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People of faith aim to cut U.S. poverty
in half by the end of the next decade

Washington, October 5, 2010 – Religious, civic, and community-service organizations nationwide are mobilizing to reduce poverty by 50 percent over the next ten years, beginning today with a national teleconference to discuss the role of faith-based organizations in fighting poverty.

Through the "Fighting Poverty with Faith" mobilization, faith-based organizations this month are calling attention to the causes of poverty, highlighting strategies to reduce it, and aggressively seeking new economic opportunities for the nation's most vulnerable.  

Today's teleconference at 3 p.m. EDT will feature Joshua DuBois, executive director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and Martha Coven of the White House Domestic Policy Council. 

The call-in number is 888-690-8774.  To access the conference call, tell the operator that you are looking for the "Fighting Poverty with Faith" call.

The mobilization, now in its third year, is convened by the Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA), Catholic Charities USA (CCUSA) and the National Council of Churches (NCC).   

As the mobilization continues, faith communities are hosting candidate forums, letter offerings, prayer vigils, group fasting days, and town hall meetings to raise public and political will to protect human needs programs and stimulate job creation.  

Forty four national faith-based organizations have signed the 2010 October mobilization statement:

“Every day, faith organizations serve individuals and families in need within our communities. But our efforts to sustain our brothers and sisters living in poverty must be complemented with a serious plan of action from our elected officials. By speaking out collectively during this month, we will… expand the national conversation on the need to protect the needy among us and create economic opportunity for all.” 

The Rev. Dr. Michael Kinnamon, general secretary of the National Council of Churches, said, "Thousands of verses in the scriptures of many faiths, including Christianity, Judaism and Islam, express God’s concern for the poor and God’s wrath at the injustices that cause poverty to exist.

"There is little indication that our political leaders—regardless of political party--are taking the need to address poverty with fervor," Kinnamon said.

More information on this year's "Fighting Poverty with Faith" mobilization, including a full list of endorsing organizations and events taking place across the country, can be found at                        

Since its founding in 1950, the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA has been the leading force for ecumenical cooperation among Christians in the United States. The NCC's 36 member faith groups -- from a wide spectrum of Protestant, Anglican, Orthodox, Evangelical, historic African American and Living Peace churches -- include 45 million persons in more than 100,000 local congregations in communities across the nation.

NCC News contact:  Philip E. Jenks, 212-870-2228 (office), 646-853-4212 (cell),

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