The African-American Church and Welfare Reform: Toward a New Prophetic Perspective
by Harold Dean Trulear
Center for Public Justice (1999)
The challenge of welfare reform is a challenge not only to individual welfare recipients and to governments to fulfill their responsibilities, but also to the millions of members of America's churches and other faith communities. How can churches and faith-based organizations respond to this historic opportunity to put faith into action?
Dr. Harold Dean Trulear addresses this question here in a speech orginally delivered to several hundred participants at the "Working Together to Serve the Needy" conference in Philadelphia in December 1998. The event, sponsored by a grant from the Pew Charitable Trusts, brought members of Philadelphia's faith communities together with state and local government leaders to discuss how they might combine their resources to assist Philadelphia's welfare population toward independence.
In particular, Dr. Trulear challenges both government and the African-American church to examine what factors prevent them from working together. He proposes ways for both sides to overcome their barriers and discover a new kind of working relationship between church and state for the sake of the poor in our communities.