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Justice & Advocacy - an affiliate website of The Lehigh Conference of Churches

Justice and Advocacy Program

We are the advocacy and public policy arm of the The Lehigh Conference of Churches. The purpose of the LCC Justice and Advocacy Committee (J&AC) is to engage advocates for justice in meaningful, theologically-based discussion which may lead to public statements or action. Through the Justice and Advocacy Network, we invite churches, church committees and individuals to partner with us and each other in addressing social justice issues of concern to the local community.

The LCC focus areas are Hunger, Homelessness/Housing, At-Risk Youth, and Mental Health. From time to time, J&AC organizes local workshops on justice issues, such as our annual Food/Hunger workshops in partnership with Bread for the World each spring; and fall workshops on immigration reform (2007), Health Care (2008), Homelessness (2009), Jobs, Workers, & Economics (2010), the Growing Economic Divide (2011), Affordable Housing (2012), and Criminal Justice / Restorative Practices (2013, 2014).

We have also organized several informal gatherings "Congregations in Mission: Finding Common Causes" for missions/outreach/social concerns committee members from different congregations to get acquainted with each other and to form new partnerships where there are common interests.

Gerrymandering and How to Create
Fair Districts in Pennsylvania

December 7th, 2016

Fair Districts??

January 27, 2017 (Friday, 6:00-8:00pm) – First Presbyterian Church, Allentown
THE ISSUE: the Pennsylvania Legislature redraws the boundaries of legislative districts every ten years, after each national census. But the original goal of redistricting — to ensure voting districts remain equal in population — has been undermined by political manipulation of electoral boundaries by both major parties. Now we have an opportunity to correct the process. See fairdistricts.ppjr.org for details about the issue and the Jan. 27th event.

Constructive Conversations in Difficult Situations

August 22nd, 2016

Navigating Differences – Preserving Relationships

Sunday, September 18th, 25th and October 2nd
6:30-8:30 PM Quaker Meeting House
4116 Bath Pike, Bethlehem Pa.

These are turbulent times. Anger, suspicion and negativity seem to dominate public conversations and seep into our private conversations within families, communities of faith, friendships, workplaces and neighborhoods.
The Quakers of the Lehigh Valley Friends Meeting will sponsor three Sunday evening … read more »

“Where to Invade Next” Screening

June 24th, 2016

There will be a screening of Michael Moore’s latest film, “Where to Invade Next” on Thursday, August 4, 2016, at Dubbs Memorial Community Center, 457 Allen Street, Allentown, PA 18102. The event is sponsored by the Justice & Advocacy Committee of the Lehigh Conference of Churches.
– Ice cream at 5:30 pm
– Movie begins at 6:00 pm
– Discussion time after the movie
This event is free, but reservations are requested. To register or for further information, send email with your name(s) to invade@ppjr.org or call 610-439-8653 x20.

Pennsylvania Legislative Redistricting

April 9th, 2016

Changing the redistricting process in Pennsylvania requires a Constitutional Amendment. Companion bills SB-484 and HB-1835 would create an impartial, independent citizens redistricting commission with rules ensuring fairness and transparency.

The Justice & Advocacy Committee endorses reforms proposed by Fair Districts PA, and individual citizens may sign on to the Fair Districts PA petition asking our legislators to pass constitutional amendments to restore accountable government that is of, by and for the people. (See www.fairdistrictspa.com )

Critical Cultural Competency Workshop

April 9th, 2016
  • June 11, 2016 (9am-5pm) at Grace Episcopal Church, 108 N. 5th St. For details, contact Kara Bender, 412-513-9648, kara@crossroadsantiracism.org.
    Kara Bender is a national organizer/trainer with Crossroads Anti-Racism Organizing & Training (see crossroadsantiracism.org )

  • J&A Fall Workshop Report: Human Trafficking

    January 9th, 2016

    “Human Trafficking”[1] was one of the topics of the Justice and Advocacy fall workshop, with discussion led by Christi Dominguez. Here is a brief report on the that workshop.

    Human Trafficking is the fastest growing criminal activity in the world and is the 2nd largest criminal activity with drug trafficking being number one. Human trafficking can be in the form of labor or commercial sexual exploitation.[2]

    Talking about prostitution often finds people sharing … read more »

    J&A Fall Workshop Report: Gun Violence

    January 9th, 2016

    “Gun Violence”[1] was one of the topics of the Justice and Advocacy fall workshop, with discussion led by Fritz Walkder. Here is a brief report on the that workshop.

    Fritz Walker began his presentation with three facts:

    1. There have been about equal numbers of deaths from car accidents and guns for many years, but for car accidents, there has been an 80% reduction in deaths since 1966.[2] There has been no corresponding drop in gun deaths. In 2015, the number of gun deaths will surpass car accident deaths.
    2. We’ve lost more people since 1970 to gun violence than we’ve lost in all wars America has fought.
    3. Tens of thousands of guns go missing from gun dealers every year.

    … read more »

    Pennsylvania Budget Meetings

    November 10th, 2015

    The Pennsylvania Budget for FY2015-16 is now long overdue, and meetings with be held in several communities during November with local members of the State Legislature invited to hear from their constituents.

    • LEHIGH VALLEY: Thursday, November 19, 10:00 to 11:00 am
      Round Table Public Meeting
      Lehigh Valley Center for Independent Living, 713 N 13th Street, Allentown
    • STATE CAPITOL: Monday , November 16, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm
      Education Budget Action Day (Organized by PCCY)
      Capitol Building, Harrisburg. Details are available here.
    • STATE CAPITOL: Tuesday , November 17, 11:30 am to 12:30 pm
      Human Services Budget Rally (Organized by The Alliance of Community Service Providers)
      Capitol Building, Harrisburg

    Healing Communities Training (Valley Forge)

    August 24th, 2015

    Healing Communitien

    October 10, 2015 (Saturday, 9:00am–4:00pm) – St. Matthew’s United Methodist Church, Valley Forge, PA

    There are many ways groups and congregations can engage in creative prison and restorative justice ministry, not only inside prison but in churches and communities, too. With scores of inmates being released and returning as citizens every day, the need is urgent for churches to reach out to them–and also to victims–to offer help, hope and restorative healing. A valuable ministry that has seen success nationally is now coming to Pennsylvania to help churches respond to this need. … read more »

    Lord, Let Our Eyes Be Opened: Breaking the Chains of Mass Incarceration

    August 10th, 2015

    Breaking the Chains of Mass Incarceration

    October 23-26, 2015 in Harrisburg, PA
    This event on Mass Incarceration is sponsored by the Pennsylvania Council of Churches. It will be held at the Red Lion Hotel and Conference Center in Harrisburg beginning the evening of Friday, October 23 and running through Sunday, October 25. The event will be followed on Monday, October 26 with a day of action at the Capitol. Plenary speakers for the event include Dr. Harold Dean Trulear, Glenn E. Martin, and Dr. Geert Dhondt.
    For details and registration, see this web announcement.


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