Apr 24

Past Event

Faith In Equality: Economic Justice and the Future of Religious Progressives

Event Materials



  • Religious Progressives Speak to Desire for Economic Change

    E.J. Dionne, Jr.: There is a strong case that the current religious social justice movement looks more like the era leading up to the period of civil rights activism than to the period that ushered in the religious right.

    E.J. Dionne, Jr.

  • Faith Has Political Consequences

    Sr. Simone Campbell, NETWORK: Everyone has stories and we need to speak of those stories because it is wrong that our people cannot earn enough in their employment to live in dignity.

  • A Flaw at the Heart of post-1960s Liberal Religion?

    Ross Douthat, The New York Times: Is there a flaw at the heart of post-1960s liberal religion that makes it harder for it to sustain itself as a religion, as opposed to just a political tendency with a religious overlay?

  • What Priorities Will Hispanic Evangelicals Vote On?

    Rev. Gabriel Salguero, National Latino Evangelical Coalition: Will Hispanic evangelicals vote on the social issues—classic evangelical issues, white evangelical issues—or will we vote on the economic and race issues, on housing and immigration?

Full Event


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The persistence of poverty, the decline of social mobility and rising inequality in the U.S. all demand new departures in policy and politics. Yet the electorate and Congress are polarized and trust in government is at an all-time low.  Religious Americans have been essential to the success of movements for justice throughout American history. Today, they have an opportunity to sustain a movement for economic justice.

Faith in EqualityOn April 24, the religion, policy and politics project at Brookings hosted a forum to release a major new report, “Faith In Equality: Economic Justice and the Future of Religious Progressives.”  The report discusses particular challenges facing the religious movement for social justice, including the decline of congregations and unions and the challenge of coalition-building. It also highlights particular opportunities, and argues that the engagement of the African-American Church with the civil rights struggle provides a model for new engagements in our time around issues of social and economic justice.  Brookings Senior Fellow, E.J. Dionne, presented the report. Gary Dorrien, Union Theological Seminary, offered an historic perspective.  A second panel focused on the current landscape and provided a look forward.  Sr. Simone Campbell, executive director of NETWORK and author of A Nun on the Bus, provided closing remarks. The discussion was moderated by Brookings Senior Fellow and report co-author, William Galston.   

Event Agenda

  • Report Presentation

  • Panel I: An Historic Perspective

  • Panel II: The Current Landscape and a Look Ahead

    • Moderator

      William A. Galston

      Senior Fellow, Governance Studies

      The Ezra K. Zilkha Chair in Governance Studies

    • Jennifer Butler


      Faith in Public Life

    • Rev. Gabriel Salguero


      National Latino Evangelical Coalition

    • Dorian T. Warren

      Associate Professor

      Political Science & School of International & Public Affairs Columbia University

    • Michael Wear


      Former White House and campaign aide to President Obama

  • Closing Remarks

    • Sr. Simone Campbell

      Executive Director

      NETWORK: A National Catholic Social Justice Lobby


April 24, 2014

9:15 AM - 11:45 AM EDT

Brookings Institution

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Avenue NW


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