We are only two months into 2015 and it has already proven to be a busy year. There is much to be hopeful for in this coming year and much work still to be done on changing the hearts and minds of those in positions of leadership. We are so thankful for our community of supporters who invest and encourage our mission and ministry!
World Economic Forum & Business/Values-led Leadership
Sojourners’ President Jim Wallis and CEO Rob Wilson-Black have just returned at the end of January from spending a week at the World Economic Forum in Davos. This continues to be a profound opportunity to be a witness and prophetic voice among the most included and powerful leaders in the world. You can read Jim’searly reflections on this years’ experience here.
Going forward, we are working with key partners to develop a more concrete action plan to see the values outlined in the New Social Covenant become more accessible in people’s everyday lives and in more communities and businesses, as well as better integrated into our long standing poverty and economic inequalities work.
Jim also did an excellent interview with HuffPo Live during his Davos time that you can watch here. The conversation features a number of our key issues, including racial reconciliation, police reform, income inequality, poverty reduction, business and values, faith being coopted by loud minority, movements starting from grassroots, and much more!
Circle of Protection
The Circle of Protection coalition that Sojourners co-leads kicked off the year with a strong call to all the 2016 presidential hopefuls asking whether they are willing to make ending hunger and poverty a top priority. In a statement released Jan. 15, the 100 leaders, including Sojourners’ president Jim Wallis, said, "We will be calling on people of faith to examine presidential candidates to see if they have a heart for poor and hungry people. We want to know how each candidate proposes to fulfill the mandate to those who govern to ‘give deliverance to the needy’" (Psalm 72).
Women and Girls
Our Women and Girls campaign launched a blog series on Human Trafficking during January, to recognize National Human Trafficking Awareness month:
This series featured 16 blog posts, exploring the nuances of the problem and features first-hand stories from survivors. These posts and resources will be used as Sojourners updates and revamps our “Christians and the Global Slave Trade” discussion guide. We are also in the early stages of identifying additional ways to engage on this issue with partners.
This is a big month for our environmental work as well, with Jim announcing publicly that he is personally divesting from fossil fuels, and that Sojourners has divested as an organization. We are also hosting an e-course this month for those who are interested in learning more about the steps to divesting. Please sign up and spread the word!
We are continuing to do work around welcoming immigrants and resourcing communities who stand in solidarity with immigrants, particularly in connection with the President’s recent Executive Action. Join our webinar on February 25 at 3pm to learn more about how to “Faithfully Living Our Call To Welcome and Love Our Neighbors”. Click here to sign up.
Our racial reconciliation work continues, tying into timely events such as the release of Selma last month. This film offers not only a powerful opportunity to change the conversation on race in our nation — it also illustrates the important roles that faith communities and civil society can play when acting together to bring about social justice. The more people of faith who see it, the more we believe they will be open to having conversations about race in their congregations and engaging the larger movement for justice for such a time as this. It also deeply affirms our mission at Sojourners of putting our faith into action. You can listen to Jim Wallis’ interview with Selma’s lead actor, as well as read Jim’s reflections on the discussion by clicking here.
We are also actively participating in Black Future Month in February, and are continuing to identify best next steps after our national faith leaders retreat that we convened in December in Ferguson, Mo. This will include a major gathering and mobilizing at our annual Summit in June 2015.
Check back on our Gratitude Blog as we continue to share updates and milestones throughout the year. Please contact Katie Chatelaine-Samsen with any questions/feedback.