April 2021 WeROC Meeting of the Whole

Calling all WeROC members and friends to attend our next Meeting of the Whole, Thursday, April 8, 5:00-6:30pm —  Click here to register, then scroll down for some helpful preparation for this special participatory event…    

We are moving our WeROC Meeting of the Whole one week, from the regular “First Thursday” meeting day (due to conflicts with religious services/gatherings, as well as conflicts with other social justice meetings that some of you let us know about).  We’ll meet April 8th, and we will start a half-hour earlier (5:00 pm) to allow time for us to conduct what we’re calling a “Mini” Issues Convention.  Here’s why we want a broad cross-section of our constituency (you!) on the 8th…

  • Normally we would have an Issues Convention in person, for several hours.  Given our restraints due to the Covid virus, we are condensing the time and process in order to still allow our members, friends, and allies to participate democratically in clarifying together the best issues for us to work collectively on in the coming months.
    • To prepare for this meeting, it will help greatly if each of you will give some ahead of time to this question Of the (dozens of!) serious problems facing us and our neighbors right now, which are YOU most passionate about, and which might YOU want to devote some of your time and talents to?
  • We will then go through a “multi-vote” process together, to hear from each other and prioritize the best organizing issues that we can build Action Teams and healthy community power around.

Nothing’s off the table, so bring your candidate issue(s) and let’s have a meaningful — and fun! — time together.  Some things to think about in considering potential issues…

  • It is in line with WeROC’s mission and vision?
  • Is there a local decision-maker?
  • It it winnable?
  • Does it increase WeROC’s visibility in the community?
  • Does WeROC have the resources to engage?

Please join us on April 8th and help determine priorities for WeROC and the formation of Action Teams — at what feels like an incredible moment in history.

ALSO, SAVE THE DATE:  Saturday, April 17th 10:00am-2:00pm for an important next step:  an “Organizing 101” training with our sister organization MOSES in Detroit, on ZOOM.  Look for an invitation shortly — and whether you’re a seasoned WeROCer or a newcomer, let’s all keep learning about building blocks like 1:1’s, self-interest, building power, and more.

Cindy Bodewes
cbodewes@umich.edu
734-358-6994

Agitation is an act of Love

WeROC’s easy-to-use website:  www.werocmi.org

And follow us at Facebook.com/werocmi

March 2021 WeROC Meeting of the Whole

WeROC Members, Friends, Supporters —  Click here to register before this month’s WeROC Meeting of the Whole.  THIS Thursday, March 4, 5:30-6:30.

Attached are the Agenda for Thursday’s Meeting of the Whole and a one-page tutorial for powerful 1 on 1’s.

Building relationships to build long-term grassroots power through 1 on 1’s.  Our agenda Thursday will help us all learn more about why our ability to make real change depends on building our networks of strong human relationships with each other, with our allies, and with local decision-makers.  Ongoing 1 on 1’s are the foundation of the organizing tools that WeROC and MOSES share with our fellow Gamaliel Network affiliated organizations around Michigan and the country.

We will have a demonstration of a 1 on 1 (as requested in the February meeting).  This will better prepare us for additional training opportunities we’ll be offering in the coming months in techniques for long-term organizing for community power.

The relationships we build now are the path to winning real improvements in County residents’ lives through campaigns for more equitable criminal justice, mental health, and COVID services — and other equity improvements that bubble up from you and your congregations, union locals, community organizations, and neighbors.

We hope you’ll register now for some healthy power-building this Thursday….!

Cindy Bodewes for the WeROC Leadership Team

Leadership Team Contact info on our updated Website: werocmi.org;

Like and follow our Facebook Page:  Facebook.com/werocmi.

Cindy Bodewes
cbodewes@umich.edu
734-358-6994

Agitation is an act of Love

February 2021 WeROC Meeting of the Whole

WeROC Members, Friends, Supporters —  Click here to register before this month’s WeROC Meeting of the Whole.

Please join us this Thursday, February 4th, 5:30-6:30 where we will talk about building power in relation to our past, current, and future initiatives like the Justice Matters Campaign and our Mental Health Equity work.  We will have a short tutorial on power-building using a “case study” of our Mental Health Equity Action Team (attached), followed by a discussion of the next steps and actions for digging into criminal justice, mental health equity issues, and the intersection of the two.

We will talk about the Gamaliel Network’s brand of power-building and next steps in planning WeROC actions to grow the power and voice of people on the margins.  The new WeROC Leadership Team wants to hear your thoughts and aspirations for our organization and for your role in helping to build the Beloved Community.

Please plan to be with us on Thursday the 4th to share your thoughts for power-building for a more just, united, and caring Washtenaw.

Cindy Bodewes for the WeROC Leadership Team

Leadership Team Contact info on our updated Website: werocmi.org;

Like and follow our Facebook Page:  Facebook.com/werocmi.

January 2021 WeROC Meeting of the Whole

Hello WeROC Community–

Despite it all, an incredible year for this organization:  From several very effective voter engagement efforts — to a broad bottom-up Justice Matters campaign where we all learned much about the role of County Prosecutor and the candidates — to new relationships with officials in a position to transform our local criminal justice system…WeROC is hitting the ground running for 2021.  

Join us for our January First Thursday “Meeting of the Whole” on January 7 and help elect officers to the new WeROC Provisional Leadership Team.  Register at this link.

  • The informal WeROC leadership table of the past 2 years, the “Reset Committee,” agreed that a more formal leadership structure will be needed for the exciting but challenging fights WeROC will be taking on in 2021, and for building our capacity.  They commissioned a Nominating Committee (Pastor Jeff Harrold, Cindy Bodewes, and Tad Wysor), who are very pleased to propose the slate below of long-time and connected WeROC leaders who have agreed to serve if elected.
  • The Leadership Team elected January 7 will serve for one year, or less if WeROC is able to pick up where COVID forced us to leave off — when we’ll formalize memberships from local institutions and individuals, delegates from which will then create our first Board of Directors and Executive Officers.

Proposed Slate for the WeROC Provisional Leadership Team (with affiliations for identification), to be voted on at the January 7 meeting:

President:  Cindy Bodewes, Church of the Good Shepherd
Vice President:  Charlotte Tillerson, President, Ypsilanti Community Education Association
Secretary:  Audrey Anderson, Community Church of God
Treasurer:  Rita Turner-Sheerin, Voters not Politicians
Clergy Representative:  Rev. Jeff Harrold, Pastor, New Beginnings Community Church of Washtenaw County
Lead Organizer:  Tad Wysor, First Congregational UCC (Ypsi), AFGE Local 3907 (EPA), Huron Valley Area Labor Federation (AFL-CIO)

Please contact any of us on the Nominating Committee with any questions.

Cindy Bodewes (cbodewes@umich.edu, 734-358-6994)
Pastor Jeff Harrold (revharrold@gmail.com, 734-417-0782)
Tad Wysor (tadwysor@gmail.com, 734-883-3225)

Stay tuned for more about our major upcoming Justice Matters Teach-In on Organizing for Local Criminal Justice Reform

  •  AND let’s all find ways to spread the word about what appear to be safe, effective, and life-saving COVID vaccines — especially among our neighbors who have every reason to be skeptical in light of our country’s past bad failures in providing medical care for all. 

Thanks to Betsy and Jill for keeping our online and social media presence fresh:  Website: werocmi.org;  Facebook Page:  Facebook.com/werocmi.

December 2020 WeROC Meeting of the Whole

Hello WeROC Community–

Please join us for our December monthly Meeting of the Whole, THIS Thursday, Dec 3, 5:30-6:30.  Register before the Zoom meeting here.  We’ll send you the questions we’ll be discussing so you can give them some thought.

Thursday, we’ll follow up together on an incredible election season (OK, not completely over yet, but it WILL be, right?) when so many participated in so many ways — not just with massive voting. We’ll have a focused agenda allowing all of us to reflect on the lessons of the amazing voter engagement work of WeROC, MOSES, and many others — AND how we will keep that momentum going and growing right up until and through the next elections — as we now begin to hold those who were elected accountable.

  • At the meeting we’re hoping to have your input as we continue our cross-racial Justice Matters campaign for a more just local and regional justice system; as we review our progress on equitable community mental health services; and, in general, as we envision how WeROC’s unique grassroots organizing approach can blend with a growing number of local and regional allies to make the most of the historic opportunities facing working families and communities in the coming months.
  • We’ll be live-streaming (Facebook Live) and recording our conversation.  Several other groups in the region will be doing this also in the coming weeks, and we’ll all have access to each other’s learnings and creative ideas.

Also, check out the related event below…

Questions?  –Tad Wysor, WeROC Organizer and MOSES Liaison (734-883-3225) 

Check out our new, improved Website!  werocmi.org …And follow and like us at Facebook.com/werocmi.

Special bonus!  Right after the WeROC meeting, whether you’re a affiliated with a faith community or not, please consider jumping onto this event from our allied organizations ICPJ and Faith Leaders Forum, inviting us to learn more about the sobering new CREW Report, which will be an important resource in our continued Race Matters criminal justice system campaign in Washtenaw County: 

Next Thursday, Dec. 3rd, at 7:00p.m.  The Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice and the Faith Leader’s Forum are hosting an online Town Hall on the CREW report “Race to Justice.”

  • The Citizens for Racial Equity Washtenaw (CREW) is a group, co-chaired by Alma Wheeler Smith and  Linda Rexer, that investigated whether there are racial disparities in sentences by judges in Washtenaw County.  This one hundred page report found that Washtenaw County appears to have the same kinds of disparities in sentencing that we find nationally.
  • We hope you will join us as we discuss the report and how our faith communities might best work to bring an end to this kind of discrimination. We would also appreciate your  sharing this invitation with others that you think might be interested in joining us..

Please register for the forum at this link https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZMucuCtrj4vH9PFXaSnoJnMpKsgDAyk6u4a.

November 2020 WeROC Meeting of the Whole

WeROC Community: Thurs Nov 5 meeting at 5:30? Really??

Another virtual meeting??  After the election??  Well, yes, but please don’t overthink it, just go ahead and register at this link for our November meeting (5:30pm Nov 5)!  You’ll be glad you did. Yes, it’s 2 days after Election Day.  Yes, we’ll all be exhausted, and probably dealing with a million emotions.  But the WeROC Leadership Team decided that we should have our First Thursday meeting anyway…especially because if shenanigans are happening with the election, the enemies of community and democracy will be counting on our exhaustion to let them do their worst.

Soooo….even if not for a whole hour, let’s get as many of us together as we can next Thursday.  We’ll be able to see some faces we’re missing, do a little celebrating of some victories, and share what we know about what’s happening with the vote counting by that time.  And if needed, we can be prepared to bring WeROC along to join with others potentially taking massive action together as necessary — some good trouble — to make sure every single vote is counted.

  • Hard as it is to see past Tuesday, we’ll also take just a few minutes to begin looking forward.  WeROC leaders believe that we HAVE to make sure we keep the hard-won momentum we built throughout this history-making year — so we can immediately start next year winning real, fundamental change, toward a Washtenaw County justice system where all the parts are transparent, competent, and fair to every single resident — including building a major 3-hour Teach-In on organizing around real criminal justice reform in January.

Let’s keep leaning on each other as we create a massive turnout for the election — and then keep on leaning in and out of collective work as our personal lives require, to keep the overall movement-building going and growing.

–Tad Wysor, WeROC Organizer and MOSES Liaison (734-883-3225)

More on our new, improved Website at werocmi.org and at Facebook.com/werocmi

October 2020 Meeting with Prosecutor-Elect Eli Savit – Justice Matters Campaign

WeROC members and supporters —

Our Justice Matters campaign in Washtenaw County takes the next step we promised, after getting public commitments from County Prosecutor candidates at our July Townhall.  This Sunday, October 11, 3:30-4:30pm, we’ve arranged for County Prosecutor-elect Eli Savit to spend some serious (virtual) time with WeROC members and friends to go deeper into how he plans to be a part of making real, major changes happen toward racially just policing, prosecution, and judging actually be implemented, and quickly, as he takes office next year.  Register here to listen and learn with us.

  • We know that most of you and our allies agree that yes, this election is a key part of how we need to work together at this historic moment to build broad,healthy bottom-up power.  But we also think you’ll agree that we can’t keep making the mistake of failing to keep looking beyond the election, too —toward how whoever is elected begins to immediately use their offices to respond to the loud calls this summer for real racial and economic justice and community involvement.
  • And getting smarter together is key to that — creating opportunities for more and more of us to understand more about a complex and unaccountable criminal justice system that too many of us have thought too little about — but that we are now, together, committing to change with and for those who have been left out.

Hope to have you with us as we hear from Prosecutor-elect Savit…and then stay with us in the coming weeks and months as we all prepare to use what we hear Sunday to clarify and focus how we hit the ground running as he and others take office early next year.

–Tad Wysor, WeROC Organizer and MOSES Liaison (734-883-3225) for the WeROC/MOSES Justice Matters Campaign Organizing Team

October 2020 WeROC Meeting of the Whole

Dear WeROC Members, Friends, Supporters…

WeROC October Meeting of the Whole — THIS Thursday October 1, 5:30-6:30 pm: REGISTER here: After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

We all know we need to be stronger and more organized than ever going into this electionas well as immediately AFTER the election when whoever is elected needs to get busy working with and for our community to make big changes we and our neighbors have needed for years. 

  • WeROC leaders are looking forward to a solid turnout Thursday as WeROC prepares the next steps in our grassroots Justice Matters Prosecutor Accountability campaign AND as we get an update on our uniquely-focused voter outreach.

One more thing:  As our members and supporters know, a stronger and more bottom-up democracy is really what WeROC has always been about, right?  So isn’t it almost unbelievable how some powerful people, at all levels, are feeling so threatened by everyday people getting organized?  And so threatened by people here and across the country just getting together — and caring about each other and acting like grown-ups in a time of grave dangers — that they’ll try every trick in the book to see if they can strangle and destroy our hard-won democracy? 

  • It’s horrible, but you know what?  Doesn’t it just make it crystal clear that we and people like us must be doing something RIGHT together?  Let’s keep doing our part Thursday to build a big, broad, united, and winning movement for real change!

–Tad Wysor, WeROC Organizer and MOSES Liaison (734-883-3225) 

Check out our new, improved Website!  werocmi.org

And follow and like us atFacebook.com/werocmi