Exploring faith for a fair New York

Sometimes, it is important to step back, look at problems in a new way and share ideas and concerns with others. The power of reflection and collective thinking can be strong.

The New York State Labor-Religion Coalition, in collaboration with other faith groups, is holding open a space and time to reflect on the state’s economic and social injustices at a Faith for a Fair New York retreat on Sept. 16-17 at the Dominican Spiritual Life Center in Niskayuna. They will be addressing the unevenness of worker justice in New York, and the lack of living wages. Energy will be devoted to the need for a “moral” budget that includes quality public education and a strong social safety net for those in need. At the retreat, workshops, film screenings and fellowship time will  inform leaders in the faith community and help them build relationships for stronger advocacy for economic justice.

“People of faith have a rich history of participating in movements for justice in New York state and across the country. From abolition and women’s rights to labor organizing and civil rights, faith leaders — both lay and clergy of many faiths — have raised their voices again and again to make the moral case for social progress,” said Emily McNeill of the Labor-Religion Coalition.

McNeill points out the crossroads where New York stands: an increase in income inequality, underfunded schools and jobs that do not pay enough for people to live on. There are fewer services to support  those who are hungry or homeless.

The Faith for a Fair New York retreat is a collaboration of the state Labor­-Religion Coalition, the New York State Council of Churches, New York State Episcopal Policy Network, Reform Jewish Voice of New York State and Interfaith Impact of New York State.  Workshop topics include moral budgeting, effective advocacy, low-wage worker campaigns, single-payer health care and immigrant rights. Speakers from New Yorkers for Fiscal Fairness, Alliance for Quality Education, Strong Economy for All, Make the Road by Walking, Physicians for a National Health Program and other organizations will address these topics.

The Labor-Religion Coalition, a NYSUT partner, unites faith, labor and community in the movement for economic justice.

For more information or to register for the retreat, contact Emily McNeill at emcneill@labor-religion.org or at 646-256-5727.

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