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
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 57,
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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
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.
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.