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This annual celebratory breakfast marks the beginning of a new year for Action of Greater Lansing's on‐going work for social justice in the Lansing area. Action is celebrating 18 member congregations/ organizations, working collaboratively to address the root causes of community problems while organizing for systemic change. The theme for this year's breakfast will be "Faith in Action," inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s work, with members actively advocating on behalf of civil and human rights for all ‐ ‐ not only by praying, but by doing. We honor the legacy of Dr. King, from whom Action takes that lead.
This year’s keynote speaker will be Ana Garcia-Ashley. A veteran community organizer, Ana Garcia-Ashley is the Executive Director of the Gamaliel Foundation -- a grassroots network of non-partisan, faith-based organizations in 17 U.S. states (including Action of Greater Lansing!), South Africa and the United Kingdom, that organizes to empower ordinary people to effectively participate in the political, environmental, social and economic decisions affecting their lives. Garcia-Ashley began organizing in 1981 after graduating from the University of Colorado in Denver. Deeply interested in the intersection of politics and faith, Garcia-Ashley also attended the Iliff School of Theology. She joined Gamaliel in 1992 as the lead organizer of MICAH in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where she led one of the most successful campaigns in Gamaliel’s history: winning a $500 million commitment from local banks to invest in affordable housing. As a result, 7,000 low-income families in Milwaukee were able to buy homes. Garcia-Ashley also founded Gamaliel’s statewide Wisconsin affiliate, WISDOM.
“Question people who have authority, because they tend not to use it well unless you stay on top of them.”
That’s what Ana Garcia-Ashley learned from her grandmother, a seamstress and a teacher in the campo of the Dominican Republic. She was a woman who taught by example, challenging anybody in her small village who misused power. “She would not tolerate anything,” remembers Ana. “She took on whomever—even priests.”
And you can say the same about Ana.
Throughout more than 30 years of community organizing, Ana has put her faith into action by holding people in power accountable: standing in protest at state capitols, stopping predatory lenders, and blocking deportation trucks by laying her body in the road. “To me there is only one way to be a (a person of faith),” she says, “and that is out in the public arena, doing something.”
The breakfast will feature a wide variety of delicious foods, and all proceeds will go to benefit Action's on-going work for peace with justice in the Greater Lansing community. Focus areas include access to specialized healthcare for all children; enforcing basic human rights for all, including immigrants; accessibility for people with disabilities; and actively pursuing an end to systemic racism.
Please join us for this wonderful - and DELICIOUS - annual celebration!
Tickets are $10 if purchased in person ahead of time; $12 if purchased on-line (Small additional fee is to cover processing costs charged for credit cards).