Special Collections

Our November Special Collection netted $1,170 for Planned Parenthood. Thanks to everyone who contributed!

The January 2021 Special Collection will be held on January 10th to benefit Open Doors. Open Doors is a home base for success! Through programs, partnerships and advocacy, Open Doors has been helping families achieve housing success since 1970. Open Doors’ programs provide a solution to the housing crisis for low-wage working families. A home is a haven from the storms of life; the place where we bond, recharge, and renew. Imagine how life would be turned upside down if you no longer had a home. Imagine the endless cycle of imposing on family and friends because you couldn’t afford a place of your own. Imagine what it would do to your marriage, your children, your job, and your outlook on life. As families are strengthened, so is our community. For additional information about Open Doors visit their website

Lincoln School

Kalamazoo Community in Schools is looking for interested tutors to tutor children online. If you think you would be interested and able to assist students at Lincoln, please contact Jeme Baker via email: jemaileen@yahoo.com

Center for Transformation

Rick Johnson reports that mentors and mentees (parolees) are getting into the habit of meeting more and more online. Once a month they are viewing a different documentary on racism and then discussing the documentary.


You may have seen the story in the Gazette recently, describing new ways that local law enforcement is seeking to resolve the rising incidence of violence – rather than simply making arrests. The origin story of this work dates to the ISAAC Banquet in 2012, where you may have heard the speaker, David M. Kennedy, author of the book Don’t Shoot: One Man, A Street Fellowship and the End of Violence in Inner-City America based on Boston’s implementation of this approach as “Operation Ceasefire”, deliver his compelling remarks. Since then, ISAAC’s Gun Violence Prevention (GVP) Task Force has continued advocating for this effort and nurturing its development with the Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety and other partners, to bring this approach into practice here. This is what the program looks like now in Kalamazoo.

GVI (Group Violence Intervention) has now been implemented in Kalamazoo as a community-driven strategy, with a Coordinator as the nucleus, that includes community, law enforcement, and social services working together to reduce violence, address societal barriers, and collectively support impacted community members. This year, GVI implemented community-led Individual Interventions and Home Visits where holistic, collective and sustaining support, relationships and resources were offered to our community members impacted by gun violence. GVI community members include representatives from ISAAC, NMA, and NAACP, street outreach workers, community members/leaders, Pastors on Patrol, Clergy, as well as Mothers, Fathers and Leaders who have been impacted. ISAAC also is part of the newly formed Kalamazoo Black and Brown Therapy Collective’s Advisory Board, offering connections to Therapists of Color to community members experiencing racial trauma.

GVI’s goal is for all our community members to be safe, alive, out of prison…and to have the opportunity to live their best purpose-filled life. Applying a culturally competent and anti-racism lens within this work is essential. When applied correctly, outcomes and communication are improved, trust is strengthened, and institutional policies and practices can be transformed. Evaluation and open communication are used to ensure that our work has no unintended consequences and that our institutions and practices are progressing and rooted in equity, and to help this strategy continually improve.

It is deeply encouraging to see what can be grown from the seeds we plant, support, and continue to cultivate together through ISAAC.

Learn more about GVI:
GVI History: https://isaackalamazoo.org/history-of-isaacs-key-role-in-group-violence-intervention/

GVI Myths at the 2019 Issues Convention: https://isaackalamazoo.org/group-violence-intervention-gvi-presentation/

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