Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships Blog
- Posted byon April 10, 2013 at 10:55 AM EST
Modern-day slavery is one of the greatest human rights atrocities of our time. The scale and cruelty of this crime is truly unimaginable with an estimated 21 million people held in bondage through human trafficking every year. Every 30 seconds another person becomes a victim of human trafficking.
Members of President Obama’s Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships presented him with our report of recommendations on how together we can scale our partnerships to counter modern-day slavery.
This Council gathered in July 2012, as leaders from diverse religious and non-profit backgrounds, to examine how we could collectively address the issue of human trafficking. We began this work then as strangers with little knowledge or in-depth understanding of the nature of human trafficking. We had little idea of how it was touching our own congregants and our own communities.
Through our study and research on this issue, we quickly became impassioned by the scope and scale of human trafficking around the world, particularly right here in the United States. We had the opportunity to meet with and learn from amazing modern-day abolitionists, and survivors of trafficking, working to combat human trafficking both within and outside of government.
- Posted byon March 15, 2013 at 2:27 PM EST
I’m honored to be appointed as the director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. As many of you know, the mission of the Office is to form partnerships between the federal government and non-profit organizations, both secular and faith-based, to more effectively serve Americans in need.
I look forward to continuing the office’s work with our faith-based and secular partners to help expand the middle-class and build our economy through improved access to education, health care, and skills development. Another important task will be the continued implementation of the President Obama’s Executive Order that embodies common-ground reforms to strengthen these partnerships. This is a crucial step in ensuring that our partnerships are consistent with our Constitution and values.
I also look forward to continuing the office’s work with the Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships as it finalizes its recommendations regarding ways to end human trafficking.
DOJ Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships Contributes to DC Public Safety Television Segment on ReentryPosted byon September 11, 2012 at 11:20 AM EST
I recently had the opportunity to contribute to a segment with Christine Keels, Supervisory Program Analyst and the Faith-Based Initiative Team Leader of Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency (CSOSA). The segment, named “Faith-Based Initiatives for Offender Reentry”, appeared on DC Public Safety Television and was a combined effort of my office and CSOSA.
As the video explains, “the faith community has long been an important force in improving public safety, offender reentry, and victim services. Many faith-based organizations are uniquely suited to bringing together residents and local leaders to address challenges.” Among these efforts, CSOSA has joined 100 faith institutions in a mentoring program for formerly incarcerated individuals—resulting in 200 mentors being matched with 300 mentees—and approximately 500 formerly incarcerated individuals have successfully completed the program since August 2007.
- Posted byon September 5, 2012 at 11:30 AM EST
On August 25th, 2012, the Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD CFBNP) participated in a “Farmers Market: Food Desert” community outreach event to raise the awareness and importance of eating healthy and nutritious food.
The event, held at St. Elizabeths East Campus in the District of Columbia, focused on bringing up and educating a healthier generation of kids in America focusing on the benefits of eating nutritious food. HUD CFBNP was happy to partner with the District of Columbia (D.C.) Ward 8 Farmer’s Market, the D.C. Office of Deputy Mayor Victor L. Hoskins, the HUD D.C. Field Office, America’s Miss D.C. Sarah Elizabeth Hillware, and executive chef, Dwayne Hickman of the Reef restaurant in Dupont Circle. Celebrated artist and founder of Sage of Anacostia, Melani Douglass also presented and spoke about the importance of cleaning food prior to eating or cooking it and how it relates to good health and well-being.
- Posted byon August 16, 2012 at 3:59 PM EST
The efforts to help dads be better dads got a big boost on August 10 at the second New Mexico Fatherhood Forum. Hosted by the New Mexico Alliance for Fathers and Families at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, this gathering highlighted the efforts of President Obama’s responsible fatherhood initiative and many others.
The New Mexico Alliance brings together almost 20 organizations and agencies from around the state, in coordination with the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and the US Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services. Led by Allan Shedlin, Crispin Clarke, Erwin Rivera, Esther Devall and others, the New Mexico Alliance continues to shine the spotlight on how government policies, community efforts and culture can all contribute to strengthening families through helping fathers.
This is the second time interested parties from federal, state and local governments, civil society and others have gathered to highlight initiatives to help fathers. Two years ago, we gathered in rural Valencia for the inaugural meeting. Since then, the Alliance issued a comprehensive report of their recommendations and the New Mexico State Legislature passed a memorial designating August 10, 2012 as “New Mexico Fathers and Families Day.” The theme continued to highlight the cultural traditions of Rural America, Hispanic and Native Americans.
- Posted byon August 15, 2012 at 3:30 PM EST
In July, the HHS Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships had the privilege of meeting with a group of young people who have done more for their community in five months than others might do in a lifetime. The Student Leaders' Von Nieda Park Task Force of St. Anthony of Padua Church and School in Camden, New Jersey is a group of highly motivated, energized middle school students who were unhappy about what they saw in their community and decided to take action.
The students shared their passion for making change in their community with staff from the HHS Partnership Center and the Administration for Children and Families.
The students’ most recent project was the beautification of Von Nieda Park in Camden, which borders their school and had been given the nickname, "The Most Depressing Park in the Nation."
In only five months, the students removed graffiti, repaired and painted benches, removed illegally dumped trash and construction debris, installed new swings and basketball nets, constructed two community notice boards, and removed hazardous objects.
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