September 25, 2015

FPWA Kicks-off Faith Convenings on Poverty Reduction

FPWA Kicks-Off Its Faith Leaders Anti-Poverty Agenda Series Featuring Rev. Karim Camara and Rev. Michael A. Walrond

Thursday, September 24, 2015 (New York, NY) – The Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FWPA) and its CEO Jennifer Jones Austin, convened leaders in the faith community today for a panel presentation and feedback session designed to determine areas of opportunity on the City and State level for faith communities’ participation in poverty alleviation advocacy and action.

The panel presentation consisted of a briefing by FPWA’s Director of Policy, Emily Miles and featured remarks by Karim Camara, Executive Director of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s Faith-Based Community Development Services and Rev. Michael A. Walrond, Jr., Senior Pastor of First Corinthian Baptist Church, and Chair of New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Clergy Advisory Council. Jennifer Jones Austin moderated the discussion.

This is the first event in a three-part series that aims to:

  • Bring faith leaders together to understand the underlying causes of poverty and the policies that can substantially reduce poverty in their respective communities;
  • Identify key areas of impact for policy change;
  • Agree upon a series of issues to develop into policy priorities for the City and State.

“Faith leaders and institutions play a critical role in the development and success of our communities. This series of events are designed to provide faith leaders with the tools and opportunity to positively effect change through policy development and eventual implementation,” said FPWA CEO and Executive Director, Jennifer Jones Austin.

“The faith community is frequently called upon to temporarily help address emerging issues throughout the city, but is often left out of the decision making, policy driven process. The mission of the Mayor’s Clergy Advisory Council is to present a diverse faith community who can help develop solutions and ideas that can help ease some of the pertinent issues affecting our communities,” said Rev. Michael Walrond. Jr., Chair of the Mayor’s Clergy Advisory Council.

“There’s a great need for the faith community to lead and engage in the revival to address poverty. Faith leaders have an irrefutable understanding of their communities and the issues plaguing their neighborhoods. With a deeper understanding of policy issues, there’s tremendous potential for long term success,” said Rev. Karim Camara, Executive Director/Deputy Commissioner of the Governor’s Office of Faith Based Community Development Services.


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