CPJ's Front Row

Front Row: November 3, 2021 -  Congress Should Change “Build Back Better” to Make it Welcoming to Faith-Based Child Care and Pre-K Programs

Congress and the White House are in continuous and contentious discussion about President Biden’s Build Back Better plan, also known as the reconciliation bill or the social welfare bill. Public attention has been mainly captured by the big issues: how many trillions of dollars will the bill total? What tax changes will be made? How dramatic will be the actions against climate change? What size the benefits for families? And so on.

Front Row: July 13, 2021 -  Investing in Communities: A Conversation About Juvenile Probation Reform with Eugene Schneeberg

It costs more to send a young person to a juvenile facility in any state than to Harvard University.  What if we advocated for a different kind of resource allocation and envisioned a space of restoration? Read as Katie Thompson interviews Director for the Every Youth Every Facility Coalition Eugene Schneeberg as part of Shared Justice's Opportunity for Transformation series. 

Front Row: July 6, 2021 -  How Two Counties Are Leading the Way in Juvenile Probation Transformation 

 Research shows that young people of color are disproportionately given juvenile probationary sentences and that diversion efforts that refer a child to counseling or other social services are more effective in reducing recidivism than probation.  Read as Esther Lagerway discusses the reimagined juvenile justice system and the value of different partnerships in seeking juvenile probation reform as a part of the Opportunity for Transformation series.

Front Row: June 29, 2021 -  A Better Way Forward: How Diversion Programs Offer Youth Opportunities For Success

Statistics illustrate that teenagers who come into contact with the criminal justice system are more likely to reoffend than those who are diverted away from probation. Read as Elizabeth Miller examines and explores how diversion programs redirect youth into partnerships between governments and community-based organizations as a part of Shared Justice's Opportunity for Transformation series.

Front Row: June 22, 2021 -  An Interview with Justin Giboney: Its Time for Christians to Lead on Juvenile Probation Reform

What steps can Christians take to help reform the juvenile probation system? Can juvenile probation reform be a bipartisan effort? As part of Shared Justice's Opportunity for Transformation series, Shared Justice Program Director Katie Thompson interviewed AND Campaign co-founder and president Justin Giboney.

Front Row: June 15, 2021 -  Instagram Live: Transforming Juvenile Probation

Yasmine Arrington, Founder and Director of ScholarCHIPS, will be hosting a CPJ Instagram Live Series every Tuesday at noon this June featuring four experts in the field who will share about how to make a difference in juvenile probation reform at a local level. Watch this week's session featuring Derell Frazier, Policy and Engagement Community Manager at Mental Health Association of Maryland. 

Front Row: June 8, 2021 - Hatfield Happenings: An Update from the Hatzfield Prize Recipients

A few weeks ago we introduced Hatfield Happenings: a new social media series spotlighting our 2021 Hatfield Prize recipients and their reseach proess. Check out our Vimeo page to hear from the recipients about what has been the most rewarding part of the Hatfield Prize research experience so far, in their own words!

Front Row: June 1, 2021 - Faith Leaders Call on Congress to Support Pro-Family, Pro-Worker Policies

The vulnerable beginnng stages of life—pregnancy, childbirth, and infancy—involve, in the United States, more risk than they should. Congress should prioritize investment in policy research, data collection and accountability structures that reduce racial and economic maternal health inequities and improve infant and maternal health. 

Front Row: May 25, 2021 - CPJ's Work with the Faith for Just Lending Coalition

Many households have faced financial hardship over the past year becoming more vulnerable to the predatory practices of payday and car title loan stores operating nationwide. The Center for Public Justice is a member of the Faith for Just Lending Coalition and applauds the Senate's recent decision in relation to the OCC's National Banks and Federal Savings Associations as Lenders rule. Check out the coalitions's website to stay up-to-date with CPJ's work with FJL.

Front Row: May 18, 2021 - Essay Collection: Faith-Based Initiative at 25 Years: A Common Ground for Common Good Conversation

With the recent re-establishment of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Dr. Stanley Carlson-Thies, Senior Director of the Institutional Religous Freedom Alliance (IRFA) reflected on the 25 year arc of the faith-based initiative in his essay “The Biden Partnerships Plan is Faith-Based Initiative 5.0.” This collection includes various responses as well as an afterword by the inaugural director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, John J. DiIulio Jr.

Front Row: May 11, 2021 - Podcast: Should Christians Cheer Biden's Plan for Families?

 President Biden recently addressed Congress and introduced a proposal that would mandate paid parental leave, provide universal pre-K, and help with childcare costs for low-income families; policies that are necessary to provide the much needed support to families across the country.  Listen as Rachel Anderson joins Christianity Today's Quick to Listen Podcast to discuss why paid family leave has not been embraced in America, why family policy critics often take contrary positions on parents working or not, and more. 

Front Row: May 4, 2021 - Families Valued: Pro-Family Letter to Congress

Family focused policies are imperative to establishing a strong economic recovery following the devastation of COVID-19. Please help us continute to advocate for a family-supportive culture by adding your name to our pro-family letter to Congress.

Front Row: April 27, 2021 - Webinar: Promoting Pro-Family Policies

COVID-19 has upended the lives of millions of Americans and highlighted the deficiency in family-friendly workplace policies. Caregivers are strained under the weight of life having to serve as workers, educators, and nurses in these unprecedented times. This webinar discusses the practical steps that faith-shaped employers have taken to plan out a more family-supportive way of work during the pandemic and beyond. 

Front Row: April 20, 2021 - Virtual Discussion: A Case for Paid Family Leave

The coronavirus pandemic has highlighted the lack of family-friendly policies when it comes to taking time off to care for loved family members. This deficiency has sparked conversations around permanent paid family leave policies. Center for Public Justice CEO Stephanie Summers was the key speaker of "A Case for Paid Family Leave."

Front Row: April 13, 2021 - Article: Why We Need Child-Centered Parental Leave

"A fifth of new mothers return to work within days or weeks of having a child, often driven by financial precarity.” This is an alarming statistic. Both the newborn and their parents need the chance to develop their relationships and begin the child’s life in a family-centered environment.

Front Row: April 6, 2021 - Press Release: Faith Leaders Applaud Congress' Decision to Challenge OCC's 'True Lender' Rule

The Center for Public Justice, Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, National Latino Evangelical Coalition, National Association of Evangelicals, National Baptist Convention, USA, Inc. and the Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission – members of the Faith for Just Lending coalition – applaud the introduction of the Congressional Review Act in both chambers.

Front Row: March 30, 2021 - Podcast: Faith Based Organizations and Government

"The faith-based initiative has always stood for kind of an all hands on deck approach, that’s the way President Obama called it. And if the rules are such that certain organizations can’t be present I think that undermines that, the great good that’s done when a diversity of organizations can work with the government and serve, after all, a very diverse population that’s out there."

Front Row: March 23, 2021 - Webinar: Honoring God in Government

Is it possible to honor God as a government official? Can you promote justice as a public servant? With a panel of three different public servants moderated by CPJ's Katie Thompson, this webinar addresses questions such as these. The three panelists focused in on the importance of the word "servant" and bring up many vital points surrounding this and more.

Front Row: March 16, 2021 - Webinar: Family-Friendly Work: History and New Opportunities

COVID-19 has upended the lives of millions of Americans and highlighted the deficiency in family-friendly workplace policies. By one account, nearly 20 percent of adults said they left the workforce during the pandemic because of caregiving responsibilities for a child or other family member. Negative health impacts and financial strain due to COVID-19 have disproportionately affected Black and Hispanic families.

Front Row: March 9, 2021 - Podcast: Faith-based Nonprofits and Their Role to Help Others

Center for Public Justice fellow Chelsea Langston Bombino, spoke into the role nad mission of faith-based nonprofits on a podcast called Faith-Based NonProfits and Their Role to Help Others, a part of the online series Voice of Leadership put on by Mount St. Mary's University and the iLeadProgram.

Front Row: March 2, 2021 - Resisting Bias and Reshaping Institutions

Center for Public Justice CEO Stephanie Summers, The Dispatch Senior Editor David French, and the AND Campaign President Justin Giboney were part of an online discussion presented by the Cal Poly Veritas Forum titled "Resisting Bias and Reshaping Institutions." This timely conversation examined the importance of advancing racial justice within the realm of religious institutions, government, and higher education.

Front Row: February 23, 2021 - President Biden Promotes Government Partnerships With Faith-based and Secular Organizations

President Joe Biden re-established the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships in February 2021. According to the executive order he put out, the new Office will lead the federal effort "to enlist, equip, enable, empower, and expand the work of community-serving organizations, both faith-based and secular." Melissa Rogers, who served as the executive director for the office during the Obama administration, will be serving in the same capacity during the Biden administration.

Front Row: February 16, 2021 - 2021 Hatfield Prize Recipients Announced

The Hatfield Prize, part of CPJ’s Shared Justice initiative, awards funding to three student-faculty pairs from Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) institutions to conduct research on social policies that impact the wellbeing of children, families, and communities. This year’s recipients will examine the impact of COVID-19 on communities hit hardest by the dual public health and economic crises, putting forth innovative public policy recommendations for communities navigating the ongoing impacts of the pandemic.

Front Row: February 9, 2021 - Caring for Loved Ones During a Pandemic

 COVID-19 has upended the lives of millions of Americans and highlighted the deficiency in family-friendly workplace policies. Caregivers are strained under the weight of life in these unprecedented times having to serve as workers, educators, and nurses. This panel discusses the impact of this pandemic on being a family and caring for loved ones during this time.

Front Row: February 2, 2021 - Happy 20th Birthday to the Faith-Based Initiative

Over 20 years ago, on January 29, 2001, President George W. Bush created the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. The new office was created to lead the federal government’s new commitment to more effectively “enlist, equip, enable, empower, and expand the work of faith-based and other community organizations” to improve service to people in need. 

Front Row: January 26, 2021 - 3 Ways the Church Can Honor Caregiving as a Vocation

In this article published by Made to Flourish, CPJ's Rachel Anderson urges Christians to humbly step into the work required by caregiving with the support and love of extended families, institutions, and congregations. 

Front Row: January 19, 2021 - Alan-Keith Lucas Keynote Lecture Video

As in other professions, Christians in social work can now and again experience a tension between the standards of the profession and the wisdom they know from God. In this video Carlson-Thies reflects on this tension and argues how important it then is that the profession respects the religious freedom of its practitioners, and also the beliefs of those who are being helped. 

Front Row: January 5, 2021 - Discussion With The 2020 Hatfield Prize Recipients

On October 23, the 2020 Hatfield Prize recipients joined CPJ's Katie Thompson to discuss their research and experience with the Hatfield Prize. Join the recipients to learn more about their experience, their research, and what advice they have for students applying for the Prize! 

Front Row: December 23, 2020 - CPJ Welcomes Latest COVID-19 Relief

In an end of year statement from Stephanie Summers, CEO of Center for Public Justice, she addresses the latest COVID-19 relief and affirms CPJ's commitments for the coming year and new administration. 

Front Row: December 15, 2020 - Healing Communities USA 

Institutional Religious Freedom Fellow Chelsea Langston Bombino was a panelist in the 2020 Virtual Conference of Healing Communities USA, a national organization focused on equipping congregations and ministries to faithfully serve and become Stations of Hope for those returning from or at risk or incarceration. 

Front Row: December 8, 2020 - A Time to Heal, A Time to Build 

In this video Melissa Rogers and E.J. Dionne, Jr discuss what they found in their report titled "A Time to Heal, A Time to Build." This report is centered on making recommendations to the upcoming administration about how it should deal with the intersection of religion and politics.

Front Row: December 1, 2020 - Calvin Seminary Virtual Town Hall 

This video, recorded one week before the elections, captures a conversation that looks at how to be a faithful political disciple amidst uncertainty this political season. As both citizens of the Kingdom of God and of this earth, should Christians avoid politics altogether or faithfully seek a type of engagement? How can Christians start and stay in hard conversations while not being quick to flee or heighten the coming disagreements? This conversation answers the question: should Christians take a path of avoidance or one of unity? 

Front Row: November 24, 2020 - How Faith Issues May Shape a Biden Presidency 

Stanley Carlson-Thies, the founder and senior director of the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance (IRFA), speaks on "Quick to Listen," a podcast by Christianity Today, to answer questions such as: what role will religious leaders, religious groups, and religious policy play in a Biden administration? What lessons might Biden take from his presidential predecessors on how church and state can work together, and how they should work separately?

Front Row: November 17, 2020 - How Christians Can Be Better American Citizens

In this episode of the (Re)Integrate Podcast, Stephanie Summers discusses with Bob Robinson ideas for civic engagement that faithfully seek to further public justice in both the large and local contexts.

Front Row: November 10, 2020 - The Divided Public Square

In this fifth article of the “Hope for the Politically Homeless” series by CPJ and The Banner, Jessica Joustra explores how the postures of principled pluralism inform the ways in which we faithfully engage the diverse public square.

Front Row: November 02, 2020 - Prayers for Our Political Community

Prayers for Our Political Community is a series of short essays and daily prayers on key themes, written by Christians, starting the evening before Election Day and continuing through the day after the 2021 Presidential Inauguration.

Front Row: October 27, 2020 - Why "Making Space" Isn't Enough

In this fourth article of the “Hope for the Politically Homeless” series by CPJ and The Banner, Richard Mouw urges Christians to humbly engage with people amidst disagreement by cultivating a spirit of hospitality and open-mindedness.

Front Row: October 20, 2020 - Politics as Stewardship

As Christians, we should approach the broken systems revealed by COVID-19 and racial injustice through the lens of public justice rooted in creation. Participating in politics as a mere civic duty or as the sole means to bring religious change both overlook the importance of seeking the common good and stewarding God’s justice through government that equips the other spheres in the community.

Front Row: October 13, 2020 - A Politically Homeless Generation

In this article, Webb asks: “How do we avoid complete political apathy and withdrawal from civic life, on the one hand, while also avoiding the temptation to find our ultimate hope in a political party—and ultimately be disappointed when we don’t find it?”

Front Row: October 6, 2020 - The Politics of Neighborly Love

In this panel, the participants discuss how to influence public life and serve the common good as Christians in a divided age. As it is becoming increasingly difficult to achieve common ground with people with whom we disagree with, treating the other person as someone for whom Jesus died and listening to truly understand their beliefs are crucial and practical ways to keep in mind when engaging in conversations.

Front Row: September 22, 2020 - Voting Alone - Why Personal Isolation is a Justice Issue

Micheal Nichols explores how increased social isolation drives political polarization by weakening bonds of friendship and interpersonal relationships, which are crucial to understanding and valuing the concerns of our neighbors in a diverse society. Particularly in an election season, fulfilling our civic responsibility of voting requires overcoming the fear of the “other” and intentionally crossing ideological and partisan divides to follow Christ’s example of friendship. 

Front Row: September 15, 2020 - How to be a Christian in an Election Year (& Not Hate Everybody)

In this podcast, the panelists explore how we can love our neighbors through our political engagement this election season - and how we can do so in a way that is charitable and winsome. 

Front Row: September 8, 2020 - Hope for the Politically Homeless

In this article, Bacote asks: “What is a disciple of Jesus to do when the tensions rise, particularly in a political context that leaves one with a sense of homelessness?” Bacote explores what he calls the “two dimensions” of the Great Commission in Matthew, and what they bring to bear on our political engagement in this season and beyond.

Front Row: September 1, 2020 - Why Religious Freedom Is Good for Everyone

In this chapel talk for the students, faculty, and staff of Biola University and its Talbot School of Theology, Stanley Carlson-Thies proposes why, though religious freedom is controversial to some, it should be regarded as a positive contribution to society.

Front Row: August 25, 2020 - Support for Workers and Families: Practical Tips on Using Paid Leave During COVID-19

As COVID-19 disrupts our common life, families will, ultimately, bear crucial responsibilities - caring for those who are sick and attending to children and loved ones when schools and other places of care close. On August 20, CPJ hosted a webinar to help individuals and partner organizations learn more about who is eligible, how to secure benefits, what employers are responsible for, and how to educate your community.

Front Row: August 18, 2020 - Black Ministries Are Essential Services, Now More Than Ever

Questions and conversations surrounding structural racism and how to address it have risen to national attention, particularly in the disparate impact of COVID-19 on communities of color and in recent incidents of violence against Black people. Chelsea Langston Bombino interviewed Pastor Cheryl Mitchel Gaines, to explore her vision for the role of community-based, Black congregations and faith-based nonprofits in advancing solutions relevant to structural racism.

Front Row: August 11, 2020 - A Middle Way:" Lessons for Faithfulness in the Public Square

In this article, which was published on Shared Justice last year but remains relevant in our current moment, Mouw explores how a “Middle Way” – an approach to political life that resists partisan extremes – might become appealing, especially for young people. 

Front Row: August 4, 2020 - Emerging Leaders in the Sacred Sector

This 12-part article series, which will continue through the end of summer, highlights the passion each Sacred Sector Fellow brings to this learning cohort, and the experience each Fellow is hoping to gain during the Sacred Sector Fellowship.

Front Row: July 28, 2020 - Are Religious Freedom and Gay Rights Compatible?

Are LGBT rights and religious freedom destined forever to clash, with the only possible resolution a declaration by the US Supreme Court that one side wins all? In this episode of the Faith Angle podcast, Stanley Carlson-Thies of IRFA and Kelsey Dallas, national religion reporter for the Deseret News, based in Salt Lake City, probe these and related issues. The discussion is moderated by Josh Good, director of the Faith Angle Forum, a program of the Ethics & Public Policy Center. 

Front Row: July 21, 2020 - Families Keep Going, In Pandemic and Health

It’s time for new levels of creativity, flexibility, and support. CPJ Fellow Rachel Anderson writes for Christianity Today about recommendations for how we can support families. “Rather than deny or resent the responsibilities God has for families during COVID-19,” Rachel Anderson writes, “we have the chance to identify practical ways to support families in rising to these tasks.”

Front Row: July 15, 2020 - Guiding Principles for Government's Response to a Pandemic

A new resource from CPJ, called Guiding Principles for Government's Response to a Pandemic, articulates CPJ’s vision for the task of government during a pandemic and how this applies to key areas of public policy.

Front Row: July 7, 2020 - Family-Support During COVID-19: Helping Families Be Home Base

 In a brief released in May by CPJ’s Families Valued initiative, Rachel Anderson and Chelsea Maxwell describes how policies like paid sick and family care leave should be one aspect of a continuum of family support and articulate the principles underlying family-support in a pandemic.

Front Row: June 23, 2020 - What are Faith-based Employers to Do After the Bostock Decision? 

In an article for the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance’s eNews, IRFA Founder and Senior Director Stanley Carlson-Thies says that it is now even more important that faith-based employers, for legal as well as mission reasons, clearly show how their religious staffing decisions are rooted in their respective organizations' religious mission and doctrine.

Front Row: June 16, 2020 - COVID-19 Closed Schools and Emptied Pantries: How Should We Respond?

In this article, Ana O'Quin, advised by Dr. Stephanie Boddie, explores the impact of COVID-19 on child and teen food insecurity, and school nutrition programs. Working and low-income families have been disproportionately impacted by the economic crisis, and food pantries and food banks across the country have reported unprecedented need from those they serve.

Front Row: June 9, 2020 - Faith-based Nonprofits in the Public Square During COVID-19

In a special event hosted by Independent Sector, a national membership organization that works to strengthen civil society, participants in CPJ's Sacred Sector initiative shared urgent frontline stories from their work, representing a range of diverse faith-based institutions, and consider the connection between service and citizenship for advancing justice for their communities in the context of COVID-19.

Front Row: June 2, 2020 - A Child-Centered Approach to Paid Parental Leave

In this paper, Director of the Families Valued Initiative at the Center for Public Justice Rachel Anderson and Institute for Family Studies Research Fellow and American Enterprise Institute Adjunct Fellow Lyman Stone argues that the sizable body of research connects paid parental leave with the health and welfare of children.

Front Row: May 26, 2020 - Principles to Guide Faith-based Organizational Advocacy and Lobbying

This week's Front Row with CPJ features content from Sacred Sector Director Chelsea Bombino and Founder and Senior Director of the Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance Dr. Stanley Carlson-Thies, on advocacy for faith-based organizations. This new resource provides faith-based organizations and faith leaders principles and guidance to understand how advocacy and lobbying, activities protected by law, can provide a way to speak to  the government and the public about the justice and effectiveness of these and other policies.

Front Row: May 19, 2020 - Faith Leaders Call for Borrower Protections During COVID-19 Crisis

This month the Faith for Just Lending coalition, of which the Center for Public Justice is a member, released a statement calling government to protect borrowers from predatory payday lending and urging lenders to extend loans at reasonable interest rates. Read the coalition’s policy recommendations, as well as its principles for just lending, which detail the responsibilities of both government and civil society institutions in protecting working families from predatory payday lending and promoting their flourishing.

Front Row: May 12, 2020 - Organizations as Embodied Ideas: Towards a Theology of Institutions

Read this article from 2018 Sacred Sector Fellows David Tassell about how a public justice framework provides a means to see theology inform the strcuture of organizations and institutions, as well as demonstrate how the mission and purpose of a faith-based organization is a means for theological notions of justice to become embodied in entities that actively make society more just.

Front Row: May 5, 2020 - Once We Were Strangers: Immigration, Pluralism, and Religious Difference

Listen to this public conversation between Senior Fellow for the Center for Middle East Policy at the Brookings Institution Dr. Shadi Hamid and Assistant Professor of Christian Ethics at Fuller Theological Seminary Dr. Matthew Kaemingk about the nature of religious pluralism, the theological resources both of their religious traditions bring to the conversation, and the challenges and opportunities that arise, specifically, as Muslims immigrate to Western, liberal democratic societies. The conversation was moderated by Center for Public Justice CEO Stephanie Summers.

Front Row: April 28, 2020 - Paid Family Leave in a Post-Pandemic Society

Listen to this talk from Rachel Anderson, CPJ Resident Fellow and Program Director of CPJ's Families Valued Initative, to gain insight into the potential implications COVID-19 legislation will have for families and government in the coming months.

Front Row: April 21, 2020 -  Public Policy Principles to Guide Faith-based and Government Partnerships

Read this new resource from Chelsea Langston Bombino, Sacred Sector Director, and Dr. Stanley Carlson-Thies, Founder and Senior Director of the Instiutional Religious Freedom Alliance, for helpful information regarding financial partnerships between government and faith-based organizations.

Front Row: April 14, 2020 - The Essential Role of Child Care Providers in Our Response to COVID-19

Read this new article from Chelsea Maxwell, Program Associate of CPJ's Families Valued Initative, to learn about the current status of child care for essential workers, supports needed to protect children and providers, and current proposals to meet these needs.

Front Row: March 31, 2020 - Introduction to Front Row and COVID-19 Webinar

To start this new content series, we invite you to watch a webinar from CPJ’s team regarding how people of faith and their institutions can respond amid the COVID-19 pandemic.