Jubilee 2000 Event's "Proud Sponsors" Include NCCCUSA/CWSW 

            April 7, 2000, WASHINGTON, D.C. – Thousands of people of faith are expected to gather beginning at 12:30 p.m. Sunday, April 9, at the National Mall to be part of the “Jubilee 2000” massive public witness supporting debt cancellation for the world’s poorest countries. 

            “The National Council of Churches and Church World Service are proud to be sponsors of this historic event,” said the Rev. Bob Edgar, General Secretary of the National Council of Churches.   

Commenting that debt cancellation is among the NCC’s five legislative advocacy priorities this year, he continued, “In my memory I cannot recall a previous instance where we have had so many people planning to come to Washington in support of something like this – helping the poorest people in the poorest countries of the world.” 

“Often when there is a rally of this nature,” he said, “it is to protest AGAINST some deep concern.  Here we have thousands who plan to be in Washington to say they are FOR debt cancellation for the world’s most impoverished countries!” 

Noted the Rev. Rodney I. Page, Executive Director of Church World Service, the NCC’s humanitarian assistance ministry, “The response across the country to this Jubilee Sunday shows that Americans do care about what our government does to help people around the world.  Not only are thousands coming on Sunday, but hundreds are planning to stay over an extra day and visit with their members of Congress about this issue on Monday, April 10.”   

The Rev. Page will be taking part in a delegation of religious and organizational leaders who will be visiting the offices of Congressional leadership. 

“I think the whole day will be tremendous!” said Lisa Wright, Acting Director of the NCC/CWS Washington Office.  “People are planning to spend a beautiful spring day in Washington, listening to speakers and music, and then join in a massive human chain that will extend from the Capitol Building to the World Bank and International Monetary Fund.  I cannot remember any other event like this on the Mall that has ever had a Children’s Tent!”   

Lisa Wright represents NCC/CWS on the Steering Committee of Jubilee 2000/USA.  She coordinated planning of speakers, the Children’s Tent and the Lobby Day for the April 9-10 events. 

Speakers are to include:  Archbishop Oscar Rodriguez, Archbishop of Tegucigalpa, Honduras; John Sweeney, President, AFL-CIO; The Rev. Jim Wallis, Editor-in-Chief, Sojourners; Rabbi David Saperstein, Director, Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism; Ann Pettifor, Director, Jubilee 2000 UK; and Ricardo Navarro, President, Friends of the Earth International.  Musicians are to include:  singer-songwriter Mary Black, singer Dar Williams, the Waza Bakula African band, the Grace Lutheran Church Rainbow Choir, the Washington Conservatory Brass Ensemble, and the Equal Exchange Coffee Singers.   

The rally is sponsored by the Jubilee 2000/USA Campaign, a coalition of national environmental, labor, religious, and social justice groups calling for lifting the crushing burden of debt from the world’s poorest countries through a fair and accountable process, by the end of the year 2000. 

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