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Black Tie International:
FPWA Hosts Faith & Justice Fellowship Clergy Breakfast
Rev. Al Sharpton poses with FPWA Faith and Justice Fellows
Rev. Al Sharpton poses with FPWA Faith and Justice Fellows

FPWA Hosts Faith & Justice Fellowship Clergy Breakfast
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 all. 


"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.


About FPWA:

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 at and follow us on Twitter and Facebook.



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