Press Release

13 of Long Island’s African-American Faith-Based Community Leaders Arrive in Washington for 2nd Annual Gillibrand Legislative Summit

Jun 15, 2011

Washington, DC – Today, 13 of Long Island’s African-American faith-based community leaders arrived in Washington, DC to attend U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s second annual Legislative Summit. The summit, titled “A New Day, A New Revelation, A New Budget Reality: A Game Plan for Faith Based Institutions” was attended by more than 170 leaders from across the state representing faith-based groups, churches and organizations serving African-American communities.  A full list of all the local leaders that were in attendance is included below.

“During this time of economic difficulty, a growing number of families across New York are looking to faith-based organizations for a lifeline to help them stay afloat,” said Senator Gillibrand. “In order to have an impact on our communities, it is critical that we foster partnerships with faith-based organizations and support many of the vital services they provide.”



Reverend Beresford Adams

Faith Baptist Church

Reverend Gloria Adams

Faith Baptist Church

Pastor Rumaldo Aurelio

Copiague Spanish Seventh Day Adventist Church

Reverend Harold Banarsee

Church of God

Bishop Stephanie Riddle-Green

Bishop’s Chief Armor Bearer

Pastor Barrington Goldson

Calvary Tabernacle

Jo-Ann Goldson

Calvary Tabernacle

Reverend Marva Jenkins

Epiphany Lutheran Church

Reverend Larry Washington

Evergreen Baptist Church

Reverend Keieh Harris

Jackson Memorial AME Zion

Reverend Keith  Porter

First United Methodist Church

Reverend Keieh Harris

Jackson MemorialAME Zion

Reverend Joshua Guevara

Church of Nazarene

In addition to Senator Gillibrand and other members of New York’s Congressional delegation, participants will also have an opportunity to meet with Joshua Dubois, Special Assistant to the President and Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships, National Urban League President Marc Morial, Reverend Al Sharpton, and representatives from the Departments of Labor, Justice, Education, Agriculture, and Housing and Urban Development. Dr. Suzan Johnson Cook, the U. S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, also participated in the conference.

While every American has been touched in some way by the economic downturn, African-Americans have been disproportionately among those most affected. The current unemployment rate for African Americans is over six percentage points higher than the overall unemployment rate. At the same time, both the private and public sectors are facing intense pressure to limit expenses in an effort to balance their budgets. In the face of this difficult economy and extreme budgetary constraints, Senator Gillibrand’s summit addressed how faith leaders can successfully apply for and utilize federal resources to confront the current challenges facing African-American communities in New York.

Senator Gillibrand delivered an address to the participants in which she recognized the vital role played by churches and faith based groups in providing social services to their communities, as well as the challenges they face in this economic climate. The Senator hoped that the summit would educate attendees on what kind of federal grants are available, as well as how to navigate the application process, allowing faith leaders to secure federal resources that would  work to serve communities in need throughout New York.