Fri. 10/6, 1– 6pm; Sat. 10/7, 9am –5pm
New York City is witnessing a surge of grassroots’ multi-faith activism that is pushing local government to adopt more just policies on issues of workers’ rights, LGTBQ rights, racial justice, immigrant inclusion and restorative justice. As trust in the federal government wanes, multi-faith activists can broaden the moral imagination of social justice movements through an inclusive and co-creative organizing process. This course will (1) explore the contributions of successful multi-faith coalitions in recent NYC history, (2) analyze the relationships between multi-faith coalitions and local government, and (3) re-imagine the impact grassroots organizing can have on national policy.
Jonathan Soto serves as the Executive Director of the newly formed Center for Faith and Community Partnerships at the Mayor’s Office, which empowers neighborhoods and forges partnerships with faith and community leaders by building capacity to mobilize civic action. Prior to joining the Mayor’s Office, Jonathan served as an activist and community organizer committed to inclusivity and progress for communities throughout New York City, and particularly communities of faith. He has served as Borough Director for the Bronx Long Term Recovery Group, dedicated to the physical and economic rehabilitation of communities affected by Hurricane Sandy, and partnered with the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. Soto has also served as Policy Director for the Bronx Clergy Roundtable, where he launched anti-recidivism programs, spearheaded advocacy efforts in support of fast food workers and the living wage campaign. In June of 2015, Mayor de Blasio appointed Soto to serve as the Senior Community Liaison for the Mayor’s Clergy Advisory Council, which engages communities of faith in the formation of City policy and administration of City services. Soto is a graduate of Fordham University and from Brooklyn Law School.