Social Concerns

The following advocacy and outreach committees operate under the umbrella of and form part of the Social Concerns Commission, which advocates and educates on a range of social, economic and political issues, which include war and peace, housing and homelessness, children's and women's issues, racism, immigration, the environment and HIV/AIDS.   In concert with our Bishops, the Commission strives to add the Diocese's voice to conversations in the public square.  This is done through legislative advocacy, educational workshops, rallies and marches and one-on-one engagement.  The Commission also works with parishes to educate them on important issues of the day and to assist them in advocating for a better world.  The Commission's work is engaged in the context of the Biblical command to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with God.



Anti-Racism Committee

Chair: Ms. Carla Burns Email


The ministry aims to educate clergy and laity about racial issues.  The Committee offers training sessions several times a year in various locations throughout the diocese.


Children’s Advocacy Committee

Chairs, Ms. Patricia Bryant Email

and Ms. Isabel Hewitt Email


The ministry focuses on education related to local, national and international children’s issues, and on raising funds for local, national and international programs which benefit children through the diocese’s annual Lenten Box appeal. 


Environmental Committee

Chair, The Rev. Canon Jeffrey Golliher, Email


The ministry seeks to educate the people of diocese about environmental issues, particularly what parishes and individuals can do to make our lives more sustainable and appreciative and respectful of God’s creation.  In 2008, the Committee achieved passage of a diocesan resolution to adopt the Earth Charter as a statement of ethical principles for the diocese. 



Episcopal Church Women Association

Chair, Virginia Lief, Email


The purpose of the Association is to unite women of diocese in a program of worship, study, service, gifts and fellowship which will deepen and strengthen their own spiritual lives and lead them into service.  The Association sponsors an annual campaign to raise funds for grants to local, national and international programs which benefit women. Go to the Episcopal Church Women Association's pages.



HIV/AIDS Committee

Chair, Ms. Lisa Chin, Email


The ministry assists those with HIV/AIDS in all aspects, with a special emphasis on raising awareness through advocacy and education.



Housing Advocacy Committee

Chair, Ms. Terry Grace

The ministry advocates for more equitable housing policies in the diocese.  Recently, the Committee has taken the lead in challenging the Mayor of New York City’s new policy to close church drop-in centers and shelters for the homeless.


Hunger & Homelessness Committee

Chairs, The Rev. Deacon J.D. Clarke, Email
Mr. Clyde Kuemmerle, Email

The ministry works to educate about and advocate for without housing, sufficient food or access to social and psychiatric services. 



Immigration Committee

Chair, The Rev. Richard Witt, Email

The ministry seeks to educate and advocate on issues related to immigrant rights.  Recent activities include a demonstration in support of migrant workers at an upstate location in the diocese and the hosting of an advocacy day for youth. 


Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender Committee

Acting Chair, Mr. Paul Lane, Email

This ministry promotes the visibility, equality and well-being of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning Episcopalians and their families in the diocese of New York.  In 2008, the Committee achieved passage of a diocesan resolution that petitions the Governor and Legislature of New York to enact civil marriage equality for same-sex couples.  The Committee also coordinates the diocesan presence at the annual Pride march in New York City.



Peace and Justice Committee

Chairs: Ms. Deloris Jones
and Mr. James White, Esq.

The ministry works on issues related to war, peace and reconciliation and economic, social and racial justice.  The current focus is the war in Iraq and the provision of affordable and accessible health care in Harlem. 



Prison Ministry Committee

Chair: The Rev. Deacon Dorothée Caulfield, Email

The ministry aims to educate and advocate on all issues related to incarcerated persons and their families.  



Recovery Committee

Chairs: Ms. Shirley Brooks
and Ms. Charlotte Nugent, Email

The ministry works with congregations to assist in education about recovery issues.  A major emphasis is outreach to congregants who may need access to recovery information and services.



Reparations Committee

Chair: Dr. Nell Gibson, Email

The ministry works to educate regarding slavery in the U.S. and its continuing effect.  The Committee recently produced a DVD documentary on the issues related to slavery and reparations and held a celebration of the 200th anniversary of the end of the slave trade in the U.S. at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine.  In 2008, the Committee achieved passage of a diocesan resolution which asks the Episcopal Church’s national general convention to adopt a continued program of study of slavery and reparations. Go to the Reparations Committee pages. 

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