Posts Tagged ‘church & Society’

Faith & Racial Healing Program

Monday, June 10th, 2024
LDC Faith & Racial Healing 2024_web

Do you want to address racism in your community, but don’t know where to begin? 

This eight-week program guides participants in understanding the history of racism in the United States, and opens the conversations to how we might work toward true reconciliation with God and restoration with one another. This is an ecumenical program, created by the JustFaith Ministries, based on Christian beliefs.
Open to all Livingston County residents regardless of religious affiliation. Sponsored by the Faith & Race Project, Faith & Justice Workgroup of the Livingston Diversity Council.

This program helps participants understand our collective history of racism and violence, that we might seek real restoration with God and one another. This program explains the historical context behind the wide racial inequalities we face today. Though this program focuses specifically on African slaves and their descendants, this program will open participants’ eyes to patterns of injustice that affect other people of color across the nation as well.

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Transit Equity Day

Wednesday, March 15th, 2023

By Anne Sparling and Pam Kummer

Co-Directors Economic Justice Project

Church and Society Committee, First UMC-Brighton & Whitmore Lake

2024 has been an exciting and sometimes challenging year for the Economic Justice Project. We continue to advocate for expanded public transportation in Livingston County that is accessible to all. We attend Livingston County Board of Commissioners meetings, often speaking to them about the need for expanding transportation during the call to the public. We have developed relationships with community leaders many who share our concerns. We were on the planning committee for the 3rd Annual Transit Equity Day/Rosa Parks Celebration. The celebration/ breakfast this year was an exciting opportunity to connect with community leaders concerning the need and challenges of expanding public transportation in our county. It was held at Cleary University and was attended by approximately 65 leaders from our towns, cities and state. (See pictures
of the event). We are currently beginning the planning for next year’s Transit Equity Day. We are also educating ourselves on poverty issues understanding that poverty is present here in our county. We seek to follow God’s command to love our neighbors.

“Many hands make light work.” We are a small group and would love to have you join the project! The Economic Justice Project meets once a month on the third Tuesday at 6 pm on Zoom. Contact Anne Sparling or Pam Kummer for details.

Some History of our Local Transportation Equity Advocacy

Back in 2021 the need for adequate public transportation was made known to us by our own Mary Kushner, who works faithfully and diligently at Torch 180 in Fowlerville. Torch 180 trains young adults with disadvantages to work in the restaurant business. Mary shared that some of the students struggle to keep employment because of the lack of adequate public transportation.

So, advocating for expanding public transit in Livingston County has been one of our project’s goals for the past year. In 2022, we showed our appreciation to the Livingston Essential Transportation Service (LETS) staff in a little celebration at the LETS garage with about a dozen people present. It was the first celebration of Rosa Parks/Transit Equity Day, national day of action observed on Rosa Parks’ birthday, Feb. 4). It was a start.

On Feb. 3, 2023, we held our second annual Rosa Parks/Transit Equity Day celebration at Torch 180 with about 40 people in attendance, enjoying pancakes using Rosa Parks’ recipe and a full breakfast. We partnered with the Transportation Coalition, Sierra Club, Torch 180 and Molina Health to plan and carry out this special event. Molina Health presented us with a check to fund the breakfast. The representative from Molina shared how touched she was by the testimonies people gave about how expanding public transit has improved lives.

Appreciation and recognition was shown to Putnam, Unadilla and Hamburg townships for their efforts to expand public transportation. The LETS staff was shown appreciation for the wonderful services they provide for our community, the Sierra Club and our Church and Society was shown appreciation as well.

We were excited that a representative from Congresswoman Elissa Slotkin’s office attended and expressed appreciation for our efforts. Two of our county commissioners came and one commissioner made a point of letting us know how inspiring our celebration was and pledged to work on this issue. We were also able to get the cities of Brighton and Howell to recognize and proclaim Feb. 3 as Rosa Parks Transit Equity Day.

The celebration was everything we hoped for and more. God was present and people were inspired. Doing this work has been rewarding in so many ways. We get to meet and work with wonderful folks from our community that care about people and are working to help people in Livingston County flourish. We are all growing in our understanding of the needs in our community and get to see other people grow as well.

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