Annual Assembly Helped Build Community


Keynote speaker, Peter Edelman, talked about why it has been so hard for our country to end poverty.

By Randi Ilyse Roth, Executive Director

Interfaith Action’s Annual Assembly was held on Thursday evening, May 11, at Saint Paul College. The evening was filled with warmth, welcoming, new connections, buzzing conversation, a great speaker, and awards for work that demonstrate the change that we all want to see.

The dinner was held on a beautiful evening in the College dining room with a panoramic view of our city. Music by Jerry Kosak, brought to us by Twin Cities Mobile Jazz Project, set the tone for lively conversation as we enjoyed appetizers prepared and served by students in Saint Paul College’s Culinary Arts program. We held the event at the College to put a spotlight on this very successful pathway to economic mobility. We saw a video of the students talking about what the college experience means to them. We had a warm welcome from Rassoul Dastmozd, president of the College, in which he stressed our community’s need to support young peoples’ healthy development at every stage of their growth.

Interfaith Progress award recipients

Interfaith Progress award recipients

Two new awards were presented during the evening. The first is the Interfaith Progress award, which is for work that involves new, renewed, or expanded frontiers in interfaith cooperation; creates or amplifies interfaith relationships; and addresses a compelling community need. The inaugural award went to the partners in the Power-Up Legal Clinic. The partners are: Morning Star Baptist Church, the Twin Cities Cardozo Society, and Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services.

The second is the Bringing Faith to Life Award, which is for work that is faith-based, relieves the effects of poverty and/or addresses its causes; and inspires others to do more work to bring the vision to life. This inaugural award went to Rev. Gloria Roach Thomas, because of wonderful ministry to the whole person—including the financial aspects of the person—and the creation of Camphor Fiscally Fit.

In the future, we will call for nominations for both of these awards at our annual breakfast in the fall. Mark your calendar—this fall’s breakfast will be on Thursday, October 26, 2017.

Our keynote speaker was Peter Edelman, Professor of Law and Public Policy at Georgetown University. Professor Edelman talked about why it has been so hard for our country to end poverty. He put a spotlight on thirteen different themes that emerged that created obstacles for our work, and talked about what we need to do to turn the tide and begin meaningfully reducing poverty in our community. His talk was followed by a vigorous question and answer session, followed by Interfaith Action’s annual business meeting. We elected a wonderful new slate of board members, and ended with a closing prayer.

We’ve heard from many of you that the evening sparked important conversation, and inspired a sense of community across faith lines and in a setting that included both new and old friends. We hope you will help us to continue building this community by joining us for our Bringing Faith to Life Breakfast on Thursday, October 26. More details will be available soon.

Warm Regards,

Randi Ilyse Roth
Executive Director