Author: analisa

#FaithOverFear Fearless Leader Feature: Elizabeth Suggs, Throggs Neck Community Church

Faith Over Fear Fearless Leader Feature is a new blog series created by Fatima Mohamed, a leader with Faith in New York’s Faith Over Fear campaign and Writer with the Media, Messaging & Outreach Team. Stay tuned to our website every other week for a new profile of the leaders in the ground in NYC who are behind the organizing and social justice efforts that make Faith in New York! Resilient Pre-interview: The thing that strikes me most about Elizabeth is her open nature. She answers all of my questions honestly, thoroughly, and thoughtfully. This is only enhanced by her calm and patient demeanor. I noticed throughout our encounter, she would pause before giving her answer and every time she spoke, I could hear a bit of the Bronx, New York accent that seems to be fading from the city. Interview day: We met the day before Easter, so I found myself asking her about the holiday’s significance. She explained that it was the day memorializing the resurrection of Jesus. From there our conversation delved deeper into other topics of Christianity, which I am not too knowledgeable about, having been raised in a Muslim family. As we spoke, she described how she came to work with Faith in New York and supporting the Faith Over Fear campaign. “I came to Faith in New York because I needed to do an...

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#FaithOverFear Fearless Leader Feature: Claude Copeland Jr., New Day Church, The Bronx

Faith Over Fear Fearless Leader Feature is a new blog series created by Fatima Mohamed, a leader with Faith in New York’s Faith Over Fear campaign and Writer with the Media, Messaging & Outreach Team. Stay tuned to our website every week for a new profile of the leaders in the ground in NYC who are behind the organizing and social justice efforts that make Faith in New York! For what seems like the first time since November, the sun is shining and the sky is a cloudless blue. People are out and about enjoying the spring which has newly sprung. While sitting in a cafe, I realize that I have managed to spend the whole day indoors. I don’t mind though. Any day spent in the Bronx is alright with me. Today, I am waiting inside to meet with Claude Copeland, a veteran, climate justice worker and fellow Bronx faith leader. Due to a slight mix up, we end up at different cafes a couple blocks away from each other, so I walk out to the other one. It looks like I will be getting to enjoy a bit of this weather before the sun sets. ************************ When I arrive, Claude is seated at a table near the back of the cafe and I promptly join him. We converse for a little while about work and life. I...

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Our Unjust Immigration System: Why My Arrest Was Too Easy

Guest Post by Melanie Van Orden, Manhattan leader & Faith Over Fear Civil Disobedience participant I was arrested on Thursday, March 16th during a protest in New York City regarding our unjust immigration system as part of the Faith Over Fear Week of Action & Resistance. The arrest was expected. I had signed up for it. Faith in New York coordinated the protest and asked 4th Universalist members, among many other congregations, to stand with them. Nine of us attended the protest and three volunteered to be a part of the planned arrests. Faith in New York provided extensive training on what to expect when being arrested, as well as directly communicating and coordinating with the police, lining up free legal support (shout out to Legal Aid Society and National Lawyers Guild!), a post-jail support team to welcome us immediately upon release from the precinct, and giving us assurances of a quick release. I was prepped so well that I went into the civil disobedience unafraid of any consequences, but what I experienced went so much deeper than a fun way to protest. We were arrested for blocking traffic in front of 201 Varick Street, which is an unmarked immigration detention center here in New York. There were 28 people arrested in all, with hundreds of our fellow protesters watching from the sidewalks. The jail support team from Faith in New York...

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