ICPJ 50th Anniversary: Looking Back, Looking Ahead

icpj 50thby Deb Kraus

When Ruth Kraut approached me five years ago to see if I wanted to be on the board of the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice (ICPJ), I had only the slightest sense of what they did. I was aware that most of the people I knew who did political work were at least tangentially connected to ICPJ; what I didn’t know is that I was actually one of those people!

ICPJ coordinates the local CROP walk every year. I had walked in the CROP walk. Back in 1998, ICPJ organized a peacekeeping team to mitigate between the KKK and the equally angry counter demonstrators when the KKK came to Ann Arbor to recruit. I went to the peace demonstration that day. [editor’s note: For more news of that day here and here.]

Every year, ICPJ goes to protest at the School of the Americas, and I knew that Rebecca Kanner did civil disobedience that landed her in prison, but I’m not sure I knew that this was in the context of ICPJ. When I was a graduate student, I heard about and participated in an anti-war protest when George HW Bush was the UM commencement speaker. Just this past weekend, I found out this, too, was the work of ICPJ. And as our shmita team would attest, there was a lot of cross-pollination between our work and ICPJ’s theme year work on Food and Justice.

This is a subset of the great work that this organization has spearheaded. I am pleased to be involved in this work, and pleased that so many of you have some involvement in ICPJ as well. In fact, I sometimes joke that ICPJ is our social justice arm.

So here’s my ask:

In less than three weeks, ICPJ is hosting an anniversary dinner party to celebrate 50 years of peace and justice work in Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County.

It will be at 6 p.m. at the Morris Lawrence Building at WCC on Saturday, November 14. There will be remembrances from past decades, a silent auction, and a preview of what is happening in 2016. And our own Rabbi Alana will be one of the two keynote speakers as ICPJ looks ahead to the next 50 years.

Dinner will be family-style service with chicken and vegetarian options, sourced with fresh, local, seasonal ingredients.

The dinner is $50/person.

You can rsvp via email (jane@icpj.org) or phone (734-663-1870)–in which case you will be asked to send in a check–or you can get your tickets online.

I know it will be a great night, and I hope you can join me.