INTERFAITH ADVOCACY

Interfaith Advocacy in 2021

March 26, 2021 - A virtual "Stop Asian Hate" rally in Madison, WI. on Friday March 26th at 5:30pm with Wisconsin activist and Lawmakers to shed light on how to move forward after the shooting in Georgia that killed 8 people, 6 of whom were Asian women.  Part of a national day of action and healing.  APPI Coaltion co-chair and Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee's executive director, Pardeep Singh Kaleka responded with the message that we need community based infrastructure and strategies that address AAPI threats and violence, noting the increasing threats that the AAPI community is facing. This begins with lawmakers condemning the violence and working to change the system. "Develop a preventative community based infrastructure and strategies that address AAPI threats and violence...ordinary people can also make a big difference. One important way you can help make change, is just by taking the steps to get involved and educate yourself. Let's get away from talking about people, and talking to people. I think that is the way forward. Believe what another person feels. News coverage of "Stop Asian Hate" rally on March 26th, 2021

March 18, 2021 - Interfaith Vigil at Milwaukee's City Hall,  200 E. Wells St. at 5pm.  Interfaith Conference of Milwaukee, a partner of the Asian American Pacific Islander coalition of Wisconsin stands unwaveringly in solidarity against racism in our communities to mourn the lives of the victims of the shootings in Atalanta, GA on Tuesday, March 16, 2021.  https://www.fox6now.com/video/912554

Members of the Asian American Pacific Islander Coalition gathered with leaders from the Hmong American’s Women’s Association, Milwaukee Chinese Cultural Center, United Lao Educational Development, Janette Braverman, chair of Ozaukee county NAACP, Milwaukee County Sheriff, Earnell Lucas, Reggie Moore from the Office of Violence Prevention, Alderman of West Allis, Angelito Tenorio, singer Caroline Gasao, State Rep. of District 7, Francesca Hong, Darryl Morin, president of Forward Latino, and faith leaders from Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee, Rev. David Simmons, Bishop Paul Erickson (ELCA), Rev. Jennifer Nordstrom, Rev. Reirin Gumbel, Rabbi Moishe Steigmann, Imam Noman Hussain, and many more to denounce and condemn the race and gender driven shootings in Atlanta, GA on Tuesday where 8 lives were lost, 6 of which were Asian women. The AAPI Coalition formed last April because of the increasing attacks and hate fueled incidents toward the Asian American community nationwide since the start of the pandemic. 3800 have been reported but there are many more that are not reported.
 

Interfaith Advocacy in 2020

Oct 24, 2020 - "Milwaukee Witness For Black Lives", hosted by Black Lives Are Sacred MKE and Matt Anshus, at 1:00 pm at Our Lady of Divine Providence’s St. Casimir Church, 2600 N Bremen St, Milwaukee. Not a protest, but a Witness and a march to Kilbourn Reservoir Park on 2230 N. Bremen St, Milwaukee, for a memorial service to remember black lives lost to racial violence. Prayer offerings from members and faith leaders from Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee, Pardeep Singh Kaleka, Pastor Thad Winkle from Bethel-Bethany United Church of Christ. A witness from Linda & Jay Anderson Sr., who will speak to the memory of those in Milwaukee and America who should be alive and with their families. A prayer lead by Rev. Cecil Lacy whose ministry was informed by the death of his brother at the hands of MPD and music and inspiration from Fire Shed.  All traditions welcomed to witness to the value of Black Lives, pray for peace, and remember those who lost their lives as a result of racial violence. 

Aug 30, 2020 -  Interfaith Prayer Service, coordinated by Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee, CUSH - Congregations to Serve Humanity  (An affiliate of the WISDOM network) and WISDOM, held a prayer service in Kenosha at Second Baptist Church at 2pm. Leaders from faith communities came together to speak prayers of healing and protection and justice.  Father David Simmons, Chair of the IFCGM Executive board, spoke to the crowd. Prayer by Fr. David Simmons 

Aug 29, 2020 - On Saturday, August 29, 2pm, "The March for Justice" organized by the family of Jacob Blake's. Thousands of people came, including Executive Director, Pardeep Singh Kaleka, Rev. Jennifer Nordstrom, Rev. Jane Anderson, Interfaith Conference Executive board member, Pat McFarland and Rev. Marie Onwuburariri, and many other faith leaders. 

Aug 5, 2020  - Not In Our Town and Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee in conversation with Pardeep Singh Kaleka, Susan Bro, Dawn Collins, and Rami Jabara, as we share stories of loss, hope and a call to action. We will discuss activism, the challenges of hate crime reporting and prosecution, and the value of community action in support of families and individuals targeted by hate. The virtual conversation on Aug. 5th at 4 pm CST, was co-hosted and moderated by Pardeep Singh Kaleka, Executive Director of Interfaith Conference and Patrice O'Neill, CEO/Executive Producer of Not In Our Town.

July 30, 2020 - Statement on Voter Registration and Encouragement. During the election year, the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee notes the first election of the Constitution of the State of Wisconsin, which takes its inspiration from the Declaration of Independence.

July 11, 2020 - The Black Catholic March for Racial Justice, initiated by Fr. Michael Bertram of St. Francis of Assisi and supported by the Archdiocese of Milwaukee. The march commemorates the commitment of the Catholic Church in Milwaukee to serve African American communities and seeks to promote peace, solidarity and equality. At St. Francis of Assisi Parish, 9:30 am, the march proceeded to the former site of Blessed Martin de Porres Parish (7th St. and Galena) and concluded at St. Benedict the Moor Parish (930 W State St., Milwaukee), for a distance of 1.3 miles.

June 30, 2020 -  discussion from The Council of Churches, Beyond the Slogans, with guest panelists including, Pardeep Singh Kaleka,former police officer, anti-racist speaker and educator. Important concepts behind slogans you may have seen and heard in recent protests. Short phrases and terms such as “defund/abolish the police,” “reparations,” and “Black Lives Matter,” can bring up many questions and raise barriers among would-be allies. Members of this panel have offered their time as activists to explain the impact of current structures and systems and how these terms describe changes that are essential to a more just community. Beyond the Slogans panel discussion

June 25, 2020 - Asian American Pacific Islander Coalition of Wisconsin Statement on Anti-Asian Racism and Xenophobic Attacks, calling for policymakers to take xenophobic and racist threats seriously by publicy condeming hate acts and take action to dimantle systemic racism.  Asking everyone to refrain from using ethnicity and race to describe the virus.  Urging the median to discontinue the use of photgraphs depicting people of Asian descent in COVID-19 coverage and seek out the voice of the Asian community.  Encouraging the public to report hate incidents as many go unreported by victims, and that hinders the ability to appropriately track and address them.
American Baptist Churches of WisconsinBuddhist Peace Fellowship Milwaukee,  St. Paul African-Methodist Episcopal Church , The Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee,  Greater Milwaukee SynodHindu Temple of WisconsinHours Against HateIslamic Society of MilwaukeeJewish Community Relations Council - MilwaukeeWisconsin Council of ChurchesJewish Federation of MadisonMICAH,  Milwaukee Jewish FederationLakeview Moravian ChurchPresbytery of MilwaukeeSikh Temple of WisconsinSikh Religious Society of WisconsinThe United Methodist ChurchMilwaukee Friends MeetingSoutheast Wisconsin Unitarian Universalist CongregationsWisconsin Conference United Church of ChristChurch of Jesus Christ in Southeast WisconsinWisconsin Faith Voices for Justice

June 22, 2020 - Ellen Braunstein of The Wisconsin Jewish Chronicle interviews Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee's Executive Director, Pardeep Singh Kaleka about the rising harrasment of Asian Americans, the antisemitic incidents and increasing tension toward minority groups based on faith, race or religion.  The 21 members of the Interfaith Conference are committed to regular dialogue within its leadership, and focused on creating programs designed to increase interfaith understanding, advocacy and social justice. https://www.jewishchronicle.org/2020/06/22/interfaith-conference-director-fight-hate-with-understanding/ 

June 16, 2020 - The Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee signs The Council of Floyd Advocates for Justice Advocacy statement directed to Governor Tony Evers requesting that June 19th, "Juneteenth Day" be declared a paid state holiday an either the Pan African flag or the Black Lives Matter flag be mounted and raised at the State Capitol of Madison.

June 5, 2020 -  Facebook Zoomcast: Pardeep Singh Kaleka gathers Interfaith leaders to share reflections of hope for systematic and spiritual progress with Maria A. Hamilton, Mothers For Justice United​ and Reggie Jackson, Nurturing Diversity Partners​. Also participating in the discussion was Rev. Dr. Marie Onwubuariri​, Regional Executive Minister, American Baptist Churches of Wisconsin​, Shaykh Noman Hussain​, Imam, Islamic Society of Milwaukee​, Rabbi Noah Chertkoff, Senior Rabbi, Congregation Shalom Milwaukee​, Sarvesh Geddam, Hindu Temple of Wisconsin​, Ken Elbert, Stake President, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints​, Reverend Reirin Alheidis Gumbel, Resident Priest, Milwaukee Zen Center​, Reverend Walter Jack Lanier, Chair of MICAH-Milwaukee​ religious leaders caucus, Pastor of Progressive Baptist Church (PBC)​, Pastor Greg Lewis, President of Pastors United​ and Assistant Pastor of St. Gabriel's Church​ of God in Christ, Souls to the Polls, Pardeep Singh Kaleka​, Sikh Temple of Wisconsin Oak Creek Youth Group​, Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee.

Watch full zoomcast on our Facebook page

To learn more about Maria's mission, go to: mothersunitedvoices.org

To learn more about the work that Reggie is doing go to: http://nurturingdiversity.us/ 

June 4, 2020 - Interfaith Conference, Executive Director, Pardeep Singh Kaleka, having been a Milwaukee police officer, discusses recent protests over the killing of George Floyd and police-community relations in this radio interview with WUWM's Lake Effect Producer, Audrey Nowakowsky.
Listen to full interview on WUWM's Lake Effect with Audrey Nowakowski and Pardeep Singh Kaleka

May 27, 2020 -  A reflection about the death of George Floyd, from Interfaith Conference Executive Director, Pardeep Singh Kaleka: 

"Our Interfaith community mourns the death of George Floyd, we pray for his family, and we long for healing for the community in Minneapolis. We are sure that George’s name will be remembered by nearly all faith communities in memoriam. However, with that understood, we also know that we can not simply exist in states of mourning, prayer, and longing for betterment. Our calling is to put our faith into action and to be prophetic in both encouragement and denouncement.

This will require spiritual honesty. This will require genuine empathy to see a stranger the same way we see a friend. This will require a compassionate soul to not be offended by the truth of another simply because it doesn’t align with our own. This will require courage to be inconvenienced and maybe even alienated by those we may call friends and family. This will require every moment to be a learning and growing moment. This will require a commitment to action that stands up and denounces forces that invade the innate dignity of the individual, the family, and this society.

It is all too easy for the psyche to otherize a person based on physical and perceptual differences in dress, class, race, gender, actions, etc. Biologically, we were built to identify threats as the out-group. However, spiritually we are meant to challenge this limiting biological predisposition. When are meant to get to a deeper existence in which genuine faith overrides the habit mind to the point that there is no longer a stranger and the degradation of another becomes so repulsive that it eats away at our own human spirit. And at this point, we will be living out our faith." 
Pardeep's message on Facebook

May 9, 2020 Facebook Zoomcast: No More:  Ending Domestic Violence with the City of Milwaukee Office of Violence Prevention" Milwaukee Commission on Domestic Violence. Grateful for the powerful voices of Reggie Moore, Karin Tyler, Natalie Hayden, Shawn Muhammad, Lanelle Ramey, Ray Mendoza, Dr. Marcus Arrington, Vaun Mayes, and Minister William Muhammad as they address the growing escalation of domestic violence in the city.
Watch full Facebook Zoomcast

April 12, 2020 - Seeking God in times of struggle: A collection of Interfaith prayers from Interfaith Conference faith members for enduring the COVID-19 struggle. 
Read full article: Seeking God in Times of Struggle

March 8, 2020 – Pardeep Singh Kaleka gives talk at First Unitarian on healing in the aftermath of hate.

March 2, 2020 - Near West Side Community Vigil, Gesu Church, 1145 W. Wisconsin Ave. Pastor Lisa Bates-Froiland from Redeemer Lutheran Church - Milwaukee presided over the vigil. Reflections by community, spiritual leaders, and Marquette University President Michael R. Lovell.

March 1, 2020 - Coordinated the Milwaukee Strong with the City of Milwaukee and 80% Coalition at City Hall, speakers included; Bishop Paul Erickson, Greater Milwaukee Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America; Ahmed Quereshi, Past President of the Islamic Society of Milwaukee; Rabbi Moishe Steigmann, Congregation Cnesses Israel; Bishop Jeffrey Haines, Auxiliary Bishop of Archdiocese of Milwaukee; Rev. Walter Lanier, Pastor of Progressive Baptist Church; Rev. Kevin Stewart, Deacon of Episcopal Diocese of Milwaukee; Rev. Reirin Gumbel, Resident Priest of Buddhist Peace Fellowship; Rev. Jennifer Nordstrom, Senior Minister of First Unitarian Society of Milwaukee; Dr. Swaranjit Singh Aurora, Retired Professor of Sikh Temple of Wisconsin; Janan Najeeb, President of the Milwaukee Muslim Women’s Coalition; Sarvesh Geddam, Hindu Temple of Wisconsin; Rev. Dr. John Richard Walton, Jr., Pastor of Calvary Baptist Church of Milwaukee; Rev. Marilyn Miller, President of Milwaukee Inner-City Congregations Allied for Hope; Jeri Bonavia, Executive Director of Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort; Linnea Stanton, Midwest Regional Director of March for Our Lives Wisconsin; Tracy Dent, President of Milwaukee Coalition Against Hate; and Ahmed Quereshi, Past President of Islamic Society of Milwaukee.

http://www.milwaukeeindependent.com/featured/local-community-mourns-molson-coors-shooting-victims-milwaukee-strong-vigil-unite-heal/

https://fox6now.com/2020/03/01/such-a-tragic-event-milwaukee-strong-vigil-honors-5-killed-in-miller-brewery-shooting

https://fox6now.com/2020/02/26/be-there-for-each-other-dealing-with-grief-after-miller-brewery-shooting/

https://www.wuwm.com/post/molson-coors-shooting-interfaith-leader-pardeep-singh-kaleka-reflects#stream/0

https://www.tmj4.com/news/local-news/what-else-do-we-do-but-pray-leaders-call-for-change-at-vigil-for-molson-coors-victims

https://wisconsinmuslimjournal.org/milwaukee-strong-vigil-emphasizes-hope-amid-despair-of-mass-shooting/

https://wkow.com/2020/03/02/marquette-university-hosts-vigil-as-molson-coors-brewery-reopens/

https://www.cbs58.com/news/more-than-1-000-people-expected-to-attend-vigil-following-molson-coors-mass-shooting

https://www.wisn.com/article/community-activist-i-m-tired-i-m-weary/31143376