People For the American Way Foundation’s African American Religious Affairs department will launch a new leadership program this weekend, aimed at identifying and supporting emerging progressive African American faith leaders. The Micah Leadership Council will engage African American ministers ages 25 through 40 who are committed to continuing, and in some cases redefining the fights for civic engagement, quality public education, voting rights protection and environmental and social justice for all as well as addressing divisive right wing rhetoric.
Members of the Micah Leadership Council will participate in organizing and communication skills trainings, strategic dialogues on topics including service strategies for particular communities, tactics for engaging the media on equality issues, and how to merge and introduce traditional Civil Rights strategies of mobilizing and organizing social media networks.
The formation of the Micah Leadership Council continues People For the American Way Foundation’s commitment to promoting constitutional values through progressive leadership development. PFAW Foundation’s Young Elected Officials Network currently supports over 700 young progressives in elected office and the Young People For program provides support and training to 130 campus leaders at 72 colleges and universities.
“We are thrilled to be launching the Micah Leadership Council as we celebrate the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.” said Minister Leslie Watson Malachi, director of African American Religious Affairs at People For the American Way Foundation. “Dr. King showed us the power of determined, progressive leaders of faith as agents of change to make a monumental, positive difference for all Americans. What’s more, he showed us the leadership potential and power of the younger generation of clergy, changing the country and improving millions of American lives. Through his speeches, life, and faith walk, we draw inspiration as we endeavor to continue for today and tomorrow his work, which started before he was 30 years of age, for social justice and civil rights for all.”
"The Micah Leadership Council is key for the future leadership of America,” said Bishop-elect Allyson Nelson Abrams, Senior Pastor of Zion Progress Baptist Church of Detroit and an inaugural member of the Micah Leadership Council. “Those who are 40 and under are preparing to transition into key positions all across America, and the Micah Leadership Council is where the country's top leaders will be found.”
Rev. Michael Couch, associate minister at Berachah Baptist Church in Philadelphia and an inaugural member of Micah, said, “The voice of Micah will allow young people to challenge unkindness and injustice by educating, registering and promoting the right to vote. It is through the voice of Micah that we will address the economic and social issues that affect African American communities.”