by Elise DeGooyer – Executive Director, Faith Action Network

As 2022 begins, Faith Action Network (FAN) is delighted to be working with Paths to Understanding to promote the work of advocacy as we build interfaith understanding. Over the past months, we have been energized by our conversations with Ean Olsen, PTU Director of Operations, about the Why and How of advocating for justice as a calling of each of our faith traditions.

We were motivated to combine FAN’s 10-year advocacy experience with Paths’ track-record in starting and deepening conversations across faith traditions.

Paths’ experience in technology and creating dialogue through online settings seemed to be a perfect match in these times when virtual learning and action have enhanced advocacy opportunities.    

All of us at FAN and at Paths to Understanding share a deep commitment to interfaith collaboration, and a desire to help people of faith and conscience live fully into their values. FAN believes that working on a shared goal together enhances our understanding of each other, beyond words and doctrines.

Care for our neighbors is a fundamental teaching in many faith traditions, and FAN seeks to make this care tangible with public policy changes that have immediate impact on peoples’ lives, especially those who are low-income, communities of color, and others who have been marginalized.

Paths to Understanding’s online courses help participants to live more deeply into these same values by providing forums for learning, dialogue, and shared commitments. FAN pledges to take our values of justice, equity, and the common good into local, state and federal policy arenas through advocacy and action. The online course we have created together with Paths to Understanding provides informative resources, first steps, and connection to community discussions that will guide and support participants as they begin to use advocacy as a tool in their practice of allyship. 

We hope you will join us for one of our live discussions on January 6th or 9th, where we will be Preparing for the 2022 Legislative Session, and continue your learning and dialogue in the Paths Network online courses How and Why to Advocate for Change. We trust you will walk away from these trainings with: 

– a stronger sense that your advocacy matters;  

– a map forward for your participation in legislative advocacy in the areas FAN has chosen to focus on for 2022 

– preparedness to participate in Interfaith Advocacy Day on February 10; 

– and a deeper sense of the issues at stake in your areas of interest.  

Deepened in knowledge, skills and convictions, we trust that the interfaith community we engage through the Faith Action Network and Paths to Understanding will make meaningful social change happen in Washington State this year!