The Common Good

Broad Faith & Anti-Poverty Coalition Launches “Mobilization to End Poverty”

Source: Sojourners
Date: April 26, 2009

Broad Faith & Anti-Poverty Coalition Launches “Mobilization to End Poverty”

Conference Engages Over a Thousand Christian Activists to Advocate with Congress & the Administration to End Poverty

On April 26-29, 2009, a broad and diverse coalition of over 60 faith-based organizations, churches and domestic and global anti-poverty groups will convene The Mobilization to End Poverty– a three-day conference that will equip the faith community to combat the growing domestic and global poverty crisis that is being exacerbated by the world's economic instability.  The Mobilization to End Poverty will assemble a constituency capable of generating radical change and bold leadership from both the Church and our government.

This initiative represents one of the largest and most diverse anti-poverty groups that will advocate with Congress to protect priorities within the President's budget that assist low-income and poor communities with an emphasis on health care reform and foreign aid funding.  Leaders will also call upon the President to develop a long term plan that builds upon his budget priorities and takes action on his previous commitment to reduce domestic poverty by half in ten years and implement the Millennium Development Goals intended to cut extreme global poverty in half by 2015. This faith-inspired movement is building the political and social will necessary to enact legislative initiatives aimed at addressing the poverty crisis in America and abroad.


White House Panel Discussion on Poverty Reduction

On Monday, April 27th from 10:30 am – 12:00 pm, we’ll host a panel discussion with senior White House officials including Josh Dubois, director of the White House Office of Faith-Based & Neighborhood Partnerships; Van Jones, special advisor for Green Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation at the Council on Environmental Quality; and Martha Coven, director of the White House Office of Mobility and Opportunity.  The panel will discuss the administration’s commitments to addressing domestic and global poverty in addition to the strategic role that faith communities can play in fighting poverty.

Capitol Hill Day: The Mobilization will be brought to the Capitol Hill on Tuesday, April 28th where over 800 activists will meet with 84 Senate and 224 House offices.  This group will advocate for commitments and leadership in protecting and prioritizing funding in the fiscal 2010 budget that will have the biggest impact on reducing domestic and global poverty.  Specifically, we are asking for:

1.      Congress to embrace the measurable goal of cutting domestic poverty in half from 2010-2020 by signing on to the House Concurrent Resolution 102 that expresses a commitment to this measurable target.

2.      Congress to make sure that it adequately funds the foreign affairs budget by supporting at least a $51.7 billion 302(b) allocation for State/ Foreign Operations—the President’s requested level for fiscal year 2010.

3.      Support for the passage of health care reform protecting the most vulnerable.

As part of the Capitol Hill Day we will be holding a prayer vigil from 12:15 – 1:00 pm ET in the Upper Senate Park. During this vigil religious leaders and activists will pray that members of Congress and the staff we visit with will have open minds and hearts. We also pray that God will use us to be effective witnesses to the reality of poverty in the U.S. and around the world.

Workshops and training sessions: Participants will study the complex factors that contribute to poverty and how Christians can effectively and realistically respond. Advanced skills training in organizing and advocacy will also be offered.

Worship: The Mobilization will be a broad gathering of the Church, rooted in prayer and worship each day. Ecumenical services will bring us together, equipping and further inspiring participants to speak and act on with our brothers and sisters living in poverty.

Sponsor organizations: Convoy of Hope, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, Oxfam America, National Ministries of the American Baptist Churches USA, ONE, Wesley Theological Seminary, World Vision

Partner organizations: American Baptist Churches USA, Beatitudes Society, Bread for the World, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Center for Community Change, Children’s Defense Fund, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Christian Community Development Association, Christian Peace Witness for Iraq, Christian Reformed Church in North America, Consistent Life, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, Deep Shift, Emergent Village, Episcopal Church Peace and Justice Ministries, Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, Episcopal Diocese of Southern Virginia, Evangelical Covenant Church, Evangelicals for Social Action, Gamaliel Foundation, Greater Minneapolis Council of Churches, Greater New Jersey Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, Hispanic Leadership Conference, International Development and Education Associates, InterVarsity Christian Fellowship USA, John Deckenbeck Central Atlantic Conference, Lumunos, Lutheran Congregational Services, Massachusetts Conference United Church of Christ, Massachusetts Council of Churches, Mennonite Central Committee East Coast, Mennonite Central Committee U.S., Mennonite Church USA, Micah Challenge USA, Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate, Millennium Congregations, National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, New Hampshire Council of Churches, New York Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, New York Faith and Justice, North Carolina Council of Churches, Pennsylvania Central UCC Conference, PICO National Network, Reformed Church in America, RESULTS Education Fund, Rhode Island State Council of Churches, The General Board of Church and Society of The United Methodist Church, Urban Ministries, Inc., United Church of Christ Justice and Witness Ministries,, West Virginia Council of Churches.

# # #