Today, Cedric Richmond, Senior Advisor to the President and Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement, hosted a meeting with the Circle of Protection, a diverse coalition of Christian denominations with close to 100 million members, to discuss President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda and its historic investments in anti-poverty initiatives and programs that support children and families. Melissa Rogers, Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Josh Dickson, Deputy Director of the White House Partnerships Office, and Trey Baker, White House Senior Advisor for Public Engagement, also joined the meeting.

The meeting was part of the Administration’s efforts to hear directly from Americans of all backgrounds about the impact the Build Back Better agenda would have on their communities. The faith leaders stressed the importance of including the Child Tax Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, and housing support in the bill. The group also discussed the need to pass legislation that serves the common good, promotes racial equity, and supports economic mobility and opportunity for children and families of all backgrounds, especially the most vulnerable.

Administration officials reiterated the President’s commitment to creating jobs, lifting children out of poverty, cutting taxes, and lowering costs for working families in the Build Back Better agenda—all paid for by making the tax code fairer and making the wealthiest and large corporations pay their fair share. The Administration also reiterated President Biden’s desire to ensure racial equity and economic opportunity are foundational components of the bill, and committed to continued engagement and partnership with these groups.

Participants included: 

  • Rev. Jim Wallis, Chair and Director, Center on Faith and Justice, McCourt School of Public Policy, Georgetown University
  • Rev. David Beckmann, President Emeritus, Bread for the World
  • Bishop Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop and Primate, The Episcopal Church
  • Rev. Elizabeth Eaton, Presiding Bishop, Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
  • Rev. Walter Kim, President, National Association of Evangelicals
  • Anthony Granado, Vice President, Catholic Charities
  • Rev. Adam Taylor, President, Sojourners
  • Heather Taylor, Director of Strategic Communications and Campaigns, Bread for the World
  • Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner, Co-Convener, National African American Clergy Network
  • Diane Randall, General Secretary, Friends Committee on National Legislation
  • Rev. Dr. Gabriel Salguero, President, National Latino Evangelical Coalition and Pastor, The Gathering Place

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