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“Even though he suffered a defeat, he didn’t sound defeated, and we need that kind of hope from the bully pulpit of the White House.” – Pastor Michael McBride of the PICO National Network

(CNN) – During a more than two-hour meeting at the White House on Monday, Vice President Joe Biden asked leaders from across the faith community to keep up pressure on lawmakers to support compromise background check legislation even as Congress begins to shift its focus to immigration reform, according to several attendees who spoke to CNN.

Biden urged the roughly 20 faith leaders in attendance not to be discouraged by recent legislative failures, and instead assured them that the White House had not given up.

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“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.”

Clergy Join Gun Control Debate With Pleas, Prayers in 24-Hour Vigil Clergy Join Gun Control Debate With Pleas, Prayers in 24-Hour Vigil Clergy Join Gun Control Debate With Pleas, Prayers in 24-Hour Vigil Clergy Join Gun Control Debate With Pleas, Prayers in 24-Hour Vigil
Check out coverage from the Huffington Post:

Memorial at Newtown

Standing with the Clergy of Newtown: A Letter to the U.S. Senate from American Religious Leaders

CALLING ALL CLERGY! Stand with the Clery of Newtown in asking the Senate for YES votes supporting stronger gun laws.


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.



Los Angeles Clippers

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.



New York Knicks

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.


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.


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By Michael McBride (originally published in The Hill’s Congress Blog)

In the wake of the recent Newtown massacre, America’s attention has been sharply focused on the out of control epidemic of gun violence plaguing our country.

Much of the conversation has centered on the need for an assault weapons ban, banning high capacity magazines, universal background checks, and greater mental health investments. All are crucial components of any comprehensive approach to the issue. But none of these by themselves will be sufficient if we ignore another significant part of this tragic reality.

Unless and until we also grapple honestly with the daily violence visited upon our inner cities, this tragic epidemic will not end. Unless and until we develop and maintain comprehensive and targeted violence prevention policies that are not just focused on more cops, we will continue to bury dozens of Americans, every week.

While any community is vulnerable to the scourge of gun violence, we can no longer disregard the facts and data which reveal how America’s cities are the hardest hit: Former Assistant U.S. Attorney General Ted Heinrich found that in 2010, 70 American cities accounted for 41 percent of all murders; 10.6 percent of all murders occurred in just 14 of those cities.

Members of the clergy know too well the human cost this represents – when first responders leave any crime scene, we’re the ones to whom the community members turn in search for answers and comfort. I recall the funeral I had to officiate of one of my teenagers who was a victim of gun violence in the Bay Area. I remember his weeping grandmother asking “Why did God take my baby?” I recall how during my eulogy, I asked the 500 plus young people present how many of them had attended one, three, five funerals? And to my dismay, I counted to as high as ten funerals and at least half of the youth, weeping, still had their hands lifted high in the air. And this doesn’t even address the question of those who survive, are injured or are permanently disabled, their lives forever scarred by a bullet’s path.

And yet, the best research reveals how less than 1 percent of the population of any given city is responsible for as much as 70 percent of shootings. We’re held hostage by a tiny minority of individuals whose behavior needs to be challenged, interrupted, and hopefully, corrected. If we’re to be freed from the plague of gun violence, the conversations that clergy hold with our congregants must move beyond our sanctuary walls.

All Americans must convene a national conversation that includes faith leaders, young people, law enforcement, formerly incarcerated individuals, and policy makers to build a moral consensus around how to address violence and legislate public safety. We must enact commonsense policy reforms, such as universal background checks and assault weapons bans, and we must also invest in proven, comprehensive, and targeted gun violence prevention strategies.

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