Unique conference on multifaith responses to global poverty
GLOBAL POVERTY, SEEKING JUSTICE
PEOPLE OF FAITH IN ACTION
Jubilee Debt Campaign is holding its first-ever national multifaith conference in Birmingham on Sunday 7 March.
“This is a unique event, bringing people from different faiths together to focus on how their faith can inform their response to global poverty and how together they can work for justice,” said Stephen Rand, Chair of JDC’s Multifaith Project.
The conference will be chaired by Balvir Kaur Dhillon, an Assistant Principal of a Further Education College in Wales who is widely travelled as a Sikh woman committed to finding solutions to global challenges. She has made contributions to the Council for the Parliament of World Religions in Barcelona and most recently in Melbourne, Australia.
Keynote speakers include Rev Dr Joel Edwards, the International Director of Micah Challenge and a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4’s ‘Thought for the Day, and Jehangir Malik, who President of the Islamic Society at university, worked as Deputy Country Director for Islamic Relief in Afghanistan and is currently the UK Director of Islamic Relief UK. Nick Dearden, Director of Jubilee Debt Campaign, will make the final keynote contribution.
The conference will have stalls and contributions from Buddhist, Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Hindu and Sikh groups. Workshops will include contributions from those who have firsthand experience of the realities of poverty and debt in the world’s poorer countries.
Audrey Miller, local convenor of the conference, said:
“It is very exciting to see people of faith coming together in the way to tackle issues where we share an area of concern for the common good. I believe the event will lead to a better understanding of what each faith group is already doing about global poverty and how they are seeking justice for all.”
Steve Miller, Jubilee Debt Campaign co-chair and trustee of Tzedek – Jewish Action for a Just World – said:
“In a world so often characterised by division, it’s great to see people of different faiths recognising the common bond of humanity and the shared desire to combat poverty and seek justice.”
Stephen Rand, Chair of JDC’s Multifaith Project, said:
“There is a desperate need for further action on debt and global poverty. Faith communities and organisations have already played a vital role in the campaign; we want to build on past activities and engagement and together – in and through our faith communities, locally and nationally – raise awareness of the issues and speak out for justice.”
1. The conference is being held on Sunday 7 March 2010, 1pm-5pm, at West Midlands Fire Service HQ, 99 Vauxhall Road, Birmingham, B7 4HW. More information and booking is available at www.jubileedebtcampaign.org.uk/faith
2. The conference has been made possible thanks to help from the Methodist Relief and Development Fund, the West Midlands Fire Service and Islamic Relief.
3. Rev Dr Joel Edwards is the International Director of Micah Challenge, a global movement encouraging Christians to a deeper commitment to the poor, and to speak out to national leaders to act with justice. He was appointed a member of the Equality and Human Rights Commission in 2008. He was born in Jamaica, and lived in England since he was eight. He worked as probation officer with the Inner London probation service from 1975 to 1988, and has been a member of the Prison Service Race Steering Group. He was General Director of the Evangelical Alliance from 1997 to 2009 and is an Honorary Canon of St Paul’s Cathedral, London. He is a regular contributor to BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day, and in Jamaica he was presented with the Prime Minister’s Medal of Appreciation for Services to Jamaica in 2003.
Mr Jehangir Malik is originally from Birmingham; his parents came to the UK from Azad Jammu Kashmir in the 1960’s. While a law student he was President of the Islamic Society at university and an active member of Young Muslims UK. He was introduced to Islamic Relief through the founder Dr Hany el Banna, and has worked with Islamic Relief in Birmingham, Bradford and the USA. In 2002 he moved to Afghanistan as a Deputy Country Director in managing one of the largest Humanitarian Aid Programs for Islamic Relief Worldwide. He then returned to the UK and is currently the UK Director of Islamic Relief UK based in London.