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Federal Agency Faith Based Goals

Department of Education:

  • Explore multiple education options with faith based and community leaders who work to promote the success of each individual student.
  • Support the Department's mission by highlighting innovative ways in which education leaders are meeting the needs of students in K-12 and higher education.
  • Encourage innovation and expansion in STEM Education within the federal government while also encouraging innovative, student-driven methods.
  • Provide recommendations on education programs and policies where faith based and community organizations may partner and/or deliver more effective solutions without discrimination or unduly burdensome engagement within the federal government.
  • Provide faith based and community leaders with information on career, technical, and educational opportunities.

Other

Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) – The Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives

Purpose:
The Center works to enable faith based and community organizations to partner with the government to achieve the goals of HHS. These are:

Making the health-care system work for our communities;
Addressing the opioid crisis ravaging our families and communities;
Reducing childhood obesity; and
Addressing serious mental illness.

The Center has been challenged to seek out and remove barriers to full and active engagement by the faith based community and to champion religious liberty in all HHS programs and initiatives. The priorities of the Partnership Center are consistent with the freedoms assured in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, and ensuring the free exercise of religion of individuals and faith based organizations.

Primary goals:

  • Making the health-care system work for our communities;
  • Addressing the opioid crisis ravaging our families and communities;
  • Reducing childhood obesity; and
  • Addressing serious mental illness.

Center at the U.S. Department of Commerce – The Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives 

Purpose:
The Center aims to provide resources, information and training opportunities to community and faith based organizations. This includes community-specific data, entrepreneurship training, business development opportunities, access to innovation centers, technical assistance and community development grant opportunities, among other things.

Primary goals:

  • Explore multiple education options with faith based and community leaders who work to promote the success of each individual student.
  • Support the Department's mission by highlighting innovative ways in which education leaders are meeting the needs of students in K-12 and higher education.
  • Encourage innovation and expansion in STEM Education within the federal government while also encouraging innovative, student-driven methods.
  • Provide recommendations on education programs and policies where faith based and community organizations may partner and/or deliver more effective solutions without discrimination or unduly burdensome engagement within the federal government.
  • Provide faith based and community leaders with information on career, technical, and educational opportunities.

Center at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) – 
Faith and Opportunity Initiative Office

No information on the website regarding HUD purpose and goals.

U.S. Department of State Office of Religion and Global Affairs – Faith and Opportunity Initiative Office

Primary goals:

  • The office advises the Secretary on policy matters as they relate to religion; 
  • Supports our posts and bureaus in their efforts to assess religious dynamics and engage religious actors; and 
  • Serves as a first point of entry for individuals, both religious and secular, who would like to engage the State Department in Washington on matters of religion and global affairs.

Center at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) – Faith and Opportunity Initiative

Purpose:
Engage, educate and inform faith based, community, and non-profit organizations about the VA tools and resources that will equip them to better serve the Veterans, their families, survivors, caregivers, and other beneficiaries within their organizations.

Primary goals:

  • Partnering with organizations to host outreach events that serve our Veterans, their families, and beneficiaries through breakout sessions on Veteran Benefits, survivors assistance, Veteran homelessness, opioid epidemic, and suicide prevention training by a trained VA suicide prevention coordinator (SPC), to name a few
  • Providing faith based and community organizations (FBCOs) with tools and resources about VA programs and services.
  • Strengthen FBCO partnership through volunteering, coordinating clergy specific suicide prevention training, and establishing a Veterans welcome center/ministry

Center at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) – 
Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

Purpose:
USDA's Center for faith based and Neighborhood Partnerships reaches out and connects government with non-profit organizations - both secular and faith based - to help people in need. Most people know USDA leads the way in agriculture, natural resources, and food. Many don't know we're also about strengthening communities, nourishing kids, and impacting lives.

Primary goals:

  • Rural Development's Faith and Opportunity Initiative focuses on non-profits and community organizations, both secular and faith based, looking for ways to positively impact their communities by utilizing USDA resources.
  • Under this initiative, organizations wishing to improve the overall quality of life in their communities by addressing social and economic issues such as but not limited to reducing unwanted pregnancies, supporting maternal and child health, strengthening the role of community organizations in economic recovery, reducing need for abortion, fostering an interfaith dialogue or promoting responsible fatherhood and healthy families will be equally considered for USDA funding regardless of the organization's level of affiliation with faith or worship.
  • Rural Development is committed to helping faith and community organizations learn about and access programs that can enhance their capacity to serve their communities.

Center at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) – The Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives 

Purpose:
In 2006 DHS was created to help emergency managers effectively engage with faith and community-based groups. In 2010 it was expanded to include human trafficking by becoming a founding member of the Blue Campaign, DHS' comprehensive, intra-agency approach to fighting human trafficking. Blue Campaign is a national public awareness campaign, designed to educate the public, law enforcement and other industry partners to recognize the indicators of human trafficking, and how to appropriately respond to possible cases.

Primary goals:

  • The DHS Center delivers training and technical assistance to faith and community-based organizations, providing subject-matter expertise to help communities successfully partner with other Blue Campaign components. 

Center at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) – 
The Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives 

Purpose:
Across the globe, religious leaders and faith communities are making significant contributions to sustainable development, the promotion and protection of human rights, and conflict mitigation and resolution. Despite restrictions on their activities in many countries, religious leaders and other civil society actors are deeply engaged in creating more peaceful, stable, and secure communities that are better equipped to meet today's most pressing challenges.

Primary goals:

  • Promote sustainable development and more effective humanitarian assistance. 
    Religious leaders and faith based organizations often serve as decision-makers at the community level and oversee development and humanitarian efforts in their communities. By working in partnership with such leaders and designing programs with the religious context in mind, U.S. foreign assistance efforts can become more effective and sustainable.
  • Advance pluralism and human rights, including the protection of religious freedom.
    Building on current initiatives, the Administration will increase efforts to engage a diverse spectrum of religious leaders on the advancement of universal human rights, promoting core U.S. values like respect for the human rights of members of minority and marginalized groups, pluralism, tolerance, and sensitivity to and respect for the beliefs and traditions of others.
  • Prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflict and contribute to local and regional stability and security.
    In its efforts to break cycles of violent conflict and mitigate crises, the U.S. Government will work with religious leaders to address both religious and non religious causes of violence and support their ongoing initiatives to build peaceful societies.

Center at the Small Business Administration – Office of Faith Based Initiatives

Purpose:
The SBA sponsors several faith based initiatives. For example, the SBA, in cooperation with the National Association of Government Guaranteed Lenders (NAGGL), created the Business Smart Toolkit, "a ready-to-use workshop toolkit that equips faith based and community organizations to help new and aspiring entrepreneurs launch and build businesses.

Primary goals:

  • Work with faith based and community leaders and organizations, whose purpose is to encourage entrepreneurship, spur economic growth, seek to preserve free enterprise and further strengthen our economy.  
  • Building deeper connections, strengthening relationships and enhancing communications with these leaders and organizations, improving economic development and job creation.

Center at the U.S. Department of Labor – Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives

No information on the website.

Center at the U.S. Department of Justice – The Center for Faith and Opportunity Initiatives 

Purpose:
The Task Force provides assistance to faith- and community-based organizations in identifying funding opportunities within the Federal government for which they are eligible to apply. The DOJ administers programs to provide assistance to victims of crime, prisoners and ex-offenders, and women who suffer domestic violence. In addition, the DOJ has initiatives to target gang violence and at-risk youth.

Center at the Environmental Protection Agency – faith based and Neighborhood Partnerships

Purpose:
EPA's newly launched faith based and Neighborhood Partnership (FBNP) Initiative was created to expand the environmental conversation and build partnerships between government, faith based and neighborhood organizations to create cleaner communities, healthier families and a stronger America.

Primary goals:
EPA is focusing on promoting interfaith dialogues and strengthening the role of community organizations.

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