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Standing in a field of more than 3,000 grave makers on the National Mall, Newtown clergy, the Rev. Jim Wallis of Sojourners, the Rev. Michael McBride of PICO National Network and others will begin a 24-hour vigil in the shadow of Capitol Hill at 11:00 a.m. EDT on Thursday, April 11. The clergy will call on Congress to vote on the gun violence prevention legislation expected soon on the floor of the Senate.

“More than 3,300 people have died as a result of gun violence since the tragedy in Newtown, and it’s past time for our leaders to act,” said the Rev. Michael McBride, director of PICO National Network’s Lifelines to Healing campaign. “We have stepped down from our pulpits and left our houses of worship to remind Congress we’re not going anywhere, until they pass meaningful legislation that bans assault weapons and high capacity magazines, institutes enforceable universal background checks, ends gun trafficking, prosecutes straw purchasers, and invests in proven strategies reduce the gun violence that plagues our cities every day.”

The vigil, sponsored by the PICO National Network’s Lifelines to Healing campaign and Sojourners, comes ahead of expected Senate votes on the assault weapons ban, universal background checks, prosecution of straw purchasers and school safety legislation. Volunteers will begin setting up the vigil at 6:00 a.m. EDT on April 11. The staging and the vigil are both open to media and coverage is welcome. Video, photo and interview opportunities will be available.

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Lifelines Training in Atlanta with Warryn Campbell and Joe Paul

Great Lifelines training in Atlanta w/ Bishop Noel Jones, Warryn Campbell, Joe Paul and others at the Pentecostal Assemblies of the World 2013 Convention #lifelinestohealing

Pastor Mike McBride was named one of the “Top 13 Progressive Faith Leaders To Watch in 2013” by The Center for American Progress.

Here’s an excerpt:

2012 was a pivotal year for the progressive faith movement. While political and theological conservatives suffered a series of strategic defeats at both the state and federal level, religious progressives across the country organized to meet the challenges of poverty, climate change, and voter disenfranchisement, among other issues.

In the midst of this political shift, innovative progressive faith leaders and activists from a variety of religious backgrounds rose to prominence in 2012. As we look at this year—where debates over gun-violence prevention, immigration, marriage equality, and climate change are heating up—the Center for American Progress’s Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative has compiled a list of the 13 progressive faith leaders who we expect will take the lead on these and other issues in 2013.

Pastor Michael McBride—lead organizer for PICO National Network (People Improving Communities through Organizing) Lifelines to Healing Campaign—is a leading voice among faith-based efforts to address the causes of urban violence and crime and the mass incarceration of people of color across the United States. An eloquent orator, McBride offered impassioned pastoral reflections on the impact of gun violence and the dangers facing urban communities during an impromptu gathering in front of the White House immediately following the Newtown tragedy. Earlier this year, McBride joined religious leaders at Vice President Joe Biden’s Gun Violence Prevention Task Force to discuss the faith community’s role in curbing violence. McBride, who is also a pastor of a church in Oakland, California, has witnessed the impact of gun violence on children, families, and communities, and believes faith leaders have an important role to play in the national debate surrounding gun-violence prevention.

See the full article here.

Top Faith Leaders To Watch in 2013

Pastor Mike McBride featured on San Francisco Foundation

Pastor Mike McBride and Lifelines To Healing were featured on The San Francisco Foundation’s website today. (The San Francisco Foundation is an incubator for community investment, original ideas, and passionate leadership.)

At the Koshland Program, it’s all about solutions that begin at the local level, with deep local understanding. That’s why we’re elated when we learn of community leaders like West Berkeley Koshland Fellow, Reverend Michael McBride, was among the 12 faith leaders who met with Vice President Biden last month to give recommendations for his comprehensive plan to lower gun violence. We know that our deep investment in enhancing leadership, and building neighborhood solutions, is strengthening not only our region, but the good of our entire country.

For Michael, running the Lifelines to Healing Campaign is organic, coming out of his many years of work in West Berkeley as Pastor of the Way Christian Center, and Executive Director of BOCA-Berkeley Organizing Communities to Action ( an affiliate of PICO), and now in leading Lifelines, a national movement of the PICO network of faith-based organizations and congregations committed to addressing the causes of pervasive violence and crime in our communities, and advocating for policies and resources that contribute to the healing of our communities.

From becoming a pastor at a church, to running a local nonprofit, to now leading a national campaign, we’ve watched Michael’s passion and leadership continue to soar. The Koshland Program’s support, capacity building, training, and access to philanthropic success, have been part this recipe for success.

Today, Michael is among several of our Koshland fellows in the Bay Area region who are working together on alternative and innovative solutions to reduce violence in low income communities. From Old Skool Café in Bay View to Dig Deep Farms in Ashland/Cherryland, fellows are coming together to share strategies, approaches, and best practices on violence prevention and to describe their “recipe” for success.

Read the rest of the article HERE.

 

What a week!  After spending the past 5 days in Houston and Dallas, I can certainly say I am glad to be home!  But what a blessed trip it was.  I was able to spend Sunday morning in the presence of many professional athletes from the NBA and NFL, sharing the important role we have as black men to leverage our collective influence to improve the realities for the next generation of young men and boys that will follow us. It was a powerful gathering of highly successful thought leaders, philanthropists, celebrities and business leaders.  Representing the voice of faith and activism, Rev. Jeffrey Brown and myself laid out a convincing argument of how we can collectively reduce gun violence through policies and programs.  Rev. Brown, formerly of the Boston Ten Point Coalition, and the current Executive Director of the newly formed, RECAP (Rebuilding Every City Around Peace) urged for everyone in the room to push for targeted investments from the federal government and business community in cities and neighborhoods most impacted by gun violence. I reiterated, among other things, that “universal strategies do not create targeted results or outcomes.”  It is important to appreciate that we all need to focus where the pain is, and make a commitment to address it with resources, attention, strategies and messaging.  The room was very open to following up with next steps.  Check out some of the pictures and coverage from the event. (NBA Stars Chris Paul & Carmelo Anthony Host “Catalyst Brunch” During All Star Weekend
http://www.blackgivesback.com/2013/02/nba-stars-chris-paul-and-carmelo.html)

NBA All Stars Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul with ESPN analyst Chris Broussard and Open Society Foundations' Shawn Dove at the Catalyst Brunch held during the 2013 NBA All Star Weekend in Houston, Texas.

NBA All Stars Carmelo Anthony and Chris Paul with ESPN analyst Chris Broussard and Open Society Foundations’ Shawn Dove at the Catalyst Brunch held during the 2013 NBA All Star Weekend in Houston, Texas.

I left Houston and headed to Dallas to continue our Texas tour carrying the message of Lifelines to Healing.  The Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference is an international gathering of Clergy and Faith Leaders who take seriously the call to Follow God and Execute Justice. With over 1,000 attendees present, I was blessed to provide training for dozens of pastors who were interested in addressing Gun Violence and the Prison Industrial Complex.  There was a great commitment by many to be involved in our next Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath events on March 9-10 & March 16-17.  We also participated in a small focus group of top leaders to discuss how we plan to utitlize this very important window of opportunity in the national conversation about gun violence, to continue to elevate and accentuate the importance of the urban experience related to chronic violence, poverty, and trauma.

Other highlights included hanging out with my brother, Pastor TJ McBride of Tabernacle of Praise (www.topchurchlive.org) from the Atlanta area, who was attending with a delegation of seminary students from the Interdenominational Theological Consortium (ITC).  It was also great to hang out with Romal Tune from Faith For Change, Rev. Everette Bell of LA Voice and a host of other PICO Staff and Clergy attending.

Let’s not be weary in our good work. The momentum building for ending gun violence in America is growing every day. Let’s commit to being a part of the solution, and NOT the problem.  God is with us.  And victory is ahead.

Pastor Michael McBride, Executive Director of the Admiral Center Sherrie Deans and Chris Paul

Pastor Michael McBride, Executive Director of the Admiral Center Sherrie Deans and Chris Paul

 

Rev. Jeffrey Brown, Chris Paul, Rev. Michael McBride

Rev. Jeffrey Brown, Chris Paul, Rev. Michael McBride

Pastor Michael McBride to join Chris Paul and Carmelo Anthony in a discussion on strategies to improve life outcomes for Black Men and Boys at NBA All-Star Weekend in Houston on February 17, 2013.

We have all heard discouraging statistics about the realities facing Black men in America, but we rarely take the time to talk about what is working and how we can get involved. This is an opportunity to talk with experts in the field and connect with a select group of highly influential leaders interested in finding ways to meaningfully engage in tangible strategies that work.

 

HOST:

Chris PaulCHRIS PAUL
Los Angeles Clippers
@cp3

On the court, he’s a force to be reckoned with, a fierce competitor, the face of the Los Angeles Clippers franchise, and one of the most talented, respected NBA basketball players of all time. Off the court, he’s a father, a husband, a compassionate philanthropist, and one of the most down to earth people you’ll ever meet. Chris Paul, is undoubtedly in the prime of his life, building a robust brand and making a huge difference in his community, all while creating a powerful legacy.

Chris was chosen by the New Orleans Hornets with the fourth pick in the 2005 NBA draft, which led to NBA Rookie of the Year honors, and the first of his five All Star selections. The Winston-Salem, North Carolina native is also a two-time NBA First Team selection, a two-time All NBA Defensive First Team selection, a two-time NBA assist champion, and a four-time NBA steals champ. He played with the Hornets for six seasons and took the team to their first Southwest Division title in franchise history in 2008 before signing with the Clippers in 2011. Last summer, four years after winning the gold medal with Team USA at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Chris played an integral role in the United States taking home the gold again at the 2012 Olympics in London.

Chris established the CP3 Foundation to enrich the communities it serves both Nationally and Globally by providing resources that enhance the lives of kids and families in the areas of education, sports, health and social responsibility. In 2006, in loving memory of his grandfather, Chris formed the Nathaniel Jones Scholarship Fund to provide annual scholarships to two Forsyth County students to attend Wake Forest University. As of 2013, the scholarship fund is 100% endowed and will provide educational opportunities for youth for years to come. Chris is also proud of his efforts to help rebuild the city of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, by refurbishing courts, building homes and creating the CP3 Afterschool Zone in partnership with JP Morgan Chase, an after school program that provides children with safe place to enjoy enrichment activities in the arts, music, sports, and education.

There are many words to describe Chris Paul: dedicated family man, effective leader, admirable humanitarian and respected basketball player to name a few.

 

HOST: 

Carmelo AnthonyCARMELO ANTHONY
New York Knicks
@carmeloanthony

Since arriving in the NBA, Melo has not only been one of the top scorers in the league, he has also diversified himself as a player, a family man, a businessman and a philanthropist. He is a member of the exclusive and coveted Team Jordan Brand, annually releasing a top-selling signature sneaker. Melo has also cultivated brand partnerships with Finish Line, Topps and EA Sports. Most importantly, Melo has excelled off the court through his philanthropic efforts. He established The Carmelo Anthony Foundation (CAF) in 2005 as the vehicle for which he and his family would give back to the community through a variety of outreach programs and donations. In 2006, The Giving Back Fund, the premier philanthropic resource for the sports and entertainment communities, ranked Carmelo in their top ten of the “Giving Back 30” report surrounding celebrity philanthropists in America. He was the only basketball player on this list, and was joined in the top tier by celebrities such as Oprah
Winfrey and Tiger Woods.

Drafted 3rd overall in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Denver Nuggets, Carmelo Anthony has surely made a name for himself in the league. As he showed the world during his championship season at Syracuse University, Melocontinues to prove to his fans, teammates and coaches that he is a hard worker, a leader and a competitor. TheOlympics proved to be the perfect display of his passion, maturity and excellence for the sport – and winning the Gold Medal in both the 2008 and 2012 games has been the
ultimate token of redemption, success and global recognition for the NBA All-Star and three-time Olympian.

In July 2008, Anthony was honored as Basketball Player of the Year at the 1st Annual Univision Premios Deportes, an awards show celebrating the best of Hispanic athletes. Melo proudly accepted the award in appreciation of his Puerto Rican father, Carmelo Sr., who passed away when Melo was just two years old.

Melo has a heart for the community, and is always looking for a new creative way to give back. He partnered with his college coach, Coach Boeheim, to start the Courts 4 Kids program. Together they look for courts in underserved areas and refurbish them. The first court was completed in the summer of 2009 in Syracuse, and since then several more have been refurbished, including three in Puerto Rico.

Anthony currently resides in New York City, with his wife LaLa Vazquez Anthony, and their son, Kiyan. Not having the opportunity to know his father, Melo spends as much time as possible with Kiyan and Lala. He wants his son to grow up knowing how much he is loved. Whether it’s the three of them going to the park, or father and son going to the barbershop, investing in his family’s future is of the utmost importance.

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Morning breakfast with my two daughters, Nylah and Sarai…planning session with my Executive Pastor to host a series of Mental Health Friendly Congregation Seminars at The Way Christian Center…meeting with Mayoral, Police, Clergy and Community Representatives of the Oakland Ceasefire Working Group…Interview with Journalist about Common Sense Gun Laws…Shot documentary with videographer about our upcoming Gun Violence Prevention Sabbaths in March…Amazing strategic planning and thinking with Dr. john powell of Haas Diversity Research Center, and PICO Colleagues…witnessed dozens of Bay Area Clergy and people of faith walking the neighborhoods of East Oakland for our weekly night walk.

Just another 24 hours in the life of our emergent national campaign, Lifelines to Healing. Now active in over 50 cities across the country, make no mistake, we are convinced we have the power to end gun violence in America – block by block, neighborhood by neighborhood.,.congregation by congregation…family by family.

BOLD…AUDACIOUS…GOOD LUCK…NEVER…WISHFUL THINKING…NONSENSE!!!

These are common responses from people when they hear the end of gun violence in cities across the country. But I am a follower of Jesus, and I have no problem believing the impossible. And this movement is already bearing witness to what is possible!

This movement is more than one person, or one organization, or one city. Tired of the intractability of divisions and excuses, this movement is characterized by the necessary collaboration of the willing, the courageous and the hopeful. The prophet Jeremiah emboldens us to “Seek the peace of the city, for in its peace and welfare, you will find your peace and welfare.” And peace is what we will achieve!

This blog intends to highlight the many efforts of our coalition, and give you a peak behind the curtain of a growing number of brave clergy, people of faith, law enforcement, activists, rappers, artists, doctors, lawyers, elected officials, policymakers, republicans, democrats, black, white, and many others who believe the time is now to prioritize keeping, as Dr. Joseph Marshall says, “our young people alive and free!”

Come join the movement today! You have a lifeline inside of you waiting to be activated. The time is now…the day is today…throw out the Lifelines!

By Hamil R. Harris,

A diverse national coalition of faith groups on Tuesday launched an initiative aimed at curbing the bloody tide of violence and gun-related deaths that has plagued cities across the country for decades.

“We have a moral imperative to heal our souls from this scourge of gun violence,” said Pastor Michael McBride, head of the Lifelines to Healing campaign, which comes under the umbrella of PICO, a national faith-based network of community organizations in 150 cities and 17 states.

At a news conference at the United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill attended by about 80 leaders of various faiths and denominations, McBride said that the campaign would focus on lobbying the president and members of Congress in the coming months to go beyond gun-control measures and address the roots of urban violence.

 

See the full article here:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/diverse-clergy-group-launches-effort-to-curb-urban-violence/2013/01/29/7a9c5056-6a53-11e2-ada3-d86a4806d5ee_story.html