135 years of social justice—and counting
Thank you for your commitment to dismantling racism and poverty in our communities. Like you, we are determined to advocate for change until we live in a society free of hate, poverty, racism, and violence, where all are given the opportunity to live up to their God-given potential. To this end, we are excited to share with you highlights from our recent Annual Membership Assembly (AMA). We encourage you to learn more about our new Platform for Renewal and register for workshops and events that will equip you to advance the work of justice.
On October 7, people of faith, like you, gathered at Pullman Presbyterian Church for Community Renewal Society’s 135th Annual Membership Assembly. Our time together was exceptional! Over 125 people from 35 congregations gathered to celebrate our work over the past year (see our Facebook album). We honored leaders who exemplify commitment to faith and justice with the AMA Awards. And we elected seven new directors to the Board.
Our Member Congregations commissioned the 2017-18 Platform for Renewal which emerged from a summer of base building and listening. With your partnership, we will take on five campaigns: Police Accountability, Restoring Opportunities and Justice Reform, Community Development (Housing and Jobs), Just Economy for Safe Communities and Commitment to Anti-Racism.
Over the next two months, our Policy and Organizing Committee will develop Issue Teams corresponding to our new Platform. We will roll out the Issue Team work at our annual Martin Luther King Faith in Action Assembly at Old St. Patrick’s Church, where we will also host a Governor’s candidate forum. Join us as we ask all candidates to commit to and support our Platform for Renewal. Register online.
Finally, we have heard your requests for enhanced resources to build your advocacy and organizing skills. After piloting new workshops, we are pleased to present a collection of unique educational opportunities for you and your congregation: Justifying Justice in the Church, Illinois Advocacy 101, Chicago Advocacy 101, and a redesigned Three Day Community Organizing Training. Register online.
We presented our strategic plan and stated our commitment to function as a truly anti-racist organization by engaging in extensive partnership with Chicago Regional Organizing for Antiracism (CROAR). At the end of November, CROAR will facilitate a customized three-day anti-racism training for CRS staff, Board and key leaders. Concurrently, we will provide resources and training opportunities to our member congregations. Please contact Drea Hall to learn more.
We have a lot of work ahead and are grateful to be in ministry with you. We affirm our commitment to equip you to confront injustice at the intersection of race and poverty and look forward to seeing you in the months to come.
Rev. Robbie Craig
Interim Executive Director
Community Renewal Society