Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization

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The Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization was founded in 1967 and states that it is an ecumenical agency whose mission is to help forward the struggles of oppressed peoples for justice and self-determination.[1]

About

The organization was founded in 1967 by progressive church leaders and activists.[1]

Mission

The organization's stated purpose is:[1]

"To advance the struggles of oppressed people for justice and self-determination. For almost 40 years, IFCO has assisted the poor and disenfranchised in developing and sustaining community organizations to fight human and civil rights injustices. This work includes education about the realities of the poor in the US and the third world."

Pastors for Peace

Pastors for Peace is a special ministry of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization, and was created in 1988 to pioneer the delivery of humanitarian aid to Latin America and the Carribean.[1]

Speakers Bureau

The following have served on the organization's Speakers Bureau.[2] Next to their name is a list of their specialty topics.

  • Rev. Lucius Walker: Cuba, Latin American School of Medicine Scholarship Opportunity for U.S. Students, Non-Violent Organizing: Strategy and Action, Theology and Social Justice
  • Ellen Bernstein: Cuba, Healthcare in Cuba, Latin American School of Medicine Scholarship Opportunity for U.S. Students, The Cuban Five
  • Rev. Thomas Smith: Cuba, Non-Violent Organizing: Strategy and Action, Theology and Social Justice
  • Claudia De Le Cruz: Theology and Social Justice, Youth Empowerment
  • Rev. Joseph Barndt, PhD: Race Relations and Racism, Theology and Social Justice
  • Fr. Luis Barrios, PhD: Cuba, Theology and Social Justice, Youth and the Criminal Justice System
  • Alicia Jrapko: Cuba, The Cuban Five
  • William Sales, PhD: Black Liberation and Civil Rights, Latin American School of Medicine Scholarship Opportunity for US Students, Race Relations and Racism
  • Carol Cross: Cuba, Latin American School of Medicine Scholarship Opportunity for US Students
  • Bill Hackwell: Art and Social Change, Chiapas, Cuba
  • Bill Hill: Cuba, War Resistance
  • Manolo de los Santos: Cuba, Youth Empowerment


Another IFCO notice on their website http://www.ifconews.org/node/443, printed out by KW on Nov. 1, 2010, had a slightly expanded version of this speakers' list which contained much more information above some of the above: Excerpts from this notice are as follows:

"Check out Our New Speakers Bureau!"

"Now is Your Opportunity to Work with Our Network of Local, National, and International Organizers and Educations.

Over the last forty two years, the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFCO) has worked with hundreds of community organizations and public policy groups - providing technical assistance, training organizers, making and administering grants, and using our global network of grassroots organizers, clergy, and other professionals to advance the struggles of oppressed people for justice and self-determination.

We have built network of strong, dynamic and powerful people. They all have unique perspectives and experience. But they have one thing in common, a strong record of community organizing and working for Peace with Justice.

Through the IFCO's Speakers Bureau, we can connect you with individuals who will educate and inspire people to think critically and engage their communities in the struggle for social and economic justice.

Contact us to schedule an event with your campus or community and find out about costs and availability: 212-926-5757, ifco@igc.org.

Our Speakers:

Below you will find a selection of available speakers. Next to their names and biographies, you will find a listing of the topics they are most skilled in speaking about, as well as any books or publications they have written.

[Skipping text to go to the list].

  • Ellen Bernstein - Cuba, Healthcare in Cuba, Latin American School of Medicine Scholarship Opportunity for US Students, The Cuban Five Author: Healthcare in Cuba; Dedicated to Health and Healing in Cuba and Throughout The World
  • Rev. Thomas Smith - Cuba, Non-Violent Organizing: Strategy and Action, Theology and Social Justice
  • Claudia De Le Cruz - Theology and Social Justice, Youth Empowerment
  • Rev. Joseph Barndt, PhD: Race Relations and Racism, Theology and Social Justice Author: Understanding and Dismantling Racism; The Twenty-First Century Challenge to White America (2007, Fortress Press), Dismantling Racism (1991, Augsburg Fortress Publishers), Why Black Power? (1968), Liberating Our White Ghetto (1972, Augsburg Publishing House), Beyond Brokenness (1980, Friendship Press)
  • Fr. Luis Barrios PhD - Cuba, Theology and Social Justice, Youth and the Criminal Justice System; Author "Josconiando: Dimensiones Sociales y politicas de la espiritualidad"

(2000, Editorial Aguiar), Pitirreando: De la desesperanza a la esperanza (2004, Editorial Edil); Co-editor: Gangs and Society: Alternative Perspective (2003, Columbia University); Co-author: Almighty Latin king and Queen nation: Street Politics and the Transformation of a New York City Gang, (2004, Columbia University).

  • Alicia Jrapko Cuba, The Cuban Five [KW: Jrapko is a member of the Stalinist Marxist Workers World Party (WWP), and according to an IFCO Speakers Bureau biography (c. 2009) booklet, "..she has been instrumental in forming the [[International Committee for the Freedom of the Cuban Five..." (i.e. 5 Cuban DGI agents who operated in the U.S. carrying out intelligence and possibly assassination targeting against Cuban freedom-fighters living in Florida)].
  • William Sales PhD - Black Liberation and Civil Rights, Latin American School of Medicine Scholarship Opportunity for US Students, Race Relations and Racism; Author: "From Civil Rights to Black Liberation"; "Malcolm X and the Organization of Afro-American Unity" (1994, South End Press); "Southern Africa/Black America: Same Struggle, Same Fight" (1977, Black Liberation Press).
  • Carol Cross - Cuba, Latin American School of Medicine Scholarship Opportunity for US Students
  • Bill Hackwell - Art and Social Change, Chiapas, Cuba Presentation Includes Photo Exhibit Photos appear (sic): Combat Photographer (1984, Time Life Education), "Reflexes and Reflections" (1998, Abrams); "The Impact of Sanctions on Iraq: The Children Are Dying" (1996, Plough Publishing House). [KW: Hackwell has long been associated with the Workers World Party and its newspaper "Workers World where his photographs appeared on a regular basis until around 2009 when he left the WWP for its west coast split-off faction, the avowedly Party of Socialism and Liberation (PSL)).


A third and much more revealing biography of those listed above, with photos, appeared in the circa 2009 IFCO "A Speakers Bureau", speakers list entitled "Looking for a Way to Eduat and Inspire for Change", IFCO, 418 W. 145th St, New York, NY 10031, ifco@igc.org, 212-926-5757, www.ifconews.org.

TO BE FILLED IN.

Manolo E. De Los Santos is a young Christian student activist involved in the struggles for peace with social justice across the world. He is currently a student at John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY with a major in Deviant Behavior and Social Control, with plans to later obtain a Masters in Divinity from the Union Theological Seminary. In 2008 De Los Santos joined the IFCO/Pastors for peace staff as a program coordinator.

During his first year in college, he helped to organize the first [{John Jay College Student Work Brigade]] to New Orleans during the spring break of 2007 and a subsequent colloguium at John Jay College.

he was born in the Dominican Republic and currently lives in the Bronx, NYC. From an early age De Los Santos has been involved in solidarity work with oppressed peoples across the world and in various grassroots organizing projects in the United States. For the past two years he has been a member of the parochial board of Iglesia San Romero de Las Americas - United Church of Christ [[United Church of Christ[[ (UCC). Within San Romero de Las Americas he has been working with others in the construction of religious rituals that promote personal and community liberation.

De Los Santos has been active as a youth and student organizer as past president of the Dominicans Student Association at John Jay College of Criminal Justice/CUNY and also within the youth ministries of churches in the Washington Heights community of New York City.

  • Rev. [Lucius Walker]] - Topics: Cuba, Latin American School of Medicine Scholarship Opportunity for US Students, Non-Violent Organizing: Strategy and Action, Theology and Social Justice

Re. Lucius Walker, Jr. is the executive director of the Interreligious Foundation for Community Organization (IFC)/Pastors for Peace. He served as an Associate General Secretary of the National Council of Churches in Christ of the USA National Council of Churches (NCC) from 1973 through 1978. In January 1979, he returned to IFCO, which has the distinction of being the only national ecumenical foundation committed exclusively to the support of community organizing.

[KW: For one conservative view of the National Council of Churches, see the book "The Unholy Alliance: The Definitive History of the National Council of Churches and Its Leftist Policies - From 1908 to the Present", C. Gregg Singer, 1975, Arlington House Publishers, New Rochelle, NY].

In 1988, rev. Walker was shot and wounded in a(n) attack by the US-backed contras on innocent civilians as he led an IFCO study delegation to Nicaragua's Atlantic Coast region. In response to the attack, Rev. Walker conceived the project Pastors for Peace (PfP), which organizes humanitarian aid caravans as a way to assist the victims of US foreign policy. IFCO/Pastors for Peace has delivered 60 national humanitarian aid caravans to Cuba, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, and Chiapas, Mexico. In 2005-2006 it organized two emergency caravans to New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

In January 1996, Rev. Walker was arrested by U.S. authorities because he dared to take computers to hospitals in Cuba. When the computers were seized, rev. Walker and four others engaged in a "Fast for Life" until the computers were released. The fast lasted 94 days and resulted in the release of the computers which were delivered to Cuba in September of that same year. This action followed another fast for a Little Yellow School Bus, seized by US Treasury on the way to Cuba on the Caravan in 1993. This fast lasted 23 days and resulted I n the release of the bus to Cuba.

Rev. Walker is the recipient of numerous honorary degrees and peace awards, including the Gandhi Peace Award and the Thomas Merton Award.

External Links

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 IFCO website: About (accessed on Sept. 13, 2010)
  2. IFCO website: Check Out Our New Speakers Bureau! (accessed on Sept. 13, 2010)