EAD 2015 – Breaking the Chains: Mass Incarceration & Systems of Exploitation

The 2015 National Gathering of EAD in Washington, D.C. addressed solutions to national and worldwide issues of imprisonment, exploitation, and forced labor

EAD-chain-cross-topper

Friday, April 17 – Monday, April 20, 2015
Washington, D.C.

Hundreds of Christian advocates were fired up for justice in the light of the difficult issues and injustices in domestic U.S. and international criminal justice and immigrant detention system at the 13th Annual National Gathering of Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) for Global Peace with Justice. The annual event and Congressional advocacy day, held in Washington, D.C. from April 17-20, 2015,  was entitled, “Breaking the Chains:  Mass Incarceration and Systems of Exploitation.

“Together we have joined in a movement to shake the foundations of systems of human exploitation, including a prison-industrial system that incarcerates millions of people in the U.S. and abroad,” said Doug Grace, Executive Director of EAD. “A world that incarcerates so many and allows some to profit from the exploitation of slave, trafficked and forced labor remains far from the ‘beloved community’ which we are all called to seek.”

Together, advocates were inspired by dynamic preachers of the liberating Gospel, including Rev. Traci deVon Blackmon pastor from Flourissant and Ferguson, Mo. and Bishop José García of Bread for the World. Participants learned about the historical and theological foundations of problems in contemporary criminal justice systems and racial and economic exploitation systems around the world from witnesses such as Dr. Iva CarruthersGeneral Secretary of the Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference and Rev. Dr. Bill Mefford, of The United Methodist Church General Board of Church & Society. They were challenged to action by panel discussions on the role of the church in the “War on Drugs” and deeply moved to tears and action in light of the deplorable incarceration and abuse of children, women and men in prisons around the world. EAD activists were educated about the many related issues of global exploitation, torture, and incarceration through issues workshops and a moving and disturbing meditation from within a replica of a solitary confinement cell. (More information about EAD’s 2015 plenary speakers and preachers can be found here.)

Opportunities for networking by denomination and by state and local regions enabled a focus on EAD’s 2015 Congressional advocacy “Ask,” which focused on efforts to end mandatory minimum sentences for low-level and nonviolent offenders and to end the immoral and unjust immigration bed quota, which often encourages, rather than discourages, mass immigrant detention on the U.S. border and elsewhere. Advocates were also given the opportunity hone their organizing skills through training workshops.

Grace provided a theological context for the National Gathering and the legislative activity: “As people of faith, we denounce the elements in our world that justify such systems of exploitation and mass incarceration. At EAD, we confessed our personal and corporate failure to break the chains of poverty, racism, and greed institutionalized in our laws, economy, and social behaviors that have colluded to perpetuate such human exploitation and strip civil and human rights from so many.

“As people of Hope,” Grace continued, “we are reminded that Jesus’ radical message was one of liberation for all and restoration of right relationships. Through prayer, worship, advocacy training, networking and mobilization with other Christians, we have faced the reality of mass incarceration and corporate exploitation, and now call for national policies that bring liberation both to the prisoner and to a world in need of restoration.”

Photos from Friday, Saturday, Sunday and Lobby Day are now available, with additional photos of EAD’s Monday Lobby Day to be added in the days to come. Videos of the plenary speakers and panels are also now available.

National Gathering Program

More

THEME

Review background information about our EAD 2015 Theme.

Lobby Day Ask

More

LOBBY DAY

Learn more about and download our 2015 Lobby Day Ask and resources.

Recent News

New York Times Echoes EAD 2015 Lobby Day Message on Immigrant Detention

New York Times Echoes EAD 2015 Lobby Day Message on Immigrant Detention

WASHINGTON – May 15, 2015 – In today’s Opinion page of The New York Times, the Times’ Editorial Board echoed the concerns and particular “Legislative Ask” from EAD’s April 2015 Lobby Day, with a focus on the injustices and possible remedies in the U.S. immigration detention system. Read the Op-Ed here. View the EAD 2015 Lobby Day Ask

Over 1,000 Advocate for “Breaking the Chains” of Mass Incarceration & Global Exploitation

Over 1,000 Advocate for “Breaking the Chains” of Mass Incarceration & Global Exploitation

WASHINGTON – April 23, 2015 – Over 1,000 Christian advocates were fired up for justice in the light of the difficult issues and injustices in domestic U.S. and international criminal and immigrant detention systems at the 13th Annual National Gathering of Ecumenical Advocacy Days (EAD) for Global Peace with Justice. The annual event and Congressional advocacy day, held in Washington,… 

Read More

PHOTOS: Scenes From EAD 2015 – Lobby Day (Monday)

PHOTOS: Scenes From EAD 2015 – Lobby Day (Monday)

Ecumenical Advocacy Days 2015 – “Breaking the Chains: Mass Incarceration and Systems of Exploitation” – culminated with Lobby Day on Monday, April 20. This year EAD participants called on their members of Congress to “reform federal criminal justice and immigrant detention policies toward the goal of ending unfair, unnecessary, costly and racially biased mass incarceration.” UPDATE (4/22/15): Additional photos from #ead2015… 

Read More

PHOTOS: Scenes From EAD 2015 – Sunday

PHOTOS: Scenes From EAD 2015 – Sunday

Ecumenical Advocacy Days 2015 – “Breaking the Chains: Mass Incarceration and Systems of Exploitation” – continued on Sunday, April 19 with an interdenominational worship, the “Breaking the Chains” plenary, state break-outs, and issue and advocacy skills training workshops – all capped by a closing celebration featuring speaker Roy L. Austin Jr., a member of the White House Domestic Policy Council as Deputy… 

Read More

PHOTOS: Scenes From EAD 2015 – Saturday

PHOTOS: Scenes From EAD 2015 – Saturday

Ecumenical Advocacy Days 2015 – “Breaking the Chains: Mass Incarceration and Systems of Exploitation” – continued on Saturday, April 18 with a morning policy plenary on the historical and theological roots of contemporary issues of exploitation, a lunchtime plenary on “The Role of the Church in the ‘War on Drugs,’” issue workshops, state breakout sessions, denominational gatherings, and sponsor events, receptions and… 

Read More

PHOTOS: Scenes From EAD 2015 – Friday Night

Ecumenical Advocacy Days 2015 – “Breaking the Chains: Mass Incarceration and Systems of Exploitation” – kicked off Friday, April 17 with a series of pre-events, orientations and other welcome activities, and then an opening celebration spotlighted by a rousing keynote from Rev. Traci deVon Blackmon. The moving evening gathering also featured a number of speakers witnessing about their own encounters with… 

Read More

White House Official to Join EAD 2015 as Keynote Speaker

White House Official to Join EAD 2015 as Keynote Speaker

April 14, 2015 WASHINGTON, DC – Ecumenical Advocacy Days for Global Peace with Justice (EAD) is pleased to announce that White House official, Roy L. Austin, Jr. will join EAD participants as keynote speaker at the closing Banquet Dinner of EAD’s 13th annual national gathering on Sunday, April 19th at the DoubleTree Crystal City Hotel in Arlington, VA. The theme… 

Read More

EAD Announces Criminal Justice and Immigrant Detention Ask for 2015 Lobby Day

EAD Announces Criminal Justice and Immigrant Detention Ask for 2015 Lobby Day

We call on Congress to reform federal criminal justice and immigrant detention policies toward the goal of ending unfair, unnecessary, costly and racially biased mass incarceration: Adopt criminal justice and sentencing reform policies that incorporate an end to mandatory minimum sentencing; Eliminate the detention bed quota for immigrants and implement alternatives to immigrant detention. Our Faith Conviction As people of… 

Read More

Ferguson Leader, Rev. Traci deVon Blackmon, to Keynote EAD Opening Celebration

Ferguson Leader, Rev. Traci deVon Blackmon, to Keynote EAD Opening Celebration

March 11, 2015 WASHINGTON, DC —  Ecumenical Advocacy Days for Global Peace with Justice (EAD) is pleased to announce that Ferguson, MO area pastor and religious leader, Rev. Traci deVon Blackmon, will serve as the opening keynote preacher/speaker for EAD’s 2015 National Gathering on April 17, 2015, at 7:00 pm.  EAD’s 2015 theme is titled, “Breaking the Chains: Mass Incarceration &… 

Read More

Bishop José García to Preach at EAD 2015

Bishop José García to Preach at EAD 2015

WASHINGTON, DC — Ecumenical Advocacy Days for Global Peace with Justice (EAD) is pleased to announce that Bishop José García will serve as the Interdenominational Worship Keynote Preacher for EAD’s 2015 national gathering on Sunday morning, April 19, 2015 at the DoubleTree Crystal City Hotel in Arlington, Virginia. Bishop García is the new Director of Church Relations for Bread for… 

Read More

2015 EAD Panel Features People “Working on the Frontlines for Change”

2015 EAD Panel Features People “Working on the Frontlines for Change”

By Carol Fouke-Mpoyo, Church World Service WASHINGTON, D.C. — “To connect organizations and issues is the only way I see to break global systems of oppression. No one can do it alone. We have to see this as one movement.” That’s how David Schilling describes the task facing the more than 1,000 Christian advocates who are expected to attend the… 

Read More

EAD Announces Over 40 Planned Workshops for 2015 National Gathering

EAD Announces Over 40 Planned Workshops for 2015 National Gathering

WASHINGTON, DC —  Ecumenical Advocacy Days for Global Peace with Justice (EAD) is pleased to announce over forty planned workshops that will be offered during three workshop sessions during EAD’s thirteenth annual national gathering, April 17-20, 2015. The gathering is titled, “Breaking the Chains: Mass Incarceration and Systems of Exploitation.” To read descriptions of all forty planned workshops for EAD… 

Read More

Global Speakers to Keynote EAD 2015

Global Speakers to Keynote EAD 2015

EAD Announces Plenary Panel to Keynote “Systems of Global Exploitation” DECEMBER 19, 2014 – WASHINGTON, DC —  Ecumenical Advocacy Days for Global Peace with Justice (EAD) is pleased to announce the panel of speakers who will keynote the Sunday morning “international” policy plenary at its 13th annual national gathering on April 19, 2015. The theme for the gathering is “Breaking… 

Read More

Thanksgiving Blessing from EAD

Thanksgiving Blessing from EAD

Wishing You and Your Family a Blessed and Happy Thanksgiving! From EAD 2013, Food Justice for A Healthy World — “At God’s Table, all are invited and fed, and the poorest in our midst are given a special place. Together, we pray for the abundance and equality that we find reflected in the biblical image of God’s great banquet table… 

Read More

UMC’s Bill Mefford to Join Iva Carruthers at EAD 2015 Opening Plenary

UMC’s Bill Mefford to Join Iva Carruthers at EAD 2015 Opening Plenary

UMC’s Bill Mefford to Join Iva Carruthers at EAD 2015 Opening Plenary NOVEMBER 25, 2014 – WASHINGTON, DC – Ecumenical Advocacy Days for Global Peace with Justice (EAD) is pleased to announce that the Rev. Dr. Bill Mefford will join Dr. Iva Carruthers as a presenter during EAD’s opening policy plenary at its 13th annual National Gathering, April 17-20, 2015…. 

Read More

Dr. Iva Carruthers to Keynote EAD 2015

Dr. Iva Carruthers to Keynote EAD 2015

Dr. Iva Carruthers to Engage Mass Incarceration and Systems of Exploitation in Keynote Address at EAD 2015  NOVEMBER 21, 2014 – WASHINGTON, DC — Ecumenical Advocacy Days for Global Peace with Justice (EAD) is pleased to announce that Dr. Iva E. Carruthers will serve its April 17-20, 2015 national gathering as the opening policy plenary keynote speaker. The 2015 theme… 

Read More

EAD Announces Theme for April 2015 National Gathering in Washington, DC

EAD Announces Theme for April 2015 National Gathering in Washington, DC

Breaking the Chains: Mass Incarceration and Systems of Exploitation WASHINGTON D.C., –  Join over 1,000 Christian advocates in Washington, D.C. in building a movement to shake the foundations of systems of human exploitation (Acts 16:16-40), including a prison-industrial system that incarcerates millions of people in the U.S. and abroad. A world that incarcerates so many and allows some to profit… 

Read More

EAD Announces Dates for 2015 National Gathering & Lobby Day

EAD Announces Dates for 2015 National Gathering & Lobby Day

Ecumenical Advocacy Days Executive Director Douglas Grace announced at the concluding Sunday Banquet of the 2014 National Gathering that EAD would reconvene on the dates of Friday, April 17 to Monday April 20, 2015 at the Doubletree Hotel by Hilton Washington, D.C. – Crystal City for the organization’s 13th annual National Gathering and Lobby Day. Grace encouraged participants to spread… 

Read More

Sponsors: