Education and Public Policy Engagement
ECM convenes, collaborates, acts, and connects
Through our public policy engagement we convene, collaborate, act and connect efforts for systemic change at the community, state and federal level. We are deeply engaged in policy movements that are raising key questions about how we can make our world a better place for all.
ECM has provided staff time to coordinate, plan and host meetings of several collaborations and coalitions:
- The Beloved Community: Episcopalians for Racial and Economic Justice (BCEREJ) collaboration is a partnership with Episcopalians around the diocese interested in fighting for racial and economic justice. This group includes our partners at the Leadership Development Initiative, Life Together, Mission Institute and several parishes.
- The Ecumenical Advocacy Coalition (EAC) brings together our faith partners to share experience and resources, as well as host events. In 2015, this group included our partners at Massachusetts Council of Churches, City Mission Society, UU Mass Action, and Massachusetts Interfaith Worker Justice.
ECM has tracked issues that are important to our mission and our partners. We have attended community and leadership meetings and taken part in statewide actions:
- The Economic Justice Funder Network – ECM collaborates with EJFN to foster a more just, equitable and democratic society through joint learning, strategy and funding. We use our collective resources to support grassroots organizing and movement building in communities of color and low-income communities across Massachusetts.
- Black Lives Matter Movement – ECM has increased our attention to issues surrounding Criminal Justice Reform. The Jobs Not Jails Coalition includes many of ECM’s grantees and is followed closely by the Beloved Community group.
- After last year’s legislative victory on the minimum wage increase, Raise Up MA continues to fight for workers in Massachusetts. In the fall their ballot question in support of earned sick time passed. The coalition has turned its attention to the Fight for $15, Paid Family Leave and the campaign for Progressive Revenue.
Through recruitment, organizing and participation in events, ECM has helped to raise awareness and create change.
- In the fall of 2015, ECM’s Life Together fellow, Ashton Murray, and ECM Executive Committee member Jacqueline Clark, alongside 3 other Life Together fellows, attended the Young Adult Pilgrimage to Ferguson, whose aim was to gather young people to engage in the work of racial justice and reconciliation in a place that has recently been deeply affected by racial tension. Following this trip, ECM and Life Together sponsored a screening of the film, “Mission Hill and the Miracle of Boston,” fostering a greater understanding of the unique history of Boston and thinking critically about race and racism as it relates to the city of Boston.
- Through the Beloved Community: Episcopalians for Racial and Economic Justice group, ECM has turned out Episcopalians for voter registration in diverse neighborhoods, Youth Jobs Advocacy events, including the Youth Jobs Rally, the Mother’s Day Walk for Peace, the Jobs not Jails Campaign and the Fight for $15.
- Through our Meet Our Legislators Events (MOLEs) ECM has helped to connect parishes to their local legislative leaders, so they can be more effective at taking action in the future, as well as learn about their policy-makers’ goals. In 2015 we gathered at the following parishes: St. John’s, Jamaica Plain; St. Peter’s, Cambridge; St. Mary’s, Dorchester; and St. David’s Yarmouth.
- On March 22, Holy Tuesday, Beloved Community: Episcopalians for Racial and Economic Justice (BCEREJ) held a short liturgical action on the steps of Saint Paul’s cathedral. engaging the diocesan bishops and clergy and gathered after the yearly Blessing of Holy Oils and Renewal of Vows service, Beloved Community volunteers restaged the reading from the previous service, combining Jesus’s last instructions to Peter (“Feed my sheep”) with statistics highlighting the racial oppression that defies God’s dream. The service ended with a call for the assembly to commit to specific actions in the coming seasons to combat racial and economic injustice.
- ECM Connects
ECM is weaving networks across faith-based and grassroots communities.
- In January of 2016, ECM, in partnership with our colleagues at the Massachusetts Community Action Network, the Catholic Campaign for Human Relief and Development and the InterValley Project, brought together over 150 leaders and hosted a Momentum Training. Run through the Ayni Institute, Momentum is a training institute and movement incubator that gives progressive organizers the tools and frameworks to build massive, decentralized social movements. By combining and systematizing best practices from past movements, critical movement theory, and applicable skills, they encourage organizers to dream about big change, and give them the tools to make it happen.