African American Religious Affairs Program (AARA) endeavors to build a strong network of progressive clergy, theologians, seminarians and 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. African American Ministers in Action (AAMIA) and the African American Ministers Leadership Council (AAMLC) are projects of People for the American Way and People for the American Way Foundation. Participation includes engaging in one or more of the following Task Force:
The Civic Participation Task Force is firmly committed to increasing civic engagement in communities that traditionally have been disenfranchised or discriminated against. As a faith community, we have a responsibility to help the voices of the unheard ring loud and true. This task force provides a way to engage in the political process that resonates with our identity as people of faith. We stand firmly against the ploys of the conservative right and like Amos prophetically declare, “For I know your manifold transgressions and your mighty sins: Afflicting the just and taking bribes; diverting the poor from justice at the gate.” Amos 5:12 KJV Thus, we engage in the issues of Election Reform, Election Protection, Voter Registration, DC Voting Rights, and Felony Re-enfranchisement.
The Economic Justice Task Force is committed to assuring opportunities are afforded to all citizens in areas of socioeconomic development. Christ preached that we owe special attention to the poor, and our founding fathers believed that those who benefit greatly from our free society have an obligation to give back, for the benefit of all. Therefore, we seek to combat economic injustices by educating the faith community and petitioning change on issues such as the federal budget, jobs programs, a living wage, and just labor laws.
The Equal Justice Task Force is committed to assuring that all Americans are given opportunity to live a productive life regardless of race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, or economic status. The Right has continued its attacks on our civil liberties and civil rights. We will not sit idly while there are those who seek to take our rights away from us and our brothers and sisters. Thus we engage the religious community on civil rights issues such as Affirmative Action, Immigration, and Discrimination.
The Health Care Task Force is committed to increasing access to quality healthcare and health education in underserved communities. The health of our community is in a state of emergency. By disseminating information to our brothers and sisters, we can help prevent illness and protect themselves against the spread of deadly diseases. The state of the American Healthcare System is a national security issue. Unless a deep social conscience is revived, the spiritual power of hope cannot unleash its enormous strength. We can no longer overlook the least of these brethren; for when we do, we have done it unto Christ. Thus we seek to engage our communities in issues concerning AIDS/HIV, Comprehensive Healthcare, and Reproductive Rights.
The Public Education Task Force believes that public education is a cornerstone of our American democracy. The task force is committed to assuring equal opportunity to a quality education for all without regard to economic, racial, or social standing. Because we believe access to quality education is essential to the fulfillment of the American dream, we support effective and proven reforms for schools that struggle. Strong public education must be solvent and be supported as the foundation of such a citizenry. Therefore, we will work with government leaders at all levels, people of all faiths and backgrounds to ensure that public education remains accessible and beneficial. We will work to protect public schools by lobbying for significant changes in financial resources, school vouchers, tax credits, abstinence and comprehensive sexuality education, and text book monitoring.