Minutes for MPJC Meeting of October 12, 2015

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

Old business

    1.  Approval of Minutes for September 14: The minutes were approved as corrected.

    2. Progress Reports

        a. Topic of the Month: Climate Change - We approved Rey's draft as modified by Peter with a couple of wording changes from Ellyn. Thank you, Rey. Peter will put the paper on the web as soon as Rey sends the approximate date when alternative energy is expected to become competitive costwise with fossil fuels. Ellyn noted that methane gas is produced by wetlands and also by mass production of animals raised for food. In fact, eating meat is the second biggest factor in increasing one's carbon footprint after driving a car.

        b. September 19 My Brother's Keeper panel: MPJC was invited to participate in a panel at the Maple Lane Seventh Day Adventist Church, titled "My Brother's Keeper: Where do we go from here?" All of the usual MPJC members were there plus a good number of the church members. Glenda Rae and Rey were on the panel along with police chief Ron Teachman, council member Oliver Davis, and a member of the church who serves as the resident services officer at the Center for the Homeless. There was a lively discussion of the issues. (See last month's minutes for a list of the topics). We urged Glenda Rae to invite this church to attend the Little Taste of Peace and sign up for Study Circles.

        c. International Day of Prayer for Peace: This took place on September 21 and was cosponsored by the Center for Peace and Nonviolence. The community was invited to visit a Reflection Space on the first floor of the city county building from 11am-4pm on September 21st and later from 5:30pm-6:30pm, a community vigil was held at the Jon Hunt Plaza in front of the Morris Center, remembering the International Day of Peace as well as a space for remembrances from families who have lost loved ones to violence in our region. It was cosponsored by Mamas Against Violence. The reflection time at the City County Building did not draw many participants. Most people hurried by to continue about their business. Lois understood that they probably had a short lunch hour. The vigil was well attended and names of young people killed by gun violence in the community were read aloud. Bobbi Woods, head of Mama's against violence, gave an impassioned call for reform. The organizers had counted on the CRC to help pass the word about the event to member churches, but this did not happen. We noted that church members are asked to support many good causes and contributions to the CRC have fallen.

       d. Nov 29th Climate Change Demonstration: Glenda Rae had received an email, but there are no planned activities in Indiana. People's Climate Movement is planning actions on October 14, but none anywhere near South Bend.

    2. Treasurer's Report: $83.72 with a $5.11 in petty cash. We decided to wait until Jobs with Justice ask for dues before sending them. We will need money for our MLK day table.

New Business

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

    2. Topic of the Month: We decided to take up the topic: Is there racism in our community today? Glenda Rae will get us started by emailing the start of a position paper to the list serve. During the discussion we noted that the City Council has to decide whether or not to fund the position of Diversity Officer, who would keep track of what is happening to promote diversity in all departments. It was interesting that the white members of the council were in favor of establishing this position, but the black members opposed it, thinking that it would make no difference. It turns out that the city has a diversity utilization board chaired by James Sommers, and at one time had a diversity office as well. This board is supposed to make sure that minority contractors are given preference when the city lets out contracts. Women-owned companies are the only ones in the area that have been certified as minority contractors, no black or hispanic owned companies. Some contractors have put the company in the name of their wives to obtain this certification. It turns out that the minority contractor requirement has never been enforced.

    3. Justice Book of the Month Proposal: Rey proposed that MPJC members recommend books concerning peace and justice that they thought people would benefit from reading. The person recommending the book should briefly describe it on the list serve. The recomender need not have read the book. We started off by recommending Naomi Klein's books, The Shock Doctrine, The Rise of Disaster Capitalism and This Changes Everything, and also Eleanor Roosevelt's autobiography. Ellyn pointed out some of the highlights from the latter book, which she had read. We decided to give this proposal a chance to work.

    4. Other Topics and Issues: St. Marcellus Day is October 29. The program starts at 5pm with a simple supper and dramatization of St. Marcellus at Olivet AME church at 719 Notre Dame Ave. This will be followed by a pilgrimage to the Basilica at Notre Dame with a 7:15pm prayer for peace and an address by Fr. Katongole. This will be followed by a candlelight pilgrimage to Moreau Seminary for a service of light at 9pm.

December 10 is International Human Rights day. Jobs with Justice will sponsor a remembrance event at the downtown library. More information will be available at next month's meeting.

The Little Taste of Peace will be held on January 16 at The Beacon on Lincolnway West, almost to the airport, in the former Beacon Bowl building. As usual, all MPJC members are asked to help with this event.

CPNV is still collecting stories of nonviolence. Send your story to SB150peace@gmail.com

    5. Next meeting: Monday, November 16th, at 2:30pm at Peter and Ellyn's.