Criminal Justice Reform
We are involved in a variety of important efforts to reform the legal justice system in Washtenaw County. As our criminal legal system has been one of the major perpetrators of racial and economic discrimination in our society over the last fifty years, these efforts are vital. They include, for example:
The Prosecutor’s office program to not file charges against some who have been arrested if there seems a better way to respond to their circumstances.
The new county restorative justice program, organized through the Dispute Resolution Center and Friends of Restorative Justice.
We are also working with several other groups, including:
The Michigan Youth Justice Center which is the main organization in our state specifically focused on reforming Michigan’s Youth Legal Justice system.
Safe and Just Michigan which is perhaps the largest organization focused on reforming our adult legal justice system.
The Nicaragua Project
The seed for the Nicaragua Project was planted during a visit to Nicaragua by a delegation Joe Summers led, back in 2004. While this was originally a project of Incarnation, it was spun off as an independently registered charitable organization called Capital to Bridge the Divide. Over the years, members of Incarnation have had a significant presence on the Board of Directors of Capital to Bridge the Divide, but there have been many non-Incarnation members involved as well. Capital to Bridge the Divide supports the project in Nicaragua through monthly donations to cover salaries and benefits for the caretaker and administrator, utilities, government fees, and other ongoing maintenance items. For more information, visit the project website at NicaraguaProject.org.
Environmental Justice and Creation Care
The impact of the environmental crisis is becoming more and more evident. In the spirituality discussion group we began talking about how the crisis was impacting us spiritually and how we might respond to it. We held an Advent retreat in December 2021 to begin to really listen to ourselves and one another on how we might best collectively respond to this crisis.
Our discussions revealed that we are fairly unified in our concerns about water, and we came to envision creating a “Water is Life” Campaign. This would both hold up a vision of water as sacred and access to affordable clean water as something we all need. We further determined there is interest in focusing on three different types of action: advocacy around public policy; local, hand-on projects, and developing educational material. This campaign will be developed over the course of 2022.