Minutes for MPJC Meeting of August 28, 2017

Present: Peter, Ellyn, Glenda Rae, Rey, Lois, Wanda, Galen

Old business

    1.  Approval of Minutes for July 17: The minutes were approved as corrected.

    2. Progress Reports:

        a. Topic of the Month: Racial Justice. We spent a lot of time discussing the statement which is now on Google drive. Rey suggested we incorporate the concept of white privilege in the first paragraph under Remediation Efforts. Ellyn had some good wording suggestions including clarity around the scope of the New Jim Crow. We agreed that the “old Jim Crow,” laws targeting African Americans to force them into prison labor camps, started after Civil War reconstruction in the late 1800s and lasted until 1965. The “new Jim Crow” started with the War on Drugs in the 1980s, incarcerating huge numbers of African American men. We all tried to phrase Lois' suggestions so they could be incorporated into the statement. Peter agreed to finish this effort and to send everyone (as well as Darryl Heller) a copy of the revised statement. We also agreed that this is not only a black-white issue. People of Latin American and Asian descent also suffer discrimination. Lois reflected on how she thinks of the California farm workers whenever she eats strawberries and their poor working conditions. Glenda Rae has seen the migrant camps in Michigan whose condition is every bit as poor as the worst poverty we have seen in Latin America.

       b. Hiroshima/Nagasaki Days: MPJC dedicated its August 7 vigil to a remembrance of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There were four of us and we held a couple of the shadow puppets as well as some new and old signs.

        c. Book of the Month report: Wanda had a book that she had prepared to discuss, but because we had spent so much time on the Racial Justice statement, we did not have time. She will talk about this book at the next meeting.

       d. Immigration Coalition Report: They meet on the 2nd Wednesday of the month at 11am at the Human Rights office. Glenda Rae and Wanda, who belong to this coalition were not aware of the training at Harrison School this past weekend. We wondered if there was a way to improve communication.

        e. International Day of Prayer for Peace: Lois has contacted Jan from CPNV and Jane Pitts to see if they were interested in arranging something for Sept 21. The UN is sponsoring a ringing of the bells and meditation time from 9-12 on that day. If we tried this locally it would be best for it to happen at the colleges ND, SMC, Holy Cross. All have bell towers. The problem is that many bell towers operate on an automatic programs and it would be hard to change these programs. We brainstormed contacts at the colleges and thought of Mike Griffin and Andrew Colinski at Holy Cross, Regina Wilson at Saint Marys, and Rachel Tomas-Morgan at ND Center for Social Concerns. Lois heard back from Jan after the meeting and she will contact Peter. The theme for the day is "Together for peace; respect and dignity for all."

3. Treasurer's Report: $18.72 with a $42.61 in petty cash. We will now have enough to pay for a table at MLK celebration.

New Business

    1. What do we (can we) do next? We incorporated this topic into other discussion

    2. Topic of the Month: We will continue to work on racial justice. See above. The next topic should be nuclear war.

    3. Other Topics and Issues: Little Taste of Peace will be held on January 13, 2018 at the Jewish Federation Hall. Since this hall cannot fit more than 150 people, the discussion will be limited to those who intend to attend a study circle for the first time. The Y will continue to take registrations and will also staff the registration tables at the event. Hopefully there will not be any glitches this year. Only those who have preregistered will be admitted unless fewer than 150 of these show up.

We had a discussion about how much problem Trump's presidency is causing. But Pence and Ryan would not be better. Redistricting is making it harder to get good candidates elected. Ellyn had been to a candidate forum the day before for those opposing Walorski and was impressed with their capabilities. About 200 people attended from 13 different organizations. There were no questions asked about jobs. It seems that we are no longer a democracy, but an oligarchy. Big corporations run the country.

August 26th was Women's Equality Day and 12 women in the community, including Wanda, were honored that day at the Civil Rights Heritage Center.

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    5. Next meeting: Monday, September 18th, at 2:30pm at Lois' assisted living center. We will send the directions in the meeting announcement.