Advocating Justice for all in Michigan

Pursuing Inclusive Justice: Crisis Moments / Responsive Movements

Friday, October 20 from 9am - 3:30 pm

Zion Lutheran Church  

143 Albany St, Ferndale, MI 48220.

In an age of polarized politics, censorship and silencing of diverse and inclusive voices, and attacks on racial and religious minorities and the LGBTQ+ community, now more than ever, progressive religious communities must come together to provide hope, healing and engage in “sacred activism” to address local, state and federal concerns.


Whether you and your congregation are new to the process of becoming welcoming or if you have been inclusive for many years, this day-long conference is for you.  Whether you barely tune in to the news or are a news junky, this conference will give you what you need to be informed on current concerns that have a direct impact on the congregations we serve. This is the conversation you’ve been waiting for!


"Pursuing Inclusive Justice: Crisis Moments / Responsive Movements" is an opportunity to connect with other progressive religious leaders throughout the state to build strategy and network on issues that threaten to divide congregations and strip fundamental rights from targeted communities.  Inclusive Justice of Michigan is coalition of welcoming congregations dedicated to improving inclusion to LGBTQ individuals and families.


This will be a hybrid conference – both in person and online.  Our Keynote Presenter will be Rabbi Alana Chaya Alpert (she/her) of Congregation T'chiyah and the Founding Director of Detroit Jews for Justice. We will offer workshops on the “Best Practices of Inclusion” and “Pursing Sacred Activism.”  Continental breakfast and lunch will be provided.  Registration is free for those attending online and $10 per person  for our in-person guests (with scholarships available).   ]

Walk-ins Welcome  

Zoom information will be sent to you before the event.


9:00 am - 9:30 am: In-person Registration & Networking Continental Breakfast


9:30 am - 10:00 am: Livestreaming Begins.

Welcome Remarks and Introduction of the Keynote Speaker 


10:00 am - 11:00 am: Keynote Speaker Session – Rabbi Alana Chaya Alpert, followed by audience Q & A.


11:00 am - 11:15 am: Break / Transition Time


11:15 am - 12:30 pm:

Workshop 1: Pursing Sacred Activism (Sanctuary and Livestreamed) with Randy Block, MSW (he/him), Director of the Michigan UU Social Justice Network along with others.


Workshop 2: Pursuing the Best Practices of Inclusion (Fellowship Hall) with Rev. Dr. Roland Stringfellow (he/him), Board President of Inclusive Justice of Michigan


12:30 pm - 1:30 pm: Lunch (Fellowship Hall)


1:30 pm - 2:45 pm

Workshop 1 Repeated: Pursing Sacred Activism (Fellowship Hall) with Randy Block, MSW (he/him), Director of the Michigan UU Social Justice Network along with others.


Workshop 2 Repeated: Pursuing the Best Practices of Inclusion (Sanctuary and Livestreamed) with Rev. Dr. Roland Stringfellow (he/him), Board President of Inclusive Justice of Michigan


3:30 pm - 3:35 pm: Closing Remarks & Next Steps

Rabbi Alana leads communities in Prayer and Protest:

 Until Recently Rabbi Alana Alpert served as both the Rabbi for Congregation T'Chiyah as well as the Founding Director of Detroit Jews for Justice. Adapting powerful models from across the country, DJJ engages the Metro Detroit Jewish community on issues like water access, health care, workers rights and police brutality. 

 She studied Resistance and Social Movements at UC Santa Cruz, writing her thesis on the then burgeoning Jewish Social Justice Movement. She cut her teeth as an organizer in New York City with NY Jobs with Justice, Avodah and Jews for Racial & Economic Justice. During her time at Hebrew College, Rabbi Alpert served in student government, facilitated a prison justice praxis group, and co-founded the Liberatory Minyan, a place for students to explore the nexus between prayer and activism.

 She also has a long history of engagement with Israel/Palestine including 3 years living in the region, founding Project Hayei Sarah , facilitating for Encounter, and serving on the Jewish Voice for Peace Rabbinic Council. Her more recent work has been through IfNotNow, the Center for Jewish Nonviolence, and Shleimut

 She lives in the North End of Detroit (not far from where her grandmother grew up) with her kiddos Ne’ilah & Zohar, sister Adina, pup Mississippi, and partner Justin.

Uniting LGBTQ+ Spirituality and Social Justice Advocacy."

This chat, guided by Rev. JM Richardson and featuring key LGBTQ+ faith leaders Reverend Dr. Roland Stringfellow and Sharon Pedersen, will dive deep into the link between LGBTQ+ faith and social justice. It's a unique chance to broaden your understanding and fuel your advocacy passion.

Here is the recording:

 Webinar: Faith in Action:  Uniting LGBTQ+ Spirituality and Social Justice Advocacy.

"Beyond the Binary: The Genders of God," 

Joining us is the Rev. Lawrence T. Richardson, a social justice advocate, writer, and pastor at Salem United Church of Christ, who'll lead us through a fascinating discussion on using gender-expansive language for the Divine.


Here is the recording:

Webinar: Beyond the Binary: Exploring the Genders of God  

"Punk Theology: Spirituality as Resistance."

Looking for a fresh take on spirituality? This is different from your typical theology workshop. Together, we'll navigate the rebellious currents of Punk Culture and dig into its deep roots in liberation theology.                                                                              

Guided by John-Marc Ormechea, we'll uncover the veiled religious nature of punk and its power to offer alternative, liberating spiritual paths. Join us on this unique exploration and shake up your thoughts about faith and culture.

Ready to rock the boat? Please register now to secure your spot, and let's embark on this radical journey together! 

Here is the recording:

Punk Theology: Spirituality as Resistance

"Disability Justice: Accessible God with Stephanie L. Niemela"


    A transformative exploration of inclusivity and belonging. This session will journey through the intersections of disability, justice, and faith, shedding light on the often overlooked dimensions of accessibility and inclusivity. Under the guidance of Stephanie L. Niemela, attendees will delve into the profound theological implications of disability justice.


Here is the recording:

    Disability Justice : Accessible God

Protecting Democracy Rally for Full Equality

We are elated to report that the "Protecting Democracy: Rally for Full Equality" event at Michigan's Capitol was a resounding success on September 21, with outstanding speakers and music along with an enthusiastic crowd of attendees. Even the weather cooperated after a brief period of rain that morning! If you were able to attend, we thank you for your support and participation. You can see an example of the news coverage for the event here.

Rally for equality meets at capitol steps

LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) – Community members gathered on the steps of the capital building Wednesday to advocate fo...

Wednesday, July 28 at 7pm on Zoom

The Fight for Full Equality Under The Law


On the 153rd Anniversary of the ratification of the 14th Amendment, Inclusive Justice is hosting an important forum on the 14th Amendment and the struggle to achieve full equality under the law. Our keynote speaker will be Rogers M. Smith: recent President of the American Political Science Association. Our respondents will be Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, Heaster Wheeler, Assistant Secretary of State of Michigan and former Detroit NAACP executive , and Jay Kaplan, the staff attorney for the ACLU of Michigan's LGBT Project.

Click here to view the recording of the "Fight for Full Equality Under the Law" program. 

As you know, right now Michigan has no explicit nondiscrimination protections for the LGBTQ community in housing, health care or in public spaces at the state or federal level.  In order to help right this wrong, Inclusive Justice will be hosting a training for all interested parties on how to build and sharpen your skills in engaging with our elected officials on advocating for nondiscrimination protections.  This national training is entitled “Turning a Sermon into a Soundbite” and was held on Monday, January 11 from 6:30 pm – 7:30 pm

 Click the link to the right to hear the webinar.

Thank you for your continued support and for your witness for justice in Michigan!


Rev. Dr. Roland Stringfellow


On behalf of the Inclusive Justice Board