Dear Brandeis community,

It is with heavy hearts that we gather tomorrow for our weekly peace vigil, mourning the tragic loss of life of 17 children and adults in yesterday's school shooting in Parkland, Florida. With the sheer frequency and scope of school shootings and violence in our country, feelings of grief and anger can overwhelm us, and we may feel that our voices and actions have no impact.

When we come together in community, we remember that we are not alone. St...anding together, we find bread for the journey so that we might continue the long fight for peace and social justice that is so essential in our country and in our world. In that spirit, the Department of Spiritual and Religious Life and the Office of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion invite you to join in our weekly Friday Peace Vigil.

Date: Friday, February 16
Time: 12:40pm-1pm
Place: Chapel's Pond (indoors in Harlan Chapel in case of inclement weather)

Please know that any of our University Chaplains (contact info below) are available for you to reach out to as healing resources for our entire campus community.

Peace to you at this time,

The Department of Spiritual and Religious Life
Rabbi Liza Stern, Acting Director and Jewish Chaplain, 781-736-3672
Rev. Matt Carriker, Protestant Chaplain, 781-736-3573
Allison Cornelisse, Pastoral Associate for Catholic and Spiritual Life, 781-736-3574
Shrestha Singh, Hindu Chaplain, 781-736-3570
Muhammad Xhemali, Muslim Chaplain, 781-736-8742

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For the next three Fridays (February 2nd, 9th, and 16th), our weekly peace vigil will be meeting at 12:40pm at Chapel's Pond (instead of the Peace Circle outside Usdan) to accommodate for visiting groups from Buckingham, Browne, and Nichols school in Cambridge who will be joining our vigils


Please come to our Transgender Remembrance vigil at 12:20pm today at the peace circle outside Usdan. You're also welcome Sunday at 5pm (11/19) in Harlan Chapel to our Transgender Awareness worship service with Renee Manning.

Please come out Friday for our weekly peace vigil at 12:20pm by the peace circle. In the wake of the recent attack in NYC, we need each other and safe spaces to reflect on peace. So grateful for this space.

For this Friday's vigil, to be held at the Chapels. See this message to the campus yesterday: Dear Members of the Brandeis Community,

The tragedy in Las Vegas is hard to imagine or process. I am sure I am far from alone in feeling like mass tragedies, both natural and man-made, have been daily in the past few weeks, and our hearts go out to everyone harmed and suffering.

As is our tradition, we will gather for our weekly Peace Vigil on Friday at 12:20 p.m. This week we will... focus on support for those impacted by the Mexico and Puerto Rico disasters, for those impacted by changes in federal immigration policy, to reflect on​ the ​Las Vegas assault​,​​ ​and ​to ​demonstrate our support for one another. In hopes of coming together in a solemn space, we will hold this Friday’s vigil at 12:20 p.m. at the Chapels, inside or outside depending on the weather.

I hope you will join our chaplains, Student Affairs team, and Student Union for a moment of reflection for all those we have lost. We hope their memories will be a blessing, and that they inspire us to continue our work together to repair our world.

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News sources are reporting that President Trump is considering terminating the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

This move would turn our nation’s back on immigrant youth who are valued members of our communities. Terminating DACA would place the nearly 800,000 DREAMers whom the program allows to work and live in the United States at immediate risk of deportation. BorderLinks urges you to call on your elected leaders to keep DACA intact.
Join us on, August 31st for a national call-in day to tell our elected leaders to keep the DACA program intact.

Representatives: 1-888-496-3502
Senators: 1-888-410-0619
*Please call your 1 Representative and then your 2 Senators
Sample Script to Representative/Senators: “Hi, my name is X and I’m calling from City, State and my zip code is X. I’m deeply concerned about the reports that President Trump could end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA) this week. I support the program and strongly oppose any attempt to terminate or alter it. I urge the Senator/Representative to do everything in his/her power to protect 800,000 DACA-recipients from deportation and support their right to work and study in this country. There are three things I’m hoping your office will do right now. Can the Senator/Representative (1) appeal directly to the President to keep this program in place, (2) issue a public statement of support for DACA recipients, and (3) support a clean passage of S.1615/H.R.3440, the Dream Act of 2017?”

ON THURSDAY: CALL PRESIDENT TRUMP: (202) 456-1111 (please leave a message)
Sample Script for President Trump: “I’m from [City, State]. I support the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and strongly oppose any attempt to terminate it or phase it out. DACA has provided nearly 800,000 young people the opportunity to pursue their dreams. I urge you to defend the DACA program well beyond September 5, protect DACA recipients from deportation and detention, and work with Congress toward a permanent solution.”

Both President Trump and Members of Congress must hear that we demand DACA remain in place until the Dream Act passes, and that there be be no gap between DACA ending and Dream passing. Also, DACA recipients should not be used a political bargaining chip to increase a deportation force and tear apart families and communities.

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Praying and mobilizing here in Boston, where tomorrow (Saturday), white supremacists, nationalists, and alt-right will rally on Boston Common. 1,000 are anticipated, with 20,000 or more of us expected to counter-protest. Whether you feel led to show up -- or prefer to witness in other ways or other places—please send prayers and good energy, and follow the lead of people of color groups leading this action and others. Wherever you are, please keep naming, condemning, and to dismantle white supremacy, nationalism, anti-Semitism, fascism, neo-Nazism, bigotry, and oppression in all their slick guises. Every action counts, however seemingly small or insignificant. From my own Quaker, Christian, interfaith, and white antiracist perspective, I’m finding it helpful to ask myself: What does Love and Justice require in this moment? Where is the Spirit of God leading us now? As I pray, rage, grieve, and reflect on this week, it’s been important to look inwardly and honestly at my own life. Just as the roots and fruits of war and militarism lie within, so too white privilege and white supremacy. It’s too easy to externalize. Charlottesville and Trump are simply signs and symptoms of a centuries-old disease. Where is this all headed? I don’t know, but God does, and the movement does. Surely, it’s time for Trump to resign, be impeached, or otherwise determined unfit for office- and it’s time too for his enablers to come clean. This will happen, or he will be decisively defeated in 2020. In the meantime, I’m trusting that, as history has shown, nonviolent direct action and resistance will continue to expose social evil, push public opinion, bring moderates off the fence, foment creative crises demanding legislative and judicial action, and, even, God-willing, convert opponents and enemies in the surprising work of justice and love. Named or not, God is with this struggle for collective liberation, and the dream of Beloved Community will never die.

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See you at the peace circle at 12:15pm today. Come to find inner peace, as you work for outer peace in the world.

The Peace Vigil is currently held every Friday from 12:15-12:30 PM. All are welcome!

Peace vigil at 12:15pm today at the peace circle near Usdan. So grateful for a community dedicated to peace. We're not in this alone.

Though classes have finished, tomorrow at 12:20 the Hunger and Homelessness group will be leading our peace vigil in helping us continue to reflect on our responses to homelessness, continuing our conversation last week.

Transgender Awareness peace vigil today at 12:20pm at the peace circle by Usdan, with help from Trisk.

Our peace vigil tomorrow will focus on kindness connected to Brandeis' Kindness Day/week. Please come as we consider how we can make America kind again.

Today, please join is for an event that has a long tradition, given new urgency. Our Chaplaincy have hosted a Peace Vigil for more than 8 years. Members of our Brandeis family gather weekly during the academic year for a brief non-religious, but highly spiritual, moment of reflection. In memorial of all the lives lost this past summer in tragedies in the US and around the world, the need for healing that such gatherings can offer is greater than ever.
You are encouraged attend our first (of this academic year) Peace Vigil from 12:20PM - 12:40PM at the Peace Circle, located between USDAN and Schwartz Hall.

Last minute update: vigil cancelled today in favor of going to this event:
Ford Hall, After the Occupation:
A Conversation with Ford Hall Activists, Interim President Lynch, and You
Thursday April 21
12:00 PM...
Shapiro Campus Center Multipurpose Room
Lisa Lynch, interim president
Ford Hall activists
Last Fall, campuses across the country were energized by a number of protests against campus racial inequity. Here at Brandeis, this culminated in the occupation of Ford Hall. The university and Ford Hall activists negotiated a multi-point agreement to address the concerns raised.
What has happened since? Join key participants in the occupation and resolution to learn how the agreement has been implemented, what changes have been made, and what still remains to be done.

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Today is Brandeis Friday (even though it is Thursday), so we'll be having our weekly peace vigil at 12:10 at the peace circle. Join us for a bit of peace