FPWA Hosts Faith & Justice Fellowship Clergy
Rev. Al Sharpton keynotes Fellowship launch which seeks to
encourage faith-based leaders to be more effective advocates
on behalf of those in need.
January 12, 2015 (New York, NY) – Today the
Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA) held a
Faith & Justice Clergy Breakfast at the historic Riverside
Church in Harlem. The breakfast brought together
participants of the FPWA Faith & Justice Fellowship Program
with more than 100 faith-based leaders from across the city
to discuss ways in which the faith community can address
social injustices, and play more of a leading role in
advocating for their communities. The Faith & Justice
Fellowship Program, launched in collaboration with the New
York Theological Seminary (NYTS), aims to provides its
participants with enhanced skills that will enable them to
be more effective advocates on behalf of those most in need,
and to help promote NYC as a place of equal opportunity for
"The launch was significant and timely,” said
Rev. Al Sharpton, founder
and President of the National Action Network (NAN).
There is a tremendous need for social justice ministry and
this brings us closer to it."
The fellowship program will train faith
leaders to develop their abilities to become prophetic
witnesses for fair social policies and equal justice.
Fellows participate in a series of theologically based
courses, seminars related to understanding civic engagement
from a theological and biblical perspective, and group
retreats centering on personal formation and reflection.
Speakers at this morning’s breakfast included
a powerful keynote address by Rev. Al Sharpton, as well as
remarks from Rev. Dr. Amy K. Butler, Senior Minister of
Riverside Church, and Rev. Dr. Dale Irvin, President of NYTS.
“Faith-based leaders have historically been
at the center of responding to human needs, both through
direct service and by raising their voices to challenge
policies and change conditions,” said Jennifer Jones Austin,
CEO and Executive Director of FPWA. “The Faith & Justice
Program recognizes that and supports the need to bring
informed and focused voices of members of the faith
community to major social service issues at the city, state
and federal levels.”
“We’re thrilled to partner with FPWA in the
launch of the Faith & Justice Fellowship Program,” said NYTS
President Rev. Dr. Dale T. Irvin. “NYTS has long been
committed to training women and men for ministry in the real
world and now, more than ever, it’s imperative that the
faith community equip themselves with the tools necessary to
address social injustice.”
Six Fellows are part of the inaugural cohort
and they include: Danny Diaz, Faith Organizer, Retail
Wholesale Dept. Store Union Organizer, Micah Institute NY
Theological Seminary; Rev. Brian Ellis-Gibbs, Pastor at
Queens Baptist Church; Rev. Que English, Senior Pastor at
Bronx Christian Fellowship Church; Rev. Keith Johnson,
Rector at St. Philip's Episcopal Church; Rev. Keith
Roberson, Senior Pastor at Southern Baptist Church; and Rev.
Mark Williams, Associate Minister/Elder at
Bethel Gospel Assembly.
The Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies
(FPWA) is an anti-poverty, policy and advocacy nonprofit
with a membership network of nearly 200 human services and
faith-based organizations. FPWA has been a prominent force
in New York City's social services system for more than 92
years, advocating for fair public policies, collaborating
with partner agencies, and growing its community-based
membership network to meet the needs of New Yorkers. Each
year, through its network of member agencies, FPWA reaches
close to 1.5 million New Yorkers of all ages, ethnicities,
and denominations. FPWA strives to build a city of equal
opportunity that reduces poverty, promotes upward mobility,
and creates shared prosperity for all New Yorkers. Visit us
and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.