Bay Area CCs launch Yezidi genocide awareness campaign

14697465268_82fcf3e911_b-509_339Yezidis are facing genocide in Northern Iraq and four San Francisco Bay Area  Cooperation Circles are launching a campaign to raise awareness. They’re asking Cooperation Circles around the world to get on board too.

“We have become aware of the plight and needs of the Yezidis and other religious minorities in northern Iraq, Syrian and the Levant. Can you share these two opportunities to share solidarity with your Cooperation Circles?,” wrote Rev. Will McGarvey, Executive Director of the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, in a recent email to other Cooperation Circles around the world. “In 2014 Daesh (aka ISIS/ISIL/IS) targeted Yezidis and others for genocide. Over 420,000 Yezidis were routed from their homes. Thousands have been murdered. Hundreds of children have died of dehydration and lack of medical care.”

The Marin Interfaith Council, Silicon Valley Interreligious Council and Interfaith Center at the Presidio Cooperation Circles join Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County in launching this campaign. They will hold a press conference on April 15 (the date of the Yezidi New Year and Yom HaShoah, the Jewish remembrance of the holocaust) at 10:30 at Congregation Netivot Shalom in Berkeley, in cooperation with Yezidis International to express support for and solidarity with the people group.

Join the Action

These Cooperation Circles are asking members of the URI family — and others — two show their support for the Yezidi people by signing two petitions.

The online petition asks President Barack Obama, Senator Mitch McConnell and UN Secretary Ban Ki Moon to save the Yezidis from genocide. A second petition from Yezidis International is addressed to the United Nations. Organizations or individual wishing to sign on to that petition should send their information to Rabbi Pamela at rebpam@gmail.com.

McGarvey said he hopes these petitions are just the beginning of a bigger movement.

“We are attempting to start the education process that we hope turns into actions,” he said.

You can read the petition and McGarvey’s full letter below.

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Dear URI CC’s worldwide,
I’m Executive Director of a CC in Northern California, in the East Bay Area – the Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County, east and north of Berkeley. We have become aware of the plight and needs of the Yezidis and other religious minorities in northern Iraq, Syrian and the Levant.
Can you share these TWO opportunities to share solidarity with your Cooperation Circles?
• The online petition asks the President, Senator McConnell and UN Secretary Ban Ki Moon to save the Yezidis from genocide. It can be found online at http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/mr-president-senator?source=c.em.cp&r_by=6247855.
• The Yezidi International petition to the UN goes with my letter below. Please send your information to Rabbi Pamela at rebpam@gmail.com.
“We Belong to Each Other.”
Shalom, Peace, Salaam, Om Shanti, Solh, Amani, Paz, 평화, Ping On…
Rev. Will McGarvey
Executive Director
Interfaith Council of Contra Costa County

[gview file=”http://urinorthamerica.org/web/wp-content/uploads/Dear-Fellow-URI-Cooperation-Circles.pdf”]

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