Joint Statement


Religious Community of Chicago’s Northern Suburbs
On the Occasion of Justice Day, July 26, 2015

Fifty years ago, standing right here, on the Winnetka Green, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King said, “The clock of oppression is too great and the clock of destiny is ticking…. We must rid ourselves of the belief that only time can solve the problem…. It may well be that we will have to repent in this generation not merely for the vitriolic words and violent actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people.”

As a collective body of religious leaders, we deplore and grieve the recent incidents of murderous hate in Charleston, Ferguson, Baltimore, and New York and inflicted upon Sikh worshipers in Wisconsin, Trayvon Martin, Matthew Shepard, Ricky Byrdsong, and the unnamed and less known.  We also grieve the consequences of such hatred on both victims and perpetrators throughout the nation and the North Shore, a hatred long nurtured in attitudes of intolerance and prejudice borne of misunderstanding, arising from fear of the Other, a fear of difference.

As Dr. King said, “History has presented us with a cosmic challenge.  We must now learn to live together as brothers, or we will perish together as fools.”  Ultimately, the only way to begin to realize the dream of a diverse, multi‑cultural, multi-racial, and interfaith community living in peace and prosperity is to DWELL together side by side.  Dwelling in proximity to one another is not a panacea for attaining a just community.  Through dwelling and sharing together, we can learn to affirm and celebrate each as a living embodiment of the one God.  We can come to repent of our prejudice and discrimination, seek forgiveness and reconciliation, and bind together in a common future.  We can realize that in fact there is no Other; there is only Us.

Our goal in publishing this Joint Statement is to share the healing resources of our respective faith traditions, and to declare our common commitment to developing a diverse, multi-cultural community where all might dwell in justice, respect and peace. 

The long‑term goal that must unite us is a commitment to realizing a just, inclusive and diverse community. Toward this end, we commit ourselves to The Justice Project: The March Continues.

Signed (as of July 31, 2015)

  • Syed Wahajuddin Ahmed, Islamic Center of Chicago
  • Rev. Dr. Paul Allen, D.Min., Pastor Emeritus, Winnetka Congregational Church
  • Rev. Rebecca Anderson, Associate Minister, Glencoe Union Church
  • Rev. Thomas J. Ascheman SVD, Provincial Superior, Divine Word Missionaries, Techny
  • Bijan Bayzaee, Northbrook Spiritual Assembly of the Baha’i Community
  • The Rev. Debra K. Bullock, Rector, St. Mark's Episcopal Church, Evanston
  • Rev. Robert Burkhart, Morton Grove
  • Rev. Clint Collins, St. Peter Community Church, Northfield
  • Rabbi Paul F. Cohen, D.Min.,D.D. Senior Rabbi Temple Jeremiah
  • The Rev. Charles A. de Kay, St. Matthew's Episcopal Church
  • Rev. Lolly M. Dominski, Co-Pastor, Morton Grove Community Church
  • Rabbi Bruce Elder, Congregation Hakafa
  • William Ekhardt, Pastor, Evanshire Presbyterian Church, Skokie
  • Imam Hazim Fazlic, PhD, Islamic Cultural Center of Greater Chicago, Northbrook
  • The Rev. Lee Gaede, St. Andrews-Pentecost Episcopal Church, Evanston, IL
  • Rev. Dr. William Grice
  • Rev. David L. Haley, Central United Methodist Church, Skokie, IL
  • Rabbi Sidney M. Helbraun, D.D., Senior Rabbi Temple Beth-El
  • Rev. Bunny Hughes, Co-Pastor, Morton Grove Community Church
  • Rev. Richard Johnson, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, Park Ridge
  • Rev. Betty E. Landis, St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, Evanston
  • Rev. Deanna Langle, Lutheran Campus Ministry at Northwestern University
  • Rev. Jane Lionberger
  • Rev. John Lionberger
  • Rabbi Andrea London, Beth Emet The Free Synagogue
  • Rev. Bret Lortie, Senior Minister, Unitarian Church of Evanston
  • Rev. David Lower, Winnetka Presbyterian Church
  • Cantor Jan Mahler, Wilmette
  • Rev Susan Martersteck, Midwest Palliative and Hospice CareCenter
  • Lorelei McClure, member Wilmette Baha’i Community
  • Rev. Christine N. Meyer, Lutheran Church of the Holy Spirit, Lincolnshire
  • Rev. Martha Ross Mockaitis
  • Rabbi Evan Moffic, Congregation Solel, Highland Park
  • Rev. Dr. Karen E. Mosby, Evanston Pastors Fellowship
  • Rev. Richard Mosley, Jr., Hemenway United Methodist Church, Evanston
  • Rev. Dr. William A. Mueller, Winnetka Congregational Church
  • Fr. Robert Oldershaw, St. Nicholas Parish, Evanston
  • Rev. Marilyn Pagán-Banks, Ordained Minister, United Church of Christ and Executive Director, A Just Harvest
  • Rev. Dr. Michael Louis Pfleger
  • The Rev. Dr. Rex E. Piercy 
  • Joey Rodger, Evanston Friends Meeting (Quakers)
  • The Rev. Dr. Ann L. Rosewall, Senior Minister, First Congregational Church of Evanston, UCC
  • Rabbi Donald B. Rossoff, Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation
  • Rev. Dr. David Russell, Little Home Church, UCC, Wayne, IL
  • Muhammad Saiduzzaman, President, Dar-us-Sunnah Masjid & Community Center, Evanston
  • Rev. Greg Sakowicz, Pastor, St. Mary’s Church, Evanston
  • Rabbi Isaac Serotta, Lakeside Congregation for Reform Judaism
  • Reverend Jan Smith
  • Rabbi Annie Tucker, Beth Hillel Congregation Bnai Emunah
  • Rabbi Michael A. Weinberg, Temple Beth Israel
  • Rev. Kristin Uffelman White
  • Rev. David J. Wood, Glencoe Union Church
Contact us with your endorsement, c/o Gail Schechter, Open Communities, 614 Lincoln Ave., Winnetka, IL 60093
(847) 501-5760; fax: (847) 501-5722; e-mail