Monday, June 22, 2020

Racial Justice Statement by California Quakers

I am very happy to see Quakers in California speaking out about racial justice. I plan to include statement (we call them "minutes") on this blog. Please send me any statements that have been approved by your Quaker meeting and I will post it here.


The Members of the San Diego Society of Friends, commonly called Quakers, are called to condemn police violence against persons of color and confront racism and white privilege. We realize there are means of educating our peace officers and of promoting peaceful conflict resolution without militarization. These methods are sorely needed in the present environment of unrest.  The attached statement expresses our views and urges our government officials to implement or strengthen these proven means of conflict de-escalation and peace officer review.

We look forward to progressive changes in government policy.


Karen M. Campos
San Diego Friends Meeting


To Officials of the Cities and County of San Diego from La Jolla Friends Meeting:
Quaker testimonies require us to examine our own behavior as individuals and as a group. We are also required to speak out when we see injustice, violence and oppression in the public realm. We must address systemic racism within ourselves, our social, religious, and economic institutions, and our civil society.
We are appalled by the scale of police violence against people of color. The brutal murder of George Floyd is yet one more consequence of a racist system that has disproportionately targeted people of color for violence, imprisonment, and death for many years. The killing of countless people of color in the custody of police officers must stop.
We thank the City and County of San Diego for the recent ban on chokeholds and strongholds announced by the San Diego Police Department and the San Diego County Sheriff. We urge city and county officials to take further steps to protect communities and police officers by considering the following measures:
1. Develop a system of community based policing, based on understanding and addressing community concerns and the hiring of officers from within the communities they police.
2. Strengthen independent police review boards in the cities and County of San Diego, giving them subpoena power to review incidents involving officers, and a real voice beyond the advisory level. Institute such boards where they do not exist.
3. Examine hiring practices, training, and the work culture of law enforcement with an eye to eliminating both systemic and overt racism.
4. Promote policies, training, and procedures that address racism and encourage peaceful conflict resolution and de-escalation. Promptly remove officers who cannot adapt.
5. Roll back the militarization of law enforcement agencies where it has occurred, examining equipment acquisition and training. Keep the focus on protecting communities rather than controlling them, removing the roots of uprising and rebellion rather than suppressing them.
6. Consider limiting the role of the police to situations for which they are trained and needed. Explore alternatives outside law enforcement and the criminal justice system for such issues as homelessness, mental illness, domestic violence and substance addiction. Money saved can be redirected to fund such solutions as housing, rehab facilities, domestic violence shelters, and the hiring of social workers, mental health and medical professionals.
Choosing not to act is a choice too, and it is imperative that we work together to end the legacy of violence we have inherited from our history, both local and national. Too many people have lived in fear too long. We ask you to join with the people of all races who have filled the streets of the cities and towns of San Diego County and the US seeking fundamental change so that we may finally, and in truth, have justice for all. We ask you to act as if lives depend on it. They do.

James R. Summers, Clerk,
On behalf of La Jolla Monthly Meeting
The Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
14 June 2020

Minute on Engagement to Uproot and Dismantle Racism in Strawberry Creek Friends Meeting

     Strawberry Creek Monthly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends acknowledges the centrality, depth, and pervasiveness of systemic racism in the United States. Continuing revelations of history, experience, and conscience challenge Friends to live up to the Light, increasing awareness of how we, our communities, and our institutions perpetuate the structure of racism. We must help one another discern what Spirit calls us to do individually and corporately.  

     We utterly reject the racial status quo.  People are suffering and dying daily as a result of systemic racial bias within and across institutions and economic structures, which reproduces inequity and discrimination for “people of color” and unearned advantage for “others".  We call upon ourselves as Friends to illuminate, uproot, and dismantle white privilege because it is used to maintain white dominance.

     Systemic racism creates a barrier to living fully into our deepest Quaker values as reflected in all of our testimonies. We seek to bring about a truly inclusive, compassionate, diverse Religious Society of Friends through which our individual lives speak to our collective belonging to one another and Creation. We commit to the work of healing and transforming to make foundational change in our Meeting. We commit equally to the work of dismantling the political and economic structures of racism and opening to acceptance of real beauty in human difference.

Approved 2/9/20
Berkeley, California


Another is from Live Oak Friends:

June 20, 2020

We, the Live Oak Friends Meeting of Salinas, are grieved and outraged by the police killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor; the racially motivated killing of Ahmaud Arbery, and so many others.  As Quakers, we are guided by the values of equality, peace and community.
We issue you a Call to Action to peoples of all faiths for substantial reforms to policing, to include the following:
            Unjustified police violence and homicides, most recently Mr. George Floyd’s senseless murder by four members of the Minneapolis Police, must end.
            We must return to Community-Oriented Policing. Serving and protecting the people must be based on the philosophy of  "full service personalized policing, where the same officer patrols and works in the same area on a permanent basis, from a decentralized place, working in a proactive partnership with citizens to identify and solve problems.” (Bertus Ferreira). 
            We encourage establishment of citizen-police review panels to assist departments’ adherence to policy by using modern tools of data collection and analysis (e.g., use-of-force incidents), effective communications and accountability. Police departments’ commitment to such oversight panels will ensure safe and satisfying policing in our neighborhoods.
            We encourage the creation of a national database of individual police abuse, so that abusive officers cannot be rehired by another police jurisdiction.
             We must demilitarize police forces by divesting military-grade equipment assets (armored troop carriers, sound cannons, tear gas and rubber bullets, etc.) that have been supplied by the Pentagon, with Federal monetary incentives to use.
            We must immediately discontinue “police exchanges,” for the purpose of training, with Israel, China and other countries that use brutal means to suppress peaceful demonstration.
             We must increase police training in skills to de-escalate volatile situations, use alternatives to lethal force, and eliminate racist policing. 
            It is time to review Police Department budgets, to allocate more monies to retraining of police, and to consider moving some of police funds to programs for social services, education, healthcare, and youth.

Please join us in taking effective action by contacting your local, state and national officials to ask for these reforms. 

Jeffrey Richman, Clerk
Live Oak Friends Meeting of the
Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)
1014 Circle Drive, Salinas, California 93905

Friday, June 19, 2020

ICUJP Conference "One World" Resources


I am proud to have been part of an online conference: "One World: Ending Endless War and Creating a Just, Peaceful, Healthy Planet" on Sunday, June 7.(My role was to put together the "Calls to Action" listed below.) Sponsored by Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace (, over 200 people registered and over 100 attended. 

This conference was extremely meaningful, informative, and inspiring. Our keynote speaker was Rev. Jim Lawson, Civil RIghts activist who was Dr. King's colleague and mentor. See this page for a list of presenters:

This entry contains info about session recordings, calls to action, information shared by participants, and links to other resources to help us continue taking the next steps and putting our learning into action. Together, let's confront the challenges we're facing and work to create a peaceful and just world for all.

We encourage you to take the action steps listed, watch the session recordings, and visit the cosponsors and resources listed to continue learning about ways we can help create the better world we all seek!


As people of faith committed to ending war and violence,  ICUJP supports:
  • Reducing the military budget and abolishing nuclear weapons
  • Increasing spending on human needs: Healthcare, education, affordable housing, et al
  • Reducing dependence on fossil fuels and supporting alternative energy
  • Fair, humane treatment of immigrants and refugees, with a path to citizenship
  • Ending the prison industrial complex and immigrant detention
  • Ending the death penalty
  • Ending police violence, particularly towards people of color
  • Strong gun control measures
  • Closing Guantanamo and “black sites” that incarcerate people in inhumane conditions
  • Ending torture
  • Funding the World Health Organization, United Nations, and other international peace and justice bodies
  • Promoting global human rights, social justice, and democracy
  • The UN Declaration of Human Rights



  • SUPPORT CARBON PRICING. Carbon pricing is one of many important policy tools Congress should use to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As the latest United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report states, “Explicit carbon prices remain a necessary condition of ambitious climate policies.”​To write your Congressperson, go to
  • SUPPORT LOCAL INITIATIVES TO CLEAN UP TOXIC SITES. In Los Angeles, poisonous lead contamination has yet to be cleaned up at homes near the closed Exide battery recycling plant. Black, Latino and low-income California residents are especially likely to live near unplugged oil and gas wells that can spew pollution. People of color are more likely than white people to live alongside power plants, oil refineries and landfills.See and


  • NO BAN ON MUSLIMS OR REFUGEES: Trump has used the Covid-19 crisis to expand  an executive order banning travel to the U.S. for nationals from certain Muslim-majority countries and dismantling the refugee resettlement program.Your Congressperson can advance two bills to prohibit this from happening again: 1) The NO BAN Act (H.R. 2214/S. 1123) and 2) the GRACE Act (H.R. 2146/S. 1088). Together, they would immediately end the current bans, set limits so that Congress can stop discriminatory bans from being implemented, and establish a minimum number of annual refugee arrivals.​
Urge your member of Congress to prioritize legislation to ensure no future President has unchecked power to discriminate against Muslims, immigrants, or refugees.


  • URGE YOUR MEMBERS OF CONGRESS TO PROVIDE NEEDED ASSISTANCE TO OUR VULNERABLE NEIGHBORS THROUGH THE DURATION OF THIS COVID CRISIS. The pandemic has revealed growing economic and racial disparities in our country, with people of color suffering the greatest impact due to systemic racism and xenophobia. We therefore urge shifting priorities away from the police and military to the following: ​
    • Increasing Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) benefits for allSNAP households;​
    • Providing aid for states, which will otherwise be forced to lay off teachers and other  workers and cut health care, education, and other key services, exacerbating the economic downturn; and​
    • Extending expanded unemployment assistance, which is scheduled to expire inJuly and at the end of the year.​
  • SUPPORT STATE AND LOCAL HOUSING JUSTICE : Support Project Roomkey, eviction moratoriums, rent subsidies for low-Income renters, increased funding for affordable and homeless housing, etc.
  • Congressional offices are hearing a lot from industry lobbyists. It’s important they hear from you too. Act now.


Keynote Session

[Coming soon] Rev. James Lawson, Pastor Emeritus, Holman United Methodist Church
Video: We Carry the Dream - Jerusalem Prayer Project
Video: Peace Camp 2018 - Sola Community Peace Center

Juneteenth Car Caravan and other events here in Pasadena

Today there will a Car Caravan celebrating Juneteenth and calling for a "Bill of RIghts" here in Pasadena:

The National Day Laborer Organizing Network and the Pasadena NAACP released a community Bill of Rights on Tuesday.

The groups are calling for sweeping and profound changes in law enforcement, which it states has been plagued with systemic racism for centuries.

According to the document the city must defend equal justice, acknowledge its unjust past, face the unjust present and reform unjust policing.

The group is demanding the city adopt civilian oversight, divert 20 percent of the police budget — more than $16 million — to social services and reduce the number of police officer through attrition.

The document also calls for reform in the department’s use of force policies, an end to police surveillance and racial profiling, more psychological evaluations, an expansion of local hiring at the department, anti-bias training and an end to conflicts of interest and the militarization of the department.

On Tuesday, June 23, at 7 pm there will be a "Racism and Housing Forum" sponsored by MHCH (Making Housing and Community Happen). Council member John Kennedy and Jill Shook will be our presenters.  See our evite and Facebook link: and ;

This Sunday at 10 am we will have an  Adult Study with NAACP President Allen Edson and CICOPP President Kris Ockerhauser speaking about "Racism and Police Accountability." Here's the link:

Topic: OGMM Adult Study Addressing Racism
Time: Jun 21, 2020 10:00 AM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

This Friday, June 19 (Juneteenth),  NAACP and NDALON are sponsoring this caravan event at the Rose Bowl

Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Racism and Housing Forum: Making Housing and Community Happen

Please join us on Tuesday, June 23, at 7 pm for a Monthly Housing Justice Forum sponsored by Making Housing and Community Happen (MHCH). Learn some key aspects of the history of racism and housing in our city and what can be done to address this problem.
Pasadena City Council Member John J. Kennedy, a leader of complex and diverse organizationshas significant experience in the public, private and nonprofit sectors. He has devoted his life to community service as a civic leader and community organizer. His political involvement and extensive travel have provided him with knowledge and understanding of local, national and international government practices and procedures.
Dr. Jill ShookD-Min BGU, is the Executive Director of Making Housing and Community Happen.  In 1991, she moved to Pasadena to learn from Dr. John Perkins, African American leader and founder of the Harambee Center and the Christian Community Development Association. After listening to the poorest and most marginalized population, she was led to become an advocate for affordable housing as a tool to help break the cycle of generational poverty. She is author of Making Housing Happen: Faith Based Affordable Housing Models and does Housing Justice Workshops around the US.
When: Tues. June 23, 2020, 7:00-8:30 PM  Pacific Time
Register in advance for this meeting:
After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Friday, June 12, 2020

Latest Homelessness Report in Pasadena

There is good news and bad news about the homeless housing crisis in Pasadena.

The good news is that our city has done an outstanding job in addressing the homelessness crisis and our numbers are not going up, as they are in the rest of the county

It is also good to know that our City Council is listening to the homeless housing advocates, and vice versa. Mayor Tornek spoke very favorably about our Congregational Land Committee and was even open to reconsidering Safe Parking. There is also keen interest in motel conversion to homeless housing. And either affordable and/or homeless housing will likely be built on city-owned land next to City Hall. 

The bad news is with the economy going into deep recession, we can expect the numbers of homeless people to increase dramatically, especially among seniors. 

Today we took part in a conference call organized by Bill Huang, director of Pasadena's and learned that:

      56% of residents are renters,
      47% spend more than 50% of their income on housing,
     there has been a 50% increase in chronically homeless people on our streets since last year,
      there has been a 27% increase in homeless seniors on our streets since last year.

For more information follow this link to this year's Pasadena Homeless Count report.

As Rabbi Joshua Grater, director of Friends Indeed, pointed out: "There is a homeless crisis; there is an affordable housing crisis; there is a permanent supportive housing crisis. These are all interconnected and need to be addressed as a collective whole, even as each one requires different housing solutions."

Bill Huang also emphasized that other cities in the San Gabriel Valley need to follow the good example of Pasadena and provide homeless and affordable housing and services. We totally agree and are working with Everyone In to be supportive whenever such projects are proposed in adjacent cities. 

An important lesson we've learned from Covid 19 is that the pandemic doesn't care about city limits. As Dr. King observed: "We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly.”

Thursday, June 11, 2020

Response to the Murder of George Floyd from Jill Shook, Executive Director of MHCH (formerly GPAHG)

MHCH's Response to the Murder of George Floyd 

from Jill Shook, Executive Director of MHCH (formerly GPAHG)

The history of land and housing in the US is the history of exploitation and racism. The exclusion of Blacks from neighborhoods, homeownership, and opportunity has been woven into our legal system from day one of the founding of our nation; and the long shadows of racism persist
 ( can see the stark reality of this played out in racially divided cities across our land. Yet, many of us are blind to the causes of this pervasive systemic oppression, the cultural norms that enforce it. 

Growing up in Orange County in the 50's and 60's I was blind to all of racial injustice.  Not one Black attended my schools from kindergarten to high school. Not one Black lived in my hometown. Today I understand the exclusionary policies that have created whole cities of white folks like myself. From 1971 to ‘76, only one Black person attended my college, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo. Racism was not studied as a sin in my Bible college or seminary training. Coming to Pasadena and being mentored by an African American leader John Perkins opened my eyes. For my doctorate, I interviewed seven gang members in Pasadena, and found that unjust housing segregation was at the root of why they joined. See: "The Making of Ferguson: Public Policies" at the Root of its Troubles"

In 2012, after the police shooting of unarmed 19-year-old Kendrec McDade, I spent countless hours at the City Hall and organized folks to join me. We wanted to know the truth. We asked for an independent audit, but it took over a year of letter writing, meetings, and organizing. We even had a "Walk the Second Mile" parade on Palm Sunday, with Anya Slaughter, Kendrec's mother, leading the way as over 100 of us silently entered Sunset Ave. from Orange Grove Blvd., to the spot where Kendrec was shot--seven times--by the police. Black pastors broke the silence with powerful messages. Praise dancers enacted the death and resurrection of Christ. Finally, after more organizing, the police report was released, but redacted in a way to coverup wrongdoing by the police. There are more laws to protect police than to protect college students like Kendrec. Kendrec’s future was cut short by police who reportedly made deadly "mistakes," yet were allowed to continue serving on the police force.

I've shed many tears in the past week grieving the loss of George Floyd and so many other Black lives cut short. I've also shed tears of joy seeing the huge crowds across the US and the world, speaking out for racial justice. I recall how Americans along with others worldwide helped to end apartheid in South Africa.

Thanks to the tireless efforts of activists, the Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 (CAAA) was enacted by United States Congress. This act was the first in this era that not only implemented economic sanctions, but also offered aid to victims living under apartheid rule. The international outpouring today gives me cautious hope, but only if we all participate in the democratic process. We need to keep showing up at our City Councils, calling our elected officials, doing our homework, speaking with our hearts about the kind of world and cities we want. It is not easy, but it's worth it.

Jesus' called some of the religious leaders of his time "blind guides." His mission was to "bring good news to the poor, give sight to blind, release the oppressed from the oppressor..." God calls many cities throughout scripture to repent of oppression. I was blind to how my hometown had exclusionary laws and practices and later in Pasadena I naively became part of the problem. I was blind to this aspect of Scripture, and blind to Jesus’ core mission. Thanks to teachers like Lowell Noble and John Perkins, I began to see how "oppression", a common biblical theme, is a public sin cities need to repent of, and that we are the vehicles to bring about that change. We must not only repent of our complicity, but we do all we can to stop it.

Many aspects of racism need to be addressed. Our organization, MHCH is doing all we can to turn around racial inequities regarding housing injustice. More Blacks lost their homes due to the Great Recession of 2008 than any other group and 40% of those experiencing homelessness in the US are Black, even though they comprise only 10% of the population. We believe that everyone, regardless of race or ethnicity, should have access to a decent and affordable home. Please join us on this amazing journey, what Dr. King calls “the beautiful struggle.”

Our next meeting will focus on racism and housing, June 23, at 7pm.

Please put this link into your calendars.
Register in advance for this meeting:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.Your coming out to make a stand in the last week gives me courage and hope.

Thank you!!            

Jill Shook, ED, MHCH-Making Housing and Community Happen,

(Jill and Anthony with Jill's mother Donna who just celebrated her 90th birthday.)