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Tuesday, April 13, 2021

Biden relaunches White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

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Jenny Leonard, Bloomberg News, (TNS)

President Joe Biden reestablished a White House office that coordinates federal policy with religious and community groups, reflecting his administration’s pledge to promote equitable treatment for all Americans.

Faith-based and other community-serving organizations are vital to addressing the needs of underserved communities, including people of color, Biden said in an executive order on Sunday. The Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships is an effort by the federal government to strengthen those organizations and support them in delivering services to those groups.

“There are not Democrats or Republicans dying from this pandemic, or losing their jobs, going hungry and facing eviction in this economic crisis, or facing the sting of systemic racism or the brunt of the climate crisis,” Biden said in a statement. “They are fellow human beings. They are fellow Americans.”

The office dates back to the George W. Bush administration and was continued under a slightly different name during the Obama-Biden administration. The Trump administration did not establish one.

Melissa Rogers, who held a similar post under Obama, will be the executive director and Josh Dickson will serve as deputy director, Biden said. Robers will also be senior director for faith and public policy in the White House Domestic Policy Council.

Trey Baker, who previously served as the National Director of African American Engagement for Biden for President and is a White House Senior Advisor for Public Engagement, will serve as the office’s liaison to Black communities, including Black faith communities.

Biden said the new office begins operating 30 days from Sunday.

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