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Ecumenical 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

• "Jerusalem—Core 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, "What’s 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. ---


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?

Washington Ballroom

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 Room—15th 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 Ballroom—Salon 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

• Faithful 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

• Oikocredit USA

• 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 Women’s Division

• Washington Office on Africa

Contact NCC News: Leslie Tune, 202-544-2350; or Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2252


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