Social movements built from the streets of our country and open doors in the halls of power is the formula for deep and lasting social change. In our first morning session of The Mobilization to End Poverty we began to see a vision emerge for how this formula can be put to work.
The President sent a video greeting and reiterated his commitment to overcoming poverty in our country. He has charged us all, in the words of the prophet Isaiah, to be "restorers of the breech and bridge the gap." He sent a delegation of senior White House Officials to address specific issues on the agenda of the conference. Rev Joshua Dubois, Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, spoke about the changing role of the faith community in informing public policy in the Obama Administration. Martha Coven, Deputy Director of the White House of Mobility and Opportunity, who is the administration's point person on poverty, spoke to the initiatives of the White House through the stimulus package and the budget to include "the least of these" in the money that is being spent. Van Jones, Special Advisor for Green Jobs and Innovation at the Council on Environmental Quality, filled out our panel and spoke to the role of the faith community in pushing and pressing in the battle against global warming and the global recession. Good green jobs for low income people could be a big part of the answer to poverty. Jones told us, "I want you to be able to go home and tell your friends and loved ones not to fear because help is on the way