Friday, January 8, 2010

Rediscovering Values: A Night That Amplified a Conversation

Last night, the long awaited national book launch for Jim Wallis' new book Rediscovering Values: On Wall Street, Main Street, and Your Street took place at the Riverside Church of New York. Over 400 people braved the January cold to have a deeper discussion on both our moral and economic recovery.

Joy Ike kicked off the evening with a short concert followed by a spoken word poem performed by Christopher Muller. Soon after Jim Wallis began the discussion of his new book by stressing the fact that we need to change the way we are approaching our economic recovery.

"Underneath this economic crisis is a moral crisis," he said. "This book is about jump starting the conversation...if we go back to the way we were before the crisis, then all this hardship is in vain."

Wallis made news when he announced that he had closed his Bank of America account and moved his money to a local bank.

"The amount of the bonuses that Bank of America gave out this year could have forestalled the foreclosure of 2.2 million homes," he said. "If they (government) won't make these bank smaller, then we can do it ourselves." He announced a website,, that gives you the information for smaller, community-oriented banks that use just banking practices.

After his keynote address, the evening progressed to a panel discussion with representatives ranging from biblical theologians, union leaders, Wall Street executives, and public advocates. You can see a recap of the discussion on NY Faith & Justice's twitter page.

Wallis ended the night stressing the need for two kinds of restructuring to produce a more just society, "We do need to restructure our economic system, but we also need a spiritual restructuring. We need both."

The event provided an avenue into a deeper discussion on our moral and economic recovery. Check out Wallis' new book Rediscovering Values and keep the discussion going with your friends and family. Let us know what you think and what you can do to make a change.

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