannon’s letter to President Trump urging him to not move the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem.

2. Stand for compassionate US immigration and refugee policies.

From Latin America Working Group: The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously decided to maintain a temporary hold on the implementation of President Trump's executive order that bans refugees and people from certain Muslim-majority countries from entering the United States. This is a crucial step forward in defending American laws and values. Yet the legal battle, and our work for justice, is only beginning. This isn’t who we are as a nation. It’s not what we want to become. Sign the petition today to urge Congress to stand for compassionate immigration and refugee policies and to END unjust and unreasonable executive orders.

3. Support urgent legislation to prevent the U.S. president from starting a nuclear war without a declaration of war by Congress.

From a coalition of peace groups: Recently, President Trump confirmed that he wants to expand our nuclear arsenal and torch the New START treaty, which he’s repeatedly called a “bad deal.”And now the White House is talking about nuclear supremacy. Tell Congress: Stop Trump from starting a nuclear war on a whim. Click here to add your name.


What I Can Do: Vol. 7

Remember balance & self care

If you are feeling overwhelmed and anxious, you are not alone. One of the best ways to confront anxiety is to act, so here are a few ideas for actions you can take. The idea is NOT to do all of them -- rest and activities that restore and replenish you are also important. So, we invite you to choose one action that resonates with you, perhaps invite someone to join you (community also combats anxiety), and share what you've done with us (knowing we are part of a greater whole is also a great restorative).

  • Support the Coalition of Immokalee Workers (CIW)

    • Then TAKE ACTION: JOIN the WENDY’S BOYCOTT

    • Learn more here.

  • Honor the Boycott of WENDY’S fast food chain until they sign on to CIW’s Fair Food Program.

  • Deliver a letter to your Wendy's store manager (WordPDF)

  • Tweet: Show your support for the national Wendys boycott by taking to social media!

    • (I pledge to boycott @Wendys until the final fast food holdout joins @FairFoodsProgram! http://www.allianceforfairfood.org/take-action #BoycottWendys)

  • Hold a Picket at a Wendy’s: National Farm Worker Ministry has a flyer you can download & print.

  • Check out this flyer from CIW with more action ideas.

For US Members: Ask Congress to #MakeAmericaSafeAgain

The NRA spent over $50 million to help Donald Trump and other Republicans get elected in 2016 and now they are emboldened to put guns in our schools, to allow anyone from other states with little to no permitting requirement to carry their loaded concealed weapons into our states, and to repeal the silencer ban. Dangerous gun bills have been introduced in the House of Representatives. Get the full details here.

For Canadian Members: Add Your Voice to the Call for Reconciliation through Education

Reconciliation is in the wind, a wind that is heralding change across the country. The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) opened hearts and minds, inspired a growing movement to repair the relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples in Canada, and provided 94 Calls to Action to guide us.

Over the TRC’s mandate, we listened, we witnessed powerful truths, we shared emotions and we were transformed. Now, more than ever, we need to respond.

Speak up for Justice for Topacio

On April 13, 2014, unknown gunmen attacked 16-year-old Topacio Reynoso Pacheco and her father, Alex Reynoso, killing Topacio and leaving Alex seriously injured. Both were active in their municipality of Mataquescuintla, standing up for land and the health of the planet in the fight against Tahoe Resources’ Escobal mine in neighboring San Rafael las Flores.

Three years later and little has been done to bring Topacio’s attackers to justice.

Please take a moment to take action and demand that Guatemala’s Special Prosecutor’s Office on Human Rights expedite a full and impartial investigation into the attacks against Topacio Reynoso  and her father Alex.

Host a postcard party

Invite some friends, serve some simple snacks, and write postcards to your elected officials to speak up on issues of concern. Remember that we have a BPFNA ~ Bautistas por la Paz postcard designed just for this purpose! Click here.

For US members: Speak out against Predatory Lending

For more information on predatory lending advocacy click here.

October of 2016 marked an important milestone in efforts against predatory lending as the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) closed the comment period on their proposed rule which seeks to address the abuses of this industry nationwide.

While the CFPB reviews over 1 million comments and works to finalize the rule, the very ability for them to act is under attack. On June 8 the US House passed the CHOICE Act.  You can see how your representative voted here. While this nearly 600 page bill does many things in an effort to repeal most elements of the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act, it fundamentally guts the CFPB by:

  • Prohibiting the CFPB from enforcing current law or issuing any regulation for payday, car title, or similar small dollar loans
  • Eliminating most CFPB supervisory authority, making it impossible for it to detect abuses
  • Repeal the CFPB’s authority to stop unfair, deceptive, and abusive acts and practices in consumer finance.
  • Prohibiting information in the Bureau’s consumer complaint database from being made public.
  • The ultimate fate of the bill and the timing of its consideration are uncertain in the Senate. It is our hope that the unique, independent ability of the CFPB to propose and enforce regulations for the entire country will be maintained. Your Senators need to hear from people of faith now who recognize that predatory lending is a moral outrage targeting vulnerable members of our communities and must be addressed. Congress could choose to act directly, independent of the CFPB by passing a nationwide 36% APR interest rate cap as they have for active duty members of our military. Finally, the CFPB still needs encouragement to act boldly and swiftly to finalize the strongest rule possible. You can You can send them an email at CFPB_Community_Affairs@cfpb.gov. Each day that passes another family is trapped in an immoral cycle of debt.

Watch the new PAP-NET video

Celebrate the great work our partners and friends in Africa are doing! Click here.

Join our next Solidarity Series discussion

Join us for a discussion on July 10 at 7:30 PM Eastern around the film The Dream is Now, a 30-minute documentary from Award-winning director Davis Guggenheim about the stories of undocumented youth in the United States and their struggles in earning citizenship.

  • Click here to watch the film.
  • Click here to RSVP for the discussion on July 10. (The conversation will take place on our online meeting platform, Zoom. You will get a link to join once you RSVP.)
  • We are looking for volunteers to host viewing parties! Click here for more information.

If you live in or near NY State, plan to join us for a Peace Mini Camp

See this flyer for details.

Thank someone

Write a note to someone whose peacemaking, justice-seeking and/or activism has made a difference to you. 


What I Can Do: Vol 8

Our host church's mission statement is "Actively Faithful, Faithfully Active" -- and we love that succinct summary! In that spirit, here are some ways to be faithfully active right now.

Remember, we are not asking that you attempt to do them all, but we are hoping you'll take action.

"One cannot level one's moral lance at every evil in the universe. There are just too many of them. But you can do something, and the difference between doing something and doing nothing is everything." --Daniel Berrigan

Speak up and Support a Queer Black Undocumented Immigrant in Detention

From the UndocuBlack Network: "Sadat Ibrahim is a young gay man from Ghana where homosexuality is a crime punishable by three years in prison. He has faced brutal violence from a vigilante group that hunts and attacks gay men. He came to the U.S. and presented himself at the border requesting asylum. An asylum officer agreed that Sadat had a credible fear of persecution. Yet now, Sadat faces deportation back to the same situation that may see him incarcerated, attacked and/or murdered for being gay, as his asylum claim was denied.

Why was it denied? His family sent videos supporting his claim to Sadat in detention in Georgia, but not only did the officers in the detention center not give Sadat this critical evidence, they never even told Sadat that the evidence had arrived.  Without the corroborating evidence, the judge denied Sadat's asylum." Read the rest of the case here.

So we need your help. Here are two ways you can support Sadat:

  • Call and email the San Antonio Field Office Director: Dan Bible (210) 283-4712; Dan.Bible@dhs.org. Tell him: "Hi, I'm calling to ask that Sadat Ibrahim (A# 208-920-376) be granted a stay of removal so that he may have a new, fair hearing on his application for asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture. At his last hearing, he was not allowed to present evidence in support of his claim. Sadat is a Gay Ghanian immigrant who is currently held in the South Texas Detention Complex in Pearsall, TX. Deportation would mean death in Ghana. I ask that you please stay his deportation so that he can live in safety."
  • Send him some (written) encouragement. Sadat has been in a Texas detention center for 19 months!  Here is his address: Sadat Ibrahim, A 208 920 376, South Texas Detention Complex, 566 Veterans Drive, Pearsall, Texas 78061

Deportation means Death for Sadat Ibrahim.

Speak Out Against War

From Peace Action: Please call the Capitol Switchboard today at 202-224-3121. Follow instructions to reach your Senators and Representative and then say: “I am a constituent and I want (CONGRESSPERSON’s NAME) to speak out against war and dangerous posturing towards North Korea and in favor of negotiations without preconditions. My name is _________ and I live at ___________.  I would like a response please.”

Actually, we hope you have your representatives' names and numbers in your phone so you can call them directly.

Take part in the Black August Bail Out Action

From Southerners on New Ground (SONG): Recently, attention has been brought to the targeting of Black people and the inhumane treatment and conditions of prisoners. Individuals often remain in jail simply because they cannot afford to pay bail. At its very essence, Black August emphasizes honoring and upholding the Black community and Southerners on New Ground (SONG) is commemorating the history of Black August by bailing out as many Black women and trans people across the South as they can. If you would like to highlight the human costs of destructive bail practices and mass incarceration by donating to this effort you may do so by clicking here.

Go See An Inconvenient Sequel - Free Tickets

Ten years ago, An Inconvenient Truth brought the climate crisis into mainstream popular culture. Now, An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power shows how close the world is to a clean energy revolution. Thanks to a generous donor, Interfaith Power & Light is able to offer free Fandango movie tickets to see this film in theaters. To claim your free ticket simply click here and select your desired date, theater, and time. Enter promo code CLIMATEEDU. The code only applies to one ticket per email address, so pass along the code to your family and friends and organize a movie night out. Offer is available while supplies last.

Address the Evils of Drone Warfare

  • Encourage your congregation to view and discuss the five free half-hour videos on drone warfare available here. The videos and study guides are all available for free, either by streaming or you can click here to download. Or you can order a DVD. AND -- you can apply for a $100 grant to help with costs associated with your congregational or study group use of these videos!
  • You might also consider joining this Conference Against the Use of Drones in Warfare.

Join us in thanking Missouri Governor Eric Greitens for staying the execution of Marcellus Williams

From Witness to Innocence: Just four hours before the scheduled execution of Marcellus Williams on Tuesday - while the U.S. Supreme Court deliberated, and after the Missouri Supreme Court had rejected without explanation the request for a stay - newly elected Republican Governor Greitens took matters into his own hands with an executive order halting the execution. The top two contributing causes of wrongful conviction in death row exonerations over the last 10 years were official misconduct (in 82.4% of cases), and perjury or false accusation (in 76.5% of cases). Williams' conviction depended largely on the testimony of two informants who came forward after learning of a $10,000 reward.
Please add your name to our letter thanking the Governor for displaying leadership in making the right call.

Responses to Charlottesville

In response to the events in Charlottesville, please see our website for some specific actions being called for by some of our partner groups.


Create your own action

If you don’t see something here that speaks to your heart or if you could use a little financial support to implement an idea listed here, create your own action. Contact us for an application form for a Williamson Peace Action Fund grant. These micro grants of $500 or less support local, grassroots action to gather, equip, and mobilize people for the work of peace rooted in justice.


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