The Common Good

Head of Obama's Faith-Based Office to Join Pastors for Anti-Poverty Symposium

Date: April 12, 2009

The head of the White House's faith-based office will join a diverse and bi-partisan group of pastors and community leaders for a symposium this month that complements a large-scale anti-poverty campaign.

Joshua Dubois, director of the White House Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, will speak at the symposium "Loving thy Neighbor: Barriers & Breakthroughs in the D.C. Metroplex" hosted by Nyack College's Washington, D.C.-based branch on April 30.

Issues that will be discussed during the symposium include gentrification, race and culture divides, utilization of community development corporations, development of leaders from the "hood" to the boardroom, and creating effective partnerships.

The symposium's coordinator, Dr. Patricia Johnson, says participants will learn practical tools on how to work and minister with people in need.

Local D.C. churches and Christian community development organizations will share what they have learned in "practical and honest dialogue," she said.

The symposium will follow a national conference for the Mobilization to End Poverty initiative in the nation's capital where more than 1,000 faith leaders and activists will convene April 26-29 to learn and share the vision of reducing poverty nationally and globally.

"We need more active faith coalitions breaking down the barriers to justice and inspiring hope in our urban neighborhoods," says the Rev. Jim Wallis, CEO and founder of Sojourners, the sponsor of the Mobilization to End Poverty event.

"I am proud to be a part of this movement in my own city," stated Wallis, who will also speak at the Nyack symposium.

In addition to Dubois and Wallis, other speakers at the Nyack symposium include the Rev. Walter Fauntroy, former congressman and pastor emeritus of New Bethel Baptist Church in Washington, D.C, and Kay Cole James, former director of the Office of Personnel management under former President George W. Bush.

Nyack College is a Christian liberal arts college established in 1882 in Nyack, N.Y, and has a campus in Washington, D.C.