As we sustain our commitment to existing organizing efforts in El Salvador, Rwanda and Haiti and explore opportunities to expand this work in Central America, Mexico, Africa, the Caribbean, and even Eastern Europe, we invite you to share your ideas, talents, gifts and relationships to help us develop the future of grassroots faith based organizing. Building on the ongoing support of our advisors, donors and partners, we invite you to join the conversation. Let us know if you are interested in helping out with fundraising, expansion, and training in one of these regions. Here are some of the activities underway to explore these new opportunities.
A day after Rev. Alvin Herring became the new Executive Director of Faith in Action (formerly PICO) in May 2018, he met with clergy, leaders and staff involved in PICO International (now Faith in Action International) organizing and pledged to bring that work closer, and help strengthen and grow it. He asked Gordon Whitman, a senior staff person with Faith in Action to work with Fr. John Baumann, Ron Snyder, on the ground staff, our International Advisory Committee and donors to engage staff, leaders, clergy, and partners outside and inside the U.S. in exploring the future of our global work.
Through ongoing conversations and an online survey, we have heard appreciation for what is being accomplished in local communities; for the leadership of Fr. John, Ron, the directors, organizers, leaders and clergy involved in our international affiliates; and widespread support for thinking and acting globally in a shrinking world. Many people have expressed interest in organizing to change U.S. policy toward the regions in which we work, for example in Central America and the Caribbean, where U.S. policies have exacerbated the political corruption, violence and environmental destruction that are driving people to migrate. Others have expressed a commitment to visit, host, support and grow local and regional efforts.
U.S. organizing staff, including Julia Lerma, Juard Barnes, Lew Finfer, and Maria Revelles, have begun working more closely with organizers in Central America, Haiti, Africa and also Eastern Europe to strengthen and expand their work and raise additional funds for it. This has included successful visits to El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Rwanda, Ghana, Namibia, and Hungary to better understand the political contexts and the organizing that it taking place in these countries.
We continue to support Faith in Action organizations in El Salvador, Haiti and Rwanda plan and grow their work nationally and regionally. We are meeting with existing faith networks and alliance to explore their interest in partnering with Faith in Action. National leadership training in El Salvador in January and Rwanda planned for the fall will be open to faith leaders from those countries and beyond. In addition, organizing staff from Rwanda and the U.S. are working with the Ghana Christian Council, Caritas and an interfaith coalition that includes Muslim communities on a plan for a joint training for religious leaders in the fall.
We would love to have your gifts and talents as we assist grass roots people of faith who are organizing for racial and economic justice connect to one another around the world. Let us know if you’re interested in helping out with fundraising, expansion, and training in one of the regions in which we support organizing. And if you haven’t already responded to our survey soliciting input on Faith in Action’s international work, here is the link. Thank you.