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May/June 2005
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In an address to the White House Faith-Based and Community Initiatives Leadership Conference in Washington, DC, on March 1, 2005, President Bush reiterated his support for faith-based and community organizations:

I am here to talk about my continued commitment to faith-based and community groups because I'm firmly committed to making sure every American can realize the promise of our country. It is said that faith can move mountains. Here in Washington, DC, those helping the poor and needy often run up against a big mountain called bureaucracy. And I'm here to talk about how to move that mountain so that we can reach out and partner with programs which reach out to people who hurt.

In keeping with the President's commitment to reaching out to faith-based and community organizations, OJJDP has developed and is participating in a number of faith-based initiatives.

  • National Faith-Based Mentoring Forum. On May 5–7, 2005, in Washington, DC, the National Network of Youth Ministries, in cooperation with OJJDP, held the National Faith-Based Mentoring Forum. The forum focused on training, included interactive roundtable discussions, and provided opportunities for networking. On the first day of the forum, OJJDP Administrator J. Robert Flores hosted a training session on "Pursuing Faith-Based Funding." Mr. Flores identified available faith-based grants, described how to access and apply for grant opportunities, and noted the reporting and other requirements of grant recipients. For additional information on the National Network of Youth Ministries, visit www.youthworkers.net.

  • Partnering With Faith-Based and Community Organizations on Gang Reduction. On May 10, 2005, OJJDP convened a meeting to examine faith-based approaches to preventing and reducing youth involvement in gangs. Participants, including faith leaders from around the country, discussed specific programs and strategies of the faith-based community that have proven effective in countering gang activity. They identified the challenges to faith-based organizations in carrying out gang prevention programs, noted existing programs that can be directed toward gang prevention or intervention, and examined how faith-based organizations can work most effectively with OJJDP to counter gang activity.

    Photo of representatives from faith-based organizations and the Department of Justice (DOJ) held a planning meeting for The Launch in DOJís Hall of Justice on April 13, 2005.

    Representatives from faith-based organizations and the Department of Justice (DOJ) held a planning meeting for The Launch in DOJ's Hall of Justice on April 13, 2005.


    Photo of the participants in the April 13 planning meeting for The Launch were OJJDP Administrator J. Robert Flores; Monty Hipp, Vice President of National Initiatives, We Care America; Stacy Rich, Intern, Office of Justice Programs’ Office of Communications; and Omar Vargas and Patrick Purtill of DOJ’s Task Force for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

    Among the participants in the April 13 planning meeting for The Launch were OJJDP Administrator J. Robert Flores; Monty Hipp, Vice President of National Initiatives, We Care America; Stacy Rich, Intern, Office of Justice Programs' Office of Communications; and Omar Vargas and Patrick Purtill of DOJ's Task Force for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives.

    Marvin D. Krohn, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology, University at Albany, and Co-Principal Investigator of the Rochester Youth Development Study, delivered a presentation on the origins and consequences of gang membership. Nicky Cruz, of Nicky Cruz Outreach Ministries, Inc., gave the keynote address, which described his own background in gangs as a youth and the T.R.U.C.E. ("To Reach Urban Children Everywhere") outreach program that he created. Administrator Flores delivered opening and closing remarks and responded to questions from the participants.

  • The Launch. From June 25 to July 2, 2005, in Washington, DC, and Philadelphia, PA, the National Council for Faith-Based Youth will inaugurate its pilot initiative, "The Launch 2005." Support for the Launch comes from the U.S. Department of Justice and more than 20 organizations. OJJDP Administrator Flores will serve as the plenary speaker on June 27, 2005, in Washington, DC.

    The Launch will mobilize youth who want to become agents of positive change through compassion in action. Through a highly interactive week-long development and leadership training institute, 160 youth (ages 16 to 22) will learn how to implement individualized plans of action to improve their communities. The Launch will continue throughout the year, as national faith-based organizations provide participants with a wide range of services to support their action plans and career paths.

    For additional information about the Launch, visit www.wc4y.org/thelaunch.asp. For additional information about the National Council for Faith-Based Youth, visit http://wecare4youth.webanswers.info/ncfby.asp.

OJJDP is an active participant in the U.S. Department of Justice's (DOJ's) Task Force for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. The goal of the task force is to promote good works by neighbors, particularly in efforts to reduce juvenile delinquency, support prisoners and their families, assist victims of crime, address domestic violence, and provide substance abuse treatment and prevention. The task force is accomplishing this goal by identifying and eliminating barriers to the participation of faith-based and community organizations in grant programs funded by DOJ. The task force highlights best practices, promotes public awareness of innovative programs, and provides information to help faith-based and community groups have an equal opportunity to compete for grants. To learn more about DOJ's task force and other resources for faith-based and community groups, visit www.ojp.usdoj.gov/fbci/welcome.html.



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