Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships

Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships Blog

  • President Obama Extends Warmest Wishes for Diwali

    Today, President Obama wished a Happy Diwali to all those who celebrate the festival of lights.

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    In 2009, President Obama became the first U.S. president to celebrate the festival of lights, a time of rejoicing for many in the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community and across the world.

  • Kicking Off the Fourth Annual Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge

    Acting on a recommendation by the first Advisory Council on Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, President Obama established the Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge to build bridges of understanding across our differences, especially among rising leaders, and to serve our neighbors. Interfaith service involves people from different religious and non-religious backgrounds tackling community challenges together – for example, Protestants and Catholics, Hindus and Jews, and Muslims and non-believers – building a Habitat for Humanity house together. Interfaith service impacts specific community challenges, while building social capital and civility.

    This week, the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Department of Education, and Corporation for National and Community Service hosted a gathering to kick off the President’s Fourth Annual Interfaith and Community Service Campus Challenge. More than 500 college students, chaplains, faculty, and administrators – including over 50 college presidents – participated in the two-day event.

    The Challenge has grown by leaps and bounds since 2011 when President Obama first encouraged college presidents to establish or expand programs in interfaith and community service. Currently, more than 400 institutions of higher education participate in the Challenge.

  • Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of AmeriCorps and Our Country’s Commitment to Public Service

    Ed. note: This is cross-posted on the U.S. Department of Commerce's blog. See the original post here.

    Our country is built on a deeply held commitment to service and community. From our women and men in uniform to our educators to those who administer important government programs, each day millions of Americans give of themselves to ensure the safety, hope and livelihood of their neighbor. Without a doubt, one of the great things about the United States is the way in which the success of each of us is tied to the success of all of us.

    The AmeriCorps national service program, which celebrates its 20th anniversary today, is a fantastic representation of this. AmeriCorps engages more than 75,000 Americans in intensive service each year at nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country. Since the program’s founding in 1994, more than 900,000 AmeriCorps members have contributed more than 1.2 billion hours in service across America while tackling pressing problems and mobilizing millions of volunteers for the organizations they serve.

  • World Day Against Trafficking in Persons: Continuing the Fight

    Ed. note: This is cross-posted on the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's blog. See the original post here.

    Today, the United Nations will mark the first ever World Day Against Trafficking in Persons to raise awareness around the global issue of human trafficking and to encourage the international community to take action against this heinous crime.

    Established four years ago, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Blue Campaign coordinates the Department’s ongoing efforts to work across our many missions to combat human trafficking. Fighting the hidden crime of human trafficking requires a collaborative effort, and the Blue Campaign works with DHS components to increase awareness, protect and support victims, investigate trafficking cases, and assist in the prosecution of traffickers.

    DHS continues to focus an unprecedented level of resources and engagement to combat human trafficking through a victim-centered approach. The Blue Campaign offers training and educational resources, raises public awareness through a multi-format media campaign, and enters into diverse partnerships to carry the message forward, improve reporting of human trafficking, and assist our efforts to protect victims and bring traffickers to justice.

    To date, more than 150,000 individuals – including government employees, law enforcement personnel, medical services providers, transportation workers, private sector employees, and many others – have been trained on the key indicators of human trafficking.

  • Celebrating Eid and Reflecting on How Faith Works

    Ed. note: This is cross-posted on USAID Impact, the official blog of the U.S. Agency for International Development. See the original post here.

    School girls in Sana’a gather for their lesson

    School girls in Sana’a gather for their lesson. Since many girls in Yemen do not attend primary school or graduate from it, recent USAID-backed measures have ensured all girls a right to attend school and increase literacy. (Clinton Doggett / USAID)

    Eid Mubarak. As Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al-Fitr, we share our warmest and joyous wishes with them and their families. Earlier this month, we hosted our Agency’s 12th annual Iftar dinner. It was—as always—a welcome pause from our daily responsibilities and a reminder of the mission we serve. As President Obama said, Ramadan is a time for spiritual renewal and devotion—a chance to honor a faith known for its diversity and commitment to the dignity of all human beings.

    We came together in reflection at a time when our mission—and our values—are being tested. Across the globe, millions of children, especially girls, face daunting threats. Syrian children continue to endure relentless dangers, from barrel bombs to extremist militias. Girls in India risk their lives simply by fetching water or visiting latrines. Children in Nigeria attend schools that are targets for terrorists rather than a sanctuary for learning.

  • Commerce Co-Hosts Business and Community Partnerships Summit in Denver, Colorado

    Group meeting at the Denver Business and Community Partnerships Summit.

    The U.S. Department of Commerce joins the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Mile High United Way, the Office of Governor John Hickenlooper, the Office of Mayor Michael Hancock, and Opportunity Nation to co-host the Denver Business and Community Partnerships Summit.

    Ed. note: This is cross-posted on the U.S. Department of Commerce's blog. See the original post here.

    On Monday, the U.S. Department of Commerce joined the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, the Mile High United Way, the Office of Governor John Hickenlooper, the Office of Mayor Michael Hancock and Opportunity Nation to co-host the Denver Business and Community Partnerships Summit. This first-of-its-kind event highlighted innovative ways businesses are partnering with nonprofits, faith-based organizations, institutes of higher education and the public sector to improve their communities. In addition to promoting effective cross-sector partnership models focused on workforce development, healthy communities, education and the environment, the Summit educated participants on resources offered by the federal government and provided people an opportunity to connect with others in their community interested in partnering to effect positive change. Leaders from more than 130 organizations, including over 50 businesses and more than 60 nonprofits, participated in this inaugural event. Jay Williams, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development, joined Congressman Ed Perlmutter in delivering keynote remarks.

    This was an important convening for the Commerce Department because it showcased the critical function that innovative partnerships between community-based organizations and the business community play in driving positive local development, particularly in the areas of skills and workforce training and education. The Summit also exhibited the significant contributions of multiple Commerce resources in facilitating effective community partnerships, including Economic Development Administration grants and Census data from the American Communities Survey.