Friday, April 16, 2010

CFE's Rev. Canon Susan Russell takes on Tea Party Tantrums

April 15, 2010
Pasadena, CA.

Brenda Gazzar, Staff Writer
for the Pasadena Star News interviews the Rev. Canon Susan Russell, CFE and "A Moral Compass to Justice"spokesperson at press conference.

From the article in Pasadena Star News, April 16, 2010

The competing faith-based group [A moral Compass to Justice], which included Christian, Muslim and Jewish leaders opposing the tea party movement, gathered at All Saints Church earlier in the day and decried racism and discrimination. They also called for an end to "violent speech and actions" they say are fostered by the tea party movement.

"We want to model American values that don't have anything to do with polarization and marginalization but have to do with liberty and justice for all," said Rev. Susan Russell, a senior associate at All Saint's Church, at a press conference Thursday.

The new interfaith initiative expects to tackle a number of key social issues, including hate crimes, poverty, education, prison reform and marriage equality, Russell said.

The group's speakers launched a scathing attack on the tea party movement, accusing at least some of its supporters of an unwillingness to accept the country's diverse range of faiths, ethnicities and cultures.

"The rhetoric of hatred, racism and discrimination being espoused by the current Tea Party Movement and the silence of many elected officials, is sadly reminiscent of an era of American history that is a blemish as it pertains to justice, that is a wound as it pertains to respect and equality," said Rev. Eric P. Lee, the California President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, during Thursday's press conference.

Last month, reports surfaced that some tea party activists outside Capitol Hill rally had shouted racial slurs at members of the Congressional Black Caucus during protests over the proposed health care bill,and that one of them, Rep. Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo) has been spat on by a protestor.

Another representative, Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), who is openly gay, was reportedly called a derogatory term that referenced his sexual orientation.

An organizer of the tea party rally condemned the racial slurs as "disgraceful", telling Fox News that it was an isolated incident. They were also condemned by Republican National Chairman Michael Steele.

But leaders of the new interfaith initiative say more needs to be done.

"If you really are opposed to racism, then end it with your followers," Russell said of the tea party leadership. "Challenge those signs in your audience. Speak truth to your followers and bring them around to the values you say you are in favor of."

Thursday, April 15, 2010

CFE Executive Director Samuel Chu Helps Launch of "A Moral Compass to Justice"

Pasadena - April 15th, 2010

Samuel Chu, Executive Director of CFE helps launch "A Moral Compass to Justice", a group of prominent interfaith leaders and organizers who have banned together to counter the rhetoric and racism of the Tea Party Movement.

Chu, one of the founders of this new group, and others began meeting a few months ago to see how their separate organizations could come together to support all the interlocking oppressions. At the center of all the groups is a strong sense of social justice and putting faith into action.

Their press release today stated "A Moral Compass to Justice" is a collaborative of justice-minded faith leaders calling for a faith based alternative to the environment of racism, homophobia, discrimination, and violence generated by the current Tea Party movement.

"A Moral Compass to Justice" claims social justice as a core value of all religions and faith. The new group calls for a return to the faith and values that have guided America through the social transformations that challenged discrimination and resulted in greater equality, freedom, respect and dignity for all of Americans.They urge elected officials and the American people to join them in the sacred work of setting a moral compass for justice so that there will be a more just world for all of us."
Other members of the Group Include:

Rev. Eric P. Lee, is CA State President/CEO of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, the organization co-founded by the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. He is author of , “Marriage Equality: Proposition 8, The California Divide”, and co-producer of a 90 minute documentary on the failure of public education as it pertains to African American and Latino children titled, “Who Is Accountable?” As a civil rights activist, Rev. Lee recently took a stand against California Ballot Initiative Proposition 8 in support of marriage equality and LBGT Rights, believing that anytime one group of people is denied the same rights and privileges of others in society; it is fundamentally a denial of their civil rights. Rev. Lee is a founding member of the Stand For Security Coalition, which organized African American Security Officers into a union; Diversity Task Force member, working to reintegrate African Americans into the hotel and restaurant industries; founding member of the Alliance for Equal Opportunity in Education, a collaboration of organizations that forced UCLA to change their admissions policies proven to be discriminatory and racist. Rev. Lee is also a board member of Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace (IJUCP)

Dr. Sharon Groves, Deputy Director of the Religion and Faith Program at the Human Rights Campaign. At HRC Sharon has overseen the creation of numerous new resources, including a weekly preaching resource, a guide to living openly in your place of worship, a curriculum that follows the movie For the Bible Tells Me So and another that helps congregations wrestle with issues of gender identity within their faith communities. She has published a number of articles on such topics and religion and marriage equality, the importance of religious advocacy within the LGBT movement and the struggle for equality within world religions. She is a lay leader at All Souls Church,

Rabbi Denise Eger, President of the Southern California Board of Rabbis, is the founding rabbi of Congregation Kol Ami, West Hollywood's Reform Synagogue and is a long time Human rights activist. She holds a B.A. in Religion from the University of Southern California and a Masters Degree from Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion. She was ordained in 1988. She is a founder of California Faith for Equality and for Jews for Marriage Equality. She is also a member of the Human Rights Campaign’s Religion Council.

Ani Zonneveld is the Co-Founder and President of Muslims for Progressive Values. She is a strong advocate for human rights including LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) rights and established MPV as one of the first Muslim organization to support such a cause. Ani has partnered up with CA Faith for Equality against Prop.8 and has been a consistent supporter for federal and state-level protection of LGBT rights. MPV is a national organization based in Los Angeles with affiliates in NY, D.C. and Ottawa.

The Rev. Canon Susan Russell, priest at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena, CA and former President of Integrity, USA - an LGBT advocacy organization within the Episcopal Church. She has advocated for the ordination of gay bishops, lead the charge for the blessing of same sex unions and now a powerful spokesperson for marriage equality in CA. She is a member of the Human Rights Campaign's Religion Council and has been named of the 50 Most Influential Anglicans Worldwide by the London Sunday Telegraph. Russell has made numerous appearances on network news programs defending Marriage equality. Her blog:

Rabbi Steven B. Jacobs is Rabbi Emeritus at Temple Kol Tikvah in Los Angeles, Cal. Among his many social justice contributions, Jacobs served as part of the interfaith delegation to Yugoslavia with Rev. Jesse Jackson and helped to bring about the release of the captured American soldiers; he actively participated with service union workers for wage reform; and during the post-election 2000 uncertainty, Jacobs emerged as the prime force in the renewal of the Black-Jewish Coalition. For these and other activities throughout his life, Jacobs received the 2001 Walter Cronkite Faith and Freedom Award.

Rev. Ryan Bell, Pastor at Hollywood Seventh-Day Adventist Church where he has served since June 2005. He received his Master of Divinity degree from Andrews University in Berrien Springs, Michigan and is now completing a Doctor of Ministry in Missional Leadership from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California. Since 2005, he and his congregation have been active in the Hollywood community and the city of Los Angeles bearing witness to God’s reign by, in part, working for solutions to some of the most intractable social problems including homelessness, affordable housing and human trafficking through advocacy and faith-based community organizing. He has written numerous articles and contributed to several books, including The Peacemaking Remnant. He blogs at

Rev. Arthur “Art” Lawrence Cribbs Jr., is pastor of the San Marino Congregational Church, United Church of Christ (UCC) in San Marino, CA. Rev. Cribbs’ first career was as a newscaster. In the mid-1990s, he was employed by KPIX-TV in San Francisco, where he was appointed bureau chief for the East Bay and was a special commentator during the O.J. Simpson trial. He also founded a weekly spiritual support group for non-traditional church persons and produced a weekly focus piece on persons “Making a Difference.” Rev. Cribbs began his ministerial career at age 13 as assistant pastor in his father’s church. Once the Supreme Court upheld Prop 8, Cribbs refused to conduct any marriages.

Vincent Jones, Senior Program Officer, Liberty Hill. "I led the keep-the-peace effort at my high school during the civil unrest following the Rodney King trial. I’ve been organizing people to overcome challenges or achieve shared goals ever since." Vincent staffed several political campaigns and was an aide to U.S. Senator Barbara Boxer and New York City Councilmember David Yassky. He was executive director of Center for Health Justice, currently serves as board co-chair of the National Teen Leadership Program and is a Camp Courage trainer. He has a B. A. in History from Swarthmore College where he was a Eugene M. Lang Scholar for Social Action and a Public Policy & International Affairs Fellow.

Rabbi Jonathan Klein serves as the Executive Director at CLUE-LA. Prior to his ordination in 1997 from Hebrew Union College, Jonathan served congregations in Flagstaff, Arizona and Rye, New York. Upon receiving his rabbinical degree, he served three years directing the Reform Jewish Movement's college program, eight years as the Allen and Ruth Ziegler Rabbinic Director of USC Hillel in Los Angeles, and a year as a Campaign Organizer and then Development Director for the Progressive Jewish Alliance. He has also served on the Executive Committee of the Board of Rabbis of Southern California, on the executive boards of the Pacific Association of Reform Rabbis, Jews Against the War, and the Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace (ICUJP).

Eddie Martinez is the Associate Director of The Wall Las Memorias Project, a non profit HIV/AIDS organization located in Los Angeles. The Wall - Las Memorias Project is dedicated to promoting wellness and preventing illness among Latino populations affected by HIV/AIDS. Martinez is a native Angelino and the child of Mexican immigrants. Martinez was a community organizer during the Prop 8 campaign. Martinez was recognized in June of 2009 by Los Angeles City Councilmember Bill Rosendahl as one of the “Faces of the New LGBT Movement”. This recognition is in honor the new leaders and the growing diversity of the LGBT civil rights movement. Mr. Eddie Martinez is currently sitting on the County of Los Angeles Crystal Meth Work Group and State of Califonia Office of AIDS Latino Advisory Board. He is also the chair of the Greater East Los Angeles Meth Task Force.

Louise Brooks is CEO of LEB Media, a media consulting and messaging strategy firm in Los Angeles. Her clients include authors, celebrities, politicians and faith based non-profits. Prior to forming LEB Media she was an Emmy nominated television producer and executive. Brooks is a longtime civil rights activist for gay rights and has created successful media strategies for the election of gay bishops in the church. Brooks also did crisis management for All Saints Church during its investigation by the IRS.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

"A Moral Compass to Justice" -- CFE Faith Leaders Take on the Tea Party Movement on Tax Day

"A Moral Compass to Justice" is a collaborative of justice-minded faith leaders calling for a faith based alternative to the environment of racism, homophobia, discrimination, and violence generated by the current Tea Party movement.

"A Moral Compass to Justice" claims social justice as a core value of all religions and faith. The new group calls for a return to the faith and values that have guided America through the social transformations that challenged discrimination and resulted in greater equality, freedom, respect and dignity for all of Americans.

They urge elected officials and the American people to join them in the sacred work of setting a moral compass for justice so that there will be a more just world for all of us."

WHEN: 10.00AM - Thursday, APRIL 15th to counter Tea Party protests
WHERE: All Saints Church, 132 N Euclid Avenue, Pasadena 91101
WHO: (Speakers at Tuesday's Press Conference)

  • Rev. Canon Susan Russell, All Saints Episcopal Church-Pasadena
  • Rev. Eric P. Lee, CA President, Southern Christian Leadership Conference
  • Rabbi Denise Eger, President, Southern California Board of Rabbis
  • Eddie Martinez, Associate Director of The Wall Las Memorias Project
  • Ani Zonneveld, Co-Founder/President, Muslims for Progressive Values

    Rabbi Steven Jacobs, Rabbi Emeritus, Temple Kol Tikvah
    Dr. Sharon Groves, Asst. Dir. of Religion and Faiths Program, Human Rights Campaign
    Rev. Ryan Bell, Pastor, Hollywood Seventh-Day Adventist Church
    Vincent Jones, Senior Program Officer, Liberty Hill Foundation
    Rev. Samuel Chu, Executive Director, CA Faith for Equality
    Rabbi Jonathan Klein, Executive Director, CLUE-LA
    Rev. Art Cribbs, Pastor, San Marino UCC

    CONTACT: Louise Brooks, Media Coordinator ■ 626.993.4605 ■

Sunday, April 11, 2010

CFE seeks Operations Manager

Operations Manager
Salary: $40,000-45,000 (depending on experience) plus benefits package

Education: Bachelor (BA, BS, etc.)
Location: Los Angeles, California, 90069, United States

  • Job Category: Accounting & Finance, Administration, Employment & Human resources , Event planning, Fundraising & Development, Grants administration,
  • Management Sector: Nonprofit
  • Last day to apply: April 14, 2010
  • Type: Full time
  • Language(s): English
  • Area of Focus: Gay, Lesbian, Bi & Trans Issues, Human Rights and Civil Liberties, Network of Nonprofit Organizations, Religion, Spiritual, and Metaphysical Issues, Voting, Democracy, and Civic Engagement
  • Location: 8714 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles, California, 90069, United States
  • Website:
    Sector: Nonprofit
  • Phone: (310) 598-5866
    Contact person: Kerry Chaplin Fax: (310) 854-9119

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


Dear L.A. Area Faith Leaders,

California Faith for Equality is launching a new organizing training designed for clergy and lay leaders from congregations and organizations to maximize your capacity to work effectively at the intersection of LGBT equality and religion.

"Putting Faith into Action" was jointly developed by California Faith for Equality, Institute for Judaism and Sexual Orientation at Hebrew Union College-JIR, and the Human Rights Campaign Foundation. It is a comprehensive training which:

  • Offers concrete examples of how clergy, faith leaders and congregations can make use of organizing methods that will make marriage equality and LGBT equality a routine and evolving part of the entire congregation's ministry

  • Helps faith leaders develop a specific strategy suited for the unique cultural, theological, political makeup and mission of their given congregation or community
  • Offers extensive resources and exercises on how to assess what motivates a congregation and what may hold a leader or congregation back in working for LGBT equality

  • Provides space and technical assistance for you and your team so that you will leave the training with an actual plan of action, and to network and collaborate with other California Faith for Equality congregations and organizations in your area

We strongly encourage you to invite other leaders from your congregation and participate as a team.

One of the greatest strengths people of faith bring to the fight for equality is the deep trust and long standing relationships we have within our networks. The "Putting Faith into Action" training was created to tap into this potential power and turn it into a force for good. If we are to win full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people - to make it a moral and social mandate pervasive in all aspects of our lives - it will no doubt require the very best of what the people of faith have to offer.

Training Details:
DATE: Wednesday, April 21, 2010
TIME: 10:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. - (Lunch will be provided*)
LOCATION: First Congregational Church of Los Angeles
540 South Commonwealth Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90020-1298
(Parking is free)

Please let us know ASAP whether or not you will be able to attend the training by responding to Kerry Chaplin at

* Also, please note any dietary restrictions so we can accommodate you.

Best regards,



Los Angeles- April 7, 2010
The Board of California Faith for Equality (CFE) is delighted to name Samuel M. Chu as its full-time Executive Director. The announcement, made by the Reverend Neil Thomas, President of the CFE Board and Senior Pastor of the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) in Los Angeles, followed an extensive search process and the selection of Chu from a slate of highly qualified candidates.

"Samuel will join us permanently after serving CFE well as our Interim Executive Director," said Thomas. "Under his leadership, CFE has grown to a statewide network of congregations, faith-based organizations, and faith leaders committed to equality. As we move forward, CFE will continue to educate, support and mobilize California's communities of faith to promote equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people and to safeguard religious freedom for all Californians."

Chu, a first generation immigrant from Hong Kong, China, has served in the Presbyterian Church and is a fellow at the Center for Religion and Civic Culture at the University of Southern California. He currently chairs One LA-Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) -- one of the nation's largest networks committed to developing leadership and power for social and economic change. In addition to serving as CFE Executive Director, Chu will also oversee the CFE Action Fund.

He offered the following comments following his appointment:

"People of faith have always worked powerfully and provocatively at the intersections of various struggles for justice and equality. I am honored to be part of CFE's commitment to continuing that tradition as we work for full equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people in California. We know that commitment will require the very best of what people of faith have to offer and contribute -- and we look forward to partnering with our secular allies as we work together toward our common goal of equality for LGBT Californians."

"It has been my deep belief that faith should always be a force for good -- not to be used to harm or to deny a person's humanity. I am honored to continue to lead California Faith for Equality at this critical moment when we must reclaim this powerful force -- not just for those on the religious left or the religious right - but for all people."
For more information contact:
Louise Brooks