African American Religious Affairs

The African American Religious Affairs program works to build a strong ecumenical association of progressive pastors, clergy, theologians, seminarians and ministry lay leaders who will encourage African American churches and communities to become more civically engaged and promote social justice programs and policies in areas of public education, health care, equal justice, civic participation and economic justice for all.

Representing 2,200 people across the country, leaders participate in strategic trainings, issue briefings, projects and partnerships to faithfully and effectively provide a progressive voice and presence that counters right wing religious rhetoric and advances a vision of “a beloved community.” AARA is recognized by its members as a ministry of initiatives that work with Christian men and women who believe in help and not harm, power and not pain, and hope in the face of hopelessness.

African American Religious Affairs is a program of People For the American Way, working in conjunction with People For the American Way Foundation.

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What is the AARA Ministerial Alliance?

Our Ministerial Alliance, which consists of the African American Ministers In Action and the African American Ministers Leadership Council, has 2,200 participating African American clergy across the country representing all denominations.

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VESSELS Vote!

VESSELS are clergy and lay ministry leaders committed to increasing civic engagement through empowerment measures that include support of civic organizations, non-partisan electoral initiatives, and advocacy. VESSELS seeks to address the voter suppression tactics used by political and religious conservatives to target vulnerable communities.

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By the Numbers

11,000 pastors and ministry leaders involved in AARA’s VESSELS program

100 ministers participating in the Micah Leadership Council

500 African American women served by the VASHTI Initiative