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

Justice and Advocacy Committee

Our Vision

We envision a community answering to God’s movement among us in which basic rights of fairness and freedom from poverty for all people prevail.

Our Mission

The Justice and Advocacy Committee, as the independent voice of the Lehigh Conference of Churches, is an advocate for social justice. The Committee reaches out to a diverse community of member congregations and other faith organizations to inspire and encourage engagement for problem-solving. We provide educational opportunities and public forums for theologically-based discussion as we call out mutual concerns and unjust conditions.

Our Work with Congregations

We partner with our local congregations as well as local, state, and national organizations, such as Bread for the World and the Pennsylvania Council of Churches to provide faith based educational workshops, public forums, and training events on current social justice issues and public policy advocacy. We can also provide or recommend speakers on current social justice topics for study groups and judicatory events.

From time to time, J&AC organizes local workshops on social 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), Fair Legislative Redistricting (2017,2018), Support for Local Immigrants (2017,2018), Healing Communities Training (2018).

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.

Cancel Governor Wolf’s new dehumanizing prison policies

October 19th, 2018

  Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (DOC) policies instituted in September in response to the drug crisis in prisons have violated prisoners’ rights, restricted access to educational materials, and delayed people’s correspondence with loved ones on the outside.
  On October 19, partly in response to public feedback, the DOC announced changes to some of the offensive policies listed in this on-line petition to Governor Wolf and described in news reports (below). A summary of recent DOC policy changes is posted here, and there is additional information linked to the DOC homepage: www.cor.pa.gov. … read more »

Hazleton Integration Project

June 21st, 2018

Healing Communities Training – Lehigh Valley

April 30th, 2018

Healing Communities

June 23, 2018 (Saturday, 9:00am–4:00pm) – at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Bethlehem, 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 »

End Mass Incarceration – Lehigh Valley

April 6th, 2018

POWER Northeast – End Mass Incarceration Lehigh Valley working group
meets 2nd and 4th Thursdays each month, 6-8pm at 916 W. Turner St., Allentown. For more details and other events related to Mass Incarceration, see justice.ppjr.org .

“Reclaiming Our Democracy: Rally to End Gerrymandering” – April 16

April 6th, 2018

Fair Districts Pa – Thursday, April 16, 2018 – State Capital Building
There will be buses from Lehigh Valley and other parts of the state.
Bus fare is $20. For details, see www.fairdistrictspa.com/events

2018 Pennsylvania Budget Summit Resources

April 6th, 2018

Includes resources and presentation slides from the March 6 program about Governor Wolf’s 2018-19 budget proposal.

Lehigh Valley – End Mass Incarceration

February 7th, 2018
February 8, 2018 (Thursday, 7:00pm) Bethlehem, PA
The Lehigh Valley working group to end mass incarceration is invited to attend the next Lehigh Valley ACLU meeting which will begin with a preview of the ACLU-PA Smart Justice campaign. The meeting will be at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 424 Center St., Bethlehem PA, in the main fellowship hall on the ground floor. Enter the building from the Wall Street side entrance. … read more »

Lehigh Valley – End Mass Incarceration

January 18th, 2018
January 30, 2018 (Tuesday, 6:00pm)
Organizational meeting for Lehigh Valley working group to end mass incarceration.
Location: RCDC Education Building, 916 W. Turner St., Allentown.
(Off street parking is available behind the building; enter parking lot from 9th Street)
For more information, see justice.ppjr.org
Sponsored by POWER NE, TLCC Justice & Advocacy, and partner organizations.

Pull of Gravity

January 18th, 2018
January 24, 2018 (Wednesday, 6:30-8:30pm)
“Pull of Gravity” – film screening and panel discussion:
What happens when people come home after incarceration?
Free, Non-Ticketed Event/Open to the Public.
Location: Civic Theatre, 514 N. 19th St., Allentown, PA 18104
For more information: Lehigh University, Office of Interdisciplinary Programs, 610-758-3996, incasip@lehigh.edu.

June 5, 2017 – Harrisburg Lobby Day for a Fair Budget

May 19th, 2017

On Monday, June 5, PA legislators will be heading to Harrisburg to get serious about a new budget for Pennsylvania. Come join the budget rally, lobbying events, and issue-specific events.
Also, on Thursday, June 1, at 7:15pm there will be a tele-town hall, presented by the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center. Learn more here: www.pachoice.org/BudgetAction/   or   the Facebook event page.
There will be a bus from Lehigh Valley to Harrisburg for June 5th lobby day activities – rally and visits with legislators. The bus is free. Register at http://bit.ly/2pw2g3v.
Sponsoring organizations include SEIU, Pennsylvania’s Choice campaign, POWER, PA Budget and Policy Center, and others.

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