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Missions & Social Justice    
In witnessing to Godís call for justice and human dignity, the Mission and Social Justice Commission of The Riverside Church seeks to celebrate diversity, build inclusiveness, and ensure equity for Godís people locally, nationally and internationally. The Commission facilitates the planning and implementation of activities available to every member of the Church and community through worship, reflection, education, service and action. Toward these ends, the Commission is responsible for the benevolence, service and social justice ministries of the Church.

Below are descriptions of social justice ministries, task forces and programs:

THE MINISTRIES

1. Global Justice and Peace:
Witnesses to Riversidersí involvement as an international peace church and focuses on the United Nationsí role in peace making and peace building.
 More information
2. Maranatha:
Maranatha, a ministry of The Riverside Church, is committed to serving God by fostering greater understanding while promoting equity for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer/Questioning people. To these ends, we have organized our ministry to serve, advocate, and support the LGBTQ community.
 More information
3. The Million Man Marchers:
Riversidersí under Godís direction gather for physical, mental and spiritual strengthening, and seek to make a positive impact upon the lives of our children and families inside and outside of The Riverside Church.

4. The Prison Ministry:
Arranges and participates in worship services in New York State prisons, supports prisoners in struggles to obtain justice and to re-engage life in community, and brings before the Riverside congregation issues facing the imprisoned today.
 More information

Riverside Coming Home:
Riverside Coming Home seeks to empower men and women who are returning to the community from incarceration. Riverside Coming Home is based on a well-established model with a track record of success and over a thousand graduates in the New York Metropolitan area in the past two decades. Participants work with facilitators and mentors to support personal healing and growth, skill development, and reintegration into the community.
 More information

5. Riverside Sojourners: Supporting Detained Asylum Seekers and Those Paroled from Immigration Detention:
People fleeing persecution in their home countries who request asylum at a U.S. port of entry are arrested, handcuffed and confined to immigration detention -- a traumatic experience that adds to their suffering. In New York, Sojourners volunteers reach out in friendship with regular visits to the most isolated of immigration detainees -- those who have no friends or family in the area who can visit them.

Asylum seekers can spend months, even years, in windowless detention centers before they win asylum or are deported. But since January 2010, the Department of Homeland Security has been giving parole to asylum seekers who meet certain conditions (e.g. aren't a security risk and have someone to take them in). They're better able to document their asylum claims from freedom, but they face long case delays and aren't allowed to work legally for at least six months.

Sojourners responded by developing a post-release program that, this year, expects to assist between 15-25 asylum seekers with no one else in the U.S. to help them with free housing, connection to food pantries/soup kitchens and other services, a survival-level cash stipend and social support -- all aimed at sustaining asylum seekers through this "limbo period" forced on them by U.S. immigration policy until they win their asylum and are able to work and support themselves. Sojourners currently has a dozen men and women in its circle of care.

For more information contact sojourners@theriversidechurchny.org

6. Riverside African Fellowship:
Offers spiritual and social solidarity among African members of The Riverside Church who seek to build a bridge to other African communities within the U. S. and Africa and to support peace and justice in all parts of the African continent.

7. Riverside HIV/AIDS Ministry
The Riverside Church Global HIV and AIDS Ministry mission is advancing community HIV and AIDS prevention, education, care and support for all humankind impacted by HIV and AIDS disease.

 More information

Committee Mission Statement
To Advance Community HIV Prevention, Education and our HIV/AIDS Ministries.

Contact Information:
Email the committee co-chairs at riversidehiv@aol.com or Ms. Carol Nixon - Mission and Social Justice Department (212) 870-6700

TASK FORCES

8. Anti-Death Penalty Task Force
To educate the congregation and community about the violent, racist and cruel nature of the death penalty and to make known our empathy with the families of murder victims

9. Latinos/as @ Riverside
Brings political, cultural and spiritual issues of our Latino/a members and neighbors before our Riverside congregation.

10. Overcoming Violence/Empowering for Peace:
Actively involved in the advocacy, educating, mobilizing and organizing Riversiders community to this issue and fostering continued dialogue between the New York City Police Department and our community.

11. South Africa Support Group:
Supports and promotes the healing and reconciliation work of its partner organization, the South African Council of Churches, in the hope that we may learn from each other how best to achieve a just, multiracial society.

COLLABORATIONS/MEMBERSHIPS

12. Coalition Against the Violence Initiative:
Seeks and end to the funding and practice of all racist medical research and experimentation, especially that which targets so called ďminorityĒ populations and children.

13. Upper Manhattan Together (UMT):
A consortium of Harlem churches initiating progressive justice projects to the purpose of empowering the citizens of Harlem.

PROGRAMS

14. The Sharing Fund Committee:
Allocates funds from 10% of the Every Member Canvas (annual congregational pledge) to grass roots projects locally, nationally, and internationally.

More Information

15. The Densford Fund:
Distributes small grants to projects, which further Native American appreciation, education and concerns.

16. The Riverside Falcons
Softball team made up of Riverside members, staff and friend. ALL ARE WELCOME. Summer league.

17. Handgun Litigation Project:
Riverside acts as a fiscal agent for this program which successfully litigated against the top handgun manufactures and distributors for negligence in the distribution of illegal firearms, which accounts for more than 90% of gun-related deaths in the United States each year