ISAIAH’s Prophetic Resistance: August 26, 2017

ISAIAH’s Prophetic Resistance: August 26, 2017

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We know that we are God’s children, and that the whole world lies under the power of the evil one.” 

1 John 5:19

In the aftermath of the violence Charlottesville, Va. that was a direct result of organized white supremacy, people of faith are presented with many important questions. What is our role in being oppositional to the blatant and overt racism that has flooded the airwaves? How are our roles impacted by our own individual races and ethnicities? And, how do we faithfully continue the work of eradicating our world of dangerous, systemic racism while also fighting off overt manifestations? These are just a few of many questions that have raced our minds.

As people of faith we have a steadfast, tried and true space and place to go with such qualms. We go to God. God created all of humanity as a reflection of God’s glory. God created this community with a Divine Will for belonging.

So while the world lies under the powers and principalities of the evil one, we have victory over death and its authority because of the power God gives us. Much of this power is found in God’s beloved community of belonging. We belong to God and to one another. Let us remember that as we wrestle, and pray, and fight, and win.

Together we will build the beloved community.




Faith leader and father, Melvin Siu has been released back into the arms of his wife and small children! In July while at work, Melvin was picked up by ICE for a 16-year-old deportation order, despite not having a criminal record. He is out on bail as immigration lawyers work on his case.

Here is his message to his supporters:

“I am so incredibly thankful and grateful to be with my family. It means the world to me. While I have a great lawyer, it would mean nothing without God being my ultimate defender. Thank you for letting him use you to pray, hold vigils, call officials and politicians, and donate money for my bail and defense. I am in awe of the love and support from my church, family, friends, ISAIAH and community.”

The battle is not over. Melvin’s lawyer was able to reopen his 16-year-old case and temporarily reunite him with his family but there is more work to be done to ensure this return home is permanent. In the meantime, keep praying. We’ll keep you updated as the case develops and let you know more ways you can help.

Nirvana and her brother speak about their father who is currently detained by ICE.

Repairing the Breach: A Gathering on Immigration and Incarceration

Several hundred faith leaders and community members attended ISAIAH’s Hennepin County forum on the unjust systems of mass deportation and mass incarceration at Greater Friendship Missionary Baptist Church in Minneapolis.

Invited guests were Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman, Sheriff Richard Stanek and County Commissioners. Freeman and Commissioners Marion Greene and Debbie Goettel were present. Stanek was not.

We pressed officials in the room to begin to dismantle mass incarceration by strengthening diversion programs and decreasing bails and sentences for low-level offenders. We addressed the need for the Sheriff’s Office to end its involvement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

It is vital for people of faith to find ways to keep families whole, uphold dignity and work to create just and thriving communities in Minnesota. We need our counties to be aligned with this for the public safety of us all.

You can read about the forum in this Star Tribune article.

Sheriff Richard Stanek. Photo Credit: Angela Jimenez for The New York Times

Hennepin County Sheriff, Self-Proclaimed Trump Administration Ally wants ISAIAH to Set the Record Straight

This week, an article was published by the New York Times about an ongoing effort to have local law enforcement legally collude with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) by honoring “detainer requests” – a practice that has been deemed unconstitutional. Hennepin County’s own Sheriff Richard Stanek was featured in this piece as a supporter of detaining people in jails until ICE arrives to collect them. According to the article, Sheriff Stanek says he is an ally to the current administration and he would like to honor the detainers, but would do so only if the plan was approved by the courts. “We want to find a way to say yes,” he said.

While Stanek is telling the NYTimes that he is working with the Trump administration to plot a “legal way” to break apart families, he is also telling ISAIAH faith leaders and clergy that we’ve been unfair to him and his office. We’d like to set the record straight.

Stanek’s office was unhappy about the news coverage of ISAIAH’s August 12th event, “Repairing the Breach: A Gathering on Immigration and Incarceration.” Stanek, nor a representative of his office, were present at the public meeting, although several invitations were extended and his office verbally told an ISAIAH staff member and a faith leader on two separate occasions that a representative would be “likely” to attend. Stanek’s office contends that we misrepresented their confirmation of attending.

An article in the Star Tribune that covered the event (article above) correctly captures what was said there. The co-chair did use the word “canceled” in reference to word received late Friday afternoon that the Sheriff’s office would not be participating. In hindsight that was perhaps too staunch a word to reference an opaque “likely” from Stanek’s office instead of a firm confirmation.

It is a critical mission for people of faith and ISAIAH to find ways to keep families intact, dignity upheld and just, thriving communities in Minnesota. We need our counties to be aligned with this for the public safety of us all.

To that end, ISAIAH met with Stanek’s office on Friday, August 18th, and we will reveal the contents of that meeting at the conclusion of a process to fact check the information that was presented to us. Stay Tuned.

Call to Action: If you shop at, you can support ISAIAH by doing your shopping through It’s the same Amazon you know but we will receive a percentage of the purchase price. On your first visit, just select ISAIAH from the dropdown menu as the organization you are supporting. And, then always shop using the web address. Thanks!


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