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Tuesday, March 14, 2006


National Clergy Summit Brings Religious Leaders to New Orleans to Denounce Federal Inaction; Launch National Campaign to Speed Passage of Federal Aid

150 clergy from 80 cities will tour devastated neighborhoods and churches and hold press conference on Friday, March 17; participate in mass meeting on March 18

CONTACT: Joe Givens - Cell: (504) 416-0679 -

Responding to a plea by Louisiana congregations, religious leaders from across the United States will tour devastated New Orleans neighborhoods and announce a nationwide campaign to shame Congress into passing legislation to help rebuild the region. As Christians around the world prepare for Easter, 150 clergy representing 30 religious denominations are bringing a message of hope that with federal support New Orleans can resurrect itself as a safe and vibrant city.

WHAT: National Clergy Summit brings religious leaders to tour the most devastated New Orleans neighborhoods and churches and to launch a coordinated national campaign to support Louisiana's request for federal help, legislation that is currently hung up in Congress.
WHO: Louisiana Interfaiths Together (PICO LIFT) is hosting 150 religious leaders from 30 denominations and 80 cities organized by PICO National Network


Church and neighborhood tour begins 8:30am, Friday March 17 - starting at Our Lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church/Shrine of St. Jude, 411 N Rampart St., New Orleans

Press conference to launch national campaign at 11:30am, Friday March 17 at Mount Moriah Baptist Church, a devastated church at 2403 Louisa St, in the 9th Ward

Mass meeting organized by All Congregations Together with local, state and federal officials 10:30am-noon, Saturday, March 18 at 411 N. Rampart St., New Orleans. Participants include Archbishop Hughes and leading Catholic and Protestant clergy along with city, state and federal officials. This meeting culminates a series of six neighborhood meetings attended by 1,500 people held at churches across New Orleans over the past two Sundays.

WHY: "With recovery stalled and bodies of our loved ones still being found on the streets, we have called our brothers and sisters from across the nation to witness the devastation," said Rev. Donald Robinson, Pastor of Mt. Moriah Baptist Church and a leader of All Congregations Together. "Their overwhelming response shows that while Louisiana may lack political clout in Washington, we have the moral conscience of the nation on our side."

VISUALS: Religious leaders visiting churches coming back to life amid destruction; media invited to ride on buses with clergy - tour begins at 8:30am.

PICO is a national network of 1,000 religious congregations in 150 cities and 18 states working to revitalize neighborhoods and strengthen families. Visit for more information. PICO's statewide effort, Louisiana Interfaiths Together (LIFT) is an umbrella for six local and regional federations: All Congregations Together-New Orleans, Working Interfaith Network-Baton Rouge. Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizing Houma-Thibodaux, Congregations Organizing People for Equality-Lafayette, East Carroll Interfaith Sponsoring Committee-Lake Providence and Hope Ministries - Point Coupee Parish. Visit for more information.

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