Minutes for MPJC Meeting of September 26, 2016

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

Old business

    1.  Approval of Minutes for August 29: The minutes were approved as written with one grammatical correction proposed by Ellyn.

    2. Progress Reports

        a. International Day of Prayer for Peace: Lois designed a Tribune ad focused on protecting the children of the world and it ran on Thursday, September 15. The September 19 vigil was dedicated to the International Day for Peace. Kevin had developed an MPJC facebook page to publicize the vigil and there were 16 total folks who showed up instead of the usual 4 or 5 who usually attend the Monday vigils. Kevin had arranged for a TV reporter to do a story about the vigil, but a robbery happened at the same time which the reporter was assigned to cover. Lois also wrote a letter to the editor about the International Day of Peace and her letter was printed on Thursday, September 22, right next to a picture of the Pope celebrating the day.

        b. Human Rights Day: There are two planning meetings scheduled through Jobs with Justice, September 27 at 10:30am, and October 4 at 11am. The celebration is usually held on December 10 at the main library.

        c. Armistice Day: This day, November 11, is now called Veteran's Day but it was originally set up to celebrate the end of the First World War. We will dedicate the vigil on November 14 to encouraging everyone to reclaim Armistice Day. Lois emphacized that Veterans for Peace is supporting this effort. We will display their flag at our vigil. Ellyn encouraged us to honor diplomats as well, since they do so much to bring about peaceful settlements of conflicts. Peter will make some signs to the effect that there are no winners in war.

        d. Book of the Month report: Wanda had read "Race Matters," by Cornell West. She thought that we should sponsor a study group and this would be a good book to start with. It would have to be at a separate time from our meeting. We did not agree to take up this endeavor. Wanda said that the author mentioned the lack of black leaders of the calibre of MLK. Rey said that there are many local leaders such as Blu Casey in South Bend, but none who instigate mass movements. Ellyn has been reading a biography of President Truman who came from Missouri, a state which began with very violent conflict between those for and against slavery. Rey mentioned two stories in the Sunday (9/25) South Bend Tribune about police misconduct resulting in killings of African Americans. One told of the Indiana Court of Appeals claiming that police officers had misrepresented the facts under oath. The prosecutor was worried that many cases could be overturned or not prosecuted if the convincing evidence in the convictions was the strength of police testimony. The story appeared in the South Bend Tribune and is available online http://www.southbendtribune.com/news/publicsafety/does-video-of-arrest-contradict-south-bend-police/article_754c4d40-8164-5518-84a8-70461a7e4cc7.html regarding a South Bend case from October 2013.We also discussed the greatly different treatment of minorities by police in stopping them for minor infractions much more frequently than whites. We wondered if we should start a topic of the month on police treatment of minorities, but wondered if we had the expertise to deal with this subject.

3. Treasurer's Report: $83.72 with a $5.11 in petty cash.

New Business

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

    2. Little Taste of Peace: the LTOP will be beld at Little Flower Church on January 14, 2017. There will be facilitator training at Saint Mary's College on October 22, 2016 and refresher training at the church on January 5, 2017.

    3. MLK Day Table: We authorized Glenda Rae to pay the fee for MPJC to have a table at Century Center on MLK Day, January 16, 2016.

    4. Topic of the Month: We decided to skip this topic for this month.

    5. Other Topics and Issues: There will be an organizing meeting for a local chapter of SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice) on Friday, September 30, 5pm to 7pm at the First Unitarian Church of South Bend, 801 E Washington St, South Bend. We wondered if there were things we could do to support racial justice. Rey mentioned attending a Mamas Against Violence rally last Thursday during which he talked to the Police Chief who said that people make mistakes when under pressure. He also mentioned the website for Nu Black Power as a source for local events. We could write letters to the editor.  Rey said that the SB Tribune appears to not be taking any letters or guest editorials concerning Knepper or the state of PD-Community relations at this time, and Mayor Pete is taking a hands-off stance, saying "Give the process time to work."

There will be a League of Women Voters South Bend School Board Meet the Candidates Forum 6:30-8:30pm on October 10 at EA1011, Education and Arts Building at IUSB.

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    7. Next meeting: Monday, October 31st, at 2:30pm at Peter and Ellyn's.