Notes from the March Monthly Meeting

Date: March 25, 2019
Location: IFCLA office, 5021 Adkins Ave., room 122
Attendance: 8

After a welcome and time for connecting around the prompt “Share one good thing that happened to you today,” meeting facilitator Sara John (IFCLA’s executive director) offered a reflection from the book Mujerista Theology by Ada Maria Isasi-Diaz.

Featured topic: Honduras

Ellen Ziegemeier, IFCLA board president, presented an account of the country’s recent history from her unique perspective first as a Peace Corp volunteer and later as a resident. Ellen is also a liaison between IFCLA and the Honduras Solidarity Network, which is committed to solidarity with social movements within Honduras as well as education within the United States and Canada about the impacts of our governments’ decisions and actions related to Latin America.

Because 2019 is the tenth anniversary of a constitutional crisis and coup d’etat in Honduras, this is a particularly appropriate time to look back on other important events, such as the 2016 death of environmental activist Berta Caceres and the crackdown on protestors after the contentious presidential election in 2017. Ellen shared details of what it was like to live in Honduras during the early years after the coup, as well as insights into the current situation on the ground.

Ellen will be traveling to Honduras as part of a delegation May 25 through June 2. IFCLA is a co-sponsor of this trip, which will highlight the root causes of migration through meetings with local leaders and deep dives into the current social, political and economic situation. She and another IFCLA representative will bring back actionable ideas and a wealth of information. Look for details of events where they will speak later this summer.

There is currently a bill before the U.S. House of Representatives that would suspend U.S. security aid to Honduras. To learn more and show your support, read this blog post.

Office staff and board updates

  • Applications are open for a full-time operations manager. Sara John is currently reviewing submissions and will soon start interviews with candidates.

  • There will be other staffing changes later this spring when our part-time communications manager departs. Some positions may be restructured to better meet the day-to-day office needs.

  • The IFCLA board of directors is in the process of adding new members. Anyone interested in serving can contact board@ifcla.net for details.

Working group and committee updates

  • Sanctuary Committee member Lisa K. reported about the Christ Church UCC movie festival. Four films were shown, with discussion afterward. Attendance was solid, with about 25 people per night, and thanks to their generosity, the organizers were able to donate funds to a variety of nonprofits.

  • Alex Belongs Here representative (also also Alex’s wife) Carly offered a recap of the private bill that Rep. Lacy Clay has agreed to introduce and sponsor in the U.S. House of Representatives. There is a push to get Rep. Jason Smith to co-sponsor this bill. To sign the online petition in support of this Alex, please click here.

  • The Advisory Committee is gearing up for another year of meetings. Dates and topics have been chosen and will be communicated to committee members. Newcomers are welcome to join the committee too — details are available in this blog post.

  • The Honduras Working Group is planning to implement new strategies for education and advocacy in the St. Louis area. Details will be available soon.

  • The Communications Working Group meets the second Monday of the month at 4:30 p.m. a Gelateria del Leone, 3197 S. Grand Blvd. This group works on the website as well as other public-facing initiatives, and it always welcomes additional support.

  • The committee planning the Lotería Night has already lined up a location and picked a date, but there is still much to be done! Contact ifcla@ifcla.net to learn more about how you can help whether your strength is soliciting donations, decorating, or coordinating fun and games.

The next Monthly Meeting is April 22 at the IFCLA office, 5021 Adkins Ave., room 122.