Georgia clergy oppose FADA at state capitol

February 17, 2016, 10:39 am | Posted by

A sample of media clips from this event:

Baptist News Global Georgia clergy oppose First Amendment Defense Act

Atlanta Jewish Times Rabbis Help Battle Hybrid Religious Liberty Bill

Fox5 Protests over First Amendment Defense Act

February 17, 2016

CONTACT: Graham Younger, 

PRESS CONFERENCE: Clergy Oppose Controversial Religious Exemption Bill

Diverse clergy call on legislators to reject divisive “First Amendment Defense Act”

Atlanta, GA  – On Wednesday, February 17th at 1:00 PM, a group of prominent Georgia clergy will gather at the State Capitol to speak out against the overly broad, discriminatory “First Amendment Defense Act” (FADA). The clergy cite their faith, as well as concerns about the potential for discrimination and unintended consequences in their opposition to the bill. The press conference takes place just ahead of a full senate vote on FADA. 

The press conference is part of an ongoing statewide campaign by Georgia clergy to lobby against the passage of controversial, broad religious exemption legislation. More than 286 clergy have publicly spoken out against these dangerous religions exemption bills in 2015 and 2016.

WHAT: Press conference at capitol ahead of senate vote

Rabbi Joshua Heller, Congregation B’nai Torah 
Rev. Kimberly Jackson, Chaplain of the Diocese of Atlanta; Absalom Jones Episcopal Center
Rev. Trey Lyon, a pastor at Park Avenue Baptist Church
WHERE: Georgia State Capitol (Faith leaders will meet at the entrance facing Washington St and Central Presbyterian)
WHEN: Wednesday, February 17th, 1:00 PM

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Faith leaders stand with Pope Francis at the border

February 12, 2016, 11:41 am | Posted by

Sample of media from this event: 

Univision interview with Sr. Norma Pimentel

Faith Leaders Stand with Pope Francis at the Border; Mass, Rosary set for Tuesday

Sr. Norma Welcomes Pope to El Paso


Feb 12, 2016

Contact: Allison Walter, 375-7730

Faith leaders stand with Pope Francis at the border

Local faith leaders, immigrants & workers hold rosary welcome event

El Paso, TX – A coalition of faith leaders, immigrants, and workers will gather in prayer on Tuesdayevening to welcome Pope Francis to the border. The pope will be visiting Juarez on Wednesday and is expected to walk to the border fence and give a blessing to both the El Paso and Juarez sides of the border in solidarity with immigrants.
“The Church has always been a place where the excluded can find refuge. We know that Pope Francis’s visit to the border will help give a face to the suffering of immigrants, and we’re happy to welcome him and stand with him in solidarity,” said Sara Benitez, Latino Outreach Director at Faith in Public Life.
Spokespeople will be on hand to give interviews.
WHAT Pope Francis welcome rosary and interview opportunity
WHEN Tues. Feb 16th – Mass 5:00pm ; Rosary 5:30pm
WHERE Sacred Heart Church, 602 S Oregon St, El Paso, TX 79901
WHO Faith leaders, immigrants, workers
Rosary led by: Sr. Norma Pimentel, Executive Director of Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley, met Pope Francis during his visit in September, and was recognized by him during the ABC 20/20 Papal Virtual Audience for her response to vast numbers of women and child refugees on the Texas border in 2014. She will be on the border Feb. 17th as a “Francis VIP” when the Pope gives a blessing for immigrants after mass in Juarez and will be available at the levee with the “Francis VIPs” for interview.
 Event organized by: Sara Benitez, Latino outreach director at Faith in Public Life where she works with Latino clergy and lay leaders of all faith traditions on civic engagement and immigration reform advocacy.

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“Locked in Solidarity” against mass incarceration

February 11, 2016, 7:29 am | Posted by

Sample of media from this event:

Jobs for Life helping those harmed by too-punitive justice system

Vigil-goers take hard look at crime, 2nd chances

Faith leaders in Grand Rapids protest incarceration disparities


February 11, 2016

Contact: Michelle Warren, michelle@ccda.org720-472-0871

Faith leaders lock arms in solidarity against mass incarceration

Hundreds of faith leaders, churchgoers, and advocates across two dozen cities demand change on mass incarceration

A diverse and growing coalition of people of faith are standing united with advocates in more than two dozen cities nationwide to fight against the injustice of mass incarceration.

“The racial and socioeconomic disparities plaguing our criminal justice system demand that we take action,” said Rev. Noel Castellanos, President & CEO, Christian Community Development Association. “As an association of practitioners who live, work and worship in communities most impacted by mass incarceration, we must ensure that something is done. We won’t stay silent.  We need to find ways to reform the system that serves to restore and rehabilitate lives in a just and compassionate manner.”

This Thursday, the CCDA is hosting the third annual Locked in Solidarity event bringing together advocates across America to stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters who are incarcerated, formerly incarcerated, and their families and loved ones.

“We must look at the implications of our Christian voice in our country’s prison system. As people of grace, hope, restoration, and recovery, our stamp is not on the system we are explicitly called to influence as believers. We need to repent our lack of engagement,” said Leroy Barber, Chairman of the Board, CCDA. “We need to become active in restoring, releasing, and helping people return to society. Mass Incarceration must end and people of faith must be a part of the answer. This is at the heart of the Gospel which frees us and calls us to offer that freedom to others.”

Events include marches, prayer vigils, public forums, and even a basketball tournament. Spokespeople will be on hand at each event to speak to the press.

WHAT Prayer vigil and interview opportunities

WHO Faith leaders, churchgoers, activists, and public officials

WHEN Thursday, Feb. 11th

A partial list of events can be found below.

OAKLAND 7:00 PM – 2626 E 16th St ;


WACO 5:30 PM — 1226 Washington Avenue ;

DURHAM 6:00 PM — Nehemiah Christian Center, 514 N Mangum St, 27701 ;

RALEIGH 6:30 PM — Edenton Street United Methodist Church, 228 West Edenton Street ;

BOONE 7:00 PM — Boone United Methodist Church: 471 New Market Blvd. ;

CAMBRIDGE 12:00 PM — 15 Notre Dame Ave ;

CHICAGO 7:00 PM — 3225 W. Foster Ave. ;

CHICAGO 7:00 PM — The Firehouse Community Arts Center, 2111 S. Hamlin ;

AKRON 6:00 PM — 1361 W Market St. ;

CHARLESTON 11:00 AM — Two Rivers Community Center 1082 E. Montague Avenue ;

GRAND RAPIDS ALL DAY — Oakdale Park CRC, 961 Temple St SE, Grand Rapids, MI ;

SAN FRANCISCO (happened Tuesday) 1129 Florida Street ;

MERIDEN 7:00 PM — 460 Broad St. CT ;

SEATTLE 7:00 AM — 1000 2nd Ave #2500 ;


ST. LOUIS 7:00 PM — Temple of Deliverance, 215 Shepley, St. Louis, MO 63137 ;

PASADENA 6:00 PM — Lake Avenue Church/393 N Lake Ave. ;

BRONX 6:30 PM — Lake Avenue Church/393 N Lake Ave. ;

KANSAS CITY 6:30 PM — 1708 Baltimore Ave ;

FRESNO Youth for Christ — 1501 Divisadero St, Fresno CA 93701 ;

BOWIE 7:00 PM — Bowie Church of Christ 2518 Kenhill Dr. ;

OMAHA 2:00 PM — 2200 N 20th ST ;

DENVER Agape Christian Church 2501 California Street, 802015 ;

ATLANTA New Life Covenant Church 575 Travis Street NW ;

ATLANTA Mercer University, 3001 Mercer University Drive ;


MIAMI Miami Friends Center

RIVERSIDE 8432 Magnolia Ave, Riverside, CA 92504 ;



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Maryland Voting Rights Restored

February 10, 2016, 3:12 pm | Posted by

Victory in Maryland! The Maryland Senate voted on Tuesday to overturn Gov. Larry Hogan’s veto and restore voting rights to 44K re-entering citizens. Local faith-based mobilization played a critical role in this victory. Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO of Faith in Public Life said: 

“I’m proud of the role played by hundreds of Maryland faith leaders in restoring voting rights to 40,000 returning citizens this week. Voting is not only a responsibility of full citizenship but a sacred right – one that, through strong moral leadership, I’m glad to say will no longer be denied to 40,000 Marylanders.”

To read more about this victory: Released felons gain right to vote in Maryland after veto override


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Georgia clergy morally oppose campus carry

January 28, 2016, 12:51 pm | Posted by

In the past few hours, another Campus Carry Bill has been filed. Outcry - a diverse coalition of clergy – is calling on Georgia’s legislators and leaders to oppose the bill. Our state needs common sense gun legislation that increases the safety of our state’s children and students, not toxic laws that attempt to solve our problems with violence by adding more weapons to the equation. Campus Carry legislation is another step toward a more violent, less moral society. 

Rev. Damon P. Williams, Ph.D., senior pastor of the historic Providence Missionary Baptist Church and faculty member in the industrial and systems engineeing department at Georgia Tech, states:  

“As a pastor and engineering professor, I’m morally opposed to Campus Carry. When I’m teaching my back is often facing the door. Given the tragedy at Emanuel AME in Charleston, as well as Virginia Tech, Umpqua Community College, Northern Arizona University, and dozens of other campuses it’s clear to me that more guns in more hands won’t make for safer classrooms or sanctuaries.”

For interviews with either of the following clergy, please contact Graham Younger,

Rev. Damon P. Williams, Ph.D. is senior pastor of the historic Providence Missionary Baptist Church and faculty member in the industrial and systems engineeing department at Georgia Tech. 

Rabbi Peter Berg, is senior rabbi at The Temple in Atlanta. In 2009, he was inducted into the College of Preachers at Morehouse College and was a member of the 2012 Leadership Atlanta class. In 2013, Rabbi Berg was named by Newsweek and the Daily Beast as one of the top 50 most influential rabbis in the United States of America.

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