September 4, 2001
Breakfast kicks off interfaith effort
By Elaine Justice
Marian Wright Edelman, founder and president of the Childrens Defense
Fund, will speak at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Sept. 11, at a kick-off breakfast
for the Metropolitan Atlanta Interfaith Childrens Movement (MAICM),
a new grassroots effort to forge collaborations among Atlanta-area faith
communities and civic organizations, with the goal of helping children
and families through prayer, education, service and advocacy.
The breakfast, to be held from 7:309:30 a.m. at the Loudermilk
Center for the Regional Community in downtown Atlanta, is funded by the
Freddie Mac Foundation, the Georgia Department of Human Resources, the
Chidrens Defense Fund, Emorys Barton Child Law & Policy
Clinic and the Faith and the City program of the School of Theology.
Attending will be leaders from Atlanta-area faith communities, professionals
working on child welfare issues and elected officials. The breakfast will
provide opportunities for attendees to consider the faith communitys
role in the lives of children and to discuss what actions to take to meet
area childrens needs.
Metro Atlantas children need help, said David Jenkins
of Faith and the City, which helped organize the event. Statistics make
Jenkins point: Last year nearly 30 percent of the children in Fulton
County were living in poverty; the five metro counties received 13,837
reports of child abuse or neglect; and 2,828 children in the five counties
resided in foster care.
Honorary hosts of the breakfast are: former United Nations Ambassador
Andrew Young of Faith and the City; Rosalynn Carter, former first lady
and vice chair of the Carter Center; Imam Plemon El-Amin of Atlanta Masjid
of Al-Islam; Rabbi Alvin Sugarman of The Temple; Archbishop John Donoghue
of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta; Ann Cramer of the Governors
Child Protective Services Task Force; and Judge Nina Hickson of Fulton
Co. Juvenile Court.
This call to action breakfast is the first event in what
is planned as a long-range interfaith movement for continued advocacy
and action by faith communities. The breakfast will be held in conjunction
with a resource fair, which will provide information about the needs of
children in metropolitan Atlanta and ways to help them.
Topics will include:
How to motivate long-term collaboration among communities of faith
and civic organizations to help children and families through prayer,
education, service and advocacy.
Examples of other communities that have improved the lives of
their children through involvement of faith groups.
Breakfast attendees also will be encouraged to participate in a metropolitan
Atlanta Interfaith Celebration of the Childrens Sabbath at 5 p.m.
Sunday, Oct. 21, at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Atlanta.
Anyone interested in building a faith community movement for children is invited to attend. For more information, contact the Barton Clinic at 404-727-6664 or send e-mail to email@example.com.