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Advocacy Days: Church leaders seek solidarity
as they tackle the tough issues facing the nation
Washington, D.C., March 8, 2006 -- What is really going on in Iraq?
This is one of the most pressing questions facing the nation and the answer is mired in controversy. But this weekend, more than 900 Christian activists from across the country will try to find answers to this and other critical issues during the fourth annual Ecumenical Advocacy Days for Global Peace with Justice, March 10-13 at the Doubletree Hotel in Arlington, Va.
Based on the theme, "Challenging Disparity: The Promise of God, the Power of Solidarity," attendees will explore real solutions and develop strategies and tactics to advocate for building a just global community that nurtures peace, alleviates poverty and the impact of HIV/AIDS, and protects the integrity of God's creation.
Hurricane Katrina, ending the war in Iraq, raising the minimum wage, genocide in Darfur, climate change, immigration reform, torture, the global AIDS epidemic and the Voting Rights Act are just a few of the issues that Ecumenical Advocacy Days participants will grapple with in workshops, briefings and discussions.
Addressing this year's participants will be E.J. Dionne, a nationally renowned speaker, Washington Post columnist and Brookings Institution Fellow; Rev. Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook, who is senior pastor of Believers Christian Fellowship in the Bronx, New York and president of the 10,000 member Hampton (Virginia) Ministers' Conference, a body which represents all the historically African-American denominations, as well as a former domestic policy advisor under President Bill Clinton; and Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, who is widely regarded as a leading voice in the ecumenical movement and currently serves as the Allen and Dottie Miller Professor of Mission and Peace at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis and is the Chair of the National Council of Churches USA Justice and Advocacy Commission.
More than 30 faith-based groups* are sponsoring or supporting this year's Ecumenical Advocacy Days, which will provide church leaders and laypersons interested in advocacy, with a mix of worship, music, prayer, issue briefings, plenary speakers and advocacy training workshops. Participants will also visit with Members of Congress or key staff to communicate their concerns about domestic and foreign policies that they do not believe reflect Christian principles. (*see below for complete list).
An overview of the Ecumenical Advocacy Days schedule is below. Highlights of this year's conference include:
E.J. Dionne, nationally renowned speaker and Washington Post columnist
Issue briefing and update on housing and efforts to rebuild the Gulf Coast region.
Canadian Medal of Peace Recipient and U.N. Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa Stephen Henry Lewis
"JerusalemCore of the Conflict and Key to Peace" panel discussion with Debra DeLee, President, Americans for Peace Now; Rafi Dajani, Executive Director, American Task Force on Palestine; and, Jon Greenwald, Vice President, International Crisis Group.
Rev. Dr. Haruun Ruun, Executive Director, New Sudan Council of Churches, discusses the genocide in Darfur
Wahu Kaara, All Africa Council of Churches on breaking the chains of debt
Plenary sessions and workshops on: Immigration Reform, living wage issues, the hopes and fears of Middle East Christians, torture and U.S. policy, "Whats Really Going on in Iraq?," China, Sweatshops and Wal-Mart and U.S. Global AIDS Policy: Through the Eyes of Women in the World.
An Interfaith Prayer Vigil for Peace in Iraq on the West Front Lawn of the U.S. Capitol. ---
2006 ECUMENICAL ADVOCACY DAYS AT-A GLANCE
Friday, March 10
7 p.m. Opening Worship Service: Rev. Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook, President, Hampton University Minister's Conference
Saturday, March 11
9-10:30 a.m. "Jerusalem -- Core of the Conflict and Key to Peace" Washington Ballroom
Challenging Double Standards -- Building the Political Will to Fund the Fight against HIV-AIDS in Africa against HIV-AIDS in Africa, Stephen Lewis, U.N. Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa Salon A
Genocide in Darfur
Rev. Dr. Haruun Ruun, Executive Director, New Sudan Council of Churches Crystal Ballroom A
Overview of the Human Rights Struggle in the Philippines Ms. Marie Hilao, General Secretary of KARAPATAN, a Philippine human rights organization and a political detainee underthe Marcos regime Van Buren Room
Let Justice Roll Living Wage Campaign
Rev. Dr. Paul H. Sherry, National Coordinator Crystal Ballroom: Salon B, C, D, E
10:45a.m.-12 p.m. What's Really Going on in Iraq?
Humanitarian Efforts on the U.S.-Mexico Border Monroe Room
Justice for the Gulf Coast
Brad Paul, National Policy and Advocacy Council on Homelessness Crystal Ballroom: Salon B
Voting Rights and the American Promise
Erica Swanson, Leadership Conference on Civil Rights Alaina Beverly, NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund Crystal Ballroom: Salon D&E
2:45-4 p.m. U.S.-China Relations Supporting Peaceful Co-Existence Van Buren Room
U.S. Farm Bill: New Vision for Rural America Crystal Ballroom: Salon A
Debt, Trade, Poverty and the Millennium Development Goals Harrison Room
4:14-5:30 Welcoming the Stranger: Prospects for Immigration Reform Commonwealth Room
Hopes and Fears of Middle East Christians Bishop Vicken Aykazian, Legate, Armenian Orthodox Church and President-Elect, National Council of Churches USA Pentagon II
China, Sweatshops & Wal-Mart: How Do We Get Corporations (and Consumers) to Do the Right Thing?
Van Buren Room
U.S. Global AIDS Policy: Through the Eyes of Women in the World Jefferson Room15th Floor South Tower
Sunday, March 12
9-10:30 a.m. Closing Worship Service: Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, Allen and Dottie Miller Professor of Mission and Peace at Eden Theological Seminary and Chair, Justice & Advocacy Commission, National Council of Churches USA
10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. Economic Justice and Wage Inequality
Crystal BallroomSalon B
7 p.m. Keynote Address: E.J. Dionne
Washington Post Columnist and Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Crystal Ballroom
8-10 p.m. Musical concert: Emma's Revolution Crystal and Washington Ballrooms
Monday, March 13
Noon Interfaith Prayer Vigil for Peace in Iraq West front lawn of the U.S. Capitol
2006 Ecumenical Advocacy Days Sponsors and Supporters:
Africa Faith and Justice Network
American Friends Service Committee
Catholic Conference of Major Superiors of Men's Institutes
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
Church of the Brethren Witness/Washington Office
Church World Service
Churches' Center for Theology and Public Policy
Churches for Middle East Peace
Episcopal Church USA
Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
Franciscan Friars - Holy Name Province
Franciscan Friars, OFM Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation ESC-Council
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Interfaith Committee for Nuclear Disarmament
Interfaith Working Group on Trade & Investment
Jubilee USA Network
Latin America Working Group
Lutheran World Relief
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate Justice and Peace/Integrity of Creation Office
National Council of Churches
NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
Presbyterian Church (USA)
Reformed Church in America
Sisters of Mercy of the Americas
Stand With Africa
United Church of Christ
United Methodist Church
UMC - General Board of Church and Society
UMC - General Board of Global Ministries Womens Division
Washington Office on Africa
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