Organizing for Safe, Just and Caring Communities, beginning in Northern Virginia for our Commonwealth
WHO WE ARE We are a racially-diverse, non-partisan and all-volunteer group of concerned people from Muslim, Jewish, Catholic and Protestant faith communities in Northern Virginia (so far), who have come together in shared awareness of tragic racial-ethnic and religious disparities in the very systems of justice and public safety meant to insure the equality, liberty and dignity of all. We believe that Love can overcome Fear, and that Faith can overcome Doubt, and this faith leads us to reach out across our differences because we believe each of us is only as safe as all of us. Together, we work for justice and supportive, restorative relationships with those most affected by injustice. OUR CORE VALUES We are committed to being: INCLUSIVE– Across racial, religious, age, gender, sexual orientation, and economic status, and listening to the voices of those with less influence, resources and power. RESPECTFUL– Of our many traditions of faith, life experiences and ideas, we remain open-minded and open-hearted to learning about and valuing the needs of all for collective community building. ANTIRACIST– Always mindful of overcoming the impact of our history of discrimination, working with and for those impacted by this damaging truth. EGALITARIAN – Being aware of historical imbalences of power and social privilege, we conduct our affairs through sharing power and working for consensus. NONVIOLENT -- In the spirit of Martin Luther King, Jr., we commit to working with those who disagree with respect, compassion, honesty and courage. OUR ORIGINS Our work has just begun! In the fall of 2015, participants from ten local congregations (ADAMS (Muslim), United Christian Parish of Reston, Martin Luther King Christian, St. John Neumann Roman Catholic, Northern Virginia Hebrew Congregation, Christ the Servant Lutheran, Herndon Friends Meeting, Restoration UMC, Unitarian-Universalist Church of Reston) began exploring criminal justice at both state and local levels and organized two community forums to address our concerns: “Making Justice Work in Virginia” (ADAMS) and “Making Justice Work, Policing in Fairfax County” (UCP). GET IN TOUCH We welcome the participation of more religious communities and individuals, and would be happy to share what we have learned with you and hear about your concerns. CONTACTS: Alan Davis, 703/419-0631 Louisa Davis, 703/860-1203 Asghar Noor, 703/404-444
Mission: WHAT WE DO We Educate, Organize and Advocate for Justice We advocate for the reform of the public safety and criminal justice system where we believe they are not effective and do not serve the safety and dignity of all by reaching policy makers in ways that foster cooperation and action for change. We organize congregational and public educational events and letter-writing campaigns, utilize local and social media, and partner with other interfaith, social justice and civil rights groups. Together, we challenge public agencies to identify and address reform. We Support Restorative Re-entry from Prison Living in the most incarcerated country in the world, and committed to reducing high rates of imprisonment and recidivism, we are inspired to focus on those previously incarcerated, to learn from and help them reintegrate into our communities. It is our belief that our responsibility to each other includes restoring and developing new relationships, and creating strategies and opportunities that further ex-offenders’ abilities to contribute to their families and communities.
Great three-minute video that is changing how we want to support returning citizens and our local police force: "Restorative Justice, Why Do We Need It?" www.youtube.com/watch?v=8N3LihLvfa0
Lots going on--and I forget about Facebook.
May 13th: IPJ Working Groups on Restorative Justice and Advocacy Meet, 9-11 am, before Steering Committee Meeting--at United Christian Parish Reston.
May 15th: the new FXCO Civilian Review Panel meets at the County Bldg, 7 pm
May 18th: FXCO Communities of Trust is hosting a four-hour training on Restorative Justice
URGENT REQUEST: Call your FXCO Supervisor and challenge amendments that gut Police Auditor--before tomorrow,, 10AM1)
Our first public request that those who can call or email their FXCO Supervisors, within next 15 hours:
OUR LAST ASK:
1) At the very least, with such short time before you vote tomorrow, we urge you to reject the arbitrary “at will” appointment of the new auditor esp. during the tenuous early years of creating the “culture of accountability” you have said you want. In Paragraph 8. f) the Commission recommends that the “Auditor shall be appointed by the BOS for a term of not less than 2 years and not more than 5 years … subject to dismissal only for good cause." We strongly urge you to follow this best practice of a fixed term of five years to establish true independence.
And perhaps, most importantly, while we have come to understand the many FOIA and state impediments to sharing investigatory information, we deeply regret that you could now be choosing, on record, to allow matters of significance to the IA to be withheld by the Chief of Police and/or the Commonwealth Attorney. Please strength your stand for transparency and accountability.
With this said, the Interfaith Partners for Justice continue to appreciate all the needs you are try to balance and to urge the BOS to ensure a culture of accountability and a commitment to the sanctity of life in all of the endeavors of the FCPD and the Chief of Police for all of the people in Fairfax County.
Anyone recommend, beginner on-line petitions?
[09/08/16] We've come on Facebook to share what we are doing about racially-just police practices and programs to help returning citizens (ex-offenders) rebuild their lives, families and communities. Please help us spread the word of partnership esp. to other Fairfax County and Northern Virginia congregations and activists.
Interfaith Partners for Justice
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