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The Progressive and Social Justice Faith Movement: Portrait and Prospects Sheila Greeve Davaney*

Table of Contents: I. II. III. IV. V. VI. VII. VIII. IX. X. XI. Executive Summary: The Progressive and Justice Faith Movement How We Got Here: The Rise of the Religious Right The Changing American Context Whats In a Name? Centering Issues Faith-Based Community Organizing Public Discourse, Communication, Research and Media The Progressive Faith and Justice Movement: Value Added The Way Forward: Challenges Confronting the Movement Conclusion Appendix: Case Studies

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I Executive Summary: The Progressive and Justice Faith Movement

Introduction Over the last four decades religion has often appeared to play a one-sided role in American civic and political life.** Faith has, for many, become too politically partisan, too conservative, and too unconcerned for justice. Religion, in short, has become a damaged brand.1 But faith in America has not always functioned in so narrow and conservative a fashion and, increasingly, persons and organizations representing many religious traditions are stepping forward to reclaim faiths historic role in America as leading voices for justice. While conservatives have been prominent in the countrys immediate past and have widely controlled recent public perception about values and faith, progressive and justice-oriented persons of faith have never been absent from the American scene. Historically, they have been central to every movement for social justice in America, from the abolitionist movement to the struggle for workers rights, the civil rights movement to the peace movement and the movement for womens rights. Though eclipsed in the publics imagination during the rise and heyday of the Religious Right, progressive and justice-concerned persons of faith continued to work on the ground, providing services, advocating for justice, and organizing and mobilizing communities to work for a more inclusive and equitable society. Significantly, during the last decade and half there has been an enormous revitalization and expansion of the progressive and justice faith movement and, in ever increasing ways, the movement has grown and become, once more, a central player in the issues of our day. Religious leaders and faith-organizations have joined forces with secular allies to work for a just and humane immigration policy, for expanded and affordable health care for the millions who lack it, and for fairer budgetary and tax policies to help the middle class and the poor. They have stood for the environment and against wage theft and voter suppression. They have lent their voices for marriage equality and access to reproductive care for women. They have marched for Dreamers, fasted on the Washington Mall for families, and travelled the country on the Nuns on the Bus Tour. Importantly, they have also organized, registered voters, built infrastructures, created coalitions, developed shared messages and deployed media platforms and voices. They have supported positions predicated on better and more accurate data about faith and values, demonstrating widespread support for issues of equity and fairness. They have built programs at leading think tanks and policy institutes. They have created new, independent organizations as well as reinvigorating and repositioning traditional institutions. And they have advocated for and embodied a new vision of the nation, an aspirational and hopeful narrative for a rapidly changing
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country. While much remains to be done, the progressive and justice faith movement is once again positioned to play a central role, with secular allies, in the work for a more just America. This report looks at the progressive and justice faith movement as it has developed over the last decade. It explores what changes have taken place, what impact and successes the movement has had and what challenges still remain. The report is based on the assumption that just as faith and values have played significant roles in the nations historic struggles to create a more just and inclusive nation, they remain essential components of movements for transformative, structural, and sustainable change in the 21st Century. The progressive and justice faith movement brings unique contributions to the broader efforts being undertaken today-- strengths of moral authority, trusted leaders, large constituencies, established institutions, a passion for justice, commitment to the most vulnerable, political independence, an aspirational vision for the future, an embodied diversity that reflects what is the already pluralistic nature of American society, and a capacity to bridge the nations most intractable divides. But as we will see, the faith movement also has unique challenges ranging from lack of robust financial support to internal competition to a lingering secular wariness about the role of faith in pubic arenas. This report will examine the ways in which the progressive and justice faith movement is building the necessary components of a sustainable movement for change and will indicate, as well, what remains to be done moving forward. Its audiences include the movement itself, secular allies and potential partners, and funders and donors who are committed to working for more just policies and a more inclusive and equitable society.

Background for 2014 Report" In late 2004, a group of public sector professionals known as Res Publica produced a report on the state of the progressive faith movement in the United States, the issues that confronted the movement and proposals for its future development.2 The report was particularly timely. During the national election season of 2004, progressive faith groups had galvanized civic activity on a number of fronts from voter registration to mobilization around issues of war and poverty to greater media outreach on behalf of more liberal concerns. Yet, while a new vitality among progressive and justice-oriented faith groups was widely evident, the nation as a whole continued to move toward ever greater crisis on multiple fronts including a deepening economic crisis, continuing wars, a relentless rollback of social and rights progress, and environmental decline. Everywhere the power of what the report labeled the neo-conservative juggernaut, including its religious supports, continued with little abatement or opposition. The Res Publica Report argued that the time was propitious for a progressive and justice faith movement to build on its new-found energy and to intervene in the continuing crises of American cultural, social and political life in order to set a new direction for the nation and to call America to a more deeply moral and principled vision in the emergent 21st Century. The
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moment was now to build a new progressive movement that could address the most pressing justice concerns of our day. However, a number of issues stood in the way of building such a broad-based progressive and justice faith movement. The report highlighted a lack of vision; ineffective, competitive, non-diverse and ego-centered leadership and weaknesses in leadership training; an absence of structural and concrete collaboration; the non-existence of a media strategy; the lack of a political strategy and a disconnect between grassroots organizations, such as faith-based community organizing groups, and national faith leadership. All these stood in the way of a movement ready to be galvanized. The report made a number of recommendations to address these issues including a media strategy center, a Blue Ribbon Commission, leadership training centers, and regular meetings between faith leaders and political and policy leaders. Implementation of these proposals would, the report argued, help build the necessary infrastructure for progressive and justice faith groups to have greater impact on American public life and support a much needed change of values and perspectives.

The Current Situation There have been many changes on the American scene since late 2004 when the Res Publica Report was issued. A financial crisis unseen since the Depression plunged the country and the world into economic decline. Faced with this crisis and the continuing conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, America elected Barack Obama as President on the promise of a new economic and political direction for the nation. In the intervening years, much progress has occurred and many policy wins have taken place such as Health Care Reform, stabilization of the financial system, and the cessation of combat activity in Iraq. Still the current administration has faced strong resistance to its more progressive agenda. The continued power of conservatives, including in the new form of the Tea Party as well as national and often state legislative bodies, has repeatedly hindered both legislative and executive efforts to chart a more progressive direction. And the Religious Right, thought to be in decline, has re-emerged in new coalitions including within the Tea Party, to spearhead conservative agendas and to challenge many progressive policy proposals. Added to this obstructionist environment is what has often appeared to be timid or ineffectual leadership by progressive political and policy leaders. Many of the most serious problems that confront the nation, thus, remain unaddressed. The political and social environment in the US is different than in 2004 but much of the progressive and justice agenda remains to be fulfilled. The central questions of this new report revolve around what role the progressive and justice-oriented faith movement has played since 2004, where it has contributed to the changes that have come about, what challenges inhibit its greater impact, and what developments must occur if the faith movement is to strengthen its contributions to a more just and inclusive American society.
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During the last decade the progressive faith movement has matured considerably and has been a much more effective presence during this period than previously. Central proposals proffered by the Res Publica Report have been implemented. Key among them has been the development of Faith in Public Life, a strategy and capacity-building center with a strong emphasis on coordination of progressive and justice leaders and groups, messaging, and media outreach. Strong media training has emerged through the efforts of Auburn Media. More progressive and justice-oriented faith voices have found their way into the mainstream media and new media outlets such as Religion Dispatches, Huffington Posts religion blog, the Revealer, the Washingtons Posts On Faith, Patheos, Belief Net and a host of religion blogs have all attracted wide audiences. Faith-based community organizing has grown rapidly through the efforts of PICO, Interfaith Worker Justice, Just Congregations, Industrial Areas Foundation, DART, and Gamaliel. Independent groups such as Sojourners, Progressive Christians Uniting, Network of Spiritual Progressives, and Faithful America have mobilized constituencies on multiple issues. Coalitions, ranging from national efforts, such as the Interfaith Immigration Coalition and the Circle of Protection, to state-based alliances, such as California Faith Action and We Believe Ohio, have been built on a range of issues including immigration, gun violence, and economic inequality and poverty. A younger generation of leaders is beginning to emerge and to receive more significant media attention. In virtually all areas, including health care, immigration, and LGBT rights, where there have been progressive advances, progressive and social justiceoriented faith communities and leaders have played central roles. Mobilization and organizing efforts have been aided by the greater availability of more accurate information about values and faith in America and deeper policy analysis. Think tanks such as the Center for American Progress and Brookings Institution have developed strong programs exploring the juncture of values and public policy and independent research and data from organizations such as Public Religion Research Institute have provided to the general public and to the progressive and justice movement more sophisticated policy analysis and data upon which to build more adequate positions. Independent media, from the New York Times to PBS and from the GRIO to Telemundo and Univision, are offering more nuanced, less conservative focused, coverage of religion. Journalism programs are offering better training in the field. Academic programs in the study of religion are also offering expert research and information about religion and are providing more complex interpretations that counter the enormous amount of misinformation that characterizes the public perception of religion. As this report will detail, these are significant developments. Still, many challenges noted by the 2004 report remain to be fully addressed. Often groups and leaders feel excluded from high-level policy and political tables only to be called upon for photo ops. Leadership training has only sporadically developed at a few institutions, though it has been part of organizations such as the Childrens Defense Fund and is now gaining momentum through groups such as the Beatitudes Society, Auburn Seminary and, most recently, the Nathan Cummings Foundation. There remains a great need for better internal movement communication
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and collaboration. Moreover, while new intellectual voices have emerged ranging from Cornel West to a group of Catholic theologians and ethicists who regularly respond to issues of social concern, there still is missing a strong and comprehensive vision as many intellectuals and activists continue, for the most part, to go their separate ways.3 And the divide between religious and secular progressives persists to the detriment of all. Funding by foundations and donor groups is sporadic and transactional, and development of a strong base of individual small and major donors remains an under-realized area. Importantly, the wider environment and political dynamics continue to stymie the fullest realization and mobilization of a progressive and justice faith movement on behalf of equity and opportunity for all. As we approach the 2014 mid-term elections and the mid-point of President Obamas second term it is once more timely to take up the task of the original Res Publica Report, to review where the progressive faith movement stands and to outline the next steps in building a progressive and justice faith movement that can have significant public impact. The following elements have provided input for the report. 1. A review of literature, reports and other current assessments of the movement.4 2. Select interviews with both earlier progressive and justice faith leadership and the emerging leaders coming to prominence on the scene today. 3. Several small group meetings of leaders in the movement. 4. Conversations with key secular leaders, media figures, and funders. The purposes of the report are several. It provides an overview of where the movement is today in relation to key sectors: community organizing, media presence, leadership development, issues of internal collaboration and infrastructure building, and the identification of public issues where progressive faith organizations are having influence. It also presents an analysis of the challenges that continue to hinder the development of a broad-based movement that is internally well coordinated, which has strong and effective relations with progressive and justice nonreligious groups, and which has demonstrable impact on public discourse and policies. The report is framed within the wider need in the nation for a renewed vision of the common good, of an articulation of what it means to be American that is inclusive and diverse, and a recommitment to justice and opportunity for all Americans. These larger challenges of vision are important not only for the work of the progressive and justice faith movement but are essential for all efforts to create a more equitable, inclusive and fair society. It is in relation to the questions of vision and values that the progressive and justice faith movement can play a particularly significant and still underachieved role. In order to understand the achievements, prospects and challenges of the progressive and justice faith movement this report will first offer an overview of how we have reached this point in our history, beginning with a brief detailing of the rise of the Religious Right. Today, the conservative and right leaning religious movement in America often is declared dead or seriously
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in decline, no longer able to wield its once considerable power. Yet, any analysis of electoral politics, of the battle over issues from contraception to marriage equality to the role of government, demonstrates that, while shifting, the Religious Right remains powerful. The composition of the Tea Party, half of whom consider themselves to be part of the conservative Christian movement, illustrates the continued significance of this segment of the population in American political life. Moreover, the base of the Republican Party remains robustly white evangelical as the 2012 Presidential election showed. Most importantly, the public narrative of America that the Religious Right helped create and disseminate continues to be the frame within which many of our political and societal debates take place. Thus, while the heyday of the Religious Right seems to have waned, it is important to understand how it built its power during the last four decades and how it continues to influence political and civic life. If the conservative movement, including centrally its religious elements, continues to have influence in America, other important changes portray an emergent new reality that suggests an altered context within which progressive work will take place, a new environment that may be far more welcoming to a progressive and justice agenda. The report will outline this emerging context through a sketch of the current shifts in the American demographic landscape, including changes related to religion. It will detail how these demographics played in the last Presidential election including what patterns emerged in relation to persons of faith, both in terms of the continued presence of evangelicals and conservatives forming the base of the Republican electorate and the growing significance of the religiously unaffiliated for the Democrats. With the review of the Religious Right and of the changing American landscape as background, the report will then turn to the progressive and social justice-oriented movement. It will examine a number of the substantive developments within the progressive and social justice-oriented faith movement, detailing its present strengths and challenges. It will include an analysis of areas that need to be addressed moving forward and suggestions of how we might continue to enhance our strengths and meet the challenges that inhibit greater success. The report will conclude with an appendix of six case studies, prepared by leaders in the movement, that illustrate the impact the progressive and justice faith movement is having on key issues as well as demonstrating how the movement is seeking to embody the new vision of America that it hopes will be the nations future.

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II How We Got Here: The Rise of the Religious Right

Religion has played a significant part in American public life since the inception of the nation. The quest for religious liberty, along with economic impetuses, motivated Puritans and other dissenters, as well as Quakers and Catholics and Jews to seek new lives on the distant shores of America. Adherents of virtually all the religious traditions of the world have followed. Throughout its history, most Americans have claimed a religious identity. And religious convictions and values have contributed to many political and societal debates and played important parts in key national struggles from the civil war to prohibition to the civil rights movement. But what has been particularly important about this faith presence in American life and history is that faith has not been on only one side of an issue or seen as the province of one political party, racial group or economic class. Religious convictions and values have joined the fray across the spectrum. Religious persons both called for a state religion at the founding of the nation and demanded the separation of church and state. Theologies were mobilized both to defend slavery and to galvanize the abolitionist movement. Pacifists and war supporters alike have appealed to religion in every conflict. In multiple ways, throughout American history, various religious faiths were active players in the public sphere contributing to the debates about what kind of society we would be. But no one political party or ideological perspective could claim it owned faith or alone represented religion. In the last four plus decades much of this has changed or at least the public perception of faith in America has been radically altered. Even as the United States has become an ever more religiously diverse country and, indeed, even as the religiously unaffiliated portion of the population has greatly increased, a narrative has emerged that equates religion with conservative Christianity, and conservative Christianity with the Republican Party, and wraps all this in the discourse of America as a Christian nation favored by a special relationship with God. On the other side of the narrative is the story that progressives are secularists that reside exclusively in a faithless Democratic Party that is hostile to religion and disloyal to Americas moral and religious heritage. How did these momentous shifts occur? And where in this narrative are progressive and justice-oriented persons of faith? Many factors contributed to these shifts. For some commentators, the cultural changes of the 1960s gave rise to a faith-driven conservative backlash as the country struggled with rapidly changing social, especially sexual and racial norms, arrangements and behaviors. Others link it to the electoral losses conservatives experienced in the 1960 and 1964 elections and the emergence of a new Southern Strategy focused strongly on the heavily evangelical South. Despite these different emphases, a broad outline has emerged that suggests how we moved from a nation where religion played diverse roles to one in which one political party, the Republican Party, and
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one political orientation, conservatism, claimed ownership of faith in America. Following the defeat of Barry Goldwater in the 1964 Presidential election and the tumult of the cultural revolution of the 1960s, conservatives set about rebuilding their movement and, from the 1970s onward, that rebuilding has included incorporating Christianity in its most conservative forms as the base for the conservative political movement in general and the Republican Party in particular. From the founding of the Moral Majority in 1979 to the creation of the conservative juggernaut, the Christian Coalition, in the 1980s, to the strongly conservative Christian, Tea Party today, an integrated alliance between political/economic conservatives and socially conservative Christians has been carefully built. Conservatives such as Paul Weyrich, the founder of the Heritage Foundation, Richard Viguerie of direct mail fame, and Howard Phillips, chair of the Conservative Caucus and founding member of the Constitution Party, turned the conservative Christianity that had often shunned political participation into a political force that continues to form the base of Republican politics as an analysis of Mitt Romneys supporters in the 2012 Presidential election once more demonstrates. Weyrich, especially, played a central role contributing to the starting of the Moral Majority and its successor the Christian Coalition. Many of the same players, including funders, in the conservative political movement supported its religious wing. And as the broader conservative movement built itself through deliberate planning so, too, did what came to be known as the Religious Right, with conservatives setting out to organize religious traditionalists as a voting bloc on behalf of the Republican Party.5 The following factors all contributed to the emergence of the Religious Right and its success. ! Money Foundations, such as the Olin, Scraife and Bradley Foundations, as well as individual supporters, poured financial resources into not only secular conservative groups but also religious organizations. ! Institution Building The Religious Right built institutions including the Moral Majority, The Christian Coalition, Focus on the Family, The Family Research Council, the Eagle Forum, The Religious Roundtable Council, The Family, The Chuck Colson Center, Alliance Defending Freedom Fund, The American Family Association, The Traditional Values Coalition and Concerned Women for America as well as numerous other groups, many of which remain powerful today. Newer organizations continue to emerge including United in Purpose, a conglomeration of conservative secular and religious groups whose mission is to bring about cultural and political change based on Judeo-Christian principles.

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! Leadership Development and Deployment of Spokespersons The identification and deployment of leaders and spokespersons have been central activities of the conservative religious movement. From Pat Robinson, Ralph Reed, Jerry Falwell, D. James Kennedy and James Dobson to cultural and media shapers, such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh, to contemporary political leaders who claim identity with conservative Christianity, including George W. Bush, Sarah Palin, Michele Bachman, Glenn Beck, and Mike Huckabee, leaders have been found, supported and given prominent roles not only in religious settings but political and media ones as well.

! Grassroots Organizing While often thwarted in pushing their national political agendas, such as banning abortion, the Religious Right has excelled over the last several decades in taking back the local, occupying the institutions of American life from local political organizations, to school boards to text book boards to elected political positions. They also provided well organized feet on the ground for political campaigns, providing voter guides, controlling primaries, and pushing state and local initiatives on ballots. For instance, while failing to overturn Roe vs. Wade, they have, nonetheless, enacted legislation in multiple states across the country severely limiting womens access to reproductive health care, including access to abortion and contraception.

! Identification of Galvanizing Issues One of the major components that built the conservative faith movement was the identification of controversial issues that helped mobilize the movement. Abortion, prayer in school, evolution, school vouchers, contraception, sex education, marriage equality, and, recently, religious liberty have all been arrayed in the effort to rally and activate a religiously inflected conservative base. Most often these issues have been what are termed cultural or social issues revolving around sexuality and the changing roles of women and the family, including the education of children. But they have not been limited to these. Muslims, immigration, nationalism, American foreign interventions, the size and role of government, Medicare and government mandated safety nets, and environmental and business regulation have all, also, been rallying cries for the Right. Today health care and religious liberty are the new galvanizing issues.

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! Educational Institutions The Religious Right has built up educational institutions over the last fifty years with the aim to increase their influence in American society by educating and training the next generation of conservatives. They have taken over the seminaries of the Southern Baptist Convention, established universities such as Liberty University, founded by Jerry Falwell in 1971, and Regent University, started by Pat Robinson in 1978 with the law school following in 1986, and Catholic Ave Maria Law School founded in 1999. The schools, especially their law graduates, have become major vehicles for conservative Christians to enter the public and political sphere. Regent University alone placed over 150 graduates in positions in the federal government under George W. Bush with a significant number going to the Justice Department.

! Media The Religious Right has over the last decades developed a media empire that has been the major conduit through which both conservative religious views and their conservative political counterparts have been given national and global expression. Trinity Broadcasting, founded in 1973, is the worlds largest religious network and the 6th largest network in the US. The Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) is a global enterprise with revenues close to 300 million dollars a year. Focus on The Family reaches over 250 million persons across the globe, broadcasting in more than 150 countries. Conservative Christian radio stations number more than 3000. Often these have been the vehicle of the new narrative concerning America, conservative Christianity and the Republican Party. Of perhaps even greater importance, the mainstream media has played a major role in repeating and legitimizing the equation of faith with Christian conservatism and with the Republican Party, both repeating and failing to examine critically these assumptions.

! Think Tanks and Policy Centers While much of the strategy to build up the conservative religious forces in American has been concentrated on the southern region of the United States and on white evangelicals more broadly, outreach to and cultivation of conservative factions of mainstream Protestant denominations and strands of American Catholicism have also been pursued. Think tanks and policy centers, such as the Institute for Religion and Democracy and the Center for Ethics and Public Policy, have sought to become the voice of mainstream political and religious conservatives for whom organizations such as the Christian Coalition or Focus on the Family would not hold appeal.
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! Alliances The Religious Right specifically and conservative Christianity more generally are often associated with fundamentalist and Evangelical Protestantism. But the Evangelical Right has also forged alliances with other religious factions to develop a broader alliance that includes conservative Catholics, right leaning Jewish persons and Mormons. Where once much of the Catholic hierarchy supported unions and the rights of workers and were known as strong proponents of economic justice, increasingly they have become identified with conservative social, economic and political positions. Once deemed the anti-Christ by Evangelicals, the Catholic Church and, in particular, its hierarchy now often acts in concert with conservative Protestants on shared issues, especially social ones, such as abortion, as well as newly minted ones, such as religious liberty. While there remains a strong progressive Catholic wing committed to social justice, an increasingly conservative hierarchy has helped renew the power of the Religious Right. With the election of a new Pope with greater interests in social justice this may change but over the last few decades the conservative alliances among Catholics and Evangelicals have been very powerful. And, Mormons, once not considered Christians by many Evangelicals, now make common cause with Evangelicals and Catholics, joining to oppose marriage equality, abortion, and government programs. It was a Mormon, Mitt Romney, who carried the conservative Republican mantle in the 2012 Presidential election and it was the conservative religious base representing 79% of white Evangelicals who supported his candidacy. While Catholics, driven by a strong Latino Catholic turnout, overall supported Barack Obama, 59% of white Catholics and 54% of white Mainline Protestants joined Evangelicals in supporting Romney. This new configuration, including especially the institutional authority of the Catholic hierarchy, represents a renewal of power and influence on the part of conservatives. It, like the Tea Party, demonstrates that the Right is far from dead but continues to have great appeal for many Americans. Moreover, political and white Evangelical conservatives have not only forged ties with once unlikely allies who are Catholic and Mormon. They are increasingly pursuing outreach to Latino Evangelical groups, arguing that these groups share their conservative values. Recent efforts to include Latino Evangelicals include voter registration drives during the 2013 election cycle and outreach by the increasingly powerful United in Purpose organization. In contrast to more progressive groups and financial supporters, who seem to not have Latino Evangelicals even on their radar, conservatives see real potential for partnerships with this rapidly growing population. Thus, a strategy that helped build an earlier powerful set of alliances has in recent years been deployed to regenerate and reinvigorate the conservative movement. Where, once, the divisions within American religion were along denominational lines or between
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Catholics and Protestants, now they are within denominations and between conservatives and more liberal believers.

! The Deliberate Convergence of the Secular and Religious Right The major result of these efforts and alliances has been the powerful linking of conservative social values around sexuality, morality, gender, and race to a Republican rejection of big government, taxes, social welfare and concern for the environment. This has not been an accident or happy meeting of like-minded people. It has been an alliance built by incredibly powerful economic, political and religious forces with the goal, largely successful, to turn conservative Christianity into a potent political force: Republicans have reaped the political support of religiously conservative persons, and groups and religious conservatives have gained politicians and a political party to carry their religious and social agenda in the public arena. For their part, Democrats have often left behind the substantial history of alliances between political and religious progressivism, frequently ignoring people of faith and, for the most part, failing to integrate the concerns, resources and values of progressive and justice-oriented religious persons into their strategies except at election time or when the legitimating presence of religious leaders is important at press conferences. Thus, while many explicit agenda goals of the Religious Right have not been realized, nonetheless, the alliance of conservative faith and conservative politics continues to hold and the Republican Party continues to lay claim to faith in America in a powerful and politically effective way. This convergence of the secular and the religious can once more be seen in the organization United in Purpose. This group provides technological support, research and marketing resources and services to a wide range of conservative organizations. Its partners represent a cross section of secular and religious groups, focused on a range of social, economic and political issues. It includes such organizations as Personhood USA, the Tea Party Express, the Tea Party for Christians, the Traditional Values Coalition, Restore America, Regent University, the National Day of Prayer Task Force, and the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference. Many Evangelical church groups also belong. Recent efforts include providing media and technology help to smaller groups, voter registration outreach to, among others, Latino Evangelicals, and a Voter Mobilization Strategy Summit to be held in Dallas, Texas in March 2014. The voter Summit includes special outreach to pastors and includes speakers such as David Barton and Glenn Beck.

! Narrative
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All of the above have contributed to building a robust religious and political Right, locating the Right in the center of American politics and the American public square. Providing the foundation for these efforts has been the success of the Right in setting forth a national narrative that weaves conservative religious and social values with laissez faire economics, unregulated capitalism, and the conservative political values of a diminished government. Moreover, these social, economic and political values have been tied to the story of an America divinely chosen and forever exceptional. This narrative, while it certainly echoes earlier stories of the nation, has gained such unique dominance that more progressive alternatives are perpetually making their case from marginal locations. This is especially the case for progressive or social justice-oriented faith perspectives that are often rendered invisible in the current American story, despite having a long tradition in American life and continuing to make up a sizable portion of the population. For a movement oriented toward the creation of a more just and inclusive America to be successful, we need not only to build alliances, support institutions, put feet on the ground and gain better media coverage, etc. Most importantly, we need to dream a new American story, reflective of our progressive history, and grounded in values of justice, equity, dignity, diversity and responsibility. We need a new moral imagination that understands our individual rights and freedoms as integrated into a vision of the common good, not in opposition to our national and global community. And we need continually to mobilize these value-infused narratives to build a public will to act on behalf of social justice. The Right not only built institutions, it told a story of values, of fears and of hopes. Progressives need to do the same for our vision of the nation.

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III. The New American Context

A still robust conservative Christian movement continues to set or at least powerfully influence the broader American context in which progressives and justice-oriented faith persons work. There are, nonetheless, major changes on the national landscape that are factoring substantially into a rapidly evolving new America. This emerging America is significantly different from the one in which the Religious Right gained so much power and it presents to progressive and justice-oriented persons of faith both new opportunities and additional challenges. Among the most momentous shifts in American society are the rapid demographic changes and reconfigurations that are reshaping the national landscape as the United States moves toward a society in which no single racial group will constitute the majority of the American populace but in which racial and ethnic minorities will, taken together, constitute the majority of the countrys population. The dramatic nature of Americas demographic shifts can be seen by contrasting the demographic breakdown of 1980 with 2010, and in anticipation, 2020 and 2050: 1980: Non-Hispanic White: 80% Black: 12% Latino: 7% AAPI: 2%

2010: Non- Hispanic White: 69% Black: 12% Latino: 16% AAPI: 5% Other: 3%

2020: Non-Hispanic White: 59% Black: 12% Latino: 20%

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AAPI: 6%

2050: Non-Hispanic White: 45% Black: 12% Latino: 31% AAPI: 8% Other: 4% The most recent 2012 Census findings continue to affirm these trends, noting that 49.9% of children under 5 are racial minorities. These demographic shifts are already being played out in the changing configuration of American cities and states: in 13 states and the District of Columbia a majority of children under 5 are racial minorities and many urban areas, such as Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Denver and Boston, are already majority minority cities. States such as California, Hawaii, Texas and New Mexico are also harbingers of the greater demographic changes that are coming as Latinos, Blacks, AAPI and others already constitute, in aggregate, the majority of their populations. These shifts are also reflected in age and generational shifts with a white population that is steadily aging and a growing Hispanic and AAPI population with lower median ages. The 2012 Census found that for the first time the death rate among Non-Hispanic whites exceed the birth rate among its population. While the white population continues to grow, that growth is made possible by immigration, not the birth rate among whites which is below that of other groups. And, in 2010, the median age for whites was 42 years old while for Latinos it was 27 years of age. The result of these trends in population is also a significant generational shift as millennials and those younger are and will be coming of age. This younger population cohort is rapidly moving to economic, cultural and political center of American society. There are also continuing trends toward a more urbanized America which reflect a global population move to cities. By 2050 it is estimated that 75% of the worlds people will live in vast urban areas. In the US, this move is already a reality. In the 2010 census, more than 80% of the US population resided in urban localities, including large cities, suburbs and urbanized smaller areas. Little over 19% of the population lived in rural settings. These geographical differences are often reflected in a parallel racial breakdown, with a higher concentration of communities of color in urban/suburban areas. These racial/ethnic, generational, and geographic shifts have been accompanied by major changes in the American economy as the economy has become ever more global with new trade
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agreements, less industrial and manufacturing oriented, more focused on technology and information services, finance and health care on one end and low wage service industries at the other end. Accompanying all of these changes have been, over the last thirty years, both a growing disparity in income and an ever-widening wealth gap as the rich make ever greater economic gains and workers at the lower end of the economic spectrum have lost ground. These growing gaps reflect racial/ethnic divides as well, with communities of color often at the lower end of the economic spectrum and over-represented among the under-employed and the non-employed. Moreover, many middle class Americans of all races have also found their economic well being either lessened or destabilized. In 2010, it was estimated that the wealthiest 1% of Americans net worth was 288% greater than the average US household. And in 2012, 95% of income gains went to this top 1% segment of the population. The reasons for this growing economic disparity are myriad, ranging across changing economic realities, tax policies disproportionately favoring the wealthy, loss of unions power, and the unequal effects of the current recession with high unemployment and with economic losses heavily concentrated in the housing sector where much of the household wealth of the working and middle classes resided. The challenges of the Great Recession have magnified other issues confronting the US including lack of investment in education and the countrys infrastructure. Both add, in the long term, to income and wealth disparities, lack of economic competiveness, and growing political and ideological fissures in the nations fabric. Even as the greatest negative repercussions of the recession are slowly receding for elites, the economic challenges remain for significant portions of the population. It is this economically perilous and politically divided context within which a progressive and justice faith movement must develop its identity and shape its vision and mission.

Changing American Faith Landscape The current and future faith landscape of the United States both reflects the demographic realities cited above and has its own distinctive character. As the country has diversified racially and ethnically so, too, has it become more religiously varied and complex due both to immigration and to what many researchers have noted is a massive fluidity and churn in the world of religion in the United States. While still overwhelmingly Christian, several key shifts have changed the religious character of the nation. It has become the most religiously diverse nation in the world, with more religions and faiths represented in the US than elsewhere. Moreover, the character of American Christianity has changed along with other demographics. Several dynamics can be seen here. First, many Christian groups that are predominantly white have been losing members across the board. White Catholics now comprise only 14% of the population. Now a resounding 1 in 10 Americans (12%) are former Catholics. While Catholics still represent
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approximately 22% of the American populace that is because 8% of Catholics are non-white, with a growing, historically Catholic, Latino population (6% of US population) bolstering the Catholic numbers. Mainline Protestants denominations that are composed heavily of whites also continue to dwindle, comprising now only 15% of the population. White evangelical numbers hold fairly steady at 20% but evidence significant amounts of fluidity as members leave and new adherents join. The Southern Baptist Convention, the largest Evangelical denomination, has reported six straight years of membership decline. Black Protestants have lost members but in far less significant numbers and hold at 8% of the population. Interestingly, Black younger persons have not left their religious communities nearly as much as have their fellow millennials elsewhere. These statistics indicate a changing faith reality in the country but several other developments indicate that radical changes are only beginning. The first and most dramatic is the rapid rise in the numbers of what are termed the unaffiliated or, sometimes, the nones. By late 2012, this group or, more accurately, an aggregate of groups had risen to more than 19% of the American population by some accounts. When cross-factored with age the shifts are even more dramatic. Today nearly 7 in 10 persons 65 and older are white Christians of one sort or another. Less than 1 in 9 are unaffiliated. For millennials (18 to 29 year olds) the numbers are very different. Fewer than 3 in 10 are white Christians and a full 32% report that they have no religious affiliation at all. Given the demographics, there is little reason to think that these trends will stop. Most important among these trends are: the growing religious diversity of the US; the move toward Christianity in the United States becoming a more racially mixed tradition as the number of Christians of color increases (globally Christianity is already a non-white religion) and a growing, racially diverse, younger unaffiliated segment of the population.

The 2012 Election and the Changing America One way to measure the public impact of these changes is to examine how they play out in elections. The implications of these demographic, geographical, religious and cultural shifts were in stark relief in the 2012 presidential election. President Barack Obama was propelled to a second term by what John Halpin and Ruy Teixeira of the Center for American Progress labeled the return of the Obama coalition, a racially mixed, religiously pluralistic, younger oriented, female heavy and progressive leaning coalition.6 Mitt Romneys supporters were more homogenous, composed of overwhelmingly white Christian voters, including a majority of white Evangelicals, white Mainline Protestants and white Catholics. Obama, on the other hand, put together a coalition that reflected the changing character of America, winning a growing minority electorate by significant numbers including African Americans (93%), Latinos (71% though in fact this percentage may be much higher since Latinos are often undercounted), and AAPI (73%). Women, who were the majority of the presidential electorate, also strongly favored the president (55%) and single women overwhelmingly voted for Obama (67%). Millennials not
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only voted in higher numbers, composing 19% of voters in 2012 compared to seniors (16%), but voted for Obama in strong numbers (60%). While Romneys coalition reflected an older, whiter, more socially conservative population, Obamas winning coalition reflects what America is coming to be in the clearest terms.

The 2012 Election and Faith: The Demise of the White Christian Strategy When the 2012 Presidential election is refracted through the lens of faith and religious affiliation the results are equally unambiguous. Romneys coalition was mostly made up of white evangelicals, 79% of whom voted for the Republican candidate with a strong showing by white Catholics at 59% and white mainline Protestants with 54% backing Romney. But Obama won the overall Catholic vote, taking progressive white Catholics and aided by the strong presence of minority, especially Latino, Catholics. This divided Catholic vote demonstrated several factors. First, Catholics seem to remain a swing vote; in five out of the last six presidential elections the majority of Catholics have voted for the winning candidate (in the only instance of Catholics being on the losing side, the majority voted for Al Gore). Thus they have been a bellwether of the winning party but they do not consistently vote one party or another. Second, the Catholic vote is a strongly split vote divided between more progressive and conservative voters and divided between white Catholics and Catholics of color, especially Latino Catholics. What is clear is that the Catholic hierarchy does not determine the outcome of the Catholic vote. Political diversity is also a factor within Mainline Protestantism. While Romney won Mainline Protestants, there remained a strong Mainline Protestant vote for Obama, indicating a political range within Mainline Protestantism that is absent within evangelical circles. Jews (69%) and Muslims (85%), Hindus and Buddhists (estimated at 74%) overwhelmingly voted for Obama, adding religiously diverse voices to the coalition. And of significance, the growing demographic of religiously unaffiliated voters supported Obama by a huge margin. Nationally, Obama won 70% of these religiously unattached voters. While Obama lost white Christian voters, the Presidents strengths with racial/ethnic religious voters, religiously unaffiliated voters and the surge in younger voters all offset those losses and pointed to a future reality that might be more open to a progressive political and cultural agenda. As Robert P. Jones of Public Religion Research Institute remarked This presidential election is the last in which a white Christian strategy will be considered a plausible path to victory.7 Electoral issues beyond the presidential race were also impacted by religious voices. Three states, Maine, Washington and Maryland, passed marriage equality initiatives. While the Catholic hierarchy and evangelical organizations campaigned hard against these measures, other religious supporters led the efforts on their behalf. The governors of Washington and Maryland, both Catholics, played key roles in passing the new measures. Religious spokespersons made the moral case for equality and were widely deployed in the media. As the LGBT group GLADD noted LGBT religious leadership and their religious allies were at the forefront of these efforts
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for equality and without such faith-based efforts the advancement of LGBT rights might have failed.8 Faith groups also contributed significantly to other types of initiatives on state ballots. In California, faith groups rallied in support of Proposition 30, an initiative aimed at raising revenues for education and social services. In Florida, faith groups worked to defeat a Tabor constitutional amendment that would have decimated public spending, and in Minnesota, a massive faith-supported grassroots education campaign contributed to defeating a state ID law that would have restricted voting in the state. Faith groups, from Ohio to Colorado, from California to Florida were also central to voter registration drives and to get out the vote efforts. For instance, the faith-based community organizing group, PICO, along with its organizing and labor partners, mobilized 1,000 volunteers in a massive get out the vote effort. Nationally, PICOs voter engagement program, Land of Opportunity, made almost 4 million phone calls and directly contacted 1.6 million voters. Along with these programs, African American and Latino pastors and congregations especially organized in response to attempts to suppress the votes of racial minorities. From urging participation in the election from the pulpit to busing people to the polls to keeping policies aimed at voter suppression under public scrutiny, people of faith were fully engaged with their secular partners in assuring an open and fair election.

Implications of the Changing American Context The analysis thus far has emphasized two broad factors that have and will continue to shape the environment within which the progressive and justice faith movement works. The first, the white conservative Christian movement represents the past but a past that is still powerful. While becoming less demographically dominant, the Religious Right and religious conservatives have built an immense infrastructure and political allegiances that allow them to have an ongoing, even outsized, influence despite their aging and dwindling population. Moreover, and perhaps most important, the narrative of the nation that the Right has been so successful in articulating remains powerful and pervasive like an echo that continues to reverberate; religion is still most often equated with conservative or Evangelical Christianity and conservative Christianity remains identified with the Republican Party. Religious progressives and those persons of faith who work for social justice often remain invisible. The second major factor that is shaping both the composition and the agenda of a more progressive and justice faith movement is the rapid and far-reaching reconfiguration of the American landscape. Latinos and Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders are the most rapidly growing segments of the population. African Americans continue to remain a steady 12% of the population. While these groups differ among themselves and have multiple other identities, taken as an aggregate they represent a significant shift on the American scene and one, as evidenced by
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their strong support of Barack Obama, that holds real promise for a progressive and justiceoriented movement. These changes are accompanied by equally major shifts in the religious landscape, indicating a new environment that will greatly alter both the contours within which progressives and justice-oriented persons work and give impetus to a new, forward looking agenda. If white Evangelical Protestantism in its more conservative forms has occupied center stage in the media and much of Americas public imagination, the shifts in the American panorama, including religious ones, present new opportunities for moving toward a new, more justice-oriented American reality. For the progressive movement in general and the progressive and justice faith movement in particular, the implications of the changing American context are clear. A new progressive, justice-committed majority will be multi-racial and multi-ethnic, religiously diverse, driven by younger persons and women, and responsive to the economic, political and cultural aspirations of all of its citizens. From a faith perspective, a progressive and justice movement, if it is to be vital and have impact, must be explicitly responsive to this changing reality as well. It must be multi-racial, multi-ethnic and multi-faith. To say a progressive and justice faith movement must be multi-racial and multi-ethnic means, beyond sheer numbers, that race is taken seriously in and by the movement. Race has been at the heart of Americas struggle about what kind of nation it is and will be. Confronting racism and imagining a truly racially and ethnically diverse nation that is characterized by equality and justice remains the nations great unfinished business. Racial justice is sometimes central to faith-based organizations agendas but not always. And the task of confronting racism and race within organizations often remains incomplete. Several organizations are systematically addressing these issues but others have not done so as of yet. And while there are many vital organizations founded and run by persons of color, many other groups that make up the progressive and justice movement continue to lack racial diversity, especially in terms of leadership. A movement that is multi-faith also requires hard work. It means widening the partners in conversation and justice work beyond the historic presence of Christians and Jews to include the increasingly important Muslim community as its organizations join advocacy and activist efforts. It also means seeing issues of religious discrimination against Muslims and other minority faiths as justice issues that require a strong response from the community. And finally, it means, taking seriously religious and theological differences both among various traditions and within them. And, in a country that still is strongly Christian, a progressive and justice movement must also continue to include and inspire even greater participation by the historic Christian Churches, Protestant and Catholic alike. This means a wide range of Christians must be seen as participants or potential members of a broad movement for a more just society: churches of color and white churches; liberal Protestants and Catholics and social justice Evangelicals, including both the historic Evangelical left as well as the newer formations led by persons such as Brian McLaren,
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Tony Jones, and Doug Padgitt and the increasingly significant Latino Evangelical movement with leaders such as Gabriel Salguero and Noel Castellanos; and representatives of mainline denominations and those who have built new independent organizations. The table will be a messy one but a broad movement that seeks to build an inclusive society must first find a way to be inclusive itself and to build solidarity out of difference, not despite it. Significantly, a progressive and justice movement will need to reach out to and include the rising numbers of persons whose values and spirituality are not lived out through traditional denominations or formalized religious institutions.9 This rapidly shifting reality is, from a faith perspective, one of the most important developments of our day. How to mobilize what appears to be a strongly progressive segment of the population but one that lacks robust civic connection remains a major agenda item in the building of a progressive and justice movement. All of these changes and potential changes open the possibility for a newly powerful and impactful progressive and justice-oriented faith movement that can secure a progressive majority in American society. As the following sections of this report will detail, much progress toward this goal has been made but many challenges remain, including how to engage the enormous internal diversity of the movement that often hinders collaboration and is the source of divisiveness. The following section of the report will examine more closely what we mean when we refer to the progressive and justice faith movement and where and how it is manifested in American life.

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IV Whats in A Name?

What in fact do we mean when we refer to the progressive and justice faith movement? This question does not have any easy or concise answer. Every element of the name raises issues.

Progressive or Prophetic? First, there is the question of whether we are referring to a single movement or actually different trajectories. Are the progressive and justice faith movements the same thing, complementary movements or movements that are in conflict or at least tension? The term progressive is appealing to many persons. It links persons of faith with broader efforts for political and social change. It harkens back to a period of American history during which secular and religious forces were joined in efforts to bring about greater economic and social justice. It allows for the inclusion of those who are not only politically progressive but hold progressive views about religion. And it avoids the term liberal which has become a highly problematic term from which many faith and secular people have sought to distance themselves. Progressive, however, is also a difficult term for many faith activists and leaders who believe it alienates their constituencies and is tainted with political or ideological elements with which they do not identify. Moreover, much of the faith-based movement, especially its community organizing wing, is centrally concerned with economic and racial justice, and with the empowerment of communities of color. It is precisely in regards to race and economic inequality that much of the wider progressive movement has seemed, to key faith groups, weak and not radical enough. Given all this, for many faith persons and groups, the terms prophetic or justiceoriented better signify what is most important about the work they carry out. Perhaps, most significantly, prophetic and justice-oriented evoke strong primary connections to religious traditions, especially their sacred scriptures, in a way that progressive does not. This report has not solved the dilemma but utilizes both the terms justice-oriented and progressive. It hopes that family resemblances are sufficient to justify the more fluid designation. Moreover, the very tension between the terms also pushes all sides to examine commitments and be clear about what values the movement seeks to embody and promote.

Progressive Politics or Progressive Faith? Another issue that the term progressive entails is the question of what progressive refers to or modifies: Is it a faith orientation? Or does it refer to a set of political commitments and
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concerns? Robert P. Jones, in his book, Progressive and Religious, states that his use of the term refers to a social and political outlook, one that includes broad commitments to social justice, democratic pluralism, and equality of all people.10 What progressive does not necessarily refer to is a progressive interpretation of religion or a liberal theology. A person could be a theological conservative or traditionalist and, because of those very theological commitments, be a strong advocate on behalf of social justice. This orientation often characterizes the Evangelical sector of the movement as well as some Catholics and some historic Black Churches. And indeed this understanding is reflected in organizations such as PICOs strong outreach to Evangelical communities of color and Catholics. On the other hand, Jones describes and this study confirms that many justice-oriented persons of faith or spirituality are also religious and theological liberals and it is such liberalism that leads to their progressive political commitments. This is especially the case for those persons of faith who work on behalf of not only economic justice but also engage social issues especially related to reproductive rights and LBGT rights, including marriage equality.

Religiously Affiliated or Spiritual but Unaffiliated? Another complicating factor arises with the recognition that a rapidly increasing segment of the population is not formally affiliated with any organized religious institution. This does not mean, however, that these persons lack religiously informed or spiritual values, beliefs and practices. As much polling and especially Public Religion Research Institutes recent surveys, that have included data on the unaffiliated, demonstrate, many of the unaffiliated actually participate in religious communities, hold beliefs about the divine or transcendent and interpret themselves as spiritual persons.11 At least in terms of voting patterns, these unaffiliated persons are largely progressive in orientation. Hence, the term faith in progressive needs to be fluid enough to encompass both liberal and more traditional religious persons associated with established traditions and persons who are unaffiliated with any particular religious institution but whose spiritual values and identities might well be mobilized on behalf of social justice. It also needs to be flexible enough that, in a movement increasingly characterized by the participation of persons from multiple religious traditions, it does not alienate those persons for whom the term faith seems overly Christian or Western.

Short-term Movement or Sustained Social and Political Sector? Finally, even the term movement is complex. Many social scientists and political theorists identify social movements as large combinations of groups and individuals, focused on single issues or areas of concern, which engage in campaigns or actions that are of limited duration. When we refer to the progressive and justice faith movement we are denoting a much broader effort that is multi-issued, that hopes to build organizations and institutions that are long lasting,
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and that exists across multiple sectors with a wide geographical reach. This report examines not only some instances of groupings that have come together for very particular purposes, for example, to resist punitive budgetary policies, but also, in particular, to the steady development of an institutional infrastructure that is able to act over time and that is sustainable, including financially, for the long-haul. It is with these qualifications in mind and with an expansive and generous use of the terms that we ask what are the characteristics of the progressive and justice faith movement and who and what constitutes its members?

Characteristics of the Progressive and Justice Oriented Faith Movement It must be stated first that the progressive movement is not the Left version of the Religious Right either in character or in its aspirations. Deep studies of the Religious Right or the conservative religious movement reveal both diversity within this movement and expose a good deal of conflict and internal negotiation about direction and goals. Still, when compared with the progressive and justice movement, the Right demonstrates considerable homogeneity and unity. It is more regionally dense, with greatest strength in the South and ancillary presence especially in the Mid-West. It is more racially uniform, consisting overwhelmingly of whites. And, most significantly, the conservative movement has exhibited a concurrence of conservative theology and conservative political orientation, an accord that has included identification with the Republican Party, within its religious communities. The last has provided the building blocks for the Rights political and electoral activity in a manner a more progressive and justice-oriented movement cannot replicate and, indeed, has explicitly rejected. Recognizing that the progressive and justice movement is not the Right in more liberal garb how shall we characterize it? The progressive and justice faith movement is best characterized as a constellation of groups and individuals working to empower and transform the lives of the most vulnerable in our society and to create a new America that is inclusive, diverse and committed to justice, democratic processes and the common good. This movement is internally pluralistic, encompassing multiple, sometimes conflicting factions, without central or overarching institutions setting its agenda or direction. The progressive and justice faith movement, thus, represents a fluid ecology of change in which faith-motivated groups, independently and in concert, seek to have impact on the civic, cultural and political spheres of the nation. It is an ensemble, not a singular organism.

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General Characteristics

! Diversity: Race, Class, Gender, Sexual Orientation and Legal Status In contrast to a largely homogenous conservative religious movement, the progressive and justice faith movement is characterized by profound internal diversity. It is made of up individuals and groups representing multiple racial/ethnic groups, class locations, legal status, sexual orientations, age and genders. It is a very large tent and seeks to embrace even more constituents, including more fully a greatly embattled white working class, through an aspirational vision of the common good in which the whole is enhanced through the creation of a more just society.

! Geographical Dispersion While the progressive faith movement has significant strength on the East and West Coasts, it is less geographically concentrated than the Religious Right. It also has strong organizations in the Midwest, including cities like Chicago, Minneapolis and Detroit as well as states such as Ohio, Michigan and Minnesota. Still, in many ways, it is a coastal and northern movement that is highly urban.

! Multi-Faith Pluralism The progressive and justice faith movement is not the domain of one religious tradition. Many of its individual organizations are interfaith or multi-faith in composition and other, single-faith organizations, work in close collaboration with one another. Many of the most effective faith-based coalitions, such as the Faithful Budget or the Circle of Protection or the Interfaith Immigration Coalition, contain multiple faith groups that represent either different religious traditions or a variety of theologically and historically diverse parts of single traditions. Organizations such as the faith-based organizing networks include Christian, Jewish and, increasingly, Muslim groups as members. And efforts such as Moral Mondays have cultivated a deliberately multi-faith identity. While the Religious Right is strongly Christian, the progressive movement includes a much wider range of participants, reflecting both the growing religious pluralism of the United States and a self-conscious commitment to religious tolerance and respect.

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! Theological Diversity Theological diversity is a major hallmark of the progressive and justice faith movement. There are no uniformly shared views of religious traditions, claims to truth and even ethical mandates. Rather than assuming that different religious traditions are the same and singular faiths are internally uniform, the movement increasingly is characterized by diverse approaches in which different perspectives and internally diverse traditions bring their unique gifts to the table. This diversity both allows for a depth and richness of resources but also means that differences are real. While there is a widely-held consensus on the priority of the most vulnerable even that accord sometimes breaks down, especially when the sticky questions of gender, reproductive justice and sexual orientation come to the fore. The rich theological diversity of the movement, thus, provides deep resources for its work but also causes profound divisions that continually need to be managed and engaged. ! Multi-Issued While many social movements are characterized by singular or lead issues, the progressive and justice faith movement is notable for its embrace of multiple issues with various groups focused on economic injustice or gender issues or racial concerns or LGBT rights or immigration or the environment. The movement embraces not just one cause but works on multiple fronts simultaneously. Moreover, there are not only organizations engaged in single issue advocacy but, increasingly, more organizations, such as the Religious Action Center, work on multiple areas and issues. The greater institutionalization of the movement has increased the ability to continue focused advocacy and activism on specific issues simultaneously with the analysis of and engagement with multiple, interconnected areas of concern.

! Intersectional Identities and Issues Individuals and groups have distinctive identities and organizations often focus on discrete issues or on a series of issues. However, a new way of expressing the multiplicity of identities that characterize many participants in the movement and a way of articulating the deep interconnections of issues has come to be named intersectionality. Intersectionality is found both on the level of identity and on the level of issues. In terms of identity, more and more persons in the movement are claiming complex multi-faceted identities that cannot be reduce to singular marks. Persons are African American and female, or white, poor and Catholic or Latino, male, gay and Pentecostal. There is a growing insistence that identities are multiple, not singular or narrowly circumscribed by one factor such as race, gender, orientation, nationality or religion. Of equal importance,
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there is also an increased effort to recognize and work at the intersections of issues; to recognize their interconnections and commonalities. There is, more and more, a rejection of the tendency to pit one issue against another but instead to recognize the profoundly systemic and connected nature of so many of the justice issues confronting our society. Solidarity across issues rather than a mentality, often manipulated by conservative opponents, that says my injustice trumps your injustice is coming to characterize the movement. Moral Mondays are an excellent example of this growing recognition of intersectionality. Moral Mondays are weekly gatherings, what Macky Alston terms moral spectacle, that have included acts of civil disobedience.12 They were started in North Carolina by the head of the North Carolina NAACP, Rev. William Barber II. Formed to revive commitments to justice in the face of actions by the North Carolina legislature and Governor that negatively impact the rights and well-being of significant numbers of citizens, Moral Mondays have given concrete expression of the interconnections of issues and of the allegiance across identities and issues that are central to the new progressive and justice movement. Started in April, Moral Mondays have spread throughout North Carolina and now to other states around the country. An embodiment of what Barber calls a new fusion politics, that is multi-racial and multi-ethnic and inclusive of diverse religious groups and issues, Moral Mondays have given voice to justice concerns that participants see not as discrete but as interconnected.13 The issues that Moral Mondays have responded to include tax changes, racial justice and voting rights, public education and reproductive rights. Moral Mondays are a key example of the movements insistence that issues are not separable and that communities need to come together in solidarity rather than in competition or in narrowly constricted interests.

! Political Independence and Non-Partisanship In contrast to the Right, the progressive and justice oriented faith movement is steadfastly politically independent and remains unaffiliated with any political party. While often progressive and justice faith groups find themselves aligned with the Democrats on particular policy issues, this primarily springs from the extreme conservatism of the Republican Party rather than a desire to be identified as the faith arm of the Democratic Party. There is, among these groups, a deep commitment to not have their work reduced to mere politics. Political independence does not mean, however, that the progressive and justice movement does not attempt to have impact on policy and on the public sphere; indeed, much of its advocacy efforts are aimed toward having influence in the public arena and shaping the direction of the nation. Often, progressive and justice faith groups do so by positioning themselves to the left of the current political options, seeking to draw leaders of both parties beyond the status quo and toward more systemic solutions to our societal problems rather than anemic compromises that change little.
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! The Independent and Para-Church Organizations: The New Organizational Heart of the Progressive and Justice Faith Movement One of the most significant characteristics of the progressive and justice-oriented faith movement is that it is strongly comprised of organizations that are independent or semiautonomous from formal religious institutions such as denominations. This independent character of many key progressive and justice organizations can be seen in many sectors of the movement. Freestanding organizations have emerged to provide services, such as media strategy and leadership development, to other groups and sectors of the movement. Faith in Public Life is a key example of this type of independent organization which works to serve both denominations and free standing advocacy and activist organizations. Other illustrations are the Beatitudes Society, an organization that supports progressive faith leadership across Christian denominations, and Groundswell, which works in a multi-faith manner. In other instances, the independent character reflects the political realities of denominations today. Mainline Protestant denominations and the Catholic Church, in contrast to much of the Evangelical faith world, encompass diverse political and ideological perspectives. The split Mainline and Catholic vote in presidential elections testifies to the internal political diversity of these religious communities. The result is that, in many instances, the progressive and justice elements within these traditions live out their faith-inspired activism and advocacy in and through the independent and noninstitutionally aligned organizations that have formed outside of denominational structures. Often these organizations have staffs that are from many religious perspectives, work with varied partners, and do not claim to represent particular religious communities or traditions. They may partner with denominations and religious bodies at specific points but they are not formal arms of any tradition. Progressive Christians Uniting, Network of Spiritual Progressives, and Protestants for the Common Good/Community Renewal Society are examples of these types of groups. Other religious traditions also are replete with examples of the strength of the independent progressive and justice movement. The National Council of Jewish Women and Bend the Arc: a Jewish Partnership for Justice work closely with other Jewish organizations and with Jewish congregations but are not official arms of any of the Jewish denominations. Beyond individual groups, the Jewish Social Roundtable is comprised of multiple independent Jewish organizations working for social justice that seeks to create coordinated efforts rather than silos. It also includes the Union for Reform Judaism.

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There have long been African American faith-related organizations whose work is focused on issues of injustice that exist independently of denominations but in deep relations with congregations and official Church bodies. One way of stating this is to say that many of these organizations are trans-denominational; they are most often led by clergy and are connected to but not run by any one denomination. These include venerable and long standing organizations such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, founded in the 1950s. Newer organizations have also taken root including the newly created Black Church Center for Justice and Equality, headed by Delman Coates; Faith Partnerships, Inc., whose Board chair is Otis Moss, Jr; the National African American Clergy Network, whose leadership has included Barbara Williams-Skinner and DeWitt Smith, Jr.; and the Samuel Dewitt Procter Conference founded in 2003 and led by Iva Carruthers. Sojourners, currently headed by Jim Wallis, has been the most visible and effective independent Evangelical group in the movement. Founded in 1971 at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, the group moved to Washington to start neighborhood programs. By 1995, Sojourners had, with others, spearheaded Call to Renewal, a campaign to unite churches and faith-based organizations to fight poverty. It was Sojourners, along with Catholics, who originally formed the Circle of Protection to advocate for economic policies and budgetary decisions that did not harm the most economically disadvantaged in the country. Jim Wallis remains one of the most prominent advocates for economic and racial justice in America. Other Evangelical groups such as Evangelicals for Social Action and the New Evangelical Partnership have emerged as well to insist on the link between Evangelical faith and social justice. Numerous issue-related advocacy groups, such as Bread for the World, have also come to the fore, working on issues as diverse as climate change to hunger. Catholic progressive and social justice organizations are also often independent of the formal power structures of the Church at the same time they claim Catholic identity. Call to Action, NETWORK, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, and Catholics United illustrate these types of groups, both grounding their work in their Catholic identities and in Catholic teachings while asserting their own interpretations of these, which have sometimes been in tension with the positions claimed by the Church hierarchy. Many Muslim organizations, reflective of the way Muslims are organized in the US, are also freestanding organizations. The Islamic Society of North America, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, Muslim Leaders of Tomorrow, Muslims for Progressive Voices and the Muslim Public Affairs Council all work to foster understanding about Muslims place in America and on the global scene, engage in efforts to protect religious and civil rights, and encourage a robust presence of Muslims in the public square. In recent years these groups have increased their presence in multi-faith work on a variety of
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issues, joining advocacy coalitions on immigration reform and collaborating on issues of religious liberty. Another type of autonomous organization can be seen in the large number of interfaith and multi-faith organizations and coalitions. Boards, staffs and the communities within which these organizations may be closely connected with traditional religious bodies but the organizations themselves are autonomous. Many of the faith-based community organizing groups have this kind of identity as well as do issue-oriented coalitions and alliances; they are not official branches of any particular religious body but remain in significant relationship with denominations. There are also numerous multi-faith and faith-grounded organizations that work on specific issues ranging from the environment to reproductive rights to poverty. These, too, relate to official religious bodies, sometimes having official representation, but have arisen independently and are funded and governed as separate entities. Finally, some organizations, such as the Religious Action Center, are formally connected to their larger religious bodies yet function with significant independence. They are connected but semi-autonomous. The groups mentioned are only illustrations of the growth and vitality of these autonomous or semi-independent groups. Most such groups are unnamed. All represent both a continuation of a tradition of trans-denominational type organizations such as the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (which is open to persons of all faiths and races), and a real shift in the epicenter of progressive faith activism and work. While denominations and multi-faith organizations with formal representations from religious bodies, such as the National Council of Churches and Religions for Peace, continue to exist, a good deal of the energy of the progressive and justice movement has shifted to these newer groups or configurations of groups. There are many advantages and disadvantages to these developments. They allow for greater multi-faith cooperation and new forms of association. They often have greater ease collaborating with secular organizations, and, importantly, they have greater flexibility to take positions. New possibilities are emerging precisely because the groups most central to the movement ground their efforts in their faith traditions but are not the self-appointed guardians of particular religious traditions. Still, without greater institutional development, a movement that is often composed of mostly small, underfunded, structurally deficient organizations functions at a great disadvantage, lacking sufficient resources and organizational strength to have the kind of public impact that it seeks. Both the strengthening of individual groups and greater collaboration and connection between groups and with formal religious bodies are required if the movement is to be sustained and grow its successes.

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! The Centrality of Faith and the Multiple Forms of Religious Identity The religious identity and motivations of progressive and justice-oriented persons play both a central and complicating role in the progressive movement. At times, the wider secular progressive movement has turned to faith groups and leaders to provide a moral counter weight to conservatives. At other times, faith seems to be an embarrassment and a hindrance to collaboration. It is important to note, therefore, that religious identities are significant motivating factors in the work of faith-based groups and that work cannot be understood apart from these identities and commitments. The faith part of faith-based is not ancillary but central. For all participants in the justice-oriented faith movement-Catholics, Jews, Mainline Protestants, members of the historic Black Churches, and the emergent Latino Evangelical movement and Muslims alike-- faith is the positive motivating center of the work. But in this multi-faith movement religious convictions and values involve deep complexity. Faith really means multiple faiths, diverse traditions and varied histories, including groups associated both with more liberal theologies and more traditional theologies. Thus the progressive and justice movement needs to not only negotiate its role with a broader secular realm but must negotiate the differences that exist within the movement itself. If you add to this mix the cutting edge of progressives who are spiritual but not affiliated with religious organizations, the multifaceted character of faith, values, religiosity and spirituality becomes even more complex. But a faith movement or a values movement needs to contend with this complexity, including the emergent segment of the population those lives and positions are value laden but not identified by traditional markers of religiousness such as church attendance or institutional affiliation. This group, increasingly made-up of young people, may well be the future of any values-based progressive and justice movement. This broad religious diversity suggests that, just as faith or spirituality or values are central elements that cannot be ignored, the internal variety of faiths and theologies also must be acknowledged and engaged. This diversity represents both an abundance of resources and values to draw on but also leads to conflict and internal division. Most often these theological differences have led to fissures around social issues such as reproductive rights and LGBT rights. They have been used to divide the progressive and justice movement and led to not a little name calling within the movement. If the progressive and justice movement is to grow and have impact these differences must be confronted and honestly engaged. As E.J. Dionne has stated in an August op ed For

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liberalism to thrive, there needs to be acceptance and, even better, some respect across the boundaries of belief and nonbelief.14 ! Denominations and Official Religious Bodies The above analysis suggests that the energy of the progressive and justice-oriented faith movement has moved to independent, semi-autonomous and free standing organizations. Here is where the greatest innovation has taken place and where the most creative leadership has emerged. It is the sector that is holding the most appeal for younger persons motivated by faith and spiritually grounded values. And the independent sector has also been easier for funders to interact with and for secular organizations to join in collaboration. It is, thus, tempting to write off or dismiss more formal religious bodies and institutions. That would be a grave mistake. While according to almost every measure formal religious institutions, especially those representing white Christians and in recent surveys, Jews, are losing members and public significance, many remain stalwart contributors to social justice efforts ranging from providing services to joining advocacy efforts. For instance, the Faithful Budget Campaign listed among its diverse supporters not only independent organizations but the agencies and formal representatives of many denominations. The Interfaith Immigration Coalition provides another example of an alliance of formal institutions and independent groups. Moreover, formal religious institutions continue to be the major vehicles through which many communities seek progress, such as the historic Black Churches, including the Progressive National Baptist Convention, the AME Church and CME Church, who remain mainstays of their communities, major advocates for racial and economic justice. Other official religious institutions, be they Protestant or Jewish denominations or the Catholic Church, remain real and potential partners in the creation of a more just society. Their Washington policy and advocacy offices are key allies to more free standing groups. Formal religious denominations continue to provide resources through programs such as the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, one of the largest funders of community organizing groups in the nation. They represent intellectual heritages that can be supportive of alternative social visions. They have millions members, indeed far more than do the independent groups, who represent both the constituents of many organizing and mobilizing efforts but also potential future participants in more progressive social and political movements. And they still possess powerful voices that can and should be mobilized for the common good and a more just society but which are often muted or raised for more conservative purposes. Moreover, their collaborative efforts, such as the National Council of Churches, retain resources that can contribute to the creation of a more just and inclusive society even as they struggle to redefine themselves in the 21st Century.
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Thus, while the trend is toward less centralized and independent organizations, it is imperative to acknowledge that the historic religious institutions remain key partners in movements for justice and to recognize that if a progressive and justice faith movement is to thrive it must pursue enhanced connections to traditional religious bodies as part of its strategy. The movements success will depend on keeping intact relations with religious institutions that do exist, strengthening those ties when possible, and managing differences that threaten these relationships. Having suggested both that religious denominations continue to play a vital role in social justice issues and that they should not be ignored or dismissed by the emergent independent sector or by the larger progressive movement, it is important to note that this is a complicated terrain that is not easily traversed. The diversity within many religious traditions indicates the complexity of trying to mobilize members and leaders for any particular issue. But it is not only that there is diversity but that in many instances, these communities are internally engaged in great struggles over their identities and future direction. From the Catholic Church to Mainline Protestant denominations and even to overwhelmingly liberal Reform Judaism, there is a contestation for the soul of American religion. Sometimes, as in the Catholic Church, the official authorities have emerged as more conservative, at least on some issues, and independent groups, such as Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, Catholics United, Call to Action, NETWORK and many religious orders and networks, have pushed for other interpretations of Catholic teachings and ideals. While powerfully oriented toward social justice on issues such as immigration, the Catholic hierarchy has more and more focused on a narrow range of issues, forgoing its historic leadership on economic and political rights, and has become increasingly aligned with religious conservatives. Moreover, external extremist groups have pushed the Church from the outside toward more conservative stances. A recent Faith in Public Life report, authored by John Gehring, details the growing threats to the historic Catholic commitment to anti-poverty work from well-funded extremists.15 However, with the election of Pope Francis and his repeated call for the Church to turn its focus once more on the poor, there is renewed hope for many Catholics working for social justice that the historic alliances between the Church and social justice efforts will be strengthened and the Church once more will be viewed as a partner in this work. Thus, while the official Catholic Church is seen by many progressives and social justice advocates as a complex partner with whom to associate, there is optimism by other Catholics and their justice co-workers that a new moment is emerging. But Catholicism is not alone in its internal complexities and its contested public roles. Mainline Protestant denominations such as the United Methodist Church and the Episcopal Church have been for decades riven by contending groups and by divisive issues such as gay rights. Thus, progressive and social justice faith groups are not only working in relation to diverse larger denominations but ones that are internally conflicted
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and whose leaders have sometimes been at odds with the aims and values of much of the progressive and justice-oriented faith movement. Partnerships rely on delicate negotiation and a generosity toward differing positions that is often in short supply across the faith spectrum.

! Faith Programs within Secular Organizations and Organizations where the Secular and Religious are Blurred. It is important to note that while the progressive and justice faith movement sometimes struggles to gain the attention and respect of the secular sides of the movement there are exciting examples of the inclusion of faith within secular organizations. Some of these examples are long lived and come from organizations dedicated to racial justice and civil rights. The African American struggle for rights and justice has always had deep faith roots and connections. From the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to the Urban League to the Rainbow Coalition to the NAACP and the National Action Network, African American clergy and persons of faith have played central roles in founding and leading such organizations and these organizations have always included strong outreach or partnership programs with the faith community. A current example is Rev. William Barber II who heads the North Carolina NAACP and is the initiator of Moral Mondays. These organizations all see partnerships with the faith community as central to their mission and both bridge and blur the divisions between the secular and faith worlds. Other secular organizations have also developed faith programs. The People for the American Way has an African American Religious Affairs Program, led by Leslie Watson Malachi, that works to bring together progressive Black leaders and to build a younger network of faith-inspired leaders to work on progressive causes. One of the most successful recent faith projects within a secular organization is the Human Rights Campaigns faith program. The HRC Religion and Faith program is run by Sharon Groves and its Faith Partnership and Mobilization program is headed by MacArthur H. Flournoy. With these programs HRC has not only sought to bridge the gap between faith and gay rights by identifying, training and deploying faith voices for equality in campaigns for marriage equality; it has also been instrumental in gathering theological and ethical leaders to provide intellectual resources on behalf of HRCs work in a manner often missing from other segments of the movement. These organizations provide good models for the integration of faith and secular work and for the recognition that faith can be an important partner in the work for justice.

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! An Ecology of Organizations Without a Center or a Head The above characteristics lead to a description of the progressive and justice faith movement as a fluid and shifting ecology of multiple, often small, organizations which overlap but exhibit no singular set of priorities, values or goals. Moreover, there are no overarching umbrella organizations to provide direction or discipline or encourage coordination and collaboration -- in fact the movement has rejected such efforts to do so in favor of more open source approaches and ad hoc collaborations. Organizations such as Faith in Public Life, founded in 2006 as a strategy and media center, have provided space where diverse groups can collaborate on policy issues in this ad hoc manner. Jennifer Butler, CEO of Faith in Public Life, sees this lack of centralization as best addressed through such loose collaborations and by the recognition of the unique possibilities and commitments of each player.16 She likens the progressive and justice faith movement to an orchestra composed of different sections (strings, brass, woodwinds) that play together and apart at different times in the same piece, each contributing to the overall musical performance in unique ways. Others have described this reality utilizing the quintessential American metaphor of jazz, a musical form characterized by innovation, improvisation and syncopation. A number of commentators see such ad hoc associations as best suited to such a diverse movement and point to the fact that since 2004 these loose collaborations have allowed multiple groups to have stronger voice and that much greater trust has developed, even among groups that disagree strongly on important issues. Moreover, they point out, there is emerging a willingness to let individual groups play their unique roles, utilizing the language that is most appropriate to them rather than assuming all will agree on every issue or that particular traditions values and language should be left behind in favor of a sometimes weaker consensus language. A top down movement would not have allowed this slightly chaotic conglomeration of diverse organizations and voices to emerge as a strong movement. Still, it must be said, that other commentators have voiced concern about the lack of centralization and more formal structures supporting collaborative efforts and coordinated activities. While stronger relationships are developing among the independent groups and key instances of collaboration have emerged, mostly these are still on the level of the ad hoc and the personal; though organizations are maturing and building infrastructure, collaboration is less institutionalized. The movement is making great progress and is bringing about significant change. But, it is doing so in a looser, more democratic, grassroots and spread out manner than from any top down or highly centralized effort or even fully coordinated efforts. For supporters of decentralization this gives the movement its vitality and protects the individual character of each participant group. For those concerned with lack of coordination and collaboration, this sometimes hinders effectiveness and the capacity scale up impact. Given these realities and the
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commitments to these looser forms of interacting independent groups and the reality of large denominational partners that are internally diverse, the success of the progressive and justice movement will be built on its ability to improve coordination and collaboration while maintaining diversity and independence. Moreover, sustained change will not be the product of any single organization or even a small group of allied organizations. The movements effectiveness has been and will continue to be in the form of the collective impact of multiple efforts and organizations. Its progress is because of its ensemble effect, not the result of the work of singular powerful organizations or highly integrated groups. The future success of the progressive and justice faith movement will, thus, depend on the ability of these multiple organizations to strengthen their relationships and create new forms of collaboration and coordination across distinctive groups with diverse missions, theologies and priorities. Most often, religiously-informed differences have been dealt with in a variety of ways that sometimes are effective but often have led to dissension and have undermined the movement: real differences have been thought not to exist, through a gloss that claims all religions are really alike, or they have been ignored, in the hope that shared political goals trump differing values or, at the movements most contentious moments, they have been the source of demonization and name calling. Moreover, there continue to be divides of race, class and gender. While the movement as a whole is very racially diverse, many individual organizations remain less so in terms of leadership and staff. Hence, while diversity is the strength of the progressive and justice faith movement, it is also an unfinished project; it remains to be more full engaged theologically, racially, in terms of gender and orientation, and in relation of economic disparities. To be a model for the nation, the movement must continue to work to embody within itself the values that it seeks for the larger society.

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V Centering Issues

This report will explore in depth several sectors that are major participants in the progressive and justice faith ecology. These will include the community organizing sector and the expanse of media strategy and training, think tank, polling and research groups. Much of the work, however, is carried out by issue-focused organizations that cannot be readily packaged into a sector or subdivision of the movement. These organizations number in the hundreds across the country and cannot be analyzed thoroughly in this report. They are not only numerous but also reflect the same types of diversity indicated above. Still, it is important to indicate the issues that are shaping the ecology of change, demonstrating the breadth of the progressive and justice faith and values movement.

! Economic Justice Many groups concentrate on single issues or areas of concern including economic justice, immigration reform, mass incarceration, reproductive health and rights, health care, the environment and peace. Central among those have been the cluster of issues that relate to poverty, income inequality, and budgetary policy in America. While these organizations have stepped forward on a variety of public policy issues they have carried key leadership roles around economic issues. Organizations such Sojourners, NETWORK, CLUE, Bread for the World and numerous community organizing groups have spearheaded both work on the ground and advocacy efforts. Other longer standing groups such as various community development organizations, including the Christian Community Development Association, now led by Noel Castellanos, work within communities to bring about wholistic change including around poverty, housing and education. This work has also been carried on through coalitions and alliances that have amplified voices of faith around a plethora of economic issues, including income and wealth inequality, poverty, tax policies, equal pay, the eroding middle class, hunger, and the invisibility and demonization of the poor. Importantly, these coalitions unite independent groups and religious denominations in powerful collective action. Recently, the Circle of Protection, which brought together a wide range of Christian leaders, including Catholics, Evangelicals, Mainline Protestants, Orthodox leaders, representatives of historic Black Churches and Latino organizations and Churches, demonstrated the collective power of collaborative efforts on behalf of those most adversely affected by budgetary policies. The Faithful Budget Campaign was a parallel interfaith collaborative effort of Christian, Jewish, Muslim and other faith communities and organizations to work on behalf of the
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most vulnerable. Independent organizations, networks and coalitions such as Jubilee USA, and Pax Christi, as well as secular/religious partnerships like the Alliance to End Hunger, have all been part of the efforts to confront poverty and economic inequality. Together these coalitions and campaigns presented a significant united faith voice calling public officials to accountability around economic issues and with very specific policy goals and priorities. They also represent what is one of the clusters of issues that evoke a significant consensus among diverse faith and justice groups. That consensus reflects the agreement that the most vulnerable in society need both protection and empowerment, and that a society is measured by its fundamental commitment to the least among us. This consensus recognizes the erosion of middle class prospects in America but also, in contrast to the rhetoric and often actions of both political parties, has taken up the cause of the poor in America and puts those at the margins of society at the center of their concern.

! Immigration Reform A second area that has witnessed prominent faith work by both independent organizations and coalitions has been immigration reform. Among the most organized and vocal supporters of comprehensive immigration reform have been religious leaders and organizations. During the last several years, there has been faith representation at the management table of Reform Immigration for America, the national coalition of groups working on behalf of comprehensive immigration reform. Most recently, there has been the creation of an Evangelical Table at the coalition whose purpose is to coordinate and mobilize a wide range of Evangelicals working for immigration reform. On the ground work, educating and mobilizing people of faith, and policy work have been carried out by the migrant, refugee and immigrant offices of denominations such as Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service and the Catholic Bishops Committee on Migration and its Justice for Immigrants Campaign as well as more free standing groups such as HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society. Moreover, there have developed powerful coalitions including the Interfaith Immigration Coalition and the Christian Immigration Coalition. Coalitions/networks of Latino Evangelicals, most notably Esperanza, led by Luis Cortes and the National Latino Evangelical Association, led by Gabriel Salguero, have also formed. These organizations are working on immigration and other related issues, such as poverty and education, both within Latino Evangelical Protestantism, as well as joining the wider alliances working on immigration reform. Accompanying this work have been secular organizations that have been open to including faith sectors including Americas Voice, the communications branch of the immigration reform movement, and Welcoming America, an organization that educates communities about immigrants and that bridges settled communities and new immigrants.
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! Reproductive Justice and Health Other issues have also seen free-standing organizations playing key roles. Work in reproductive health and justice continues to be carried out by the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Rights, now headed by Harry Knox, Catholics for Choice, led by Jon OBrien, and the Religious Institute for Sexual Justice, Morality and Healing, led by Debra Haffner. The Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism and the National Council of Jewish Women have been key leaders in this area. The Center for American Progress Faith and Progressive Policy Program has also undertaken the analysis of the faith field, identified and trained new leaders, especially leaders of color, and supported new collaborations between faith-based and secular advocates. Importantly, CAP has stressed the interrelation of reproductive justice and other justice issues including racial and economic justice. Sister Song, an organization dedicated to reproductive justice for women of color, has been both sensitive to issues of faith and open to faith participation and collaboration. Faith groups have, moreover, successfully entered into alliances with secular reproductive rights and justice organizations in states such as Colorado and California to oppose the erosion of policies protecting womens health and rights. This sphere, however, remains one of the dividing lines not only between progressive and conservative religious groups but also within the progressive and justice movement itself. Many conservative religious groups remain against reproductive freedom. Abortion, contraception and sexuality education remaining rallying cries for the new alliance between conservative Protestants and the Catholic hierarchy. These issues have often derailed other kinds of common work across ideological lines, and threaten to undermine key financial and institutional support, especially from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. Within the more progressive and justice-oriented movement, abortion and reproductive choice continue to be a divisive issue with a range of positions and a lack of consensus. Beyond religiously-grounded opposition to abortion, other dynamics have infused this situation with complexity within progressivism. Paramount are larger significant relationships, including financial, with more conservative institutions. One result has been to render some organizations mute about gender and sexuality issues out of fear of loss of these other relationships. This has been a growing dilemma facing community organizing networks that have long received significant support from the Catholic Campaign for Human Development. These networks often work on issues not related to sexuality, LGBT rights or reproductive justice. Their own members have a wide diversity of positions, including conservative ones, on these issues. But, as they have sought to be more effective presences, many have joined broad-based coalitions that include a range of voices on issues not directly the focus of the coalition. Such collaboration has been key
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to political success. Unfortunately, while the Bishops guidelines retain some flexibility on who can be in a coalition, local implementation of these guidelines has sometimes resulted in the defunding of organizations. The result is an undermining of the move toward broader and stronger coalitions that is central to building political and cultural power. Finally, the historical role religions have played in denying women full inclusion and justice generally and, in particular, their role in denying women reproductive rights and justice have made secular reproductive groups wary of interaction with faith-based advocates. The results are few and mostly short term collaborations between faith-based groups and secular advocates. More than any other set of issues, gender and reproductive health and justice remain the areas where consensus or even a bridging of differences continue to elude the movement but are incredibly necessary to achieve. Faith-based work on gender equality and reproductive rights and health remain spheres where organizational growth, new leadership identification and training, alliance building and the development of faith resources all are in need of support.

! LGBT Rights LGBT rights have been areas of longstanding work within denominations. Internal LGBT rights groups such as Dignity (Catholics), Integrity (Episcopalians) and Affirmation (United Methodists), and Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists have long been working to improve the conditions within religious traditions around such issues as ordination of gays and lesbians. But in recent years, as the LGBT rights movement has matured and its organizational structure has been strengthened, American society has witnessed a remarkable shift in attitudes toward LGBT persons and about such issues as marriage equality. Faith groups, both within denominations and newer independent organizations, have played key roles in moving society toward greater equality. Among the groups working for LGBT equality are Reconciling Ministers Network (Methodist), Methodists in New Directions, Covenant Network of Presbyterians, More Light Presbyterians, New Ways Ministry (Catholics), Room for All (Reformed Church of America), Jewish Queer Youth, Lutherans Concerned North America, Many Voices: A Black Church Movement for Gay and Transgender Justice, The Evangelical Network, Al-Fahiha (Muslim), and Keshat (Jewish). Other groups have focused on religion in their anti-bigotry work such as Truth Wins Out, Faith in America and Soul Force. The Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism has once more been a leader for equality and rights within the Jewish community and the larger faith-based justice movement. More progressive Protestant denominations, such as the United

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Church of Christ, and liberal religious groups such as the Unitarian Universalists, have also been strong advocates for LGBT rights. Recently, broader groups and campaigns have gained momentum. Intersections International in New York and Progressive Christians Uniting in California, while not only focused on gay rights, have been significantly engaged in this work, and are examples of independent groups making the religious case for equality for LGBT persons. Intersections, Inc. has, for example, been the lead organization supporting the Believe Out Loud Campaign. LGBT rights groups such as the Human Rights Campaign and GLADD have also developed robust faith and values programs that partner on a regular basis with denominational and other faith-based groups. The increased collaboration among these faith and rights groups has greatly enhanced the impact of work for LGBT equality both within religious communities and across society. Faith and secular partnerships, media training and the development of consistent and shared messages have all contributed to multiplying the voices for equality and justice. The results have been substantial, especially in the push for marriage equality. The participation of progressive and justiceoriented faith groups and leaders in the most recent push for equality has been credited with contributing significantly to the success of marriage equality in states such as Maine, Maryland, and Washington, and in defeating anti-equality measures in states such as Minnesota. Foundations, such as Arcus, the Gill Foundation, the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr Fund, the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundations and the COIL Foundation have also supported faith groups in their LGBT equality efforts. In a sharp contrast to the area of reproductive justice, the LGBT arena has witnessed greater collaboration and the positive presence of increasing numbers of faith groups partnerships with secular rights groups, as well as increased foundation support. As such, this part of the progressive and justice movement offers clear lessons and models of the dynamics that must occur across the movement if greater impact is to be secured.

! The Environment and Climate Change Organizations focused on the environment and climate change have emerged across the country. While they have lacked the full recognition of Washington powerbrokers and the attention given to faith groups working on poverty and immigration, there are clear indications that climate and environment are among the next arenas in which progressive and justice-inspired faith will play a significant role in developing a new narrative that includes nature in an understanding of the common good, links environmental issues to
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other justice concerns, and mobilizes on behalf of cultural and political change. Groups and organizations abound across the country. Notable have been Interfaith Power and Light, an interfaith network responding to climate change. IPL now has affiliates in 38 states. Other programs, such as Illinois Faith in Place and Minnesotas Congregations Caring for Creation, are state-based. Virtually every faith tradition now has groups or denominational programs concerned with the environment, including organizations such as Coalition on the Environment and Jewish Life, the Islamic Foundation for Ecology and Environmental Sciences, the Catholic Conference of Bishops, the Evangelical Environment Network, the National Council of Churches of Christ and the Network of Spiritual Progressives. Issues of the environment and climate change are increasingly bridge issues that bring together a wide swath of religious groups, often divided on other areas, and secular advocates. As these groups collaborate more fully and exert their collective power, their impact on policy will become much greater and less easily dismissed, especially because it will represent an arena of secular/religious cooperation. ! Violence and Mass Incarceration In recent years, two interrelated issues have moved to the fore of progressive and justice faith work. With over 6 million persons under correctional supervision- -i.e. incarcerated, on parole or probation- -in the US and 1 in 14 Black males currently incarcerated, faith groups have increasingly identified prison reform, changes of laws and sentencing policies, and re-entry issues as central areas of justice, especially racial justice, work. PICOs Life Lines to Healing, headed by Michael McBride, and Progressive Christians Uniting, Justice Not Jails, are two examples of faith groups taking leadership on these issues. Other efforts, especially inspired by Michelle Alexanders book, The New Jim Crow, are emerging in cities and states across the country.17 Coupled with this is a newly energized movement to confront violence, especially gun violence. For many the Newtown massacre of 26 persons, including 20 young children, has galvanized a broad-based faith response. For others, gun violence in our inner cities, where young people are killed on a daily basis, has been a much longer concern. These more long standing efforts, often led by African American and Latino pastors, and newer efforts are now joining forces to demand gun control and greater government and community efforts to reduce violence.

! Religious Liberty Another issue that is emerging as important for progressive and justice-oriented persons of faith is religious freedom or religious liberty. For a number of years this has been the province of conservatives, especially in relation to international affairs and foreign
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policy. Conservatives have highlighted several issues: religiously inspired conflict; religious persecution; and the denial of the right to proselytize. Often it has been conservative Christians raising their voices and, frequently, there has been a Clash of Civilizations tone. Liberals, including religious liberals, have not been central to the conversations, though some have raised issues about the Wests imposition of western values and religions, especially Christianity, on other cultures. More recently, these issues have gained greater force in the United States. Many faiths have experienced prejudice and even violence. Since 9/11, Muslims have been attacked and their places of worship have been desecrated. Controversy has followed attempts to build new Muslim sponsored communities centers as in the Park 51 dispute in New York City. Plans to build new or expanded mosques have been met by fierce opposition across the country from Wisconsin to Tennessee to California. Other groups, such as Sikhs, who are often misidentified as Muslims, have also faced threats and violence. Progressive and justice-oriented persons of faith have offered robust responses to these issues, emphasizing the principle of religious liberty, but they have not always been effective or gained wide public agreement. Conservatives, for their part, have seemed to once more grab what should be a more broadly claimed concept as their own. In particular, they have used notions of religious liberty to attack the contraception mandate in the Affordable Care Act, and to argue for the right to discriminate against LGBT persons in benefits, employment and services. The left has not been well prepared to offer alternative visions of religious liberty that respect religious freedom but do not support discrimination and inequality. Recently, more efforts have emerged to join the Interfaith Alliance, led by Welton Gaddy, which has been the organization offering the most long term work in this area. The Center for American Progress Faith and Progressive Policy Program has now taken up the issues around religious liberty and their implications in the policy arena. A strong coalition that includes secular as well as faith-based groups, the Coalition for Liberty and Justice, has been co-convened by Catholics for Choice and the National Council of Jewish Women, and includes a broad spectrum of progressive and justice-oriented groups from Call to Action to the ACLU. These efforts are encouraging but given the enormous push by conservatives they need to be supplemented and supported if religious liberty is not to be a losing issue for progressives and those committed to justice for all faiths.

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VI Faith-Based Community Organizing

A number of sectors have experienced growth and greater efficacy within the progressive and justice faith movement. Key among these areas is faith-based community organizing. Examining this part of the movement allows us to see the unique contributions of the faith movement as well as to identify the very significant challenges that confront not only organizing but also the movement as a whole. Community organizing, both in its religious and secular forms, has deep roots in American history and thought. It stems from, as Jeffrey Stout claims, the belief that democratic political power derives from being organized.18 Organizing has long been predicated upon a profound belief in grassroots democracy and citizen engagement. The quintessential American values and ideals of citizenship, public accountability, democratic change through the power of collective action and a commitment to the common good animate todays community organizing efforts as they have earlier forms. Drawing on activists such as William Lloyd Garrison, Jane Addams, Martin Luther King, Jr., Saul Alinsky, Ella Baker, and Csar Chavez, intellectuals such as David Thoreau, Walt Whitman, and John Dewey, and citizen movements such as the abolitionist, labor, and civil rights movements, contemporary organizers have sought to reinvigorate participatory citizenship and to strengthen a democratic renewal in America. Among the strongest forms of community organizing today are efforts connected to faith communities and organizations. These groups appeal not only to the American traditions of democratic practice but also to faith traditions of prophetic justice, human dignity and the rights of individuals and communities. Faith groups have appealed to their varied traditions, from the prophetic traditions of the Bible to the Quranic injunctions of social responsibility to the Catholic social teachings and liberation theology. Drawing on these, they have infused their commitments to democratic practice with faith-inspired visions of the value and rights of all persons, especially the marginalized and most vulnerable, and a deep commitment to an inclusive common good. These religious foundations and commitments provide for unique resources, roles and contributions on the part of faith-rooted work on the organizing landscape.

Congregation-Based and Institution-Based Community Organizing Faith-rooted or based organizing takes a number of different forms today.19 One central model is congregation-based (CBCO) or faith-based (FBCO), sometimes now being called institutionbased community organizing (IBCO). There are a number of different forms of organizational configurations structuring these networks, including a federated integrated structure with locally
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based organizations linked to state level advocacy structures and coordinated by national level structures focused on network wide strategies and training. Other networks are composed of regional networks but lack significant national organizations or strategies. Several others primarily work locally or in a region without a national presence or with a national presence but without statewide organizations. Among the strongest networks are PICO National Network, which is closest to a federated model, IAF (Industrial Areas Foundation) which is organized more as a series of regional networks, Gamaliel Foundation, which has a national presence and encompasses individual organizing groups but has fewer statewide networks, and DART (Direct Action Research Training) which is primarily regional working in Florida and the Midwest. Another regional, New England network, Inter-Valley Project (IVP) has also demonstrated strength as does the national network, NPA (National Peoples Action), which includes faith organizations within its system. It is important to note that these organizations are not new but have long histories themselves. IAF grew out of the neighborhood organizing of Saul Alinsky who first organized in the Back of the Yards meatpacking neighborhood of Chicago in the 1930s and then went on to found IAF in 1940. IAF was originally focused on organizing neighborhoods, including merchants, faith communities and union leaders, in order to empower impoverished neighborhoods and support unionizing efforts. After Alinskys death in 1972, IAF, under the leadership of former seminarian, Ed Chambers, and emergent leader Ernesto Cortes, increasingly turned to congregation-based organizing, engaging communities through parishes and congregations and community organizations. IAF currently has 55 affiliates in 32 states and the District of Columbia. The PICO National Network (originally Pacific Institute for Community Organizations) was founded in 1972 under the leadership of Jesuit John Baumann to provide organizing training for other organizations. In 2004, the name was changed to reflect the move to a federated network and its expanded national footprint. PICO National Network now has 44 affiliated federations, 8 state wide networks, and organizations in 150 cities and towns in 17 states. More than 1000 congregations, and more than 1 million families from 40 different religious denominations and faiths participate in PICOs work. Gamaliel Foundation, founded in 1968 in Chicago, is now led by Ana Garcia-Ashley. It has grown to a national network of community organizations working in 17 states. DART began its work in Miami in the late 1970s and was officially incorporated in 1982. Since that time it has developed into a network of 19 affiliates of grassroots, congregation-based organizations working in 5 states. A recent report by the Interfaith Funders, a network of faith-based and secular grant makers who fund religiously based community organizing, studied the changes that have taken place in faithbased organizing during the last decade or so. Entitled Building Bridges, Building Power, the report focused on the groups indicated above along with other faith related networks.20 The report now labels this form of organizing institutional rather than congregation-based organizing in order to account for the growing numbers of non-congregation located groups joining these networks. These include public schools, unions, neighborhood groups and other non%'" "

congregationally located faith organizations. Taken together, the report states, there are now 4500 organizations involved in faith-connected community organizing nationwide. The vast majority of these, 3500, are congregations but 1000 represent other kinds of groups such as unions, independent organizations or schools that are working with or within faith-based networks. Collectively, these member-institutions represent over 5 million persons. These numbers reflect the strong growth of the IBCO sector in the last decade but also indicate the changing nature of the field. For instance, the number of congregations involved remains about the same as in 1999 but there has been a major increase in non-congregational members. Also, the report notes that while the number of IBCOs has grown by 42%, reflecting in part the growth of non-congregation based members, the number of member organizations belonging to these larger networks has grown far less rapidly, at a rate estimated to be between 12% and 15%. Growth can also be measured by the great increase in the numbers of paid organizers in IBCOs, a growth estimated to be at 70%, despite the fact that many member organizations still have very small staffs. Over the last decade, networks such as PICO, also have established more fully developed internal forms of organization, structuring themselves as federations with local affiliates embedded within regional, state and national organizations. Since the late 1990s, the reach of these networks has also increased as they have moved into new states and beyond major urban areas to secondary cities, wider metro and suburban areas and even rural communities and have engaged in both regional and national work. Much of the growth of the IBCOs can be attributed to this geographical expansion, though these networks remain most concentrated in urban areas with larger populations, especially of low-income persons. Networks and their affiliates can now be found in 40 states with an increased representation in Washington. A decade ago the core membership and leadership of IBCOs were drawn from urban Catholics, mainline Protestants and historic African American churches. Both the mainline Protestant denominations and the Catholic Church have witnessed internal losses or major shifts in membership and, while still key to faith-based community organizing, their presence has been somewhat lessened. Concurrently, other faith communities have increased their presence in the field, including organizing work by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the Unitarian Universalist Association and the Union of Reform Judaism. The last now has 100 synagogues participating in its Just Congregations Program across 24 states. Not only are these synagogues connected to one another through Just Congregations but often they are also members of local and national networks such as PICO. Muslim communities are also an increasing part of IBCO networks with at least 20% of these networks including a Muslim group. Thus one of the hallmarks of faith-based organizing has been its commitment to religious diversity and to a vision of interfaith collaboration on behalf of justice. The emphasis is on interfaith action that both enlivens the individual organizations and has at its core the commitment to reach across boundaries and differences with respect and empathy. This core commitment to act across differences is also embodied in IBCOs commitment to work across racial/ethnic communities and across lines of class. From its beginnings, faith-based
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organizing has been engaged in empowering under-represented communities and in bridging the deep fissures that divide much of American society along the lines of race and ethnicity, socioeconomic status and immigrant status. Both within individual member organizations and within networks, diversity is a hallmark as persons of color, low-income workers, and non-citizens take leadership roles in naming agendas and developing the strategies for action. From Board members to executive directors to organizers, the commitment to building the power and leadership of the people most affected is evidenced. For instance, the Interfaith Funders report estimates that 23% of IBCO boards make less than $25,000 a year with another third making between $25,000 and $50,000. Thus, in terms of class diversity, the field far surpasses the nonprofit sector generally. In terms of racial/ethnic diversity, depending on precisely how one measures it, the fields institutional base has held steady or declined in diversity over the last decade. By all measures, however, persons of color are strongly represented in the field, including on Boards and on organizing staffs, in far greater proportion than in the general population. Gamaliel, for example, indicates that the majority of its organizers are now persons of color. Of equal importance, the Interfaith Funders report notes that IBCOs have embraced, in the last decade, the task of seriously engaging racial and ethnic differences and increasingly see such engagement as central to their agendas and strategies. For IBCOs, an inclusive society is not a post-racial or color blind society but one that fully confronts its history and builds its future not by ignoring diversity but by building solidarity out of diversity. Helene Slessarev-Jamir, in her work, Prophetic Activism, remarks on this engagement across racial and socio-economic lines by stating, Given the often conflictual nature of the racial, ethnic and class transactions occurring within borderland regions, community organizing is emerging as a critical location in which those tensions can be bridged as people from very divergent backgrounds work on policy issues that are of shared interests.21 Gender, too, has been a concern for IBCOs with a steady move from organizing as a male dominated sector to a new reality in which 55% of organizing staff are now women. Thus diversity on all levels increasingly characterizes the field, with IBCOs resembling the coming American landscape in multiple ways. The Interfaith Funders report argues that such diversity is not accidental but embodies the central mission of IBCOs who are dedicated to building democratic power, strengthening public life and improving social conditions in low income and working class communities.22 In a racially, ethnically and religiously pluralistic nation such democratic renewal must have at its core the engagement across lines of difference. IBCOs goal of increasing effective democratic participation and action in a diverse society has also led to greater collaboration and partnerships during the last decade. Both within networks among constituent members and with other networks and organizations there have taken place greater partnerships, coalitions and multi-organizational collaborations. According to the Interfaith Funders, report 66% of IBCOs participate in collaborations with other organizations and of those more than 95% collaborate with groups or other networks outside of their own. Increased collaboration has allowed for more effective work on issues by directing the energies and actions of multiple organizations and networks toward similar goals. This amplification of
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voices through collaborative work has significantly increased the impact of organizing. Collective work has been especially powerful on a national level as numerous networks and organizations have pushed together on policy issues such as health care reform and comprehensive immigration reform. Examples include PICOs and Gamaliels partnerships with Faith in Public Life, the media and communications strategy organization working on behalf of the progressive and moderate faith movement, and PICOs membership in the Interfaith Immigration Coalition, a broadly inclusive association of religious groups that works on behalf of fair and humane immigration policy. These kinds of collaborations enable IBCOs to have a reach beyond the local, impacting national policy debates and relating local issues to national policies. On a state and local level, IBCOs coordinate efforts within their networks, mobilizing members to act together on key issues, as well as working with non-member partners. State networks, like Together Colorado, a PICO affiliate, activate their faith-based, schools and neighborhood groups both working as a network on behalf of education, immigration and the reduction of gun violence and also joining in broader coalitions such as the Higher Education Access Alliance to support such efforts as the Colorado ASSET legislation that would provide in-state tuition for all students, including immigrants, who have a Colorado high school degree. Another example of broad-based partnerships is the Ohio Organizing Collaborative that brings together organizations, including policy institutes, labor unions and faith groups working collaboratively to bring about greater racial and economic equity in Ohio. This collaborative includes the Amos Project, the Ohio Baptist State Convention and the Prophetic Voices Project. The last seeks to change the dominant narrative of individualism, scarcity and fear by coordinating a shared faithbased message that can ground a new vision of community and be the basis for common actions on behalf of justice. Such collaborate efforts have been key to scaling-up the work of IBCOs and rendering this work more effective both locally and nationally. Because community organizing has always had its roots in the concrete lives and realities of real people, the issues IBCOs work on differ from location to location and network to network. Generally, faith-based organizing has focused on empowering marginalized and low income communities and has often concentrated on poverty reduction, economic inequality issues and the building of civic and political power. Specific issues that have emerged in many IBCOs most recently have included health care, education, immigration, affordable housing, jobs, voter registration and, with growing momentum, violence, gun control and the skewed criminal justice system.

Worker Justice Community Organizing If IBCOs form one major trajectory in faith-based community organizing they are not the only model for this work. Interfaith Worker Justice stands out as a form of religiously-based
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organizing focused on the rights of workers, especially those holding low wage jobs, including workers of color, immigrants and members of the white working class. Founded in 1991 by Kim Bobo and launched in 1996, IWJ draws on a long history of faith groups and leaders supporting workers and labor unions. Faith groups have stood with US workers since at least the 1930s, offering theological arguments for the dignity of work and workers, the right to organize, and the right to fair wages and safe conditions. From faith-based labor schools in the 30s to the contemporary call for living wages and sick day leaves there has been a tradition of religious support for workers who were, of course, also members of their religious communities. In recent decades, this support has been less visible with few religious denominations having staff persons dedicated to issues of workers and their rights. Interfaith Worker Justice has stepped into this breach to renew faiths commitment to the least powerful of Americas work force. Through organizing, education and advocacy, IWJ has been the site of labors closest religious partnership over the last several decades. IWJ is not only more focused in a singular set of issues dealing with the low-wage work sector than many IBCOs, it is also internally structured in a different way. IWJ has a central national office that works extensively on policy issues, 49 affiliated local interfaith committees around the country and 21 interfaith worker centers in 15 states as well as several student led groups. In addition, its California affiliates are organized into a statewide network, CLUE California (Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice) that works throughout the state and in concert with national efforts to protect workers rights and to end low-wage poverty in California. In New York, the Greater New York, Labor-Religion Coalition functions in a similar manner. IWJ also heads up a jobs table in Washington DC which is now headed by former National Council of Churches President, Michael Livingston. IWJ has played a particular role in maintaining the connection between religious communities and the labor movement. Its Board has long had labor representatives. Currently, Arlene HoltBaker, the Executive Vice-President of the AFL-CIO and Ros Pelles, Director of Civil Rights, Human and Womens Rights of the AFL-CIO, serve on IWJs Board of Directors, the latter as Vice-President. And with their labor partners, IWJ has pushed for city, state and national policies that respect the rights of working people and safeguard their capacity to earn decent wages in safety. Focused on the issues of wage theft, unemployment, the right to organize, workplace standards and health and safety, IWJ has waged campaigns supporting workers at Wal-Mart, Hyatt, Verizon and Republic Airlines. IWJ executive director, Kim Bobo, is nationally known as a leader in the effort to pass anti-wage theft legislation, working with the US labor department and testifying before Congress. Affiliates have successfully argued for local wage theft ordinances in places like Miami-Dade County and, most recently, Chicagos IWJ affiliate, Arise, led the successful campaign for a city ordinance against wage theft in one of Americas largest cities. A distinctive component of IWJ is its network of worker centers now found in 15 states. These centers are often led by workers themselves along with faith advocates. Their unique role is to
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help low wage workers know their rights, and organize for better wages, benefits and dignity. These worker centers play a significant role in light of the steady decline of the labor movement and its total absence in some geographical areas and job sectors. In 1953, more than 30% percent of Americas labor force was unionized, propelling many workers into the middle class. However, by the end of the first decade of the twenty-first century, the number of unionized workers had declined to less than 10% with anti-unionizing legislation, right to work laws, the undermining of collective bargaining rights, and the failure to enforce state and federal labor laws all becoming more and more prevalent across the nation. Worker centers often function in the gap were unions are missing and workers have few formal institutions to champion their cause. In this work, IWJ is the key religious player of a broader worker center movement, seeking especially to deepen social solidarity with low-wage workers, and to bring the power and moral authority of religious communities to bear on the issues confronting working people in Americas current anti-union and anti-worker environment.23 All of these faith-based organizations represent a vital and growing movement to bring faith commitments to bear on the needs of everyday persons and to insist that the nations policies support a more just society in which all can flourish. They are among the most impactful segments of the progressive and justice faith movement and are key to its expansion and effectiveness.

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VII Public Discourse, Communications, Research, and Media

Progressive faith and social justice-oriented religious groups are not new on the American scene. While some are more recent arrivals, many organizations, such as PICO and IAF, have been hard at work for decades. Despite this work and its real successes, often conservatives and their faith allies have controlled the public debate about key issues and dominated many of the policy decisions of the last forty years. As the opening sections of this report note, conservatives, including centrally the religious element of this movement, have developed integrated strategies to advance their agendas. They have articulated a national narrative that is now widely assumed to be the American story; conceived of messages to carry the values and vision of the right; established media outlets as platforms for the movements spokespersons and used those platforms to saturate the public arena with their messages and values; built grassroots organizations to spread the agenda; and created educational and research institutions that develop policy proposals embodying conservative views and legitimizing the positions of the right economically, politically and morally. By doing so, they have determined to a large extent the public environment and public discourse in relation to which progressives and social justiceoriented advocates are always struggling to make their case and to have impact. This has been the situation more broadly but it has had particularly strong implications in relation to the faithbased efforts to transform America into a more just society. The widespread perception in America has been and often still is that religion is the arena of the right and faith translates into political and social conservatism. The public narrative about faith in America has been, for many years, that America is a religious nation; religion equals Christianity; Christianity equals conservative Christianity; and conservative Christianity equals the Republican Party. All of this is further wrapped in a religiously-supported narrative of individualism, freedom, nationalism and unregulated capitalism. This narrative equating faith with conservative Christianity and conservative Christianity with partisan politics and a particular conservative vision of the nation has resulted in numerous negative ramifications. Progressive and justice-oriented groups have often been invisible or seen as anomalies or as powerless and, therefore, irrelevant. Conservatives, on the other hand, have been viewed as having faith- -indeed God- -on their side. The history of faith and social justice from the abolitionist movement to the rise of workers rights to the civil rights and anti-war movements has been forgotten. The pluralism that is Americas true reality is unseen or when noticed is interpreted as a threat. Moreover, religion is assumed to be in opposition to movements for justice and equality, especially when these are related to sexuality or gender. The power of an alternative progressive faith-grounded vision of society is, thus, unharnessed and the unholy alliance between conservative political, economic and social forces and religion remains masked and unquestioned. Impact, increased scale and leverage are all diminished because the wider
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context within which progressive and justice-oriented groups functions undermines those efforts and hinders their participation in broader efforts at social transformation. Changing both perceptions about faith and articulating powerful alternative visions for society require well-integrated efforts on multiple fronts. The recognition that greater impact necessitates much greater attention to these areas has led during the last decade to the concerted effort to change the environment and public context within which progressives and faith-based social justice advocates work. The first sections below will document the developments that have emerged within the movement to address this need to change public discourse and narratives and to have stronger messengers and messages in the public sphere, especially in the media. And as with community organizing and the emergence of independent faith-based social justice organizations, real and significant successes have been achieved while great challenges remain. However, it is also a bedrock conviction of this report that America as a whole, progressives and conservatives alike, require a better informed media that offers more adequate coverage of religion and its public role. Further, we, as a nation, are in tremendous need of fact-based and non-partisan research and information in order to conceive of more adequate visions of society and improved policies to support a more just and inclusive society. Only a better-informed public can render adequate judgment about our society and the political and social options before us as a nation. Fortunately, there have developed better journalism training programs, more accurate media coverage, and new media resources that are slowly remaking the public perceptions of religion. Moreover, there have also emerged independent and politically non-aligned research centers and university centers focused on religion. The research and data that is coming from these academic and independent research centers will not always or necessarily support progressive views but the information and data represent broad resources that all citizens interested in improving society should attend to and engage as they develop their positions. Thus, following the review of developments within the progressive and justice movement, the report will also detail independent resources that are now available for the public to engage and appropriate.

Communications and Media Strategy in the Progressive and Justice Faith Movement Among the most powerful influences on Americans understanding of our society, including religion, are the various forms of media and the messages and information they convey. It is through these that public discourse is both shaped and expressed. On the one hand, conservatives and especially the Religious Right have developed their own media outlets, including TV, print media, web-based, and radio as vehicles for their values, messages and visions for society. For instance, there are more than 3,000 conservative Christian radio stations in the country and conservative organizations such as Focus on the Family have vast global reach through their

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media platforms. Progressive faith groups and those committed to social justice have had nothing comparable to the media empires of the Right. More troubling has been the role mainstream media has played in rendering faith-based social justice visions, leaders and work invisible. Often progressive religious voices and perspectives have simply been absent from the media both as spokespersons and as objects of journalistic inquiry and analysis. Hence, progressives have had less than optimum public presence and impact on public discourse and our contemporary national story. The 2004 Res Publica Report portrayed this situation in blunt terms. On one side, the media had almost completely ignored progressive religion. The progressive religious community the report stated, has been virtually shut out of public debates on faith and values, which tend to feature the religious right against the secular left.24 On the other side, the progressive and justice-oriented movement lacked organizations, strategies, common messaging and spokespersons who could attract media coverage. In contrast with the Religious Right with its own media outlets, shared narrative, focused messaging and celebrity spokespersons, the left was destined to public obscurity and ineffectiveness. A 2007 report by Media Matters entitled Left Behind: The Skewed Representation of Religion in Major News Media confirmed this reality, placing it in stark relief. Media Matters review of major television and print media revealed not only an overrepresentation of religiously conservative voices in the media and a serious underrepresentation of progressive voices but modes of presentation that were consistently advantageous to conservatives.25 Noting the unbalanced presence of conservatives and the absence of more liberal faith perspectives in the media, the report asserted that, in combination, newspapers and television presented or mentioned conservative representatives 2.8 times more than progressives. When examining television separately, the gap widened even more to 3.8 times greater representation for conservatives than progressives. Closer analysis reveals that Media Matters included in their list of progressives mentioned or cited several leaders whose progressive credentials are contested among progressives themselves or persons who are progressive on some issues and more conservative on others. Without the inclusion of these leaders the gaps would have been even greater. Media Matters also noted in the study that after the 2004 election religion had been focused upon by the media more fully but with a particular slant in which value voters were presumed to be religious conservatives, never progressives or social justice-oriented religious persons. Values voters were supposed to be concerned with abortion and homosexuality while those who voted out of commitments related to poverty, war and the environment were not included in the values scan. Liberals, for their part, were mostly assumed to be secular. The report concluded If one were trying to assess the state of religion in America today by examining the major news media, one would be forgiven for believing that religious Americans are primarily concerned with a small subset of issues, chief among them ending legal abortion and opposing gay marriage. One might also believe that a handful of vocal religious figures

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advocating extremely conservative political views, many with close ties to the Republican Party, represent the face of religion in America today.26 A 2012 survey of journalists and the public developed by leading experts in religion and journalism, Diane Winston, of the University of Southern California, and John Green, of the University of Akron, highlighted another reason for the skewed treatment of religion in the media, that is the fact that many journalists acknowledge that they lack expertise or knowledge about religion.27 Even when saying they were knowledgeable, journalists linked that knowledge to their personal experience, not to training or education. Moreover, a significant segment of the public (37.1%) thought the news media was hostile to religion and religious persons. And close to 60% thought the news media did a poor job of interpreting or explaining religion to the larger public. Thus, not only has the Right established conservative media outlets, mainstream media in effective has contributed to the inadequate and often misleading treatment of religion and its public role. It has often lent authoritative weight to conservative perspectives by its unbalanced coverage and analysis of religion. And when not doing that, it has, out of lack of expertise, often offered problematic coverage that fails to provide much needed information to a public that gains much of its understanding about religion from the media. Fortunately, many new initiatives have now been developed in response to these dynamics and are making headway in changing the situation. Among them are the following:

! Media Strategy: Faith in Public Life The Res Publica Report set forth a number of important recommendations for remedying this situation. It called for the development of a comprehensive media strategy that included common messaging, media training, news briefs, media monitoring, support for progressive faith publications and the identification, training and marketing of progressive leaders able to articulate a new faith-infused vision for American society. Importantly, the Report proposed the establishment of a new media center to carry out many of these tasks. The most significant outcome of the Res Publica Report was the establishment and initial funding of Faith in Public Life, a progressive strategy and communications center working with progressive and justice-oriented groups. Founded in 2005 and originally incubated at the Center for American Progress, FPL has emerged as a prominent resource for fostering a new values debate focused on social justice and the common good. Most progressive and justice-oriented faith organizations lack adequate internal communications resources and media strategy capabilities. It is into this breach that FPL has stepped. Under the leadership of Jennifer Butler, FPL has grown to a staff of 11 (with two additional staff positions planned for the near future). FPL has both partnered with and provided key services to a wide range of social justice and progressive groups
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including PICO National Network, Interfaith Worker Justice, Interfaith Immigration Coalition, Religious Action Center for Reform Judaism, Islamic Society of North America, NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, Gamaliel, Sojourners, New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, Esperanza, the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, Catholics United and many other groups and institutions including religious denominations. FPL has also worked in collaboration with a number of secular groups including SEIU, Common Purpose, Media Matters and the Center for American Progress. FPLs work has ranged widely and has included promoting the activities of partners and allies; developing media strategy for groups and campaigns; creating paid media spots such as radio ads; organizing press conferences; and offering media training for religious leaders. It was also the organizing mechanism behind influential events such as the Compassion Forum during the 2008 presidential election and the massive 144,000 person faith leaders conference call with President Obama in support of health care reform. Importantly, it has aided its partners in developing messages that clearly communicate progressive and justice-focused values, are consistent and shared across the movement, are aspirational in nature and motivate action. By doing so, FPL has been able significantly to increase the attention of multiple media outlets to progressive values, groups and positions. Several examples demonstrate how much FPL has contributed to advancing a more progressive and justice faith agenda. On the most basic level, FPL has significantly enhanced media coverage for its partners despite far fewer resources than conservatives have for communication efforts. In contrast to the earlier absence of social justice leaders and progressive voices in mainstream media, FPL has secured widespread coverage for many of its allies. Not only have various media outlets covered more of the progressive and justice story, recently FPL has had much greater success in booking a range of movement leaders on news shows, cable networks and even influential popular shows such as the Daily Show with Jon Stewart and the Colbert Report. Now the conservative faith story is not the only one being told by the media. FPL has also recognized the importance of creating public symbols that can render the invisible visible, capture peoples imaginations and offer, in embodied form, real alternatives. Faith in Public Life has created a number of these symbols or moments that have contributed to shifting attitudes and understandings. One was the creation of a golden calf that was transported to New York and became a leading symbol of the Occupy Wall Street Movement, garnering widespread press coverage and embodying the basic convictions of the movement. Another was the deployment of a Catholic activist to confront Rep. Paul Ryan, who claimed his economic policies were supported by Catholic teachings, with a Bible as a way of challenging Ryans budget proposals that would hurt the poor in extreme ways. Perhaps the most compelling of these efforts was not a single
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event or an inanimate symbol but the happening that was known as Nuns on the Bus. FPL worked closely with NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, to develop a bus tour that brought a group of nuns to cities across the Midwest and East carrying a message that our budgets are moral documents, representing the basic values of the country, and that they must not harm the most vulnerable in our society. FPL functioned as the media strategist and press contact for the Bus Tour. The result was widespread visibility, growing momentum and 1,400 press citations in national and local media. In each of these instances, not only has greater prominence resulted for faithbased social justice views but a shift in the narrative has taken place and a new imaginative possibility has emerged. Another bus tour, labeled Nuns on the Border Tour, took place during June of 2013, crisscrossing the southern Border States on behalf of immigration reform. Since then, other state based tours have been organized. Once again, FPL has provided media strategy and outreach, which resulted in extensive coverage in local markets along the tours routes. Another area in which FPL has undertaken work has been to develop a Religion Model that identifies religious persons who might be engaged on progressive and justice issues and whose support might be mobilized. In 2010, FPL commissioned the Midwest Religion model. This was a set of six models identifying the probable religious orientation of the more than 67 million Midwesterners found in the database of Catalyst, a resource center providing data to progressive organizations. Political campaigns have long carried out this type of research but progressives, at least, have not included faith in their analysis. FPL has introduced faith as a central factor that can be a key component in understanding and mobilizing voters, ascertaining the likely religious identifications of Catholics, white Catholics, white Protestants, white evangelical Protestants and secular persons. The models further designated which of these religious persons would be most open to engagement from a religious perspective. Two places where the religion models have been employed have been in Minnesota and Maine during the last election cycle. In both places religious engagement was pursued with appropriate sensitivity to lobbying laws. In Minnesota, the religion model was utilized to great effect in the 2012 struggle over Amendment 2, a voter ID proposal that would have had negative repercussions on voters of color and others. The anti-2 forces identified potential persuadable voters and Isaiah, a PICO affiliate, utilized FPLs religion model to identify religious persons who might be open to trusted religious messengers bringing a religiously grounded message about the implications of the Amendment. Volunteers from Isaiah engaged 23,000 persons in value-laden conversations resulting in more than 13,000 people indicating they would oppose the Amendment which then went on to be defeated. In Maine, a similar effort was mounted by LBGT advocates utilizing the Religion Model to identify undecided Catholic voters in relation to the states marriage equality vote, using trusted religious persons to meet with
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fellow faith people in order to convey a faith-based argument for equality. This effort contributed significantly to the victory for marriage equality in Maine. The result in both states was not only better and more effective targeted messaging but deeper engagement about faith and values. The religion model suggests a powerful tool in which trusted religious voices, respectfully engaging friends and neighbors in serious conversations about values, can have positive results. The sponsoring organizations, like Isaiah, are strengthened by this activity and specific campaigns and the broader movement are also enhanced through substantive engagement with neighbors and fellow citizens. It also demonstrates the added value faith groups uniquely bring to the general progressive and justice movement. Faith is certainly not the only factor determining voters attitudes but it can be an effective source of understanding and motivation, as Maine and Minnesota demonstrate. Faith in Public Life is, with this work, helping to build a stronger progressive infrastructure that is capable of much greater impact.

! Leaders and Trusted Messengers: Auburn Media The Res Publica Report noted that the progressive movement not only lacked a media strategy and communication resources but that it was also in need of reinvigorated and expanded leadership that could carry the progressive and justice vision to a wider public. Leadership was and continues to be a challenge across the movement as various sectors seek to empower a new generation of racially, ethnically, religiously and economically diverse men and women as its leaders and to reach out to younger persons who are the leaders of the future. As the progressive and justice movement has worked hard to develop media strategies, consistent and compelling messages and an aspirational narrative of a more just society, it has also recognized the need to identify and equip leaders to articulate these values and visions in the public sphere. As Jeffrey Stout notes in his work on faith-based community organizing, Blessed the Organized, among the leaders that any effective movement needs are ones who possess effective rhetorical skills, what Stout calls the trust-generating gifts of public persuasion.28 Such gifts need to be present in public speeches and in sermons. Importantly, they also need to be deployed in TV interviews and op-eds, in Tweets and Blogs, if the wider public context is to be impacted. Auburn Media, located at Auburn Seminary in New York, has emerged as a central resource in media training for the progressive faith movement and organizations committed to social justice work. Founded in 2002, Auburn Media has been led by media expert and documentary film maker Macky Alston. According to Alston, the right has effectively harnessed effective core values to frame critical issues through the media in order to advance its agenda. In order to advance justice, we must master this practice.29 Auburn Media has, therefore, sought to identify emergent leaders
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and to equip them with the skills to communicate effectively through multiple media platforms. In particular, Auburn Media has stressed the power of story, the relation of a societal vision to concrete life, religious traditions and real values; messaging is important but cannot be separated from the values and visions that motivate persons. Auburn has provided training to a large number of organizations including PICO, Interfaith Worker Justice, Hillel, the American Society for Muslim Advancement, the Human Rights Campaign, and the Episcopal College of Bishops. It has further collaborated with Faith in Public Life and The Center for American Progress to provide media training for their partners. It has trained more than 3500 religious leaders and helped identify key new voices that increasingly are carrying a public role for the movement. Among the leaders they have trained are Bishop Gene Robinson, the first openly gay Episcopal bishop; Sr. Simone Campbell, leader of the Catholic social justice organization, Network; Rev. Dr. Delman Coates, clergy leader for marriage equality in Maryland and organizer of a national coalition of a African American clergy for marriage equality; Joanna Brooks, a progressive Mormon voice; Valarie Kaur, founding director of 70,000 member progressive faith organization, Groundswell, and a leading Sikh voice on violence; Daisy Khan, executive director of American Society for Muslim Advancement and an important progressive voice for Muslim women; Rabbi Sharon Brous, founder of IKAR and one of Americas most influential rabbis working on justice issues; and Rev. Otis Moss III, pastor of Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago and a leading national voice on faith and justice. Importantly, Auburn Media has been a central partner in moving opinions in several of our societys most contentious values debates, especially around marriage equality. Refusing to cede the faith terrain to the right on matters of sexuality, in 2012 Auburn Media collaborated with Felton Communications and Goodwin Simon Research to develop strategy and messaging to move Christians conflicted over marriage equality toward a more affirming stance. Working with their partners and with the Human Rights Campaign and the leadership of the state efforts, Auburn Media trained faith spokespersons in each of the four states that approved marriage equality this past year. As Sharon Groves, the director of the religion and faith program at the Human Rights Campaign wrote in the Washington Post, knowing we had a media deficit with the religious right, the Human Rights Campaign and the campaigns worked closely with Auburn Theological Seminary to combine the messages of the campaign with the compelling stories of religious leaders. Hundreds of top level religious leaders were trained to provide a pro-faith, pro-equality message. By empowering and amplifying these faith leaders, we chipped away at the religious rights singular claim to the religious response to this issue.30 In recent years, Auburn Media has also worked to enhance their booking capacity. This has been an ongoing issue for more progressive and justice voices-- getting them on news
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and talk shows. In 2012 Auburn Media launched FaithSource, a program to identify, train and book the voices of progressive faith that have the best chance of framing the public conversation on key social justice issues. Both FPL and Auburn Media recently have had greater success in these areas as key leaders have become more regular presences especially on cable programs. Persons such as Sr. Simone Campbell, Joanna Brooks, Bishop Gene Robinson, James Salt of Catholics United, and Valarie Kaur have all become more frequent voices in the media. Both FPL and Auburn Media seek to identify leaders, train them and deploy them as spokespersons equipped with emotionally compelling messages and authentic stories that embody the progressive values which animate the leaders and offer a new, more just vision of community and society. As this work continues, major areas for further development involve insuring that these spokespersons have content, not just sound bites, that their messages are substantive and nuanced, and that there develops a more successful system of placing leaders, spokespersons, and experts in major media platforms.

Progressive and Justice-Oriented Faith in the Media and On-Line One of the major cornerstones of the conservative religious movement has been the building of broad media networks and media empires that stretch across the nation and have far-flung global reach. Radio stations, television networks, print media and on-line sites have brought the conservative vision for the nation to millions of politically and religiously conservative persons. The progressive and justice faith movement has developed few platforms in comparison. Still, new efforts are constantly emerging and are playing an increasingly effective role. ! Radio It is important to note that while faith-related progressives and justice-oriented organizations have nothing like the radio empire of the Right, several important radio platforms have emerged. Krista Tippetts On Being has become a popular show available both on radio and in pod-cast. A major goal of the show has been to offer listeners insights into the range of religious and spiritual developments in the US and abroad. Not overtly political, On Being has sought to make religion safe again in the public square and to open new places of engagement for all perspectives. Interfaith Voices, hosted by Maureen Fiedler, is a public radio news magazine that seeks to educate and provide diverse views on faith, ethics and spirituality. And State of Belief, hosted by Welton Gaddy, offers critical analysis of religion and politics with a keen interest in the intertwined issues of religious liberty in a diverse nation and the separation of Church and State. None of these shows represent an explicit religious group nor is their mission
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narrowly religious. But they all hope to inform their listeners and encourage public debate about religious and ethical issues, to provide platforms for a wide range of voices and perspectives and to offer counters to the Rights hold on religion in the radio arena. In particular, they have given a heretofore-absent space for progressives and justiceoriented faith perspectives to be included as genuine voices of faith.

! Progressive Faith In Print and On-line If sites to be explored below see themselves as independent from religion or neutral toward it, numerous other sites have emerged in the last decade to give expression to the public and political face of the progressive religious movement itself. These on-line magazines (often published in print as well), blogs or news sites organize, mobilize and foster community within the progressive faith movement. Publications such as Sojourners Magazine, Catholics for Choices Magazine, Conscience, NETWORKs magazine, Connection, and sites such as Tikkun Daily Blog, Gods Politics,, Talk2Action, Progressive Revival, the new progressive Christianity page at Patheos, and Faith in Public Lifes web-site all present progressive and justice-oriented faith voices that, as a Social Science Research Council study stated several years ago, cultivate a specifically religious language for the Lefts political priorities.31 From the critical analysis of the Ryan budget to on-line petitions for gun control, these publications and sites are new vehicles for enlarging the progressive faith movements constituency and for enhancing its public power and efficacy. They are joined by an ever growing number of more progressive ministry blogs and spirituality sites that include not only mainstream Protestants and liberal Catholics but also more progressive Evangelicals, such as Brian McLaren and Eugene Cho. While many of these sites have given primary voice to Christians and Jews, Muslims have also utilized new media to explore, give expression to and enhance greater understanding for Islam and for Muslims. Two sites have emerged in recent years that have gained much attention. Altmuslim is an on-line magazine providing a global perspective on Muslim life, politics and cultures, and fostering a better-informed engagement with Islam. Muslim Matters sees itself as especially focused on the issues confronting Muslims in the West and has a more self-consciously orthodox perspective. Other sites that are gaining followers include Elan and Aslan Media both of which have an international focus. All provide forums for Muslims but also are sites that encourage a broader public understanding about the religion that is a matter of contention, prejudice and general misunderstanding in the US as well as playing a central role in global affairs. Other web-sites connected to organizations such as the American Society for Muslim Advancement and the Muslim Public Affairs Council provide outreach for and by

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Muslims and offer more positive interpretations of Islam and American Muslims than are often found in the American media and the conservative blogosphere. Over against the media machine of the Religious Right, these sites present more moderate outlets for persons of faith and provide platforms for activist and advocacy-oriented progressive faith voices that offer alternative visions of American society. They are gaining viewership and listenership but still remain a small fraction of the media saturated world. And many voices remain absent or with limited reach.

! New Technologies, Social Media and On-Line Organizing One of the most recent developments within the progressive and justice faith movement has been the emergence of on-line mobilization and organizing efforts. The key new player in this field is Faithful America. Originally housed at Faith in Public Life, Faithful America is an on-line community, primarily of Christians, who share a commitment to put justice and the common good at the center of the public square and Americas values debates. Faithful America is led by Michael Sherrard who was previously at and was Sojourners online organizer. FA reflects the importance in the 21st Century of new technologies that produce and disseminate information and provide the means for contemporary persons to participate in social, cultural and political life. Significantly, FA works to mobilize individuals, in contrast to the institutional focus of community organizing networks detailed in the earlier section of this report. At this historical time such mobilization takes on particular power. Increasingly progressive Americans have become disaffiliated from their historic religious communities and often feel their faith and values have been stolen by extreme conservatives. FA reflects this reality, mobilizing hundreds of thousands of people who have felt disenfranchised but have strong spiritual values and want both to reclaim their faith and to assert their outrage at how conservatives have used religion to further their conservative values. Faithful America focuses on such issues as poverty reduction, peace and human rights, climate change, hate speech and immigration. It is an independent organization made up of individuals and, hence, it can take on issues that sometimes are more difficult for networks or organizations strongly connected to more traditional institutions such as denominations. Faithful America now has more than 280,000 members who have joined in its campaigns through petitions, publicly voicing progressive and social justice values, and engaging in public actions. It has successfully pressured such institutions as Alabama public television to not broadcast a misleading show about faith and the founding of the nation, delivered thousands of petitions to the state offices of Republican lawmakers to urge the end of the government shutdown, and mobilized thousands of its members to support the United Methodist clergy in Pennsylvania who decided to perform gay marriages in defiance of Church policy.
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Another recent entry into on-line mobilization of progressive and justice-oriented religious persons is Groundswell, housed at Auburn Seminary and part of Auburns commitment to build a multi-faith movement for justice. Founded by Valerie Kaur, a Sikh leader, Groundswell has been especially strong in developing on-line resources for building constituencies and mobilizing members. Isaac Luria now heads the digital programs at Auburn Action and Groundswell. The on-line programs offer open source platforms for developing individualized petitions and short form video content, al la, as another way of inspiring and extending resources to the faith movement to build justice. Groundswell now has over 100,000 members.

Think Tanks and Policy Centers

! Making the Conservative Case: Conservative Secular and Religious Think Tanks Conservatives have long recognized the importance of ideas for their movement. Conservative academics and right leaning think tanks have received strong financial support as one aspect of a conservative infrastructure. On the non-politically affiliated side, non-partisan research institutes, such as the venerable Brookings Institution, have continued to play central policy roles and to engage a wide range of political perspectives. However, strongly conservative, partisan think tanks and centers have emerged to play ever more robust roles during the last forty years. These centers have become the research and policy engines of the conservative movement. The American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Independence Institute, and the Hoover Institution are just a few of the conservative idea factories that have produced policy papers, books, conferences and spokespersons to further conservative positions in the public sphere. While these organizations have often focused on economic policy or international affairs, religion and culture have not been neglected. Moreover, recently the Heritage Foundation has increased outreach to white evangelicals around immigration policy as well Hispanic Evangelicals. AEI currently has a multimillion dollar initiative focused on values and capitalism with a strong emphasis on college students and the linking of faith and the free enterprise system. Heritage has especially pressed the relation between conservative religious values and conservative political and economic policies. Heritage continues this today with programs and reports espousing conservative family policies, linking economic conservatism and religious conservatism and promoting a right leaning version of religious liberty as a tool to influence both domestic and foreign policy. Outreach to Evangelicals continues to be a central dimension of their efforts. But it has not only been secular conservative think tanks and policy institutes that have paid attention to religion. There have developed, beginning in the 1970s, think tanks
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focused specifically on religion whose objectives have been to tie conservative religiosity to conservative politics and policies. These organizations include the Ethics and Public Policy Center, founded in1976, The Acton Institute for the Study of Religion and Liberty, founded in 1990, and the Institute for Religion and Democracy, founded in 1981. These institutions have been funded, at different times, by a range of conservative foundations and groups, such as the Bradley, Scaife, Olin and Koch Family Foundations who also fund secular conservative institutions and think tanks. The faith-oriented think tanks have functioned within the wider conservative movement in a variety of ways. In particular, they provide a bridge between religious conservatives and economic and political conservatives, with boards, scholars and fellows passing back and forth. They also help assure that the wider conservative movement has religious input and rationalization rather than the conservative religious sphere being a separate sector that is primarily called upon to be at press conferences. As such, these centers and institutes have helped spearhead the culture wars dimension of conservatism, providing intellectual and religious warrants for conservative social policies. They have also sought to articulate the religious case for laissez-faire and unregulated capitalism and contemporary forms of militarism and nationalism. And they have provided platforms for such religious conservatives as Rick Santorum, a former fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, which legitimate their extremist faith-fueled positions. Like their secular counter parts, the faith-based conservative think tanks have developed fact sheets, reports, books, blogs, policy papers and journals, and have supported the placement of their spokespersons in media and promoted their people as the real and legitimate faith representatives to policy makers and legislators. Moreover, they have also sought to play a conservative role within religious denominations. For instance, the Institute for Religion and Democracy has not only turned its gaze to the public arena but also has sought to undermine what they interpret as the problematic liberal character of contemporary mainline Protestantism. Through several action programs, IRD has attacked progressive leaders in the United Methodist Church, Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Episcopal Church and have strongly criticized the leading progressive theological schools that train these denominations leaders. It has also been a player in some international developments concerning LGBT rights and conservative religious responses in Africa and has a significant history of anti-Islam rhetoric. Religious liberty has now emerged as these organizations leading wedge issue to undermine health care reform and access, impact public education, support more interventionist neo-conservative views of foreign policy, and weaken the movements for LGBT rights and equality. In each of these instances, conservatives have recognized that ideas matter, and that the religious dimension of their movement is central, not peripheral to its success.

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! The Progressive Response: The Center for American Progress In recent decades, progressives and those focused on social justice issues generally have begun to address the imbalance in the think tank and research institute world. A number of independent centers, such as the Center for Budget and Policy Priorities and the American Constitution Society, work on more targeted areas. But, while more progressive think tanks and policy centers have emerged, few take faith seriously in the same manner as to conservative institutions. One of the few that does is the Center for American Progress. The Center for American Progress, founded in 2003, has emerged as the most prominent multi-sector and cross-sector center for research, policy development and framing representing a progressive orientation on the current scene. CAP also stands almost alone among the self-consciously progressive think tanks that engages faith seriously and sees it as a central component of a progressive political and social movement. In a landscape where religion is most attended to by conservative think tanks, the Center for American Progress offers the most robust national think tank program available as a resource for progressive and justice-oriented activists, advocates and those involved with policy creation. Not only did CAP incubate Faith in Public Life, the media strategy center for progressive religion, it has supported its own program, the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative. Headed since 2006 by Sally Steenland, the initiative has both focused analysis on religion and values and tied these to a wide range of policy areas on which CAP works including immigration, reproductive health and rights, economic policy, poverty reduction, the family, early education and climate change. The Centers Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative functions in a number of different ways. It is an on-going resource to the wide range of policy teams that operate at the Center. It works to identify issues at the juncture of religion and policy debates, alerting policy teams to dimensions of issues about which they may lack expertise. It also brings faith resources to those teams, linking efforts, leaders and value messaging to the policy work at CAP. From reproductive rights to immigration to poverty to gun violence, the faith team has worked closely with other policy teams to enhance the work at CAP. The faith team also has become a vehicle for bringing the policy work of CAP to broader audiences. On the one hand, it has infused public policy positions with the language of values, linking often complex policy positions to wider visions of a just and inclusive society and drawing attention to the values embedded in such areas as the budget debates. Interrogating policy debates from a values perspective has been enormously helpful for both faith-based advocates and secular progressives as they attempt to sort through the implications of policy positions. On the other hand, the faith team has increasingly become a conduit to help interpret and analyze key policy areas for a range of progressive
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faith organizations that have strong advocacy orientations but lack the internal resources for in-depth policy and legislative analysis. The faith team has developed several avenues to communicate more broadly with advocates, policy experts, religious leaders, journalists and academics including a growing email list of more than 9,000 names. This list receives e-mails at least once a month and is further divided into sub-interest areas covering the range of issues that the faith team engages. For example, a reproductive health and justice newsletter that reaches both faith and secular advocates alerts readers to legislative activity both in Congress and the states and provides resources for analysis of and response to these developments. A new resource developed by Jack Jenkins, The Belief Brief, provides resources to bloggers, religion writers and other journalists, and on-line sites about key policy issues and stories in the news in which religion and politics intersect. The Belief Brief, published bi-weekly, identifies timely issues, provides background material on these issues, and includes information on how faith groups are engaging these matters. BB also offers messaging ideas and links to articles, often by CAP writers, enabling readers to see how the issues are being framed and responded to more broadly. CAPs Faith Initiative has also carried out several projects that have been externally funded by foundations and have provided resources for a wide public. CAPs Young Muslim Leadership Project brought together a new generation of Muslim leaders from across the public spectrum. It built solidarity among the cohort, enhanced leadership skills and supported the public presence of these new leaders in the media. It further worked on the growing problem of Islamophobia and supported CAPs publication, Fear Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America.32 Two further projects engaged key social issues. The first, funded by the Arcus Foundation, consisted of three case studies focused on Michigan, Tennessee and Arkansas exploring attitudes on moral equality for LGBT persons and identifying the resources needed to move faith persons toward embracing the equality of all persons. The second, funded by the Ford Foundation, dealt with reproductive health and rights. It developed a comprehensive scan of the field of faith-based work on reproductive rights and identified key new leaders, especially among a younger cohort and persons of color. CAP media trained and helped placed these leaders in media across the country. It also linked faith-based advocates and organizations with secular groups, fostering new partnerships. It provided important policy analysis of legislation in Congress and in states across the nation. The project has continued to serve this sector through an on-going newsletter that now is available to advocates, secular and faith-based alike, across the country. A new cohort of leaders have been identified and trained and further work on reproductive justice is now underway.

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A recent project is focused on the emerging issue of religious liberty. Religious liberty is the latest wedge idea conservatives have been wielding to oppose a number of developments, including contraception benefits mandated by health care reform. The CAP project seeks to track the conservative use of this vital American value, to criticize its misuse and to support the development of more progressive interpretation of the idea of religious liberty. Finally, the team has increasingly emerged as spokespersons in their own right on central issues. Steenland produces a weekly column for the CAP web-site that often co-appears on the Huffington Post where she is a regular writer. She is also a sought after panelist in public discussions and commentator in the media. Jack Jenkins writes for the CAP website as well as Think Progress, the liberal blog of the Center for American Progress Action Fund. Steenland and Jenkins both extend the resources of CAP to a wide audience as well as presenting their own distinctive brands that are gaining increased public attention. In all of these efforts, the CAP initiative has sought to keep insights about faith and the resources of the progressive and justice faith movement central to the range of policy work carried out by the Center. It is also seeking to better position itself as a policy resource for advocates and activists working on the ground.

Independent Sources of Information about Faith As stated above, this report asserts that strong research, good data and fair media presentations must be the ground of developing new and more just visions for the nation and better policies to guide our public lives. The developments above all contribute progressive and justice-oriented voices making their claims in these matters. They represent the heart of the justice and progressive faith movement. There are, however, also resources that can help build visions and construct policies that come from independent and politically unaligned sources. These, too, can broadly inform our national consciousness and can aid citizens in our responsibility to make choices about the direction of the nation. The organizations below all are independent. Interestingly, while focusing on religion, they do not represent any religious group or perspective. That, too, is an important form of independence. These university research centers and free standing institutes focus on expanding public knowledge about faith and its public role through academically substantiated peer-reviewed research and analyses. While none of these institutions are aligned politically or religiously with a particular perspective, they provide the kind of expert research that is imperative for progressives and justice-oriented groups to engage. This kind of research is needed if the public understanding of religion and public discourse around values is to be changed. Aaron Belkin, of the Palm Center at the University of California at Santa Barbara, argues this point in his
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monograph, How We Won: Progressive Lessons from the Repeal of Dont Ask, Dont Tell.33 Belkin, working on issues of sexuality, not religion, argues that for progressives to have a real chance of shifting public opinion and discourse around key issues that have been controlled by conservative assumptions, many factors need to come into complementary play. Activists and advocates on the ground are needed. Good messaging and framing plays a role. Rapid response efforts and well-thought out policy positions are all important. But these are not enough to counter deeply entrenched and long held assumptions about contested issues or arenas. Expert, independent research and analysis reiterated in public spaces are also necessary for effective change to occur. Data, especially in areas where misinformation has ruled the discourse, needs to, as Belkin argues, infuse our national conversation. Academically-based centers help to build a more fact-based view of religion in America and far more nuanced interpretation of the complexities of faith and values in the US. Such research and analysis about every contentious issue are important. But in relation to religion, faith and values they are especially significant because in these areas personal opinions rather than vetted information seem to be the norm in the media and public discourse. As such they offer resources for the widest range of positions and they provide invaluable tools for developing an informed citizenry broadly and for the progressive and justice faith movement in particular to build well grounded, data driven and reality based visions and positions.

! Academic Research Centers While independent research centers and progressive think tanks, other than CAP, have been somewhat slow to develop programs in religion, the situation in universities and other academic institutions has been different. Because of constitutional issues, religion, as a subject to be studied, has often been absent from the curricula of public schools and, until the 1960s was not, with a few notable exceptions, such as the University of Iowa (1926), the University of Florida (1946), and the University of North Carolina (1947) part of the academic programs of public universities. In 1963 a legal decision known as the School District of Abington v. Schempp, brought about great changes, at least on the college level in public institutions (many independent schools had departments prior to 1963). In this case, the Supreme Court upheld a District Court ruling that organized reading of the Bible in public schools was unconstitutional. In a concurring opinion Justice Arthur Goldberg further articulated a distinction between the promulgation of religion in schools and the academic study of religion and argued that while the first was unconstitutional, the latter was a legitimate academic enterprise. One result of the ruling has been that across the country there has been a burgeoning of not only religion departments in public colleges and universities but also centers whose goal is to provide high level, research-based information on religion to students and to the wider public.

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These programs and centers provide different resources than do think tanks located in Washington. The former, such as CAP, are more ideologically identified, able to engage in rapid responses to the news cycle, focus on the development of policy positions, and collaborate with action projects. Academic research centers, for their part, function in different ways. Overwhelmingly, they are unaffiliated with particular political or religious orientations. These research centers focus on broadening public knowledge through academically validated research and analyses. A number of these centers and research projects have developed in the last few decades. Prominent among them are The Capps Center for the Study of Ethics, Religion and Public Life at the University of California at Santa Barbara, Arizona State Universitys Center for the Study of Religion and Conflict, Georgetowns Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs, The Marty Center for the Advanced Study of Religion at the University of Chicago, Harvards Pluralism Project, Duke Universitys Islamic Studies Center, Columbia Universitys Center for Religion, Culture and Public Life, The Center for Religion and Public Affairs at Wake Forest, the recently founded Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University, and the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California as well as a myriad of other research institutes throughout higher education. The Center at USC is especially interesting in that it bridges the academic/public divide through a number of initiatives including the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute, The Cecil Murray Center for Community Engagement and its Faith Leadership Institute, the Passing the Mantle Clergy and Lay Leaders Institute to build a new generation of African American leadership, and the Center for MuslimJewish Engagement. Yet, while this research has proliferated, there often remains a disconnect between research and advocacy and activism. And, despite gains in the media incorporating more accurate information into reports and stories, a huge gap remains. Academic research on religion, like much of academic work, remains isolated and lacking in public efficacy. A major challenge for academics and the wider civic and political realm is to find better ways to make research and knowledge about religion more publicly available and more operative in our civic and political conversations.

! Independent Research Institutes Beyond these university-based centers, there is a small but strong cadre of independent and freestanding research institutes with public missions. Standing out among these independent institutes is the growing partnership between the Brookings Institution, Americas oldest think tank, and Public Religion Research Institute, one of the youngest but fastest growing organizations in this sector.

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Led by E.J. Dionne and William Galston, Brookings has developed an impressive program on religion, politics and public policy that takes religion to be an important component of the nations and the worlds cultural and political dynamics. The Brookings program serves as a platform for the public analyses of issues at the intersection of religion, politics and policy and seeks serious engagement of these issues across the political spectrum. In addition to the considerable influence of these principal leaders, Brookings brings significant convening power, both for closed-door meetings of opinion leaders and for well-attended public events. Since 2010, Brookings has partnered with Public Religion Research Institute to produce groundbreaking research and attention-grabbing events on a variety of topics, such as the rise of the Tea Party and its relationship to the Christian Right, immigration reform, pluralism and attitudes toward racial and religious minorities, economic justice, conscience, reproductive rights, values and elections, and religion and the media. Other notable research institutes in this area include the Social Sciences Research Council, the Council on Foreign Relations, and the Religion & Public Life Project at Pew Research. All have developed non-partisan research to better inform the public and to contribute to a better understanding of the role of religion in cultural, social and political life. While the focus of each center or project varies, these centers and institutes share a commitment to scholarship in the public interest shaped by high- level research in the humanities and social sciences that can inform the public and can advance knowledge in an area of widespread misinformation and contestation.

! Independent Opinion Research, Polling, and Focus Groups A central task for all responsible citizens, including progressives and justice-oriented faith persons, the progressive and justice oriented movement is develop better and more accurate understandings of faith and its social role. Movements, both progressive and conservative alike, seek to form more compelling and motivating narratives. But responsible citizens must also develop visions that are more accurate and fact-based. While facts alone will not win the day as researchers such as Drew Weston in his groundbreaking work, The Political Brain, have demonstrated, facts are still important.34 Facts without emotionally compelling stories are powerless but stories and messages that are not grounded in accurate information are dangerous. Many groups, including policy campaigns and political parties, carry out partisan polling and message testing. But, given the reality of the pervasive misunderstanding of religion in America, it has been especially imperative to counter this public perception with non-partisan, high level research.

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Founded in 2009 by Robert P. Jones, Public Religion Research Institute provides the public with accurate information and research about the rapidly changing American religious scene. Through public opinion surveys and qualitative research and analysis, PRRI has emerged as one of the nations most trusted sources of information on the intersection of faith, values and public policy issues. Journalists, scholars, policy makers and movement advocates all turn to PRRI to take the pulse of the nation on these matters. Importantly, what makes PRRIs research increasingly the norm is its independent and non-partisan identity. It does not take political stances on policies but allows the voices of the public to be heard no matter the outcome. PRRIs high-level research has provided helpful information to progressive and justiceoriented faith groups, helping them understand public opinion, how issues are seen and related to values, and what messaging helps or hinders specific campaigns. Beyond informing advocates and activists, PRRIs independence and non-partisanship have also contributed to making it a reliable source for the public and for the media. One way that has been demonstrated is through key collaborations with other non-partisan groups. Academics, think tank researchers, policy makers, journalists and advocates have come together to analyze and debate the implications of PRRIs research. In addition to the partnership with Brookings, another partnership with Georgetown University has provided a similar forum for the public dissemination and analysis of Public Religion Researchs work. In 2012, PRRI and Georgetown collaborated to survey the opinions and values of younger persons during this crucial election cycle. A combination of rollouts and analyses of the surveys and programmatic efforts by Georgetown provided not only important information about the key younger demographic but also substantial educational opportunities for Millennials at universities across the country. An additional collaboration that has been highly successful is a polling partnership with Religion News Service focused on brief surveys on breaking issues related to religion and politics and policy. PRRI and RNS jointly develop polling questions, an RSN reporter does follow-up stories and the stories are syndicated in USA Today, The Christian Century and other public media outlets. PRRI also contributes regularly to the On Faith section of the Washington Post, which features a column, Figuring Faith by CEO Robert Jones. PRRIs home blog, Faith in the Numbers, is also syndicated on the widely read on-line site, Patheos, and on Religion News Services site. Importantly, PRRIs research and its outreach and distribution strategies have resulted in growing earned media citations, providing more accurate information about Americans values and faith perspectives. In 2011, PRRIs research was cited in 353 media outlets. That number rose in 2012 to 700, with multiple citations in The New York Times, CNN, Newsweek/Daily Beast, NPR, Los Angeles Times, Politico, The New Republic, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Fox News and Reuters, among many others. The repeated presentation of more accurate facts about the values and religious convictions
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and their ramifications for public opinion about issues is helping to re-balance what has often been not only one-side coverage but frequently erroneous depictions of the complexity and diversity of Americans beliefs and ideals. Along with PRRI, the Pew Research Religion and Public Life Project offers researchbased information available to help shape an educated discussion of the role of religion in public affairs. Part of the Pew Research Center, the Project, previously known as the Pew Forum, was founded in 2001 as the Pew Forum on Religion and is led by Luis Lugo. Pew calls itself a non-partisan fact tank that focuses on surveys, demographic analysis and other social science research efforts. It seeks to track the changing American landscape with special attention to public opinions, attitudes and emerging trends. Like PRRI, the Pew Religion Project takes no position on issues and attempts to provide a neutral venue for debate about issues at the intersection of religion and the public sphere. Both PRRI and Pew have insisted that informed public debate requires facts, the best research-based information we can get about a highly charged arena of public life. As fact centers, not policy centers, they both play a different role than those research centers that develop positions, seek to influence policy, and explicitly make the case for specific political positions. In sum, scholarly centers and independent research institutes have begun to play a significant role in relation to the public understanding of religion. They provide broader, deeper and more accurate data to inform the public conversation. On a range of issues from Islam and Muslims to religion and sexuality to the historical debates on the meaning of religious liberty and the constitution, scholars have presented research that portrays the complexities and multiplicities of religion in America and abroad. Moreover, experts, with historical, social-scientific, linguistic and analytical training, now are gaining more public visibility. News programs and publications now sometimes (if not frequently enough) cite actual research and real experts, helping the public gain a more informed sense about their own varied religious traditions and about those persons who believe and practice other faiths or value systems. Even greater distribution of information and communication of expert knowledge is imperative. The US is a nation which went to war in Iraq not understanding the differences between Sunni and Shia Muslims. Politicians regularly erroneously cite the Founders religious positions and the original intention of the Constitution as grounds for contemporary policies and laws. And appeals to religion are present in almost every policy debate. It is, therefore, imperative that tested data and expert opinion become more broadly available in order to improve public discourse and conversation. Information, grounded in research by trained experts, does not always support progressives or conservatives positions but it helps to break the stranglehold of misinformation and ignorance that so often inflects public debates that invoke religion. Moreover, it aids all perspectives in in developing positions that are data driven, historically accurate, and open to critical analysis.
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The Changing Media Landscape: Religion, Faith and Values in the Media

Most persons acquire information about religion and the various faith traditions through the media rather than through public education, higher academic experience or even religious education within their communities. While religion departments and research centers have increased greatly they still reach limited numbers. Education about religion is still rare on the elementary and high school levels in public schools. And religious education within communities is often focused inward, providing religious formation for believers and practitioners but not regularly instructing members about those outside their folds or providing expert analysis. Thus, most persons absorb their views of religion through news and popular cultural media sources. And these have often been, as noted, one sided, replete with misinformation and often confusing identity with expertise. Moreover, religion, faith and values are simply not significant topics in much of the mainstream media (as is also the case for social justice issues). For example, Pews Center for Excellence in Journalism estimates that a mere .7% (i.e. less than 1 percent!) of news stories in 2011 in the mainstream media, including cable and radio outlets, focused on religion and, then, mostly on Islam.35 These numbers were in fact down from the 2010 numbers. There has also been a steady disappearance of religion reporters that parallels a decline in specialty reporting in general. The result is fewer stories by less expert reporters.

! Journalism Training Despite these setbacks, other developments are more positive. Just as academics, polling institutes, and think tanks have begun to engage religion more seriously so, too, have we witnessed some significant, if still inadequate, changes in the content presented in the media and in journalistic resources. These are, in part, the result of journalism programs that aim to increase journalistic literacy and expertise about religion. These programs are making sure that, while specialty reporters in religion are on the decline, general reporters have access to better training about religion and to resources that can improve the critical analysis of this sector. Several well-regarded journalism schools or media programs now include initiatives or centers on religion including Columbia, NYU, Syracuse, University of Colorado, the University of Missouri, Trinity College and the University of Southern California. It was at NYU that The Revealer, a daily review covering religion and media, was first conceived and Trinity College publishes Religion in the News. The School of
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Journalism at the University of Missouri hosts the Center for Religion, the Professions and the Public as well as being the home for the Religion News Writers Association and its web-site Religion/Link, and, most recently, Religion News Service. Syracuse Universitys programs in journalism and religion are headed by Gustav Niebuhr, a former reporter for the New York Times. The Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at USC has a robust religion in media training program preparing students not only for print media but also for journalism in the digital age. USCs blog, Trans/Missions focuses on issues at the intersection of religion and public life and the program offers masters degrees in specialized reporting, including religion and media. USC has also offered fellowships for reporting on religion. It has developed as well an on-line resource for journalists with the Poynter Institute, the journalism-training center, and has published The Oxford Handbook of Religion and the American News Media, an authoritative volume on the history and current state of religion in the US media. There also exist several fellowships for journalists to take courses in religion and share their expertise with a new generation of journalists. For instance, the Lilly Endowment supports individual journalist taking courses in religion. While many specialty beats are disappearing, these programs are helping to insure that reporters with more general purviews have the opportunity to become better grounded in this key area.

! Religion Journalism: Traditional and New Media Despite the general loss of specialty reporting, several major newspapers and magazines have continued to provide high-level coverage of religion and to integrate religion into other news stories when it is relevant. Laurie Goodstein, Samuel Freedman and Mark Oppenheimer provide ongoing coverage for the New York Times. At the Washington Post there is a religion editor and columnists such as E.J. Dionne often take up issues related to values and faith. Amy Sullivan has been a leading voice at Time Magazine. Since 1997, PBS has offered Religion and Ethics NewsWeekly, hosted by veteran journalist Bob Abernethy. Moreover, greater attention has emerged at places like MSNBC. Rev. Al Sharpton hosts his own show as does Melissa Harris Perry, who not only is a political scientist but holds as Master of Divinity degree and often hosts more progressive faith guests. Professor Michael Eric Dyson, a sociologist at Georgetown with expertise in American religion and especially African American traditions, is both a radio host on public radio and a frequent guest host on MSNBC. Tavis Smiley, a talk show host, has also continually raised issues around faith and justice and has engaged in a long term collaboration with public intellectual and philosopher of religion, Cornel West, in which they have repeatedly pushed for more systemic analysis of social, racial, and economic injustice, and the need for more radical change.

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The greatest explosion in coverage has come on-line. The Washington Post hosts On Faith which regularly presents leading experts in religion. CNN, whose on-air coverage is less robust, also has an on-line Belief Blog edited by Eric Marrapodi and Daniel Burke and where leading religion scholar Stephen Prothero is a frequent contributor. And just recently, Global Post, the online global news source, has partnered with USC on a new blog, Belief, to report on the role of religion in shaping world events. The Huffington Post has probably had the most success in reaching a wide audience. Headed by Paul Raushenbush with award winning journalist Jaweed Kaleem, HuffPo offers wide-ranging coverage of religion, offering both news stories and a lively blog with varied writers including progressives and other religious persons. It further provides links to a large number of news sites, radio programs, independent on-line blogs, journals and even sites such as the Pew Forums on-line program. Moreover, the Huffington Post has deliberately blurred genres, offering analysis but also articles and blogs that are appealing to religious and spiritual persons such as their blogs on Lent and Ramadan. This mixture, combined with a strong sense of story, has resulted in a go-to site for many people interested in religion. Pieces on the Huffington Post can receive as many as 250,000 views a day, which represents an enormous expansion of the audience for faith and religion topics. Other, more secular media outlets, such as the GRIO, a division first of NBC News and since 2013 of MSNBC, offers news and features of interest to African Americans and often covers issues related to religion. More recently, Telemundo and Univison have included stories on more progressive Latinos such as Gabriel Salguero and faith advocates for immigration reform. Yet, despite these positive developments and the ready availability of experts, often religion is under-reported, poorly reported or simply avoided especially on broadcast and cable media platforms. Huffington Post editor, Paul Raushenbush, suggests this is partly because many writers on religion, especially ones with progressive interests, lack a sense of story, of drama, that makes for compelling reading.36 Just as narrative, and stories embodying values are important in mobilization efforts so, too, are they central to engaging wider audiences. Religious studies scholar Ivan Strenski raises a somewhat different concern. He notes, in a 2013 article in Religion Dispatches, that the news media fluctuates between labeling religion, at least Islam, as evil and perpetuating an illinformed myth that all religions are good. Experts with historical, linguistic and analytical skills continue for the most part to be absent as the religious dimensions of domestic and global events go unexplored. For him, it is not a question of communications skill or story telling capacity but a fundamental misunderstanding of religion. It is a question of content, not style. Writing after the Boston Marathon bombings, Strenski notes, if our news providers continue to be governed by taboos against talking and thinking about religion and violence is a clear-eyed, unsentimental way, we will never make progress in understanding the globalized world of religious identification that is moving so many public issues.37
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Independent Media Sites, Magazines, Journal and Blogs

Beyond these more mainstream web-based ventures connected to larger news organizations, there have also appeared independent sites that are contributing to transforming the public understanding of religion. The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life, and Religion News Service provide wide-ranging coverage of developments in religion. Others such as Religion Dispatches (RD), and The Revealer are hosted by academic institutions but have developed identities of their own. The Revealer, interestingly, focuses on religion and the media as well as critical analysis of religion and its public role. All seek to bring a range of voices to bear on religion. Religion Dispatches, for example, publishes scholars, journalists, writers and activists who provide analytical articles as well as blogs and interviews. While it is a self-consciously left leaning site, RD publishes a wide range of views. Another site, Patheos, combines scholarly voices with discussion groups who share their experiences and opinions. It has also increasingly become the host site for or major link to smaller blogs such as Altmuslim and has recently started a progressive Christianity page. The social networking elements of the Patheos site are among the most popular. Whispers in the Loggia, run by Rocco Palmo, is a go-to site for discussion of contemporary Catholicism. Two more academically focused sites provide material beyond the usual web-sites associated with academic centers or media organizations. The Danforth Center on Religion and Politics at Washington University publishes the on-line magazine Religion and Politics, an ideologically neutral site for the analysis of religion and the political sphere. And The Immanent Frame, at the Social Science Research Council, has become a robust forum for intellectuals and academics to debate everything from religious liberty to conflict and religion to the meaning of secularism. All of these sites provide platforms about religion but do not present a religious perspective themselves, though at times they include religious voices. Or, in the case of Patheos and the Huffington Post, they present multiple voices without any shared political or religious perspective. Indeed, all the sites, as platforms, present themselves as not representing any singular religious standpoint and as independent from any religious ideology even as their contributors offer a range of religious and non-religious perspectives. What these all share in common is a desire to insure that a wide range of expert voices contribute to the analysis and debate about religions public role and that these voices are available to the public in an accessible manner. Gone is the assumption that only some anointed religious insiders can speak about religion. As Dan Gilgoff, the former Religion Editor for CNNs Belief Blog, stated as he departed CNN, Religion reporting shouldnt be an inside game.38
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All of these sites and, increasingly, their mainstream media counterparts are predicated upon the assertion that religion is a crucial element of our contemporary situation and that an adequate public understanding requires independent, expert and critical voices being brought to bear on this complex and contentious subject matter. Some of these sites are self-consciously politically progressive while others strive for political neutrality. All assert the importance of expert opinion and critical engagement about religion if there is to be an informed public better able to understand and make decisions about the issues that arise at the juncture of religion and politics. They have greatly contributed to legitimizing the critical scrutiny of religion of all sorts and have thus helped break the inaccurate and one-sided treatment of religion in the media. Taken in aggregate, these sites reach millions of persons monthly; they are go-to sites in and of themselves. Further, they, in turn are aggregated, through syndication feeds that cull articles of interest to the reader from around the Web, now known as filter blogs, such as Zite and 3QuarkDaily. Increasingly, moreover, their content shows up on sites that both produce and reproduce material such as the Huffington Post. Still as noted above, the coverage of religion is uneven and far from adequate and remains an arena that requires both expansion but also a better grasp of its matter.

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VIII The Progressive and Justice Faith Movement: Value Added

As the progressive and justice faith movement makes its case to the public, to the wider movement for justice and progressive values, and to funders it is important to ask what particular value added does the movement bring to American society and to efforts to make America a more just, equitable and inclusive country. The following detail the general areas in which the progressive and justice faith movement adds value, followed by specific contributions made by faith-based organizing and by the sector committed to changing public discourse and perception.

1. Value Added: The Progressive and Justice Faith Movement ! Moral Authority and Trusted Voices Faith brings a still powerful moral voice to the fundamental debates about what kind of society America will be. While religion has been largely portrayed in conservative terms for the last few decades, progressive and justice-oriented faith work, with its commitment to social transformation, provides a clarion call for another vision of what is religiously important and provides strong moral voices to advocate for systemic change. The movement is mobilizing established, trusted and inspiring new leaders both in congregations and in independent organizations to once more take up public moral leadership for justice. Rabbis, clergy, imams, priests and nuns, and lay persons not only provide individual administrative and leadership gifts to this work but also the power and social status that still comes from being religious spokespersons representing religious institutions and moral and ethical traditions.

Aspirational Vision and Alternative Narrative Most positively stated, the best of the progressive and justice faith movement brings a positive aspirational vision to the efforts for social justice, predicated on the belief in the value of all, including political opponents, a commitment to bridge the most divisive differences in order to build a new society for everyone, and the desire actually to reshape the high-level decisions that affect the quality of life for all Americans. It offers an alternative narrative, grounded in both ideals and concrete facts, which enhances democratic participation and action, and imagines a shared common culture that empowers all of its members.

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! Non-Partisan Identity, Political independence and Advocacy for Real Change The progressive and justice movement, including especially its organizing institutions, has also been steadfastly non-partisan in the sense of not functioning as the political arm of any one party. While much of the Religious Right has been yoked to the Republican Party, the progressive and justice faith movement has resisted any such identification with a political party. This is in part because of the non-profit status of the various organizations. Thus while they organize, educate and advocate, they do not, in their 501(c)3 forms, lobby on particular legislation. 501(c) 4 arms of these networks do lobby, as do other non-profits (c)4 groups. But the non-partisan character of these groups also emerges from a religious commitment to be inclusive and to bridge differences as well as from the recognition that the religious communities they engage are often not politically homogenous. It comes, in addition, from a desire to be more than merely political and to avoid the reduction of spiritual values to narrow political ends. Still, these commitments do not mean that progressive and justice groups are not focused on policy or engaged in the political process. Indeed, there efforts are greatly oriented toward changing the structures of our society that harm so many and they are engaged in creating new policies supporting opportunity and fairness in the nation. Given the current political climate and the reality that faith groups often focus on the socio-economic and family issues of importance to low and middle income communities, many faith-based efforts have found greater common cause with the agendas of the Democratic Party than those of the Republican Party. It is, however, the hope and determination that all political parties will have justice at their center and will work to establish a society in which all are fairly included. Then the non-partisan character of the movement will be able to fully flourish. Richard Wood, speaking of faith-based organizing, states Lets imagine a future where we actually have a functional national government. Lets imagine a future in which both major political parties once again strive to govern in the interests of citizens, rather than both major parties being beholden to moneyed elites, and the right wing having betrayed any semblance of responsible governance. If we can get there, then the non-partisan character of faith-based organizing can effectively transcend differences through smart, pragmatic policies. 39 Until that moment in which elected officials and political parties return to agendas that support the common good, then political independence will mean that the progressive and justice faith movement will continue to push political parties from a perspective committed to a more profound transformation of American society. A key commitment of most faith inspired groups is to the marginalized and the poor and those who have been denied significant political power and self-determination. Often these segments of society are ignored or written off as lacking political leverage by both political parties and even
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other progressive organizations. Progressive and justice faith groups, especially the organizing wing of the movement, stands with, represents and includes those at the margins of society and as such these organizations place a significant pressure on those who would ignore the vulnerable in our society. But the progressive movement does so independently. In the long term, this may well be among the most important contributions the faith movement makes to democratic life-- that is, public engagement without being captured by any narrow partisan agenda.

! Enhancing the Prospects for a Diverse Democracy and an Informed Citizenry It is important to state that the broader American public has benefitted both from the renewal of grassroots organizations working for justice and from the efforts in media, research and leadership training. Democracy depends on an informed and active public and on the presence of rigorous debates among real alternatives. And in recent decades, faith/religion has been portrayed in the most inaccurate way, especially by the media. The result has been an ill-informed public and, therefore, a badly prepared electorate. It has also resulted in outsized political power accruing to conservatives who have effectively used religion to advance their wider social and political causes. The revitalization and strengthening of a progressive and justice faith movement, including the proliferation of research and the emergence of new media outlets, has begun to redress this imbalance and distortion.

2. Value Added: Faith Based Organizing While sharing the value added characteristics stated above, the community organizing sector of the movement brings several distinctive values to the general movement for justice in the US.

! Established Civic Institutions Faith-based organizing often starts with already established and trusted organizations located within the communities it seeks to organize, mobilize and empower. This is especially true for congregation-based organizing. In many marginalized and especially immigrant communities, it is these religious congregations that are the main, sometimes only, established civic institutions. This is particularly the case in what are called the new destination or gateway cities to which immigrants are flocking that frequently lack immigrant supportive civic organizations. Rather than building new institutions, faith)+" "

based organizing is able to embed its efforts in institutions that already play a significant civic and mediating role in communities. This has been especially important in that it represents one of the most vital bridges between independent organizations and networks, and established religious institutions and denominations. It both engages established civic organizations and, in so doing, bridges the divide between traditional religious bodies and new approaches. The move to organizing non-congregational groups also reflects this mobilization of established organizations such as unions and parent groups.

! Available Constituencies Many of the people the organizing sector seeks to mobilize and empower are members of the religious communities that are homes to faith-based organizing. Not only are the structures already in place but also these congregations, synagogues, mosques, temples and parishes are the spiritual homes for the very persons that become part of these justice movements and are often the primary location of their social and civic lives. Organization is in part a communitys self-mobilization. This provides the progressive and justice faith movement as well as the wider progressive movement tangible constituencies ready to be engaged and mobilized.

! Access to the Powerful and Empowerment of Communities Both within marginalized and less powerful communities and through the wider networks of faith-based organizations, faith organizers have access to influential political and social leaders including elected leaders and employers. They, too, are in the pews and available for deep engagement. Moreover, organizing has at its center strategies to bring previously unheard voices to the tables of civic and political power. The goal is not just to engage others who already have power but to build the power of its members to become full and responsible participants in civic and political decision making. By doing so they empower previously ignored people and enhance the democratic processes of governance.

! Bridging the Divides: Racial, Economic and Social Divisions One of the most significant roles the faith organizing community brings to its empowerment and justice work is a bedrock commitment to bridging the great divides
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that have created a fractured society in America. Building bridges across these divides means creating a shared sense of identify and purpose among the communities that faithbased groups seek to empower. Thus, the work to build multi-racial alliances has been a central component of faith-based organizing work. But it also means confronting the wider fissures in American society, including those between communities of color and the white working class as well as between powerful elites and the economically and politically marginalized. These networks are committed, moreover, to bridging these divides within themselves, not by smoothing over differences and conflicts, but by digging deep into the divisions that leave us so fractured. These efforts are still a work in progress but remain a significant location in our society for engaging the hard work of transforming race and class divisions. The model of organizing developed by Saul Alinsky in relation to engagement with the wider social, economic and political world often emphasized confrontation and conflict. Faith-based organizing does, indeed, hold the powerful accountable, including through power analysis, confrontation, boycotts and strikes. Moreover, developing leverage to achieve goals remains part of faith-based organizing. Still, these strategies are located within a vision of a more inclusive common good in which the well-being of all groups is imagined rather than the victory of one class, race or political party. It is a movement that is multi-issued, interfaith, multi-racial, multi- class, gender inclusive and multigenerational. It seeks to embody the society it works to create and to offer an ideal for this society that moves beyond a vision of individualism, narrow self-interest and a calculus of how to enhance the economic and political power of the few without regard for the many. Faith-based organizing is predicated on a vision of the common good, steeped in traditions of the dignity and value of all humans, and in the rejection of standard assumptions of political power as largely self-interested.40 Its goal is not to deny difference but to build solidarity across the lines that now divide us so severely.

3. Value Added: Public Discourse and New Voices As faith based organizing offered distinctive added strengths to the progressive movement so, too, do the sectors working on media strategy, training and placement, new media platforms, polling and research.

! Empowering Diverse Voices The religious narrative of America has been truncated and distorted in recent decades leading to an imbalance in the public discourse about values in America. The major effect of greater media strategy, training, outreach and the creation of new media platforms has
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been to make more progressive and justice-oriented voices heard and to display the diversity of religious orientations in the US.

! Undermining the Right Such a diversity of voices, now speaking from the left, has increasingly undermined conservatives claim to be the moral authority of the nation and to speak for religious voices. Every major issue, from health care to immigration, now has public voices representing religious or spiritual values that are more progressive and have at their center concern for a more just society.

! Increasing the Effective Public Presence of Faith-based Justice Work As this report as stated, progressives and faith people concerned with justice issues are not new. They have been tirelessly working on the ground, through policy offices, and in religious communities and organizations to better the lives of their fellow humans and to reshape public agendas in more just ways. But they have, also, often been invisible and ignored. Media strategy and training work, communications efforts and the deployment of more accurate information have all greatly improved the visibility and the public effectiveness of both activists and advocates. Both public awareness and the efficacy of progressive and justice efforts have been enlarged and strengthened by these developments.

! Grounding the Movement with Better information and More Accurate Data More accurate polling, the work of think tanks, and academic research have provided the movement with better information both to build its positions and to make its case in the public. While such independent and non-partisan polling and research reject ideological identification with any movement, they do offer a much needed counter weight to the prevailing misinformation about religion that abounds in the media and among the general public. They, further, aid in developing fact-based positions grounded in sophisticated policy analysis. Moreover, they challenge unfounded claims by conservatives, and identify and, therefore, indirectly render more effective values that support progressive causes that have often been made invisible by poorly informed assumptions.

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! Bridging the Secular/Faith Divide The last decade has witnessed a renewal of partnerships between secular and faith-related organizations. The religious diversity of the nation, a growing spiritual but unaffiliated segment of the population, and the mobilization of progressive religious persons have all opened a space for bridges to be built between the secular and more faith-oriented sides of the progressive and justice movement. While much hesitancy and sometimes even hostility continue to characterize both sides, the widespread assumption that religious persons are conservative and progressives are all secular has begun to fade. Moreover, the significant fact that those who work for a more just society historically have been and continue often to be motivated by spiritual values and to work within faith organizations has once more become apparent. This development is allowing powerful new alliances to open up across a wide range of issues across the spectrum of political and social concerns.

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IX The Way Forward: Challenges

The 2004 Res Publica Report indicated both the promise of a revitalized progressive faith and justice movement but also detailed the many challenges facing this movement. The challenges focused on vulnerabilities in leadership, coordination, grassroots organizing, media and political strategies and vision. The progressive and justice faith movement has developed in many ways during the last decade. New organizations and leaders have emerged, new partnerships have been created, public perception has begun to be altered, and key policy successes have been achieved. Still, many challenges remain and these must continue to be addressed if the movement is to have more than occasional wins and to become a sustainable part of a broad progressive and justice movement impacting American cultural and political life. Robert P. Jones has suggested that six key challenges confront the progressive faith movement.41 First, Identity: while conservative religious persons strongly identify as part of a conservative movement, progressive religious persons see themselves as part of a movement to a far lesser degree. Second, Diversity: the conservative religious movement is characterized by racial, theological and political commonality while the progressive and justice faith movement is interfaith, multi-racial and politically less coherent. Third, Geographical Dispersion: the conservative religious movement is solidly in the south but the progressive and justice movement is spread out across the country. Fourth, Diffusion: while conservative religious persons indicate in high numbers that faith is the most important element in their lives, progressive religious persons often rank faith as far less important. Interestingly, this is less true for religious persons of color, especially African Americans for whom justice concerns and religiosity are deeply intertwined. Fifth, Institutional Connections: conservative persons of faith are far more likely to have strong institutional bonds as evidenced through attendance and formal institutional affiliations than is the case for progressives, though again this is not the case for African Americans who continue to have a high level of connection to religious institutions and practices. Sixth, Church-State Concerns: conservatives have increasingly advocated for a strong public presence for religion while progressives are more likely to be concerned by any blurring of church-state lines. Each of these factors indicate obstacles to building a strong progressive and justice faith movement that can mobilize a wide range of Americans to support and act on behalf of progressive causes and social justice agendas. The diverse ecology that is the progressive and justice faith movement-- significantly made up of entrepreneurial and independent groups, lacking in overall structures, and focused on sub-sectors and multiple issues-- is both the source of the movements vitality and new energies, and the cause of its challenges. With these as
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background, this report will summarize central challenges that the progressive and justice faith movement must engage if it is to continue to grow and flourish.

1. Infrastructure and Institutionalization For the progressive and justice faith movement to be sustainable and a viable contributor to changing American society, it needs to build strong institutions that have moved beyond the start-up phase. That means, organizations need clear missions, adequate staffs, strong internal infrastructures and resources, effective leaders, powerful partners, and core financial support beyond transactional and project-oriented funding. Only a few of the independent organizations have reached a more stable plateau beyond the startup phase and even these remain a grant away from financial problems or an executive director away from loss of direction. Without strengthening institutions the movement will not reach its potential.

2. Collaboration Neither individual progressive and justice faith organizations nor any single sector can bring about broad social change or effect long term shifts in American policy and cultural reality. It is only together and as part of a broader progressive and justice movement that such change can be achieved. Richard L. Trumka, President of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., reflects this same sense of the need to act together if a progressive and social justice movement is to succeed in his recent statement that none of us can do it alone. If we are going to change the political and economic environment, it is going to take all of us working together.42 Still, competition, rather than collaboration, often continues to undermine the faith movement; competition for funds, competition for territory, and competition for power all continue to characterize the movement. Three developments need to occur in order to build a stronger movement.

! A Culture of Collaboration, Communication and Coordination The major component of this culture must be a willingness to collaborate and to replace competition with a shared commitment to work together in order to increase impact. In the words of Ana Garcia-Ashley of Gamaliel, what is needed is the willingness to think outside ourselves and our organizations in order to align the movements work and, literally, to pull in a common direction.43 According to Doug Pagitt, of the CANA Initiative, the question is not how does one organization survive but how a successful movement is built; the question is what can we do together better than alone, and what resources can we share to accomplish our common goals.44
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! Structures and Mechanisms of Collaboration Currently collaboration and coordination are mostly ad hoc and dependent on personal relationships. Organizations lack internal mechanisms or staff resources to ensure collaboration with other faith groups and secular partners. There are no pan-organization structures with staff dedicated to this area. Individual organizations and networks need to dedicate staff to coordinating and collaborating with others and some larger umbrella efforts must emerge to address these needs. Currently there is a lack of shared priorities, shared branding, and shared information. Where collaborative efforts have been made, most often around specific campaigns and interest areas, results have been very positive. Now is the time to institutionalize the culture of collaboration through structural and institutional mechanisms to benefit the wider movement.

! A Politics of Collaboration One of the major roadblocks to collaboration and even coordination has to do with the politics surrounding engagement across theological lines and values commitments. As this report has detailed, much is at stake, including financial support. The result has been a weakening of the movement as a whole and the fracturing of key coalitions. There is a great need to develop a politics of collaboration that can allow persons who share certain values to work together where they can while respecting real differences. Without this, the movement will be fragmented and those who seek its failure will be successful.

2. Communication A key element of collaboration is a structure of communication. Databases, rolodexes, and mailing lists are currently closely guarded. There is no clearing house for activities, or events. Specific campaigns, once again, have sometimes been able to create web-sites and resources such as open source messaging. Broader sectors, such as community organizing, do not yet have cross-sector shared communication or information distribution capacities. While there does not appear at the moment a prospect for common databases, short of that the movement requires the creation of innovative ways to collaborate and coordinate the activities of various groups. It is not only a lack of movement wide communication resources that is a problem. Individual organizations and networks also lack communications and technology for internal communication and organization resources as well as media expertise and training to enhance their own internal work. Faith in Public Life has helped a great deal in this area as has Auburn Media but neither have the resources to respond to all the needs across the progressive and
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justice faith landscape. Additionally, if progressive and social justice leaders are to fracture the hold of conservatives in the media far greater work needs to be carried out breaking into the mainstream media. Key developments must occur in this area as well.

! Strengthening Media Resources and Training Not every organization or network has internal communications and media capacities. This is a clear area where shared resources can greatly enhance the entire ecology. But for this to occur, the media resource organizations of the movement, such as Faith in Public Life and Auburn Media, need far greater and more stable support if they are to extend their resourcing of the progressive and justice oriented movement.

! Naming the Movement: Beyond Organizations, Denominations and Groups If collaboration requires acting beyond the narrow self-interests of individual organizations, so, too, does a successful communication strategy. According to Robert P. Jones, most progressive religious persons do not understand themselves to be part of a broader progressive movement. For those who are dedicated to a particular social justice issue often identity is with that sub-issue, not with a wider movement for broad based change. This means that local or isolated successes are possible but broad social change will continue to be hampered. The movement needs to be identified as a movement. This is particularly difficult because the progressive and justice faith movement is really a fluid ecology of organizations and networks. But developing a common identity and shared branding will remain central components for future successes. ! Breaking into the Mainstream Media The media remains the major shaper of public consciousness about values and faith in America. As this report has strongly noted, progressive and justice-oriented faith voices remain under-represented and seriously missing from the mainstream media, both broadcast and print media. Many small, more progressive blogs and web magazines have emerged and several places, such as the Huffington Post religion blog and page, reach large number of viewers. And some cable hosts, such as Melissa Harris Perry, have reached out to religious voices. But still, overall broadcast and cable networks remain sectors that have yet to respond to the growing voice of progressives and justice-oriented faith voices in a sustained way. And radio remains a conservative stronghold. If the audience for the progressive and justice movement is to expand beyond the choir far greater work needs to be done in this area. Coordinated speakers bureaus and organized
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attempts to penetrate the media must be developed and a more robust media strategy for ensuring progressive and justice voices in print and on new media platforms needs to take shape.

! Building on Technology Most progressive and justice groups lack sophisticated technological resources and internal expertise. Some efforts have been undertaken using on-line organizing to push a more progressive and justice-oriented agenda. Faithful America has utilized on-line petitions to ensure that political leaders are aware that faithful persons also have values and many of those persons are committed to a more just and equal society. Moreover, Faithful America, with its 280,000 members, is at the forefront of utilizing new media to mobilize the broader progressive faith movement. Auburn Seminary has made open sourced on-line tools available for any group to adopt for their campaigns. Still, technology remains a challenge within a movement made up primarily of small organizations, lacking in resources and expertise. In a world in which 30% of persons already get the news today through social media, it is imperative that the movement creates more moments on social media, utilizes social media as a central form of communication to members, and as a means of recruitment and mobilization. Progressive and justice faith engagement, utilizing new technologies for communications, collaboration, fundraising and mobilization, is just beginning and needs far more resources and a more systematic approach to providing technological assets to the movement as a whole.

3. Policy Analysis and Expertise Many grassroots organizations include activists and advocates who have expertise in the issues on which their organization focuses. Increasingly, on state levels coalitions are being built that include policy institutes. And several of the large organizations have internal policy experts on staff. But often policy and legislative expertise is lacking. Moreover, most grassroots organizations and networks lack the structural relationships with policy and legislative experts which would allow for access to analysis and information. This is a significant gap that weakens the movement.

! Deploying Policy Expertise Policy centers do exist. What is lacking is a strong partnership between policy institutes and activist organizations. Conduits and pipelines between the sectors of the movement
)*" "

need to be built and deployed both in relation to national policies and on state and regional levels. Nationally, The Center for American Progress, the central progressive think tank in the US, is a key potential partner for the movement. The Faith and Public Policy Initiative at CAP works internally with CAP policy teams to keep them informed on the work of faith groups. Through newsletters and The Belief Brief CAP has begun to extend its expertise to more of the movement. It is now imperative that this policy expertise be even more systematically available to the faith sector through the development of new conduits that directly provide information and analysis to ever greater audiences. Other think tanks, such as the Brookings Institution, with its Religion, Public Policy and Politics Program, are in a position to consider broader ways of communicating its research but have not yet done so.

5. Leadership Identification and Training The identification, training and effective public promotion of progressive and justice-oriented faith leaders remains an enormous task before the movement, especially as older leaders move aside and a younger generation steps forward. Once again, there are resources for the movement but these require greater support and utilization. ! A New Generation of Voices Several efforts have been undertaken in recent decades to better identify and train new leaders. The Proctor Institute of the Childrens Defense Fund, the Beatitudes Society, the Seminary Coalition for Urban Pastoral Education (SCUPE), the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference, the Cecil Murray Centers Faith Leaders Institute at USC, Passing the Mantle Clergy and Leadership Institute at USC, Auburn Seminarys Mountain Top Conference and New Religious Voices Project, the American Muslim Civic Leadership Institute at USC and the newly forming CANA Initiative (Collective Action Network of the Emerging Movement of Faith and Christianity in the US) are examples of attempts to create new, networked and trained leaders for progressive and justice-oriented faith work. The Religious Action Center has developed programs both for high school students (LTaken Seminar) and college students (the Machon Kaplan Program) that have inspired a generation of young Jewish leaders to pursue social justice work. The Nathan Cummings Foundation has also begun to explore this arena, convening a group of younger leaders in the Fall of 2013. These developments are promising. Yet, to be effective, they need to be closely linked, on the one hand, to theological education more broadly, and to activist organizations and institutions more explicitly. Moreover, because an increasing number of younger people are not affiliated with traditional institutions and

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are, therefore, difficult to identify and mobilize it is imperative to develop new strategies for identifying, reaching and including this generation of potential leaders.

! Closing the Content Gap Between Theological Education, Academic Resources, and the Progressive Movement As Katharine Henderson, President of Auburn Seminary, has often remarked new institutions need to come into existence but it is equally vital to re-position and re-think how to use already established institutions.45 One area that has begun to recognize this need is faith-based organizing. Representatives of the key faith-based community organizing networks all have lamented that, in the words of Heidi Thompson, formerly of PICO, that grassroots groups get new faith-driven organizers five years too late, long after their theological training has ended.46 The link between faith and organizing is often, therefore, weak and it is left to the networks to provide not only training in organizing but also the faith content that distinguishes this form of justice activism. Several religious denominations, such as the Union of Reform Judaism and a number of Lutheran schools, are strengthening the ties between education and organizing. And the Interfaith Organizing Institute (IOI) is working on a seminary strategy connecting schools to networks and identifying standards and norms of professionalization. Despite these efforts, this potential area of collaboration remains underdeveloped. Beyond organizing, there remains a large gap between leadership identification and training and the multiple organizations that make up the movement. While the leadership efforts indicated above are heartening, it is imperative to link these to the groups that are actually carrying the work out on the ground. There are numbers of justice and faith programs in theological schools but these, too, are often disconnected from specific organizations and certainly from any larger movement. And the ties between efforts such as Mountain Top, Nathan Cummings and The Proctor Conference and specific sub-fields of the movement are still weak. Beyond theological schools and the efforts at leadership identification and training by independent groups like the Beatitudes Society, religious studies scholars and intellectuals also remain untapped sources for progressive and justice leaders. The fracture between the academy and religious communities has meant that what were once readily available resources for activists and strong communal ties for scholars are often absent today. A progressive and justice faith movement needs the intellectual resources of the progressive intellectual movement and the historical, analytical and ideological resources of contemporary scholarship.

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! Positioning Progressive Leaders for Greater Public Influence and Impact Beyond identifying and training new leaders, it is imperative to better position these leaders and spokespersons in the public sphere, especially through an enhanced presence in the media. As new leaders emerge, such as Delman Coates, Otis Moss, III, Simone Campbell, Gabriel Salguero, William Barber, Sharon Brous, Valerie Kaur and multiple others, they need to have a frequent and regular presence in the media, articulating a new vision and reclaiming faith no longer as a damaged brand but a source of hope and transformation. As noted above, media training has improved in recent years as Auburn Media has begun to widely train progressive and justice leaders to make their case in public and Faith in Public Life has developed stronger media strategies for progressive and justice organizations. Foundations have also increasingly insisted on a communication strategy and component of grants to social justice organizations. This is an area in which great strides have been made in the last decade but one in which huge gaps remain. Mainstream media remains closed to many progressive and justice voices and large segments of the progressive faith movement continue to lack access to media training and placement.

6. Bridging the Divides

In contrast to the conservative faith movement in which there is a strong cohesion of theologies, race and political identity, the progressive and justice faith movement is enormously diverse. This is the strength of the movement and represents the best hope of building a national consensus for a more just and inclusive society. But this diversity is also the source of the greatest divisions in the movement, divisions that, if not continually confronted, will hinder the possibilities for a powerful and effective drive toward a new future. The most significant divisions included the following. ! Racial/Ethnic Divides

Race remains one of Americas most difficult areas to confront. Almost all the issues that the progressive and justice faith movement engages also have racial disparities and legacies of injustice as root components. Many Latino and Black organizations have long advocated for a deep analysis of Americas racialized history and politics. Increasingly, multi-racial faith networks and organizations, such as PICO and Sojourners, are recognizing the importance of deep work on racism as they confront problems in areas
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such as immigration reform, gun violence, economic disparity, and mass incarceration. Still many progressive and justice organizations internally lack racial diversity and have yet to explore in a profound way the continuing racial divides characterizing America. It is imperative, especially given the changing demographics of the US, that progressive and justice-oriented groups take the lead on a deeper engagement with race both in American society and especially within the progressive and justice movement and organizations. But strategies for confronting racism are not the only racial/ethnic divides to be overcome. There are sometimes divisions between Blacks and Latinos that need attention. And, it is once more apparent that the white working class in the U.S. has been disenfranchised and left behind. A truly broad-based progressive and justice movement also needs to engage the white working class and to build a strong alliance between the emergent demographic majorities of color in the US and working class whites who share their political and economic interests. Here, too, faith groups and leaders, have a tremendous role to play but one that is also under actualized. New strategies need to be conceived and implemented to build this potentially powerful alliance. ! Religious/Theological Divides Once more in contrast to the conservative religious movement that is made-up overwhelmingly of white and Evangelical Christians, the progressive and justice faith movement is multi-faith and characterized by multiple theologies. Often the movement has dealt with this diversity by emphasizing similarities and shared values. But those efforts have obscured deep differences that have increasing fractured the movement. Strategies must be developed that both recognize faith differences and find ways to collaborate and support one another in the face of significantly different values and commitments. ! The Secular/Religious Divide The secular/religious divide continues to hinder the development of an effective progressive movement. While some secular organization, such as the Childrens Defense Fund, the NAACP and the Human Rights Campaign, have strong internal faith programs and regularly join efforts with faith partners, many secular organizations remain wary of partnering with faith groups. Until secular and faith-based organizations respect each other more and collaborate more intentionally, the movement as a whole will suffer. There has been no successful movement for social change in America without a strong alliance between secular and religious forces. On the conservative side, as this report has detailed, secular and faith leaders have worked together to offer a powerful
*$" "

vision for the nation. On the progressive and justice side, we have the civil rights movement, the immigration reform movement, and more recently the LGBT movement for equality that offer us excellent examples of what must be done. On every issue the progressive movement cares about there must be articulated a strategy to bring together, through alliances, coordination and mutual respect, secular and faith groups.

! Bridging Organizing Groups and Organizing Individuals Much of this report has focused on groups and, especially in the community organizing section, on organizing congregations or parents or neighborhood associations. But also growing is the part of the sector that organizes individuals. This development is particularly important as more and more persons, especially younger ones join the ranks of the civically unaffiliated. As Theda Skocpol has argued in Diminished Democracy, we live in an era of declining institutions or as she describes it, an age of the deinstitutionalization of civic life.47 Organizations such as Faithful America are engaged in the mobilization of individuals, not groups, networks or denominations. This allows them to take on issues and hold positions that larger institutionally based or related groups often avoid. Organizing and mobilizing individuals also offers the prospect of more rapid scaling, mobilizing large numbers with less effort and expense. In our era, this is both an exciting development and an important sector of the movement that must not be ignored and deserves much greater support. But one of the major tasks before the movement is linking these two sides of the movement, i.e., connecting and enhancing both the mobilization of individuals and the organization of groups and institutions in the process. These two sub-sectors of the movement can greatly enhance one another but once more need greater collaboration and integration.

7. Mobilizing the Unaffiliated

Just as racial/ethnic demographic changes are shaping the emergent progressive and justice movement, a key element to be considered in the movement is the rapidly expanding cohort of the religiously unaffiliated, especially among the young. This demographic is internally diverse on all counts- racially, educationally, in terms of spiritual orientation. They are, however, markedly politically progressive, as the last presidential election demonstrated. They are, also, less formally affiliated not only with religious institutions but other civic organizations. As this group grows, it is imperative to develop strategies that are responsive to their progressive values, including spiritual ones, in an era of civic non-affiliation. For a progressive and justice movement to have a future among the young it will require reaching them, mobilizing them and
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finding new ways to nurture progressive values and to support long term, often difficult, work in the absence of strong communal ties that help people to survive and thrive over the long haul.

8. Building a Progressive and Justice Faith Narrative

Many factors contribute to the building of systemic and sustainable social change in society. Activists and advocates are essential. Well-thought out policy positions are key. Solid data and research are also needed. Rapid response efforts and strong and consistent messages are important. Institutions need to be built and collaborative efforts across sectors and issues need to be pursued. These are the building blocks of social change. However, their potential to bring about long-lasting transformations in society is dependent upon the creation of public narratives that embody the values that support change, offer visions of society that link to the past as they express positive visions for a better future, and build expectations and public will for changes in policy, institutions, social attitudes and relations, and society as a whole. A newly energized progressive and justice faith movement has undertaken great efforts over the last decade and can claim real successes. Still often conservatives have continued to control the public debate when religion is invoked, repeating a national narrative that is assumed to be the American story. This narrative emphasizes the values of freedom, individualism, an unfettered market, and a minimal government, and is linked to a religious vision of American exceptionalism, traditional values and social conservatism. The continued dominance of this narrative determines to a large extent the public environment and public discourse in relation to which progressives and social justice advocates struggle to make their case and have impact. Progressives are forced to argue for new directions from the margins of this powerful narrative and against conservative norms and values that control public debate. Progressives have often failed to enter the narrative fray, much less win it. Heavily focused on data-driven policy positions, progressives, including religious ones, have left the realm of values and stories to conservatives who speak the language of values that mold public sentiment and feelings. Moreover, in stark contrast to conservatives, secular progressives have ignored or been hostile to the very cultural arenas, such as religion, within which values are formed and given expression. Therefore, despite having better data, better ideas, and better policy alternatives often progressives lose out to moribund and less just positions. Progressives and justice advocates have yet to change the terms of our public discourse; in almost all of our most heated public contestations it is still the language and the ideational framework of conservatives that determine the parameters of the discussion.

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There is an increasing awareness of the importance of changing the narrative, giving voice to progressive and justice values, and offering compelling stories that can build public will and sentiment. Progressives and justice-oriented persons of faith even know many of the central values we wish to articulate--values of equality, democracy, justice, opportunity, and respect for diversity all expressed in a vision of the common good in which freedom and individualism are not lost but are deeply embedded in our understandings of community. We know we need a moral and intellectual framework that is built on our American past and offers an aspirational and hopeful vision for the future. We, further, need visions that tie our commitments to the ideals of justice articulated within our myriad religious traditions. Yet, we struggle both to articulate this vision and to render it the operative narrative and normative framework that guides our policies and priorities, the design of our institutions and the self-understanding of our society. Several efforts have been undertaken by secular progressives to articulate such a new narrative. The Progressive Economic Narrative, a project of the US Action Education Fund, and the Heroes Handbook are two such efforts. The third, the American Values Project offers the broadest and most inclusive vision and is also the one that explicitly includes reference to Americas religious heritage. But none of these efforts includes a robust articulation of the role of faith or the possible unique contributions that spiritually and religiously grounded perspectives might add. And the faith-based movement has yet to offer a fully realized vision of its own. This is still an important task before the movement.

! A Prophetic Faith Narrative For the progressive faith and justice movement to have increased impact it needs to articulate narratives that emerge from the diverse religious traditions that inspire and nourish its work and commitments. These will be faith narratives that make the values of justice, inclusion, solidarity across differences, and diversity religious values and provide progressive and justice norms by which persons of faith can guide their lives, their institutions and their society. ! A Progressive Narrative of the Nation The faith narrative must also provide a vision for the nation of a new America. It must link currently disparate issues, tie the work of faithful persons to the efforts of secular allies and present a renewed picture of what a government representing all the people can and must contribute to an increasingly fractured society. It must offer concrete directions without collapsing its vision into the goals of partisan political groups and parties. It must, above all, be an aspirational story, of hope and possibility that includes all and provides a ground for all to flourish in a shared society.
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9. Funding the Movement The progressive faith and justice movement has been one of the most transformative sectors of the progressive movement. Yet it continues to be under-resourced and under-funded. Few foundations have religion or faith programs or program experts who know the religious landscape. Many avoid faith-related organizations totally. Others sporadically fund faith-based groups for specific campaigns or projects but fail to support infrastructure or organizational building. Several funders who have supported faith-based organizations in specific sectors such as organizing have recently ceased those initiatives. Other sources of financial support such as denominations and unions have also reduced funding. While some specific areas, such as LGBT equality, are receiving greater support, many other areas are facing diminished resources precisely as they have been more effective and had greater success. It is imperative to make the case to funders, religious and secular, that no progressive movement will have broad social and political impact without a strong faith component. Moreover, progressive faith and justice groups need to develop strategies that do not pit one against another for a dwindling set of resources. The case must be made for the field and secular allies must join in persuading funders to come to the table. There are several areas that require growth if the movement is to be sustainable. ! Foundation Support Greater foundation support that builds up infrastructure, leadership development, and collaborative efforts is necessary. Many organizations increasingly depend on foundation financial support, including several of the community organizing groups that draw more than 55% of their resources from foundations. Still, such funding is often not reliable: foundation initiatives change or end, staff leave and an over-emphasis on project support rather than infrastructure funding leaves organizations vulnerable. Secular foundations need to be convinced that this sector deserves regular and consistent funding that is part of a broad strategy for social change rather than episodic and transactional. ! Individual Donors Many progressive and justice faith groups have yet to develop robust individual donor bases that can fund their work on a consistent level. A few organizations such as Bread for the World and Sojourners have indeed developed individual donor bases, including, especially, consistent cohorts of major donors. Almost everyone else has yet to develop strong individual donor programs, either of small donors or major donors. It is imperative that fund raising strategies for the movement include not only convincing foundations to support the sector but also making individual donors realize that this work is effective and can grow with their support. In comparison to any part of the progressive and justice
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faith movements, non-profits such as the National Resource Defense Council, which raises over $70 million in individual and membership contributions, or the Human Rights Campaign, with $30 million in individual contributions, are far more advanced in raising funds and building the loyalty of their contributors. To be sustainable, faith-based groups must develop membership and individual donors strategies. They must find ways for their members to feel invested, including financially, in their work. And they must cultivate major donors who see this sector as a smart place to invest their resources. External validators and already committed donors need to help expand the donor base and make the case that this is where progressive and justiceoriented donors should place their resources. And finally, groups of progressive donors, such as the Democracy Alliance, need to overcome their reluctance to fund faith-based work. No significant social justice changed has occurred in this nation without the presence and leadership of persons of faith. It is time that the revitalized progressive and justice secular movement opened not only its doors to faith groups but also its purses.

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X. Conclusion This report has argued that the progressive and justice faith movement has been, throughout the nations history, a central leader in Americans ongoing quest to be a more equitable, diverse and inclusive society and that it remains an indispensable partner in current efforts to achieve a more complete vision of what American might be for all of its people. On every key issue confronting the nation today, progressive and justice-oriented persons of faith have stood in solidarity with the nations most vulnerable and have worked for expanding opportunity and justice. They have been the moral voice when others have been silent. They have mobilized and leveraged their influence to bring about changes in policies and in political discourse. They have embodied in their own organizations the change that so many in the country seek and for which they long and hope. The last decade has seen great advances in effectiveness, visibility and impact. Any efforts to move the nation in a more just direction cannot and must not ignore this vital sector of civil society. But, for the progressive and justice faith movement to realize its fullest impact and value, it, like all other social change movements and sectors, requires the following. 1) Institutions and infrastructures that are sustainable must be built. 2) Leaders and constituents must be identified, trained and motivated. Human capital is the heart of any movement and every transformative effort needs more than the occasional charismatic leader but professionals who are trained and supported. 3) The faith movement must offer, like the rest of the progressive movement, new ideas, narratives, stories and unimpeachable data. The narrative of the nation must be reinvented through the stories of its people, and research and new and reclaimed ideas must to be brought to bear on policies, public discourse and our visions of the nations. 4) Collaboration and cooperation must be regularized. While progressive and justice faith groups have become increasingly powerful, their ongoing impact entails both internal collaboration and cooperation and a fuller integration into the broader movements for justice and equity in the land. Change is a collective effort and impact requires multiple interconnected groups working together. 5) Finally, reliable and adequate resources must be identified if the movement is to be sustainable and grow, These elements represent tasks before the movement itself. Much work remains internally to be carried out. But they are also what other sectors of the movement for change in America need to support and they are, significantly, where donors and funders need to place their support. Faith leaders do need to build their institutions, identify and train a new generation of leaders, articulate new narratives and stories that change discourse, and work with traditional and new allies to have greater impact. But secular partners and potential allies must open their embrace to this sector more fully, giving faith a place at the table, if real change is to occur. And those institutions, organizations and individuals who fund efforts for greater equity, justice, opportunity, and inclusion must become better informed about faith and its role, and greatly increase their support for this sector. Together, and only together, can change and opportunity for all be our American story.
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*Sheila Greeve Davaney is a Senior Visiting Fellow at the Center for American Progress. She works with the Faith and Public Policy Team. From 2007 -2011 she was the Program Officer for Religion and Public Life at the Ford Foundation. For twenty-seven years she taught Modern Western Thought at Iliff School of Theology, Denver, Colorado, where she was the Harvey H. Potthoff Professor of Christian Theology. In 2008 she was a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Union Theological Seminary in New York. She is the author or editor of eleven volumes and over forty academic articles. She can be reached at **This report will focus on the American scene. Religion is also a key component in international affairs and should receive its own extensive analysis.

The phrase has often been utilized by Sally Steenland, of the Center for American Progress, to indicate the unfortunate reduction of faith to one-side partisan politics in the United States. ""

"Res Publica, The Future of the Progressive Faith Movement, 2005.


A number of intellectuals, including Cornel West and a group of Catholic theologians and ethicists such as Vincent Miller, and David Hollenbach, have emerged to articulate theological and philosophical grounds for social justice. However, there remains, in many instances, a substantial gap between activism and a larger vision. ""

"There are a number of excellent scholarly resources for tracking the changes within the realm of

faith and the public sphere. See Robert D. Putnam and David E. Campbell, American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us (New York: Simon and Schuster, 2010); Robert P. Jones, Progressive and Religious: How Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist Leaders are Moving Beyond the Culture Wars and Transforming America (New York: Rowan and Littlefield, Publishers, INC., 2008); Jeffrey Stout, Blessed the Organized: Grassroots Democracy in America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2010); E.J. Dionne, Souled Out: Reclaiming Faith and Politics After the Religious Right (Princeton, Princeton University Press, 2008); and Helene Sl-Jamir, Prophetic Activism: Progressive Religious Justice Movements in Contemporary America (New York: New York University Press, 2011). See also E. J. Dionne and William Galston Prophetic Voices, Practical Challenges: Social Justice and the Future of Religious Progressives, a report by the Brookings Institution, 2014. For a general take on changes in American religion see the American Values Surveys produced by Public Religion Research Institute.
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" "


"Dionne, Souled Out, 3.


"John Halpin and Ruy Teixeira, The Return of the Obama Coalition, (Washington, DC: Center

for American Progress,, Nov. 8, 2012). "


"Robert P. Jones, quoted in news release, Changing Religious Landscape Challenges Influence

of White Christian Voters (Washington, DC: Public Religion Research Institute,, Nov. 15, 2012). "

"Ross Murray, News Director of GLAAD, states, The playbook for marriage equality has been

rewritten with religious voices leading the way. See Five LGBT Religious Advances in 2012, GLAAD, 12.12.2012. "

"See Theda Skocpol, Diminished Democracy: From Membership to Management in American

Civic Life (Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 2003). "


"Robert P. Jones, Progressive and Religious: How Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Buddhist

Leaders are Moving Beyond the Culture Wars and Transforming American Life (New York: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, INC.2008) 16. "

"See Robert P. Jones and et al, 2012 Pre-Election American Values Survey (Washington, DC:

Public Religion Research Institute,, 2102) and Robert P. Jones and et al 2012 Post-Election American Values Survey (Washington, DC: Public Religion Research Institute,, 2012) for information on the growing unaffiliated population. " "Macky Alston, Director of Auburn Media and Vice-President, Auburn Seminary, meeting, California, 2012. " !$ "William Barber, II, quoted in The Man Behind Moral Mondays by Lynn Stuart Parramore, The American Prospect, June 17, 2013. " "
!% !#

"E.J. Dionne, Religion Challenges Left and Right, Washington Post, August 4, 2013.

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"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" !& "John Gehring, Be Not Afraid?: Guilt by Association, Catholic McCarthyism and Growing

Threats to the U.S. Bishops Anti-Poverty Mission (Washington, DC: Faith in Public Life, 2013). "

Jennifer Butler, Executive Director, Faith in Public Life, interview, Dec. 19, 2012.



"Michelle Alexander, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness

(New York: The New Press, 2010). " "


"Jeffrey Stout, Blessed the Organized, 203.


"The phrase faith-rooted is Alexia Salvatierras, the former executive director of Clergy and

Laity United for Economic Justice in California. " Richard L. Wood, Brad Fulton and Kathryn Partridge, Building Bridges, Building Power: Developments in Institution-Based Community Organizing (Longmont, CO: Interfaith Funders, 2013). For other resources on faith-based organizing see Heidi Swartz, Organizing Urban America: Secular and Faith-Based Progressive Movements (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2008) and Richard L. Wood, Faith in Action: Religion, Race and Democratic Organizing in America (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2002). Wood is also the author of a volume under review entitled A Shared Future: Organizing for Racial Equity in America. ""
#! #+

"Helene Slessarev-Jamir, Prophetic Activism: Progressive Religious Justice Movements in

Contemporary America, 83. "


Wood, Fulton and Partridge, Building Bridges, Building Power, 3.


Steven Greenhouse. The Workers Defense Project, a Union in Spirit, New York Times, August 10, 2013. "" "


Res Publica, The Future of the Progressive Faith Movement.

Media Matters for America, Left Behind: The Skewed Representation of Religion in Major News Media, (Washington, DC: Media Matters for America, July, 2008)."






Diane Winston and John C. Green, Most Americans Say Media Coverage of Religion is too Sensationalized: a Survey of Journalists and their Audiences (Los Angeles: USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, 2012).


Jeffrey Stout, Blessed the Organized, 281.

Macky Alston, Director of Auburn Media and Vice-President, Auburn Seminary, meeting, California, 2013. "" Sharon Groves, Marriage Equality Campaigns: The Difference Faith Makes. The Washington Post, Nov.20, 2012. "" The Immanent Frame, The New Landscape of the Religion Blogosphere, (New York: Social Scientific Research Council, February, 2010). "" Wajahat Ali, Eli Clifton, Matthew Duss, Lee Fang, Scott Keyes, and Faiz Shakir, Fear, Inc.: The Roots of the Islamophobia Network in America (Washington, DC: Center for American Progress, 2011). "" Aaron Belkin, How We Won: Progressive Lessons from the Repeal of Dont Ask, Dont Tell (New York: A Huffington Post Media Group Publication,, 2011). "
$% $$ $# $! $+


"Drew Weston, The Political Brain: The Role of Emotion in Deciding the Fate of the Nation

(New York: Public Affairs, 2007). " Pew Research Centers Project for Excellence in Journalism and the Pew Research Centers Forum on Religion and Public Life Project, Religion in the News: Islam and Politics Dominate Religion Coverage in 2011 (Washington, DC: Pew Research Center,, 2011). "" "

Paul Raushenbush, senior religion editor, Huffington Post, interview, July 26, 2013.""

Ivan Strenski, Amid Uncertainty, Eight Things We Know about the Boston Bombings, Religion Dispatches, April 19, 2013. ""
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Dan Gilgoff, Five Things I Learned Editing the Belief Blog, CNN Belief Blog, December 31, 2012. "" "


Richard Wood, e-mail communication, January 27, 2014.


Hlne Slessarev-Jamir, Prophetic Activism, 38.


Robert P. Jones, Six Challenges for Organizing a Progressive Faith Movement (Washington, DC: Public Religion Research Institute,, Aug.2, 2013). "" Richard L. Trumka, quoted in AFL-CIO President Considers Radical Step to Expand Membership, New York Times, September 7, 2013. " " "
%$ %#


Ana Garcia Ashley, Executive Director, Gamaliel, interview, August 27, 2013. Doug Pagitt, the Cana Initiative, interview, September 5, 2013.


Katharine Henderson, President of Auburn Seminary, repeatedly has made this point in meetings and conversations. "" "" ""


Heidi Thompson, PICO, made this point in a meeting in Washington, DC, 2012. Theda Skocpol, Diminished Democracy. " " " " " " " " " " "




" " " " " " " " Appendix

Below are six case studies that represent the impact the progressive and justice faith movement is having and the breath and depth of its efforts to be within itself the inclusive, diverse and just reality it seeks for the wider society. The cases cover health care, wage theft, marriage equality, economic justice, mobilization of Latinos and the struggle to engage race in todays America. They are concrete example of the power and effectiveness of the movement. They represent, as well, the particular perspectives that the case studies authors bring to complex issues.

Case Study 1: Playing to Win: The Faith Communitys Role in Passing the Affordable Care Act

When President Obama took office in 2009, it appeared that the pieces were finally in place to pass a universal healthcare coverage law a goal that eluded presidents from Truman to Nixon to Clinton. With 60 Democrats in the Senate, a large Democratic majority in the House and the 2008 landslide election lingering in the air, optimism was palpable in progressive circles However, supporters of healthcare reform knew that if we failed, then another chance might not come up for decades. It had been 16 years since President Clintons unsuccessful attempt. Determined not to repeat the mistakes of the past, President Obama chose to eschew the topdown strategy that failed in 1993 and let Congress take the lead. This approach made the efforts of outside groups that much more essential. Close observers knew at the outset that passing healthcare reform would be a steep uphill climb, but there was a vision from the outset of how a strategic coalition of faith groups could make a decisive impact on the debate. Congregation-based organizing networks like the PICO National Network could generate a great volume of clergy contacts to key Members of Congress. Faith in Public Life (FPL), a strategy
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center for the faith community, could shape the media narrative by putting pro-reform clergy and effective messaging front and center. Drawing on FPLs deep relationships with moderate prolife clergy, the religious right could be marginalized and faith leaders could defuse the politically explosive issue of abortion coverage -- the single greatest threat to healthcare reform, and one which progressive Democrats in Congress somehow didnt see coming. Innovation and nimbleness were essential. The usual routine of press conferences, sign-on letters to Congress and anodyne statements of principle from a few national faith leaders wouldnt move the needle with reticent lawmakers or a skeptical news media that had seen it all before. New voices and new tactics were critical. In the first-ever partnership between a national religious community organizing network and a faith-based media strategy group, FPL and PICO joined forces in the spring of 2009 with a campaign including Christian radio ads featuring local clergy leaders in states represented by key Senators making the moral case for healthcare reform. Because of FPLs media engagement, the ads, which first ran in six key states during the Memorial Day Congressional Recess, earned media coverage everywhere from the Associated Press to cable news to Congressional Quarterly to local papers in key states. When the July 4th recess came, the campaign branched out to cable TV ads with similar clergy that gained extensive coverage (and thus free airplay) on cable news. The Family Research Council, a flagship Religious Right group that understands the importance of controlling the media narrative, immediately lashed out at this effort with a press release calling it an anti-faith, anti-family, anti-freedom agenda. It was a sign of fear. Before the alliance between FPL and PICO began, there was a glaring and longstanding disconnect between organizing and media. Community organizing campaigns often failed to seize opportunities to win media coverage that would have magnified their impact. At the same time, reporters and editors were beginning to ask if progressive faith had any grassroots energy or was just a smoke-and-mirrors PR operation. Strategically integrating community organizing and communications expertise was a force multiplier. The Religious Right figured this out in the late 70s and early 80s as the Moral Majoritys mobilization of thousands of congregations and establishment of its media infrastructure went hand in hand. The GOPs strategy to defeat healthcare reform going into summer 2009 was simple: slow-play the legislative process while mounting a relentless disinformation campaign in conservative media paired with a well-financed field operation during the summer recess periods. As Tea Partiers turned Congressional town halls into displays of seething anger over the supposed government takeover of healthcare, the momentum and the narrative in favor of healthcare reform stalled. Amid the growing turmoil, FPL, PICO and a broad range of cosponsors organized 40 Days for Health Reform a multifaceted campaign to shift the debate back to the moral and human consequences of our failed healthcare system. Forty Days included
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cable TV ads featuring clergy, hundreds of church vigils and lobby visits on Capitol Hill by clergy, and a unique live webcast featuring faith leaders from key states and President Barack Obama. More than 144,000 people listened live to the webcast, the ad ran in markets nationwide, and the effort earned 873 media hits, provided a badly needed change to the national conversation. Religion News Service ranked the faith communitys advocacy one of the top two religion storylines of 2009. Although the House passed a bill in the fall, the prospects of ultimate success looked grim by the end of the year. Among the holdouts in the Senate was Ben Nelson, a pro-life Nebraska Democrat who had reservations about the possibility that the legislation would provide federal funds for abortion services. With funding from Unity 09, FPL dispatched a field organizer to Omaha and put together a sign-on letter from dozens of prominent Nebraska clergy saying the abortion funding provisions satisfied their concerns and calling on Sen. Nelson to vote in favor of the Senate bill. The letter also ran as a full-page ad in the Omaha World-Herald, and the letter earned coverage in the Lincoln Journal-Star, CBS News and an AP story that ran in more than 100 outlets. This move provided Nelson with reassurances and political cover that swayed his vote in favor of the bill. When Republican Scott Brown won a special election for the late Ted Kennedys senate seat in January 2010, the Democrats lost their filibuster-proof majority and some weak-kneed lawmakers threw in the towel. Meanwhile, the Religious Rights effort to portray the Senate bill as a spigot of federal funding for abortion had won a crucial ally in the US Conference of Catholic Bishops. Staffers for Catholic Democrats in the House confided that their bosses were completely boxed in. Some wanted to vote for final passage of reform but had no political cover. Others were misinformed and morally conflicted. The whip counts were coming up short, and secular progressive powerhouse groups turned to FPL, Catholics United and Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good to solve the problem. FPL found an unimpeachable health policy expert, Prof. Timothy Jost of Washington & Lee Law School, to pen an authoritative case that the Senate version of healthcare reform didnt provide federal funding of abortion. After publishing his paper on FPLs web site, we made sure the media and wavering Democratic offices noticed. Days later, two more major breakthroughs came from the faith community. First, the Catholic Health Association stated support for the Senate bill. Shortly afterward, NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby released a letter of endorsement signed by the leaders of Americas largest and most influential organizations representing Catholic nuns. As a final vote loomed, the pleas from office after office were clear more cover, more cover, more cover. Political careers were on the line. FPL used Josts analysis to work with journalists
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on news stories that detailed how the bill would not change the status quo regarding abortion funding, and also provided aggressive media outreach to ensure wide coverage of NETWORKs letter. FPL, Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good, and Catholics United logged countless hours showing Catholic legislators that the factual basis and the political cover to vote for healthcare reform were solid. As the US Conference of Catholics Bishops and Religious Right groups made their last-ditch efforts to defeat the bill on the eve of a key vote, FPL organized a rapid-response press conference on Capitol Hill with Professor Jost, pro-life clergy, a packet of evidence, and several pro-life Democratic Representatives urging their colleagues to support reform. When the moment of truth arrived, a bloc of Catholic Democrats hailing from blue-collar Midwestern districts, who knew they were taking a tremendous political risk, voted for final passage of the Affordable Care Act. Some of these Members and their staffs said that without the faith communitys all-out efforts in the final days of the debate healthcare reform would have been defeated. If the Religious Right had dominated the faith-and-politics landscape in 2009 and 2010 like they had in years past, not only would the Affordable Care Act have lost, but religion would have been a cudgel that helped kill it to the detriment of millions of the most vulnerable Americans. Prepared by Dan Nejfelt Messaging and Training Manager Faith in Public Life

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Case Study 2: PICO National Network: Nurturing a Commitment to Racial & Economic Inclusion

PICO National Network is committed to the radical awakening of faith that lives at the center of the movement and struggle for racial and economic inclusion. This commitment was first born out of a concern for diversity among professional staff, but quickly blossomed into a broader interest in developing a racial and economic lens that informed every dimension of our work, including issue campaigns and leadership formation. Today, PICO describes itself as a multicultural, multi-faith network committed to racial and economic justice. PICOs foray into matters related to racial justice began among the ranks of professional staff observing the dearth of staff of color in the network, which was accompanied by a high turnover among staff of color and very low representation among directors and lead organizers. The initial response was two-pronged: 1) the creation of two new national positions for recruitment and professional development, and 2) an investment in multiculturalism training for all staff, led by VISIONS, Inc. This investment resulted in the development of the Organizers of Color Leadership Seminar, a yearlong professional development program for experienced organizers of color preparing them for greater roles of leadership in their local organizations and the national network. In addition to producing a number of new directors and lead organizers, this program also helped to uncover and clarify gaps in the broader development of staff that had contributed to the pattern of turnover among staff of color. Furthermore, it generated a deeper discussion about the intersection of race and broader aspects of our organizing, including leadership development and issue campaigns. Our initial exploration focused largely on the investment in staff of color around how the oppression of race impacted them at personal and interpersonal levels. Increasingly, we saw the need to bring a systems level analysis to a conversation that included all staff, including white staff, but also all of the clergy and leaders in the PICO Network. In consultation with partners, including Heather McGhee of D!mos and John Powell of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at Ohio State University (now at the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society), PICO developed the Land of Opportunity narrative. Shaped by our understanding of how structural racialization and implicit bias both created and restricted opportunity for communities of color, this narrative created new spaces for conversation, analysis and creativity in PICOs organizing, and in the leadership formation of our clergy and community lay leaders. This narrative reflects our commitment to build a multifaith movement that awakens an alternative narrative of compassion and opportunity.

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Today, all of our major campaigns are informed by this narrative and analysis. This narrative has opened our imagination for organizing to end mass incarceration, reduce gun violence, restore rights to formerly incarcerated citizens, expand access to health care, achieve dignity for workers, win citizenship for 11 million immigrants, create great schools for all children, and close the racial gaps in voting. By engaging this conversation and analysis around race, we are nurturing a new generation of civic leaders, and building multi-racial coalitions that unite African-American, Latino, Asian and white communities around breakthrough, values-based campaigns at the local, state and national level that win economic dignity and racial justice, and structurally shift power to working families. Working with our partners in the religious and civil rights communities we intend to provoke a deeper, more sustained public conversation about race, a conversation that leads to a renewed commitment to eliminate racial disparities that persist throughout our society. We are convinced that progress on our specific policy goals and the larger task of building a new multi-racial coalition for social justice require that we move toward, not away from a frank reckoning with racial privilege. We believe this work can be done in a way that invites everyone in and leaves us stronger at the end of the day. Absent this confrontation with our lived experience of race, we leave it to other players to use racial code and racial anxiety to divide working people against each other. The path to this commitment has been transformational for PICO staff, clergy and leaders. We are better at listening to one another, better at telling our stories and the stories of our communities. We increasingly understand how the oppression of difference lives at the heart of a dominant narrative that has shaped public life. However, we are clear that this is a journey, and that there are deeper discoveries ahead. Much of our success, and the success of the broader movement, depend on a commitment to nurture the kind of exploration, conversation and analysis that reverses the impact of the oppression of race and class difference in our society. Prepared by Rev. Michael-Ray Mathews Director of Clergy Organizing PICO National Network

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Case Study 3: The Effectiveness of the Religious Community in the Movement for Economic Justice and Workers Rights: Wage Theft Ordinances in Houston, TX and Grand Rapids, MI

For many of Americas workers a full days work does not always yield a full days pay. Wage theft is a crime that most often robs from those with the least the working poor, many of whom either do not know their rights or are afraid or unable to assert them. A landmark survey of workers in low-wage jobs found that more than two-thirds of workers surveyed had suffered at least one wage violation. On average, these workers lost about 15% of their already minimal pay to wage theft. Alongside efforts to push for stronger wage protections on the federal level, groups around the country have been organizing and mobilizing support for the passage of state laws and local ordinances that protect workers against wage theft. To date about 24 local anti-wage theft laws have been passed in cities across the country. In many of those cities, religious leaders and the faith community played integral roles in the passage of wage protection laws. Houston Wage Theft Ordinance Passed: November 2013 IWJ Affiliate: Fe y Justicia Just as in other cities, wage theft has become a pervasive problem in Houston that impacts not just the citys workers and their families, but also business owners, consumers and the community as a whole. According to a report by the Fe y Justicia Worker Center, an Interfaith Worker Justice affiliate, over 100 wage and hour violations occur in Houston every week, which translates to more than $753.2 million in stolen wages annually. Weve always known about the great hardships faced by workers due to wage theft, says Jose Eduardo Sanchez, an organizer with Fe y Justicia and the reports primary author. However, we also know that there were effects beyond just the worker, that also affected entire communities and our local economy. In 2012, Fe y Justicia, along with a broad coalition of community, faith, and labor organizations, responsible business owners and consumers launched the Down with Wage Theft Campaign. One of the campaigns goals was to pass an anti-wage theft ordinance that increases real consequences for companies and employers that steal from their workers.

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Over a two-year period, members of the Fe y Justicia Worker Center worked to educate the public and City Council members on the social and economic impacts of wage theft, convened community meetings, and took to the streets, when necessary. In November 2013, the coalition saw and celebrated the passage of the Houston Anti-Wage Theft ordinance. According to Fe y Justicia Executive Director, Laura Boston, the support of faith leaders and the faith community in general was a critical element to the passage of the Anti-Wage Theft Ordinance and the overall success of the campaign. According to Ms. Boston, the faith community raised the moral high ground and communicated righteous indignation about the pervasiveness of wage theft in the community. Faith leaders and congregations helped ensure a successful campaign both publicly and behind the scenes. They invited organizers and workers to speak at their congregations and at their church events. Faith leaders helped engage workers and allies on the issue by mobilizing support for on-the-ground actions and petition signatures, speaking and praying at public rallies and marches, visiting council members and inviting them to do the right thing, and encouraging workers in their congregations to come forward to denounce their own cases of wage theft. The Rev. Ronnie Lister, co-founder of the International Center of World Spirituality and one of the key faith leaders in the Down With Wage Theft Campaign, believes the presence of the faith community highlighted the moral virtue of the campaign. We found that council members tended to be more receptive to clergy and faith leaders, Rev. Lister said. When leaders from different faith communities we were very interfaith came together to lift up wage theft as a moral and spiritual issue, it became difficult for City Council members to deny the need to pass an anti-wage theft ordinance. Rev. Lister commended Fe y Justicia for the extensive outreach they did to engage Houstons faith community. In the end, he said, the work paid off. As more and more congregations became involved, Rev. Lister said it became easier for the campaign to reach more workers and community allies. It was through those church meetings that the campaign was able to reach more workers, educate them about their rights and organize them to support the campaign, Rev. Lister said. With a wage protection ordinance now in effect, Rev. Lister believes the faith community has a significant role to play in making sure protections are implemented and workers rights are protected. Houstons Anti-Wage Theft Ordinance establishes a process housed in the Office of the Inspector General through which employees can bring wage claims forward. Companies with a documented record of wage theft either final adjudication from a court of competent jurisdiction or a criminal conviction will be included in a publicly listed database on the Citys
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website and will be ineligible for city contracts or sub-contracts. Additionally, any company with a criminal conviction of wage theft will be ineligible to receive occupational permits and licenses. Grand Rapids Wage Theft Ordinance Passed: November 2012 The Micah Center In 2012, the Grand Rapids City Commission passed a Wage Theft ordinance that ties anti-wage theft measures to city contracts and sets up standards to make sure city contractors do not steal wages. With the regulations in place, businesses engaging in wage theft will be disqualified from city contracts, and contractors found to commit wage theft will not receive payment until workers are properly compensated. The Grand Rapids anti-wage theft campaign began the day The Rev. Vern Hoffman, founder of the Micah Center, picked up a copy of Kim Bobos book, Wage Theft in America. Moved by issues highlighted in the book, Rev. Hoffman felt compelled to share the message and began organizing book studies across the city. It really started with Verns efforts to organize book readings, which then got people talking about wage theft, Micah Center Director, Jordan Bruxvoort said. As people became aware of the issue, they started sharing their own wage theft experience many of them didnt know they were victims to begin with. It quickly became clear that wage theft is in fact a big problem in Grand Rapids. From 2011 to 2012, The Micah Center and the Michigan Organizing Project carried out an education and organizing campaign against wage theft. With the support of Grand Rapids City Mayor George Heartwell a longtime friend of Rev. Hoffman a task force was created to look into the citys growing wage theft problem. In September 2011, the group released a documentary, featuring local workers who have experienced wage theft. We showed the documentary at numerous churches, Mr. Bruxvoort said. Once people heard the stories, they began to understand how wage theft is a moral issue and it became almost impossible for them not to support the campaign. According to Mr. Bruxvoort, the faith community was the main driving force behind the campaign. Clergy and members of their congregations showed up in huge numbers at almost every community hearing, he said. The Grand Rapids Wage Theft Ordinance was a major and exciting victory for workers and a big step towards addressing the citys growing wage theft problem. The story of how the wage theft
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campaign took shape is a testament to the critical role the faith community plays in promoting and protecting the rights of working people. The Micah Center sees the passage of the wage theft ordinance as an opportunity to partner further with the city in ensuring the protection of workers rights. In the near future, the Micah Center hopes to start a worker center that will help bring forward cases covered by the new ordinance. Prepared by Cathy Junia Communications Director Interfaith Worker Justice

Case Study 4: NaLEC: Mobilizing Hispanic Evangelicals for the Common Good

What is the National Latino Evangelical Coalition (NaLEC)? The National Latino Evangelical Coalition (NaLEC) is a coalition of 3,000 evangelical churches, clergy, and faith-based organizations that has responded to the need to broaden the base of religious voices in the public sphere committed to the common good. Latino evangelical voices are a growing demographic that will continue to be a vital component of cultural and policy discussions for years to come. NaLEC has become the premier Hispanic evangelical organization moving Hispanic evangelicals beyond the classical culture wars historically associated with US evangelicalism. NaLEC is extremely successful in educating and advocating around common good issues and expanding Hispanic evangelicals engagement in the public sphere. They are leaders in national campaigns around immigration reform, protecting anti-poverty programs, expanding national healthcare, educational equity, gun control, combating voter suppression, and promoting antideath penalty legislation. The work of NaLEC has been highlighted by the Center for American Progress (CAP), Huffington Post, and The Brookings Institute. In 2013, Rev. Gabriel Salguero, President of NaLEC, was named by CAP as one of 13 progressive religious voices to watch. Huffington Post named Rev. Salguero one of the most influential Latino faith leaders in the country. Why NaLEC is an important voice? Their numbers are growing-and fast. Today there are 31 million Hispanics in the United States. By 2050 the population is projected to be 91 millionan increase of more than 200

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percent. And, Hispanics are younger than the rest of the nation: a third are under 18. [Latino Americans: The Face of the Future, Newsweek, July 12, 1999] The Hispanic Boom Much has been said of the Hispanic boom in the United States. In March 2004, Business Week published a special feature entitled Hispanic Nation in which it asked, Is America ready for the Hispanic Boom? The 45.5 million US Hispanics currently make up about 15 percent of the population. While the vast majority of Latinos are Catholic, a January 2003 research project by University of Notre Dames Institute for Latino Studies (Hispanic Churches in American Public Life) reported the following statistics:

77 percent (8.1 million) of all Latino non-Catholics are Protestant or other Christian. Of this group, 85 percent (7 million) identify as Protestant. Of those, the great majority are Evangelical or Pentecostal. In a recent survey of Hispanics, The Public Religion Research Institute found that 13% to 15% of U.S. Hispanics claim to be evangelical. There are now more Latino Protestants in the United States than Jews, Muslims, or Episcopalians and Presbyterians combined.

The Absence of Hispanic Evangelical Voices Advocating for the Common Good: Although Hispanic evangelical voices are increasingly being heard in national conversations, few focus on advocacy beyond immigration reform. Moreover, much money and energy is being invested in recruiting Hispanic evangelicals as allies in the culture wars of 1980s and 1990s. The Heritage Foundation has branched out to a Spanish-language web page and initiative called Herencia. In addition, other conservative organizations like The Affordable Power Alliance and The Libre Initiative focused on recruiting Hispanic evangelicals to advocate for less government regulation around environmental policies and denouncing the Affordable Care Act. Focused outreach by conservative groups and foundations is targeting Hispanic evangelicals to become part of a new more ethnically diverse Moral Majority or Christian Coalition. Conversely, many secular justice organizations have ignored this growing group of potential collaborators. NaLEC is a primary example of the possibility to broaden the coalition of organizations committed to the common good. For far too long progressives have ignored the power that religious voices can exert in some of the most pressing challenges the nation faces. Recent elections have demonstrated an attempt to re-engage these voices, and in particular Latino faith voices, in the struggle for good governance and the common good. The National Latino Evangelical Coalition (NaLEC) is one of the emerging voices in this necessary re-engagement. NaLECs work highlighted:

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Among the plethora of achievements that NaLEC can celebrate is their commitment to engage and mobilize catalytic Hispanic evangelical pastors and young Latino/a evangelicals around just policies. NaLECs leadership as champions for affordable healthcare, immigration reform, educational equity and protecting poverty programs were the core principles that drove two of their most successful initiatives: NaLECs Nuestro Futuro Registration Campaign and NaLECs Advocacy Institute.

In the summer of 2011, NaLEC launched its Nuestro Futuro Voter Registration in Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. They gathered an average of 150 influential Hispanic evangelical pastors and youth leaders and established Values Forums around common good policies and just governance. Three major rallies were held in Orlando, FL, Cleveland, OH, and Lehigh Valley, PA where thousands of new voters, many of them young evangelicals, were registered to vote for the first time. In addition, key pastors were trained on a broad-based justice values voting. Both national and local press covered the campaign with the articles on What Latino evangelical voters want? This campaign has been influential in reframing the narrative and trajectory of the Hispanic evangelical vote in 2009. As a result, NaLEC established itself as a trusted national spokesperson for the Hispanic evangelical community in terms of public policy. Nuestro Futuro has now evolved into a youth civic engagement initiative for young Latinos and Latinas.!

More recently, NaLEC as an extension of its immigration reform workshops has launched its Advocacy Institute. NaLECs Advocacy Institute replicated the success they had in training influential and mega-church pastors on immigration reform talking points. NaLEC hosted 120 of the nations grass-tops and thought leaders to train them on advocacy and mobilization around their three main public foci of the year: protecting anti-poverty programs, immigration reform, and educational equity. The Advocacy Institute has a reach of over 3,000 Hispanic evangelicals because it trains bishops, mega-church pastors, and college administrators on a broad justice and common good Latino evangelical agenda.

NaLEC continues to work on justice policy issues like immigration reform and has recently also partnered with African-American clergy to tackle issues of mass incarceration and racial profiling. While a young organization they are one of the most promising Hispanic faith organizations in the nation and they speak to a group that is critical to justice work, Latino evangelicals. Prepared by Rev. Gabriel Salguero President NaLEC (National Latino Evangelical Coalition)
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Case Study 5: What God Has Joined Together: The role of faith-rooted organizing in the LGBT equality movement and the marriage equality wins of 2012

Throughout the 20th and 21st Centuries, the struggle for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) equality in the US has been defined largely in religious terms. Forces opposing LGBT equality have based their arguments on Christian themes of natural law and the sacrament of marriage between one man and one woman. One among countless examples of such Christian framing to justify civil law is the landmark 1986 Bowers vs. Hardwick Supreme Court ruling, in which the decision to uphold the sodomy laws in Georgia was based on 2000 years of moral teaching. Religion has also been critical for those who stand for LGBT equality. Struggles in churches, synagogues and denominations for LGBT equality in the 1960s, fueled by the Civil Rights and feminist movements, provided early locations for building the base, developing leaders and establishing critical skills and infrastructure for the wider LGBT equality movement. It was in those early struggles that denominational and religious advocacy networks such as Dignity, Integrity, and More Light Presbyterians were established, representing strongly affiliated faith rooted activists numbering in the tens of thousands.47 As a result of this organizing, religious institutions began to reconsider their policies on sexual orientation and later on gender identity, leading to early stands for equality taken by, among others, the Quakers, the Unitarian Universalists, the United Church of Christ and the Jewish Reform Movement creating a domino effect that continues to advance LGBT equality across the denominational landscape. Around the same time, congregations and networks of congregations were launched outside traditional denominations that were led by and developed intentionally to nurture LGBT people and advance our equality, most significantly the Metropolitan Community Church, arising out of mostly white Pentecostal and Catholic contexts in 1968 and later the Unity Fellowship Church Movement and the Fellowship of Affirming Ministries, both arising in predominantly African American contexts.

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A hallmark of the religious LGBT equality movement is a commitment to collective impact vs. competition across denominational and organizational lines. Over the past 40 years, leaders of the LGBT-focused faith groups networked through conferences and as need arose, until in 2002 the Institute for Welcoming Resources (IWR) was formed, which became the central hub that connected the network. Initially independent, IWR became housed by the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (NGLTF) in 2006, where it continues its work. Another important effort to organize collectively occurred that same year when the four faith organizers employed by the major national LGBT organizations decided to coordinate strategy in a way that was largely counter-cultural to the movement at large and continues in various forms to this day47. The skills and networks developed within, outside of and across religious organizations, denominations, traditions, and regions were critical to the wins we saw in 2012 and that we continue to see today. Funding is also a critical factor both in the success of anti-LGBT religious organizing and more recently in pro-LGBT religious organizing. In the last decade, a handful of pro-LGBT funders saw the importance of supporting the religious LGBT equality movement as it worked for cultural wins in the religious denominations, thinking that those wins might lead to legislative victories and cultural change more broadly. For example, the Arcus Foundation, the biggest donor to this sector, funded LGBT organizing in the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and the Presbyterian Church/USA that led to watershed legislative changes in all three denominations in 2009. Other significant funders include the E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Evelyn & Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, and Mitchell Golds Faith in America Foundation. When Proposition 8 passed in California in November 2008, a bill funded largely by conservative religious organizations such as the Catholic Church and the Church of the Latter Day Saints/Mormons, the secular LGBT equality movement47 began to reconsider its strategy to advocate for LGBT equality, which had to that point focused on civil rights and liberties rather than faith and family values. In 2009, the Arcus Foundation supported a series of three studies in the sample state of Michigan to test the viability of advocating for LGBT equality as the Christian/moral thing to do, vs. in spite of Christian/moral teachings. These studies indicated 1) that Michigan voters were ready to stand for LGBT equality in surprising numbers (with the exception of marriage), 2) that secular and faith-rooted organizers faced challenges in collaborating but had opportunities that could lead to significant gains, and 3) that the Christian case for LGBT equality was more persuasive than the Christian case against it when presented side by side to conflicted Christian voters, both white and African American.47

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These findings were distributed widely within the religious and secular LGBT equality movement, so that when the 2012 marriage equality campaigns developed their strategy, the four out of five state campaigns that won (Maine, Maryland, Minnesota and Washington state) incorporated the recommendations of these studies in regard to organizing, communications strategy and messaging. For the first time in the history of the LGBT movement, faith organizing became a central component of the overall movement strategy to win. All four state-based campaigns that won in 2012 had a faith director, who - except in the case of Minnesota - were made possible through funding from the Human Rights Campaign. These faith directors trained and deployed thousands of field organizers who were sensitive to issues of faith and were prepared to make the faithrooted case for LGBT equality in massive numbers of persuasive conversations with people of faith. Additionally, in all four states (and in North Carolina) the denominationally rooted religious programs were key allies in mobilizing their constituents. This created a kind of hybrid between campaign faith organizers and existing pro-LGBT religious infrastructure that had been built over the previous four decades. In Minnesota, this religious hybrid tracked over 100,000 faithful conversations, and it was a central strategy for Washington and Maine as well. Additionally, in each of these states, faith leaders were identified as critical public advocates for the campaign. Clergy and overtly religious spokespeople were provided media training by Auburn Media at Auburn Seminary, and were featured prominently and consistently in the press strategy through media interviews and paid television advertising.47 In the two states in which exit polls were conducted after victories at the ballot, the religious messaging and messengers were named as a critical factor in swinging votes in support of marriage equality. After the 2012 campaigns, faith organizers from the five states were convened with national organizers by Dr. Sharon Groves at the Human Rights Campaign to reflect on lessons learned from the year, so that best practices might be applied to campaigns and movement work in the years ahead.47 Consequently, the faith-rooted strategy and organizing that proved effective in 2012 continues to be deployed in states like Rhode Island, New Jersey, Illinois, and Oregon, leveraging well-developed networks, strategies, and messaging to make the moral case for equality. Drafted by Macky Alston Director and Founder of Auburn Media and Vice-President for Strategy, Engagement and Media at Auburn Seminary

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Case Study 6: Nuns on the Bus: Driving a Catholic Narrative on the Federal Budget

Few issues unite religious leaders like that of ensuring low-income families have a path out of poverty. In recent years the highly polarized debates over Congressman Paul Ryans draconian budget proposals, which have set the tone for a drastic shift in Congressional support for government programs that help families out of poverty, have galvanized the faith community like none other. The challenge is that while faith communities see economic inequality as a top priority and one on which they have both moral and front lines expertise, most view budget fights, deficit debates and government shut downs as the realm of economists. The faith community may speak of the budget as a moral document and circles of protection around the poor, but rarely has it been able to break through the din of policy wonks and politicians on this priority issue. This all began to change thanks to opportunities presented by Catholic politicians like John Boehner and Paul Ryan, both of whom have sought to justify their economic policies-- which threaten the survival low-income familieswith their Catholic faith. Throughout 2010 and 2011 Catholic theologians and thought leaders began to earn media coverage by challenging the hypocrisy of Catholic politicians who have actually justified their cuts to programs for lowincome people as Catholic. In one such event on June 2011 FPL filmed a Catholic activist offering a Bible to Paul Ryan and asking him: why do you choose to model your budget on the extreme ideology of Ayn Rand rather than the principles of economic justice in the Bible? The video went viral leading to a flurry of news coverage including a headline on Time Magazines website the next day: Paul Ryans Ayn Rand Problem. A USA Today opinion piece by Stephan Prather was titled Ayn Rand v. Jesus.

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An ongoing media narrative about rigorous debates among leading Catholics around budget issues and protecting the poor was solidly in place by 2012. In April of that year the Vatican made national headlines by announcing it would be investigating the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), an umbrella group representing 80 percent of Catholic sisters and nuns in the U.S. for what it called radical feminism and their purported failure to condemn such issues as abortion and same sex marriage. The report also mentioned NETWORK, A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby, as a source of the problems. Founded by Catholic Sisters in 1971, NETWORK had worked closely with LCWR throughout its history. The Washington Post headline read American nuns Stunned by Vatican Accusation of radical feminism, crackdown. If the nuns were stunned, the public was even more puzzled. Seizing that media environment, a unique and rare campaign developedone that united a broad cross section of progressive leaning to more moderate organizations. Rarely has the progressive movement been so united around the leadership of a religious community. Two dynamics enabled this unprecedented successful partnership between more secular leaning progressives and religious leaders. After an avalanche of media interest in NETWORK because of the Vatican report, staff members chose to use this sudden fame to further its social justice mission. Sr. Simone Campbell, NETWORKs Executive Director, showed compelling and courageous leadership by calling on both faith and secular colleagues in Washington for strategic support and partnership. Meanwhile, NETWORK and the Leadership Conference of Women Religious stayed focused on their mission of helping the poor and oppressed, deploying bold strategies rather than become timid or resigned in the face of a harsh rebuke from the Vatican. Facing what seemed to be a no win situation, NETWORK and LCWR did what faith leaders do beststick to their convictions and step out on faith. Progressives also rose to the occasion. On one level progressives felt a sense of gratitude for the Catholic sisters who had valiantly defended health care reform in 2010 even in the face of opposition from Catholic Bishops. The Vaticans crackdown came across as just one more Catholic attack on women and health care to an already frustrated group of progressive activist groupsone that could not be ignored. A series of planning meetings with key allies led by Sister Simone Campbell of NETWORK hatched the idea of Nuns on the Bus, A Drive for Faith, Families, and Fairness. The tour was not only well-titled (as Stephen Colbert put it, that sounds like a movie right there!); it was also well timed and focused. The planning group designed a nine-state bus tour through heavily Catholic Midwest and Mid-Atlantic states that would highlight the work of Catholic-sponsored social service agencies that serve those on the economic margins and stand to be harmed by Rep. Paul Ryans budget proposal. The fact that this was a presidential election year and Rep. Paul Ryan was soon thereafter named the Vice Presidential running mate to Republican candidate Mitt Romney helped draw media attention.
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The Nuns on the Bus media strategy amplified the Catholic Sisters moral messaging on the economy, and a Faith in Public Life staffer acted as the traveling press liaison, ensuring tight message discipline throughout the two-week tour. Through this coordinated media strategy, NETWORKs Nuns on the Bus successfully marginalized coverage and the influence of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops Fortnight for Freedom rallies (protesting the Health and Human Services contraception coverage mandate) while keeping the focus on kitchen-table economic priorities of the middle class and working poor. The tour as designed captured the public imagination around what everyone loves about Nuns: their hutzpah, humor and compassion. Progressive funders stepped up to finance initial costs of the bus and as news of the tour hit the press thousands of supporters gave to the cause. Media coverage was generated in over 1,400 national and local outlets including the Associated Press, CNN, CBS Evening News, New York Times and Washington Post. The coverage and grassroots support successfully highlighted the unique contribution of women religious to Americas social fabric, marginalized coverage of the Bishops religious liberty campaign, and refocused the public debate on the critical moral choices facing voters in Novembers 2012 presidential election. The coverage elevated a new household name in progressive religion: Sister Simone Campbell. Never before has a progressive leaning religious campaign created as high a personal profile as that gained by Sister Simone and NETWORKs Nuns on the Bus. Subsequently, the success of the original NETWORK Nuns on the Bus tour created an opportunity for additional tours in Ohio, Missouri, Virginia and more, with campaigns that included a focus on Medicaid expansion. During the ongoing and contentious 2013 immigration reform debate, NETWORKs Nuns on the Bus successfully took to the road again for a 6,800 mile tour that ran from New York to San Francisco. The tour leaders called on members of Congress to recognize the moral crisis of a broken immigration system that tears families apart and undermines our nations best values. During all these journeys, the Sisters stood prayerfully and in solidarity with people at the margins. They also engaged in deep listening to their stories, which have influenced NETWORKs advocacy and that of numerous progressive allies ever since. Prepared By Jennifer Butler CEO Faith in Public Life

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