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Religious Affairs Committee

The NAACP has always had a strong relationship with the religious community — one of its closest allies for nearly a century. The Religious Affairs Committee collaborates with Religious Leaders within the community to conduct religious affairs workshops, educate pastors, churches and religious leaders on the history and programs of the NAACP, present moral and ethical interpretations of the civil rights struggle, and the church’s relationship to the struggle for all denominations.

The Religious Affairs Committee shall include ministerial and lay religious leaders who are members of the Unit. It shall:

  • Promote an educational program designed to give moral and

  • Ethical interpretation of the civil rights struggle;

  • Interpret the work of the Association organized religious groups of all faiths;

  • Enlist the support of such organized religious groups for membership, fundraising, and the struggle for equality and full civil rights; and

  • Provide resource assistance for religious education and social action activities, associated with the improvement of race relations.

The NAACP and Religious Leaders Reaffirm Powerful Partnership for Equality

Throughout the history of the NAACP, religious institutions have provided both the inspiration and the manpower critical to the success of the civil rights struggle. At no time was this more apparent than during the Civil Rights Movement.

Today's civil rights agenda may be different from that of the past, but the supporting role that churches can play in the new struggle for equality remains the same. With this in mind, a group of over 20 religious’ leaders from various denominations, representing more than 44 million members, met last October at the NAACP National Headquarters in Baltimore to seek fellowship and discuss their role in maintaining civil rights for all.

The National Religious Leadership Summit was called by NAACP President and CEO Kweisi Mfume, who wanted to share not only the organization's political agenda, but its vision for continued growth and strengthened ties with the religious community. "The summit was historical, “says Rev. Julius C. Hope, National Director of the NAACP Religious Affairs Department. "There was an interracial, interdenominational cross-section of leaders who had never come together before."

Representatives of denominations ranging from the African Methodist Episcopal Church to the Southern Baptist Convention, had an opportunity to share their political and social agendas during the summit. According to Hope, it was important that the various denominations establish that they share some common ground. Leaders found that they are in accord on the importance of addressing the plight of the poor in America and strengthening voter education and advocacy.

While they agree that improving the education of America's children is also critical, it is clear that each denomination has different strategies in mind to address the problem. "I think that more discussion is warranted," says Beverly Carroll, who represented the National Conference of Catholic Bishops.

Publication information: Article title: The NAACP and Religious Leaders Reaffirm Powerful Partnership for Equality. Contributors: Bennefield, Robin M. - Author. Magazine title: The New Crisis. Volume: 105. Issue: 1 Publication date: February/March 1998. Page number: 36+. © The Crisis Publishing Company. Provided by ProQuest LLC. All Rights Reserved.

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