Category Archives: Uncategorized

Refugees Remembered on Memorial Day

Orange County Peace Coalition Commemorate Memorial Day

From Huffington Post article:

Chapel Hill, North Carolina, has been recognized as a progressive town in North Carolina and the U.S. South. Home to one of the oldest public universities in the nation, this town has played an important role in the civil rights movement, the anti-war movement and other social justice movements.

The town of Chapel Hill welcomed Syrian refugees, in response to Gov. Patrick McCrory’s call to halt the future resettlement of Syrian refugees in North Carolina. Chapel Hill’s progressive character was on display during Memorial Day commemoration on May 30, 2016. Titled “Hearing the Voiceless: Refugees at Home and Abroad,” this event commemorated the sacrifices of the veterans, as well as, the suffering of the victims of wars, including the refugees.

The event on Monday displayed hard work by Jan, Wes and dozens of organizers ranging from organizations like Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom – Triangle, Veterans for Peace – NC Triangle Area, Charles M. Jones Peace and Justice Committee of the Community Church of Chapel Hill Unitarian Universalist, Balance and Accuracy in Journalism, Coalition for Peace with Justice, Peace and Social Concerns of Chapel Hill Friends Meeting, and Elders for Peace. The event featured proclamations by the towns of Chapel Hill and Carboro that honored the lives of men and women of the armed forces who sacrificed their lives. These proclamations also called for building a peaceful society and helping the victims of war, including the refugees fleeing from violence and the aftermath of war. Speeches were interspersed by cultural performances and eulogies for the victims of war. Triangle chapter of the Raging Grannies offered powerful performances to highlight the sufferings caused by wars and occupations.

The highlight of the event was the focus on refugees and a rise in Islamophobia. A relatively peaceful and progressive town of Chapel Hill became a global headline when three Muslim students were murdered there last year. Institutional forms of oppression against Muslims and other marginalized communities, including the LGBTQ community, have increased in North Carolina in the recent years. North Carolina General Assembly passed transphobic law, House Bill 2, earlier this year that also robs such municipal powers as increasing the minimum wage. North Carolina General Assembly passed anti-Sharia law in 2013. A version of that bill was tied to legislation on women’s reproductive health.

These developments have emphasized the need to build an intersectional movement that connects campaigns against Islamophobia, homophobia, racism, sexism, anti-immigrant attacks, anti-worker attacks and other oppressions.

Read more here:

Memorial-Day-2016-Chapel-Hill-NC-1 Memorial-Day-2016-Chapel-Hill-NC-3-Center-for-New-Community-Blog Memorial-Day-2016-Chapel-Hill-NC-4 Memorial-Day-2016-Chapel-Hill-NC-5-Center-for-New-Community-Blog Memorial-Day-2016-Chapel-Hill-NC-6 Memorial-Day-2016-Chapel-Hill-NC-7

Islamophobia presentation to NC Council of Churches

NC Council of Churches Hosts a Presentation on Islamophobia

Manzoor Cheema from the Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia (MERI) and Muslims for Social Justice, made a presentation titled “Challenging Racism and Islamophobia” at North Carolina Council of Churches meeting on June 7, 2016. This meeting took place at Congregational United Church of Christ in Greensboro, North Carolina. This talk explored racialized oppression against Muslims, African Americans, Jews, Japanese and other communities throughout the history; intersection between Islamophobia and other oppressions; and identified steps to confront this oppression.

About North Carolina Council of Churches:

The North Carolina Council of Churches was founded in 1935. We are a statewide ecumenical organization promoting Christian unity and working towards a more just society.

Our Mission Statement:
The Council enables denominations, congregations, and people of faith to individually and collectively impact our state on issues such as economic justice and development, human well-being, equality, compassion and peace, following the example and mission of Jesus Christ.

While the Council is itself overtly Christian, many of the committees and task groups are interfaith, including members from non-Christian faith communities. Several committees also include members of Christian denominations which are not part of the Council of Churches. Through this work, we live our motto: Strength in Unity, Peace through Justice.

Our members include 25 judicatories of 17 denominations and eight individual congregations. Across the state, our members have over 6,200 congregations with about 1.5 million congregants.

The North Carolina Council of Churches is not the local chapter of either the National or World Council of Churches. While we share the two goals of ecumenism and justice and our memberships are drawn from many of the same religious traditions, there are no structural connections between us. The North Carolina Council of Churches is actually thirteen years older than the World Council of Churches and fifteen years older than the National Council.

Learn more here:



Launch of Moral Revolution of Values

“Revival: Time for a Moral Revolution of Values” tour

On April 4, 2016, an event called Time for a Moral Revolution of Values was organized at Temple Beth Or in Raleigh, NC. This event included testimonies of attacks on education, healthcare, immigrants, workers, LGBTQ community members, Muslims and voters. The following are reports from this tour.

NC NAACP Press Release:
In light of the repeated misrepresentation of so-called “evangelism” in the public square, and the lewd amounts of money and political energy being spent to hijack the democratic process, Rev. Dr. William Barber and Rev. Dr. James Forbes, Senior Minister Emeritus of the Riverside Church in NYC, and their many friends in the social justice clergy community who have agreed to join them, have been called to seek a moral awakening and a Third Reconstruction in America. They are beginning a tour of Revivals across the nation and on April 4th, the Revival is coming to North Carolina.

From Daily Kos on 4/3/16:
Today is the kickoff day for the launch of “The Revival: Time for a Moral Revolution of Values”, a national revival tour to redefine morality in American politics.

The event is being held at Riverside Church in New York City at 3PM and will be live-streamed.

Rev. William Barber II, Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr, Rev. Traci Blackmon, and Sister Simone Campbell are spearheading the tour, which, on the first leg will engage people in 15 states, including North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Indiana, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Tennessee, Virginia, Texas, Oklahoma, and Washington DC.

The Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, architect of the transformative Moral Monday Movement and founder of Repairers of the Breach, Senior Pastor of Greenleaf Christian Church Disciples of Christ and the Rev. Dr. James A. Forbes, Jr, Senior Minister Emeritus of The Riverside Church, president of Healing of the Nations Ministries and National Minister for the Drum Major Institute, today announced the launch of The Revival: Time for a Moral Revolution of Values that will champion the sacred values of love, justice, and mercy in the public square at a time when they are needed more than ever.

Reverends Barber and Forbes have been invited by local civil rights and moral leaders to come to their cities to conduct revival meetings and services. They will be joined by other national social justice activists who bring the same deep moral analysis of the nation’s problems including the Rev. Traci Blackmon, acting Executive Minister of the UCC’s Justice and Witness Ministries, and Sister Simone Campbell, Director of the Catholic social justice lobby NETWORK in Washington, DC.

Sponsored by Repairers of the Breach, Healing of the Nations Ministries and Drum Major Institute, the tour starts at The Riverside Church in New York City on Sunday, April 3 at 3:00 p.m. EST. It will hold meetings and services in Alabama, Georgia, Indiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, South Carolina, Texas, Wisconsin, Tennessee, Ohio, Oklahoma and Virginia through December of 2016 and continue on through 2017. The first Revival will be in Raleigh, NC on Monday, April 4, the anniversary of Dr. King’s historic sermon at Riverside —“A Time to Break the Silence”—in 1967, and his assassination in Memphis one year later—just 48 years ago.

The April 4th event in Raleigh is being held on the anniversary of the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968 at Temple Beth Or, at 6:30 PM.

The revolution tour is coming — get on board!


Moral-Value-Revival-Tour-Temple-Beth-Or-pic-1 Moral-Value-Revival-Tour-Temple-Beth-Or-pic-2 Moral-Value-Revival-Tour-Temple-Beth-Or-pic-3Moral-Value-Revival-Tour-Temple-Beth-Or-pic-4Picture by Kevin Smith

Talk on Islamophobia and Racism at UUFR in Raleigh

UUFR Hosts a Talk titled “Challenging Racism and Islamophobia”

A talk titled “Challenging Racism and Islamophobia” was organized and hosted by UUFR (Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Raleigh) on January 27, 2016. Manzoor Cheema from MERI (Movement to End Racism and Islamophobia) spoke at the event. This event was preceded by canvassing action against Islamophobia that was organized by Jewish Voice for Peace – Triangle. Both of these events were covered by Japenese TV station NHK.

UUFR congregants are active in the social justice and peace movements. Learn more about their work here.
“The fight for women’s suffrage; the struggle for civil rights; war resistance; relief efforts from New Orleans to Darfur: Unitarian Universalists have historically been part of the fabric of our nation’s great social justice movements. Our belief system is grounded in an active commitment to peace, fairness, equity, and compassion. Social action is the vehicle through which we express that commitment.”

What is Islamophobia?
Islamophobia is a contrived fear or prejudice fomented by the existing Eurocentric and Orientalist global power structure.  It is directed at a perceived or real Muslim threat through the maintenance and extension of existing disparities in economic, political, social and cultural relations, while rationalizing the necessity to deploy violence as a tool to achieve “civilizational rehab” of the target communities (Muslim or otherwise).  Islamophobia reintroduces and reaffirms a global racial structure through which resource distribution disparities are maintained and extended.
Source: Center for Race and Gender at UC Berkeley

Here is a Youtube video of speech at UUFR:

UUFR, Islamophobia, MERI