Indiana Center for Middle East Peace (ICMEP) is an independent non-sectarian center dedicated to educating for peace, justice, and inter-cultural understanding locally and globally.
It is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization, whose support comes primarily from private donations, the Happy Way Foundation, and from the annual Gala ticket sales.
Educate … Engage … Enlighten for peace, justice, and inter-cultural understanding. We seek to educate for just US policies in the Middle East and other critical regions of the world.
What We Do
Our ultimate goal is a more educated citizenry regarding the significant issues in the critical regions of the world, especially the Middle East, that impact the entire globe. Through its programs, ICMEP:
- breaks down stereotypes;
- provides critical analysis of the cultures, movements, and concerns in the Middle East and around the globe;
- challenges intolerance and injustice; and
- promotes strategies of non-violent conflict resolution, social transformation, and sustainable peace.
The following Principles guide our work:
- All people deserve the right to democratic participation and equality within their societies, regardless of religion, ethnicity, culture, national origin, language, race, sex, gender, sexual orientation, or other status.
- We support equal rights and access to resources for all, based on principles of social, economic, environmental and political justice.
- We support a U.S. foreign policy based on promoting peace, democracy, equality, human rights, and respect for international law.
- We promote active nonviolence as a positive force for civil disobedience and social transformation.
- We support rigorous enforcement of the Arms Export Control and Foreign Assistance Acts, which mandate that military aid may be used for only defensive purposes within the recipient country's borders, and that aid may not be delivered to countries that abuse human rights.
- We actively advocate the articles of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
- We oppose all violence against civilians.
Indiana Center for Middle East Peace was established in 2007 from an informal group begun in 2001 by Dr. L. Michael Spath. Dr. Spath spent the 1998-99 academic year as a Fulbright and Boren Graduate Scholar at the Royal Institute for Inter-Faith Studies in Amman, Jordan, as a researcher and part-time speechwriter for HRH Prince El Hasan bin Talal. Upon his family’s move to Fort Wayne, he decided to “introduce his friends here to his friends there,” thus beginning his “study and solidarity tours.” The “study and solidarity tours” became the foundation of his educational efforts in NE Indiana, the goal of which is to introduce trip participants to Jews, Christians, and Muslims in Israel and Palestine who are working for a just peace and non-violent social change. Dr. Spath has established a wide network of individuals and organizations working for non-violence, a just peace, and inter-cultural understanding around the world.
Since 2001, Dr. Spath has led tours to the region, sponsored periodic programs with scholars and peace advocates, and hosted leaders from the region. In 2007, other interested individuals joined with him to more systematically plan events, raise funds, and create a formal organization. These grew into monthly programs that have featured scholars, activists, diplomats, artists, performers, and others from around the globe – Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, and others, religious and secular – whose goal is justice and peace, non-violent conflict resolution, social transformation, and the promotion of environmental care and sustainability.