ELCA NEWS SERVICE
August 11, 2009
Lutherans Take Action on Social Justice Issues
WASHINGTON (ELCA) - Lutheran youth and adults took action on a number of social justice issues at the 2009 Youth Gathering of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), July 22-26 in New Orleans. By writing to members of the U.S. Congress and President Obama, they advocated against injustices concerning youth homelessness, child hunger, civil unrest in Sudan, human trafficking, climate change and the criminal justice system.
It was part of the "Interaction Center" of the Youth Gathering held at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans. Participants wrote to their elected officials at the "Justice Town" exhibit sponsored by ELCA Church in Society.
"Our elected officials need to hear from the next generation and what injustices the youth want to see changed," said the Rev. Andrew Genszler, director for advocacy, ELCA Washington Office. He said he was pleased with the number of participants who took action.
The effort produced nearly 8,000 responses through advocacy postcards and handwritten letters on paper plates to political leaders. The postcards had pre-printed messages which allowed youth and adults to specify the names of their members of Congress, include brief personal messages and their names and addresses.
The paper plate campaign was focused on improving child nutrition programs and asking Congress "to support a strong Child Nutrition Reauthorization Act in 2009 that increases access, expands participation and improves nutrition standards for child nutrition programs," according to Robert Francis, director for domestic public policy, ELCA Washington Office.
Other advocacy activities in the Interaction Center included a letter-writing campaign to pharmaceutical companies asking them to improve access to pediatric HIV testing and treatment, and a "Countdown to Copenhagen" postcard addressing the global impact of climate change on those living in poverty. "Countdown to Copenhagen" is an advocacy campaign endorsed by the ELCA and culminates at the United Nations Climate Conference to be held in December 2009.
The postcards, paper plates and letters are being processed by the ELCA Washington Office staff and will be hand-delivered to elected officials in the coming weeks.
Information on the ELCA Youth Gathering is at http://www.ELCA.org/gathering on the ELCA Web site.
Information on ELCA advocacy ministry is at http://www.ELCA.org/advocacy on the ELCA Web site.
For information contact:
John Brooks, Director (773) 380-2958 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ELCA News Blog: http://www.elca.org/news/blog