Minutes for MPJC Meeting of December 5, 2016

Present: Peter, Ellyn, Glenda Rae, Lois (by phone),Wanda, Galen

Old business

    1.  Approval of Minutes for October 31: The minutes were approved as submitted.

    2. Progress Reports

        a. Armistice Day events: Lois wrote a letter to the Tribune but it was not published. Wanda had a good letter published on November 16. We dedicated the vigil on November 14 to encourage everyone to reclaim Armistice Day. Kevin publicized the vigil extensively on social media and several young folks showed up. He had hand painted some signs protesting the Dakota Access Pipe Line and these were very popular. He took lots of pictures of the vigil and posted them on facebook.

        b. Human Rights Day: The date is Saturday, December 10, from 1-2:30pm at Wiecamp Hall auditorium, IUSB. The program will emphasize three articles from the UN Declaration of Human Rights: Article 2 (non-discrimination) April Lidinski; Article 11 (right to fair trial) Darryl Heller; Article 18 (freedom of religion) Imam Mohamed Sirajuddin. The mayor will issue a proclamation and the head of the human rights commission will give introductory remarks.

        c. Book of the Month report: Ellyn is reading "Underground Railroad," by Colson Whitehead. She said that it was very sad but definitely worth reading. It talks of people using the underground railroad and what happens to them along the way. Horrible!

        d. SURJ meeting: SURJ met at the Unitarian Church 5-7pm on November 18. There was a good turnout which filled the room. We have become an official SURJ chapter and several folks have been participating in webinars put on by the national office. There was an emphasis on developing accountability partners, local minority-led activist organizations who will keep us accountable. Paul Mishler had prepared a four page outline to help us understand how to be effective organizers. He will continue his presentation at the next meeting. Chip Roush helped us plan an action at the mall on Black Friday to engage people and ask them to sign a pledge that they will resist actions which hurt in any way people who have suffered from racism or intolerance and stand in solidarity with such people. This action was cancelled because the mall management refused to allow it. Several SURJ members made very low-key efforts to get people attending the Downtown South Bend First Friday celebration at Jon Hunt Plaza on December 2 to sign the pledge. The next SURJ meeting will be 5-7pm at the Unitarian Church on December 16.

3. Treasurer's Report: $18.72 with a $5.11 in petty cash. Glenda Rae paid $50 dues to Jobs with Justice and $40 for our MLK day table. We received a $25 donation

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 refresher training at the church on January 5, 2017. Glenda Rae was concerned that the folks attending the afternoon Mass at Little Flower would use the parking spaces near the kitchen dining room where the LTOP will take place. Some of us received a mailing saying to arrive at 6:30, but the actual arrival time should have been 6:15. This mailing was to go only to those without email addresses. Glenda Rae will check on this. Facilitators do not have to register.

    3. MLK Day Table: Lois and MPJC will have tables at Century Center on MLK Day, January 16, 2016. We hope to get them together. Lois' table will feature Vets for Peace and the MLK scholarship fund. Peter will make sure that she has the Vets for Peace banner. Ellyn will help set up. Peter will staff the MPJC table in the afternoon and close up. We need to find folks to staff the table in the morning. Peter will contact Kathy and Pam. We talked about supplying information on the predator and reaper drones which kill folks in the troubled spots in the world but are controlled from bases inside the U.S. and UK. We will use the MPJC banner at the table. We will also have the Bean Poll and perhaps wheel it around to different sites to get people to vote where they want their taxes to go. We will have the Cost of War and Pie Chart leaflets to hand out, as well as some tax resistance literature. Also, we wondered if we could display the National Priorities Project Cost of War continuously changing cost display at the MPJC table.

    4. DAPL news: We rejoiced that the Corps of Engineers has shut down the pipeline pending an environmental impact study. A judge will have to rule when the study is completed. We worried what would happen to DAPL after Trump takes over.

    5. Topic of the Month: We decided to see if Chip Roush would start off a discussion on racial justice from the SURJ viewpoint. Lois wondered if racial justice could include immigrants' fears. She had recently heard a Syrian immigrant worried sick that she and her family could be deported when Trump takes over. We thought that we should add that to the recently finished immigrant topic of the month and not add this concern to the racial justice topic..

    6. Other Topics and Issues: Lois has given up driving. She is very concerned that we get more vigilers to replace her on Mondays. Kevin has been bringing young folks out through his facebook promotions, but they do not come regularly. There are too many people saying "We honked at you," and not enough showing up to vigil with us.

Lois encouraged us to look at Luis Ricardo Fraga's work on religious tolerance. He is head of the Institute of Latino Studies at ND.

The Community Forum is hosting a potluck on Thursday, December 15, 6pm at NNN COMMUNITY CENTER, 1013 Portage, SB. All welcome.

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    7. Next meeting: Monday, January 9th, at 2:00pm at Lois' assisted living center. We will send the directions in the meeting announcement.