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For Release: May 16, 2001
Contact: Dick Gunn

What: FaithLinks Oklahoma Conference, “Building Partnerships to Transform Lives.”
When: Thursday, May 17, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: First United Methodist Church, 11th and Main, Tulsa

Dr. Amy L. Sherman is a national authority on faith-based welfare reform. She is a senior fellow at the Welfare Policy Center of the Hudson Institute in Indiana and the author of the first major national study of the “Charitable Choice” 1996 welfare reform law.

Dr. John M. Perkins is an internationally known speaker, author and pioneer of faith-based community development. He is founder and chairman of the Christian Community Development Association, comprised of more than 700 organizations and 7,000 individuals.

Rev. Matthew “Skip” Long, III is executive director of The National Jobs Partnership, a job readiness and economic development program.

Robert L. Woodson, Sr., directs the National Center for Neighborhood Enterprise (NCNE). NCNE helps neighborhood-based organizations reduce crime and violence, restore families, create economic enterprise and employment, and revitalize low-income communities.

Background: This is the first-ever FaithLinks Oklahoma Conference to demonstrate how community leaders of all faiths can collaborate with government agencies to provide services to the poor and needy.  The Charitable Choice provision, legislation that gives religious groups access to government funds without requiring secularization of their programs, will be fully explained. During workshops, State social service agencies will discuss their programs and successful faith-based services will be highlighted.  President Bush’s creation of the national Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives has brought considerable attention to the issues that will be addressed at this event.

For registration information contact: FaithLinks Conference c/o Cornerstone Assistance Network at 918/583-3670 or see the web site www.state.ok.us/~faithlinks/


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