News & Events

News from OWOF – September 2023

One World One Family Newsletter
September 2023

Lots going on now that summer is fading and we’re back to school & work. Chelsea is a committed community! Take a look!


A HUGE thank you to the individuals who responded to our fund-raising appeal. We raised just over $1150!! It is an amazing feeling knowing that you value One World One Family and the work we are trying to do.


The SPG continues to meet to address Police Reform

The SPG held several meetings over the summer and still found a large part of their time was spent listening to criticism, repeating their purpose and explaining what role the consultant was serving. The SMART team from EMU (the consultants) are experts on the organizational planning process and they are helping to focus the data received and to make sure all stakeholders are interviewed. They are helping define what the needs are within the police department and from the larger community. The police department itself is included in defining what their needs are. The SPG is working on a mission statement for the department and starting to refine its recommendations. (See the May-June newsletter for more history.)

Please consider coming to the SPG meetings to observe. Public comment occurs at the beginning of meetings, in keeping with other City commissions. This group has been working hard and this recent barrage of criticism has been very discouraging. Their goal is, and always has been, to help create a plan to build a modern, stronger, community-focused Chelsea PD. Next meeting is September 13 at 2pm in Council Chambers.

Sept 16 – Land Acknowledgement / Land and Water Blessing

Offered by Anishinaabe Nation Elders

Saturday, September 16 at 2pm at Michigan Friends Center

7748 Clark Lake Road, Chelsea


More information:

October 9 – Indigenous Peoples Day

The Human Rights Commission will be offering a proclamation to Chelsea City Council to declare the second Monday in October as Indigenous Peoples Day.

October 24 – Heather Bruegl – Current Native American Issue Update

On Tuesday, October 24 there will be an event at Serendipity Books featuring Heather Bruegl discussing current issues in the Native American community. Heather Bruegl is a public historian, activist, and decolonial education consultant who works with institutions and organizations for Indigenous sovereignty and collective liberation.


After the pride banner at St. Paul’s Church was slashed, concerned citizens from all around the community met and a new action group was formed! Their first action was to distribute signs and stickers to all the businesses in Chelsea prior to the Sounds and Sights Festival which brings many visitors to town. They then printed smaller versions of this sticker and handed them out in the Chelsea Fair Parade. Right now, committees within this group are looking at collecting stories for sharing in the community, exploring further actions, and offering LGBTQIA Information & Ally Training. Next meeting is Monday, September 25 at 11am at St. Paul’s Church, north entrance. ALL ARE WELCOME – this is a great time to get involved and show your support!

One World One Family has representatives as part of this group and helped to fund the stickers. We will help support and publicize all their activities. If you want a sticker, let us know!

Recently an article appeared describing the divisions that surfaced in a local church as they debated whether to welcome the LGBTQIA community into membership. This is a stark reminder that we have a lot of work to do. Even in church, Love Thy Neighbor only goes so far. Read the article here:

Housing Report – Western Washtenaw Advisory Group

The group of government representatives from western Washtenaw County meet regularly (formerly known as CAP/DART). They recently changed their name to Western Washtenaw Advisory Group to be more descriptive and have decided to devote quarterly meetings to the major common issues of housing and transportation. The September meeting discussed housing. Debbie Osborne represented OWOF and offered this brief summary:

Two speakers presented. The first was Amanda Carlisle from the Washtenaw Housing Alliance. She discussed that affordable housing meant no more than 30% of a person’s gross income, but that transportation has to be added to the typical figure of rent and utilities. Lower priced housing is often out-lying with large transportation costs. They are looking at public land the county owns and talking with non-profit groups and looking at underdeveloped land that could help with more affordable housing projects. They don’t do any actual development themselves but try to help direct funding.

Chris Lemon from Ann Arbor Area Community Foundation (which serves all of Washtenaw County) spoke to the needs of area seniors. They are gathering data to help drive future projects and funding. They believe that by meeting the needs of seniors it will also accomplish meeting the needs of others in the county. He made a point of not letting Western Washtenaw County miss out. He was realistic in knowing one township or city can’t go it alone.

Where can we go from here? Are we willing to see what might be available in our area. Do we make our voices heard at City Council meetings, Planning Commission and Zoning Commission meetings so they know this is an important issue? Want to explore this further?

Gun-Safety Awareness – Chelsea School Board Acts to raise awareness

This is the first time the school system has publicly addressed the #1 cause of death in young people. A significant step. From The Sun Times: The Chelsea School District recognized gun violence awareness month with a message and commitment to responsibility and safety.

At the Aug. 21 school board meeting, the CSD Board of Education approved a Safe Storage and Gun Safety resolution.

The resolution said in part: “the Chelsea School Board and Superintendent shall collaborate with local law enforcement agencies, medical and mental health organizations, and nonprofit entities to further efforts in informing Chelsea School District parents of their responsibilities concerning secure firearm storage within their homes, and to promote other gun violence prevention safety measures.” More details here.

We have to believe that the community demonstration on Gun Safety Awareness Day in June helped to make this possible. Next School Board meeting is Sept 25 and Oct 9. Let them know you approve!


INPUT & IDEAS NEEDED! Two upcoming events…

November will be Civility Month. This was first done in 2021 and different community groups offered programs around the topic of civility and disagreeing without conflict. OWOF offered a course on CLARA – a technique for establishing a constructive conversation with someone you don’t agree with. If you have an idea or represent a group that would like to participate, please contact us!

MLK Jr. Days of Service and Social Action. This takes place in January but a planning committee will be meeting soon. More hands make for an easier (and fun) time. Is this your year to get involved?? Ideas, suggestions and time much appreciated. Please reach out!

Rental Housing for Refugees Needed

Jewish Family Services is looking for rental housing for Afghan refugees. The housing market is very tight so they are appealing to anyone who may know of rental units that come available, particularly for families. Currently about 60 refugee families in Washtenaw County need housing and a way to become established. If you can help, please call Mira @ 734-883-1422

Opportunity to Learn or Refresh your understand of Structural Racism

This is still an important topic, especially given the attacks on black history.

Join ICPJ (Interfaith Center for Peace & Justice) for a series on Structural Racism by Ayo Magwood and Uprooting Inequity. Join us for all of the virtual sessions, or join the ones that you are able. Registration will allow you access to the materials that are shared.

The series is free but donations are accepted. All the info and description of the four sessions is here. The sessions are conducted remotely from 5.30 to 7.30pm. If you decide to do this, please let us know. Maybe we can have a discussion group at the end.

Please remember to check the OWOF Facebook page!
“Like” the posts so that we can get higher circulation.
Otherwise, go to our website. You can see our Facebook posts there.

As we said, alot going on. Thank you for your time and attention.
As always, stay engaged!
Your OWOF Team

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