Interfaith Action for Human Rights is a coalition of Mid-Atlantic faith communities and human rights groups that believe in a multi-faith, multi-racial, and multi-ethnic society based on human rights and respect for human dignity.
Our mission is to strengthen bridges among regional faith communities to counter racism and religious bigotry and to work to redress pervasive injustice in our criminal justice system. Particularly, we seek to change the culture, policy or practices that cause torture or violate human dignity.
Guided by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and the wisdom of our respective faiths, we work with faith and civil society groups to advocate for more just and compassionate laws and policies. We also develop pastoral and educational programs to engage and mobilize faith communities and the public.
IAHR Kicks Off Pen Pal Project For DC Residents in Federal Prisons
In the District of Columbia we are aware that over 4,600 District residents are incarcerated in 122 Bureau of Prisons (BOP) facilities around the country and are isolated from their families and loved ones. This makes it particularly difficult for them to successfully maintain supportive relationships and reintegrate into their communities upon their return.
IAHR’S Pen Pal Program is designed to link members of churches, synagogues, mosques and temples to District residents in BOP facilities. We are asking volunteers from each religious community to sign up to correspond with one imprisoned D.C. resident at least once a month for one year. We will be starting with ten Bureau of Prison facilities, and will expand beyond these to residents in other facilities based on our initial success.
Over 100 men and women in the BOP have already signed up for a pen pal. They are looking for someone who will reach out to them on a regular basis.
We plan to begin the program in October of 2017 with an orientation for all volunteers which will spell out the guidelines for communicating and address other concerns volunteers may have. We also plan to bring volunteers together periodically to reflect on their experiences and nurture the community of people who have come together to provide support and encouragement to this important segment of our community.
Be part of our effort to be a supportive presence for our incarcerated neighbors by joining this Pen Pal Program. We hope you will find it a rewarding and an enlightening experience.
The next orientation will be on Wednesday, January 17, 2018 at 7 p.m. at Congregation Tifereth Israel, 7701 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20012. Tifereth Israel is on the S4 bus line that runs on 16th Street to the Silver Spring Metro Station. You can register for the orientation by sending an email to email@example.com
For more information and/or to volunteer, contact Rabbi Charles Feinberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 202-669-7700
The Fourth Annual Spread Hummus Not Hate Bus Tour
October 17, 2017
Where We Stand
Programmatic Goals for 2017-2018
Reforming Criminal Justice
- Work with the Maryland Prisoners’ Rights coalition to support pending legislation in MD to improve prison conditions and restrict the use of solitary confinement. Participate in the 2018 Advocacy Day and other activities.
- Identify and mobilize a coalition to promote legislation and/or executive action to end prolonged solitary confinement in Virginia.
- Revive efforts to limit prolonged solitary confinement in the DC jail.
- Support individual prisoners and their families in efforts to improve prison conditions, especially around solitary confinement.
- Support national efforts to close Guantanamo.
- Advocate for policies and programs that ensure the productive re-entry of returning citizens from our region into society.
- Recruit and orient at least 30 pen pals for DC citizens in federal prisons.
Combating Religious Bigotry
- Lead and participate in annual interfaith projects such as “Imam-Rabbi Summit” and “Spread Hummus Not Hate” sponsored by IAHR and the Greater Washington Muslim-Jewish Forum.
- Develop an outreach strategy to engage more regional faith communities in the struggle against anti-Islamic bigotry.
What We Do
- Against Islamophobia
- Against Prolonged Solitary Confinement
- For closing Guantanamo
- Organize Petitions to end torture and solitary confinement
- Sponsor screenings, speakers and programs on the abuse of solitary confinement
- Sponsor legislation on solitary confinement
- Testify before state legislatures and local governments
- Track issues to keep our supporters and the public up to date
- Write articles, letters to the editor and on social media about our agenda
- Form coalitions with other human and civil rights organizations to advocate for criminal justice reform and to oppose anti-Muslim bigotry
How to Help
- Educate your faith community on our core missions
- Show Hawo's Dinner (anti-Muslim sentiment)
- Show Torture in your backyard (Solitary Confinement)
- Invite an IAHR guest speaker
- Provide advocacy on one of IAHR campaigns
- Organize a letter writing campaign
How to Contact IAHR