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's End Solitary Campaign
Watch IAHR officers, Kimberly Jenkins-Snodgrass and Gay Gardner speak about solitary confinement at Red Onion Prison and in Virginia prisons. TV Inside Scoop is actually two separate weekly one hour live political shows produced in Fairfax Virginia in a state-of-the-art "Virtual Set" digital studio. The Virginia oriented Sunday show is 6:30 to 7:30 PM Eastern time and the Monday National/International show is from 7:00 to 8:00 PM Eastern time.
IAHR'S Pen Pal Project
IAHR will be offering its next online pen pal orientation on Wednesday, April 25 at 7 p.m. All you have to do is register by clicking this link. If you have been unable to attend the in-person orientations, here is an opportunity to become a pen pal in the comfort of your home or office! Just sign up and we will do the rest.
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. Here's a link to a Google map of the Pen Pal prisons, their addresses, and DC population: Prison Map. (For a larger map, click on the square bracket in the map's upper right.)
Over 170 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.
As of the middle of March, over a hundred people from various walks of life have signed up to be a pen pal with someone in prison. Yet we still need at least another 70 pen pals!
Sign up for the next online orientation on Wednesday, April 25 at 7 p.m. by clicking here.
At this orientation, we will go over guidelines which will be sent to you in advance. We will also give you the name and address of a prisoner to write to. We will address any questions you 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.
For more information contact Rabbi Charles Feinberg at email@example.com or by calling 202-669-7700
Screening of the 2016 HBO documentary, "Solitary: Inside Red Onion State Prison:'
followed by a panel discussion moderated by Rabbi Charles Feinberg
|Sunday, May 6,2018||12:30 to 3:30 p.m.|
|Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington||4444 Arlington Blvd, Arlington, VA 22204|
A light lunch will be served in the Center at 12:30 p.m. The
screening of "Solitary" will start at 1:10 p.m. in the Activity
Room, followed by the panel discussion from 2:30-3:30 pm.
Sponsored by Amnesty International of Northern Virginia, Interfaith Action for Human Rights, Social Workers Against Solitary Confinement, and the Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington
Johnny Perez is the Director of the U.S. Prison Program for the National Religious Campaign Against Torture, a membership organization committed to ending U.S.-sponsored torture, and cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. He adds value, insight, and leadership to existing campaign efforts working to end the torture of solitary confinement, while building the capacity of religious leaders and directly impacted communities to engage in education and advocacy in the United States.
Drawing on the wisdom of thirteen years of direct involvement with the criminal justice system, Johnny also works to change unjust policies and practices in the criminal justice system through his participation as a newly appointed member of the NY Advisory Committee to The US Civil Rights Commission. Johnny is also a member of the NYC Bar Association’s Correction and Reentry Committee and is on the board of directors of both Space on Ryder Farm and the Juvenile Law Center.
Kimberly Jenkins- Snodgrass is the
Throughout her partnership with the late justice warrior, Joyce Ann Brown, and her
When Ms. Jenkins-Snodgrass experienced the injustice of the system firsthand with her son's wrongful incarceration, her faith in the system was lost. However, her
Charles M. Feinberg is the executive director of Interfaith Action for Human Rights. He was a congregational rabbi for 42 years. He served and led congregations in Wisconsin, New York, British Columbia, and Washington, DC. During his career, Rabbi Feinberg has been an advocate for Central American Refugees, the poor and the homeless, for interfaith dialogue and cooperation, and for respecting the human rights of both Palestinians and Israelis. Rabbi Feinberg received his rabbinical ordination from the Jewish Theological Seminary of America. He has been the executive director of IAHR since 2015.
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