This July, the National Council of Churches Poverty Initiative staff will get a chance to build community and share ideas with a diverse group of faith, education, human and civil rights, environmental justice, worker justice, and child advocacy leaders from across the United States.
The reason? Together, we desire to sustain a deeper, wider, stronger movement that lifts up the voices of U.S. families so they are heeded in the public arena.
Too often, in a political system too easily corrupted by big money, a government that is supposed to be “by and for the people” becomes neither. Many of God’s people suffer in an increasingly unequal society where those who Jesus called “the least of these” are the last considered in public policy-making. What matters most deeply to ordinary people – resources to heal from illness, support for affordable shelter, or access to nourishing food – is cavalierly ignored by too many policymakers.
The purpose of the Equal Voice Network is to change that reality. For many years, the foundation that makes our work possible – The Marguerite Casey Foundation – has listened to the constituents of its grantee organizations in town hall meetings and online forums. Now, we will use the information and our collective resources to create the deep changes our country needs.
In July, we will put our heads together with others to figure out how. Among the groups we will meet are: Progressive Technology Project, Greater Birmingham Ministries, Federation of Child Care Centers of Alabama, Bay Area Equal Voice Caucus, Mississippi Immigrant Rights Alliance, SouthWest Organizing Project, Isaiah Institute, Diné Citizens Against Ruining our Environment, Mississippi Workers Center for Human Rights, Leadership Center for the Common Good, Asian Pacific Environmental Network, Arkansas Public Policy Panel, Equal Voice Network – Southern California, Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, Labor Community Strategy Center, United Congress of Community and Religious Organizations, Statewide Organizing for Community eMpowerment, Citizens for a Better Greenville, Florida New Majority, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, Arizona Center for Empowerment, Centro Binacional para el Desarrollo IndÍgena Oaxaqueño, Georgia Strategic Alliance for New Directions and Unified Policies (STAND-UP), One Voice Louisiana, Equal Voice Network – Rio Grande Valley, Parent Voices, Action Now, Environmental Health Coalition, La Unión del Pueblo Entero, Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE).
We look forward to sharing live updates from the gathering in Los Angeles in July.
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