Sunday, December 5, 2010

Make the DREAM Act a Reality!!

Join us for an interfaith vigil to support the DREAM Act

Tuesday, 12/7 @ 6pm

Location: St. Theresa's Church

141 Henry Street

New York, NY 10002-7198

**NY Faith & Justice Executive Director Lisa Sharon Harper will be speaking

As you may know, the House of Representatives is expected to vote on the DREAM Act next week.

THANK YOU for making calls!! Just yesterday alone, there were 16,588 calls made nationwide. Please continue to call 866-967-6018 or 866-957-2612 and ask to speak to your Congress member and one of the five Congress members below. Tell them you need them to vote "YES" on the DREAM Act.

* Congressman Michael Arcuri

* Congressman John Hall

* Congressman Brian Higgins

* Congressman Scott Murphy

* Congressman William Owens


On Thursday, December 9th: Governor Paterson Protect Our Communities Rally!


RALLY in Manhattan. Thursday December 9, 2010, 11 am. Gov. Paterson's

NYC Office, 633 3rd Ave (btwn 40th and 41st St.)

For more information: Lili Salmeron, NMCIR, 212-781-0355 or

In May 2010, NY State signed a Memorandum of Agreement with ICE

approving "Secure Communities," in which local police send

fingerprints of all arrestees to Department of Homeland Security

databases. This costly program will push thousands more immigrants

into the unjust detention and deportation system, while making us all

less safe and violating our rights. ICE has repeatedly misrepresented

and lied about the program to the state and nation. Join us in

demanding that Governor Paterson terminate the Secure Communities

agreement and that the federal courts require ICE to share all

documents on "opting out" of the program.* New York State should not

cooperate with ICE in tearing apart immigrant families.

**After the rally, a federal judge presiding over NDLON v. ICE will

consider an emergency injunction ordering ICE to make documents public

regarding whether jurisdictions can refuse to participate in Secure

Communities. Please come to the hearing to show your support for this

injunction at 2:00 at US District Court at 500 Pearl Street, Courtroom

15C, NY, NY.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Urgent: Call your Congressman about the DREAM Act Today!

A vote on the DREAM Act in the House is set for TODAY. Please take 5 minutes today and first thing tomorrow morning to call at least 2 Members of Congress, especially our targets below.

Yesterday alone, 19,000 calls were made to Congress, according to Reform Immigration for America. We need to keep up this pressure until the very end.

Call 866-967-6018 or 866-957-2612 and ask to speak to your Congress member and one of the 5 Congress members below. Tell them you need them to vote “YES” on the DREAM Act tomorrow morning.

  • Congressman Michael Arcuri
  • Congressman Brian Higgins
  • Congressman William Owens
  • Congressman Scott Murphy
  • Congressman John Hall

In addition, please spread the word to your friends and family. You can forward them a link to NYIC's op-ed in today's NY Daily News which explains why it is so critical that the DREAM Act passes tomorrow. Here’s the link:

You can also post the article on your facebook wall by clicking here and sharing the article with your network.

**This post was submitted by the New York Immigration Coalition

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Food & PlaNYC: Northern Manhattan Community Meeting

On Earth Day 2007, PlaNYC was released by the NYC Mayor’s office. The Plan was designed to accommodate a projected population growth of one million New Yorkers over the next 20 years while enhancing the quality of life, protecting public health and the environment, creating economic opportunities, and combating climate change.

The NYC Mayor’s office has been holding conversations throughout NYC in order to give people the chance to share their ideas on how to create a greener, greater New York and contribute to the update process of PlaNYC.

This is where YOU come in! Be part of the Northern Manhattan Community

Conversation on Monday, December 6th from 7 to 9pm!

This discussion will be for community residents, leaders and

youth to:

* Learn more about PlaNYC

* Help define you and your community's role in making the City

more sustainable

* Work in small groups to develop local goals for PlaNYC

NY Faith & Justice, along with other organizations around the city, are working to get food added on to PlaNYC in order to make NYC’s food system more just and sustainable. Please attend this meeting and share your story of how the lack of access to fresh and affordable food has affected you, your family, and/or your community.

To learn more about PlaNYC click here!

We hope to see you there!

Northern Manhattan PlaNYC Community Conversation

Monday, December 6, 2010

7:00PM - 9:00PM

State Office Building 2nd Flr. Gallery

163 West 125th Street, (enter on 126th)

A, B, C, D, 2, 3,4,5,6 trains to 125th

Please RSVP: Call 212-788-9770 or email

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Get Involved: Results from the Food, Faith & Health Disparities Summit

As the Thanksgiving holiday nears and we prepare for a day full of food and family, I wanted to take a moment to reach out to everyone who both took part in the Food, Faith, & Health Disparities Summit as well as those who registered but were unable to attend.

The Thanksgiving holiday is a time when food disparities come in full view. Some of our neighbors are unable to prepare a healthy meal for their family either due to the cost of healthy produce in their neighborhood supermarkets, the lack of fresh produce in their neighborhood supermarkets, or the lack of a neighborhood supermarket all together.

On Friday, October 29th and Saturday, October 30th, people from all five Boroughs came together to develop actions to take that would help create a more healthy and just NYC. I wanted to recap the summit as well as let you know how you can get involved in this movement!

Over one hundred people came out to the Riverside Church of NY on Friday night to kick-off the Food, Faith & Health Disparities Summit. It was a night packed with inspirational performances by Charmaine DaCosta and Christopher Cero as well as powerful speakers. Moderated by NY Faith & Justice Executive Director Lisa Sharon Harper, the evening featured speeches by the Rev. Dr. James Forbes, senior Pastor Emeritus at The Riverside Church of NY; Cecil Corbin-Mark, Director of Policy Initiatives at WeAct for Environmental Justice; Dr. Nick Freudenberg, Director of Hunter College’s Dept. of Public Health; Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, author of Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet & and an environmental policy consultant with the NYC Mayor’s Office of Long-Term Planning and Sustainability; and Carolyne Abdullah, Director of Community Assistance at Everyday Democracy.

Friday evening set the stage for a very active day on Saturday, October 30th. Over 150 people filled out eight dialogue circles that were formed to take part in a series of four facilitated conversations aimed at coming up with a series of actions that could be taken to combat the food and health disparities that affect so many of our communities. After completing this series of conversations, all eight groups came back together for the action forum.

During the action forum the group from Everyday Democracy reviewed all eight group’s list of actions and produced a list of six actions that were consistent with all of the groups. Working groups were then formed around each action. These groups are charged with meeting over the next six months to a year in order to develop and move on each action.

Below is a list of these six groups along with a brief explanation of each one. If you have not signed up for one of these working groups and would like to get involved, please contact Stephen at and let him know you would like to join the fight in creating a more healthy and just New York City.

Community Engagement

This group aims to find creative ways to get faith communities, schools, and community groups engaged in hands-on activities to make NYC neighborhoods more healthy. This could take the form of helping communities start co-ops, community gardens, or band together to develop centralized CSA’s.

The Farm Bill

This group will focus on the U.S. Farm Bill. They will focus on shifting subsidies from soy, corn and sugar to fruits and vegetables.

Food & Voter Education

This group will focus around educating the public on both political leaders’ positions and records on issues of food and health and on upcoming laws, ordinances or government actions that will have an impact on the food system of NYC. In addition, this group will inform faith communities, schools and community groups about how they can take personal and organizational responsibility to make healthy food choices.

Incentives for Purchasing Healthy Food

This group will focus on working to get NYC to incentivize the purchase of healthy food for people receiving government assistance.

The Living Wage

This group will organize around the effort to get a living Wage Bill passed in NYC. This group will especially focus on making sure food workers are a part of this bill.

Business Outreach

This group will focus on getting the business community involved in helping to create a more healthy and just NYC. It will work at getting businesses to support various programs around New York City that promotes health and healthy living. This could mean the launch of another Food Summit focused on building bridges between faith, advocates, and business communities.

We had a very successful Summit, now it’s time to put all of our talk to action!

FoodWorks: A Vision to Improve NYC's Food System

What is the future of New York City's food system? Yesterday, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn released her new FoodWorks program that looks to create a more sustainable food system for the future of New York City. In a jam packed auditorium at the Food and Finance High School, Speaker Quinn told the audience that New York City is in a unique position.

"The New York City food market consists of over $30 billion in spending," Quinn said. "We have a budget for institutional meals second only to the United States military. We’re in a unique and powerful position to influence our food system—locally, nationally, and even globally."

Quinn's plan is a comprehensive program that involves five areas of concern (Agricultural Production, Processing, Distribution, Consumption, and Post-Consumption).

To see Speaker Quinn's plan in more detail see her plan online here!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Come Hear Wangari Maathi

Don't miss this chance to hear this incredible speaker and thinker on issues of Environmental Justice!

Enter the Conversation: a visit with Wangari Maathai

Cathedral of St. John the Divine (112th St. & Amsterdam Ave., NYC)
Wednesday, 1 December, 7:00 pm
the evening is free to the public; the doors open approximately one hour prior to the event

WANGARI MAATHAI was born in Nyeri, Kenya, in 1940. She is the founder of the Green Belt Movement (GBM), which, through networks of rural women, has planted over 30 million trees across Kenya since 1977. She was elected to Kenya’s Parliament (2002 – 2007) in the first free elections in a generation, and was appointed Deputy Minister for the Environment and Natural Resources (2003-2006). The Nobel Peace Prize laureate of 2004, she has three grown children and lives and works in Nairobi.

When Wangari Maathai began her work with GBM, she wasn’t motivated by her faith or religion. Instead, she was thinking literally and practically about solving the problems of rural populations who were suffering from a lack of basic needs such as clean water and adequate food. After many years of working with the GBM, she came to realize that the organization has certain intangible values, specifically: love for the environment, respect and gratitude for Earth’s resources, self-empowerment and the spirit of service. None of these core values belongs to one faith tradition more than any other; indeed, someone can adhere to these values without being particularly religious or holding onto one particular creed. Dr. Maathai believes these values are spiritual in that they foster the aspects of ourselves that seek more than material comfort, power, or worldly success. They are what give our lives value and meaning, and inspire us to look beyond ourselves.

Dr. Maathai
has recently written about her journey in a book titledREPLENISHING THE EARTH: Spiritual Values for Healing Ourselves and the World. The book seeks to engender a new level of consciousness in people’s spiritual lives, explaining why it is necessary to reconnect with the natural world wherever they live on the planet.

For more information please visit

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Have a Healthy Thanksgiving for a Low Cost!

Are you interested in fresh and affordable produce for this upcoming Thanksgiving?

On November 20th, NY Faith & Justice will be working alongside Harlem4 Center for Change, GrowNYC, and several other organizations, to provide organically-grown fresh produce direct from J. Glebocki farms in upstate NY. Each bag is $4 and will each have the following:

  • 3 White Potatoes
  • 2 Sweet Potatoes
  • 3 Carrots
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 Bunch of Collard Greens
There will be 3 main sites open on Saturday, November 20th from 9:30am to 2pm in which you can purchase any amount of these bags.
  • PS 76 Garden - 120th & Adam Clayton Powell Blvd
  • Harlem Day Charter School - 240 E. 123rd St
  • Harlem4 Center for Change - 2479 Fredrick Douglas Blvd
**EBT will be accepted at these locations

If you would like more information or would like to volunteer at one of these sites please check out the GrowNYC website or contact Michael Morris at 917.838.2309 or

Tuesday, November 9, 2010


November 9: Bronx Urban Agriculture
"Drop fingerprinting mandate for food stamps" campaign / Food Policy Update

Bronx Food & Sustainability Coalition Meeting (BxFSC)

Date: November 9 @ 6:30pm

Address: Mary Mitchell Center - 2007 Mapes Avenue, Bronx, NY 10460
Join us on Tuesday, November 9th as we welcome
Karen Washington, lifelong Bronx urban gardener and President of the
New York City Community Garden Coalition. Karen will discuss how
community gardens can play a vital role in combating food insecurity,
promoting healthy diets and providing an untapped source for green
jobs. She will also discuss the new rules for community gardens issued
out by the Bloomberg Administration.
Afterwards - The BxFSC Food Policy Committee will provide policy
outcomes from our last meeting and action plan inc. dropping the
fingerprinting mandate for food stamps campaign.
See you tonight

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

PlaNYC, Food, and the Bronx!

The NYC Mayor's office is traveling around New York City to discuss PlaNYC, the plan for updating the city's infrastructure to ensure long-term sustainability.

NY Faith & Justice, along with many other organizations, are trying to get food on to PlaNYC. You have a chance to tell your story to the Mayor's office. The next meeting is scheduled to take place in the Bronx next week. Please come out and share your story of how food access affects you and your community and the health problems this lack of access causes you, your family and/or your community!

Below, get all of the information for the upcoming meeting and see how past meetings have gone.


Community Conversations in North Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Lower Manhattan generated great ideas earlier this month, and additional events in Northern Manhattan and South Brooklyn will be announced as the logistics are finalized.

Click here to see how the event went in North Brooklyn!

PlaNYC Community Conversations are public town-hall style events designed to generate community input on the PlaNYC update and the priorities of New Yorkers. They are open to the public, and we encourage individuals to bring their friends, family, and colleagues.


The Community Conversations include a brief presentation by PlaNYC staff and a local partner organization working to create a greener, greater community. After those brief presentations, participants break into smaller discussion groups about each area of the plan and work together to develop their own goals and recommendations for consideration as PlaNYC is updated.

Please join us if you can, and please let others know about this upcoming opportunity to help shape the next PlaNYC and the future of our city. Tomorrow I will be calling Community Boards and reaching out to organizations specifically to help get out the word and address concerns. Please spread the word and help pack this session!

If we do not hear it from you who will tell us?

October 26, 6-8 pm
Lincoln Hospital, Bronx
First Floor Conference area, Main Entrance
234 East 149th Street, Between Morris and Park

Co-Sponsored by Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice



Saturday, October 16, 2010

Make NYC a National Leader

NYC has a unique chance to be a leader in immigrants rights. Check out this rally on Tuesday to stop the city's collaboration with Immigration Enforcement at Rikers Island.

DEMOCRACY DAY March Across the Brooklyn Bridge to Demand City Council Ends Our Collaboration with Immigration Enforcement at Rikers Island.



WHO: Over A Thousand Immigrant New Yorkers from Make The Road New York
Over a Hundred New Sanctuary Clergy and Congregants
Your City Council member *Call Them to Make Sure they Attend Democracy Day and Stand for Justice*

WHY: New York says it’s a city of immigrants but each year it hands over more than 3,000 people to Immigration for deportation proceedings

  • There is no law that says that NYC has to collaborate with Immigration, it’s happening simply because NYC is willing to collaborate with Immigration
  • If NYC passes this law, it would be the first time a local municipality has done something like this anywhere in the country. NYC would become a national leader in defending immigrants’ rights.It would be a powerful counter-weight to SB1070 in Arizona and all the other local anti-immigrant laws around the country

Monday, October 11, 2010

PlaNYC, Food, and You!

PlaNYC is a response to NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's 2006 challenge to achieve 10 goals to ensure NYC has a sustainable future. The challenge was primarily focused on land, air, water, energy and transportation and plans have been developed to meet the goals in those areas. Now, the Mayor's office is now considering adding food to PlaNYC.

Food disparity, access to fresh and affordable produce, is one issue that plagues under-resourced neighborhoods around NYC. Over 750,000 people live in what are considered food desserts throughout the city. Because of this, NY Faith & Justice is one of many organizations working to get food added to the Mayor's PlaNYC.

You now have an opportunity to let your voice be heard by the Mayor's office regarding PlaNYC. There are meetings scheduled throughout the city between now and the beginning of November. Check out a meeting that best fits your schedule and share your story of how food access affects you and your community and the health problems this lack of access causes you, your family and/or your community!

If you would like more information on PlaNYC, you can check out their website by clicking here:


Upcoming Events

Community Conversations on PlaNYC have been scheduled in North Brooklyn, Staten Island, the Bronx, Western Queens, and Lower Manhattan. Additional events will be held in Eastern Queens, Upper Manhattan and South Brooklyn this fall.

TO RSVP please email: (and note which meeting please!)

North and Central Brooklyn

October 7th, 6-8pm

Billie Holiday Theater at Restoration Plaza

1368 Fulton Avenue, Between Brooklyn and New York Avenues

Co-sponsored by Coalition for the Improvement of Bed-Sty

Transit: A/C train to Nostrand, B25 Bus along Fulton and B44 along Nostrand

Staten Island

October 13, 7-9 pm

P.S. 58

77 Marsh Avenue, Staten Island

Located behind the Staten Island Mall on Marsh Avenue

Co-sponsored by the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce

Lower Manhattan

October 19, 6-8 pm

Theater 2, Enter through Main Lobby

Borough of Manhattan Community College (BMCC)

199 Chambers, NY, NY 10007



October 26, 6-8 pm

Lincoln Hospital, Bronx

First Floor Conference area, Main Entrance

234 East 149th Street, Between Morris and Park

Co-sponsored by Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice


West Queens

November 3, 6-8 pm

Frank Sinatra School for the Arts

Tony Bennett Concert Hall

35-12 35th Avenue, Astoria 11106


Additional events to come.

For additional information on the update process or to send us your ideas, questions, or comments, please email

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Free Immigration Clinic

The NYC Immigrant Advocacy Initiative (NYCIAI) was launched in 2007 as a collaborative effort between the City Bar Justice Center and New York Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. NYCIAI holds immigration clinics throughout the city. On Tuesday, October 12, 2010, 6-9pmat the St. Lucia Community Center, 438 E 49th St (Btw Church Ave & Synder) in Brooklyn, residents will be given free 20-30 minute appointments with experienced immigration attorneys, who will consult them about their various immigration concerns. This Immigration Advocacy Initiative is in partnership with Brooklyn Center For Quality Life, Churches United to Save & Heal (CUSH) and St. Lucia House Foundation. Space is limited so please RSVP to (718) 284-1097 or

Movement on Reform

On Wednesday, September 29th, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) introduced legislation to the Senate which would provide Comprehensive Immigration Reform and fix the broken immigration system we currently have in this country.

Co-sponsored by Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) this legislation is a tough, fair and practical solution to one of our most serious national problems. As a part of this comprehensive plan, bills like the Dream Act and AgJOBS are included into this one bill.

Senator Menendez and Leahy need your support for this bill. Please spread the word and let your Senator know that you want to see this bill become law!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Help turn NYC Green

Proposal to Distribute 5,000 CFLs

to Faith-Based Groups in the New York Area


GreenFaith proposes to distribute 5,000 CFLs (Compound Fluorescent Lamps) to houses of worship and faith-based groups in the greater New York City area between September 1 and December 31, 2010. The following is a brief review of the methodology GreenFaith proposes, and the initial list of institutions with whom we would work to carry out this effort.


GreenFaith is an interfaith environmental coalition which offers a range of regional and national programs to educate and equip diverse faith-based groups as environmental leaders. For further information, see

Among a number of programs, GreenFaith has distributed over 65,000 CFLs through urban faith and community based groups in New Jersey since September 2008, and has partnered with over 200 groups to carry out these distributions.


GreenFaith has an extensive network of contacts and relationships with religious groups in the New York area, and we would work with these groups to distribute 5,000 CFLs between September 1 – December 31, 2010. GreenFaith staff would contact these institutions, and would schedule distribution events at interested sites on a Sunday or other day on which a large percentage of the members of the institution will be gathered for worship, education or fellowship activities. GreenFaith staff would be present at each event, would ensure the proper distribution of CFLs, and could capture e-mail addresses of interested individuals to receive further e-mail follow-up from NYSERDA. GreenFaith would provide NYSERDA with a list of events and contact e-mails for each event in an Excel file. These reports could be provided monthly or quarterly, as desired by NYSERDA.


GreenFaith has contacts with the following institutions. We would plan to reach out to them to explore the scheduling of CFL distributions.

Name of Institution


Abyssinian Baptist Church


Park Avenue United Methodist Church


The Cathedral of St. John the Divine


St. Xavier Catholic Church


Conservative Synagogue Adath Israel


Darul Islah Mosque


Union Theological Seminary


Jewish Theological Seminary


General Theological Seminary


New York Divinity School


New York Theological Seminary


GreenFaith has a number of additional contacts but believes these are the most strategically useful sites because of their prominence, their role as educators of large numbers of clergy, and their religious diversity.


GreenFaith is experienced in the distribution of CFLs through faith-based institutions and would welcome the opportunity to distribute 5,000 CFLs provided by NYSERDA to New York-area institutions during the fall of 2010.

For further information, please contact GreenFaith’s Executive Director, Fletcher Harper, at 732-565-7740, ext. 301 or at