Skip to Content

African-American Clergy Call on Congress to Demand a Moral, Just Federal Budget, Protect Medicaid


July 17, 2017​


Michelle Nealy, mnealy@faithinpubliclife.org, (202)735-7123

Greg Williams, gwilliams@faithinpubliclife.org, (443) 854-1405 ​

African-American Clergy Call on Congress to Demand a Moral, Just Federal Budget, Protect Medicaid​

Washington, DC – On Tuesday, July 18th, African-American clergy from across the nation will convene on Capitol Hill to call on Congress to reject both the immoral budget proposed by the Trump Administration and the equally unjust health care bill that the Senate is scheduled to have a procedural vote on in the coming weeks. A vote initially scheduled for Tuesday has been postponed.​

Faith leaders will address the many ways the proposed budget will negatively impact African-American families and communities, including deep cuts to education, Medicaid, civil rights departments in government agencies, community development block grants and housing vouchers as well as creating a hospitable environment for predatory lending. The African-American clergy, who represent national denominations, state ecumenical bodies and local congregations, are coming to the nation’s capital from states and districts whose representatives in Congress will have influence over the budget process and the Senate healthcare bill.​

An ecumenical worship service with some of the most powerful African-American faith voices in the country will be held the night before on Monday, July 17 at 7 p.m. at Ebenezer United Methodist Church, a historic church in the Washington whose pulpit has been graced by W.E.B DuBois, Frederick Douglass and others. The ecumenical worship service will serve as a unifying and fortifying event before the meetings with members of Congress on Tuesday.​

Some of the African-American clergy assembled will participate in direct action on Tuesday afternoon following the scheduled meetings with lawmakers.  ​

Also, faith leaders will also debut an aggressive social media campaign to amplify calls for Congress to withdraw the controversial healthcare bill that could strip life-saving health coverage from millions of Americans. #BlackClergyUprising #BlackClergyVoices​


Ecumenical Worship Service & Press Conference ​


Ecumenical Worship Service

Ebenezer United Methodist Church, 400 D Street, SE, Washington, D.C.

7 p.m.​

Press Conference

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

10:30 a.m.

U.S. Capitol Building

East Front of the U.S. Capitol (across from the Supreme Court and First Street)


Rev. Dr. Teresa Hord Owens, General Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the US and Canada

Rev. Jimmie R. Hawkins, Director, Presbyterian Church (USA), Office of Public Witness

Rev. Dr. Barbara William Skinner, Co-Chair, National African American Clergy Network

Rev. Dr. Leslie Copeland Tune, Director,  Ecumenical Poverty Initiative

Bishop Frank Madison Reid, III, Bishop of Ecumenical & Urban Affairs, African Methodist Episcopal Church

Rev. Dr. Cynthia Hale, Pastor, Ray of Hope Church, Decatur, GA

Rev. Dr. Donald Gillett, II, Executive Director, Kentucky Council of Churches

Rev. Aundreia Alexander, Esq, Associate General Secretary, National Council of Churches

Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock, Pastor, Ebenezer Baptist Church, Chair, Social Justice Committee, Progressive National Baptist Convention

Rev. Dr. Willie Gable, Pastor, Progressive Baptist Church, New Orleans, LA, Chair, Housing and Economic Development Commission, National Baptist Convention USA, Inc. ​


Back to top