Please Support ICUJP in Working for Justice and Peace

AN UNPRECEDENTED YEAR OF
SEEKING JUSTICE AND PEACE

ICUJP in 2020

2020 has been a year like no other in our lifetimes. Like you, Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace has had to adapt to ensure we continue moving forward. And with your help, we’ve remained steadfast in our mission that Religious Communities Must Stop Blessing War and Violence.

Largely volunteer-driven, with a small part-time paid staff, we’ve continued to hold Friday Forums, convened a major conference, celebrated the life and work of Rev. George Regas, recognized amazing leaders in our movement, and spoken out on critical issues. Here’s what you helped us do:

Friday Forums

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, since late March we’ve held our Friday Forums online. These 35-plus meetings have allowed us to raise awareness and spur action on a wide range of issues with new audiences and important speakers from around the world, including:

  • Alicia Re Cruz, University of North Texas, on immigration and border justice
  • Marjorie Cohn, Esq., Thomas Jefferson School of Law and National Lawyers Guild, on the post-2020 election transfer of power
  • Dr. Melba Maggay, writer and social anthropologist, on Covid-19’s impact on impoverished communities in the Philippines
  • Amy Spitalnick, Executive Director, Integrity First for America, on IFA’s landmark case against neo-Nazis who instigated deadly violence in Charlottesville, VA
  • David Swanson, Cofounder and Executive Director of World Beyond War, on the organization’s latest antiwar efforts
  • Gail Walker, Executive Director of IFCO/Pastors for Peace, about her group’s programs supporting organizing and empowerment with communities of color

ONE WORLD: Ending Endless War and Creating a Just, Peaceful, Healthy Planet

On June 7, dozens joined ICUJP at our first-ever virtual conference. When we began planning last year, we could not have predicted how timely it would be! Founded during another tumultuous, world-changing time, ICUJP offered an alternative voice to the “War on Terror.”

All these years later, the issues are slightly different, but the challenge is the same. On June 7, we came together to strategize how we can apply our founding principles to our current tumultuous world – how to push for justice and create a world where all people can flourish, not just a few.

The Rev. Jim Lawson, keynote speaker, challenged us: “Non-violence is a pitch to us that a paradigm has arrived. There is no way through endless war. There is no way through the present systems of endless pain and hurt in the world, except through the paradigmatic change that we move from injustice to justice, from violence to non-violence, from hatred and brokenness to compassion and truth.”

With Rev. Lawson’s words echoing in our hearts and minds, we broke into smaller groups to grapple with specific areas of concern in today’s world:

  • Peace with Justice - looking at America’s blind commitment to military dominance and endless war, and ways to strengthen peaceful and humanitarian conflict resolution
  • Racial and Religious Justice - The racism, disparities, and religious bigotry revealed by Covid-19, and how people of faith and goodwill can embrace liberation movements to create a multiracial, harmonious democracy
  • Environmental Justice - how war plays a big role in the destruction of the earth, and how we can restore a healthy planet
  • Economic Justice – how the outsized U.S. military budget robs our economy of social welfare funding, creating stark poverty, and solutions for a new way forward

Our remarkable presenters included Salam Al-Marayati, Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC); Dr. John Cobb, Center for Process Studies; Jodie Evans, CODEPINK; Rabbi Mel Gottlieb, PhD, Academy for Jewish Religion | CA; Hyepin Im, Faith and Community Empowerment; Ashley Gonzalez, Clergy & Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE); Ben Poor, UniteHere! Local 11; and many more. We ended our day with Calls to Action prepared by Anthony Manousos on behalf of ICUJP - attached here so that you, too, can take action. 

2020 George F. Regas Courageous Peacemaker Awards and Rev. Regas’s 90th Birthday Celebration

On the 19th anniversary of 9.11.2001 - the event that launched ICUJP – we presented two online events. The morning Friday Forum invited attendees to reflect on what ICUJP has meant to them over the years. In the evening, the 2020 Regas Peacemaker Awards began with a 90th birthday celebration of our leader and co-founder, the Rev. George Regas. Birthday greetings by video and in person from longtime ICUJP members filled the screen from around the world, including Archbishop Desmond Tutu from South Africa! We sang happy birthday and watched ICUJP videographer Robert Corsini’s fabulous short documentary, which brought so many reminders of George’s bravery and vision for a better world. It was a momentous occasion to appreciate his leadership and courage that has shaped so many of us.

We were thrilled to present the 2020 award for Justice to Black Lives Matter - Los Angeles and for Peace to The Most Rev. Desmond Tutu, Archbishop Emeritus of Cape Town; Jewish Voice for Peace; and World BEYOND War.

18th Annual Close Guantanamo Now! Rally

On January 10, 2020, allied organizations again joined us at the Downtown Federal Building for our annual demonstration protesting Guantanamo Bay Prison’s existence. This prison remains a shameful example of America’s brutal and racist incarceration of predominantly Muslim detainees who have been denied due process in the discredited “War on Terror.”

Speaking Truth to Power

Throughout the year, ICUJP has spoken out on crucial issues of justice and peace including statements on A Cry for Justice for George Floyd and opposing Israeli annexation, and endorsing a coalition opposing Proposition 20.

Your support has made this all possible.
Will you please help us keep the momentum in 2020 with a gift of $50, $100, $250, or more?

Flashback to 2001: In the days following 9/11, the Rev. George Regas saw what was coming. The U.S. would use the attacks as an excuse to start even more endless and unjustified wars. In response, Rev. Regas and other faith leaders launched ICUJP with the mission that Religious Communities Must Stop Blessing War and Violence.

Since then, ICUJP has kept the mission and widened our view. We view "violence" as all forms of injustice that harms people: racial, gender, economic, environmental, and more.

Along those lines, we’ve continued learning from experts and advocates in these areas and more; joined our allies to rally against immigrant detention, exploitation of hotel employees, and war with Iran; granted scholarships to young peace and justice advocates through the SoLa Community Peace Center; and much more.

All of this has only been possible because of you.
Can you give $50, $100, $250, or more today?

Every dollar goes directly toward calling out wrongs and inspiring action to make them right.


Still, so much remains to be done. We must keep:

  • Advocating for families and individuals facing loss of income, eviction, and hunger due to COVID-19 lockdowns
  • Revealing the criminal justice system’s racial and economic discrimination, which destroys millions of lives through profiling, mass incarceration, and harsh sentencing
  • Telling congressional leaders to stop misspending our tax dollars on endless, unnecessary wars that kill countless innocent people
  • Calling for compassionate justice for immigrants and the release of children from detention

That’s why we're counting on you to donate as much as you can.
Please join us in working for peace and justice by giving $50, $100, $150, or more today.

People like you give us hope. As someone who cares about peace and justice, you sustain our belief that together we really can help bring change and create a better world.

Since day one, we’ve supported ICUJP with our time, energy and donations. It has enriched our lives and sustained us throughout these difficult years. We know that you, too, will be glad that you are a part of making change happen. And we want to thank you in advance from the bottom of our hearts.

With gratitude,

Stephen Rohde, Chair
Grace Dyrness, Vice Chair
ICUJP Board of Directors

[email protected]

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  • Sofia Quinones
    commented 2022-05-27 09:36:37 -0700
    This year marks the 75th anniversary since La Colonia Mexicana dedicated our monuments and memorials on May 30,1947 in our historic corridor of Cinco Puntos. This was in honor of the soldiers of Mexican descent that earned Congressional Medals of Honor in WWII. Our ancestors raised the private funds to build the monuments and memorials not the City of Los Angeles. They chose this precise geographical location to build them for serious reasons. As our soldiers fought against Nazi Germany our soldiers did so knowing neither they nor their families or community were allowed to vote for the Mayor of Los Angeles nor was East Los Angeles allowed to be its own city. When the City of Angeles drew its boundaries it deliberately excluded the communities of East Los Angeles. The Cinco Puntos corridor is where the first bigoted lines of segregation and gerrymandering were drawn in the City and County of Los Angeles. This continues being a voting rights issue and a local representation issue for the communities of East Los Angeles. Now the City of Los Angeles wants to disrespect East Los Angeles once again, by obliterating the Raul Morin Square and using eminent domain on the business in the corridor to make way for a roundabout that no one in the neighborhood wants. For years forces have attempted to change the name of our monuments and memorials for soldiers of Mexican descent to the “All Wars Memorial” Our community does not venerate war! These monuments our for our soldiers and their families. This short clip gives some background on Raul Morin a decorated Combat Veteran and author of the legendary book Among The Valiant.

    Watch “Robert Vallejo, Raul Morin Memorial Square ||| Veterans Make Movies” on Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/440195854?ref=em-share

    The Raul Morin Square is woven into the social fabric of our raizes en Los Angeles. His family registered so many people after the traumatic time periods of the AKA Zoot Suit Riots y lo que pasó en Bishop, La Loma, Y Palo Verde, AKA Chavez Ravine.

    Gente show up to honor our veterans and their families and to protest against the City of Los Angeles proposed $26,000,000 + roundabout project that will desecrate our sacred space and negatively impact emergency response time, causing congestion an adding to the environmental degradation we are already suffering from.

    This project has no current Environmental Impact Report (EIR) or traffic study. There have been absolutely no community scoping meetings. This is a violation of the California Environmental Quality Act. This project was designed behind closed doors at the MTA now known as LACMETRO. The MTA had no legal authority to do this project. It was not in the EIR for the Eastside Gold Line Light Rail construction. This is a violation of the Brown Act. They along with former Councilman Jose Huizar and his staff pushed for this project. The current Councilman Kevin De Leon kept Nate Haward along with other Huizar staffers that continue pushing this corrupt project forward. LACMETRO has to be audited. They have abused their authority and taken property via eminent domain. The LACMETRO board members have failed to disclose or recuse themselves when voting on contracts that involved their colleagues and nonprofits they were associated with who also gave them campaign contributions.(i.e. ELACC, ACOF, etc). Governor Gavin Newsom also used eminent domain to take properties from the 710 freeway. These land grabs have denied Californians their constitutional rights to first right of refusal. The Governor then transfered funds from the 710 freeway project to this corrupt roundabout project in East LA. There is no current Beneficial Owner Registry in LA. We have no idea who owns the LLC’s or non profits that developers hyde behind. The Corporate Transparency Act has no teeth. International organized crime syndicates launder their ill gotten gains buying up property destroying communities all across LA, the U.S. and the globe.
    Investigation! Investigate! Investigate! Investigate!
    Our soldiers answered the call and they and their families gave the ultimate sacrifice for our country. Answer are call for justice and cover this story and investigate the corruption running wild in the City and County of LA.

    Por Mi Raza Habla Mi Espíritu!

    Sofía G. Quiñones
    East Los Angeles
    Boyle Heights Coalition
    (323)494-6005
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