Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships

Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships Blog

  • Watch out for the D.O.G.S.

    Secretary Arne Duncan visits with a Watch D.O.G.S. dad

    Secretary of Education Arne Duncan visits with a Watch D.O.G.S. dad. June 13, 2011.

    Yesterday morning, we hosted Secretary of Education Arne Duncan at Two Rivers Public Charter School here in Washington.  Secretary Duncan was at Two Rivers to check out the WatchD.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) program.  Have you heard about WatchD.O.G.S.? It’s a national program in over 2,000 schools that encourages fathers to volunteer at least one day every year in their local school.  These dads are having an extraordinary impact.  Check out the pictures below, and find out how to start or get involved in WatchD.O.G.S. at your neighborhood school.

    As you know, fatherhood in America is one of the passions of President Obama’s life.  He grew up without his dad, every day he goes home to two beautiful little girls, and he calls his role as a father “the most important job I have.”  Far too many young people in our country grow up without their father, and when dads are not around, young people are more likely to drop out of school, use drugs, be involved in the criminal justice system, and become young parents themselves.  For the past two years, we’ve been working with partners from around the country to impact fatherlessness in America, and we’ll have some exciting news about new initiatives this week. 

     So stay tuned – and check out the WatchD.O.G.S. below!

    Secretary Arne Duncan Talks with Watch D.O.G.S. Dads and Kids

    Secretary Arne Duncan talks to Watch D.O.G.S. dads and kids. June 13, 2011.

    Watch D.O.G.S. Dad Works with Kids

    A Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of Great Students) volunteer dad works with kids at Two Rivers Public Charter School. June 13, 2011.

    Watch D.OG.S. Dad Working with a child

    A Watch D.O.G.S. dad working with a child at Two Rivers Public Charter School. June 13, 2011.

    Watch D.OG.S. Dad Volunteers with Reading

    A Watch D.O.G.S. (Dads of great students) volunteer dad reading to a child at Two Rivers Public Charter School. June 13, 2011.

    Joshua DuBois serves as Special Assistant to the President and Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

  • First Lady’s Joining Forces Call with Faith and Community Leaders Generates Momentum and Interest in Models

    Phone calls and emails inquiring about the Partners in Care program have been numerous and daily since the Joining Forces conference call with Mrs. Obama last month. I have been encouraged by this tremendous interest and desire of faith communities and organizations across the United States to offer support to military members, veterans, and their families.

    When asked to be a speaker for the Joining Forces teleconference, I was both humbled and honored to be able to explain to other faith communities and faith-based neighborhood organizations across the United States how the Maryland National Guard's Partners in Care initiative could offer a model to channel support to those in the military community.

  • Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook Sworn-In as New Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom

    Yesterday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton presided over the swearing-in ceremony for our new Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook.  Ambassador Johnson Cook has had a distinguished career working for religious freedom that she will bring to bear in her new role as our Nation’s advocate for religious liberty around the globe.

    The issue of religious freedom is an important one for this Administration. Last month, the President spoke to this integral issue: “Such tolerance is particularly important when it comes to religion.  In Tahrir Square, we heard Egyptians from all walks of life chant, ‘Muslims, Christians, we are one.’  America will work to see that this spirit prevails -– that all faiths are respected, and that bridges are built among them.  In a region that was the birthplace of three world religions, intolerance can lead only to suffering and stagnation.  And for this season of change to succeed, Coptic Christians must have the right to worship freely in Cairo, just as Shia must never have their mosques destroyed in Bahrain.”

    As the chief spokesperson for Religious Freedom at the State Department, Ambassador Johnson Cook will have an integral role in implementing the President’s policies throughout the world. She will also be a key advisor to President Obama and Secretary Clinton regarding matters of religious freedom. I am excited to work with Ambassador Johnson Cook as we promote opportunities to increase interfaith dialogue and cooperation, and Americans can be proud that we have such a bold, stalwart advocate for religious freedom advancing our ideals abroad.

    Joshua DuBois serves as Special Assistant to the President and Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

  • Job Clubs & Employment Ministries: On the Front Lines of Getting Americans Back to Work

    Preparing 20th century workers for the 21st century workforce; these words describe the mission of Tuesdays with Transitioners, a job club run by Jennifer Oliver O’Connell at the Congregational Church of Northridge in Northridge, CA.

    This week, I had the opportunity to hear first-hand how job clubs like Jennifer’s are helping Americans get back to work during a roundtable event organized by my department’s Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships (CFBNP). For example, Jennifer utilizes social media and the latest technology, including tools such as LinkedIn to train all of her job club members how to network.

    The event also marked the launch of a new project by the CFBNP to reach out to the many job clubs – also known as career ministries, network groups, and work search roundtables, among other names – across the country and link them with the public workforce system, including DOL’s network of 3,000 One-Stop Career Centers.  

  • Joshua DuBois Highlights Administration Support for Foster Care Adoption at Summit

    Joshua DuBois at Wendys Wonderful Kids

    Joshua DuBois, Executive Director of The White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, speaks at the Wendy's Wonderful Kids program in Columbus, Ohio. May 17, 2011.

    Today, there are more than 114,000 children in foster care waiting to be adopted.  These are children who entered foster care through no fault of their own, and deserve a family as much as any other child.

    Fortunately, organizations around the country are working tirelessly with the Obama Administration to  make sure every child has a loving home. One of those organizations is the Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption and their Wendy’s Wonderful Kids program. Earlier this week, Joshua DuBois spoke at the 2011 Wendy’s Wonderful Kids Annual Summit in Columbus, Ohio, and shared with them President Obama’s commitment to improving the lives of youth in foster care.

  • Supporting Our Sisters and Brothers in Alabama

    Briefing from Emergency Management Officials

    Joshua DuBois, Special Assitant to the President and Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships is briefed on the damage in Alabama from Emergency Management Officials May 10, 2011.

    Last week, I had the honor to travel to Alabama and spend time with folks who have been impacted by the recent Southern Storms.  I can tell you that the devastation after tornados swept through that great state is nothing short of breathtaking.
    Our office and our Center at the Department of Homeland Security, led by Director David Myers, are focused on making sure that faith-based organizations have the tools they need to help communities respond and recover.  We are working to ensure that houses of worship and nonprofit organizations are plugged into disaster response, and that everyday folks know how they can get help in the weeks ahead.
    We started off in Birmingham and met with key leaders who are active in the rebuilding and recovery efforts. Then we went to Tuscaloosa and toured the heart of the damage, first on the ground and then by helicopter.  We also met with the mayor of Tuscaloosa and identified some concrete ways we can help that city get back on its feet.  David and I concluded a long day by hosting a pastors forum back in Birmingham, seeking to equip local leaders with information they could pass on to their congregants this Sunday.
    I’ve included a few pictures from the trip below that give some sense of the damage and resolve of folks to recover.  And below are other helpful links for you to share with your networks regarding the most recent developments and how you can help. These links and more information can be found on

    I hope you’ll join me in remembering and supporting our friends in Alabama and working for a full recovery.

    Tuscaloosa After the Flood

    A picture of the damage in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. May 10, 2011.

    Briefing from Emergency Management Officials

    Joshua DuBois, Special Assistant to the President and Executive Director of The White House Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships speaks with an Emergency Management Official in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. May 10, 2011.

    Meeting with Mayor Dean of Tuscaloosa

    Joshua DuBois meets with Mayor Dean of Tuscaloosa, Alabama. May 10, 2011.

    Joshua DuBois serves as Special Assistant to the President and Executive Director of The White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships.