Thursday, November 12, 2009

November 2009: Synergy, Solidarity, Symphony


If you've ever been to one of our Faith Leaders for Environmental Justice breakfasts, you know there are three main things we are all about: Food Justice, Climate Justice, and Toxic Hazards that affect poor, under-resourced communities... and by extension they affect us all.  

Well, guess what conference the Manhattan Borough President's office is co-sponsoring with NYU and Just Food (the newest organizational partner of NY Faith & Justice).

NYC Food and Climate Summit, December 12, 2009

Click the pic to register now!  The last conference the Borough President's office put on reached capacity (at 500 people) in less than a week.  This time we have more room, but seats will go fast.  So, click or contact Kate Spaulding at or 212-669-2094 (Manhattan Borough President's Office) for more info now!  

FYI, There will be lots of great learning opportunities.  Among them, I will be leading a skills-building workshop on faith-rooted food and climate justice organizing.  See you there!


Pat Purcell, Organizing Director of the United Food and Commercial Workers-Local 1500, offered me his seat.  I sat down, pulled the microphone closer, clicked the red button, the red light shined, and the City Council Chamber's two-minute clock ticked down...

On October 26, 2009 I represented NY Faith & Justice members and organizational partners as part of a broad coalition testifying about the city's F.R.E.S.H. (Food Retail Expansion to Support Health) program.  The Fresh Program is a wonderful idea that will bring more healthy food to under-resourced areas in all five boroughs.  But there's a big and urgent problem.  F.R.E.S.H. stores could accelerate gentrification, displacing the very people the program aims to serve. 
 Click here to read my City Council testimony and find out how the council can turn this problem into a opportunity.

...When I finished, the audience cheered and Councilman Robert Jackson sincerely thanked our coalition for its testimony.  We gave a one hour presentation to the Black, Latino, and Asian caucus two days later.

Jesus stood in solidarity with the bleeding woman, whose suffering had increased over twelve years (Mark 5:21-43).  In the same way, NY Faith & Justice is standing in solidarity with communities that have suffered for years from hunger, diabetes, diabetes related death, and joblessness.  Now they are at-risk of massive displacement. 

The City Council committees will vote on F.R.E.S.H. on Nov 17 and 24th.  Now, is the time to stand in solidarity.

Please take 5 minutes to stand with these bleeding communities.  Write or call Speaker Christine Quinn and let her know you care about the F.R.E.S.H. vote.  Click here for instructions.

Then join us for the F.R.E.S.H. Rally.  Date to be announced.  Follow us on twitter for action alerts and rally updates.


... NY Faith & Justice is convening formal and informal organizational partners to co-host the national launch of Jim Wallis's forthcoming book, Rediscovering Values on Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street: A Moral Compass for the New Economy.  

A diverse faith-rooted justice movement is emerging in our city and across the nation.  In multiple arenas we are now partnering to press for policies that care for "the least" in our city and our nation. Yet, the events of the past year have revealed our nation's financial center remains unchanged and untouched.

In Rediscovering Values, Wallis (New York Times bestselling author of God's Politics) issues a prophetic call for our nation to see the economic crisis for what it is; a wake up call.  He urges us all to seize this moment and use it as an opportunity to consider a new: "What exactly do we value?"

Mark your calendars now!  Plan to bring friends and members of your communities.  Enter 2010 with us; in a posture of examination and hope.

In the meantime, here are a few ways you can experience the synergy, stand in solidarity, and join the symphony this month!

Click on these links or scroll down for more info:

Thank you for your continued prayers and support.  And don't forget to follow us on twitterfacebook, or the nyfj calendar for up to the minute action alerts, program changes, and details.  

In Solidarity!

Lisa Sharon Harper
Co-founder and Executive Director
New York Faith & Justice

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