Marin Interfaith Council: Emerging Visionaries

The Marin Interfaith Council 17th annual Emerging Visionaries event took place Tuesday, Novemeber 1, 2022 at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Tiburon.

Each year at this event, through storytelling, sharing emerging perspectives and timeless wisdom, faith and community leaders inspire attendees to see and enact their own vision for shifting the current reality toward a world where everyone thrives and is welcome.

This year, Emerging Visionaries: Faith in Action focused on how our spiritual roots nourish, guide and inspire us to engage issues of justice, inclusion, service, and peacemaking in our community and world. The speakers were Rev. Deborah Lee, Executive Director of the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity and Elaine Tokalahi, Director of Volunteer Services at Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership, MarinHealth Health Board Member, and Member of The Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’is of San Rafael.

Rev. Deborah Lee:

Rev. Deborah Lee is the Executive Director of the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity. Rev. Lee has worked at the intersection of faith and social justice for over 25 years in popular education, community organizing and advocacy connecting issues of race, gender, economic justice, antimilitarism, LGBTQ inclusion and immigrant rights. She has consistently sought to strengthen the voice and role of faith communities in today’s social movements.

Elaine Tokolahi:

Elaine is a humble Baha’i who resides in San Rafael. She dedicates her career and her personal life to the betterment of humanity. For the past five years, Elaine has served as the Director of Volunteer Services at the Center for Volunteer & Nonprofit Leadership where she gets to lead a team of amazing changemakers whose lives are also dedicated to service.

Events Resources

Pilgrimage to Angel Island

Pilgrimage to Angel Island 2022

On Nov 5, 2022, we led a pilgrimage to Angel Island, a multi-faith spiritual journey to remember, heal & end ICE detention, convened by Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, Center for Empowering Refugees and Immigrants, & Asian Prisoner Support Committee.

Pilgrimage is about reconnection with each other, with our ancestors, with mystery and the depth of life. We remember in order to heal, to recover collective memory, to decolonize ourselves, to restore our deeper souls. —Dr. Joanne Doi, MM.

Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity organized pilgrimages in 2010, 2018, and 2022 to Angel Island Immigration Detention Station, a national landmark that bears witness to the experiences of immigrant detainees. The Immigration Station on Angel Island (1910-1940) served to control mostly Chinese migration into the United States through a brutal and dehumanizing process. This interfaith pilgrimage explored:

  • The institutionalized othering and incarceration of people of color both in prison and detention systems, past and present
  • Discerning the role of faith responses to the immigrant struggle
  • Honoring the resilience of immigrant communities who assert their humanity and dignity.

Pilgrimage is an ancient spiritual practice in many traditions. They have evolved into modern journeys that evoke layers of meaning, collective memory, healing, and ongoing commitment to reconciliation, justice, and compassionate service. Our Angel Island pilgrimages are part of a tradition of postcolonial pilgrimages that revisit shadowed ground, sacred traces of suffering, and hope. The postcolonial pilgrim’s journey seeks restoration towards a regained wholeness by a re-centering, re-entering and recovery of history; it is a rediscovery that we are part of a living and vital collective memory. 

Angel Island Pilgrimage – More Resources

Congregational Ministry and Advocacy: the Angel Island Immigration Station Era 1910-1940 tells the little-known stories of faith leaders and religious institutions who ministered to and provided hope and physical care to immigrants who were held in detention at Angel Island Immigration Station. Their voices sought to improve living conditions, advocated for immigrants’ release, and fought for reform of unjust policies. Reading these stories kindles our spirits to be faithful and provokes us to ask ourselves: How are we to respond today? Co-edited by Rev. Deborah Lee of Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, and Craig Wong of Grace Urban Ministries.

Angel Island Pilgrimage: A Reflection on Roots, Migration, Detention, & Border Control – a pilgrimage guide by Kenneth Schoon, at the Graduate Theological Union’s Berkeley Art and Interreligious Pilgrimage Project

Text of our 2018 Ceremony to honor ancestors, past and present, who experienced forced migration and detention.

2018 Angel Island Pilgrimage Booklet, in English or Spanish:

2018 Angel Island Pilgrimage program booklet:

Events Justice Not Jails (JNJ)

Juneteenth Celebration & Call for Reparations

We were thrilled to host our first Juneteenth celebration in the city of Los Angeles, Saturday, June 18th, 2022.

People gathered from various faith traditions, races, and backgrounds to commemorate and celebrate Juneteenth, which marks the official legal freedom of all African Americans some 157 years ago, on June 19, 1865, in the state of Texas.

The celebration at Lincoln Memorial United Church of Christ showcased African American culture at its zenith, featuring the Crown City Drum Corps, Spirituals, Spoken Word, Storytelling, and an inspiring keynote message from IM4HI’s LA Regional Director, Rev. Dr. Larry Foy. We also had letter-writing to those incarcerated with Life without Parole, COVID vaccines and a healthy fresh vegetable distribution.
We invite you to read Rev. Dr. Larry Foy’s call for reparations with a message to heal, rebuild and restore Black culture & Black dignity through the following key points:

  • African Americans are Owed a Debt
  • African Americans are Owed More than a Check
  • African Americans want the Return of Stolen Land
  • African Americans want Rehabilitation
  • African Americans want Satisfaction
  • African Americans want a Guaranteed Future

Watch the video of the message here: Rev. Dr. Larry Foy preaching. Click here to read the full speech.

Check out the amazing Reparations spoken word piece: “You Owe Me,” by FreXinet D. Johnson.

Fill your soul with the song “Freedom” by Rev. Rod and Shandra Hines from Messiah Lutheran Church of Los Angeles

Listen to Mr. Al Reevers sing the African American Spiritual, “Hold On.”

Hear the beats from the Crown City Drum Corps youth.

Don’t forget this resource: our Faith & Reparations Toolkit.

The program was live-streamed on the IM4HI Facebook Page

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