By Joann Castle: 5/26/2018
Central United Methodist Church in downtown Detroit, also known as “The Conscience of Detroit,” has a storied history of advocating for social justice.
Pastor, Reverend Jill Zundal, has recently succeeded the most Reverend Ed Rowe, who retired after thirty-seven years of dedicated service to the community. Today, the church continues in its activist role, providing sanctuary to families faced with deportation by ICE (U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement).
Perhaps you are a Mom and you are new to activism. You want to be involved but you don’t have much time. You can begin with small things like taking food to a sanctuary church or getting on the mailing list of local organizations that are doing work that you believe in. Stand up for people who are being treated unjustly and let your voice be heard. Give a few hours of your time to demonstrate at a rally. Write your congress person or join a discussion group to educate yourself on the issues. Follow your passion and you will find a spiritual depth that gives greater meaning to life and a better future for your children.
Last week, Reverend Jill led a 10-day, 90-mile march for justice from Detroit to Lansing, accompanied by advocates calling for immigrant rights. “This pilgrimage is about educating people about the broken immigration system,” Rev. Jill explained. Thank you, Rev. Jill, we need to know.
Central United Methodist Church also played a role in my activist history, a story that unfolds in my newly-released book: WHAT MY LEFT HAND IS DOING: Lessons from a Grass Roots Activist by Joann Castle.
Central United Methodist Church is the same Church that opened its doors to the Control, Conflict and Change (CCC) Book Club in 1970.
Mike Hamlin, a co-founder of the League of Revolutionary Black Workers and Black Star Bookstore and I, one of the founding members of the Ad-Hoc Action Group against Police Brutality,
conceived and organized a community-based book club aimed at liberals and progressives who were willing to work together with blacks in developing a revolutionary consciousness. We met monthly at Central United Methodist Church. Three-hundred and fifty people showed up for our first book club meeting. I was the moderator.
Read about our CCC Book Club experiences in Chapter 8, of my new book, which begins with a quote from Frederick Douglass: “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.
WHAT MY LEFT HAND WAS DOING:Lessons from a Grassroots Activist by Joann Castle is available for order on line at Amazon.com and The Seattle Book Company. Also available in Detroit at SOURCE Booksellers, Pages Bookshop and Bookbeat in Oak Park. In Seattle, at Third Place Books, Elliott Bay Book Company and Left Bank Books on Pike Street, across from Pike Place Market.
Thank you for reading.