Continues Bush's Policy of Mixing Church and State VIA White House
Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and the Council on Faith-Based and
Federal Initiatives Project
Barack Obama announced President Bush’s White House Office of Faith-Based and
Community Initiatives will continue in his administration under the name “the
Office on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.” It will focus on
four priorities: (1) ensuring community groups are a key part of the economic
recovery and the reduction of poverty, (2) examining ways to support women and
children, address teen pregnancy, and reduce abortions, (3) encouraging
responsible fatherhood, and (4) fostering interfaith dialogue with leaders and
scholars around the world.
Obama appointed Joshua DuBois to lead the office. Mr. DuBois, 26, is a
former Pentecostal pastor and advisor to Mr. Obama in his U.S. Senate office and
Presidential campaign. Some critics note that Mr. DuBois has no experience
working with charities.
new President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
(COFANP), composed of religious and secular leaders and scholars from different
backgrounds, will work with the White House Office.
& CEO, Seedco (New York, New York). Seedco is a national nonprofit
organization that works with community partners in low income communities to
create new ways to help job seekers, workers, and neighborhood entrepreneurs
achieve economic advancement. Ms. Baillargeon has worked in the public
sector, as well as providing consulting services to nonprofits.
Arturo Chávez, Ph.D.,
President & CEO, Mexican American Cultural Center (San Antonio, Texas).
Dr. Chávez has broad experience as an inner city teacher and youth minister,
chaplain to incarcerated youth, and community organizer and activist. His
areas of expertise include multicultural communities, Latino youth and family
ministry, immigration, and Catholic social thought.
Public/Private Ventures (New York, New York). Public/Private Ventures
(P/PV) creates and strengthens programs to improve the lives of residents in
low-income communities. Mr. Davie’s background includes broad public and
private sector experience. While at P/PV, he collaborated with the Bush
Administration to develop the Prisoner Reentry Initiative.
Joel C. Hunter, Senior
Pastor, Northland, a Church Distributed (Lakeland, Florida). Pastor Hunter
is an internationally known spokesperson for compassion issues such as sanctity
of life, creation care, justice, poverty, and marriage and the family. He
serves on the boards of the World Evangelical Alliance and the National
Association of Evangelicals, and as a delegate to the US-Islamic World Forum.
Vashti M. McKenzie, Presiding
Bishop, 13th Episcopal District, African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church
(Knoxville, Tennessee). The first female bishop in the AME Church, Bishop
McKenzie previously served as pastor of an inner city Baltimore church.
During her tenure the church built 15 new social service ministries.
Otis Moss, Jr., Pastor
emeritus, Olivet Institutional Baptist Church (Cleveland, Ohio). Friend of
Martin Luther King, Jr., Rev. Moss was involved in the early civil rights
movement. As pastor, Rev. Moss pushed for civil rights, neighborhood
revitalization, and quality medical care. His son, Rev. Otis Moss, III,
leads Chicago’s Trinity United Church of Christ, formerly led by Rev. Jeremiah
Wright Jr. and attended by President Obama.
Frank S. Page, President
emeritus, Southern Baptist Convention (Taylors, South Carolina). Dr. Page
holds a Ph.D. degree in Christian Ethics focusing on moral, social, and ethical
issues. During his pastorate, First Baptist Church of Taylors has
dramatically increased its outreach to the surrounding community. Dr. Page
stated he’s “conservative  in theology as well as in politics” and was
“shocked” to be chosen for the Council, but he felt he could play an
important role in helping set the direction for the organization – if he is
taken seriously, and if not, he says he will not be part of it.
S. Patel, Founder
& Executive Director, Interfaith Youth Corps (Chicago, Illinois).
Interfaith Youth Core is a global interfaith youth movement seeking to build
mutual respect and pluralism among religiously diverse young people by
empowering them to work together to serve others. Mr. Patel is the author
of Faith: The Story of an American Muslim, the Struggle for the Soul of a
Generation and “The Faith Divide,” a featured blog on religion forThe
Washington Post. He was named by Islamica
Magazine as one of ten young Muslim visionaries shaping Islam in
& Director, Wake Forest School of Divinity Center for Religion and Public
Affairs (Winston-Salem, North Carolina). Prof. Rogers is a visiting
professor of religion and public policy at Wake Forest University Divinity
School. She previously served as executive director of the Pew Forum on
Religion and Public Life and as general counsel of the Baptist Joint Committee
on Religious Liberty. Prof. Rogers helped lead a diverse coalition of
religious and civil liberties organizations supporting the enactment of the
Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act of 2000 (RLUIPA).
David N. Saperstein, Director
& Counsel, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism (Washington, D.C.).
Rabbi Saperstein has served as the director and chief legal counsel at the Union
for Reform Judaism’s Religious Action Center for over 30 years. He
currently co-chairs the Coalition to Preserve Religious Liberty, and serves on
the boards of the NAACP and People For the American Way. In 1999, Rabbi
Saperstein was elected as the first Chairman of the U.S. Commission on
International Religious Freedom.
William J. Shaw, President,
National Baptist Convention, USA (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania). Dr. Shaw
leads the largest African American religious organization in the nation.
As pastor of White Rock Baptist Church since 1956, he has overseen the
establishment of several outreach ministries, including after school programs
and a substance abuse ministry. He serves as Chairman of the Trustee Board
for the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and is a member ex
officio on the Board of Penn Medicine.
Larry J. Snyder, President,
Catholic Charities USA (Alexandria, Virginia). Catholic Charities USA is
the national membership association of more than 1,500 local Catholic Charities
agencies that help more than 7.4 million people a year, regardless of their
religious, social, or economic backgrounds. Father Snyder oversees
Catholic Charities USA’s Campaign to Reduce Poverty in America, which aims to
cut poverty in half by 2020 by urging the federal government to prioritize the
needs of the poor.
World Vision (Bellevue, Washington). World Vision is a Christian relief
and development organization dedicated to helping children and their communities
worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty.
Mr. Stearns brought nearly 25 years of corporate experience to World Vision.
He has made helping children and families affected by the worldwide AIDS crisis
N. Vredenburgh, President
& CEO, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America (BBBS) (Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania). With nearly 400 agencies across the country, BBBS serves
more than a quarter million children. Ms. Vredenburgh places major
emphasis on increasing measurable impacts resulting from BBBS relationships.
She came to BBBS with 29 years of management experience, in both for-profit and
Jim Wallis, President
& Executive Director, Sojourners (Washington, D.C.). Author, public
theologian, and commentator on religion and politics, Rev. Wallis is best known
as founder and editor of Sojourners Magazine and the Washington, D.C.-based
Christian community of the same name. He is the convener of Call to
Renewal, an interfaith effort to end poverty. Rev. Wallis’ books include The
Great Awakening: Reviving Faith & Politics in a Post-Religious Right America and God’s
Politics: Why the Right Gets It Wrong and the Left Doesn’t Get It.