“Throughout the United States faith-based and community organizations have and continue to play a vitally important role in the well-being of children. There are over 350,000 religious congregations in the U.S. who collectively engage 45 million volunteers, nearly half of the total number of all American volunteers. They provide countless valuable services including mentoring at-risk youth, after-school programs, counseling, shelters for the homeless and food pantries. They reach out to the poor, the prisoner and the abused child.
Faith-based and community organizations are uniquely positioned to play an increasingly significant role in impacting children’s safety. Faith-based and community groups are stepping up in real ways by opening up their facilities for youth programming, by providing safe passages to and from school, and by running out of school time programs in communities all across the country.
When faith and community leaders decide to get involved in the lives of our nation’s young people it has the potential to greatly impact children’s well-being. It is essential that the faith community understand they are key actors in promoting the safety and well-being of our children. I urge you to join with the Attorney General’s Defending Childhood Initiative knowing that positive interventions by the faith community will increase children’s physical, emotional and psychological well-being. Partnerships between faith based and community organizations, law enforcement, the courts, and human service agencies have the potential to make a lasting and significant impact. Our children are our future and we have a moral imperative to do all that we can do to protect them from victimization.”
Joshua DuBois is Special Assistant to President Obama and Executive Director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. In this capacity, Joshua helps direct the Obama Administration's engagement of faith-based and other nonprofit organizations around the country. One of President Obama's longest serving aides, Joshua previously served in then-Senator Obama's legislative office, and he led the Religious Affairs Department for the 2008 Obama presidential campaign. Joshua is a noted expert on the intersection of religion and public life, and his work has been profiled in The New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, CNN and elsewhere. He came to the Obama world after having worked on Capitol Hill, and was an Associate Pastor at a small church in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He received a Masters in Public Affairs from Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School and a Bachelor's degree from Boston University. Joshua was raised in Nashville, Tennessee.