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Our Story                   

“The Welcoming” Immigrant Rights Peace Sculpture

Our story includes a current major project on the U.S. border with Mexico, pictured here. Follow our progress and support this project with your generous (U.S. Tax Deductible) contribution to our immigrant rights sculpture project that is a gift to the City of Laredo, Texas, ...a Statue of Liberty for our time, ...this time on the U.S. border with Mexico.  Our peace sculpture is 65 Feet long by over 20 Feet high.  The beautiful and meaningful monumental bronze, “The Welcoming” Immigrant Rights Peace Sculpture.  Join our staff in this important peace project and join us in our journey for a loving and generous world!  Pictured in photo are City of Laredo government officials, Abrazo Partners (the project architectural consortium) and community leaders, including the Consul General of the Mexican Consulate in Laredo, Texas, with our world renown Italian sculptor Marcello Giorgi standing just behind “The Welcoming” Immigrant Rights Peace Sculpture Maquette, gifted to the City of Laredo by the OWHR Institute-Quebec/Arts Way Home Charitable Fund, Inc. and sculptor, Marcello Giorgi in their historic collaborative project, in partnership with the City of Laredo, Texas.

DONATE NOW

Contribute generously to “The Welcoming” Immigrant Rights Peace Sculpture

and build our momentum for our beautiful, important immigrant rights monumental bronze sculpture, over 65 Feet long by over 20 Feet high.

Your  contribution to  build this long-overdue “Statue of Liberty for our  time,” (this time on  the U.S. border with Mexico) on Laredo city land, at the approach to the largest Inland Port of Entry in the US, in Laredo, Texas will be tax deductible -  501(c)(3) (Pending) -- EIN-83-0795822.

Your check, made out to Arts Way Home Charitable Fund can be mailed to: Arts Way Home Charitable Fund Inc, P.O. Box 48696, Washington, D.C 20002.

Thanks for your support!

Our Approach

Our Staff is diverse and experienced.  We are committed to preparing Policies of Generosity for our communities and our world! Moving the world to shift from thousands of years of the Great Nations (Empires) and small nations using power and domination, which has failed for over six thousand years.  Instead, people the world over yearn for, ...desire love, ...kindness.  For the sake of our survival as a species, in order for all individuals and families to live good lives, our world and its leaders must shift to embracing, Policies of Generosity.

 

 

Meet the Team

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Isaac Romano

Our Founder & Executive Director

 

Isaac Romano is founder and executive director of the Our Way Home Research Institute for War Resistance and Policy Alternatives - Quebec and co-coordinator of the Quebec chapter of the Network of Spiritual Progressives. He is director of the Jewish Community Centre of the Eastern Townships and Montreal – NSP. Originally from the leadership of Seattle's Kadima, Isaac Romano's welcoming diversity skills and bridge-building programs have brought major media attention to his war resistance and community building projects in the US and in eastern and western Canada. Most recently Isaac Romano was invited to speak to 3,000 muslim women, men and children, as the lone jewish invitee to the december 2013 Palais des Congrès de Montréal conference opposing Quebec's discriminatory Charter of Values legislation.

Isaac Romano's work with children and families informed his peace and community building work toward creating a world without violence. Romano was among the Our Way Home Research Institute presenters at the University of Edinburgh's Centre for Canadian Studies' International Conference, "Canada as Refuge" in may 2008, and his peace work is highlighted in both the Sunday New York Times and front page Los Angeles Times.

Isaac Romano reminds us, "President Trump and his racist associate, Attorney General Jeff Sessions perpetrate hate crimes that also constitute war crimes towards defenseless children, with the world watching. These parents and their children migrate in order to find security, to make better lives. As we are witness!"

"Isaac Romano has a feeling for the developmental and emotional needs of young children and their parents and other caretakers that I have only seen matched by Fred Rogers (of P.B.S.' Mr. Roger's Neighborhood), with whom I have worked as a consultant for twenty-three years." - Dr. Michael Rothenberg, former Director of Psychiatry at Children's Hospital in Seattle and nationally known child and family advocate, who co-authored the 5th and 6th edition of Dr. Spock's Baby and Childcare book.

Fred Rogers and Isaac Romano First- Time-Meeting at NAEYC National Conference (Anaheim, California, USA 1995)

 

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Catherine Richardson / Kianewesquao

 

 

 

Catherine Richardson/Kinewesquao is key Advisory Staff, often assisting Isaac Romano as a leading voice and consultant who represents the organization in all its projects, providing an intersectional analysis. Catherine Richardson is a professor, researcher and psychotherapist living in Montreal.  She has Cree, Gwichin and Dene ancestry. Catherine is an Associate Professor at the University of Montreal in the School of Social Work and has a private counselling practice at Sedona Centre.  Her areas of specialization include Indigenous practices and methodologies, supporting children and youth in the context of child welfare and addressing violence against women and children. Her projects are grounded in Indigenous methodologies which include the recognition of traditional lands, contextualzing research and practice historically, in self-location, and with an intersectional analysis of power.  She is a co-founder of the Centre for Response-Based practice, an organization which focuses on addressing interpersonal and intimate partner violence. Dr. Richardson’s current research projects include a study on the Metis in Quebec, working with Indigenous youth stories and she is the Quebec coordinator for the Canadian Domestic Homicide Prevention Initiative with Vulnerable Populations. She has produced 12 co-authored, peer-reviewed articles and five which are single-authored; 11 co-authored peer-reviewed book chapters and four which are single-authored.  Dr. Richardson was a candidate for the Green Party in the Quebec provincial election in the fall of 2018. She is a co-organizer of the Dignity conferences internationally.

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Jonathan Hafetz

 

 Advisory Specialist to the OWHR Institute’s “Monitor and Policy” Working Group and the OWHR Institute’s Amnesty Working Group.

Professor Jonathan Hafetz is an expert on human rights, constitutional law, national security, and international justice issues.  He joined Seton Hall Law School in 2010.  Professor Hafetz is the author of Habeas Corpus after 9/11: Confronting America’s New Global Detention System (NYU Press 2011), which received the American Bar Association’s Silver Gavel Award for Media and the Arts, Honorable Mention, and the American Society of Legal Writers, Scribes Silver Medal Award.  He is the editor of Obama’s Guantanamo: Stories from an Enduring Prison (NYU Press 2016) and the co-editor (with Mark Denbeaux) of The Guantanamo Lawyers: Inside a Prison Outside the Law (NYU Press 2009). Professor Hafetz’s scholarship has appeared in many publications, including the Yale Law Journal, UCLA Law Review, Columbia Law Review Sidebar, Wisconsin Law Review, William & Mary Law Review, International Journal of Human Rights, and Cambridge Journal of Comparative & International Law, and has been cited by numerous courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.  He is currently working on a book about international criminal justice, to be published by Cambridge University Press.

Professor Hafetz is also an internationally recognized constitutional and human rights lawyer.  Prior to joining Seton Hall, he was a senior attorney at the American Civil Liberties Union, a litigation director at New York University’s Brennan Center for Justice, and a John J. Gibbons Fellow in Public Interest and Constitutional Law at Gibbons, P.C.  He has litigated numerous cases at all level of the federal courts, including Al-Marri v. Spagone, 555 U.S. 1220 (2009), Boumediene v. Bush, 553 U.S. 723 (2008), Munaf v. Geren, 553 U.S. 674 (2008), Rasul v. Rumsfeld, 542 U.S. 466 (2004), Meshal v. Higgenbotham, 804 F.3d 417 (D.C. Cir. 2015), Salahi v. Obama, 625 F.3d 740 (D.C. Cir. 2010), and Jawad v. Obama (D.D.C. 2009).  Professor Hafetz has authored or co-authored more than thirty amicus curiae briefs for the U.S. Supreme Court and federal courts of appeals.

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Matt Adams

 Advisory Specialist

 

Advisory Specialist staff member to the OWHR Institute Quebec and Executive Board Member to our Arts Way Home Charitable Fund, Inc. (Washington, D.C.) for our monumental bronze immigrant rights sculpture placement and partnership with the City of Laredo, Texas.  Matt Adams is also Advisory Staff to our “Monitor and Policy” Working Group and the OWHR Institute’s Amnesty Working Group.

Matt Adams is the legal director for Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, where he has worked since 1998 representing immigrants from all over the world. He has an extensive practice in federal courts with thirteen published decisions granting relief to his clients in the United States Courts of Appeals.  In addition, he has served as class counsel in several successful class action challenges before federal district courts, including Franco-Gonzalez, et al. v. Holder, et al., where the district court granted class certification on behalf of detained individuals with mental impairments, and issued a permanent injunction, ordering the United States to create the the very first appointed counsel system in the immigration courts.  Franco-Gonzalez v. Holder, 2013 WL 3674492 (C.D.Cal. 2013). He was also class counsel in A.B.T. v. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services,  2013 WL 5913323 (W.D.Wash. 2013),  representing a successful nationwide class challenge to practices preventing asylum applicants from obtaining employment authorization. Much of his litigation is focused on challenges to immigration detention. 

Matt is a member of the King County Public Defenders Advisory Board and the National Immigration Project’s Board of Directors. Matt graduated from UC Berkeley Law and received his undergraduate degree from Brigham Young University.

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Steven Fischler

 

OWHR Institute-Quebec Filmmaker-In- Residence and staff advisor. Steven Fischler will prepare the “Immigration and Immigrant Rights” multi-media video installation to accompany “The Welcoming” Immigrant Rights Peace Sculpture placement in cities around the world, working in collaboration with each city-partner, telling each city’s detailed story of immigration and immigrant rights.

Steven Fischler is a recipient of numerous awards including a Guggenheim Fellowship in Film, Emmy Award, Cine Golden Eagles and the John Grierson Award for Social Documentaries. He and Joel Sucher founded Pacific Street Films in 1971, and they have produced and directed documentary films for venues as diverse as the United Nations, the BBC and commercial and public television in the United States. These include portraits of Hollywood artists like Martin Scorsese, Oliver Stone and Jessica Lange, as well as investigations of police surveillance and misconduct. Pacific Street Films produced many social and historical documentaries, such as “From Swastika To Jim Crow,” which tells the story of Jewish Refugee scholars driven from Germany by the Nazis who found teaching positions in the Jim Crow South. Both the Museum of Modern Art and the Harvard Film Archives have honored Pacific Street Films with career retrospective programs.

Pacific Street Films has produced major museum exhibitions. They partnered with the Museum of Jewish Heritage in NYC on an exhibit -- based on their documentary -- entitled, “Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges," which toured African American and Jewish venues nationwide for several years. They have also produced exhibits for the Museum of Natural History and other institutions. Steven Fischler was the director of the PBS documentary, “Beyond Wiseguys: Italian Americans & The Movies” and the producer of “Dressing America: Tales From The Garment Center,” broadcast in 2014. Fischler wrote and directed the documentary, “Five Finger Discount: A Crooked Family History,” based on the best selling memoir by Helene Stapinski, which had its broadcast premiere on Thirteen/WNET in March of 2017.

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Gubara Said Hassan, Ph.D.

 

Dr. Gubara Said Hassan is OWHR Institute Advisory Staff Analyst, as a specialist in International Relations with a focus on Islamic Governance, Middle Eastern and African Politics. He is currently a lecturer at the Institute of Policy Studies (IPS), Brunei, where he teaches Islamic Governance, International Relations, Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility. He is also an adjunct professor at the Institute of African Studies, Carleton University, Canada. He had been a researcher and lecturer at Bishop’s University and Carleton University, Canada, the University of Helsinki, Finland, University of Oklahoma at Norman, U.S.A. and a Fulbright visiting scholar at Texas A&M University, U.S.A, and University of Bergen, Norway.

He has also contributed significantly to policy reports on International Terrorism and Foreign Aid and Darfur for the Danish Ministry for Foreign Affairs in 2003 and the Government of Finland and the European Union (2007) respectively. Dr. Hassan has also co-authored and published many book chapters and articles and participated in various international conferences, forums and symposia.

       Father Patrick Musumba

 

 

Father Patrick Musumba, Kenyan Catholic priest who speaks and prays with peace and unity as his core. Father Patrick is of the Mariannhill Congregation now serving in South Africa, while staying connected to his Kenyon diacece, following four years with the Mariannhill Missionnairies in Sherbrooke, Qc.

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       Father Reegan Soosai

Le père Reegan Soosai c.m.f. exerce actuellement une présence pastorale auprès de la Mission Catholique Latino-Americaine de Sherbrooke (Qc) qui réunit une assemblée de fidèles de près de 200 personnes tous les dimanches.
Fr. Reegan Soosai cmf, is a Claretian Missionary Priest of the Notre-Dame-de-Protection parish Catholic Church in Sherbrooke, Quebec. He holds a degree in Philosophy and in Theology. He is a Claretian Vocation Director for Canada. Fr. Soosai is a member of Ecumenical, Pastoral Counseling, Intercultural and Development and Peace committee of the Archdiocese of Sherbrooke. He is also the Pastor of Catholic Latino American Mission in Sherbrooke. He has a vast experience of having lived and worked with people of many cultural and linguistic backgrounds and has lived in Spain, India and Canada. He hails from the Southern State of India called Tamil Nadu. He is a liberation and people’s Theology proponent. He likes to walk the talk and he is working tirelessly to create a culture of Dialogue, Solidarity, Justice, Generosity and Peace which are values he holds high from his faith.

 

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             Vikki Reynolds

 

Advisor to the OWHR Institute’s Monitoring and Policy Working Group . Vikki's experience includes consulting, training and clinical supervision with refugees and survivors of torture. She has developed curriculum and taught Group Work, Trauma, and Diversity courses at Vancouver Community College, Adler University and the University of British Columbia. She received the Dean's Award for Distinguished Instructor from City University where she has taught for more than ten years. Vikki has presented her work internationally in Australia, New Zealand, U.S., and Ireland.

 

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  Reverend Colin Bossen

 

Reverend Colin Bossen  is Advisory Staff to the OWHR Institute-Quebec Immigrant Rights sculpture project, in partnership with the City of Laredo, Texas. Reverend Bossen is also Advisory Staff to the OWHR Institute-Quebec Foreign Policy Working Group and our Amnesty Working Group.  Reverend Colin Bossen is a PhD Candidate, American Studies, Harvard University, and Unitarian Universalist Minister. He is current acting Senior Minister of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Houston.  His academic work focuses on the relationship between theology and social movements. He has been involved in justice struggles for more than two decades, primarily working with indigenous communities, migrants, and marginalized workers in the transportation industry. He was a co-founder of CASA - Colectivos de Apoyo, Solidaridad y Acción, an organization which from 2001 to 2011 coordinated solidarity work with indigenous communities in Chiapas and Oaxaca, Mexico. Currently, he is part of forming a faith based committee to support the work of the IWW (The Industrial Workers of the World) Incarcerated Workers Organizing Committee in their effort to build a prisoners union. Reverend Colin Bossen is co-author, along with Julia Hamilton of "Resistance and Transformation: Unitarian Universalist Social Justice History."

 

         Yaya de Andrade

 

Yaya de Andrade, Ph.D. is Advisory Staff with the OWHR Institute-Quebec Monitor and Policy Working Group.  Yaya de Andrade is a Registered Psychologist from Vancouver. In the last 4 decades, she has actively worked providing a wide range of direct and coordinating services through mental health centers, hospitals, public schools, private practice and university. As a therapist, she assisted those traumatized by experiences and overwhelming circumstances. She also has been involved in teaching and training through projects locally, nationally and internationally. She is one of the founders of the Vancouver Association for Survivors of Torture, and was awarded the International Humanitarian Effort Commendation by the B.C. Psychological Association. Currently she is an Associate Faculty with the City University of Seattle, campus Vancouver.

            Peter Cohen

 

 

 

Peter Cohen is OWHR Institute-Quebec Advisory Staff with our immigrant rights sculpture project, in partnership with the City of Laredo. Peter Cohen holds a Masters Degree in Political Science from Rutgers University and a Masters degree in TESOL from New York University. Primary field and expertise, Cross-Cultural Relations. Peter Cohen has spent twenty-five years as an educator in New York City, Mexico, Spain and China. Peter is an instructor in the Humanities Department of Champlain College in Sherbrooke, Quebec, Canada. He is also Program Director of the Cross Cultural Center at Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. Peter Cohen sits on the Advisory Board of the Dominican Republic Sports & Education Academy.

         Dieter Duhm

Noted OWHR Institute-Quebec Advisor is Dr. Dieter Duhm and the Institute for Global Peace Work, Tamera (Portugal). Advisory Specialist to the OWHR Institute-Quebec’s Foreign Policy Working Group.

 

            Kyra Shaughnessy 

 

OWHR Institute’s Artist-in-Residence, Kyra Shaughnessy was raised with a deep respect and connection to the land, in a multilingual environment, with roots criss-crossing from India to Ireland. Kyra Shaughnessy’s identity as an artist is nourished by an uncommon diversity of experience and by a profound commitment to global healing and positive transformation.
Listen to all of her great songs

 

 

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          Alden Chorush

 

 

OWHR Institute Quebec’s War Resistance Writer-in-Residence, Alden Chorush is in the Ph.D. program in English literature at Montreal’s Concordia University and a Waldorf English Professor. A recipient of the Feige and Sydney Gasco Graduate Scholarship in Creative Writing, he brings a perspective that extends the institute’s scope of justice, pacifism and compassion to the nonhuman animal.  Here is Alden Chorush, our Writer-in Residence, in his own words: The anthropocentric model of Western civilization is unsustainable. What comes next? A renaissance of respect for existence, and the human animal restored to its proper place, as one of a multiplicity of equally valuable subjectivities.

 

Acknowledging the traditional peoples
and territories here in Quebec and Montreal

The traditional peoples of the Montreal area are les Haudenosaunee(Mohawk).

In Quebec, we also acknowledge the Inuit, les Abenakis, les Algonquins,

les Atikamekws, les Crees, les Malecites, les Mi’kmaqs, les Innus, les Naskapis,

les Wendats and Mohawks and the Metis (les Metisses).