Friday, February 23, 2024

Over 400 PA Faith Leaders, Advocates Unite At First-Ever Statewide Interfaith Convention, Setting The Stage For Legislative Change On Climate, Justice & Jobs

On February 19,
POWER Interfaith brought together hundreds of faith leaders, advocates, and community members at the Roadmap for Justice Interfaith Convention in Norristown, PA. 

This historic, first-ever statewide gathering marked a pivotal moment as the organization, composed of more than 200 congregations, launched its 2024 legislative agenda, comprised of five issue areas:

-- Education Justice: Pennsylvania’s children deserve fully funded schools free from racial or economic biases. Providing high-quality education for Black, brown, and low-income families is a moral imperative. 

-- Climate Justice & Jobs: A prosperous Pennsylvania needs a healthy planet. Pollution and greed have damaged our communities – we must rebuild them sustainably so we all prosper.  Specific recommendations include-

     -- Fund bipartisan Whole Home Repair Program

     -- Enact and fund K-12 School Solar Energy Program

     -- Amend Alternative Energy Portfolio Standards to achieve 30% renewable energy by 2030

     -- Address public transit funding crisis to prevent service cuts and fare hikes

-- Live Free: Everyone deserves to live free. We must change a judicial system that devalues and destroys Black and brown life.

-- Economic Dignity: Our communities should not be forced to choose between decent jobs, safe housing, wholesome food, and health- or child-care.

-- Expanding Democracy: We must work to protect our rights, ensuring that easy voting is expanded, not restricted.

Participants of all races, ages, and faith traditions, representing counties from across Pennsylvania, came together to discuss POWER Interfaith’s platform with Rep. Matthew Bradford (D-Montgomery), Majority Leader of the House, and Rep. Peter Schweyer (D-Lehigh), Majority Chair of the Education Committee, and addressed critical issues impacting communities across the state.

“This convention represents a historic moment of unity and purpose,” said Rev. Keitha Wiggins-Kennedy, POWER Interfaith board member & Senior Pastor of St. John A.M.E. Zion in Bethlehem, PA. “We’re not only shaping tomorrow but actively building a more just and inclusive society today.”

The event also included meaningful dialogues and relationship building amongst congregations. 

As a testament to the convention's impact and significance, participants left energized, committed to translating POWER Interfaith’s shared vision into concrete advocacy efforts, including contacting and asking their local legislators to support policies that ensure a just society for all Pennsylvanians.

Click Here to learn more about the Roadmap for Justice.

Related Articles:

-- Interfaith Partners For Chesapeake Faith & Waters Restoration Summit Attracts Nearly 200, Executive Director Jodi Rose Leaving For New Position  [PaEN]

-- Interfaith Partners For The Chesapeake: Lancaster Congregations For Clean Water 

[Posted: February 23, 2024]  PA Environment Digest

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