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In the News


Greater Cleveland Congregegations pledges to use interfaith muscle for social justice

Monday, June 6, 2011
WCBN Ideastream

During her tenure as Dean of Cleveland’s Trinity Cathedral over the past decade, Tracey Lind has seen interfaith groups come and go. Mostly go. Until recently, few suburban congregations saw the need to collaborate with city churches. And collaborations between Muslims and Jews were not common. Lind claims the newly formed Greater Cleveland Congregations, or GCC, aims to change that. She says the recession has prompted more groups to work together...


Interfaith service hopes to improve city

Monday, June 6, 2011
WEWS ABC 5

CLEVELAND - An estimated two thousand people packed an interfaith service Monday night in Cleveland with the goal of making the city a "more just and prosperous place." Greater Cleveland Congregations united people from 40 different churches, synagogues, mosques, and neighbored centers at the Masonic Auditorium...


Muslim Cultural Center Appears Near Approval

Thursday, March 17, 2011
New York Times

A long battle over a proposed mosque in DuPage County is approaching a turning point, and although anti-Muslim sentiment and resistance to mosques in the Chicago area are hardly going away, Muslims appear to be winning this time.


Community organisers learn powers of persuasion

Tuesday, March 1, 2011
The Guardian

As communities get the power to run their own public services, Jessica Shepherd attends a workshop on the art of influence.

The faces around the table are growing redder as both sides become exasperated. A council leader has agreed to meet with a local campaign group that wants to change his mind about shutting a centre for disabled people in the borough. "I'm afraid difficult decisions must be made," the council leader says. "I have another meeting now so we'll have to wrap up..."

Desperately, the campaign group's leader searches for a trump card. "We are inviting you to visit the centre. Will we have to tell the local press you won't be coming?"

"That's it! Use tension. Make specific demands. Speak to his self-interests," the session leader calls out...


In good faith?

Thursday, February 17, 2011
Chicago Tribune

The members of the Muslim Educational and Cultural Center of America want to move their mosque to unincorporated Willowbrook because they have outgrown their space in an office park in the village. Seems clear-cut, yet DuPage County leaders are resisting.

In January, the county's Zoning Board of Appeals rejected plans for the MECCA mosque. Earlier this month, the County Board declined to vote on the proposal, kicking it back to planning officials for more study...


Interfaith group Community Building to combat Greater Cleveland's social ills

Thursday, September 16, 2010
Cleveland Plain Dealer

BEACHWOOD, Ohio — About 350 people of Jewish, Christian and Muslim faiths gathered at Anshe Chesed Fairmount Temple on Tuesday in a call to battle the social ills of Cleveland and its suburbs.

Rabbi Richard Block of Temple-Tifereth Israel in Cleveland and Beachwood said that during his 10 years here he has never seen such a large organizing effort by an interfaith group.

"I'll call this promising," he said. "This is a diverse, powerful group of congregations..."


Gordon Brown triumphs in unofficial fourth TV leadership debate

Monday, May 3, 2010
The Guardian

Prime minister puts in extraordinary performance when the three party leaders addressed community groups.

Gordon Brown today put in one of the most extraordinary performances of his tenure as prime minister when the three party leaders took part in an unofficial fourth debate – addressing community groups in the largest live audience of the election campaign.

As the Labour party battles to avoid coming third on Thursday, Brown appeared to find an emotional range and vocabulary previously unheard from him. Prompting repeated standing ovations, he told the audience: "As you fight for fairness, you will always find in me a friend, a partner and a brother." The speech, before 2,500 voters in a large church hall, may end up having been the most electrifying event of the campaign. Critics of the prime minister described it as one of the best speeches they have seen by a politician...


Leaders urge Quinn to re-imagine Illinois at North Shore synagogue

Tuesday, May 19, 2009
Chicago Tribune

A group of Chicago-area religious and civic leaders met with Gov. Pat Quinn at a North Shore synagogue aiming to send him back to Springfield with a mission: clean up Illinois politics.

“We need to take stock of the immense challenges facing the state,” Ibrahim Mohamed said as he explained the purpose of the meeting. “Cronyism and corruption seem to touch all parts of the state...”


Religions have the power to bring a passion for social justice to politics

Monday, January 12, 2009
The Guardian

Liberal secularists who have so far overlooked Obama's belief should brace themselves for an even greater challenge.

At first I thought it just plain daft; why waste £150,000 putting a slogan on hundreds of London buses: "There's probably no God. Now stop worrying and enjoy your life." It managed to combine so many dotty assumptions - belief in God as a source of worry or as a denial of enjoyment - that I couldn't see who it was supposed to convince. Besides, how can "probably" change someone's mind?

Then I thought about how it might look through the eyes of some of the people who travel on the buses I use from Hackney. The ones who look exhausted returning from a night shift of cleaning. Often they have a well-thumbed Bible or prayer book to read on their journey...


Thousands of church members meet near Dumfries

Wednesday, October 8, 2008
News and Messenger

The first gathering of Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement, or VOICE, drew 2,014 people from 40 congregations from Prince William, Arlington and Fairfax counties and the city of Alexandria.

Leaders from the congregations that represent 120,000 people met at First Mount Zion Baptist Church near Dumfries on Sunday afternoon and pledged $228,950 to the organization’s mission of providing more affordable housing, strengthening education for people who want to learn English and providing affordable dental care...


Wherever two or three thousand are gathered

Thursday, July 24, 2008
U.S. Catholic

The 1,200 people who packed Olivet Baptist Church on Chicago's South Side on a chilly Monday evening last December were assured by the event's organizers that the meeting would begin on the dot at 7:30 and last one hour and 15 minutes. They delivered on both counts. This was but one in a series of assemblies sponsored by United Power for Action and Justice, a massive citizens' organization created in 1997. The gathering-a racial rainbow from city and suburbs-included white collar, blue collar, and no collar. They cheered and clapped appropriately as the agenda items were clicked off with almost military precision. The major issue on the table was the nearly 2 million people in the Chicago metropolitan area without health insurance...


Coaltion Seeks Solutions

Monday, April 14, 2008
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Common Ground rally inaugurates effort to make region a better place to live More than 2,300 people from the four-county area gathered Sunday to launch a major new effort to build a diverse, nonpartisan political organization to tackle the social issues facing Milwaukee and the surrounding area. The founding convention of the Southeastern Wisconsin Common Ground at the Midwest Airlines Center resembled a revival and civic pep rally with a history lesson and civics 101 class tossed in as speaker after speaker committed to working for change to build a better region...


An Advocate Lends a Hand as Social Justice Goals Unify Faiths

Sunday, June 17, 2007
New York Times

CHICAGO

Lina Jamoul stood amid the London multitudes that day in February 2003, and in the masses of antiwar marchers in Hyde Park she imagined she saw her political future. There were Socialists and fashion models, dentists and nuns, the sort of coalition that an idealistic graduate student like Ms. Jamoul could envision not only stopping the impending invasion of Iraq, but also making social change at home.

Then the weeks passed and the throngs dissipated and the war began and the whole enterprise, at least in Ms. Jamoul’s eyes, dwindled to rote slogans and camp followers...


Important faces in the AIM crowd

Thursday, March 16, 2006
Washington Post

Action in Montgomery, a coalition of religious congregations considered by some to be the county's most powerful grass-roots organization, announced its 2006 agenda at a rousing meeting at Woodside United Methodist Church in Silver Spring last week, and the politicians turned out to hear it. The event drew 708 religious leaders and congregants...


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