A Faith That Does Justice

Inspiring faith in action, serving society's most vulnerable.

BOSTON, MA   |  https://www.faith-justice.org

Mission

A Faith That Does Justice is an interfaith organization that raises consciousness about social issues affecting the most vulnerable among us and offers opportunities for people to walk in solidarity with those who our society marginalizes. We welcome people of all races, religions, cultures and sexual orientations. We are respectful of our differences and seek to learn from each other ways to overcome the social, political and economic barriers that may separate us.

Ruling year info

2017

Founder, President and Executive Director

Peter W. Gyves SJ MD

Main address

300 NEWBURY ST

BOSTON, MA 02115 USA

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EIN

81-4298312

NTEE code info

Minority Rights (R22)

Alliance/Advocacy Organizations (S01)

Interfaith Issues (X90)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

A Faith That Does Justice is an interfaith organization that raises consciousness about social issues affecting the most vulnerable among us and offers opportunities for people to walk in solidarity with those who our society marginalizes. We welcome people of all races, religions, cultures and sexual orientations. We are respectful of our differences and seek to learn from each other ways to overcome the social, political and economic barriers that may separate us.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Community Meetings

We’ve welcomed hundreds to our quarterly Community Meetings where prominent speakers discuss issues of social relevance to Boston and society as a whole and participants then have roundtable discussions of these issues. Recent Community Meetings included The Migration of the Undocumented from Latin America to the US; Ending Homelessness: What Successful Communities Do Differently; Racism: An Ongoing Dilemma; and Social Justice, Solidarity and Women in the Workplace.

Population(s) Served

AFTDJ offers a free English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program to address the inadequate language skills of many foreign-born people in Boston. Moreover, our partnership with Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) allows us to refer ESOL program participants, who have achieved adequate English language proficiency, to JVS for job training and placement. JVS has a proven record in this regard.

Population(s) Served

Workshops take place in various church halls in the city of Boston. These events attract 60-70 people of different races, cultures, religions and languages. Invited speakers offer faith-based presentations that challenge participants to live their faith convictions on behalf of the most vulnerable of society. Workshops are held approximately 8 times each academic year.

Population(s) Served

Communications on social justice and faith based topics are done by email to our list of 2900 participants by means of the "Weekly Word", a teaching by a faith leader on issues of spirituality and social justice to help our subscribers live their faiths more fully, and by our weekly newsletter that conveys a scriptural reflection and contemporary news about social justice topics.

Population(s) Served

Where we work

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

A Faith That Does Justice, Inc. (AFTDJ) is a unifying, interfaith organization that raises consciousness about social issues affecting the most vulnerable among us and invites people to walk in solidarity with those who our society marginalizes. We welcome people of all races, religions, cultures and sexual orientations. We are respectful of our differences and seek to learn from each other ways to overcome the social, political and economic barriers that separate us.

Raising consciousness about social justice issues is targeted to the general public, particularly those who may not reflect on social issues. We aspire to be heard in our communities as the voice of the most vulnerable among us.

AFTDJ's strategy is summarized as follows:

1) Community Meetings focus on social justice issues that affect the most vulnerable among us, while encouraging those more fortunate to connect with and where appropriate advocate for the needs of the people we are serving. Recent meetings have included panel and small group discussions on "Effect of the Environmental Crisis on the Poor and the Vulnerable", "Faith and Justice in Society – Jewish, Christian & Muslim Perspectives", and "Immigration Crisis: Lives at Risk at Our Southern Border". Panelists are acknowledged experts in their field.

We structure our community meetings to promote learning and knowledge sharing by all and we assign guests to tables to create diversity at each table. Community Meetings take place in a hotel in Downtown Boston and attract a diverse group of 100-200 people. We live stream our community meetings and post the video on our website.

With the advent of COVID-19, we discontinued in person community meetings in the spring of 2020. We will resume community meeting in an online, Zoom format commencing with our October 2020 community meeting - Faith and the National Elections - A discussion of how faith informs our voting.

2) AFTDJ offers a free English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) program to address the inadequate language skills of many foreign-born people in Boston. Moreover, our partnership with Jewish Vocational Service (JVS) allows us to refer ESOL program participants, who have achieved adequate English language proficiency, to JVS for job training and placement. JVS has a proven record in this regard.

With the advent of COVID-19, we discontinued in person, classroom teaching of ESOL and moved to an online format. We will continue with the online program when ESOL classes resume in September 2020.

3) Workshops take place in various church halls in the city of Boston. These events attract 60-70 people of different races, cultures, religions and languages. Invited speakers offer faith-based presentations that challenge participants to live their faith convictions on behalf of the most vulnerable of society. Workshops are held approximately 8 times each academic year.

Similar to the format change for Community Meetings, with the advent of COVID-19, we discontinued in person workshops in the spring of 2020. We will resume community meeting in an online, Zoom format commencing in the fall of 2020.

4) Communications on social justice and faith based topics are done by email to our list of 2900 participants by means of the "Weekly Word", a teaching by a faith leader on issues of spirituality and social justice to help our subscribers live their faiths more fully, and by our weekly newsletter that conveys a scriptural reflection and contemporary news about social justice topics.

Peter W. Gyves, SJ, MD, founder, director and president, and William J. Sheehan, director and treasurer, are the leaders of AFTDJ. Fr. Peter, a Jesuit priest, is a Board-Certified Pediatrician and Pediatric Endocrinologist. His medical career included scientific research at NIH, Bethesda, MD. Entering the Society of Jesus in 2003, he was ordained a priest in 2008. He has lived and worked in countries outside the US, both as physician and a priest, including El Salvador and Guatemala and several English and French-speaking African countries.

Bill is the retired Chairman, President & CEO of Sonesta International Hotels Corporation. Much of Bill’s career was in the hospitality industry where he held CEO positions with Sonesta and Omni Hotels. Bill served as an independent trustee of Hospitality Properties Trust, a real estate investment trust with $7 billion of assets. He served on the Trust’s governance, compensation and audit committees holding the chair position of each of those committees at varying times.

Their combined backgrounds, skills and perspectives have enabled them to successfully build and manage AFTDJ.

AFTDJ has no paid staff. It is run by volunteers and has recruited numerous talented individuals (aforementioned) to achieve its goals. Also, AFTDJ has seven board members living in various locations across the United States to advise and assist with our mission.

A Faith That Does Justice was founded in 2015 in San Diego CA, as an interfaith program of Workshops and Community Meetings to overcome social, economic, racial and language barriers among people of that city. The meetings grew rapidly, reaching an average attendance 130-140 people per meeting and attracting local media coverage by San Diego Union-Tribune and local and outside television news stations.
In June 2016, the Society of Jesus (Jesuits) asked Peter Gyves, SJ, MD, to relocate the program to Boston MA, because of its more diverse population and greater community need. Since arriving in Boston, AFTDJ has continued its Workshops and Community Meetings with simultaneous interpretation of speakers. It has added an ESOL program in collaboration with Jewish Vocational Service, including job finding assistance for program graduates and launched a communications program focused on educating people on social justice issues and matters of faith.

We have found demand to expand all aspects of our work, especially those aspects with a direct connection to people living on the fringes of our communities. Many of our participants seek to expand their connections beyond their usual communities. Those who see value in our work are seeking to deepen their understanding of all members of our community. That fact explains in large measure why we have been so successful recruiting volunteers to staff our ESOL program. With a volunteer run organization, without any salaried staff, we recognize that to sustain and expand our program the time has arrived for us to develop an integrated sustainable organizational infrastructure that supports and leads our existing cadre of talented and committed volunteers.

Financials

A Faith That Does Justice
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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A Faith That Does Justice

Board of directors
as of 8/12/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Peter Gyves, SJ MD

A Faith That Does Justice, Inc.

Term: 2016 -