Gateway to Zones of Peace

 

Interfaith Philadelphia invites you to (virtually) explore 3 of the 87 community organizations and houses of worship that the Religious Leaders Council has deemed creative and exemplary in addressing the root causes of violence and creating peace.


Tuesday, March 2 at 7 PM | Mitzvah Circle Foundation
Tuesday, March 9 at 7 PM | Historic Fair Hill
Tuesday, March 16 at 7 PM | Lutheran Settlement House


To Register for any of these events, click here.


To nominate a house of worship or community organization to be recognized as a Zone of Peace, click here.


For more information about the Religious Leaders Council of Greater Philadelphia and its Zones of Peace initiative, click here.

Zones of Peace communities understand that violence takes on many shapes—from poverty in our neighborhoods to bullying in our schools and fear in our homes; recognized Zones of Peace seek unique ways to address the challenges most palpable in their neighborhoods.

Please join us for virtual, facilitated visits at the following communities:

Mitzvah Circle Foundation

Tuesday, March 2 | 7:00 - 8:30 PM

The Mitzvah Circle Foundation is a non-profit organization that provides support, hope, and dignity to individuals and families during times of crisis, poverty, homelessness, and serious illness. MCF responds without discrimination –fulfilling basic human needs with compassion, making a difference for people who are walking along life’s edge. By individually assessing and building personal relationships, MCF removes barriers, eliminates bureaucracy, and invites people in crisis to contact them directly.

 

After learning what people need, Mitzvah Circle Foundation delivers and distributes care packages containing clothing, shoes, diapers, period supplies, books, household goods, toiletries, and more. Each care package is filled with the recipient’s specific needs in mind. Staff, interns, and volunteers come from several different faith traditions and treat everyone like family. It is a large family: In 2020, MCF served 97,725 people directly and through 150 partner organizations. 

 

On March 2, Founder and Executive Director Fran Held will give a tour of MCF’s warehouse. She will tell stories to help us understand the needs of our neighbors and describe how her organization is able to discern what is needed and respond with compassion. Mitzvah Circle Foundation has an amazing story to tell. The evening is organized so that there will be ample time for us to ask questions and engage in dialogue with Fran and one another.

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Historic Fair Hill

Tuesday, March 9 | 7:00 - 8:30 PM

Historic Fair Hill is a Zone of Peace in Fairhill, North Philadelphia, based in a 300-year-old Quaker burial ground where leading abolitionists and early women’s rights activists are buried. Historic Fair Hill is a community revitalization organization working with neighbors to beautify its green space and address the root causes of violence that have plagued the neighborhood for decades. Vegetables grown in community gardens tended by neighborhood youth are given away. Schools which had no libraries now have libraries, along with mentors, and volunteers to staff them. Murals throughout the neighborhood celebrate social justice advocates past and present. The burial ground is now a meeting place for the living, a garden, a site for community festivals, and programs for children, youth, and adults.

Join us to hear staff and community voices speak with pride about the neighborhood’s history and how they have been creating peace in the most economically challenged zip code in the poorest large city in America. They have turned trash heaps to garden plots, empty shelves into school libraries, staying at home in fear into going out for safe neighborhood events, and blank walls into murals memorializing Fair Hill’s social justice advocates past and present. 

Historic Fair Hill Garden Mural.jpeg
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Lutheran Settlement House

Tuesday, March 16 | 7:00 - 8:30 PM

The Lutheran Settlement House addresses the root causes of violence by feeding the hungry, comforting the lonely, educating those left behind by their schools and communities, and helping men choose to be masculine without violence toward others. Most impressive is its intervention into relationships and families where violence is ongoing. 

 

On March 16, we will be introduced to LSH’s focus on Domestic Violence through “Recognize, Respond, Refer,” a workshop helping us recognize Domestic Violence when we see it and teaching us best practices for what to do next. Presenters will be staff and volunteers who approach Domestic Violence with compassion and respect, building the kind of rapport with survivors and perpetrators of violence that is sustained throughout the long process of learning how to live with others peacefully.

LSH was established in 1902, and is a non-profit, community-based organization committed to serving children, adults, and families. The core mission of Lutheran Settlement House is “to empower individuals, families, and communities to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency through an integrated program of social, educational, and advocacy services.”

LSH Zones of Peace Banner Presentation.j
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Questions? Please contact Rev. John Hougen at jbh@interfaithphiladelphia.org

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