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JPIC Report Fall/Winter Issue Now Available October 21st, 2011

The Fall/Winter Issue of our bi-annual newsletter is now available. (Download the PDF…)

This issue includes articles on the “Books to Prisons” project, Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Environmental Justice at Mary Immaculate, Faith and Values in Investing, ICCR’s 40th Anniversary, California legislation Against Slavery and Trafficking, a VIVAT International Workshop in India, Economic Growth vs a Steady State Economy, and the The Foreclosure Crisis.

Faith Based Community Organizers host Public Gathering on Foreclosure Crisis in Virginia October 6th, 2011

On October 30th VOICE (Virginians Organized for Interfaith Community Engagement) member institutions will hold a public gathering with more than 1,000 people to celebrate progress on their recent campaigns, especially their work to address the foreclosure crisis in Prince William County, Manassas, & Manassas Park. The Oblates have supported VOICE’s work on foreclosures by having given the organization access to company meetings and  connecting them with other faith-based shareholder activists.

The upcoming action will be an opportunity to celebrate successes (in Prince William County and across Northern Virginia) and to announce next steps to address local reinvestment needs.

Senator Mark Warner (D-VA) and senior bank executives will be in attendance.

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ICCR and IAF Community Organizers Join Forces Against Foreclosures September 16th, 2011

Interfaith Center on Corporate responsibility (ICCR) members, including the Missionary Oblates, have been working with Metro Industrial Areas Foundation affiliates to get Bank of America & Wells Fargo to take action on foreclosure issues in Prince William County, VA and Milwaukee, WI. This collaboration has produced results:

  • In Milwaukee, CommonGround, Metro IAF’s affiliate has organized successfully, forcing banks including Wells Fargo and Bank of America to commit $15.2 million to finance blight removal, a 100+ new Nehemiah homes development, and jobs in the Sherman Park neighborhood hard hit by foreclosure.
  • In Prince William County, VA, Metro IAF’s affiliate, VOICE, organized and directly confronted Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan at the 2011 annual shareholders meeting. This resulted in Bank of America senior leadership requiring reform of loan modification practices that has resulted in 250 backlogged modifications being resolved. Bank executives also committed to negotiate on VOICE’s demands that Bank of America fund housing counselors and reinvest hundreds of millions of dollars to rebuild Prince William County neighborhoods devastated by foreclosures.

VOICE is organizing a 1,000 person public action on Sunday, October 30th with Senator Mark Warner (Senate Banking Committee) and bank officials.

Watch this moving video of an anti-foreclosure rally organized by VOICE in Northern Virginia last April:




Faith-Based Community Organizers Confront Bank of America at Annual Meeting May 13th, 2011

Representatives of the community organizing group, Washington Interfaith Network (WIN), attended the Bank of America Annual Meeting last Wednesday thanks to proxies from the Oblates of Mary Immaculate and the Tri-State Coalition for Responsible Investment. The Rev. Clyde Ellis spoke in support of a shareholder proposal to asking for a third-party review of the bank’s troubled mortgage business.

“The mortgage modification process is broken,” said Rev Ellis. “I work with people every day [who are] hurting because they can’t get support from the broken modification process.”

Despite support from large pension funds, the proposal failed, but BOA CEO Brian Moynihan committed to have his top executives meet with WIN representatives about foreclosures in Prince William County, VA. The presence of demonstrators outside, and questions raised inside the meeting were instrumental in getting this promise of dialog.

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