Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships

Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships Blog

  • Kicking off the Year of Strong Fathers, Strong Families

    This Father’s Day, President Obama kicked off the Year of Strong Fathers, Strong Families as part of his Fatherhood and Mentoring Initiative.  In the week leading up to Father’s Day, the White House was father-filled while we honored Champions of Change, watched Cars 2 with military dads and their kids, and as President Obama and other members of the Administration took time to reflect on the importance of fatherhood in their own lives.

    In honor of Father’s Day, President Obama sat down with Robin Roberts from Good Morning America and discussed the important role that fathers play in the lives of children, shared stories from his own experience of being a father to two young daughters, and answered questions about fatherhood from everyday Americans.  You can watch this great interview on ABC.com.  President Obama also wrote an op-ed in People Magazine that stresses the importance of being a good dad.  President Obama shared his insights on the challenges that come with fatherhood, but emphasized that the pure joys of fatherhood make being a dad one of his favorite jobs.  You can check it out on People.com.

    At the White House, we honored 15 dads and recognized them as Champions of Change.  These fathers exemplify the important role that fathers play in young children’s lives and have dedicated themselves to mentoring and supporting fathers across the country.  We encourage you to take a moment to learn more about these amazing fathers and how they are setting the standard for responsible fatherhood in our country.

  • Highlights of the Islamic Society of North America’s 48th Annual Convention

    This past weekend was the annual Islamic Society of North America conference, the largest Islamic convention in North America which gathers 40,000 Muslims all over the U.S. and Canada.  During a government roundtable session with senior leadership from the community, one community member remarked, “It is great to see the diverse representation from various federal agencies here; it shows a maturing of the relationship between our community and the government.”  I was joined at this session with colleagues from the Centers for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships at the Department of Health and Human Services and Department of Education, both of whom who had a chance to speak to the community about their respective programs.

    Over the weekend, we held a special session on how to partner with USAID where I had the opportunity to speak about the role of the Center for Faith-based and Community Initiatives at the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) as well as some of the ways that smaller NGOs and faith-based organizations can work together with USAID to achieve positive development outcomes around the world.  Check out a useful guide with detailed information on how to partner can be found.

  • Hot off the Press: A New Partnerships Toolkit

    So how can you partner with the federal government? What resources are there to support the good work of faith-based and secular nonprofits? And what’s the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships all about?  Well, we’ve created a brand new resource, Partnerships for the Common Good:  A Partnership Guide for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Organizations to provide answers to these questions!  

    This new toolkit provides information on a wide range of partnership opportunities across government. From housing to job creation, health care and education, from supporting our military families to encouraging responsible fatherhood, the new toolkit covers a number of issues of concern to community and faith-based groups.  We invite you to take a look and explore the ways that you can partner around your existing efforts, or initiate or join new ones.

  • The Health and Wellness of the Community

    Creating and Sustaining the Beloved Community Symposium in Los Angeles

    From left to right: Bishop Charles E. Blake, Sr., Dr. Lula Ballton, Tunua Thrash, Acacia Salatti, Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Dr. Preston Williams and Rev. Mark Whitlock stand together as part of the Creating and Sustaining the Beloved Community Symposium in Los Angeles. June 14, 2011. (by Foxx Media Group)

    Our diverse traditions call us to help those in need among us, and to practice the golden rule.

    That underlying spirit underscores the economic development work of Bishop Charles E. Blake, Presiding Bishop of Church of God in Christ, Inc (COGIC) and Dr. Lula Ballton, the Director of Community and Economic Development of COGIC in the South Los Angeles community.

    As a commitment to those principles, they conducted the first annual Christian Community Development Symposium at the University of Southern California Galen Center in Los Angeles, California where I served as one of the panelists.

  • Connecting Communities in the Gulf Coast

    U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina M. Benjamin at New Orleans Conference

    U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Regina M. Benjamin delivers a keynote address recognizing faith and community leaders as trusted messengers and voices of healing within their communities. June 6, 2011. (by Corporation for National and Community Service)

    It is hard to set foot in the city of New Orleans and not remember that day in August of 2005 when Hurricane Katrina hit, the levees broke, and the hearts of thousands of Gulf Coast residents and so many others broke along with them.

    New Orleans could have remained a symbol of destruction and decay; of a storm that came and the response that followed.  But that’s not what happened.  Instead, the city and region has become a symbol of resilience, community, and of the fundamental responsibility that we have to one another.

    Opening our office’s second Connecting Communities for the Common Good conference of over 500 faith and community leaders from the Gulf Coast, I recognized that it was in part because of the work of the faith and nonprofit community that I was able to stand in New Orleans that day.  During and after the storm, they comforted and consoled, fed the hungry, housed the homeless and responded to so many needs.  They are now leading the way toward a better future for the city and region with innovative approaches to fighting poverty, improving health care, reducing crime, and creating opportunities for young people.  Because of them, New Orleans and the entire Gulf Coast are coming back.

  • Faith Filled & Healthy Communities: The Memphis Congregational Health Network

    Memphis Congregational Network

    Department of Health & Human Services senior staff meets with representatives from Methodist LeBonheur Hospital of Memphis, Tennessee to learn more about their innovative community, faith-based health model.

    Recently, the HHS Partnership Center invited senior staff at the Department of Health & Human Services to meet with staff from Methodist LeBonheur Hospital of Memphis, Tennessee to learn more about their innovative community, faith-based health model.  Informally called the “Memphis Model,” this health network serves as a partnership between local hospitals, congregations, community health centers, as well as faith-based and community organizations. The objective is to show that through engaging faith communities in collaborative partnerships, health providers can not only build capacity in local communities, but also to map viable health assets.

    Sitting inside the Secretary‘s conference room, we listened as Gary Gunderson, Senior Vice President at Methodist LeBonheur Healthcare described Memphis’ healthcare challenges through lyrical statistics that told a story of heartache and despair like many of the blues records the city is famous for.  “Music and Faith are our assets…,” said Gunderson.  With faith as the foundation, the Memphis Model builds upon the strong infrastructure of churches to reach deep into hard-to-reach and underserved communities.