Welcome to the homepage of the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN). The Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN) stands in solidarity with those oppressed by poverty, violence and exclusion in this hemisphere working together for the respect of human dignity and empowerment of all peoples. An interfaith network of individuals and communities, CRLN equips and mobilizes religious leaders, communities and individuals to advance peace, justice and human rights in our hemisphere.
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DID YOU KNOW? CRLN has weekly E-Digests! Get informed about our events, solidarity work, immigration and Latin American news and much more!
Want to sign up? Email shunter-smith@CRLN.org with "E-digest subscription" in the title.
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Join us for an interfaith celebration of immigrant justice inspired by the Jewish tradition of Sukkot (The Festival of the Tabernacles) as we recall our spiritual ancestors who sojourned in the wilderness.
SUPPORT upcoming immigrant rights legislation.
GET INVOLVED with volunteer ministries.
LEARN how to fight a deportation.
HEAR from active congregations, youth in faith formation, elected officials, and more.
BECOME PART of the new civil rights movement of our time.
Immigrant Welcoming Congregations Interfaith Gathering
at the Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, 303 Dodge Ave., Evanston
Sunday, October 12, 2014
3:00 Celebration and Call to Action
5:00 Closing and Reception
For more information, contact Liz Castillo or Sara Wohlleb, 773-293-3680, lcastillo[at]crln.org; swohlleb[at]crln.org
Chicago Religious Leadership Network has taken a leading role in developing an interfaith pastoral care ministry with the unaccompanied migrant children in Chicago. With your help, we can provide protection and a measure of peace in their young lives. Here's what you can do:
Protect the Laws that Protect Children
1. Call your Congressional Representatives and ask for their support to maintain protections under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA). This crucial law, signed by President Bush, provides protections for the most vulnerable among us.
2. Write a Letter to the Editor or Op-Ed piece in your local newspaper. We can help.
Pray for the Children. Connect Your Worship Experience to Ours
1. Invite your congregation to use our colorful "floating prayer candles" during worship. For a template and instructions, see the attachment below.
2. Sing "This Land Is Your Land" in your worship, and plan to join the combined choir at our Oct. 12 event (below).
You may have already heard about the most recent efforts by the Columbus Police Department to limit this year’s Vigil. CRLN joined the efforts of the School of the Americas Watch (SOAW) and other organizations to write to Police Chief Ricky Boren with a clear message: we will not stand for this repression of our constitutional right to free speech! The Columbus Police Department received a large number of letters from organizations and longtime participants, and have agreed to proceed in negotiations with SOAW so that the Vigil will still go on. It is one of the largest convergences of peaceful protest in the US. This is not the first time the Columbus Police Department has tried to stop participants from exercising their rights guaranteed by the Constitution, but SOAW, with the help of its legal team, has always prevailed. CRLN encourages our members to attend the Vigil this November 21-23!
National Day of Action to Protect our Children, Protect our Families!
Thursday, August 28, 2014
For Location and RSVP information, please contact Lissette Castillo (email@example.com or 773-293-3680).
Looking around us, it's undeniable that this country is undergoing a moral test.
As you know, under the Obama administration nearly two million people have been deported and thousands upon thousands of families torn apart.
Before leaving for August recess, on its end the House approved a bill which cuts back due process and essential protections for children and refugees as legally established under the Trafficking Victims Protections Reauthorization Act (TVPRA). As if this were not enough, the House also voted to end the hard-fought for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program which provides protection to undocumented youth or "DREAMers" from deportation.
The Associated Press published a report earlier this week uncovering a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) program, now known as the “Travelers Project,” that recruited youths from Peru, Venezuela, and Costa Rica from 2009 through 2012 to run and participate in civic programs in Cuba while secretly stirring up anti-government activism. The most notable of the projects organized by the USAID contractors was an HIV/AIDS prevention clinic that was dually used to scout possible anti-Castro youth organizers. According to USAID documents, the HIV program was described as a “perfect excuse” to recruit political activists. Under the “Travelers Project,” the USAID directed agents to act as tourists, socialize on college campuses, and hold various gatherings in order to profile and organize potential dissident youth leaders.
USAID contractor Creative Associates International was used to organize and execute the project. This group also served as an integral part of the controversial ZunZuneo or “Cuban Twitter” program, which sent political propaganda to cell phone users in Cuba under the guise of providing access to a social media system. In the Travelers Project, “travelers” from various Latin American nations were given brief training on how to avoid Cuban authorities and were taught how to use certain coded messages to communicate with each other. Some of these agents were compensated as little as $5.41 per hour. Creative Associates instructed the youths on how to behave if they were caught and questioned by Cuban authorities, directing them to immediately call their embassy and never mention the Creative Associates group.
We believe that peace is more than the absence of war. It is the presence of food, housing, clothing, healthcare, education, employment, and access to meaningful participation in community decision-making processes.
This is the 27th year that Pedal for Peace will raise funds for people-to-people projects supporting health, education, and community organizing in Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras! Funds also support advocacy efforts for social justice and peacein Latin America and for undocumented immigrants in the US.
Check out the attached Project Descriptions to learn more about the projects that Pedal for Peace will fund this year!
Date and time: Sunday, September 28, 1:00 - 5:00
1:00 Registration: north site - Lincoln Park - Grove 13 (see attached map)
south site - In front of Dog Water Fountain (Lakefront Bike Path & 55th St. underpass)
3:30 Fiesta and Program, Lincoln Park - Grove 13 (see attached map)
Location: Lincoln Park - Grove 13 (Lakefront Bike Path just south of Barry Ave. underpass--see attached map). Because our usual site is under construction, please note that this is a NEW LOCATION for Pedal for Peace!
This year, we have set up an online fundraising account with rally.org that is very user-friendly. If you plan to bike in Pedal for Peace, click here, and click on "Learn More." Under "Fan Fundraisers," click on "Become a Fundraiser." Rally.org will give you email tools for contacting people with the message that you will ride to support Pedal for Peace and requesting their donations. Ask those who donate to Pedal for Peace through you to click on your photo (or, if you don't post a photo, your name that will appear if they place the cursor on the placeholder image for a photo) and then click on the "Contribute" button. That way, you ( and we) can keep track of how many donations you have collected. For more detailed instructions on how to us rally.org, check out the attached document, "Rally Tutorial."
If you cannot ride with us this year, you may make a donation here in support of Pedal for Peace.
If you prefer to collect donations on your own to be turned in the day of the event, you may use the attached pledge form. People's donations will go farther if you choose this method, because rally.org (5%) + 30 cents) and credit card fees (2.9%) will take a percentage out of the donation for themselves as fees.
Please contact Sharon at CRLN at firstname.lastname@example.org or 773-293-2964 with any questions.
Un Pueblo Que No Calla:
Voices from the Resistance Movement in Honduras
November 6th, 2014, 12:00PM-2:00PM
Old St. Pat's Church, 700 W Adams
Karla Lara's tour will celebrate the resistance movement in Honduras since the 2009 U.S.-backed coup & create spiritual space that inspires social movement through art & song. Grounded in a feminist perspective, Karla will lift up la lucha - the struggle - against militarization, political violence & attacks against social movements. Gather with us to celebrate el pueblo que no calla, the people who will not be silenced!
CRLN and dozens of other organizations have expressed our outrage at attempts by the Colombus Police Department to deny thousands of people their constitutionally protected right to peacefully gather and demonstrate outside the gates of Fort Benning's WHINSEC, formerly know as the School of the Americas or SOA. CRLN has been part of the protest organized by School of the Americas Watch (SOA Watch) for over two decades and the protests have been happening for 25 years. The police department has denied a permit for the SOA Watch stage and has limited protests to the sidewalks five feet back from the street with only 200 people allowed to attend. Below are more details in the press release by SOA Watch. Take action by clicking here to join over 6,000 others calling on the Columbus police department to reverse its decision and to uphold the constitutional rights to free speech and freedom of assembly.
Despite the attempts to repress our movement, the vigil is going forward for November! CRLN and thousands from across the country and world will gather at Fort Benning this November despite the authorities' attempts to thwart our demonstrations and remembrance of those killed in Latin America by militaries and para-militaries trained at the SOA.