Welcome to the homepage of the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN).

Mission: The Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN)  builds partnerships among social movements and organized communities within and between the U.S. and Latin America. We work together through popular education, grassroots organizing, public policy advocacy, and direct action to dismantle U.S. militarism, neoliberal economic and immigration policy, and other forms of state and institutional violence.We are united by our liberating faiths and inspired by the power of people to organize and to find allies to work for sustainable economies, just relationships and human dignity.  

Misión en español: La Red de Líderes Religiosos de Chicago para Latinoamérica (CRLN) construye alianzas entre movimientos sociales y comunidades organizadas en EE.UU. y entre los pueblos de las Américas. Trabajamos juntos por medio de la educación popular, la organización de base comunitaria, la promoción de políticas públicas, y la demostración no violenta pero energética para desmilitarizar nuestras sociedades, crear alternativas a la economía neoliberal y desmantelar la política de inmigración de EE.UU, y otras formas de violencia institucional y de Estado. Estamos unidxs por nuestras fes liberadoras e inspiradxs por el poder de la gente para organizar y encontrar aliadxs para trabajar por economías sostenibles, relaciones justas y la dignidad humana.

 
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Want to sign up? Email shunter-smith@CRLN.org with "E-digest subscription" in the title or sign up here.

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CRLN gratefully acknowldges the support of the following Foundations: Crossroads Fund, Helen Brach Foundation, Landau Family Foundation, Pierce Family Charitable Foundation and Woods Fund of Chicago. 

October 9 and 10! Guatemalan Activist, Educator and Youth Organizer in Chicago!

CRLN will provide Chicago area venues for the annual NISGUA (Network in Solidarity with the People of Guatemala) Fall Speaking Tour. This year's tour features Alex Escobar Prado, activist, educator, and member of the Guatemalan environmental justice organization Youth Organized in Defense of Life (JODVID). Born out of the struggle for community self-determination and resistance to Tahoe Resources’ Escobal silver mine in southeastern Guatemala, JODVID uses the arts and popular education to mobilize youth in local and regional movements to protect the environment and defend territory. The group was founded in 2015 following the murder of 16-year-old Topacio Reynoso, a local artist and vocal opponent to mining activities in the area.

The tour will be a unique opportunity to learn about the essential role that Guatemalan youth play in building movements for social justice and liberation, and to hear firsthand accounts of the environmental and community impacts of mining in Guatemala. The tour will also create an opportunity for direct exchange with youth activists in the U.S. fighting for social justice in their communities.

Here is a schedule of his speaking engagements (all are open to the public):

30th Annual Pedal for Peace Photos and Stories

One of the best stories from the 30th Annual Pedal for Peace Bike-a-thon on September 23, 2017, came from the efforts of Joaquin Vazquez (bottom left of photo), who set himself the goal of raising $250 and succeeded in doubling that amount! Along the way, he educated his principal, his teacher, and his school about why it was so important to fund the projects he was supporting. You can watch a video of one of his presentations here .

66 people registered to bike and/or fundraise. Together, we raised $18,354 for projects designed to develop people's capacity to improve the quality of life in their communities through education, health care, land reclamation, deportation defense and affordable housing! Thanks to everyone for making this event a success!

Several people attended who were present almost every year of the event since its beginning, and several people biked for the first time with us. A looping retrospective of photos from past events ran on a computer at the registration table. 30 years of event t-shirts were displayed on clothesline, and Tricia Black prepared a photo display from participating groups of their projects. The day was sunny and warm, and we enjoyed the lake views and public art along the way. More photos on the next page:

Community Discussion on 9/27: "Sanctuary from Below" in Chicago!

Pedal for Peace on September 23!

Sign up now to ride in CRLN's 30th Anniversary Pedal for Peace Bike-a-thon on Saturday, September 23, 1-5pm! This is a great way to make a difference in the lives of people in Latin America and right here in Chicago! Last year we raised $20,000 to support scholarships in Guatemala and El Salvador, health promoter trainings in rural Colombia, legal aid for campesinos seeking land tenure in Honduras, organizing costs for deportation defense and tenants rights' campaigns in Chicago. With your help, we can raise even more this year. Please invite your friends to participate!

There are 2 changes this year:

Resisting Criminalization: Launching the Campaign to End the Gang Database & #Faith4DACA in DC!

Travel with CRLN to the border, November 10-12!

CRLN Statement on DACA Rescission: "President Trump Moved By Racism & Xenophobia"

It is a shame that President Trump was moved by racism and xenophobia to put an end to the DACA Program, leaving 800,000 young people and their communities in uncertainty. Those DACAmented individuals contribute in ways that go without saying to our beloved community. We are in solidarity with our DACA siblings and we will continue to fight with them for meaningful access to justice and opportunities to obtain legal status and legal protection for immigrants. We will continue to call attention to the connections between the attacks on DACA, local ICE abuses, and the overall picture of how much money Congress appropriates to the detention and deportations machine .”

TRUST ACT Victory a Great First Step! Faith Communities Must Continue to Resist Criminalization

Action Alert: Gov. Rauner has until August 28 to sign the TRUST Act!

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Upcoming CRLN Fall Events!

CRLN Fall Events

September 10, 2017, 3pm: Meet Donaldo Zuniga

director of the COMAL network , an organization comprised of rural communities in Honduras that work to promote fair and sustainable agriculture and marketing. Donaldo is in Chicago to discuss social movements, economic solidarity, food sovereignty and human rights. Click here for more information. RSVP to Sharon at the CRLN office, 773-293-2964, 773-293-3680, or shunter-smith@crln.org for location, public transportation and parking information.

September 23, 2017, 1-5pm: Pedal for Peace

30 th annual bike-a-thon to raise funds for health, education, legal aid, and community organizing efforts in Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Chicago. For more information, click here . To register as an individual or as part of a team, click here . Organizing together transnationally, we can cooperate in making healthcare, education, legal aid, and affordable housing available to more people.

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