Friday, May 13, 2011

NYFJ in Action

Check out this story and pictures, featuring NYFJ's Executive Director Lisa Sharon Harper, from the New Sanctuary Movement blogs coverage on the Tuesday's press conference urging Gov. Cuomo to pull out the the "Secure Communities" program.

Religious Leaders Hold Vigil to Ask for an End to NY’s “Secure Communities” Program

Clergy and Advocates Urge Gov. Cuomo to Follow Illinois’ Lead

New York, NY (May 11, 2011) – Diverse faith community leaders, joined by advocates and community members, held a vigil in front of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s New York City office to urge the Governor to end New York State’s involvement in “Secure Communities.” Speakers applauded Illinois for withdrawing from S-Comm and urged Cuomo to do the same in order to protect New York immigrants.

Adem Carroll of the New York State Intefaith Network for Immigration Reform speaking at the S-Comm vigil, on Wednesday, May 11th, 2011. (Photos by Marcus Yam, Special for the New Sanctuary Coalition.)

The vigil followed a letter sent to Governor Cuomo by the New York State Interfaith Network for Immigration Reform and signed by more than 100 diverse faith community leaders across New York, urging him to terminate New York’s S-Comm agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“So far, Governor Cuomo has not acted,” Network Co-chair Diane Steinman said. “So today we say to our Governor: Follow the example set by the State of Illinois and pull New York out of this program that is shattering the lives of immigrants while making New Yorkers less safe and secure.”

Rev. Susan Switzer, co-Chair of the New Sanctuary Coalition of NYC and Lisa Sharon Harper, co-Chair of the New York State Interfaith Network for Immigration Reform, light candles as part of a prayer vigil for Gov. Cuomo and the communities bearing the burden of S-Comm. (Photo by Marcus Yam, Special for the New Sanctuary Coalition.)

“We believe our Governor is a moral man. We believe he has a conscience,” said Network Co-chair Lisa Sharon Harper. “Yet every day, S-Comm betrays the conscience of New Yorkers by violating New York’s moral commitment to promote the public welfare, by making some New Yorkers the target of brutal intolerance, and by turning a blind eye to racial and ethnic profiling. So our diverse community of faith leaders calls on Governor Cuomo to rekindle the flame New York’s conscience. Join with Illinois Governor Quinn! Opt-out of S-Comm!”

Rabbi Michael Feinberg of the Greater New York Labor-Religion Coalition speaking at the vigil in front of Gov. Cuomo's Manahttan office. (Photo by Marcus Yam, Special for the New Sanctuary Coalition.)

Under S-Comm, local police are required to send fingerprints upon booking to immigration databases to identify people for deportation. Faith community leaders, brought together by the Interfaith Network and the New Sanctuary Movement, decried the program for unjustly deporting immigrants. They further pointed out that there is no time to lose, as more than one-third of New York’s counties have already activated S- Comm. In January and February alone, the program identified nearly 3,500 people for potential deportation. Many of those identified through S-Comm end up in detention centers located in remote locations, where they have severely limited access to lawyers, medical care, family, and evidence to defend against deportation.

Diverse faith community leaders joined with advocates and community members to pray for an end to S-Comm in New York. (Photo by Marcus Yam, Special for the New Sanctuary Coalition.)

This event is part of a growing call to end the controversial S-Comm program in New York and nationwide. In the past two weeks, Congress Member Zoe Lofgren, joined by Senator Robert Menendez, called for an investigation of S-Comm, and Illinois Govenor Pat Quinn terminated the state’s S-Comm agreement due to unfixable problems with the program. The Congressional Hispanic Caucus issued a call to President Barack Obama for an immediate freeze on the program, expressing concerns for public safety. And 38 New York state legislators sent a letter to Governor Cuomo this Monday calling for a termination of S-Comm in New York.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Don't Miss This!!!

Faith Leaders for Environmental Justice
Mission & Social Justice of The Riverside Church

invite you to

Faith & Earth

Friday, May 13th 2011
9am to 5pm
@ The Riverside Church of New York
91 Claremont Ave.
btw 121st and 122nd St.

Workshops Include:
  • Teaching & Preaching on Environmental Justice
  • Eco-Justice and Your Zip-Code: Place Matters
  • Sea Water Rise and Disaster Preparedness
  • Mobilizing Youth Groups for the Sake of the Earth
  • Greening Your Congregation
  • The Toxic Chemicals in Your Home They Aren't Telling You About
  • Recycling in NYC and Unwasting Your Home
Special Keynote Address by Emmy Award Winning Filmmaker Marty Ostrow, Producer of "Renewal," a Film about Religious Environmentalism

To Register:

or call


Co-sponsored by:
NY Faith & Justice
We Act for Environmental Justice
Center for the Study of Science and Religion
NY Serda
Beam NY

Monday, April 11, 2011

You're Invited...

Social Media

Social Change and You

Tuesday, April 12th


Join us for a panel discussion on the effectiveness of social media to influence social

change in communities, politics, and beyond.


Capitol Momentum

NY Faith and Justice

Peace Boat USA

Underheard in New York


Freelance Journalist Keiko Tsuyama

A diverse group of panelists share their experiences with social media and discuss how

they see it shaping the future.

This will be an interactive discussion with great opportunities for networking. Bring your

questions, ideas and enthusiasm.

All are welcome!

Tuesday, April 12th from 7-9 PM

Mary O's, 32 Avenue A

NY NY 10009




Hosted by:

Voterbook NYC

Slums of Hope

Women Elect

Earth Day Education opportunity!!

The Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition is happy to invite you to an Earth Day Festival at Bronx Community College!

From 10am - 4pm, there will be various activities to entertain & educate youth and adults, including GARDENING, HIP HOP, A RACE, PRIZES, WORKSHOPS & MORE!

There are still Volunteers Needed! So if you can help out, please email Taleigh Smith at and cc

Garden Club: Tree Planting, Composting and Other Planting at Campus Garden

10am – 11am: Workshop: Climate Justice & Food Security (location TBA) *Taleigh facilitating

11am-12pm Opening Ceremony (Guest Speakers and Presentation from Chemistry Department on Geology of Campus) (Playhouse)

12pm-2pm ASAP Race for Health and Nutrition (On Campus Track)

12pm-2pm Food Justice Community Panel Discussion and Interactive Workshop (Local Food Initiatives) (Playhouse)

12pm-4pm Organization Expo (Meister Lobby)

12pm-4pm Food Demonstration, DJ/Music, Prizes

2pm: Workshop: Worker Cooperatives: Possible in the Bronx? (location TBA) *Yorman, Heidi & Tanya facilitating

2:30pm-4pm Hip Hop to Heal the Hood (Spiritchild Performance and Workshop) (Playhouse)

11am-4pm Film Festival and Media Room (The Cove and Food Inc) (Schwendler Auditorium)

Contact Taleigh Smith at if you have any questions.


Bronx Community College

NW Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition

Con Edison

Bronx Green Jobs Roundtable

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Check This Out!

The Poverty Initiative Presents:

Crossing the American Crises film screening & discussion with directors Silvia Leindecker & Michael Fox

Thursday, April 7, 12:30 - 2:00pm in the Poverty Initiative Office
@ Union Theological Seminary

In the spirit of Wisconsin, this new feature-length documentary takes us across the country amidst the economic collapse, to the grassroots solutions in the hands of the people. Co-director Michael Fox is an ally in our work who organized with United Workers and continues to share the stories of organizations working for justice.

For more information contact Onleilove at or visit

Monday, April 4, 2011

You're Invited...

Faith Leaders for Environmental Justice

invite you to

Adopt a Bodega

Second Quarterly Breakfast of 2011

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Breakfast @ 8:30

Program 9-11am

New York City corner stores and bodegas are everywhere. Yet, these small stores often lack healthy food options. the Food, Faith and Health Disparities Business Outreach Working Group is partnering with the Department of Health to connect congregations with their local bodegas. Come learn how your congregation can help make your neighborhood healthier by joining the Faith Leaders for Environmental Justice “Adopt a Bodega” Initiative.

New Song Church

2230 8th Ave.

New York, NY 10027

Special Screening Opportunity


New York Premiere of “John Muir in the New World”

Wednesday 4/6 7:00 p.m.

Join us for the New York Premiere of the documentary film, “John Muir in the New World” co-sponsored by The Louis Finkelstein Institute of the Jewish Theological Seminary, Global Village Media, Interfaith Center of New York, Faith Leaders for Environmental Justice, and the Center for the Study of Science and Religion (CSSR) of the Earth Institute at Columbia University. (The film will air on PBS “American Masters,” April 18th at 9PM -- check local listings).

Following the screening there will be a Q & A with the writer, director Catherine Tatge, and producer Dominique Lasseur.

Special Screening at JTS
3080 Broadway at 122nd Street
Wednesday, April 6 at 7:00 p.m.
I.D. required

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Looking for Clergy to Participate

The budget could be voted on by April 1st. The time to Act is Now!

The $4.6 billion transfer from the poorest to the wealthiest is the largest transfer of wealth in the history of our state; meanwhile the poorest are struggling in our city and our nation.

  • Schools will lose after school and enrichment programs, art, music and teachers.
  • Elimination of lifesaving services for poor children, including programs that prevent child abuse and reduce foster care placements.
  • Wholesale elimination of jobs programs to support our communities, including summer youth employment, job training and job creation initiatives as an alternative to welfare.

New tax breaks for the wealthy will only deepen the inequality, worsen the job crisis and create harsher times for regular New Yorkers living on Main Streets all over our state.

Clergy around the city have responded to the call to participate in this weekends prayer in. However, clergy is still needed to participate. At least another 12 more are neede. There's only about 9 nine days left to push the Governor and Senate Republicans to extend the millionaires tax. 

If you, or know someone, who would like to participate, please let Zakaria Nasari (information below) so they can organize press around this event. Imagine if the article read over "100 places of worship across the state Pray for Governor Cuomo to do the right thing and protect our communities not millionaires."

Clergy that has agreed to participate so far:

Bishop Findlayter- has agreed to let press in

Reverend Osbourne- will speak to press

Imam Konate-Will speak to press

Imam Bajaha

Reverend Walston- will speak to press

Imam Abdullah

Imam Saif

Rabbi Ellen Lippmann

Please contact:
Zakiyah Ansari

233 Broadway
New York, NY 10279
212 328 9266
917 309 5742

You're Invited...

3rd Annual
Global Sikh Civil and Human Rights Report

This is an annual publication that highlights the civil and human rights abuses perpetrated against Sikhs and other minority communities worldwide.

The event will take place on Monday March 28, 2011 from 1:00 – 3:00 pm in
the Church Center for the United Nations, 777 United Nations Plaza, 2nd
Floor Conference Room, New York, NY 10017.

The UNITED SIKHS legal team will present the findings from the report at the
press conference. This will be followed by brief comments by advocates from
human and civil rights organization. The press conference will conclude with
a Q&A session.

The Report combines data from primary and secondary sources from 29
countries around the world, and is a unique publication, being primarily
focused on human rights abuses affecting the global Sikh community. The
Report demonstrates how minority communities are increasingly facing the
brunt of evolving governmental and international policies that threaten
their identity. Over the years, it has informed the work of Sikh and
non-Sikh civil and human rights advocates, litigators, and non-profit

Panel Speakers:

· Dan Mach, American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)/ Freedom of
Religion and Belief, [DC]

· Pabitra Benjamin, Field Director, Rights Working Group (RWG), [DC]

· Dr. Bobbi Nassar, Vice Chair for the NGO Committee on Human
Rights, [NY]

· Thane Rosenbaum, Fordham Law Professor/ John Whelan Distinguished
Lecturer in Law and Director of the Forum on Law, Culture & Society, [NY]

· Department of Justice (DOJ)/ Community Relations Services, [DC]
(invitation extended)

· Hansdeep Singh (Senior Staff Attorney)/ Ilana Ofgang (Legal

***For questions or to RSVP to the event please contact Rucha Kavathe
by calling 1-646-688-3525 or by email at


UNITED SIKHS is a UN-affiliated, international non-profit, humanitarian
relief, human development and advocacy organization. The Global Sikh Civil &
Human Rights Report is an annual publication highlighting the civil and
human rights abuses faced by Sikhs and other communities worldwide

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Your invited...

Join NY Faith & Justice, Metro Hope Church, and NY Theological Seminary as we take part in:
Join us this Friday as we stand in solidarity with the Haitian people as they continue to recover from the devastating earthquake just over a year ago. What has worked in the recovery, what hasn't, and what is the role of the American faith community as the road to recovery continues.

A night of discussion, music, and readings will feature:

Kent Annan of Haiti Partners & Author of "After Shock"

Panel Discussion Including:

MIDWIN CHARLES Esq. Founder, Midwin Charles & Associates LLC
VLADIMIR DUTHIERS, Journalist, CNN/ Anderson Cooper 360
FERENTZ LAFARGUE, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Literary Studies, Eugene Lang College, The New School
Rev. Chloe Breyer, Exec. Dir, The Interfaith Center of NY


Friday, MARCH 25TH 2011
125th Street & 5th Avenue


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

You're Invited...


Faith-Rooted Organizing Training

March 4, 2011
faithrootedFaith-Rooted Organizing Training

NY Faith & Justice Invites you to...

Faith-Rooted Organizing Training

Friday, March 4, 2011
9:00am to 5:30pm

(with break from 11:30-1pm)

Hosted by Judson Memorial Church

55 Washington Square South

New York, NY 10012

Come experience this one-day introductory training on how to address injustice in our city and our world in a way that draws power from the roots of our faith. Faith-rooted organizing is bringing people together to create change in a way that is shaped and guided in every way by the deepest beliefs of our faith. It is not "faith-based" organizing which focuses simply on organizing people of faith. Instead, faith-rooted organizing draws from the real power of our faith to enable people of faith, all faiths, to contribute their unique gifts to the broader movement for social and economic justice.

The Trainers:

Rev. Alexia Salvatierra

is the executive director of C.L.U.E. (Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice), an organization of religious leaders in four cities in California (San Fransisco, Los Angeles, Orange County, and San Diego). C.L.U.E. supports low-wage workers in their struggle for a living wage, health insurance, fair working conditions and a voice in the decisions that affect them.

Lisa Sharon Harper

is the executive director of NY Faith & Justice, a growing movement of congregations, advocates, government representatives, and individuals committed to ending poverty in New York through spiritual formation, education, and direct advocacy.

How to Register:

To register click this link or paste into your browser:

Or contact Saralyn Jones at or call (212) 870-1254.

Co-sponsored by:

Judson Memorial Church, Bread for the World, Brooklyn Congregations United, Bronx Health REACH, Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies, Habitat for Humanity, Metro Hope Church, Micah Institute, New York

Faith and Justice, Trinity Grace Church, We ACT for Environmental Justice

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Faith Leaders for Environmental Justice Breakfast!!

Join us on Thursday, February 10th for the first Faith Leaders for Environmental Justice quarterly breakfast of 2011! We will be updating everyone on the Food and Health Summit Working Groups as well as discussing toxic hazards in the home. WeAct for Environmental Justice will be making a very sensible and constructive presentation about ways to identify and remove toxic agents from both you and your community's homes.

We hope to see you there!!

Faith Leaders for Environmental Justice
First Quarterly Breakfast of 2011
When: Thursday, February 10th
Time: Breakfast @ 8:30am
Program from 9 to 11am
Where: The Riverside Church of NY
Room 10T
91 Claremont Ave.
NY, NY 10027

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Let Your Voice Be Heard...Wal Mart Free NYC

Join small business owners, community leaders and faith leaders at a rally prior to the City Council Hearing on Wal-Mart to urge the City Council to not allow Wal-Mart to move into NYC!
Who: Wal-Mart Free NYC Coalition
What: Rally to Keep Wal-Mart out of NYC
Where: Steps of City Hall
When: Thursday February 3 @ 11 AM

Monday, January 31, 2011

Have You Joined a Food Justice Working Group Yet??

FFHD Dialogue Circle3

This past fall, the Food, Faith, and Health Disparities Summit was held to work on combatting the food and health disparities that NYC neighborhoods are experiencing. Based on the deliberations of the Summit participants, working groups were formed around the common themes that were brought up to combat the disparities. Below is a description of each group along with sign up information and info on their first meeting. The meetings have begun but it's not too late to join! So, please scroll down, check it out, and join us for a new year to bring real justice in New York City!

How to Register for a Working Group: Please contact me at or reach me by cell at917.628.5131.

In Faith & Justice,

Stephen Tickner
NY Faith & Justice
Director, Food Faith & Health Disparities Initiatives

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 promote health and healthy living. This could mean the launch of another Food Summit focused on building bridges between faith, advocates, government, and business communities.

Organizer: Sharon Wong, NYC Food & Fitness

Next Meeting: THIS Tuesday, February 1st from 5 to 7:30pm

Location: City Harvest

575 8th Avenue (btw 38th & 39th St)

4th floor

NY, NY 10018

**Please contact Sharon Wong at to RSVP for this meeting.

The Farm Bill

Every wonder why vegetables and fruit are so expensive and soda and potato chips are so cheap? American tax payers subsidize the production of corn, soy, and sugar, but not vegetables and fruit. In other words, we help big agribusiness produce a whole lot of unhealthy stuff. So, the prices of unhealthy food are cheaper.

What if American tax payers switched their priorities? What if we demanded that our tax dollars be used to help farmers produce healthy foods? This group will focus on the source of the subsidies--the U.S. Farm Bill. They will focus on shifting subsidies from soy, corn and sugar to fruits and vegetables.

Organizer: Flavia DeSouza, Bread for the World

Next Meeting: Wednesday, February 10th from 6 to 8pm

NY Theological Seminary Conference Room

@ The Interchurch Center

475 Riverside Dr., 5th floor (entrance on 120th & Claremont, 1 block west of Broadway)

NY, NY 10027

Community Engagement

This group will develop creative ways to engage faith communities, schools, and community groups 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 (Community Sponsored Agriculture projects).

Organizer: Michael Castillejos, Trinity Grace Church

Next Meeting: February 17th (details to come)

Food and Voter Education

This group will educate faith communities and community groups on 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.

Organizer: Kelly Moltzen, Bronx Health Reach and Regina Howard-Norman, Walker Memorial Baptist Church

First Meeting: Monday, February 14th

6:30 to 8:30pm

NY Theological Seminary Conference Room

@The Interchurch Center

5th Floor

475 Riverside Dr. (entrance on SW corner of 120th & Claremont, 1 block west of Broadway)

NY, NY 10115

To RSVP contact Stephen at or call 917.628.5131

Incentives to Purchase Healthy Foods

Recently, there's been a lot of hoopla about banning folks on food stamps from purchasing soda. There are arguments for and against this policy, but did you know the average food stamp benefit is only $99 per month? How much healthy food would you be able to purchase with less than $100 per month? Rather than banning the purchase of soda, why don't we make it more possible for poor people to make healthier choices?

This group will call on NYC policy-makers to incentivize the purchase of healthy food for people receiving government assistance.

Organizer: Jaime Gutierrez, NY Academy of Medicine

First Meeting: Wednesday, February 2nd

6 to 8pm

NY Theological Seminary Conference Room

@The Interchurch Center

5th Floor

475 Riverside Dr. (entrance on SW corner of 120th & Claremont)

NY, NY 10115

**Please contact Stephen at to RSVP