Interfaith Gaza Ceasefire Pilgrimage

Join us on Saturday, March 23rd for an interfaith pilgrimage dedicated to calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. We will use our bodies to map Gaza onto the East Bay, turning grief and rage into action as we pilgrimage together in unity, urging for an immediate and sustained ceasefire in Gaza.

This pilgrimage is part of a broader global movement of solidarity pilgrimages, taking place in 145 cities in 18 countries, including a pilgrimage on every continent!  Over 300 individuals have already committed to joining the walk, including over 500 adults and 60 children from over 40 faith communities.

Event Details:

  • Date & Time: Saturday, March 23rd, 7 am – 7 pm
  • Location: East Bay, CA (Starting in Berkeley, ending in Alameda)
  • Distance: 22-mile walk, symbolizing the distance from Gaza City to the Rafah crossing refugee camp.


This daylong journey will include scheduled stops for collective prayer and action, with opportunities for participants to join for shorter legs. A route can be previewed here.


Through this pilgrimage, we advocate for:

  • Enduring and Sustained Ceasefire.
  • Immediate flow of life saving food, water, aid, fuel and humanitarian assistance.
  • Release of all hostages – both the Israeli hostages held by Hamas – and the Palestinian hostages held in the Israeli prison system.
  • End of occupation so a just-peace can begin.

Proposed Schedule:

Our 22-mile collective pilgrimage will be broken up into the following legs, with meeting times and locations noted:
(Note: Schedule might be subject to minor changes. A final, confirmed route will be released the week of.)

  • Leg 1 (5.3 miles) : Meet @ 7am at Cesar Chavez Park, Berkeley 
  • Leg 2 (5.3 miles):  Meet @ 9:30 am at St Columba Catholic Church, Oakland. Will include mini Shabbat service.
  • Leg 3 (1.5 miles): Meet @ 1145am at Buddhist Church of Oakland – MASS PARTICIPATION FOCUS 
  • Leg 4 (3.8 miles): Meet @ 1pm at First Congregational Church of Oakland
  • Leg 5 (4.0 miles): Meet @ 345pm at Lake Merritt United Methodist, Oakland.
  • Leg 6 (2.0 miles): Meet @ 545pm at Buena Vista United Methodist Church, Alameda.
  • Closing Ceremony: Meet @7-730pm at the Islamic Center of Alameda (meeting at the Maya Lin School).

Mass Participation Focus:
We have created a 1.5 mile communal walk at 11:45am, from Buddhist Church in Oakland to First Congregational Church in Oakland – culminating in a community ritual and press conference. If your time is limited or you’d like to join for only one portion, we encourage you to consider participation with Leg 3.

Open to people of all faith backgrounds or none, the event embraces the tradition of sacred pilgrimage traditions, inviting participation in prayer, liturgy, and ritual. 

*For those interested in participating in the Ceasefire Pilgrimage on March 23rd, we would like to provide full disclosure that you, your participating party, and loved ones may be captured in photos and film. We kindly ask that you be mindful if you prefer not to be filmed. Rest assured, images of participating children will be respectfully covered.

As part of our commitment to transparency and inclusivity, we encourage participants to use the following hashtags to help circulate the message around the global movement: #GCPilgrimages and #GCPEastBay.

Your involvement in this event signifies your support for peace and justice, and we look forward to coming together as a community to make a meaningful impact!

Participating Organizations and Congregations:

  • Albany/El Cerrito 4 Ceasefire
  • Alameda Family and Friends for Ceasefire
  • All Souls Episcopal
  • Berkeley Fellowship of Unitarian Universalists
  • Berkeley Methodist United Church
  • Bethel Community Presbyterian
  • Beyt Tikkun Synagogue
  • Buddhist Church of Oakland
  • Buena Vista United Methodist Church
  • Church Without Walls Berkeley
  • Clergy for Black Lives
  • College Ave. Presbyterian
  • First Congregational Church of Alameda
  • First Congregational Oakland
  • First Presbyterian Church of Hayward
  • First Unitarian Church Oakland
  • Freely in Hope
  • Haven Berkeley
  • If Not Now- Bay Area
  • Imani Community Church
  • Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity
  • Islamic Cultural Center of Northern CA
  • Jewish Voice for Peace
  • Kehilla Community Synagogue
  • Lake Merritt United Methodist Church
  • Lakeshore Ave. Baptist Church
  • Lighthouse Mosque
  • Middle East Children’s Alliance
  • Montclair Presbyterian Church
  • New Hope Covenant Church
  • Oak Life Church
  • Palestinian Christians for Justice 
  • Plymouth United Church of Christ
  • Rabbis for Ceasefire
  • Sacred Heart Oakland
  • Sama Sama Cooperative
  • Save West Berkeley Shellmound
  • Shomeret Shalom Community
  • Sojourner Truth Presbyterian
  • St. Columba Catholic Church
  • Strawberry Creek Friends Meeting
  • Twin Towers United Methodist Church
  • Zen Peacemakers


Consider making a donation as a spiritual offering. Participants are encouraged to raise funds for direct relief and mutual aid to support Palestinians most impacted.


To participate in the walk, volunteer, or attend, please sign up here

*We are making prayer scarves and signing up ensures we have one for you.

Stay Connected:

Join our Facebook event for updates and ongoing conversation.

Additional Information:

For more details and FAQs, please refer to our FAQ document.


Love Over Fear Oakland in 2024: Connection, Care & Community

Unveiling our Cultural Strategists– and What’s Next!

We are pleased to introduce our Cultural Strategists  — Amina Lei, B Dukes, Francisco Herrera — instrumental in bringing creative expression to our Love Over Fear campaign in Oakland. Gala King, the IM4HI Regional Director for Northern California and the dedicated organizer of our impactful Love Over Fear Oakland Project, passionately conveys, “Art and culture serve as foundational cornerstones in all social justice movements, possessing the extraordinary ability to open hearts, uplift spirits, and expand minds, thereby fostering tangible change.”

The Love Over Fear Oakland Project responds to the challenges faced by communities of color in Oakland, where economic inequality and public violence strain connections and hinder community collaborations. Hate crimes have heightened fear among Asian Americans, while African Americans fear police shootings. Latine immigrants stay in the shadows to avoid immigration enforcement. This growing anxiety continues to hinder collaboration and trust, let alone collaborate to solve shared challenges. Even in moments of great need, community trauma prevents us from embracing each other and forging collective solutions.

IM4HI acknowledges the root causes disrupting local communities and expresses a commitment to creating dialogue, reforming public discourse surrounding community safety, and nurturing connections among AAPI, Black, and Latinx communities. Through various mediums, including podcasts, photo series, and community concerts, IM4HI organizes initiatives centered around crucial themes of safety, healing, and spiritual rejuvenation. 

IM4HI was one of 33 organizations to receive a one-year grant from the San Francisco Foundation’s Bay Area Creative Corps Program designed to address and solve complex challenges by amplifying and mobilizing the creative potential of changemakers, and by supporting the solutions that are developed by and for communities that are most directly impacted. This grant acts as a catalyst to empower the infusion of diverse art and healing modalities into IM4HI’s transformative initiatives, marking a major stride in the organization’s mission.

Amina Lei 

Eileen X Lei (@eileen_amina) • Instagram photos and videos

Eileen Amina Lei, IM4HI Cultural Strategist, Oakland 2024

“For me, art is more than learning or painting; it’s a spiritual practice, a transformation from within”… “It involves using creativity and imagination with the goal of collective liberation in mind.”

– Eileen Amina Lei

In the realms of art and activism, Eileen Amina Lei, 41, creatively known as Amina Lei, stands as a luminary—a 2nd generation Chinese-Muslim woman, visual artist, organizer, and storyteller. Amina’s childhood, shaped by the revolutionary spirit of Oakland, represented the complexity and beauty of growing up in the diverse culture of the Bay Area as a self-taught Chinese painter, teaching artist, and illustrator.

Her transformative journey began at a young age, unfolding as a profound exploration of the power and struggle of creativity in confronting societal issues. Through her collaborative efforts with Oakland-based organization, Freedom Soul Media Education Initiatives (FSMEI), Amina manages dual roles as both a teacher and artist, dedicating her efforts to anti-racism initiatives within schools. Her connection to the vibrant streets of San Francisco Chinatown and Richmond neighborhoods, where she grew up, is evident in her work, consistently reflecting her deep-rooted love for the Bay Area’s community culture.

Amina’s journey, sparked by a referral from a sister from her mosque, gained momentum from her work in Los Angeles, including events like ‘Under the Sky, One Family,’ emphasizing unity between the black and AAPI community. This momentum continued as she extended her involvement to foster connections among the black, API, indigenous, and Latinx communities. 

Amina’s work now spans from community organizing in Oakland to the Muhammad University of Islam in Los Angeles, where she teaches an art course that cultivates self awareness, self expression, discipline, and creating your own business. Her artistic impact extends beyond traditional boundaries, contributing to illustrating children’s books and organizing events in Los Angeles, emphasizing solidarity among Asian, Black, and Latinx communities through the powerful lens of art and history. 

Amina stresses the crucial role of artists in social discourse, asserting that art breaks down barriers and cultivates understanding among diverse communities. Inspired by Grace Lee Boggs’ call to Reimagine Everything, she envisions art as the source for bridging communities and integrating diverse perspectives, aligning seamlessly with the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity.

“Doing this work of art and spirit is a beautiful endeavor. For me, art is more than learning or painting; it’s a spiritual practice, a transformation from within,” said Lei. “It involves using creativity and imagination with the goal of collective liberation in mind. Art, ultimately, is about manifesting something new.”

Joining IM4HI as a cultural strategist for the Love Over Fear campaign holds profound significance for Amina. “I am proud that we are doing the work centering our faith and art. My faith, my path as an artist and my passion for justice and social change is one,” said Amina. “I’m grateful to work with amazing community leaders and artists in my hometown of Oakland that have helped shape the woman I am today.” Amina acknowledges the city’s rich history as a leader in using art and culture for impactful social change and hopes to contribute to continuing that movement.

Amina’s philosophy on Love Over Fear becomes a clarion call—an acknowledgment of both light and darkness within, a refusal to fear uncomfortable truths, and a commitment to questioning the perpetuation of societal norms. This approach becomes the foundation for creating something new, enabling thriving beyond mere survival.

Navigating this transformative journey, Amina draws a poignant metaphor, likening it to a woman in labor—beautiful, yet accompanied by pain and trials — emphasizing that the work transcends the external. “It delves into introspection, unraveling the intricacies of being Chinese, being Chinese Muslim, and, more uniquely, a Chinese Muslim artist and woman navigating the complexities of our times,” said Lei. “The challenge lies in reconciling these multifaceted identities while grappling with feelings of isolation, a sense of not fitting into societal norms, despite advocating for belonging and safety for all.”

The internal work involves defining safety, cultivating unconditional self-love, and making a commitment to well-being. Art, for Amina, emerges as a vital tool, elevating and maintaining her well-being—a spiritual cultivation echoing the unshakable peace found in Islam. 

As IM4HI welcomes Amina Lei, the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity welcomes not just an artist but a catalyst for unity, understanding, and liberation. Amina’s work extends beyond the canvas, weaving a tapestry that transcends boundaries through the transformative power of art and love.

Stepping into her role, Amina will spearhead a captivating series of IG Live Sessions, commencing with a special episode featuring Executive Director Rev. Deborah Lee on February 23rd. With the focus on “Unveiling Love: Stories of Community and Social Change,” the podcast will explore the deep connections between individuals and their environments, while lifting up the ways ordinary people are creating community safety and building multiracial solidarity. The podcast will extend until June, encompassing a range of 10-20 interviews and creating a safe space for meaningful conversations and reflections. Tune in to our podcast, engage in community dialogue, and join us in taking meaningful action to promote Love Over Fear! 

B Dukes 

B Dukes BluMoon (@bdukesthetruth) • Instagram photos and videos


B Dukes, IM4HI Cultural Strategist, Oakland 2024

“In essence, we, as artists, take on the role of historians, diligently archiving the past, present, and future. Some of us aim to remind our communities of their roots, while others create awareness and cultivate hope for the future by acting as conduits for visions and possibilities.”

– B Dukes

In the intersection of art, healing, and community empowerment, B Dukes, 30, emerges as a passionate and powerful force—a Black, trans, non-binary organizer, sound facilitator artist, and healer. Committed to serving marginalized communities, including Black, Brown, Indigenous, Queer, and Trans communities, B Dukes plays a pivotal role in the pursuit of a more inclusive and interconnected world.

As an organizer, storyteller, and advocate, B channels their efforts into resource mobilization and bridge-building for marginalized communities. Engaged with the Freedom Community Clinic and the enigmatic project, WTFWTH, BDukes pioneers initiatives such as artist residencies, providing spaces for creative rejuvenation and envisioning future endeavors. 

Hailing from Batesburg-Leesville, South Carolina, B reflects on their transformative four-year journey in the Bay Area, with the upcoming fifth year marking a significant milestone. They emphasize, “Immersing myself in a community goes beyond physical relocation; it’s about delving into the intricacies of local issues and challenges. This understanding becomes the essence that I weave into the fabric of my artistic practice.” 

B’s approach is deeply rooted in understanding local issues and diverse communities, guided by the inspiration of proximity, purpose, spirit, and invaluable mentorship. This awareness becomes the tapestry of their art and healing practices, contributing authentically to the places they now call home.

Inspired by Marvin Gaye’s impactful melodies during their upbringing, B draws a parallel between art and culture, recognizing the role of artists as historians, diligently archiving the past, present, and future. Their mission involves encouraging, influencing, and sharing knowledge in ways that resonate and reach people.

“When artists engage with their tools, they communicate using the threads of their culture to shape their perspectives. In essence, we, as artists, take on the role of historians, diligently archiving the past, present, and future. Some of us aim to remind our communities of their roots, while others create awareness and cultivate hope for the future by acting as conduits for visions and possibilities. Our mission involves encouraging, influencing, and sharing knowledge in ways that resonate and reach people,” said B.

As a cultural strategist with the Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, B Dukes extends their transformative work, aligning seamlessly with the organization’s commitment to justice, freedom, and healing. “Love Over Fear,” envisioned by B Dukes, serves as a catalyst for stronger community bonds, fostering mutual understanding and connection, aiming to dismantle barriers and cultivate a profound sense of belonging.

With IM4HI, they will curate a Photo Series that spotlights community leaders actively providing safe alternatives to reduce violence and increase care in local Oakland. This intersectional and culturally rich exhibit is a testament to BDukes’ dedication to showcasing diverse voices and promoting positive change.

In this exhibit, B aims to feature a “Love Letter to Oakland,” expressing the heartfelt appreciation for the city’s unique and positive qualities. Guided by them, the exhibit reflects Love Over Fear Oakland’s “commitment to authenticity, imperfection, acceptance, and self-love”, serving a significant role in the transformative influence of love, art and collective action into the community. 

Francisco Herrera

Francisco Herrera, IM4HI Cultural Strategist, Oakland 2024

“Love is courageous. Love is intelligent. Love is effective and efficient. And we have to really recognize that and push that.”

– Francisco Herrera

In the heart of community and cultural intersections, Francisco Javier Brambilla, widely known as Francisco Herrera, stands as a transformative force. A Chicano cultural worker, musician, and co-founder of Caminante Cultural Foundation, Francisco, at 61, draws on his Mexican heritage, blending a rich range of music, storytelling, and activism, reflecting the depth of his d=contributions to his community. 

Born in Calexico, California, raised on both sides of the U.S./Mexico border, Francisco’s cultural work reflects a nuanced perspective. Guided by the influence of his father, he embarked on a musical journey at the age of seven, fostering a profound connection to art as a daily source of healing and communal nourishment. “The arts and culture have always been, not a performance per se, but the daily medicine, the daily vitamin,” Francisco articulates, emphasizing the role of cultural work in daily regeneration, growth, and community building.

A figure for decades in the human and immigrant rights movement, Francisco addresses systemic issues like war funding and racism in all its forms. A long-term collaborator with Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity, Francisco advocates for a compassionate and equitable community, challenging the narrative that love and compassion are impractical.

His engagement in the Love Over Fear initiative reflects a commitment to building communities that embody compassion and courage, challenging violence and harm, whether in Palestine, Israel, Mexico, and Oakland.

“Love is courageous. Love is intelligent. Love is effective and efficient. And we have to really recognize that and push that,” said Herrera.

The arts, including “liturgy as the work of the people,” play a crucial role in IM4HI’s approach, fostering a slow and consistent process of building relationships and creating safe spaces. The Love Over Fear initiative with Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity strives to cultivate a space where people can authentically express their desire to make a positive impact and build a beloved community. 

Despite the challenges posed by economic and social hardships, he emphasizes, “People really want to celebrate and be with each other and create spaces of love and support for each other.” Love, in its truest form, serves as a powerful motivator, transcending the influence of harm and hate. 

Francisco’s journey is one of unwavering dedication to social justice, using music and the arts to amplify marginalized voices. His advocacy for love over fear encapsulates a profound belief in the intelligence, effectiveness, and courage that compassion brings to transformative social movements. 

Looking ahead, Francisco’s role in the Love Over Fear Oakland project is organizing a lively series of three community concerts at the Fruitvale Plaza over the next six months. These pop-up events aim to celebrate diversity, nurture community bonds, and embody the transformative power of art and love. Showcasing the interethnic character of the Fruitvale neighborhood, the concerts will feature community artists, church choirs, poets and visual performers. More than entertainment, these concerts strive to contribute peace to the neighborhood and provide alternatives to traditional policing, sparking meaningful conversations about community empowerment and safety. Join us in shaping a city where safety is a shared responsibility and community connections thrive through music, cross-cultural engagement, and collective action. 

With Amina Lei’s powerful fusion of faith and art, B Dukes’ commitment to dismantling barriers through culture, and Francisco Herrera’s musical journey, IM4HI embarks on a transformative exploration of community empowerment led through creativity, unity and most importantly, love. 

Stay tuned for our upcoming Love Over Fear Community projects and events!

Together, let’s build a safe, more connected Oakland. The work with our Cultural Strategists seeks to create safe and thriving communities, recognizing that community safety is intricately linked to the well-being of the most vulnerable among us. 

We invite community partners, faith communities, artists, and collectives who resonate with this work in Oakland to participate in small or large ways.  To begin with,

How Can You Get Involved?

  • Explore our Love Over Fear 2023 Concert page on our website dedicated to the work with our first concert and Cultural Strategists
  • Stay tuned for upcoming creative projects led by our Cultural Strategists, such as the Love Over Fear Oakland podcast, photo series and community-driven concerts and learning what community safety looks like. 

Stay connected with us on Instagram and Facebook for updates on future events and initiatives. We look forward to building the Love Over Fear campaign and creating more opportunities for our community to come together in celebration and solidarity!


IM4HI Merch! T-Shirts & Hoodies

Wrap yourself in comfort with IM4HI’s empowering new merchandise and partner with us in reshaping the understanding of immigration and public safety – from punishment and exclusion to a liberating vision rooted in dignity and care, which amplifies the sacredness of all. 

Introducing our exclusive Love Over Fear (LOF) campaign T-shirt featuring the incredible artwork of Oakland artist, Francis Mead. Each shirt symbolizes the collective choice to replace fear, xenophobia, and racism with inclusion, forgiveness and shared humanity – contributing to the creation of safe and thriving communities.  

Get your hands on our stunning IM4HI sweatshirt, showcasing original artwork by Bay Area artist, Alex Rae Phelps. These fair trade organic cotton sweatshirts, available in a beautiful light green, feature our slogan, “All People Are Sacred Across Bars and Borders.” Choose between a yellow or pink flower and act fast – these beauties won’t last! 

New Arrivals for a Fresh Look! Get Yours Now!

  • Hoodies & Crewnecks: Stay warm and stylish with our brand-new hoodies and crewnecks. Perfect for the chilly Bay Area weather!  Hoodies are available with a $60 donation and Crewnecks are available with a $50 donation. Holidays supplies are limited so order fast to get in December!  

Love Over Fear T-shirts: Dive into the unique world of artist Francis Mead with our Love Over Fear (LOF) T-shirts. The golden yellow shirts stand out with exclusive designs that make a statement of choosing Love Over Fear in support of community safety.  Available with a $30 donation.

Looking for the perfect holiday or New Year’s greeting? Our new collection of cards, available with a $20 donation for a pack of 8, carry powerful imagery of hope and dignity through Alex Rae Phelps’ original artwork.

All items are available for pickup at our Oakland office or by mail with a $5 shipping fee.

Your donation provides direct support to recent immigrants and families impacted by detention and incarceration. It also fuels the training of volunteers and builds leadership to advocate for a just and caring world. Your generosity helps create a world where all are sacred beyond bars and borders.

Amplify the message that every person is sacred and support those formerly incarcerated or directly impacted by immigration this holiday season! Visit our website now, choose your favorites, and let your style reflect your commitment to equity, justice, and beloved community.

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