CPJ's Front Row
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
"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.
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.
"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."
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.