2000's

 

2000

Conference encourages members of religious community to consider contributing all or part of one-time Wisconsin tax rebate to programs addressing community needs, especially the homeless.  Response is very positive. The Greater Milwaukee Foundation – Milwaukee Homeless Fund receives over $27,000. Other agencies receive donations. Congregations participate.

 

Holds “Forging New Partnerships: Religion & Labor” breakfast at Pfister Hotel. Archbishop Rembert Weakland and John J. Sweeney, national AFL-CIO president, are co-hosts

 

Holds study circles on growth, urban sprawl and the environment.

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Conference’s CAN committee sponsors talk by activist/author, Sojourners leader Jim Wallis and panel discussion of poverty in Milwaukee in May 2000. CAN is now in 150 area congregations.

 

Lobbies for campaign finance reform “Impartial Justice” bill to provide public funding for Supreme Court races; for Good Pantry Bill grants up to $15,000 to help food pantries throughout state; for Restorative Justice program to provide assistant district attorneys to work on new methods for bringing victims, offenders, and communities together for healing; for changes to require public input in how W-2 agencies spend public money, provide a fair grievance procedure, and end time limits etc.

 

EOS emergency shelter moved to Milwaukee Rescue Mission; joint effort between Milwaukee area congregations, the Interfaith Conference and the American Red Cross. Originally just for winter, but in July 1999 is reopened for spring and summer because local shelters still full.  Shelters open for more than 200 consecutive nights serving 25-30 women a night and increasing number of families. Congregations/religious community responding to the volunteer needs for every evening’s shift, weekend breakfast, and donations.

 

PIIC adopts a landmine site of 30,000 square meters in Cambodia  where a school, a pagoda, and surrounding agricultural land are located. It will take 25 weeks to de-mine and cost $29,813. Milwaukee Campaign to Ban Landmines includes Archdiocese of Milwaukee, Greater Milwaukee Chapter of United Nations Association, U.S. Fund for UNICEF-Milwaukee Chapter, Peace Action Wisconsin, Vietnam Veterans of America, Interfaith Conference and others. Ecumenical prayer vigil and justice walk on June 10th focus on landmines. Campaign exceeds goal, raises $44,000.

 

Urban Suburban Community Outreach Project conference examines role congregations can play in revitalizing neighborhoods and building strong communities; volunteers being recruited to serve as tutors in local schools; congregations receive technical assistance.

 

MAIR holds March 26th “faces of Jesus in a Religiously Plural Society: An Interfaith Dialogue on Jesus.”  Chaired by Judi Longdin, with panelists Rev. Tonen O’Connor of Milwaukee Zen Center; Janan Najeeb, director of the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition, Rabbi Ze’ev Harari of Beth Israel Sinai Congregation, and Dr. Mohan Rao of Hindu community.

 

Two “Alike & Different” summer peace camps are held in 2000. 

 

Conference asks people to “Ask the right questions of their legislators.” Why is the economy thriving yet the homeless shelters are overflowing, etc.?

 

Conference joins with Milwaukee Police Chief Jones in Community Safety Coalition to focus initially on partnerships between police and clergy, then  partnerships between law enforcement agencies, congregations, and neighborhood groups. Jack Murtaugh goes with 25-member delegation to Boston for three-day training/study. Conference asked to help develop partnerships among congregations in each of the seven Milwaukee police districts.

 

Friends of the Interfaith Conference issue two appeal letters; hold annual luncheon with auction; theater event for Next Act Theater’s “Blood Knot” by Athol Fugard is held  February 2001.

 

Conference receives 2000 Human Relations Award from National Conference for Community and Justice (formerly known as the National Conference for Christians and Jews) at Pfister Hotel, “In recognition of your 30-year mission to uphold the dignity of every person and the solidarity of the human community.  You have supported efforts of suburban and urban faith communities to reach out to make a difference on issues of racism, hunger, welfare reform, education, homelessness and religious pluralism.  May your tireless efforts continue to inspire the community for many years to come.”  Award accepted by Rabbi Steve Adams, Interfaith Cabinet member and former President of Wisconsin Council of Rabbis.

 

Conference supports Labor in the Pulpits effort in September 2000 to link congregations with union members who come as people of faith to speak during the services or at an educational session and share the stories about conditions of working people, the union movement and the struggle for social justice.

 

CAN joins other groups in drawing attention to sweatshops used by a Kohl’s contractor in 2000.  One factory agrees to rehire workers and meet other demands.

 

Introduction to the community is held for pastoral staff new to their positions. an 24.

URBAN-SUBURBAN INITIATIVE forums held January in each police district for congregations to pursue strategies for reaching out to families.

 

CROP Walk sets records in 2000: 26,000 pounds of food donated; $80,000 raised; an estimated 2,000 walkers from 100 congregations, schools and groups. .

 

CAN 2001; studying issues related to healthcare, affordable housing, prisons, campaign finance reform, W-2, long term care, and other issues.

 

2001

 

Jack Murtaugh retires in May of 2001.  Marcus White is appointed new executive director.

 

MAIR holds Hindu Temple event, “Affirming Common Values in the Midst of Religious Diversity” in March 2001.

 

Interfaith Conference JOINED Department of Workforce Development Advisory Committee to help the department improve W-2 in Milwaukee County.

 

MAIR “Getting to Know Our Neighbors” events for Oct, Nov, Dec: opportunities to visit houses of worship and other important sites from a diversity of faith traditions;

during October Sukkah, MAIR will visit Cong Beth Yehudah for a meal and an afternoon walking tour of homes

Hindu Temple even Diwali November The Festival of Lights;

December:  Islamic Society of Mike to join in breaking the day’s fast during Ramadan.

 

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE  Pilot project by Interfaith Conference;

 

ALIKE AND DIFFERENT summer camp; 12 congregations; 300 children participated;

 

WINGS OF FAITH MINISTRIES DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CONFERENCE Keynote Al Miles;

 

PASTORAL ASSEMBLY: Oct 4: Ending Poverty: What Congregations are Experiencing

 

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE CLERGY DAY

 

ANNUAL LUNCHEON Dec. 14th  Juanita Helphrey, minister for Racial Justice, national office UCC; Native American affairs; Zeidler award: Jack Murtaugh; Heubschmann award: Milwaukee Jewish Coalition for Literacy; Youth Awards: Betsy Buerrero of Plymouth Church and Sr. High Youth of Unitarian Church North

 

MAIR AND SEPTEMBER 11TH : Sponsored “Interfaith Prayer Service for Peace” on September 12th in response to events of September 11th; featuring leaders of seven traditions (Bahai, Buddhist, Christian,  Hindu Jewish, Muslim, Sikh and over 300 people in attendance.

 

4 nights in October: “Interfaith Conversation: Community in a Time of Crisis” series of discussions held at the Islamic Society of Milwaukee, Congregation Shalom, the Baha’i Center and St. John Vianney Parish. discussing their faith’s tradition’s view of violence, the taking of life, etc.

 

EMERGENCY SHELTER FOR WOMEN; Now year round and serving 40 women a night

 

BUDGET CONCERNS:  in tight budget year it is easy for governor and legislator to target vulnerable populations; CAN following closely with special emphasis on protecting BadgerCare (health insurance, Wisconsin Shares (childcare subsidy) SAGE (reduces class size) and the new prescription drug assistance program; CAN also calling attention to conditions at the Supermax prison;

 

PIIC 4 Tuesdays in March 2002 “Looking at he US thru a world lens”; also sponsoring with PEACE ACTION even on Human Rights Day, with Matt Rothschild editor of “The Progressive”

 

ALIKE AND DIFFERENT: extensive curriculum manual for Alike and Different published $20

 

2002

 

September 11th special interfaith remembrance service 5:30 pm at Peck Pavilion co sponsored between MAIR and cabinet.  music, remembrance, reflection by Rabbi David Cohen, words of hope, and a special affirmation. 

 

INTERFAITH WEBSITE up and running

 

CROP WALK planned for October 13th  focus on Africa 150 cong and schools donated 27,000 pounds of food  $65,000

 

PIIC: 4 Tuesday attracted over `100 people to each session.

 

URBAN-SUBURBAN advisory committee: 

 

BEYOND RACISM: youth planning retreat.  rec’d a grant will enable to conduct a planning retreat with a diversity of high school students to explore what it is that the faith community can and should do to break down racist barriers

 

Published “Passing the Buck” report detailing the extent to which the use of food pantries, homeless shelters, and charitable health care has risen since W-2 began.  Interfaith Conference has voice on national scene as Congress reauthorized 1996 welfare reform law.  At state level conference serves on an advisory panel to the Dept of Workforce Development;

 

FRANK ZEIDLER’S 90TH Birthday:  dinner Sept 18 at ICC;

 

FRIENDS THEATER EVENT: “Next Act, September 24, “Take Leave” Nagle Jackson’s look at Alzheimer’s disease;

 

 

OVERLOW SHELTER: after 3 years in congregations, 3 years in the gym of the rescue mission, Aug 2002 moved to St. Francis Parish, and soon services will be expanded and move in 2003 into renovated “Cathedral Center” at the Cathedral of St. John.

 

ANNUAL LUNCHEON Dec. 5, Reggie Moor of Urban Underground keynote “Valuing Youth in Our Community”’  Zeidler:  Ref. Robert Seater in recognition of his tremendous ministry in the area of communications and his commitment to raising important public issues thru a variety of media; Huebschmann:  St. James Episcopal Parish (for allowing homeless to sleep on their grounds)  Youth Awards: Interfaith Youth Forum;

 

Heidi Rattner joins staff to staff Beyond Racism and CAN

 

2003

 

BEYOND RACISM getting people out to testify at a public hearing of Milwaukee County Board Task Force on Segregation and Race Relations Sept 3 Washington Park Senior Center;   Interfaith Conference lobbied to form this task force; hosting talking circles in Wauwatosa about community concerns relative to Mayfair Mall tensions and incidents involving youth.  ; developing program models that will take multi-cultural dialogue to other suburban communities; sponsored a youth retreat; focusing on youth programs;  working with other groups to address racist literature that was distributed throughout Riverwest; ; advocacy for preserving chapter 220 program ; press conference on behalf of the local Equal Employment Opportunity Commission office

 

Interfaith Conference joins coalition to support smart development for Park East Freeway area inclusion of affordable housing, local hiring for construction and permanent jobs, and a living wage provision for the are of new development.

 

TRANSITIONAL JOBS TASK FORCE creating statewide jobs program for low-income workers

 

INTERFAITH AFRICA COMMITTEE begun to develop between local congregations and denominations that have relationships with faith communities in Africa

 

2020 VISION:  will convene community groups and leaders to begin articulating a long-range vision for Milwaukee’s future

 

ECONOMY AND TAX POLICY EDUCATION:  working with UW-Milwaukee Center for Economic Develop to offer a series of programs to help better understand the economy, poverty, health, employment

 

CAN successes in budget:  Medicaid, BadgerCare, child care assistance for working families, grants to homeless shelters, Emergency assistance program for homeless families (including increase in funding)

 

CATHEDRAL CENTER OPENS ITS DOORS. Partnership between The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, The American Red Cross, Milwaukee County’ ANET program, Catholic Charities, St. Ben’s Clinic, and the Interfaith Conference;

 

ISLAMIC SOCIETY BECOMES MEMBER????

 

CROP WALK Oct 10th raised $71,000 and 31,000 pounds of food.  Church World service benefit with blankets sent to Cathedral Center and Guest House.

 

2004

 

BEYOND RACISM sponsors film and dialogue series with AMC Theaters, Mayfair Mall, Urban Underground and Wauwatosa Circle Group; showed Bowling for Columbine and Men of Honor.  This spring will organize and initiate talking circles abut race relations in suburban congregations

 

FRIENDS THEATER EVENT:  Feb 17 Next Act “Of Men and Cattle”

 

MAIR  Tuesdays in May at First U  “Traditions and Treasures of Living Faiths.”  each week will feature a different speaker and faith including Islam, Judaism Hinduism and Christianity

 

CHILDREN’S SABBATH Interfaith Conference partnering with Wisconsin Council on Children and Families, COA and Milwaukee Jewish Council to sponsor a local observation of the National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths.  An event will be held on Sunday October 17 focus on need to make children a priority in our communities and thru public policy.

 

EARTH DAY partner with Friends of Milwaukee Rivers April 24th river clean up

 

POLICE COMMJUNITY RELATIONS:   Nan Hegerty chief Marcus White and Heidi Rattner will serve on commission

 

AFFORDABLE HOUSING AN INCREASINGLY IMPORTANT PRIORITY.

 

CAN supported governor’s veto of the conceal and carry bill and it was upheld.

 

“Call and Response Weekend”  20th annual crop walk with October 9th “Call to Renewal” bus tour that will stop in Milwaukee; Jim Wallis of Sojourners and Call will be featured speaker on Sat even at Marquette and Sunday evening at Ebenezer COGIC election year issues:  election participation by people of all races; livable family income for all who responsibly work; healthcare for all; schools that work for all children; safe, affordable housing; safe and secure neighborhoods; family-friends policies and programs in every sector of society.

 

HOUSING TRUST FUND EFFORT LAUNCHED  If part of a divers and rapidly growing coalition that is endorsing the establishment of a Housing Trust Fund in the city of Milwaukee;  Specific revenue sources are dedicated to the fund which is then used to build and/or rehab housing for lower income residents;

 

BEYOND RACISM:  Interfaith Conference HOSTS MONTHLY DIALOGUES AND BEAN HEAD COFFEE SHOP on “Building Culturally Inclusive Communities”

 

RESTORATIVE JUSTICE CONFERENCE: ‘Restorative Justice in Action: What’s being Done and what more can be done to build and restore community” will be focus of half day conference Sept 28 at St. Martin De Porres Parish

 

CHILDREN’S SABBATHS Sunday Oct 17th COA

 

MEMORIAL PEACE SERVICE in remembrance of all who have died in the war in Iraq at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church

 

CAN: concerns about DV and homeless shelter funding;

 

CROP WALK:  raised more than $77,000 for the work of Church World Service and collected 28,000 pounds of food for Hunger Task Force.

 

 

2005

 

5 TUESDAYS IN MARCH “What the World Needs Now: United Nations Millennium Development Goals” 

3/1”Enviornmental Sustainability-Goal #7  Jerry Schmidt, President, Mt. Meru Coffee Project and Peter MacAvoy, Milwaukee Menomonee Valley environmentally sustainable development project

3/8:  “Women and Education: Why Women’s Education is Key Goals 2/3: Simone Conceicao, PhD Adult and Continuing Education, UW-M

3/15:  Poverty’s Long Reach—Goal #1:  Liz Theoharis, co-founder and co-coordinator of the NYC-based Univ. of the Poor

3/22: Africa’s AIDS Pandemic:  A Doctor Reports on His Medical Mission to Kenya: Goal #6: Dr. Ian Gilson

3/29: Jubilee 2000 in 2005- An Update: Jonathan Darby, Deputy Consul General, British Consulate, Chicago.

 

Interfaith Conference organized existing and new anti-racism programs into the Institute for Racial Justice.  anti-racism dialogue efforts; research focused on Racial disparity; organized advocacy and youth-specific cultural exchange programs.

 

John Fitzgerald joined conference staff with support from The Brico Fund to track local, state and national research regarding racial disparity and other issues impacting people of color.  Milwaukee are issues such as public education funding, incarceration and sentencing disparity, poverty and employment issues, economic development, and public policy that disproportionately affects people of color. 

 

grass roots constituents work with IRJ and communicate directly with their own elected officials to demonstrate that there is support in every district, urban and suburban, for issues that address racial justice. 

 

Nicole Carver directing beyond racism programs of IRJ; dialogue circles with youth and adult workshops; 

 

MAIR

 

successful spring luncheon lecture series that explored different faith perspectives on “Finding One’s Place Through Faith:

 

prayer service September 29 “Reflect, Repent, Renew” at the unusual concurrence of Ramadan and the Jewish high Holy Days, and October Feast of St. Francis, Gandhi’s birthday, World Communion Sunday, Navarathri (Hindu) and Vassa (Buddhist).reflecting on importance and themes of these holy days.

 

PIIC and Interfaith Conference

 

co sponsor of the Sept 10th  “Call to Action Day to Make Poverty History”; celebrated around the world, this day is to encourage the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, and follow up to the PIIC lecture series on the goals.

 

CAN: e-Alert Network:  issue updates, information, event notices, and action alerts addressing issues such as health care, W-2, employment, economic development, and governmental budget matters that impact people in poverty

 

CROP WALK October 9th.  1,000 walkers from over 100 congregations; $66,000 raised and 15,400 pounds of food for the Hunger Task Force.

 

 

Sept 20: FRIENDS of Interfaith Conference theater event: “Coyote on a Fence”  Next Act Theater—Death Penalty

 

September:  Pastoral Assembly:  “Housing for the 21 Century Workforce”.

 

December 8th: annual awards luncheon.

 

 

2006

 

4 TUESDAYS IN MARCH:  “What the World Needs Now-II:  A Continuing Discussion of the UN Millennium Development Goals”

3/7 “Microcredit an the Millennium Development Goals—Goal #8: Terry Provance, ED, Oikocredit USA, an Ecumenical Development Cooperative Society

3/14: “Reducing Child Mortality- Goal #4”  Dr. Mariana Rincon, Pediatrician, formerly with Doctors without Borders, now at 16th St. Clinic Milwaukee.

3/21 “Maternal and Child Health in Africa and Haiti Goal 4, 5, 6” Sandra Gourdet, Wider Church Ministries for Africa with the Disciples of Christ and United Church of Christ

3/28 “Why Investing in Africa’s Health is Critical for Achieving Economic Development Goal 4, 5, 6, 8”  Dr. Aaron Buseh, PhD, MPH, Assistant Professor, UW-M  College of Nursing

 

HOUSING TRUST FUND Coalition has a victory when the Common Council passed a resolution authorizing the use of  $25,000 to hire a consultant to work with a city-appointed task force to identify ongoing dedicated sources of revenue and create a housing trust Fund. 

 

COMMON GROUND CONFERENCE ON RACIAL JUSTICE  Jan 27 “Common Ground: Building Coalitions Against Racism and Privilege” UWM.

 

BEYOND RACISM new dialogues—teens and adults from diverse backgrounds to safely discuss racism and begin to identify and challenge the barriers that keep us apart as a community.  Facilitates 4-session cross cultural dialogues.  also “Popcorn and a Movie” dialogues—snack on popcorn and watch movies or documentaries that illustrate different ethnic and cultural groups’ experiences of racism or assimilation in the US

 

RACIAL DISPARITY PROJECT:  stats coming in on racial disparity in Milwaukee:  black households earn 49 cents for every dollar in white households; poverty rates for black and white residents of Milwaukee county indicate a 5:1 disparity; average black person is 11.6 times more like to be incarcerated than white person.

 

FRIENDS OF INTERFAITH CONFERENCE LAPEL PIN

 

April 24:  CAN’S  “Putting a Face on Poverty”  2nd annual advocacy event

 

COGIC joins Interfaith under Bishop Sedgwick Daniels

 

Interfaith Conference and CAN:  DEATH PENALTY ON BALLOT

 

Interfaith Conference adding a page to website to alert public of meetings with police officials at the district level and providing other opportunities to discuss community matters with the police department (in wake of trial of police officers for beating Frank Jude, Jr. )

 

HOUSING TRUST FUND VIDEO PRODUCED.

 

CROP WALK OCTOBER 8;  1,000 walkers from 100 congregations; $67,400 raised for work of Church World Service, and 17, 200 pounds of food for Milwaukee Hunger Task Force

 

2007

 

HOUSING TRUST FUND SIGNED INTO LAW!!

SECOND COMMON GROUND CONFERENCE ON RACISM AND WHITE PRIVILEGE Jan 19

 

4 TUESDAYS IN MARCH “Violence: Faith Perspectives” 

3/6: Muhammad Isa Sadlon, ED and CEO Islamic Society of Milwaukee

3/13:  Rev. Paul Stumme-Diers, Bishop, ELCA

3/20: Rabbi Ronald Shapiro, Congregation Shalom

3/27: Rev. Tonen O’Connor, Resident Priest, Mike Zen Ctr.

 

FAITH AND ECOLOGY NETWORK LAUNCHED Rev. Dr. John Strassberger; building an interfaith network among those who wish to learn more and work together in this vital hope.

 

HEALTHCARE REFORM a priority for 2007

 

Interfaith Conference RECEIVES YMCA AWARD on MLK day:  Lincoln Gaines Award in recognition of “outstanding leadership in building strong communities.”

 

CAN:  lobbying for budget that was to start  July 1st but still in process in August;  child care assistance, access to health care insurance, improvements to S-2, affordable housing, and sentencing alternatives, housing, healthcare and other fundamental and safety net issues.   Healthcare major emphasis. JUNE:  screening of SiCKO and presentation by David Riemer of the Wisconsin Health Project.

 

HEALTHCARE REFORM: community forums on various healthcare reform proposals Interfaith Conference and WI Council of Churches and Institute for One Wisconsin;

 

FRIENDS THEATER EVENT  October 16th  “An Interview with Paul Robeson”  Next Act Theater.

 

IEN network Conferences:  “Introducing Faith & Ecology Partnerships” October 28-29

 

ANNUAL LUNCHEON

Huebschmann urban Ministry Award to St. Mary Catholic Faith Community, Sr. Joseph Marie Flynn, rep.

Frank Zeidler Award: Grace Morgan, Youth Leadership Award: Elijah Johnson-Breimeier; Mark Rolfing Memorial Award: Lucinda Gordon

 

HOUSING TRUST FUND receives first round of funding—five housing development projects are receiving a total of $1.4 million from the fund to develop over 140 units of affordable housing

 

CROP WALK  October 14; 500 people walked in the rain; 80 congregations participated, 16, 300 pounds of non-perishable  and $64,500 for Church World Service.

 

Jan 20 21, Second Quarterly Conference with Earth Network Partners, Tomorrow’s Present and the Urban Ecology Center:  “Food” keynote Martha Davis-Kipcak, Director of the Kitchen Table Project. 

Third Quarterly Conference:  April 13, 14, “Water”  keynote Dr. Val Klump, Director of the Great Lakes Water Institute

 

COMMON GROUND CONFERENCE—3rd Conf on Racism and White Privilege UWM.

 

MAY; MARCUS WHITE MOVES ON TO BECOME DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS WITH THE GREATER MILWAUKEE FOUNDATION.  Judi Longdin named as interim ED. 

 

INTERFAITH BEGINS A PERIOD OF SELF-REFLECTION AND REDEFINITION UNDER THE LEADERSHIP OF JUDI LONGDIN AND PAUL-STUMME DIERS, CHAIR OF CABINET

 

HOUSING TRUST FUND:  continuing to push funding issues

 

MAIR EXPLORES LIFE CYCLE EVENTS  COMMONALITIES AMONG TRADITIONS

 

IEN;  4th quarterly conference:  Land and Shelter; keynote: Dan Davis, Senior Vice President, C.G. Schmidt Inc:  “A Crossroads: the Intersection of Sustainability, Development, and Spirituality.”

 

ALIKE AND DIFFERENT CURRICULUM REPUBLISHED. 

 

2008

 

Feb 26 CANDIDATES FORUM @ Marquette; pastors presented questions to the candidates on a range of issues that were identified by the planning committee as community priorities.  Interfaith Conference,  MICAH, Urban Faith Roundtable   Scott Walker, Lena Taylor, Tom Barrett and Andrew Shaw

 

FRIENDS:  community luncheon examines employment crisis April 17th Calvary Baptist Church; Don Sykes, Chief Executive Office of the Milwaukee area Workforce Investment Board./ 

 

3 TUESDAYS IN MARCH “Moving Toward a Just and Peaceful World”

3/4 “Resisting Empire”  G. Simon Harak, SJ, director of Marquette University’s new Center for Peacemaking

3/11: “Security, Morality and Realism” The Government’s Response to 9/11”  Nathan Theoharis, Professor Emeritus of History, Marquette

3/18:  “From Soldier to Healer: Transforming the PTSD Dragon from Death to Life.”  John Zemler, Visiting Assistant Professor, Dept of Theology, Marquette University and Life Member of the Disabled American Veterans.

 

CROPWALK:

 

2009