Some Ann Arbor area churches, synagogues, and homeowners are putting up outdoor banners and yard signs to express support for refugees and the Muslim community.
Two local interfaith groups, the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice and the Interfaith Roundtable of Washtenaw County, have distributed the banners and signs as part of an effort to counteract growing anti-refugee and anti-Muslim rhetoric.
"There's fatigue that so often the voices in the news are the voices of hatred and intolerance and the tremendous relief that people of faith are speaking with a message of inclusion," said Chuck Warpehoski, director of the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice.
Warpehoski said a key goal is to make refugees and Muslims feel welcome and safe. "One Muslim woman recently shared with me that seeing the yard signs has been so important for her because all she'd been hearing before were the voices of hate and intolerance," said Warpehoski.
Another goal is to encourage congregations to consider concrete actions they can take to support refugees and the Muslim community and to engage in dialogue with their Muslim neighbors, Warpehoski said.