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March 13-15 Ecumenical Conference on Welfare Reauthorization

WHAT: Sharp differences with the Bush Administration’s welfare policy proposals are likely to characterize the National Council of Churches-sponsored "TANF Action Days for Poverty Reduction," an ecumenical conference on the pending reauthorization of "Temporary Assistance for Needy Families" and other key welfare policies. March 13-15, Washington, D.C.

The conference follows up on the NCC’s February 2001 "Consultation on the Reauthorization of TANF and Related Programs" and NCC General Assembly resolution, in November 2001, laying out principles of improvement for these programs (see and especially  


Wednesday, March 13 - 4 to 8:30 p.m., National City Christian Church, on Thomas Circle (15th & "M" Streets, N.W., Washington, D.C.) (Many participants will be coming directly from a 2 p.m. "Lenten Vigil" at the U.S. Capitol in support of the "Act to Leave No Child Behind.") Opening worship, welcome and background before dinner, presentation of the "Hunger No More" curriculum and then small group discussions after dinner.

Thursday, March 14 - 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Rayburn House Office Building (Independence Ave., S.W., between First St., S.W., and South Capitol Street), Room 2226 (House Judiciary Committee Hearing Room).

Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) will speak first, on the Poor People’s Caucus, followed by an overview on the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Act and panel presentation on key issues. The afternoon will be spent in visits with senators and representatives. The day will conclude with a 5 p.m. reception and book signing party (venue: United Methodist Building, 100 Maryland Ave. N.E.) with Gertrude Schaffner Goldberg and Sheila D. Collins, the authors of "Washington’s New Poor Law: Welfare ‘Reform’ and the Roads Not Taken."

Friday, March 15 - 9 a.m. to Noon, National City Christian Church (Thomas Circle - 15th & "M" Streets, N.W., Washington, D.C.). Debriefing from Hill visits, media training and closing worship.

BACKGROUND: The NCC - the nation’s leading ecumenical organization whose 36 Protestant and Orthodox member denominations comprise 50 million adherents - in 2001 launched a 10-year mobilization against U.S. poverty, giving it particular emphasis every March (see the NCC’s "March: On Poverty 2002" at


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