Empowering Florida Activists to Combat Christian Nationalism

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Interfaith Alliance is committed to supporting grassroots efforts to advance an inclusive vision of religious freedom. The week of February 13th, 2023, Interfaith Alliance team members traveled to Florida to meet with hundreds of activists working to further that vision. The team also engaged local media to champion the importance of religious freedom in Florida. By providing national support for local leadership, Interfaith Alliance is uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism and promote true religious freedom. 

Supporting Partners in Interfaith Advocacy 

The Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Greater Naples invited Interfaith Alliance to be part of the 26th Annual Progressive Voices Lecture Series. This series invites top speakers across the country to share insight and information about relevant topics with the congregation and community members. Interfaith Alliance President and CEO Rev. Paul Brandeis Raushenbush was a featured speaker, and educated over 150 attendees on the dangers of Christian nationalism in a lecture entitled, “Confronting Christian Nationalism: Advancing True Religious Freedom & Pluralism.” Learn more about this growing movement here

The next day, Interfaith Alliance team members met with dozens of clergy leaders and other stakeholders for a half-day training on interfaith advocacy. The training was co-sponsored by the local chapter of Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. Participants learned the elements of interfaith advocacy, empowering each of them with the tools to deliver their compelling messages to the media and advocate to their elected leaders. Developing resources to nurture the aspirations of local partners and activists strengthens all of us as we strive to realize our common goal and protect true religious freedom. 

The team also engaged local media to champion the importance of religious freedom in Florida, including an interview with WGCU, the local NPR affiliate, and an op-ed co-authored with local activists.

Growing our Affiliate Network

From the very start, our affiliate network has been a key component of Interfaith Alliance’s work. During their time in Naples, Interfaith Alliance team members kicked-off the formation of the Interfaith Alliance of Southwest Florida with local activists. Some affiliates have long histories and others are just starting out – but they all focus on the issues that directly affect their local communities. 

For instance, the Interfaith Alliance of Iowa was founded the same year as the national organization and has been working across the state to advocate for racial justice, strong public schools, and fair and impartial courts. Meanwhile, in 2022, the Interfaith Alliance of North Dakota joined as the newest addition to our affiliate network. Leaders are currently traveling across the state, meeting with stakeholders to deepen support for reproductive freedom for North Dakotans of all religions and none.

Interfaith Alliance offers a suite of coaching to equip our affiliates including communications training, faith-advocacy training, mobilizing against Christian nationalism, and a deep dive on the history of religious freedom. Our goal is to empower our network with the knowledge and tools they need to effect change. Learn more about our affiliate network here.