Washington, D.C., February 5, 2009
— Richard Stearns, president of World Vision U.S., today was named to President Barack Obama’s new Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. The council will be composed of religious and secular leaders and scholars from different backgrounds. “I am delighted and honored to be chosen by President Obama to be part of this esteemed panel,” says Stearns. “The President recognizes the integral role that faith-based groups have played in serving the needy and vulnerable among us, as well as strengthening our communities and giving children tools and encouragement to succeed.”Stearns and other members of the council met today with President Obama in the Oval Office. The President signed an executive order establishing/amending the initiative, as well as the 25 member council.
“I look forward to working with the other council members on advocating, as President Obama stated, for humanitarian groups, including faith-based agencies like ours, that comprise ‘a force for good greater than government,’” says Stearns. “Like him, I believe countless Americans of all faiths have a yearning to give back that is manifested in places of worship, as well as in community-based social service agencies. I value the work of religious organizations — whether Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, or Christian — as well as secular organizations in the United States and other countries.” Founded in 1950, World Vision works in nearly 100 countries, including the United States.
– END –World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. Visit www.wordvision.org/press.
Statement by World Vision U.S. President Richard Stearns on
being named to President Obama’s Advisory Council on
Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships
I am honored to serve President Obama on the advisory council to the President’s Office of Faith based and Community Partnerships.
This is an extraordinary opportunity to shape and help influence U.S. policies and priorities at one the most critical times in recent history. In our nation’s troublesome economic times, many faith-based organizations are delivering important services to the poor — in soup kitchens, homeless shelters, job counseling and training, and, of course, mentoring young people. These services are more important than ever.
But, let us not forget the compounded impact that the financial crisis has on the poorest of the poor around the world. The U.S. government, in partnership with faith-based organizations and other non-governmental agencies, has a long history of providing relief and support to these populations. That assistance is needed now more than ever.
I look forward to working with the other council members on advocating, as President Obama stated, for humanitarian groups, including faith-based agencies like ours, that comprise “a force for good greater than government.” Like him, countless Americans of all faiths have a yearning to give back that is manifested in places of worship, as well as in community-based social service agencies. I value the work of religious organizations — whether Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, or Christian — as well as secular organizations in the United States and other countries.
Moreover, I have personally witnessed outstanding programs for the poor and victims of injustice throughout the developing world that are funded by the U.S. government and private citizens.
In addition, I strongly support the President’s four priorities for the Office of Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnerships:
- Making community groups an integral part of our economic recovery and poverty a burden fewer have to bear when recovery is complete;
- Looking at how we support women and children, address teenage pregnancy, and reduce the need for abortion;
- Striving to support fathers who stand by their families, which involves working to get young men off the streets and into well-paying jobs, and encouraging responsible fatherhood; and
- Working with the National Security Council to foster interfaith dialogue with leaders and scholars around the world.
President Obama has and will continue to select diverse individuals from all backgrounds for the advisory council. I welcome that diversity of viewpoints as we move in unity toward, as the President noted, the “continued perfection of our union.”