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Ecumenical Advocacy Days expects record number

Washington, March 2, 2007 – More than 1,000 religious advocates are expected for this year's Ecumenical Advocacy Days (Mar. 9-12) in suburban Washington, D.C., under the theme, "… and How are the Children?"

The National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA (NCC) is one of nearly 50 religious groups and a wide array of Christian denominations sponsoring this fifth annual gathering of social justice advocates from around the nation.

The meeting will take place in the Doubletree Crystal City in Arlington, Va.

The 2007 theme focusing on issues affecting children will guide and inspire workshops and speakers in eight different areas of concern:  Africa, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, Middle East , Domestic, Jubilee & Economic Justice, Eco-Justice, and Global Security.

A preliminary event, "Fixing No Child Left Behind," begins Friday morning at the same Arlington, Va. hotel where the advocacy workshops will take place.  The pre-event will take up the shortcomings of the No Child Left Behind Act which is up for Congressional re-authorization this year.  This workshop is sponsored by the NCC's Committee on Public Education and Literacy.  Click the box at left for details.

Throughout the Ecumenical Advocacy Days events, xperts will train participants on how to do advocacy and inform them of U.S. domestic and international policies that impact all of God's children.  The gathering will conclude with a visit to Capitol Hill where participants will ask their Congressional representatives to make the needs of children the center of the 2007 legislative agenda.

Marian Wright Edelman and the Rev. Dr. Cliff Kirkpatrick are scheduled to preach at the two worship services.  Edelman is founder and president of the Children's Defense Fund.  Kirkpatrick is the stated clerk (chief ecclesiastical officer) of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

Other speakers include: Rev. Bob Edgar, General Secretary, National Council of Churches USA; Chris Hedges, New York Times reporter and author of War Is a Force That Gives Us Meaning; Rev. Dr. Bernice Powell Jackson, North American President for the World Council of Churches; the Most Rev. Deogracias S. Iniguez, Jr., D.D., Bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Caloocan, the Philippines; Ms. Sharon Rose Joy Duremdes, General Secretary, National Council of Churches in the Philippines; and Francis Ng’ambi, Malawian economist, consultant with the Economic Justice Network of the Fellowship of the Christian Councils in Southern Africa.

A host of international speakers will present at plenary sessions and workshops on current crises in the U.S., Latin America, the Asia-Pacific region, Africa and the Middle East. 

Presenters and participants will also focus on specific domestic and global child poverty issues including:

• unaccompanied children crossing the border;
• fixing the No Child Left Behind Act (a special NCLB pre-event will take place March 9);
• dangers of global warming on children now and in the future;
• effects of current Middle East conflict on the region's children;
• impact of current U.S. security policies on children;
• ill effects of odious debt on African countries and free trade agreements on poor workers and families in Latin America; and
• escalating violence and human rights abuses in Burma and the Philippines.

On Monday March 12, participants will meet with lawmakers to petition greater U.S. support for three key domestic and international issues focused on children, calling for:
• Congressional action in 2007 that ensures affordable, comprehensive, accessible and quality healthcare for all children living in the U.S.;
•  comprehensive, mandatory and aggressive anti-global warming legislation that will protect future generations; and
•  adoption by Congress of new "spending for Peace, Not War" priorities.

A complete schedule and registration information for Ecumenical Advocacy Days is available at http://advocacydays.org/index.php

"Ecumenical Advocacy Days is a movement of the ecumenical Christian community, and its recognized partners and allies, grounded in biblical witness and our shared traditions of justice, peace and the integrity of creation," says the group's mission statement.  "Our goal, through worship, theological reflection and opportunities for learning and witness, is to strengthen our Christian voice and to mobilize for advocacy on a wide variety of U.S. domestic and international policy issues."

Sponsors & Supporters:

• Africa Faith and Justice Network
• American Friends Service Committee
• Brethren Witness/Washington Office
• Catholic Conference of Major Superiors of Men
• Catholic Relief Services
• Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)
• Call to Action
• Children's Defense Fund
• Church World Service
• Churches' Center for Theology and Public Policy
• Churches for Middle East Peace
• Columban Justice, Peace, and Integrity of Creation Office
• Decade to Overcome Violence
• Disciples Justice Action Network
• Episcopal Church USA
• Evangelical Lutheran Church in America
• Faithful America
• Franciscan Friars - Holy Name Province
• Franciscan Friars, OFM ESC-JPIC Committee
• Friends Committee on National Legislation
• Global Ministries (UCC/DOC)
• Interfaith Committee for Nuclear Disarmament
• Interfaith Worker Justice
• Interfaith Working Group on Trade & Investment
• Jubilee USA Network
• Latin America Working Group
• Lutheran World Relief
• Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
• Medical Mission Sisters
• Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate JPIC Office
• National Council of Churches
• National Ministries- American Baptist Churches USA
• NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
• Oikocredit USA
• Pax Christi USA
• Presbyterian Church (USA)
• Progressive National Baptist Convention
• Reformed Church in America
• Sisters of Mercy of the Americas
• Sojourners/Call to Renewal
• 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
• World Council of Churches
• Washington Office on Africa


NCC News contact:  Dan Webster, 212.870.2252, NCCnews@ncccusa.org

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