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ED’s FBNP Office Launches Strategic Outreach Effort

More than 60 African-American faith-based and community leaders met Department of Education senior staff and White House officials to discuss collaboration.

On Friday, February 26, 2011, Education’s Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships Office, under the leadership of its new director, Reverend Brenda Girton-Mitchell, embarked on an energetic campaign to strengthen collaboration with African American faith-based and community leaders and to build awareness at the local level of education as a tool of transformation.

More than sixty faith-based officials representing national, regional, and community organizations were in attendance.  The gathering was an important step in sharing ways that community groups can work together to support schools and children.  Both panelists and participants shared ways that African-American faith communities are partnering with schools in ways that benefit children.

Joshua DuBois, Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Community Partnerships issued a call for every person in attendance to find specific ways to collaborate with the OFBNP.  The benefits of ongoing communication was a common theme.  A number of follow up meetings are already planned to continue the dialogue.  Future meetings include Department of Education FBNP Center attendance at the Church of God in Christ AIM Conference, hosting a meeting of the Black Women Round Table and National Council of Negro Women, participating in the 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting of Progressive National Baptist Convention, and other events.

Specifics about these and other meetings will be distributed on the Department of Education’s FBNP Center listserv. Sign up for the listserv to get updates.

The next opportunity to join the discussion is March 14 at 1 PM EST for a telephone teleconference.  Everyone is invited to this call where plans for the work of the FBNP Center will be discussed by Rev. Brenda Girton-Mitchell with introductory remarks by Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, and White House Director for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, Joshua Dubois. 

To participate call 1-800-619-9064 and use the code “WELCOME.”

Please send comments or questions to edpartners (at)

Menahem Herman serves as a Management and Program Analyst in the Faith-based Neighborhood Partnership Center at US Department of Education.